I usually leave comics blogging to my colleague Heidi MacDonald, but I was super (no pun intended) excited to find this on my desk today:
Like any good blogger, I have a daily Google alert set up to let me know when someone mentions my blog. Imagine my surprise to get a link to DeviantArt one day, where I found that some fellow named Huw Evans had drawn a map of a place called Genreville. I dropped him a friendly note, one Genrevillain to another, and he replied saying he was working on a comic with the same title. Two year later, after I confess I’d quite forgotten about the whole thing, I got another email from him saying, “The comic is done! Can I send you a copy?”
Huw’s introduction describes his three-issue Genreville series as a “parodic love letter to the old comic books, pulp magazines, and ‘B’ movies” and it certainly lives up to that billing. Every cliché you can imagine is here, and stereotypes abound. For example, at the end of the issue, our heroes—cleft-chinned PI Jack Crandall; his client, Alice Straw, a 50-foot-tall woman reduced to human size by a mad scientist’s shrink ray; and the mad scientist’s hunchbacked assistant, Gior—go in search of a witch doctor named Kadunga, donning pith helmets and grabbing machetes to hack their way through the Jungle Park neighborhood of Genreville (just east of Horror Heights and south of Varmint Gulch). Their guide is Skeena, the white, blonde, leopard-print-bikini-wearing “duchess of the forest”, whose “why you city people come to jungle?” patois suggests that discomfiting racial caricatures may be around the corner. I can only hope Kadunga is as story-aware as Gior, who grumbles about “sidekick discrimination” when Jack and Alice tell him to watch their luggage while they go off to dance with teen delinquents at a beatnik biker bikini bonfire beach bash.
In general, I think the comic finds a good balance between homage and parody. I’ll be curious to see whether Huw can maintain that balance as Jack, Alice, and Gior explore Genreville’s furthest reaches in issues 2 and 3. (No schedule for those yet; Huw calls himself “the World’s Slowest Cartoonist” and says the first issue took four years to complete.) In the meantime, you can take a look at issue 1 here.
This week’s roundup has surprisingly little to do with SF/F/H fiction per se. I think that’s a sign of how scattered my brain is while I get ready to move house.
- Angry Robot is hiring an editor—for a brand new crime fiction imprint set to launch in 2013! Quoth the press release: “The imprint will be a standalone line, with its own name and presence, but will employ the same fresh and distinctly modern approach that AR has in the SF/F world. The editor will play a key role in building the personality of the imprint, and telling the world about its brilliant books, especially online.” I can’t tell you how glad I am to see publishers committed to doing new things with mystery, which is the most resistant to change of any genre I know (possibly excepting literary fiction).
- Are you an aspiring comic creator? The magnificent Kate Beaton will answer your questions.
- There’s a nerd bar in Brooklyn with a TARDIS bathroom. Apparently I am the last person in New York to find out about this. Fortunately I found out about it because I’m about to live around the corner from it.
- Recent successful genre fiction Kickstarters: Fireside Magazine issue 1 and Laura Anne Gilman’s From Whence You Came. Also noteworthy: Melissa Gira Grant’s Take This Book: The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street, the cyberpunk RPG Always/Never/Now, and a statue of Harvey Pekar. Nerds got funds!
Caitlín R. Kiernan (not to be confused with Celine Kiernan) slyly tweeted a link to a Comic Bastards post that contains this image:
Anyone who’s read Kiernan’s Alabaster knows that the bloodstained young woman bears a striking resemblance to heroine Dancy Flammarion. Anyone who’s read Kiernan’s Alabaster and likes comic books is now really, really excited.
Kiernan promises more news next week.
Apparently comics are the hip thing these days! Stephen King and Joe Hill are collaborating on a story that will be comicified by IDW, and Ace just picked up a graphic novel trilogy from Charlaine Harris. Also I hear there’s a comics convention or something that a bunch of SF/F/H authors are at right now. I foresee a copiously illustrated future in which Heidi MacDonald and I merge our blogs into a single hybrid blog because the SF/F/H and comics worlds have become one and the same.
…or possibly I’m hallucinating due to sleep deprivation. Funny how all my hallucinations look like they were painted by Alex Ross.
EDIT: Yen Press announces two forthcoming manga adaptations: Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogies and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick YA titles. It’s spreading!
Scott Westerfeld made two big announcements at Comic Con yesterday: the long-rumored Uglies film now has special effects companies Lola (Captain America) and Hydraulx (Avatar) on board, and the Uglies series is being adapted into a manga to be drawn by Steven Cumming and published by Del Rey.
Vertigo also announced that South African SF author Lauren Beukes, my personal pick for this year’s Campbell Award for best new writer, will contribute to their forthcoming Fairest series, a princess-focused spin-off from the Eisner-winning Fables line of fairy tale adaptations. Beukes contributed to Vertigo’s recent anthology Strange Adventures; looks like they’re happy with her work.