The arts scene is flourishing in post-revolution Egypt and comics are no exception! A new organization, Mazg (which means incorporation or blending), seeks to teach comics creation and establish a proper comics industry in Egypt. It was founded by four women, Mona Al-Masry, Naglaa Koora, Sara Al-Masry and Nevien Adel, who have “different experiences in cultural administration, human rights activism and art”. Their goals include bringing comics workshops to the provinces, translations of foreign comics, and establish an Egyptian comics festival.
This week was a good week for crowdfunding! (If you’re trying to make a movie based on a recentish cult TV show, anyway). Two comics fundraisers that caught my eye. Graham Cracker Comics store, also in Chicago, hosts a regular Ladies’ Night, and several of its regulars have put together an anthology! They’re trying to raise $1000, and are currently over a quarter of the way there. A mere $2 gets you a digital copy and $10 gets you a physical copy as well! Also, Every/Body, a follow-up to the pro-marriage equality anthology Little Heart, is an anthology discussing body and gender, and they are just $200 shy of hitting their $2500 goal!
Cate Blanchett could be bringing New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen to HBO! She’d be playing Marchetto herself and co-producing as well.
Over on CBR, Josie Campbell conducted a fantastic interview with Trina Robbins and Joyce Farmer about the early days of women’s underground comix.
Bonus Art Thing:
Tonight I’m having a bunch of friends over to watch Skyfall and possibly Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace if a) they want to stay that long and b) I can convince them that QoS is actually pretty good if your watch it right after CR. So have a Kate Beaton-inspired "Ooh Mr. Bond: A Fan Fiction" mash-up.
(The least accurate part of this comic is Silva’s hair being dark.)
If I could go to this, I absolutely would. The trailer blew me away the first time I saw it about six months ago, and I’m really excited to see how Marjane Satrapi (along with her Persepolis film partner Vincent Paronnaud) shifts to live-action directing. If you can, I urge you to take advantage of the of the opportunity!
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming—both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom— Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.
It is also the birthday of acclaimed Iranian-French memoirist, Marjane Satrapi! Best known for her account of growing up in Iran throughout the Islamic Revolution, Persepolis, which was adapted into an Oscar-nominated animated film. She followed that up with Embroideries, a frank dialogue about the love and sex lives of Iranian women, and Chicken with Plums, about a musician who gives up living when his priceless instrument is irreparably damaged. The latter has been adapted into a live-action film by Satrapi herself, though it is not yet scheduled for US release. Next week comes the English translation of her illustrated novella, The Sigh. Bon anniversaire and ولدت مبارک, Marjane!
It’s definitely a departure for Satrapi, thought not a radical one; I think I am always interested when artists and writers challenge themselves and do things new and unexpected. It’s far too easy for creators to fall into a rut of just doing the same thing over and over, and The Sigh definitely represents a new kind of work from Satrapi. The whole package — its subject matter, style, and presentation — really fit us very well right now.
Is it self-ghettoization for women comics creators to have their own spaces, either in anthologies, panels, or *gasp* blogs? Is there really a sexism problem in comics, actively keeping women creators out? How much of this issue is just the nature of the market?
Saturday at Boston Comic Con, the Female Creators panel wrangled with these questions, but 45 minutes was not nearly enough to discuss them to any greater satisfaction. One of the panelists who basically dominated the discussion (who, I note in the most charitable way possible, is not actually a comics creator but an illustrator) answered Yes, No, and It’s Only About The Money.
Well, I respectfully disagree. Not entirely, but there are some crucial nuances that did not get discussed, as well as the conflation of personal experiences with a universal standard.