Hey, folks. What with Chanukah and that other holiday coming up soon, I wanted to let you know that I’m selling copies of Hereville. Go here for all the details, or if you’d rather not see the details, you can go directly to my Big Cartel page.
Of course, you can also buy unsigned copies from all the usual booksellers.
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(Warning: This post contains some content raged “PG,” and maybe even “PG-13,” including mentioning b**bs and a couple of uses of the F word. Also, in case any readers don’t know this word, “cosplay” means, basically, going to a convention dressed up as a character, usually a character from genre fiction. “Cosplayers” are those who “cosplay.”)
1) You’re embarrassing us, Tony.
Just for the record, as a professional comic book creator, a lifelong comics fan, and someone who attends comic book conventions, I am happy to be sharing a subculture with cosplayers. Cosplayers don’t have to prove they are “true nerds.” They don’t need admission to the club, because they’re already in it.
I’m also not embarrassed to be sharing my subculture with what Tony Harris calls “a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls…” I don’t agree they’re the norm, but yeah, there are some guys like that at cons. They’ve got problems to overcome, but who doesn’t? Many of them are really nice, albeit socially clumsy.1
But do you know who I AM embarrassed to share my subculture with? Tony Harris. Because he wrote this.
It is humiliating for me to read that and realize that I’m sharing a profession and a nerd culture with the author.
2) Which comic book culture do you want to be part of?
There’s the comic book culture in which women (and especially female cosplayers) are objects of suspicion.2 “What the hell are you doing here? Are you a real nerd or just pretending? Here, let me quiz you on Star Trek.” There’s the comic book culture in which a major artist posts in his public Facebook area that he finds most female cosplayers to be “quasi-Pretty-NOT-hot” and to have less than “great” “boobies,” and makes it clear that as a “rule” he considers most female cosplayers to be intruders in his space.
Or there’s the comic book culture in which we react to someone of either sex dressing up by saying “wow! You look really neat!” A culture that welcomes new people and assumes they belong there.
Or we can hang up a sign that says “We love our toys, and maybe you will too! Come in and share them!” A culture in which cosplayers keep on attending cons and making them more colorful and interesting for everyone. A culture in which everyone who loves nerd culture – even if they don’t love it in the exact way Tony Harris believes is the One Correct Way – can feel welcome.
Why would any thinking person want to live in the former culture, when the latter culture is an option?
3) A bit of fisking.
In a follow up comment, Tony Harris wrote:
Oh, has this not been made clear? Well, then, let me explain.
I’m not going to say you’re a misogynist, because I don’t know you, and I’m sure there are sides to you other than the ugly side you showed us yesterday. But I will say that your rant was very misogynistic.
Your rant was misogynistic because of the over-the-top display of bitter fury towards women you disapprove of; because of the sneering at women’s bodies and breasts that you deem insufficiently “GREAT” for your refined tastes; and because it was yet another attempt by a male nerd to play gatekeeper and declare which women are and aren’t True Nerds.
They’re not “sad, needy fakes.” They’re people having a good time while at a comic book convention, and for some reason that makes you furious.
And the air? Not yours. Everyone gets a share. (Jesus Christ, Tony, get a fucking grip.)
Hey, Tony, that’s my office too. So, speaking as an officemate, can I beg you to knock it the fuck off? Those people you’re sneering at are customers. Without them, neither of us will make a living.
Sure, most of the cosplayers aren’t there to buy my comics (or yours). But most of everyone at a con isn’t there to buy my comic (or yours). There are approximately a billion zillion comics available to buy at a con, and most fans aren’t going to buy more than a handful. We set up “office” for the chance to sift through thousands of fans to find the tiny percent who are looking for our stuff.4
By the way, cosplay is one of the very few things at comic book cons that little kids can enjoy. That’s my future customer base, officemate, so please don’t dis something that’s actually making comic book conventions fun for them.
I don’t think I agree that T&A is a pox, but I think the way that T&A predominates in comics is a pox.5 So we’re not far apart on that.
More importantly, it’s great that you’re working to avoid misogyny in your comics. Really, it is. (I work at the same thing in my comics). I also think it’s great that you love and respect your mom, your wife, and your daughters, as I saw you mention in another Facebook comment. However, you seem to think that these things are inoculations – that because you’ve created some non-misogynistic comics, and you love the women in your life, that means that you’re immune from ever saying anything misogynistic, and anyone criticizing your words for sexism must be wrong.
That’s not how it works, dude.
If you write a post saying that five times five is ten, then that’s wrong. And if a dozen people point out to you that “5×5=10″ is wrong, it makes no sense to defend it by saying “but look at all these other times when I’ve done the math correctly!” Yes, it’s great that you did the math correctly all those other times. But that doesn’t magically mean that you didn’t mess up this time.
It would be better if you worked on understanding why everyone’s saying you screwed up, and learning not to screw up that way again, rather than just going on and on about how it’s completely unfair of us to say that “5×5=10″ is wrong, don’t we even remember that time you said four times six is twenty-four?
Just saw this comic drawn by sailorswayze on tumblr, and couldn’t resist including it here:
UPDATE 2: John Scalzi has an explanation for this bizarre phenomenon.
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For those of you in or near Portland, Oregon, please come join me at Powell’s on Hawthorne, 7:30pm on Thursday.
I’ll be there to sign books, answer questions, and show a slideshow (including a super-cool animated film of my drawing process). There will be a reading from one of the Hereville books. For the first time ever at a Hereville event, long-suffering Hereville colorist Jake Richmond will on hand to answer questions and sign books.
About Hereville: How Mirka Met A Meteorite
Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite is a sequel to Barry Deutsch’s cult hit kid’s graphic novel (is there such a thing as a cult kid’s graphic novel) about “yet another monster-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish Girl.” It’s published by Abrams Books, through its Amulet imprint, and features writing and art by Barry Deutsch and colors by Jake Richmond.
Story: Mirka thinks she’s ready to be a sword-fighting hero – but she’s totally unprepared for having to save the town from a meteorite strike! But things get even more complex when the meteorite is turned into an exact duplicate of Mirka – except “stronger, faster and prettier,” as the Meteorite would be the first to say. Action and adventure gets mixed with an identity crisis turned to flesh, and Mirka must not only be brave but also make a leap into empathy to make things come out right.
Kirkus (starred review):
School Library Journal (starred review):
Comics Worth Reading:
About the Author
Cartoonist Barry Deutsch lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with bubble-gum pink trim. His 2010 graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword was the first graphic novel ever to win the prestigious Sydney Taylor Award, and was also nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz, and Nebula awards. Deutsch won the national Charles M. Schulz Award for best college cartoonist in 2000 and was nominated for Comic-Con’s Russ Manning Award for Promising Newcomer in 2008. He is currently working on a third Hereville graphic novel.
Portland Opera has a delightful habit of inviting a bunch of Portland-area cartoonists, including me, to come watch dress rehearsals and post drawings of what we see. So on Monday (which was my birthday, so that worked out nicely), I got to see their imported-from-NYC production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. This was a modernist production, which meant 1930s costumes, minimalist sets, a gray and black and white color scheme, and lots of surprisingly explicit gropes during the sexy bits.
So here’s what I drew. You can click on any of these pictures to see them embiggified.
First, some stuff I drew in my sketchbook while I was watching the dress rehearsal:
Second, the cast of Peanuts perform Don Giovanni:
And finally, an illustration I did. Since the costumes for this production mostly seemed to be from the 1930s, I tried to draw this in the style of a cartoonist from the 1930s.
If you want to see what other cartoonists did, the best bet is to follow the #pdxgiovanni hashtag on Twitter. But here are some links (in no particular order):
That’s the ones I could find as of this moment, but I’m sure there will be more at that #pdxgiovanni hashtag.
Oh, I nearly forgot! If you’re in Portland and want to see the show, “Don Giovanni” will be playing Nov. 2, 4, 8 and 10 at the Keller Auditorium. You can get half-price tickets for the Thursday, Nov. 8 performance at this link if you use the password MOZART.
I’ve been asked by poet and my “Alas” co-blogger Richard Jeffrey Newman to participate in a Blog Hop in order to introduce new authors to new readers. If you’ve come here from the link posted on Richard’s blog, welcome! If you’re a regular reader of mine or came upon my blog by chance, this is an opportunity for you to get know something about my new graphic novel, and to check out some writers and cartoonists who might be new to you by following the links at the end of the post. They are all fine creators whose work I would highly recommend. Again, special thanks to Richard Newman, from whom I swiped most of the text in this intro paragraph.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Great Read
Q: What is the
Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
Q: What genre does your book fall under?
Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Q: What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?
Also, there are some exciting action sequences. Or I hope they’re exciting, anyway.
Here are the writers and cartoonists whose work you can check out next:
Watch out for their “Blog Hop” interviews on November 7th.
Yesterday (October 20) was 24 Hour Comics Day!
What’s a 24 Hour Comic, you ask? It’s an invention of Scott McCloud’s:
Although one can do a 24-hour comic any day of the year, it’s more fun to do it in tandem, hence 24 Hour Comics Day. Yesterday, at the studio where I work, myself, Jake Richmond, Ben Lehman, and Alan Ward all did 24 hour comics.
So here’s mine. It’s silly and not enormously well written or drawn, but perhaps you’ll enjoy it anyway. And it not, at least it won’t take more than a few minutes to read.
Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite’s release date is November 1, but it seems that some copies are showing up early… I heard on twitter yesterday that someone had bought one at a store. Very neat!
But in the meantime, I got this nice email early this month:
I could not say “YES” loudly enough! So here is Ellen Gustafson’s very cool trailer for the first Hereville book. Thanks, Ellen!
My friend Ken Koral, who does the excellent horror webcomic Eventy-Seven, did this hilarious drawing of the troll from Hereville.
Is that awesome or what?
I may have posted an earlier version of page 87 at some point? I’m not certain. In any case, I just redrew the bottom panel and I’m much happier with this page now.