So much to report this week, so let’s GET TO IT! (The image above is by Milton Glaser, from his Push Pin Studio days.)

One silver lining of the pandemic is Comic-Con@Home 2020! Because the San Diego Comic Convention—the largest comics and media event in America—can’t meet in person, the organizers have made hundreds of live, online panels available on YouTube for free! Five days of discussions about your favorite comics, movies, and TV shows, from Wednesday, June 22 through Sunday, June 26! Below are the links to the scheduled panels for each day of the Con:

Wednesday, June 22  /  Thursday, June 23  /  Friday, June 24  /  Saturday, June 25  /  Sunday, June 26

 

One generation honors another: Jackie Ormes, the first Black female newspaper cartoonist, is best known for her character Torchy Brown, first featured in Torchy Brown in “Dixie to Harlem” (1937-38) and then brought back for a more soap-operatic comic, Torchy in Heartbeats (1950-54). In 1919, young cartoonist Elizabeth Montague (left) drew a tribute to Ormes at The Nib, and in 2020 Montague herself broke a color barrier by becoming the first Black female artist to have a gag cartoon run in The New Yorker. Check out this survey of Ormes’ career by Nadja Sayej at the Shonaland website, and this profile of Montague at the Washington Post. Also browse around on Montague’s personal site, and her Instagram, for drawings, coloring pages, and more!

George O’Connor is best known among young readers for The Olympians, his series of graphic novels about the pantheon of Greek Gods. On the main page of O’Connor’s website, there are three videos where O’Connor shows us how to draw Hera, Hades, and Athena from The Olympians. (Scroll down to find those quick-draw videos.) Elsewhere on his website, you’ll find O’Connor’s biography and a “Learning Resources” page that links to a Greek Gods Family Tree, free downloadable theater masks, and questions and activities focused on each Olympian book. Over at the Comics Journal, there’s a short interview with O’Connor as part of the Journal’s check-in with cartoonists during the time of Covid-19.

Afropolitan Comics is an online exhibit created by the National Arts Festival of South Africa showcasing “works previously displayed at the South African Art of Comics exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, in conversation with their pan-African equivalents in what we hope will offer a true glimpse of the Afropolitan—a spirit of African invigoration shared by our continent, our home.” The result is coverage of genres (autobiography, real-life stories, folklore tales) and African cartoonists rarely seen by American audiences. The rest of the South African Virtual National Arts Festival site is also worth your time, especially the sections devoted to young artists and to the Virtual Green, a space celebrating artisans and practical arts. [Thanks to Patrick Holt for the link.]

Milton Glaser, the most celebrated American graphic designer of recent times, passed away in late June at the age of 91. Even if you’ve never heard of him, you’re familiar with some of his images, such as the “I [heart] NY” campaign of the late 1970s. The New York Times obituary of Glaser discusses high points in his career—his participation at Push Pin Studios, his influential psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, his book designs and children’s books—while Glaser’s own website features “Case Studies” of Glaser’s lesser-known, but no less distinguished, branding and logo designs, as well as a more comprehensive “Work” portfolio. Amusingly, the website also has three different versions of Glaser’s “Biography”: “In Brief,” “Medium Version,” and “Interminable Length.” I recommend all three.

Below are some of my favorite Glaser images. The “I [heart] NY More Than Ever” was Glaser’s response to September 11, 2001, while “Together,” was Glaser’s attempt to unify us despite the isolation of our current quarantine.

This weekly blog post is written and compiled by Craig Fischer. To send along recommendations, ideas, and comments, contact Craig at craig_fschr@yahoo.com [.]

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