There are plenty of people in the world who get nice things that they don’t (IMHO) deserve. So it’s especially nice when someone completely and utterly deserving is recognized for their greatness. I felt all the warm and fuzzies this morning when I heard on the news that the cartoonist and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel is a 2014 recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” one of the world’s most prestigious prizes. Bechdel draws the popular LGBTQ comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For and is the author/illustrator of the memoirs Are You My Mother? and Fun Home, the latter of which is one of the most esteemed books in the graphic novel genre (and a favorite of mine).
As a winner of the “Genius Grant,” which is awarded to between 20 and 40 individuals who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work,” Bechdel will receive upwards of $625,000 paid out over five years. The intention is for winners to use the prize money to continue doing their good work. Past winners have included people like “The Wire” creator David Simon, authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adihie, Junot Diaz and Edwidge Dandicat, and critic Susan Sontag.
After the jump, here are five things to know about Alison Bechdel, her cartoons and her important mark on pop culture! Keep reading »
Summer is the perfect time to kick back with a good book and no, you don’t have to read Crime And Punishment. I prefer a good graphic novel and I’m in luck: But I Really Wanted To Be An Anthropologist by French illustrator Margaux Motin was just published in English. Like me, you’ll lust after Margaux’s adorable French daughter, her hot husband, and enviably chic wardrobe. (At least, that’s how she draws it!) And if you like just-us-girls honesty here on The Frisky, you’ll love Margaux’s share-everything-no-matter-how-embarrassing tone. Grab a box of macaroons and a copy of Anthropologist for the cheapest trip to Paris you’ll ever take. [$19.01, Amazon.com]
Graphic novels have always suffered a geek taint, a stubborn case of social acne that alienates certain sects of people. There have always been a handful of Comic-Con cuties, but, overall, society has labeled graphic novels a man’s medium. Yen Press has a solution to bring some girl power to the graphic novel. The publisher is taking female-favored heavyweights and adapting them to fit this medium. This year, Yen Press will be introducing the first installments of both The Twilight Saga and Gossip Girl series. Twilight promises to be loyal to the original novels—Yen is even working with author Stephenie Meyer to capture the right money-making, heart-melting formula. Gossip Girl, on the other hand, is a re-imagining of the story with all the classic characters. I don’t think Twihards will have any problem taking to the new medium—heck, they’ll buy anything Forks-inspired. Gossip Girl may be harder to sell. What do you think—will manga-ized Serena and Bella bring a new surge of women to the graphic novel? [EW, MTV]
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The women in comic books have a tendency to be scantily clad, buxom babes (i.e., Barbarella). Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur is capitalizing on this rule of thumb by creating its own graphic novel with characters that wear the label’s skimpy bedroom clothes while saving the world from extinction. (According to the plot line, the ladies have lived without men for centuries, but now they’re out of semen and on the brink of extinction.)
Do you think it’s clever when brands do more than buy ads in magazines to get people to buy their wares? Or is this catalog in the form of a comic book a total waste of Agent Provocateur’s money? [Agent Provocateur via View On Fashion] Keep reading »