Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by Kate Beatonnnnnn!!!!

The most glorious of headliners leads the way this week, as Comics Disassembled looks at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics, led by something I love.

1. Kate Beaton Alert!

If I had to power rank my favorite cartoonists, it would be a very, very short path to get to Kate Beaton. That’s for an obvious reason, I’m guessing: Kate Beaton absolutely rules. So news coming out that Beaton has a new graphic novel coming out from Drawn & Quarterly made my top spot an easy choice this week. It’s called Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, it’s arriving in Fall 2022, and D&Q already is dropping the word “masterpiece” about it with my response being, “Of course it’s a masterpiece.”

Here’s what this coming masterpiece is about, per D&Q’s post: “After university, Katie Beaton leaves family behind to join Alberta’s oil rush, but as one of the few women among thousands of men, the culture shock is palpable. The harsh reality of life in the oil sands is that trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. Ducks is an untold story of contemporary Canada.”

Given that, again, I love Beaton’s work, it could have been about literally anything and this whole item would have been the written word equivalent of a very long exclamation point. But I can’t wait to see what Beaton does with this experience from her life and this subject that I have no doubt is considerably different than any of us can really imagine. Or, I guess I can wait. It’s arriving in Fall 2022, so that’s a bit. I will wait, but I won’t wait once it does arrive. You get it.

2. Marvel + Penguin, Reducing FOC

This is a quick one, if only because I still don’t know a lot about it in reality. Retailer Ryan Higgins tweeted about a change shops were notified about recently, in which Marvel/Penguin Random House revealed that they will be chopping a week off of final order cutoff – or, the final date shops can change their orders for new comics – in hopes of mitigating any potential production delays (because of the aforementioned supply chain breakages). That’s understandable in some ways, but also not really for one main reason: now shops will have no awareness of whether or not the preceding issue sold at all.

This may very well be because Marvel and PRH are up against a wall because of printer delays, but the problem is, the former has given people very few reasons to trust them when it comes to trying to find ways around shops having any awareness of how a preceding issue sold before ordering the next one. That was always the way with double-shipping, and even if this is because of factors outside of their control, I would wager a considerable sum of money that they won’t change this back once delays are sorted out. It’ll be, “Oops, we just kept it the way it was because people got used to it now,” as shops yell at them repeatedly to switch it back.

I know I’m all about change, but that’s true only when it’s change that is designed to be in theory positive. This is positive for only half the equation – the publisher one – making this a big ol’ bummer. Not cool. Marvel. Not cool.

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