Off-Panel: Remember When Prince Was an Actual Superhero?

Welcome to Off-Panel, your weekly digest of comics news, from the gutters and beyond. 

Comics journalists, prompted by the removal of someone so beloved from DC, are speaking out about the discrepancies in DC Comics’ hiring and firing practices.

Over at The Mary Sue, they’ve collected up some of the best Twitter essays on the topic of Shelly’s Bond’s ludicrous firing from DC.

It’s possible for a system to be steered beyond insular self-destructive closure and towards a more diverse and open ecology, but the key word is steered — it won’t find its way there on its own. The readers may row the boat, but they don’t steer the ship. If there are any individuals who have an outsized effect on the state of diverse comics, they are the executives at Diamond, at Marvel, at DC, at Amazon and Comixology.

Over at ComicsAlliance, a smart reflection on the barriers to diversity.

Little wonder that when discussing comic book art — especially art that’s so energetic it feels like it’s coming right off the page — it’s common to hear the compliment “Kirby-esque.” Year after year, popular culture has become more Kirby-esque, too.

I enjoyed this reflection on the influence of Jack Kirby from the Boston Globe.

The nominations list as a whole pretty much torpedoes any notion of comics in the 21st century being some kind of boys’ club.

The Guardian has a particularly optimistic view of why the Eisner nominations mean.

The result is probably the greatest tribute to Prince you could ever hope for. McDuffie, one of the all-time greatest comics creators, spins out a storyline that’s every bit as silly as Under the Cherry MoonGraffiti Bridge, the Three Chains of Gold opera, or Glam Slam Ulysses. But McDuffie keeps Prince: Alter Ego focused on the power of Prince’s music, as well as some of the key themes of Prince’s work, especially duality.

i09 reflects on that time Prince was a comic book superhero.

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