Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

















April 23, 2014


Go, Look/Bundled Extra/Festivals Extra: š! #17 To Debut At TCAF; Previewed Extensively

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posted 2:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Special: CBLDF Through AmazonSmile

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, one of comics' traditional charitable causes and one of its backbone organizations, is participating in the AmazonSmile program. That means you can sign up with the retailing giant, indicate the Fund at the appropriate part of that process, and .5 percent of the price of your purchases will go to the organization. They've written about it here.

I have to imagine this wouldn't make a huge difference person to person but might start to if it's a few hundred folks doing it, and it's hard for to imagine what it hurts as it sounds like a reasonably invisible program.

I hope you'll consider it, anyway.

Update: So a few of you asked about whether comiXology purchases would now or might in the future be a part of this program. I asked Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Fund, who said he wasn't sure.

"Amazon Smile is a relatively new service, and one where folks purchases can benefit our work. The way it's currently set up, it only works when people enter through the Amazon Smile start page and perform their purchases. It isn't yet equipped to work with the Amazon App, even, so it seems doubtful, in the near term, that they would since that's another external application. But I don't really know yet."

Brownstein further told CR that while he'll ask the comiXology folks, he imagine that this is the kind of concern way down the list for that company, at least for the time being.
 
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Missed It: Tessa Brunton Diary At TCJ.com

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Your 2014 Hugo Award Graphic Story Category Nominees

This year's nominees for the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Awards were announced several days ago in a flurry of blog posts and e-mails and postings. As John Scalzi explains here, about 2000 nominating ballots were received.

imageOf direct and perhaps primary interest to comics fans is the "Best Graphic Story" category, which has been in place since 2009. The nominees are:

Best Graphic Story

* Girl Genius, Volume Thirteen: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City, Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio and Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
* "The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who" in Doctor Who Special 2013, Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton (IDW)
* The Meathouse Man, Raya Golden, adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin (Jet City Comics)
* Saga Volume 2, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics )
* "Time" in XKCD, Randall Munroe (Self-Published)

There are certainly other items of interests throughout the ballot, including a professional artist nomination for Fiona Staples, and one of the superhero-movie scripts being nominated in the appropriate category. I'm sure I'm missing something obvious.

I do know that the nominations process has come with a two-headed controversy around the organization of campaigning on behalf of certain potential nominees and the fact that this year the recipient of one such successful campaign holds noxious political views. I haven't gone too deeply into that, and it doesn't seem to have an impact on the comics category at all, but if you're looking for parallel incidents through which to perhaps gain insight into recent comics culture controversies, that might be something you want to track down.

The Hugos take that appellation after the all-time wonderfully-named writer, editor and publisher Hugo Gernsback, which I will never get sick of typing.
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Jillian Tamaki's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Illustrations

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posted 2:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: John Romita Sr.'s Crack At "Here We Go-A-Plotting!"

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posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Jen Sorensen, Angelo Lopez Wins SPJ Awards

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I'm glad Alan Gardner caught the following, because I sure didn't. Jen Sorensen added to her already impressive 2014 with a win in this year's editorial cartooning category (over 100K circulation) at the Society Of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Sorensen was announced as this year's Herblock Prize winner in early March. The winner in the under 100K category at the SPJ's was Angelo Lopez of Phillipines Today.

Those are both interesting, forward-thinking winners for the august organization, which has to be over a hundred years old now. It was ancient when I worked at a newspaper 30 years ago. I don't know if it's just me, but now that the awards encompass creators that work in a variety of outlets it makes editorial cartooning -- a profession under assault for about a quarter century now -- seem at least more vital as an avenue of expression, something I think wholly necessary right now.

these are 2013 cartoons from each cartoonist rather than anything I know was considered for the award
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ridiculously Attractive Christophe Blain Pages

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posted 1:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Frank Santoro's TCJ.com Essay House Tour Diary

I keep forgetting to post a link to Frank Santoro's recent essay "House Tour Diary" over at TCJ.com on how a death triggered a number of feelings in the artist about the course of his life and the roles that comics -- the physical objects -- play in how he's chosen to live it. I imagine it will find some resonance with a lot of folks in the 35 to 50 range, particularly those who have devoted their lives to working in comics in some way but are also disconnected from the kind of lower middle class to middle class living that stabilized a lot of those that chose to do so in the past.
 
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Go, Look: Dan Meth's UFO Conference Hybrid Comic

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: WonderCon 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of WonderCon, held April 18-20 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

*****

Institutional
* Convention Site
* Festival Location
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Andy Fish
* asmzine

* Comic Spectrum
* Crabcat

* Dork Up

* Josh Shalek

* Mike The Fanboy

* optik nourishment

* Pop Culture Maven

* Stuart Ng Books

* The Adventures Of Obi-Rus Kenobi
* The Chris Jones Gaming Network
* The Collective
* The Voice Of E

Facebook
* WonderCon Page

News Stories and Columns
* Advocate
* Bleeding Cool 01
* Comic Vine
* Daily Trojan
* Hero Complex
* New York Daily News

Photos
* bhampton1963
* coffeemarc
* daryl k
* Doug Luberts
* White Rose

Twitter
* #wondercon
* con account
* Landry Walker
* Skottie Young

Video
* ellivllams
* FBC
* geekworldradio

*****



*****

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*****
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posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Couverture #3

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases Into The Direct Market

Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

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FEB140088 ELTINGVILLE CLUB #1 $3.99

DEC130134 SOMEPLACE STRANGE HC $19.99

FEB140084 CONAN THE AVENGER #1 $3.50

DEC130136 EC ARCHIVES WEIRD FANTASY HC VOL 01 $49.99

JAN140496 ROCKETEER SPIRIT PULP FRICTION HC $21.99

OCT130486 DISTANT SOIL TP VOL 02 THE ASCENDANT $16.99

FEB148226 WALKING DEAD #117 3RD PTG (MR) $2.99
FEB140645 WALKING DEAD #126 (MR) $2.99

FEB148095 CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 2ND PTG LOPEZ VAR ANMN $3.99
FEB140705 DAREDEVIL #2 ANMN $3.99
FEB140678 ELEKTRA #1 ANMN $3.99
FEB148096 FANTASTIC FOUR #2 2ND PTG KIRK VAR ANMN $3.99
FEB140733 FANTASTIC FOUR #3 ANMN $3.99
FEB140707 IRON PATRIOT #2 ANMN $3.99
FEB148098 MS MARVEL #2 2ND PTG MCKELVIE VAR ANMN $2.99

FEB140657 ORIGINAL SIN #0 $4.99

JAN140811 THOR BY WALTER SIMONSON TP VOL 05 $29.99

OCT131038 FRANK THORNE RED SONJA ART ED HC $150.00

DEC130958 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #9 (MR) $4.99

MAR141132 OVER EASY HC (MR) $24.95


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The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were On Staten Island, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2014

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*****

April 24
* If I Were In Minnesota, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

April 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Minnesota, I'd Go To This

April 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This

April 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Wales, I'd Go To This (Wales Comic Con)
* If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

April 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Jackson, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

*****

May 1
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Auckland, I'd Go To This

May 2
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This

May 3
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Arizona, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This
* If Were In The Baltimore Area, I'd Go To This

May 4
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Purchase, I'd Go To This

May 7
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

May 8
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

May 9
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 11
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This

May 16
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Philly, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

May 18
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

May 23
* If I Were In Philly, I'd Go To This

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 25
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 30
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 31
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
* f I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hartford, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

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Ongoing
* Edward Gorey at Loyola University in Chicago (Through June 15)

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This post is designed to list events through February 2014, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Lou Fine And Reed Crandall Draw The Ray

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* notorious.

image* Henry Chamberlain on Genesis. Cefn Ridout on Rules Of Summer. Larry Cruz on Pole Dancing Adventures. Andy Oliver on Reads #4. Tom Murphy on Beautiful Scars. Levi Hunt on Superior Spider-Man #31. Sean Gaffney on Attack On Titan Vol. 12. Sean Kleefeld profiles Brumsic Brandon Jr. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 3. Henry Chamberlain on iHero #1.

* not comics: Jason reviews the movie Trust.

* I don't even know what this is about, but it's about the Charlton E-Man comic, so I'm on board. That was a reasonably fun comic and is a really interesting thing to look at 40 years later -- which put it on the other side if comic book history is cut in half. I bought a whole bunch of them last Fall in Muncie, Indiana.

* Calvin Reid talks to Max Brooks. Grace Bello profiles Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. Zainab Akhtar profiles Corinne Mucha. Henry Chamberlain talks to Ken Pisani.

* hey, it's the animated Ping Pong.

* one of the grand older men of North American comics criticism, RC Harvey would like to tell you something about prose vs. pictures pacing in modern graphic novels. I'm not sure I'm engaging enough with his point to care, which makes it difficult for me to find counter-examples in terms of what might work or might not work and why. My hunch is that comics is kind of a messy form in a lot of ways, and that some of the examples we see as clumsy or as maybe not even comics at one point are brought into the fold or seen with new eyes later on. At the same time, there are plenty of not great comics works out there from which all sorts of negative summary appraisals can be summoned.

* Lisa Brown profiles Lion Forge.

* this is a very cute follow-up to some goofball's anti-fangirl t-shirt. I don't have any thoughts about fangirls as they relate to coffee, although I like both.

* in what is basically a lengthy aside on another critic's work, J. Caleb Mozzocco notes how poorly served some of the mainstream characters can be by relaunches and reboots that have very specific parameters. In this case, the Dick Grayson character was defined in terms of the progression of relationships within that fictional universe whic are either compressed to inconsequentiality or gotten rid of altogether. What usually happens is that they just use that old perception anyway, despite whatever story is foregrounded now, which can be pretty fascinating in a super-nerdy way.

* finally, Matt D. Wilson recommends the paper "Comics Economics."
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 72nd Birthday, Edmond Baudoin!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bid: Stan And Sharon Sakai Art Auctions Going On eBay

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posted 12:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
April 22, 2014


Not Comics: The Unseen Drawings Of Kurt Vonnegut

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* it's been a long time since I've seen the work of the artist Souther Salazar on the cover of a comic book, so I was happy to see the above image gracing the cover for Barrio Mothers, a FBCD effort from a variety of esteemed small-press publishers.

image* Richard Bruton profiles Eleanor Davis and her work in support of the forthcoming How To Be Happy. I have a sense that one could do very well.

* Conundrum Press has more on one of their TCAF debuts, the forthcoming Milo & Sam from Joe Ollmann and Andy Brown.

* one thing I admired about the Fantagraphics crowd-funder is that they didn't adjust their season to fit. They had a bunch of quality books, but they had some really weird ones in there, artists that for whatever reasons haven't quite found an audience yet. That is just about the most admirable thing a publisher can do, use the money they raise however to support worthy work whose ceiling isn't high. Anyway, this Sergio Ponchione tribute to three of the five great North American mainstream comic book talents of the 20th Century seems to me to fit that mold.

* new Hazel Newlevant.

* here's a look
at Dakota McFadzean's contribution to the forthcoming Doug Wright Awards book.

* according to this tweet, it looks like we're getting new Nicolas De Crecy in Ultra Jump. That's... that's good news.

* Matt D. Wilson notes the end of DC's digital-first Superman series Adventures Of Superman. That was the one that got off to a spectacularly troubled start by featuring the work of writer Orson Scott Card, whose political beliefs encompassed an almost rabid and frequently strongly-stated resistance to gays marrying or any sort of societal move in that direction. The article notes there was some good, classic-seeming work in there.

* one thing I hadn't considered when the North American version was out last fall was how Joe Sacco's panorama-comic The Great War might be received in Europe, where there is still a passionate and abiding and anniversary-driven interest in that conflict. Looks like we'll find out.

* Zainab Akhtar previews Zac Gorman's Costume Quest: Invasion Of The Candy Snatchers.

* if you had bet me whether or not we still had Xeric-winning comics to see, I would have lost that bet.

* finally, Robot 6 had a recent look at some of the stand-alone image that will be used to build the slipcase set of the first two volumes of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree. Those are very pleasurable comics.

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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dave Gibbons' French Edition Watchmen Covers

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Free Comics From JR Williams

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on xxxHolic Rei Vol. 1. Charles Solomon on The Complete Cul De Sac. Joe Gordon on Brass Sun #1. Some nice Page 45 folks on some nice-looking books. Joshuaon on Stray Bullets. James Kaplan on Shutter #1. Rob McMonigal on The Glorkian Warrior Delivers A Pizza.

* how to throw a comic-con at your library.

* Allison Baker writes about some idiot selling an anti-fangirl t-shirt at WonderCon. In addition to it being a noxious sentiment, the t-shirt is atrociously ugly and people love coffee rather than hate it, so it's basically like three centimeters this side of a parody shirt. I'm sorry if there were any little girl fans -- or any fans at all -- that had their day made a little bit more of a bummer by encountering that. One thing that occurred to me reading some of the commentary around the Internet is that "fangirl" is a really messed-up word as used over the years. For one thing, I swear that when I first encountered it in the 1990s, it didn't even refer to slavish devotion to fan interests at all in the way fanboy did but was more of a codeword for perceived female comics groupies. That's right: it was assumed that fanboys could be into books and comics, and fangirls were into dudes. One of the reasons I believe there has to be a self-critical aspect to the kind of cultural scouring comics needs and it can't just be about policing others or hitting the aberrant cutting edge with a mallet is a lot of this stuff goes very, very deep.

* I can't remember posting a link to this Megan Byrd article about a Noelle Stevenson store signing in support of Lumberjanes, and a search of my files says no, so here that is. That book should perform very well.

* Laura Hudson profiles Matt Fraction on the subject of the very successful series Sex Criminals. I think there have been a few more good comics about sex than this article indicates -- there's also the chance you could just go round and round on definitions there -- but it is kind of odd there aren't more, for sure. Rob Kirby talks to Jason Martin.

* the cartoonist Ed Piskor receives the hometown publication Eisner nominee profile, one of the underrated articles in the media-cover-of-comcs pantheon. Sharon Eberson wrote this one.

* I have got to get me one of these tiki bar backdrops. Not that me hosting videocasts would be the biggest comics disaster of all time; I just want my office to look like that.

* finally, Mike Rhode has a photo set up of a museum appearance by Shelton Drum's exhibition of original comics art. I saw pieces of that art back in Charlotte in like 2010, I think; Drum's collection is a fine one, and it's always a blast to look at original art in unique settings.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 44th Birthday, Bryan Hitch!

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