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
















December 17, 2014


Go, Look: Ville Kallio

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Threats Related To Sony Hacking Incident Lead To Development Killed On Pyongyang Movie

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This isn't my world or even anything in which I'm terribly, terribly interested, but the recent Sony hacking flap and its massive overtones of potential North Korean government involvement because of the movie The Interview has led to a threat being made against theaters showing the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie (which was due to open Christmas Day), which led to theater chains saying "no thank you" to running the movie, which lead to Sony cancelling the movie's release. There's all sorts of points at which the story could be running on a fuel of pure bullshit, but even if everything were fully legitimate that would still be a depressing story. Still, one might remember that nearly ever major media company failed to either run or otherwise seek to make available in a responsible way the Jylland-Posten editorial cartoons despite the absolute newsworthiness and necessity of the public knowing what those cartoons looked like once the controversy kicked into high gear. This kind of straight-up push-shove commercial decision seem almost a slam dunk if you're willing to kick first principles to the curb.

One piece of intriguing fallout: a conception of the Pyongyang graphic novel attached to Steve Carell is apparently not going to be developed now, due to what the article claims is its sensitive subject matter. That's a bunch of horseshit, too. I imagine people will focus on the description which makes Pyongyang sound like a spy movie, but 1) I'm not sure if that's an accurate description of what was to be a loose adaptation featuring such elements or if it was simply entertainment media shorthand for a project that might be more difficult to describe otherwise, 2) even if they were going to do a version that concentrated on the North Korean city's S&M scene, the decision to defund art because of political persuasion one through a calculator would still be a horrible, depressing outcome.

You should read the book, if you haven't. It's really good. If nothing else, it might help when it comes to understanding our new Hays board.
 
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OTBP: A Is For Zebra

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posted 8:18 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Discussion About Malaise By Working Alt-Comics Pros

It's a companion piece to the Mike Dawson essay from a couple of months ago. Participating are T. Edward Bak, Molly Kiely, Roberta Gregory and Ted Stearn, among others. 2015 could be a big year in terms of people working out some really basic issues in terms of how much they want to give to the comics medium and the culture that surrounds that medium.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Tiny Masters

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market

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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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OCT141431 ANNA & FROGA THRILLS SPILLS & GOOSEBERRIES HC $14.95
OCT141432 PIPPI WONT GROW UP HC $14.95
SEP141386 EARTHLING GN (MR) $19.95
There's not a bunch that falls into my natural area of interest this week, which is good because I've been buying everyone local butcher gift certificates this year and meat is freaking expensive. It's a big week for Drawn and Quarterly, though, which is a pleasant surprise. I love this Anouk Ricard comics, both this series and the stand-alone office book Benson's Cuckoos. I'll read anything that she has published. The Pippi material has been much strong than I feared, and the Earthling book will hit my desk highly recommended by those who caught an earlier-release -- or at least hung out with the cartoonist -- at this Fall's shows.

imageOCT140580 RUMBLE #1 (MR) $3.50
SEP140883 MS MARVEL #10 $2.99
OCT140011 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #126 $3.50
OCT140779 WYTCHES #3 (MR) $2.99
OCT141007 AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE MAGAZINE #3 $4.99
This strikes me as an odd week for serial genre comics, too. The Rumble book is James Harren, one of the bets of younger talents to work on the Mignola-verse material, so I'm happy to at least look up anything he does. The Ms. Marvel book looks like it may stick around for a while, a rarer fate than you'd hope for off-beat, well-crafted mainstream material. There's this week's Mignola-related title; I buy them all, but I'm not quite caught up. The Wytches and the Archie books are two that have a significant number of self-proclaimed savvy buyers of the kind that make their opinions known on-line, but that should stop anyone from wanting to keep track of those efforts and those talents.

AUG140082 TRILOGY USA HC $19.99
This is a short anthology of works featuring the great artist Hermann working with the writer Yves H. These are connected by their setting: America.

SEP140505 COMPLETE JUNIOR & SUNNY BY AL FELDSTEIN HC $49.99
This is a bunch of Al Feldstein work for Fox that they're promoting on the basis of Feldstein's significant influence to the field entire and for the salacious aspects as a kind of overheated Archie set-up. Either one would get me to look, and so I shall.

AUG140094 LOBSTER JOHNSON TP VOL 04 GET THE LOBSTER $19.99
OCT140644 SAGA TP VOL 04 (MR) $14.99
SEP140933 DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID TP VOL 07 $19.99
Not a lot in the way of stand-along graphic novel works in the alt-/art realm, but these strike me as solid players in terms of genre series. I think for a lot of people, trades are purchased and collected like serial comics used to be, so I can imagine stores that have that kind of customer will also have book sections that are fairly lively.

AUG140029 DREAM LOGIC HC $34.99
Here's a perfect comic book thing: a bunch of different projects by the artist David Mack, emphasizing his visual imagination, all things individually I either barely remember or never heard of. This is why comic shops are the best.

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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 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: John Bauer

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Whit Taylor's Favorite 20 Graphic Novels For 2014

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Whit Taylor, a cartoonist and frequent writer about comics, has posted a list of favorite comics this year at her site. She emphasizes the favorites part of this kind of exercise, in a way familiar to anyone who reads a lot of writers-about-comics at the end of a calendar year . I always think these lists are more interesting when writers just go ahead and seize on the opportunity to put together an outright best list, but that's just me. I realize the conversation has moved past that specific element of things. It's a fun list, though, with plenty to argue and discuss.

1) Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe, Yumi Sakugawa (Adams Media)
2) Distance Mover, Patrick Kyle (Koyama Press)
3) Ant Colony, Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)
4) Megahex, Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)
5) Through the Woods, Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
6) White Cube, Brecht Vandenbroucke (Drawn & Quarterly)
7) Get Over It!, Corinne Mucha (Secret Acres)
8) The Amateurs, Conor Stechshulte (Fantagraphics)
9) Unlovable Vol. 3, Esther Pearl Watson (Fantagraphics)
10) The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
11) Petty Theft, Pascal Girard (Drawn & Quarterly)
12) Antennas Everywhere, Julie Delporte (Drawn & Quarterly)
13) Safari Honeymoon, Jesse Jacobs (Koyama Press)
14) Facility Integrity, Nick Maandag (Pigeon Press)
15) How To Be Happy, Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)
16) Shattered with Curve of Horn, Max Miller Dowdle (self-published)
17) Basewood, Alec Longstreth (self-published)
18) The Hospital Suite, John Porcellino (Drawn & Quarterly)
19) Tomboy, Liz Prince (Zest Books)
20) Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories, MariNaomi (2D Cloud)

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posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read/Bookmark: Cavities And Crevices

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: CAKE 2015 Extends Exhibitor Application Deadline Until December 20

Here. Welcome news if you wanted to exhibit but couldn't pull it together during the hardcore holiday shopping and preparation season. I plan on attending that show, and I've heard nothing but good things.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2015

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December 18
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 19
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

December 20
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 21
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This

December 28
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 29
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 30
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

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January 1
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

January 7
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

January 9
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (Albuquerque Comic Con)

January 10
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (Albuquerque Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Doncaster, I'd Go To This (Digi-Con)

January 11
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (Albuquerque Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Doncaster, I'd Go To This (Digi-Con)

January 18
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

January 19
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

January 29
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)

January 30
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)

January 31
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (Charlotte Mini-Con)

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Charles Nicholas Miss America Story

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* here's the tag for Mike Sterling's blog posts about his new store.

image* Sean Gaffney on Yukarism Vol. 1. Todd Klein on GI Zombie #3. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Wolf Moon #1. Richard Bruton on Double Dare Ya. Greg Burgas on Elektra Lives Again.

* here's a fascinating notion to which I'll try my best to return with full professional attention in 2015: creator-owned comics partnerships that favor the writer over the artist, both structurally and by culture.

* the writer and cartoonist Rob Kirby talks to Max Clotfelter. Someone at Anon profiles Derek M. Ballard. Ashleigh Manning profiles Dylan Horrocks.

* Gary Tyrrell says that it's over: The Sculptor is the best book of 2015.

* does Doyle vs. Borneo count?

* not comics: love this Jaime Hernandez illustration of Jeff Lynne.

* finally, Sean Kleefeld may have found the most perfect convention bag.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Ronn Sutton!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Bart Sears!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Michael Cherkas!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Matt Hollingsworth!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Beau Smith!

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December 16, 2014


Go, Bookmark/Follow: Bande Dessinée

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Wired: Jack Davis Calls It Quits At Age 90

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Wired has a short, independently-sourced piece up here that the great Jack Davis, one of the five greatest living cartoonists, has decided to stop working because of his feeling that the work he's creating in the second half of his eighth decade in professional comics isn't up to snuff.

Davis is one of the all-time great cartoonists, almost sneakily so, with astonishing runs at EC, with MAD, with the Kurtzman magazine efforts more generally, with humor comics more generally, with book and magazine illustration, and with film poster illustration. He shares with many of the all-time talents the ability to make humorous illustration and compelling picture-narratives, and stands alone by the sheer quality he brought to a number of classic skill-sets: he was a strong caricaturist and a top-notch designer; he could even do convincing sports comics and illustration without relying on a kind of grim-faced, hyper-realistic rendering -- something I'm not sure anyone else ever did.

Davis is with Marie Severin the last surviving contributor to the art of the EC horror books. He is also, if his last few years of retrospectives and show honors was an accurate representation, a great gentleman of cartooning. I wish him luck in however he spends each and every hour from this time forward, and am grateful to have lived an entire lifetime during a significant portion of his amazing career. Thank you, Mr. Davis.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Manddy Wyckens

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Xanthe Bouma

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read/Bookmark: Easter Island

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: The Middle Nowhere

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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