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
















November 21, 2014


Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* this preview reminds us that cyber-Monday is going to be a big, big, big deal for comics this year, as the infrastructure has improved for digital gift-giving basically all the way across the medium. There are going to be 18 billion sales, both from places like comiXology and from publishers with any kind of digital program they control, for work that's digital and for work that's simply purchased that way.

image* Gary Tyrrell updates us on the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge, down to either three or four contestants. I think the eventual winner ascends to a higher state of humanity and immediately flies off of the planet to explore the universe, but I could be wrong.

* I missed Matthew Derman's piece from a while back about the inevitability of digital comics. Mostly it reminds me that we're still unsettled in terms of digital comics' place in the world of arts consumption. That's a couple of distressing words to place right next to one another, but I think you know what I mean. We just don't have nailed down the basic model for people buying digitally -- the what and why and where. It's all over the place. At this point, I think of digital comics as their own thing and a concern for print comics in only specific circumstance due to the way the consumer cultures involved overlap and the margins that have been strained. That doesn't mean we've figured it out yet. I know that it's allowed me to have greater access to serial mainstream comic books, particularly when discounted, but I'm an atypical consumer.

* finally, I also don't know that I ever sat down to read this article on Marvel using the Kobo platform. I'm all for the widest availability of this work as is humanly possible barring my concern for the work itself and the recompense due to the creators.
 
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If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Dickie Dean

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I read a lot of comics featuring John Byrne's Wolverine when I was a wee lad and never knew this.

image* Paul O'Brien on Nightcrawler #7. I wasn't even aware there was a Nightcrawler series right now. That's a pretty interesting creation to me as it sort of seems that, like The Thing (a bit) and Vision (a lot), Nightcrawler is a character out of his time. He's also one of those characters that I think has been most hurt by the extended period of time that Marvel has been around making narrative-intensive work with these characters.

* I'm just going to write about the X-Men from now on. That seems more fun.

* Okay, maybe not. I missed this Brandon Graham response comic to the James Sturm comic from a while back. I like just about everything that Brandon does, and this is sweet, but to my mind it makes the exact same point that the Sturm comic does, just in straight-forward fashion. Sturm shows two guys being ridiculous assholes you shouldn't be like; Graham shows two guys being cool dudes you should be like. It could certainly be a personal failing or a failing of privilege that I see that Sturm comic that way, but I do.

* David Betancourt talks to the new Wonder Woman team of Meredith Finch and David Finch. I read the comic book in question with a stack of comics earlier this week and I don't remember anything except that Wonder Woman was mad and people kept asking why she was mad, maybe? I don't know. It could have been just one person asking that. I thought the previous iteration of the Wonder Woman comic looked sharp and was at least slightly different than most of the New 52 product in terms of tone. What I read seemed like the rest of Wonder Woman's appearances in other modern DC comics, and DC Comics right now more generally across the board. I guess that could be the idea.

* not comics: these kinds of spaces will be a huge thing for artists over the next two decades, and already are for a ton of folks.

* finally, here's Steven Heller at The Atlantic on the complete Zap collection coming out. I hope that in addition to all the other things that a big collection like this can do that it throws a spotlight on Patrick Rosenkranz. No writer about comics has ever done better work with less appreciation than Rosenkranz.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Rich Johnston!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Greg Theakston!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Rich Tommaso!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Larry Welz!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Karl Stevens!

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November 20, 2014


Go, Look: Josephin Ritschel

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Zunar Sends Out Release Concerning Police Interview

The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has sent out another press release this morning, this time about being questioned by police in the course of a criminal investigation of his new book, Komplot Penjarakan Anwar ("Plot To Jail Anwar"). He also passes the extremely disturbing news that authorities have requested information on who might have ordered the book. Zunar just completed a four-year legal odyssey based on police overaggression during the publication of two 2010 volumes by winning in court. This new round started almost immediately after that court decision, with the detention of three Zunar assistants.

From the cartoonist:
"Today, I was questioned for about 45 minutes by the police regarding my new cartoon book, Komplot Penjarakan Anwar ('Plot to jail Anwar') at the Dang Wangi Police Station in Kuala Lumpur.

I was investigated under the 'Classified Crime Section' involving three different laws. The laws are:

a) Printing Presses and Publications Act
b) Sedition Act
c) Penal Code

Two separate police reports were made against me in two different police stations regarding the production of the book.

Throughout the investigation session, I refused to answer to any of the 27 questions asked by the police.

In the latest development, the police have asked the online payment gateway that handles my book transactions to disclose the list of customers who have purchased my books through my official website, zunar.my. In the email that was sent by MOLPay Sdn Bhd to me, it stated that they received a formal letter from the Police to disclose the list of customers.

'Police have sent a formal request for MOLPay Sdn Bhd to provide the online payment receipts of customers who have purchased the said book via your website www.zunar.my in which MOLPay has no choice but to furnish them with the requested details', the email from MOLPay stated.

Last week, three of my assistants were detained for five hours for selling my books. Several days after that, my webmaster was also summoned by the police to give statements."
As is usually the case with the Zunar stories, there is a bit of local coverage.
 
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Go, Look: Unpublished Al Williamson Pen And Ink Drawings

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Collective Memory: Short Run 2014

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of Short Run, held November 15 at the Washington Hall in Seattle.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention Facebook
* Convention Site
* Convention Twitter
* Host City
* Physical Location

Blog Entries
* Elliott Bay Books Blog
* Girl Named Hello

Miscellaneous
* Kelton Sears' GIF Comic For Seattle Weekly

News Stories And Columns
* Seattle Globalist
* Seattle News
* Seattle Times
* Seattle Weekly

Photos
* suxdonut

Video
* Short Run Promotional Video

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I Will Never Get Tired Of Posting Links To Al Jaffee's Tall Tales

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Collective Memory: ICAF 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of International Comic Arts Forum, held November 13-15 at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention Facebook
* Convention Site
* Convention Twitter
* Host City
* Physical Location

Blog Entries
* Josh Kopin
* Mike Lynch
* Robert Loss

Facebook
* ICAF

Miscellaneous
* CR Story About Comics Studies Society

News Stories And Columns
* The Outhouse

Photos
* ICAF

Twitter
* #ICAF2014

* Josh Kopin
* Paul Morton

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Go, Look: Amazing Adventures #3

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Collective Memory: Thought Bubble 2014

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of Thought Bubble, held November 9-16 in and around Leeds.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention Facebook
* Convention Site
* Convention Twitter
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Asher J. Klassen
* girlofprey
* Good Madness
* grandechampignon
* The City Talking
* Watercolour Horizons

Facebook

Miscellaneous
* A Humorous Exchange

News Stories And Columns
* Bleeding Cool 01
* Bleeding Cool 02
* Bleeding Cool 03
* Bleeding Cool 04
* Bleeding Cool 05
* CBR
* Dorkshelf
* The Guardian
* Yorkshire Post

Photos
* Bleeding Cool

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Go, Look: Funeral Pudding #1

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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events

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By Tom Spurgeon

* ICAF has announced for Spring 2016 in South Carolina, their first trip down south, unless you count DC.

* in many ways that count, the con season is over now. The Big Con season ends with NYCC. The traditional Alt-Con season ends with CAB, and it's pretty hard not to feel a sense of closure with ICAF, Short Run and Thought Bubble all hitting last weekend.

image* CALA is forthcoming, but that's a new show and it's hard to imagine that in its first year it will feel like a grand finale. In fact, it will be an achievement if CALA goes well enough it feels like a coda. Genghis Con is more established but still finding its identity a bit, I think. There are also events in Grand Rapids and Milwaukee with some heft, and international events in Spain and France. There's a Comiket over the holidays, usually. So maybe things never, ever stop now.

* folks to whom I'm speaking are making their Angouleme plans, and I am very jealous of all those that get to do that show.

* other professional folks with whom I'm in touch are plotting out what they'll be doing well into next year, many with an attitude focused on being really choosy about what shows they do. It may end up being a tough few years that way. Fans and readers to whom I've spoken about shows seems much more local- and regional-oriented, but that makes sense and there are usually a lot more shows for people that way, too.

* I have some con news I'm going to discuss on Monday, news that's already out there in an unofficial capacity. If nothing else, it should clear up why I haven't been doing any con reports since before San Diego.

* I greatly enjoyed this sizable, photo-driven article about Short Run, and thought it deserved to have its link pulled out of the collective memory.

* finally, that's a fine line-up exhibitors for a first-time show: CALA. I hope it works; Los Angeles needs a good small press show and we need LA to have one. There are so many fine cartoonists out there as well as significant elements of the comics-making community infrastructure. I like it for that time of year, too, if it works. I'll be there, and I'm looking forward to it.
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2014

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November 21
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)
* If I Were Near Blois, I'd Go To This (BD Boum)

November 22
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)
* If I Were Near Blois, I'd Go To This (BD Boum)

November 23
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Cowtown Comics Fest)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Blois, I'd Go To This (BD Boum)

November 24
* If I Were In Lawrence, I'd Go To This

November 25
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This

November 28
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This

November 29
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This

November 30
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This

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December 2
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

December 6
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In NYC, 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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Go, Look: Jason Lutes' Nickelodeon Comics

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