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
















May 31, 2011


DC Renumbering Everything From The Beginning; Will Include Day And Date Digital Releases

Here's the PR. My hunch from asking around the last 36 hours after I heard the rumor is that a lot of people that closely follow or work in mainstream comics knew this was coming for a while now. Part of the announcement is a couple of flagship titles. Some people will split the news into two and stress the digital element; I'm not sure if that's a better way to look at it or not.

imageI have to admit: my personal, initial reaction is that this sounds completely idiotic. There's going to be some buzz in the short-term, but on a really fundamental level I'm suspicious of there being a market that can handle 50 new titles right away and I'm dead-on certain comics lacks an infrastructure that can maintain this many titles as they move forward past the initial sampling and buzz period. I think both of those things are true even with the element of digital comics added in. (There's an argument that these are replacement titles, and it's one worth noting. I don't think you will see the traditional effects of flooding the market; my worry is drought as you discombobulate ingrained buying habits for new ones that will be hard to establish and even harder to maintain.) This sounds like something you do to take something that's fresh and new and buzzing and teetering on the edge of success to the next level, not how you engage with an industry that's bleeding readers and operating under mature but decaying paradigms. In other words, I detect no mass audience out there just waiting to jump on board in a way that merely setting up for business somewhat closer to them is going to bring a rush of business.

Further, I have to think this has the potential to be a creative disaster. DC has soft re-launched their titles a few times now in a way that has never worked because the titles they put out there didn't engage with people. That was a much smaller group of titles, which makes me doubt that a larger group is going to get over any more effectively. Plus restarting everything again diminishes the creative juice that should come with such a drastic move. I'm also not sure they have the horses. DC's talent development in general gets shit on in nearly every single discussion I have in convention bars or on-line with people who play close attention to this kind of stuff, including creators that work at that company and others like it. It seems like DC has enough creators to barely handle the books they're doing; there's no surplus from the creative side that feels like it's demanding a bigger stage.

I guess this once and for all justifies the desire of mine and some others in the commentary class that the DC reintegration into Warner Bros' plans pay dividends with some game-changing moves to justify the long round of in-the-company high-fives we had to suffer the last couple of years. There's always been a big Slim Pickens on a nuclear bomb element to that wish, though, and I have to think there are a lot more people out there in the industry feeling queasy than feeling pumped. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

It's also hard for me to envision how they walk this one back if it doesn't work out.

As I noted initially, you'll probably see some pre-spin separating the day-and-date digital news from the publishing line revamp news -- partly because people genuinely believe that one is more important than the other, partly because it allows for a hook to discussion that's also a positive spin on things, partly because different sets of careers are at stake. I'm taking them as a combined announcement in my initial reaction here because 1) that's how they're presented and how we're going to get it, 2) I think the combination actually makes this a more difficult, intractable mess if it doesn't work.

But even if you divide the two initiatives, I'm not sure I see a significant audience waiting for digital versions of existing comics, either, even for ideal DC books, unless they're executed a certain way -- the same way I'm doubtful a significant audience is waiting for yet another version of Superman. Whether this specific part of the overall initiative forces or encourages the industry (by which folks basically mean Marvel) to follow suit in some way is a fine question. Again I think that's tied into how it's executed. If DC has solved what seem to many tricky problems of price point and format and is correct that there are tens of thousands of people just waiting until these problems were solved in a way that benefits an entire line not just this Fall but into 2015, they should do fine. Others will certainly follow. They may anyway. And one might say it's about time someone tried this. I still have my doubts and worries about this specific program's facilitation. I'll remain open to someone convincing me otherwise. And eventually we'll know.

Overall, this sounds to me like that time when the older, dependable brother in a respected family gets sick of always being the source of stability and flips the fuck out and does something slightly nuts, with the knowledge that ultimately the family money takes care of him even if his crappy decisions goof up a few sets of lives tied into his own. I've thought in recent years that publishing entities companies like Marvel and DC should be concentrating on core readerships rather than mass ones, that growing their existing audience by 200 percent was a lot more reasonable a goal than somehow matching the heat and flash and cultural buzz that comes with something like that last Batman movie.

For the sake of the industry, I hope to God I've not been right about that.

I hope that the image of Mr. Pickens above has enough broad cultural currency that I'm okay in using it as an illustration in this fashion; I certainly claim no right to it
 
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Go, Bookmark: Oliver East's Swear Down

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* Lars Doukayev was sentenced to 12 years in jail earlier today in Copenhagen. The Chechen-born Belgium man was being tried on chages of preparing a letter bomb intended for the Copenhagen office of Jyllands-Posten in response to their having published the Danish Cartoons in Fall 2005.

Doukayev was arrested after the bomb went off in the bathroom of his hotel room September 10.

The formal charges were "attempted terrorism" and "illegal weapons possession." The defense has two weeks to appeal; Doukayev has maintained his innocence throughout.

* the Tahawwur Rana trial resumes tomorrow with the start of what will likely be the centerpiece of the trial against the Chicago businessman accused of supporting terrorism, including a planned attack on Danish Cartoons publication Jyllands-Posten: the defense cross-examination of prosecution star witness David Coleman Headley. Rana is basically accused of supporting terrorism by supporting Headley in trips overseas where he was up to no good. Headley copped a plea to avoid extradition and the possibility of the death penalty. What Rana's lawyers must do is convince the jury that Headley acted of his own accord, that Rana thought Headley was only advancing mutual business interests on the trips he facilitated.

As articles like this one have noted, the trial is of massive interest to Indian news source because of Headley's confessed role doing advance scouting work for the Mumbai Massacre, and his claims that Pakistani intelligence services provided assistance to the terrorists perpetrating that dark crime.


 
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Go, Read: Solitary TV Dinner

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Go, Read: The Chicago Tribune Profiles Ivan Brunetti

Christopher Borelli of The Chicago Tribune has penned a poignant profile of Ivan Brunetti for the Midwest's major paper of record. Brunetti's one of the smartest, funniest people to ever work in comics, and it's to Borelli's credit that you get right to that in the natural course of the article in addition to getting the salient details of his career and Borelli's conception of its apparent, central conflicts. Even if you have no interest in Brunetti, you should read it for Borelli's description of an excruciating store signing. Best poop joke to appear in the Tribune this week, I bet, as well.

I once watched Brunetti do instantaneous, single-panel cartoons from submitted words as the people suggesting the words watched him, at a CBLDF table in San Diego. Nearly all of the resulting cartoons were deeply funny and viciously disgusting. It seemed like an impossibly difficult thing for any cartoonist to do.
 
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Go, Look: Image From Rare Wally Wood Print

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Memorial Day Weekend Is A Heck Of A Weekend

The past holiday weekend saw a few sizable pieces unfurled at CR. If you are one of those rational folks that shuns the comics Internet during weekends like the one just past, you may have missed one or more of the following.

image* Richard Thompson won The Reuben. Memorial Day weekend is the weekend of the annual meeting of the National Cartoonist Society. This takes place in a different location every year, I believe one of the weekend's groupie-thwarting tactics from the early days that still holds sway. The highlight of the weekend is Saturday's black-tie Reuben Awards. The "Outstanding Cartoonist" award is known as The Reuben, and places its winner in a fraternity that includes past recipients Charles Schulz, Walt Kelly and Hal Foster. With the possible exception of the Pulitzer for Editorial Cartooning -- possible -- it is North America's most noteworthy comics award.

Richard Thompson couldn't be more deserving of the honor. He's the cartoonist behind the excellent Cul De Sac feature that is a daily moment of grace and good humor wherever it appears, and he has decades of experience under his belt in terms of prominent caricatures and a series of local/regional cartoons so good that catching up to them now is one of the great pleasures offered by the medium.

The show also featured a number of division winners, including Gary Varvel in editorial cartooning and Joyce Farmer in the graphic novel category for her heartbreaking Special Exits. The legacy award winners were Lucy Shelton Caswell (Silver T-Square), Roy Doty (Gold Key) and R.O. Blechman (Milton Caniff Award For Lifetime Achievement): a distinguished group.

* Ed Brubaker gave CR a short interview about the next Criminal series. I always have a blast talking Ed; I hope it shows. This time around the end result will hopefully be driving some additional attention to this week's relaunch of his Criminal property in a four-issue run called The Last Of The Innocent. I enjoyed the first issue a lot, and I think a lot of people are going to have fun with it, more than would seem possible given such a melancholy story.

* Yesterday saw the publication of the 2011 iteration of the CR Comic-Con Tips guide. The guide tends to need total rewrites every three or four years to fully reflect the evolving nature of San Diego's industry event to end all North American industry events Comic-Con International. We're at the end of the run enjoyed by the current "multiple tips" version, 25K words strong. I look forward to the show every year as the pleasurable work weekend to end all such weekends, and I even get to bring along my photographer brother Whit. He provided all the halfway-decent to terrific photos in this year's guide.

I think comics people value San Diego more than even its huge event status mandates because it's one of the few consistent aspects of a life spent around funnybooks: you can measure your life's progress against it. If that guide can help anyone have a better weekend, or even entertain someone who'd like to blow a few minutes during a miserable workday between now and then, I'm more than happy.
 
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Go, Look: From The December 1959 Issue Of Esquire

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Go, Look: The Search For Stanley's Cartooning

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Go, Look: Warlord Splash Pages

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Go, Look: Some Marvel Work Dependent On Romance Comics

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it wasn't all universe-shattering action with those comics, you know
 
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Go, Read: A Colored Arrow For Every Quiver

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* James Romberger takes a critical look at the new Alex Toth book.

image* Todd Klein has a couple of cool posts up here and here about working with the artist Steve Rude on the latest of Klein's series of fancifully-lettered prints.

* the cartoonist Ryan Cecil Smith takes up Frank Santoro's Layout Workbook lessons and applies them to his own work. Professor Santoro has in the meantime moved across campus to take on the subject of color.

* it's weird that I'm looking forward to the event that is DC's future publishing plans more than I am the comics that will make up whatever those plans might be. Here's their equivalent of the comics' "teaser image." They're even launching a prequel/countdown series in June with the Lee/Johns announcement.

* Richard Corben is always awesome.

* whoa, check out this beautiful page of Chris Ware art that's currently being auctioned for charity. Another nice piece of comics-related art -- albeit of a very different kind -- is this page from Lewis Trondheim's Les Petits Riens.

* not comics: I was not aware that Matt Forsythe illustrated a kids' book.

* not comics: David Uzumeri and Chris Sims treat the 1989 Batman movie the way that Batman treats Axis Chemicals in the film: destroying it and everyone inside it with submachine guns and bombs. That's not a good film by any rational measure, and the Comics Alliance pair get in several funny shots. It's also a strange piece, though, in that I think there's an assumption made by both critics that the movie's self-professed shot at a darker Batman somehow means this should have been a deeply serious Batman, and therefore the things like the killer mimes, the Prince music or even Nicholson's general flouncing was some sort of inexplicable failure to achieve this basic standard in a meaningful way. I would suggest that serious and dark aren't always the same things. Hard to argue any point on behalf of a movie that messy and unformed, not to mention so full of awful, awful, awful moments.

* iTunes has improved the searchability of comics by, um... making them searchable. Luckily, Brigid Alverson writes more better than me.

* Scott Pilgrim and permeable boundaries. I liked the piece, but I also really like typing "permeable boundaries."

* finally, over at The Adventures Of Mr. Phil we find a one-page scenes that was redrawn into two pages worth of comics by Enki Bilal.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, David Anthony Kraft!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Dean Haspiel!

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Quick hits
Craft
Early Kaz
I Is For Indri
Misery Loves
Phantom Girl
Gil Scott Heron
Best Color Ever
Ode To Alec Longstreth
Dave Lasky Draws Mr. Tumnus
Wishing Nick Bertozzi A Happy Birthday

Exhibits/Events
One Last FLUKE Report
Howl Exhibit Reception Photos
Discussing Manga At The Border
An Olympia Comics Festival Report

History
The Secret Origin Of Fell
Remembering Bill Mauldin
Gavok's Favorite Comic Book Story

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Joe Kubert
Jason Goes To Comics College
Newsarama: Jon J Muth, Mo Willems
Newsarama: Ed Brubaker, Steve McNiven
Praise For Chris Oliveros In Jeet Heer's Blechman Interview

Not Comics
How To Write A Book
He Blames Inu Yasha
New Jessica Ciocci 'Zine
One Hundred Toy Soldiers For $1.25
What A Ted White Rejection Letter Looks Like
That Is An Outstanding Looking Jack In The Box

Publishing
More Sports Manga, Please
Strange Adventures Previewed
Batman And Robin #26 Is Surreal
Shannon Smith Recommends Webcomics

Reviews
Rob McMonigal: Kids
Colin Smith: Various
Paul O'Brien: Various
Sean T. Collins: SF #1
Ed Sizemore: Toriko Vol. 5
Bill Sherman: Darkie's Mob
Todd Klein: Green Lantern Corps #57
Jason Green: Ryder On The Storm #3
Greg McElhatton: Super Dinosaur #1-2
Doug Zawisza: American Vampire #15
Shaenon Garrity: Wandering Son Vol. 1
Andrew Wheeler: Dungeon Quest Vol. 1
Todd Klein: BPRD: The Universal Machine
Johanna Draper Carlson: Delirium's Party
a>Don MacPherson: Secret Avengers #13
Dave Ferraro: The Incredible Hulks #623-628
Bob Temuka: The Further Adventures Of Indiana Jones #22
Bhob Stewart: Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales By Bud Sagendorf
 

 
May 30, 2011


A Very Small Selection Of Memorial Day Posts Worth Noting

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Cagle's 2011 Round-Up Of Editorial Cartoons

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The Memorial Day Cartoons At Cartoonist Group

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This Year's Doonesbury Memorial Day Weekend Sunday
 
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Comic-Con By The Numbers: 150+ Tips For Attending San Diego's CCI 2011!

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this article has been archived
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Tom Galambos!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Mike W. Barr!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Kevin Eastman!

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this was sitting on my hard drive, which means it might be someone else's and not intended for use this way; if it is, please let me know
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Mark Price!

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May 29, 2011


Go, Look: How Ghost World Made Her Brave

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thx, Paul Di Filippo
 
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Go, Look: John Porcellino's Five-Part Tour Travelogue

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5
 
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Go, Read: The Social Networks Of Superheroes

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

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

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

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Happy 60th Birthday, Larry Marder!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Aaron McGruder!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Jim Salicrup!

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my apologies; I'm certain Mr. Salicrup lives his life in full focus
 
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FFF Results Post #256 -- You Look Different Now

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics You've Known For More Than 10 Years: Four Favorites That Have Stood The Test Of Time For You, And One That Hasn't; List Them In Alphabetical Order So As Not To Indicate The Odd Man Out." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Cerebus
2. Elfquest
3. Uncanny X-Men
4. Wizard Of Id
5. Zot!

*****

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Jeff Flowers

* Birdland
* Black Kiss
* Dreadstar
* Elementals
* Star Slayer

*****

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David Brothers

1. 300
2. Amazing Spider-Man
3. X-Force
4. X-Men
5. X-Men Unlimited

*****

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Lou Copeland

1. American Splendor
2. McMahon & Bolland Judge Dredd comics
3. Lone Wolf & Cub
4. Peepshow
5. Preacher

*****

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Mark Coale

1. American Flagg
2. Animal Man
3. Love and Rockets
4. Mister X
5. Usagi Yojimbo

*****

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Eric Newsom

1. Adventure Comics (Shooter/Swan era)
2. Arzach
3. Batman: Faces (Legends of the Dark Knight #28-30)
4. Lone Wolf and Cub
5. Scud, the Disposable Assassin

*****

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Dustin Harbin

1. Alien Legion
2. Cerebus
3. Dark Knight Returns
4. Watchmen
5. Claremont/Byrne X-Men

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Archie
2. Asterix
3. Lone Wolf & Cub
4. Sin City
5. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

*****

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John Platt

* Dial H for Hero
* E-Man
* Mage: The Hero Discovered
* Stig's Inferno
* Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen

*****

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Michel Fiffe

1. Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast by Jim Starlin & Jim Aparo.
2. Manhunter by Archie Goodwin & Walter Simonson
3. Pirate Corp$ by Evan Dorkin, the Slave Labor issues.
4. Robocop vs. Terminator by Miller & Simonson.
5. Suicide Squad, John Ostrander's 80s/90s work.

*****

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Fabrice Stroun

1. Amy & Jordan
2. Big Baby
3. Here
4. Jack Survives
5. Jimbo

*****

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Johnny Bacardi

1. Hellboy
2. John Constantine: Hellblazer
3. Justice League of America
4. Love & Rockets
5. Starstruck

*****

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Joe Keatinge

1. Alan Moore's Supreme
2. Eastman & Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
3. Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon
4. Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol
5. Mike Allred's Madman

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Detective Comics
2. Doonesbury
3. Fantastic Four
4. Green Lantern
5. Legion of Super-Heroes

*****

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Jamie Coville

1. Avengers
2. D.P.7.
3. Hate
4. Savage Dragon
5. X-Force

*****

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Joe Schwind

* Feiffer
* Get Fuzzy
* Guindon
* Mister Mum
* Zippy

*****

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Don MacPherson

1. The Copybook Tales
2. Crisis on Infinite Earths
3. Powers
4. Sandman
5. Starman

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Elementals
2. Hate
3. Life is Hell
4. Mage: The Hero Discovered
5. Urusei Yatsura

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. American Flagg!
2. Mutts
3. Thimble Theatre
4. Watchmen
5. Yummy Fur

*****

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Justin J. Major

* Acme Novelty Library
* Doonesbury
* Love and Rockets
* Sally Forth
* This Modern World

*****

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Michael May

1. Alpha Flight
2. Bone
3. Hellboy
4. Master of Kung Fu
5. Xombi

*****

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Chad Nevett

* Infinity Gauntlet
* Kingdom Come
* Marshal Law
* Transmetropolitan
* X-Man

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Dirty Duck
2. Dopin' Dan
3. Pollyanna Pals
4. Silly Sympathies
5. Trots and Bonnie

*****

topic slightly altered from a suggestion by Michel Fiffe

*****
*****
 
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Richard Thompson Wins Reuben; 2011 NCS Division Awards Winners

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The winners for the National Cartoonists Society's division awards given out through its Reuben Awards program, including the big winner of the Outstanding Cartoonist award, aka "The Reuben" (the others are either NCS division awards, or, if you're pushing it, "a Reuben") were announced last night during a black-tie awards program held in conjunction with the NCS yearly meeting in Boston.

Richard Thompson of Cul De Sac took home The Reuben, also known as the "Outstanding Cartoonist Of The Year" Award. Past winners include Charles Schulz, Hal Foster and Walt Kelly.

The comic book-related awards, a growing area of interest for the Society, went to Joyce Farmer and Special Exits (For Graphic Novel) and Jill Thompson for her work on Beasts Of Burden (For Comic Books). Another noteworthy award -- they're all noteworthy, really -- is Dustin winning for best comic strip, as it's such a relatively new feature. Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star added to his 2011 haul with the division award for editorial cartooning.

All winners are in bold. Our congratulations to winners and nominees.

*****

TELEVISION ANIMATION
* Dave Filoni -- Supervising Director / Production Designer, Star Wars: The Clone Wars
* Dan Krall -- Art Director, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
* Scott Wills -- Art Director, Sym-Bionic Titan

*****

FEATURE ANIMATION
* Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Directors, How to Train Your Dragon
* Glen Keane, Animation Director, Tangled
* Nicolas Marlet, Character Designer, How to Train Your Dragon

*****

NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION
* Sean Kelly
* Michael McParlane
* Dave Whamond

*****

GAG CARTOONS
* Bob Eckstein
* Zachary Kanin
* Gary McCoy

*****

GREETING CARDS
* Jim Benton
* Dan Collins
* Teresa Roberts Logan

*****

NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS
* Brian Basset Red and Rover
* Jeff Parker and Steve Kelley Dustin
* Richard Thompson Cul de Sac

*****

NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS
* Doug Bratton Pop Culture Therapy
* Chad Carpenter -- Tundra
* Glenn McCoy Flying McCoys

*****

MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
* Lou Brooks
* Anton Emdin
* Tom Richmond

*****

BOOK ILLUSTRATION
* Sandra Boynton Amazing Cows
* Jared Lee The 3 Wise Guys
* Mike Lester The Butt Book

*****

EDITORIAL CARTOONS
* Bob Gorrell
* Mike Lester
* Gary Varvel

*****

ADVERTISING ILLUSTRATION
* Anton Emdin
* Jack Pittman
* Dave Whamond

*****

COMIC BOOKS
* Stan Sakai -- Usagi Yojimbo
* Chris Samnee -- Thor the Mighty Avenger
* Jill Thompson -- Beasts of Burden

*****

GRAPHIC NOVELS
* Darwyn Cooke -- The Outfit
* Joyce Farmer -- Special Exits
* James Sturm -- Market Day

****

OUTSTANDING CARTOONIST
* Glen Keane
* Stephan Pastis
* Richard Thompson

*****

SPECIAL AWARDS
* Lucy Shelton-Caswell Received The Silver T-Square
* Roy Doty Received The Gold Key Award
* R.O. Blechman Receive The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award

*****
*****
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Video Preview of Artist Mattias Adolfsson's Book
via


I Did Not Know Troy Nixey Is A Film Director Now





Chester Brown At The Strand, In Four Parts
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Tom Bachtell Draws For The Talk Of The Town
via


Dan Clowes Being Interviewed By Dan Nadel At APE 2010
via


Speech From Primary Counsel At CBLDF On High Value Of Low Arts
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Not Comics: Another Puppet-Driven Commercial From Cartoonist Dan Wright
via his Facebook feed


Gabrielle Bell's My Affliction, Part II
via
 
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May 28, 2011


CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 21 to May 27, 2011:

1. The cartoonist, publisher and designer Jean-Christophe Menu resigns from the seminal alt-comics French-language company L'Association after news late last week that the comopany had reformed around a few other co-founders in officerships. Menu was the longtime primary publishing force at the company. This ends nearly a half-year of bitter, direct struggle, and a significant amount of acrimony stretching back years.

2. The Tahawwur Rana trial begins, including testimony from the admittedly guilty former Rana running mate David Coleman Headley

3. News broke of a Somerville, Massachusetts retailer being declared dead at a local hospital after being found in home. He was believed to have been poisoned, although whether by his own hand or another was not made 100 percent clear.

Winners Of The Week
The comics folk rallying to help in Joplin, Missouri.

Loser Of The Week
Book Expo America, the (mostly) prose publishing convention that has basically slipped past the point where anyone in comics pays much attention to it.

Quote Of The Week
"Actual comment on a website explaining a payment option: 'I would like to get it all for free, otherwise you will not get my business.' Actually, if you get it all for free, we won't have your business either." -- Ruben Bolling


*****

today's cover is from the great comic book series Four-Color

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*****
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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

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

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If I Were In Winter Park, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 41st Birthday, Tony Consiglio!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Lynn Johnston!

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Your 2011 Eagle Awards Winners

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The Eagle Awards, a British-based fan awards program whose legacy stretches back to the middle 1970s announced their 2011 winners last night in conjunction with the MCM Expo in London. Below are the winners in bold. Congratulations to all winners and all nominees.

*****

FAVORITE NEWCOMER WRITER
* Al Ewing
* Paul Cornell
* Bryan Lee O'Malley
* Scott Snyder
* Nick Spencer

*****

FAVORITE NEWCOMER ARTIST
* Bryan Lee O'Malley
* Rafael Albuquerque
* Sara Pichelli
* Sean Murphy
* Fiona Staples

*****

FAVORITE WRITER
* Grant Morrison
* John Wagner
* Warren Ellis
* Ed Brubaker
* Robert Kirkman

*****

FAVORITE WRITER/ARTIST
* Gabriel Ba with Fabio Moon
* Darwyn Cooke
* Bryan Lee O'Malley
* Jeff Lemire
* Mike Mignola

*****

FAVORITE ARTIST: PENCILS
* J. H. Williams III
* Dave Ryan
* Carlos Ezquerra
* Mike Mignola
* Becky Cloonan

*****

FAVORITE ARTIST: INKS
* Gary Erskine
* Carlos Ezquerra
* Bill Sienkiewicz
* Becky Cloonan
* Mike Mignola

*****

FAVORITE ARTIST: FULLY-PAINTED ARTWORK
* Ben Templesmith
* Jock
* Alex Ross
* J. H. Williams III
* D'Israeli

*****

FAVORITE COLORIST
* Len O'Grady
* Jeff Balke
* Dave Stewart
* Laura Allred
* Laura Martin

*****

FAVORITE LETTERER
* Richard Starkings
* Chris Eliopoulos
* Annie Parkhouse
* Jim Campbell
* Russ Wooton

*****

FAVORITE EDITOR
* Tom Brevoort
* Matt Smith/Tharg
* Steve Wacker
* Scott Allie
* Todd McFarlane

*****

FAVORITE PUBLISHER
* Image Comics (inc Top Cow)
* Dark Horse
* DC Comics/Vertigo/WildStorm
* IDW
* Marvel

*****

FAVORITE AMERICAN COMICBOOK: COLOR
* Doctor Who by Tony Lee plus Various (IDW Publishing)
* Hellboy by Mike Mignola plus Various (Dark Horse)
* Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison plus Various (DC Comics)
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight by Various (Dark Horse)
* Amazing Spider-Man by Various (Marvel)

*****

FAVORITE AMERICAN COMICBOOK: BLACK AND WHITE
* Demo Vol.2 by Brain Wood and Becky Cloonan (DC Comics)
* Echo by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
* Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower (Image Comics)
* The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (Image Comics)
* RASL by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Comics)

*****

FAVORITE BRITISH COMICBOOK: COLOR
* Torchwood by Various (Titan Books)
* Dandy by Various (DC Thomson)
* 2000AD by Various (Rebellion)
* The Man of Glass by Martin Flink (Accent UK)
* Doctor Who Magazine by Various (Panini Comics)

*****

FAVORITE BRITISH COMICBOOK: BLACK AND WHITE
* Commando by Various (DC Thomson)
* Futurequake by Various (Futurequake Publishing)
* Zarjaz by Various (Futurequake Publishing)
* Dogbreath by Various (Futurequake Publishing)
* Paragon by Various (David Cavendish)

*****

FAVORITE NEW COMICBOOK
* Alan Moore's Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (Avatar Press)
* War of the Independents by Dave Ryan (Red Anvil Comics)
* American Vampire by Stephen King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque (DC Comics/Vertigo)
* Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (DC Comics/Vertigo)
* S.H.I.E.L.D by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver (Marvel)

*****

FAVORITE MANGA
* One Piece by Eiirchiro Oda (Shueisha/Viz Media)
* Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (Square Enix/Viz Media)
* Berserk by Kenatro Miura (Hakusensha/ Dark Horse Comics)
* Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto (Shueisha/Viz Media)
* Bleach by Tite Kubo (Shueisha/Viz Media)

*****

FAVORITE EUROPEAN COMICBOOK
* Sky Doll by Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa (Soleil/Marvel)
* L'Histoire Secrete by Edward Gauvin and Jean-Pierre Pecau (Delcourt/Archaia Studio Press)
* Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Darguad/Dark Horse Comics)
* Requiem: Vampire Knight by Pat Mills and Olivier Ledroit (Nickel Editions/Panini Comics)
* The Scorpion by Desberg Desberg and Enrico Marini (Dargaud/Cinebook ltd)

*****

FAVORITE WEB-BASED COMIC
* xkcd.com by Randall Munroe
* Freak Angels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
* Hark! A Vagrant! By Kate Beaton
* Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle
* Questionable Content by Jeph Jaques

*****

FAVORITE SINGLE STORY
* A Cat Named Haiku by Mark Poulton and Dexter Weeks (Arcana Studio)
* Legends: The Enchanted #0 by Nick Percival (Radical Comics)
* Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark by Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard (Image Comics)
* Daytripper #8 by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (DC Comics/Vertigo)
* Amazing Spider-Man #625: Endanger Species by Joseph Kelly and Max Fuimara (Marvel)

*****

FAVORITE CONTINUED STORY
* The Walking Dead #73-79: Too Far Gone by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (Image Comics)
* Hellboy #47-49: The Storm by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo (Dark Horse)
* 2000AD #1650-1693: Judge Dredd: Tour of Duty (Rebellion)
* Invincible #71-continuing: The Viltrumite War by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley (Image Comics)
* Fables #94-98: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (DC Comics/Vertigo)

*****

FAVORITE 2010 COVER
* Batwoman #0 by J.H. Williams III
* Daytripper #2 by Gabriel Ba
* Axe Cop: Vol 1 by Ethan Nicolle
* War of the Independents by Dave Ryan
* 2000AD Prog 1700 by Jonathan Davis Hunt

*****

FAVORITE 2010 ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL
* Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke
* Hellblazer: Pandemonium by Jamie Delano and Jock
* At The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft and Ian Culbard (SELFMADE HERO)
* Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis (DC Comics)
* Scott Pilgrim Vol 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Fourth Estate)

*****

FAVORITE REPRINT COMPILATION
* Doctor Who: Fugitive by Tony Lee, Al Davison and Matthew Smith (IDW Publishing)
* Absolute All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly (DC Comics)
* Charley's War: Great Mutiny by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun (Titan Books ltd)
* Batwoman: Elegy by Gregg Rucker and J.H. Williams III (DC Comics)
* The Walking Dead: Volume 13 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn (Image Comics)

*****

FAVORITE COMICS-RELATED BOOK
* Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee by Jim Lee and Bill Baker (Titan Books ltd)
* 75 Years of DC Comics by Paul Levitz (Taschen GmBH)
* The Horror, The Horror: Comic Books The Government Didn't Want You To Read by Jim Trombetta and R. Spiel (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)
* Cover Run: The DC Comic Art of Adam Hughes by Adam Hughes (DC Comics)
* Mega-City One Archives by August Hann and Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Mongoose Publishing)

*****

FAVORITE COMICS-RELATED MOVIE OR TV SHOW
* Scott Pilgrim Vs the World
* Iron Man 2
* Kick Ass
* The Walking Dead
* The Big Bang Theory

*****

FAVORITE MAGAZINE ABOUT COMICS
* Wizard (Wizard)
* Alter Ego (TwoMorrows)
* Back Issue (TwoMorrows)
* Comic Heroes (Future Publishing)
* Tripwire (Tripwire)

*****

FAVORITE COMICS-RELATED WEBSITE
* Girls Read Comics Too
* Newsarama.com
* Comic Book Resources
* Bleeding Cool
* Comic Attack
* Comics Alliance

*****

ROLL OF HONOR
* Carlos Ezquerra
* John Byrne
* David Mazzuchelli
* Bryan Lee O'Malley
* Dave Gibbons

*****
*****
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 27, 2011


Go, Look: Ruben Bolling On Seal Team Six

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posted 4:36 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Should Publishers Simply Pay Their Creators More?

imageThere's a longish piece over at the French-language comics news clearinghouse ActuaBD.com that engages a bunch of issues of potential interest to North American cartoonists and publishing professionals, all through the potentially helpful mirror that is an entirely different industry. From my reading -- and I supplemented my reading with a basic google translation, which is what I'm suggesting if this kind of thing intrigues you -- a comics author is suggesting that publishers should pay more for work because a) the cost of living is way up, b) many of the traditional costs of publishing are way down, c) the failure of the publisher to sell books, and particularly the problems they have due to how they've actively shaped their market, well, that's the publisher's problem. The basic argument against this seems to be that a book that sells 800 copies simply isn't going to be profitable for anyone. I'm sure I'm not getting a lot of that, but if the French-language market is indeed as over-crowded as frequently claimed, that would make it a perfect place to set a conversation about the profits of publishers vis-a-vis how creators make their money when it's a lot of books driving sales rather than a few -- a set-up which the North American market seems more determined than ever to match.

The original Facebook essay from the writer Kris that prompted the post is here.
 
posted 4:34 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Friday Distraction: D'Israeli's Alberto Breccia And Me

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via Matthew Badham
 
posted 4:32 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Stepped-Up Ugliness In Superman Proceedings

image* Robot 6 has a clear-headed update on a specific legal matter in the sprawling battle between Warner Brothers and the families of co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Because attorney Marc Toberoff turned over material related to his arrangements with those families to a grand jury after that material was stolen, Warner Brothers attorney may be able to seize and use them in their counter-suit against Toberoff. Basically what they're claiming is that Toberoff has insinuated himself with the families in a way that hampers their pursuit of a fair and final outcome. The suit against the attorney seems to be the withered arm in the slightly dessicated whole figure that is the various legal battles involving a corporation desperate to keep as much of the valuable Superman property under their control as possible, having lost a 2008 ruling concerning the 1976 copyright act favoring the family of Jerry Siegel, with a similar Shuster family claim on deck.

* Brendan Wright was recently stopped short by a note in an anniversary issue of Action Comics that put the notion of "support" squarely on the table. If buying a comic is to be seen as "support," Wright wonders, then maybe some thought should be given as to what supporting DC Comics actually means, especially considering they're engaged in the kind of legal tussle described above. I agree with an underlying contention that begins to form here that DC/Warners really hasn't bothered to make any kind of moral claim in their fight to keep the character, and that this can be troublesome on any number of levels. Some fans have used a "greedy family members who didn't create the thing themselves" construction to indict the Siegel and Shuster families, but that never seems to hold outside of the really musty halls of old-school fandom for dozens of reasons, starting with but certainly not limited to the fact that a giant corporation has even less of a claim to proximity to the act of creation than family members. It seems that DC/Warners are stuck in a position where their claim is that they are legally justified in keeping all the rights now being contested, and that the legal decisions involved will eventually support their claims over these claims made by the family -- not exactly the kind of stance one might take burnishing the American flag and sporting an eagle on one's arm.
 
posted 4:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Power Cookies

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posted 4:28 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

While there's a bunch of material out there right now on how David Coleman Headley's testimony at the trial of Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana has brought to light -- or cast into more public light -- various charges he's made about the Pakistani intelligent services' involvement with the Mumbai Massacre, fewer article have focused on accusations that Rana and Headley plotted against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper office. This article describes the defense strategy a bit. While some thought, myself included, that Rana might emphasize any work done towards the goal of disrupting/damaging the newspaper as a way to discredit Mumbai-related charges, Rana's team seems to be emphasizing the lack of communication between Rana and Headley on what they called the "Mickey Mouse Plot" or MMP as a way of generally asserting that Rana's goals were not militant as much as business-oriented.
 
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Go, Look: The Hostile Planet

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posted 4:24 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Darryl Cunningham's Psychiatric Tales Sees Brief Surge

imageWe don't enjoy the more monolithic media of 40 years ago -- or even the same media landscape as we had 10 years ago -- but a well-placed piece of press can still do wonders for a specific book if that piece of press hits with an audience. Such seems to be the case for an interview with cartoonist Darryl Cunningham earlier this week on BBC Radio's All In The Mind. According to Cunningham, the interview went well but also had direct influence on this week's sales of the book, shooting it back up the Amazon.co.uk charts in both graphic novel (where it hit #1) and general categories (where it slipped into the top 200). These kinds of sudden jumps are not a rare thing to see on behalf of individual books, I assure you, and I imagine every single PR person out there has a similar if not even more dramatic story. Still, I thought it interesting how a piece of media can benefit a work that's been out for as many months as Cunningham's, and to note the general phenomenon, especially given how much of what's perceived as promotional work in comics still seems mired in fanciful projection.
 
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Go, Look: Luke Pearson Mini-Gallery

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posted 4:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

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posted 4:18 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 4:16 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 4:14 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Pair Of Hejji Sunday Pages

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Go, Look: Al Williamson And Ralph Mayo Together

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posted 4:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Harder They Fool

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posted 4:08 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Various Cartoons From Sick #12

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posted 4:06 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Superman is confusing me as to whether I should hate my country or not.

image* this quote from the writer Fabien Vehlmann explains in part why his collaboration with Jason felt a lot like a Jason solo project.

* Michael Cavna speaks to the artist Kevin Rechin about his recently deceased father Bill Rechin.

* the writer and comics historian Mark Evanier reminds us that there are fewer than 60 days until this year's Comic-Con International. This site's guide, incidentally, rolls out in its traditional Memorial Day slot. All new photos to balance all those old jokes.

* not comics: congratulations to Peter and Kathleen David on their 10th wedding anniversary.

* it's not easy being green.

* at this point, I'm pretty sure that if there's a memorial in the Arctic purporting to designate where the Fortress Of Solitude is supposed to be, someone or something has peed on it.

* my apologies to Bully for missing his sixth anniversary.

* finally, congratulations to Caitlin McGurk on finishing her cataloging work on CCS' Schulz Library. That's not a small library.
 
posted 4:04 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Mark Wheatley!

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posted 4:02 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Craft
Assless Chap
Afternoon Chat
Train Passengers
Dark Horse Mash-Ups
Memorial Day Cartoons
Roman Muradov Sketches
Fandancer: Sketches And Texture
White Rapids And The Sense Of History

Exhibits/Events
The Summer Is Now

History
Don't Count On Superman

Industry
Jeff Lemire's Sketchbook Update
French Comic Translation Censorship
Larry Marder's CBLDF Liberty Cards Diary 04

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Gary Phillips
TCJ: RO Blechman
Talking Comics With Tim: Nick Dragotta
DC Women Kicking Ass: Barbara Randall Kesel

Not Comics
Yeah, Don't Do This
And Certainly Don't Do This
Dan White Reviews Attack The Block

Publishing
Lose #3 Previewed
Love For Darkwing Duck
Daredevil #1 Previewed
Fear Itself: The Deep #1 Previewed
Amazing Spider-Man #663 Previewed
Where Is Gerard Jones' Green Lantern?

Reviews
Yan Basque: Various
Doug Zawisza: FF #4
Matt Seneca: Various
Sean Gaffney: Gente Vol. 3
Colin Smith: Moon Knight #1
Robert Greenberger: Sidekicks
Don MacPherson: The Tattered Man
Bob Temuka: The Judge Dredd Collection #1
 

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

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
May 26, 2011


Go, Look: A Few Pieces Of Tanino Liberatore Art

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posted 7:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: More Michael DeForge At What Things Do

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posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows, Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* at right is the cover image for the forthcoming Team Cul De Sac fundraiser 'zine Favorites, edited by Craig Fischer, featuring writing from a bunch of writers-about-comics on their favorite comics. It's being sold exclusively at HeroesCon not this weekend but next, and is the kind of thing that's fun to pick up at shows. I'm looking forward to seeing a copy because I'm old and have no memory of contributing to it. Anyway, I wanted to put that on your radar if you're one of the people heading to the show.

* Tommi Musturi has posted ten photos from Fumetto focusing on his exhibit there. Like most photo sets from that particular festival, the exhibit itself looks like a lot of fun.

* last weekend was the Olympia Comics Festival, a show of growing interest to the Pacific Northwest's thriving small press scene. Jason Miles was nice enough to send along links to a bunch of reports from the show, starting with his own at the Profanity Hill site. Kelly Froh's reaction is here, while the legendary mini-comics maker Steve Willis has written a six-part piece: one, two, three, four, five, six. It's important that local and regional small press shows have a chance to get over due to the haphazard way in which mail-order, Internet-driven purchasing and comics-store availability works for comics like these right now.

* as was once the case with major pro wrestling events, North American comics conventions used to cluster around the holidays. That's no longer the case in a sense of a big show laying claim to weekends like this one, but there are a number of smaller events and a semi-big one in a mainstream film/cross sense taking place across the Atlantic. The London Comic Con at the MCM Expo is this weekend, as is a three-day show in Houston and a four-day show that began today in Phoenix.

* the big weekend event is a semi-closed one, not really a convention in the more traditional sense of professionals gathering into one place: the NCS' Reuben Awards weekend, this year in Boston. That includes the Rueben Awards themselves on Saturday night. Good luck to all the division nominees and those up for the big award.

* as mentioned above, next weekend is HeroesCon, a major, well-run and much-liked regional show with a national-level guest list, and I think most people in traditional comic-book circles that attend the convention circuit are likely focusing their efforts in that direction.
 
posted 6:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Paul Gillon Mini-Gallery

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posted 5:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Psst... Book Expo America Is Taking Place Right Now

It would have been difficult to imagine some seven to ten years ago -- when comics' growing prominence at the major publishing showcase Book Expo America had the feel of a teen movie where a long-neglected but deep-down beautiful girl showed up at prom in a smoking hot dress -- that this same exact show could be going on right now without comics' role significantly diminished and yet without an overriding comics industry or fan emphasis on the event. Heidi MacDonald at The Beat is doing some comics-focused reporting, and certainly publishing industry bible PW is on hand and today keeps comics well within its coverage radius. And yet there are signs that fewer people care than maybe used to. I get a sense -- and this admittedly isn't scientific -- that more regional comics bloggers make MoCCA a priority over focusing in any way on BEA. The Comics Journal editorial team is located in New York now, but I don't think the show has even made their daily blogging posts, let alone a feature; the comics news clearinghouses Newsarama and Comic Book Resources manage one mention on their combined front pages (the event is part of a blog round-up at CBR), and some key comics publishers with aggressive bookstore sales tracks haven't made the trip at all.

Exactly why the event seems reduced in stature involves factors far outside of my natural grasp of publishing. I can speculate, but I recognize that I could easily be shouted down by someone with a greater investment in the show or book publishing generally. For all I know, BEA is still as vital as it ever was, or maybe even more so, with scales constantly falling from the eyes of those in attendance on hot issues like the ongoing digital revolution. I am certain that for some publishers, and some comics people, this is still an immensely useful and vital show. And in a wider book-publishing sense you certainly still read about parties, and see those features touting a short list of supposedly hot books, and get those "this is what this year's show is about" articles from major news sources (e-books, if you haven't heard).

What you hear about comics also sounds swell: I would climb over any combination of swag-gathering librarians to hear Shannon Wheeler talk to Roz Chast, I love hearing Bill Willingham hold forth any occasion I can (he did a spotlight interview with MacDonald), and what I've read in a couple of places about Dark Horse focusing attention on books that might have special interest to libraries and children's book buyers sounds like I'd love to be there to hear those pitches and anything like them first-hand. There's also the continuing undercurrent about the future of the show itself, that it needs to become more like a consumer-focused Comic-Con in future years to maintain its long-term viability. That kind of discussion can be fascinating, and comics people should have much to say on that matter having been the first-hand beneficiaries of Comic-Con type shows for years and years and years now. I'd love to be grinding through an omelet near the Javits Center having this kind of conversation even as I write this post.

Still, it certainly seems like something's missing, if only a sense of size and scope and unique importance. My hunch is we're seeing a combined shift in the way the prose publishing business functions -- that the industry part of the book industry has been wounded, or at least suffers from the kind of stunned lethargy that's derived from news like 100s of million in chain store losses in a single month and chatter that physical sales as a significant factor may be near their end, period -- and in the idea that a show like Book Expo has value beyond its potential ability to reach the most people in the most profitable ways. I'm certainly not seeing the explosion in media coverage that was hinted at as the show's birthright if the show settled into New York and away from its rotating-city schedule. And while it may just be me, I'm also not seeing the opportunity BEA provides for folks to pick up free books from a variety of publishers spoken of as an opportunity to shape the market to come with as much frequency as I used to, as opposed to a chance to take home piles of free stuff (it was always that, just not only that).

I've been asking people here and there about comics and Book Expo, and almost no one's felt comfortable venturing a publishable opinion. An exception was Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, whose company was a fixture of the comics presence at the show during those heady early 2000s but chose not to attend at all in 2011. Reynolds wrote back that, "the simple answer is that BEA is ridiculously expensive to exhibit at and I'm not sure it's prudent allocation of resources anymore. And there are few quantifiable returns that you can gauge it against. I suppose it all depends on what books and authors you're promoting and whether you can fold BEA into those plans. We saw an opportunity to skip this year and took it." Reynolds emphasized that in future years the show might better fit into Fantagraphics' plans. He cites the show being settled into New York as a discouraging factor for yearly attendance, in that while this serves the major book publishers headquartered in the city in terms of their being able to cut costs over, it reduces the overall exposure to a variety of industry people that may have found it easier to go to the show when it was in Chicago, LA, or Washington D.C.

So while the measure in what BEA may have lost, if anything, remains nebulous and hard to grasp, it seems undeniable to me that something is different now, both from what was and what was expected. That may be a comics thing, that may be a prose publishing thing; it may be both. If nothing else, there was a time when I don't think anyone saw these kinds of questions being asked.
 
posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Matt Madden's Lost Randy Savage Comic

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posted 4:28 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* it appears that material confiscated from the house where terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden was hiding indicates that Bin Laden targeted Denmark for terrorist activity based on the publication of the Danish Muhammed cartoons. This confirms some conventional wisdom on the subject, that the cartoons were an effective piece of propaganda for a certain kind of organization of which Bin Laden's was definitely one.

* the trial of Tahawwur Rana over his alleged contributions to spy and scouting missions that included a planned attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that published the Danish cartoons, continues with a decided focus on revelatory details about the Mumbai Massacre elements of his alleged activities and those confessed to by David Coleman Headley, he says with Rana's help. Here's a story that kind of walks back on the general story for readers' benefit. Here are some details as to what Headley claimed under oath and the defense's approach in chipping away at his testimony.
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Lou Fine Commercial Art

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
How To Lend Comics-Related Assistance To Joplin, Missouri

David Pepose over at Blog@Newsarama has a nice, link-filled summary post here regarding activities from comics-oriented folks on the ground at Joplin, Missouri designed to help that community through the destruction and death caused by spring tornadoes. There's an address to where you can donate all-ages comics for distribution to any kids who want them, and a link to the store organizing those activities (Hurley's Heroes) and photos from a local resident comics professional (Jeremy Haun). Please check it out, and consider helping if you can. If the comics focus doesn't interest you but the thought of those people in need tugs at you, there are of course all the usual ways of getting charitable help to affected people. No one will quibble right now.
 
posted 3:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Those Popular Johnny Wander Batmen

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via here
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Big Scans Of Captain America #204 Cover

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Go, Look: Some More Early Joe Kubert

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Go, Look: Amazing-Looking Johnny Gruelle One-Sheet

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The First Sally Forth Appearance

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not that Sally Forth
 
posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Dwight Garner at the New York Times on Paying For It.

image* the great cartoonist John Porcellino has been doing fun, photo-stuffed road reports one one of his blog -- here's the latest, from Montreal.

* Michael May uses a Mark Waid quote as a springboard for multiple links to the age-old question of how much attention to pay to audience likes and dislikes.

* not comics: this is sort of mean, but it would have been nice if the announcement of Editor & Publisher relaunching their web site was put into its own linkable post so blogs could drive attention to that fact.

* speaking of something that will be interpreted as mean but I swear I don't mean it that way, is it weird to anyone else that pinning a Jewish star to the clothing of Israel politicians is an accepted visual signifier? I've seen it a bunch this week, and it strikes me as sort of odd.

* the folks at Comics Alliance ask out loud what will happen to the DC Universe this Fall? The writer and critic Graeme McMillan suggests that it probably isn't a line-wide reboot given how much focus there is right now in the comics on restoring various status quo relationship. I'm hoping it's a Lt. Marvel event series.

* Lea Hernandez talks about modeling for the late Dave Stevens.

* finally, the conversation in this Dustin Harbin post on his strips about the Doug Wright Awards is thoughtful and engaged.
 
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Happy 72nd Birthday, Herb Trimpe!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Marc Arsenault!

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Happy 44th Birthday, James Kochalka!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Raina Telgemeier!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Dave Roman!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Nick Bertozzi!

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Quick hits
Craft
On A Doug Wright Image
Writers Should Constantly Write
Matt Fraction's Year One Exercise
Never Forget The Greatness Of Life In Hell

Exhibits/Events
See Matt Dembicki This Summer
Taking Punk To The Masses Opening Report

History
70 Bob Dylan Comic Book References
More Johnson/Krauss Biography Outtakes

Industry
Hey, That's Not A Comic
Johanna Hosts A Contest
Best Anything Photo Ever
Ty Templeton Brings The Learning
I Hope It's Not Up To Us; I've Got My Own Problems
Massive Chester Brown Paying For It Review Linkarama

Interviews/Profiles
TCJ: Brecht Evens
Robot 6: Jim Zubkavich
CBR: Jonathan Hickman
TCJ Talkies: Jessica Abel
Word Balloon: Francesco Francavilla
Tall Tale Radio: Rick Stromoski, Bill Kellogg

Not Comics
Free Shipping
Man Vs. Food Vs. Balticon

Publishing
On Celluloid
Three #2 Is At The Printers
The Mighty Thor #3 Previewed
I'm All For A Better Than Akira Standard

Reviews
Colin Bell: FF #4
Nina Stone: Various
Bill Sherman: Scarlet
Paul O'Brien: Various
Johnny Bacardi: Various
Bob Temuka: Starman #35
Grant Goggans: Suicide Girls #1
Hayley Campbell: Small Victories
Johanna Draper Carlson: Various
Greg McElhatton: Spontaneous #1
Kate Dacey: A Bride's Story Vol. 1
Sean T. Collins: Closed Caption Comics #9
What David P. Welsh Loves About Cross Game
Johanna Draper Carlson: Archie & Friends #154-155
Johanna Draper Carlson: Misinformation Wants To Be Free
 

 
May 25, 2011


Go, Read: Plague

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posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: A Publishing News Column

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

*****

* the cartoonist Mike Dawson has revealed the cover image for his Troop 142, due this Fall from Secret Acres. That's an interesting project for a lot of reason, one of them being that Dawson serialized the story on the Internet and through some high-end mini-comics before seeking out a publisher for the book.

* Barack Hussein Obama has migrated to What Things Do. It's great to see What Things Do back up and going. Speaking of things that are coming back, you're likely seen this announcement by PictureBox over the next iteration of the great anthology Kramers Ergot by now.

* one of the bigger items of traditional publishing news this week is a re-launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics effort at IDW, which includes the creative effort of co-creator Kevin Eastman. I'm not totally convinced there's a ton of life in those particular comics relative to previous re-launches, even, but I have to imagine there's enough for a modestly successful effort by comics standards.

* I had no idea that a bunch of creators were doing an anti-bullying comic. That sounds like a good idea.

* there's some speculation here and here over what Jim Lee and Geoff Johns are going to announce at some forthcoming LA Times event. The fact that this is an announcement of an announcement sure seems indicative of that company's exhausted state. An actual major sea change could conceivably do that company some good, but only if it sustains itself for two to three years and actually shakes things up in a positive way. I've yet to see much of anything that justifies the major vote of confidence placed in the veteran comics people put into place as a team by DC President Diane Nelson. In fact, other than a couple of abortive creative moves, it would be very hard for me to articulate a single significant thing that distinguishes the DC of right now from the DC of one, three, five years ago.

* here's regarding the publishing particulars for the next volume in the Twilight comics series.

* here's the cover image for the forthcoming Casanova: Gula.

* here's Sonny Liew with more on the English-language Malinky Robot collection.

* a P. Craig Russell-drawn Spirit story will see print this summer.

* finally, David Chelsea informs us that he's finished a three-part comics story for Dark Horse Presents. It would be great if DHP could make a go of it simply based on giving a publishing platform for a lot of cartoonists, like Chelsea, that aren't necessarily easy to find in that realm of comics anymore.

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Go, Look: Pages From Alberto Breccia's Perramus

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

imageHere 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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MAR111128 YEAH GN $19.99
I just received a copy of this book. I'm always a bit suspicious of collections that gather together material that a) worked well as a comic book and b) seems like it might still be readily available at a cheaper price. This one, however, feels like a notably sturdy volume and seems priced more cheaply than anyone could be expected to find copies of the original funnybooks. It also and probably needed to be re-presented to its potential audience for folks to pay it any attention, in a format that many young readers now prefer. I'm happy to see these comics again.

FEB110041 AL CAPP COMPLETE SHMOO HC VOL 02 NEWSPAPER STRIPS $49.99
I'm not exactly sure where this fits into the overall rainbow of available or soon to be available Al Capp works, but I do know this comes from a very strong period for the overwhelmingly popular cartoonist.

MAR111233 SLAINE THE HORNED GOD HC (S&S ED) $25.00
If you don't buy a lot of superhero comics, something like this piece of demented, well-crafted genre material really pops on a list of comics like this one. This is 200-plus pages of the always under-appreciated Pat Mills and the perhaps recently under-valued Simon Bisley, and I want to say this particular arc is from the late 1980s or early 1990s -- if it's not, it should be.

MAR111334 INFLUENCING MACHINE HC $23.95
This looks like a comics essay featuring Brooke Gladstone through the pen of Josh Neufeld talking about the infernal machine that is modern media. I can't imagine seeing this in a store and not at least picking it up and giving it a flip-through.

MAR111130 TAKE A JOKE TP $18.99
Johnny Ryan is a very funny man.

NOV100923 APPROXIMATE CONTINUUM COMICS GN $18.99
I greatly enjoyed this English-language edition of a key Trondheim work, a collection of four comic book-sized memoir comics that blend fantasy and reality in an attempt to capture the way the mega-successful cartoonist regarded his life on either side of 30 years old. I found particularly affecting just how funny and poignant its set-pieces were, and how they might connect with lives that have very little big-picture overlap with Trondheim's own.

FEB111104 DUNGEON MONSTRES GN VOL 04 NIGHT O/T LADYKILLER $14.99
I collect these NBM editions of the mainstream French series without thinking about it, so I'll soon have one of these as well.

FEB111112 SMURFS GN VOL 06 SMURFS & HOWLIBIRD $5.99
FEB111111 SMURFS HC VOL 06 SMURFS & HOWLIBIRD $10.99
Speaking of NBM, here's the new hardcover/softcover blast of material from the Smurfs library, which I hope are connecting with a lot of families in the slightly intense way I've heard about from a few of close acquaintance.

JAN111236 CLONK GN VOL 01 $19.95
MAR111343 BEAUTY AND SQUAT BEARS HC $14.99
MAR110822 EVEN THE GIANTS GN (MR) $9.95
More than anything this week seems like one to look at stand-alone works from cartoonists with whom most of us are only barely familiar, if that. Clonk is by a cartoonist I've never heard of, Ximo Abadia, from a publisher I've never heard of, Kettledrummer Books, but the visual style certainly appeals. Most of us have heard of Emile Bravo by now, but that didn't mean I automatically remembered that Beauty And The Squat Bears was one of his, nor did I generally recall he was working with Yen Press. I'd make a beeline to that one if I were in a full-service shop. Even The Giants is the latest from Jesse Jacobs and has the AdHouse book imprimatur, both literally and figuratively. There's an intriguing preview in the shape of an interview here.

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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 on me. I apologize.

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Go, Look: Marco Nizzoli Has A Blog

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Nobody Steal This, But Sometimes People Tell The Same Joke

imageMedia reporting icon Jim Romenesko looks briefly into the similarities between a gag employed by satirist Andy Borowitz and a cartoon created by Columbus Dispatch cartoonist Jeff Stahler. He notes that the paper's editor looked into it and concluded it was a coincidence. I can't imagine with the social media tools and instant access to the Internet out there right now, how far along we are in everyone trying to tell that first joke, that any cartoonist is going to do a gag related to any real-world circumstance that's completely original that a) isn't filtered through a set of unique characters, or b) completely demented and off the wall. At the same time, it really is easier to swipe jokes these days -- when this used to come up with strip cartoonists, there was always a bit of laugh about the idea of the cartoonist accessing whatever obscure source where the first gag appeared. The natural assumption -- usually true -- is that the cartoonist probably wasn't reading the First Methodist Church of Lancaster, California bulletin or whatever. But a searchable twitter feed? A cartoonist might stridently claim they pay no attention to them, and be totally honest in doing so, but you lose the logical presumption. I have to imagine this will have some effect down the line, maybe a kind of hesitance to get into certain areas or tell jokes a certain way, but I'm not sure what that will look like.
 
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Go, Look: Any Excuse To Stare At Sinner Pages

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The Guardian Celebrates 30 Years Of Steve Bell

imageIt's nice to see a newspaper get behind its political cartoonist as the special, unique offering that most cartoonist are or can be for such publications. That sounds wholly ridiculous in a certain sense, at least until you encounter the newspapers out there that seem to treat their cartoonist as some sort of odd extravagance, a strange tie the paper is forced to slip around their necks a few days a week. The Guardian celebrates 30 years of Steve Bell cartoons with a personal reminiscence from the cartoonist, a slideshow linked into a Cartoon Museum exhibit and testimony from people featured/savaged in Bell cartoons. The museum video is part of a "sketchbook series" you can access here.
 
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Go, Bookmark: New Dog Boy Material

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

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

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Missed It: Martian Manhunter Has All The Powers

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Go, Look: Some Jack Kirby I've Never Seen Before

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Missed It: Kevin Nowlan Makes A Superhero Cover

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Go, Look: Paul Davidson Marvel Artwork

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* you know those medical movies where a patient that hasn't been doing well takes a sudden turn for the worse, usually in spectacularly grotesque fashion? I'm not sure how to better describe Borders losing over four times as much money in April as it did in March.

image* over at TCJ.com, veteran writer about comics Steve Ringgenberg remembers Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

* here's a recording of the illustration panel from TCAF, featuring Jillian Tamaki, Adrian Tomine and Lorenzo Mattotti.

* not comics: Sean T. Collins wonders after the psychedelic potential of the forthcoming Green Lantern movie, in the context of a well-traveled Grant Morrison post from a while back.

* the writer Mark Verheiden just doesn't get why the Archie comics deserve the deluxe hardcover treatment.

* here's a round-up of writers discussing various books in Marvel's .1 publishing strategy, which is basically taking a book in a sequence of other books and making it a "jumping on" point for potential new readers. This is one of those things that older readers like myself have a hard time figuring out because jumping into a flow of stories was part of the pleasure for readers in the 1960s and 1970s. But that was more than 30 years ago, and readers have different expectations now and many, many, many more choices.

* this can't be good.

* finally, the hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com profiles Michel Choquette and Someday Funnies with a news story and an interview. There won't be a better back story to any project published this year.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Barry Windsor-Smith!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Stan Sakai!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Terry Nantier!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Marc Hempel!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Ken Avidor!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Sal Velluto!

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Quick hits
Craft
Forest
Wolfman
A Nice Guy Delisle Page
In Line For Signing Duty
Andrew Tsurumi Sketches
Sean Phillips Finishes A Cover Painting
Dan Zettwoch Celebrates The Best New Poets

History
The Customer Can Always Suck It
On The Importance Of Kramers Ergot

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Dave McKean
CBR: Stephan Pastis
Word Balloon: Chris Burnham
Accidental Jellyfish: Matt Seneca
Richard Thompson, Michael Cavna On Tell Me More

Not Comics
Nice
Grant Morrison As Jesus
Lucy Knisley Took A Spill

Publishing
Graphic Novels After July 2011
Yes, The Batman Digs This Day
A Series Go Straight To Collection
On The Spider-Man Plotline Infestation
I Know I've Been Waiting For A Putin Comic

Reviews
On Jimmy Corrigan
Brian Hibbs: Various
Tucker Stone: Various
Bob Temuka: Brain Capers #1
Chuck Wells: Booster Gold #44
Ed Sizemore: A Bride's Story Vol. 1
 

 
May 24, 2011


Go, Look: The Body Of Work

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James Welborn Of Somerville's Hub Comics Dead At 37

imageAccording to a sympathetically written article at the Boston Globe, James Welborn, the owner and operator of Hub Comics in Somerville, Massachusetts, died May 23 at a local hospital after being found in his home a week earlier. He was 37 years old.

The article strongly suggests but does not confirm a cause of death. Police are apparently still investigating the matter.

Hub Comics opened in 2008 with the expressed sentiment that it be a place where people could be exposed to comics as an art form. The store lost its account with Diamond in Fall 2010 but enough customers continued to buy comics that the store remained open, with hopes of re-establishing that account. Store manager Jesse Farrell, an employee since Hub Comics' start, is having a sale to clear out the store's backlog of material. He told the Globe that he hopes the store will remain open.

Details on a memorial service to be held at the shop are pending.
 
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Go, Look: Danny Noble

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Paul Gillon, 1926-2011

imagePaul Gillon, an iconic standard-bearer of traditional comics storytelling values and a gaint of French BD, passed away on Saturday, May 21, at the age of 85, in the small city of Amiens in northern France.

The cartoonist was born in Paris to a family of modest means. His early childhood was marked first by the isolation and limited physical activity that comes with extended illness (tuberculosis), and then by a period of minor rebellion and acting out once he was allowed back into school. Gillon was a bright student, and quickly caught up to his peers that had moved years ahead of him in terms of formal, general education. He found his way to the Ecole des Arts Graphiques in Paris after brief and unsuccessful stopovers in a pair of other schools. He soon found himself dismissed from that institute of learning as well.

Gillon considered pursuing a career in theater or film or even fashion. Still an early teen, Gillon soon found paid work doing illustrations and caricatures of denizens of and scenes from those arts worlds for magazines such as Samedi-Soir, France Dimanche and Gavroche. When the magazine market turned supremely chaotic after the conclusion of World War II, Gillon had a hard time finding the same kind of steady work as he had initially. On a friend's advice, he began to study opportunities available in comics.

Gillon's first comics work came in 1947 for Vaillant, a publication where he eventually took over a number of series: Lynx Blanc, Cormoran and Wango among them. He soon began to create series of his own, starting with Fils de Chine, which was serialized from 1950 to 1953. Shorter Gillon works appeared from the late 1940s-on in publications like 34 Camera and Radar. In all of his comics of the time, Gillon was part of a tradition of comics making that held the American adventure newspaper strip in high regard. Gillon himself evinced a special amount of affinity for the work of all-time comics craftsman Alex Raymond. He was also familiar with Milton Caniff and Hal Foster.

Gillon was a successful cartoonist throughout his first dozen or so years in the industry, quickly finding new work to replace any that might have been lost due to youthful indiscretion. His type of realistically rendered comic became one of the more sustained, dominant market forces in the history of French BD, almost a house style -- certainly a notable influence -- at magazines big and small. As the 1950s came to a close and Gillon moved into his mid-thirties, he began to be counted on less for his fill-ins and more for major features of his own creation, establishing a pattern and predilections that would take him through the next five decades of work. From 1959 to 1972, Gillon drew the daily soap opera 13, rue de l'espoir for France Soir (example at bottom), a significant career highlight and a work for which he'd be remembered if there were nothing before or after it. He also placed work in Journal de Mickey. From 1968 to 1972 he worked on Jeremie for Pif gadget.

imageIn 1964, Gillon began serializing in the magazine Chouchou what many consider the best work of his career and one of the defining genre series in French comics history, the science fiction saga Les naufrages du temps [Lost In Time]. Gillon co-created the feature with the writer Jean-Claude Forest. Forest and Gillon would work together on that material through 1977, producing four albums' worth of material. Gillon took over the writing chores and created another six albums worth of comics, the last of which I believe hit the market in that form by 1989. Despite its difficult serial history -- it moved from Chouchou to France-Soir and eventually appeared in Metal Hurlant, it was well regarded throughout its run and its collection into albums in the 1970s came fast and furious once it began. Martin Wisse provides a smart appreciation of the series here.

Gillon remained phenomenally busy and productive for the bulk of his career. In the early 1970s, Gillon created two works for Lombard -- Les dieux barbares and La mijauree, la megere et le nabot in 1973 and 1974, respectively. Those works were reprinted in the early 1980s by Les Humanoides Associes, who published the collections of Les naufrages. Among his popular series in the 1980s were Les Leviathans for Les Humanoides, and La Surivante for L'Echo des savanes. Among the works in an incredibly loaded bibliography are an adaptation of Moby Dick in a stand-alone book for Hachette in the 1980s, Joan Of Arc's story turned into comics for Albin Michel in two albums in the 1990s, and two albums with Richard Malka in the L'Order de Ciceron series in the 2000s. The first two of those may have been from the period in which he was doing comics for Journal de Mickey.

Gillon won several awards during the heart of his career, and one major award of recognition during its long afternoon. He took the Prix Phenix twice, in 1972 for Jeremie and in 1974 for Les Naufrages du temps. He won a best French artist award at Angouleme in 1978, and that festival's Grand Prix in 1982. He won the Grand Prix RTL for Au nom tous les miens in 1986. In 1998 he won the Grand Prix Yellow Kid at the festival in Lucca. That same year a biography of the cartoonist by Claude Gendrot, Monsieur Gillon, was published.

By the end of his career -- he stayed busy until just a few years ago -- Paul Gillon was almost a living avatar for a now-faded form of classic comics making, a reminder of the glories of magazines and genres no longer quite as important as they once might have been, of days when you could seize the attention of the mainstream through beautiful pictures and lushly-imagined world, a reminder of times when artists of that tradition were perhaps more frequently lauded and won the big festival prizes. Paul Gillon's comics maintain their enduring value by the beauty and balance they exhibit via their creator's mastery of craft, his willingness to travel to new worlds or to work at the outer edges of adult expression if the need arose. Those comics remain formidable and authentic; so was their creator.

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Go, Read: Ken Parille's Bedlam And Baby At TCJ.com

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

As expected, admitted terrorist support freelancer David Coleman Headley has testified at the trial of his former working partner Tahawwur Rana. Headley pleaded out in 2010; Rana has remained on course for a trial. Also as expected, Headley indicted Pakistani military intelligence for their support of groups with whom he and Rana were working on plans like shooting up the Danish Cartoons publication Jyllands-Posten, and, much-much-much more importantly, the Mumbai Massacre. This replications testimony he's apparently already provided to intelligence officials from the U.S. and India since making his plea. With one or two brief potential exceptions, Rana has maintained his general innocence in terms of not exactly comprehending what Headley and Headley's contacts were up to in any of the business they conducted.

The heat of that testimony is only tangentially related to the Danish Cartoons Controversy, as plans to kill people at that institution are definitely the ugly stepsister to the stunning ballroom queen that is the charges being made regarding the shootings in Mumbai. (If Rana insists as once hinted that his interest was in revenge for the cartoons rather than getting at the Indian people, the cartoons' relevance would be bumped up a few notches. We'll see.) However, since it's the only series of events tangentially related to that bunch of cartoons that could conceivably one day contribute to the appearance of a giant mushroom cloud over a populated area, I find it worth mentioning here.
 
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Go, Buy: Todd Klein's Latest Collaborative Print

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Zunar Wins 2011 CRNI Courage In Editorial Cartooning Award

The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, who for the last few years has fought a rolling battle with governmental authorities over the censorship of his cartoons and publications, has won the 2011 Cartoonists Rights Network International Award For Courage In Editorial Cartooning. In a letter released by the cartoonist, CRNI Executive Director Robert Russell says the designation was made by the group's board of directors, and that there will be a ceremony on July 7.

It's worth noting that this date is exactly one week before an important court decision in Kuala Lumpur regarding a ban on two of the cartoonist's books.

Zunar plans to be in St. Petersburg, Florida for the event, and I believe is taking the group up on their opportunity to speak regarding his story, including the various travails he's experienced in terms of getting his work out there while facing government interference and harassment. The CRNI has also offered to coordinate media efforts for Zunar on a trip to Washington, D.C. A delegation of 22 cartoonists from North Africa and South Asia as a well as significant groups of cartoonists and artists from the U.S. and Canada are expected at the fete. The CRNI site is here.
 
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Go, Look: A Few More Images From Horseshit Magazine

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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Giggle Comics #10

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Go, Look: Starr Flagg, Undercover Girl

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Go, Look: Super Odd-Looking Klaus Nordling Art

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Go, Look: Some Primetime Warren Kremer

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Martin Wisse remembers Paul Gillon.

image* the writer and critic Rob Clough profiles the cartoonist Susie Cagle through her latest batch of mini-comics.

* once you see this, you will never unsee it.

* the cartoonist Dustin Harbin expands on his thoughts about the various comics industry awards out there. I think it suffers a bit from Harbin trying to be a bit too even-handed, or at least more even-handed than I suspect he feels, but certainly there's a lot in there over which one can mull. As a bonus, Harbin gives us a page of sketches featuring Chester Brown and Seth.

* here's a reminder that Simon Gane is selling original art and other items now. I can imagine few things nicer.

* it's good to see that Jack Kirby's contentious 1989 interview with Gary Groth over who deserves credit for the primetime Marvel period of the 1960s can still ruffle feathers. One fallacy in which I think fans engage when they try to adjudicate who's telling the truth is to criticize Kirby for complaining as if everyone out there knows they both contributed to the success of those books and by pressing Kirby wants more than he's due. I think any rational look at who's benefited more from their contributions to that period sees Lee coming out way, way ahead, and I don't think anyone should blame Kirby for staking his claim, or pick at a statement or two from someone who wasn't really a lucid talker in order to discredit the general issues involved. To put it another way, the fact that Kirby may have overstated a few things doesn't come close to damaging the value his roaring into that debate in interviews like that one and the one with Eisner in '83 had in setting the record much, much straighter over the immensely complicated issue of those comics' creation.

* that Tony Millionaire Batman comic is out there somewhere waiting for you to look at it, or at least that's what Tony Millionaire says. Speaking of Millionaire, he'd like information on a strip called Metallic Meatloaf, if anyone has any.

* this superhero-related headline cracked me up. From the same site, I enjoyed this post of Grant Morrison commenting on a Batman And Robin from late in his run on that title.

* finally, I have to imagine that there weren't a lot of Silver Age superhero covers featuring the caught-in-the-moment murder of a teenage girl. It's sort of chilling to have that pointed out to me.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Wimbledon Green!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Alan Zelenetz!

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Happy 86th Birthday, Carmine Infantino!

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Quick hits
Craft
Andys
H Is For Hoatzin
What Do You Do With Feelings Like These?

Exhibits/Events
You Should Really Go To That CBLDF Party

History
I Love That Guy
A Poll For Best Comics At HU
Those Are Some Burly Pallbearers
The Darkest Day In Avengers History
The Next Justice League Roster, He Hopes

Industry
A Stan Lee App
A Cool-Looking Buy Pile

Interviews/Profiles
Current: Eric Skillman
Talking Comics With Tim: Rico Renzi

Not Comics
The Grim Gallery
Best Weird Story Of The Day
All The Art On His Studio Wall
Don't Trust Anyone With A Verb For A Name

Publishing
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Tattered Man Previewed
First Second Plans On Publishing Books This Fall

Reviews
E. Peterman: Various
Chris Mautner: The Comics
Dave Ferraro: A Bride's Story
Michael Buntag: Flashpoint #1
Don MacPherson: Paying For It
Sean T. Collins: Gaylord Phoenix
Rob McMonigal: Olympians Vol. 2
Ryan Collins: X-Men: Giant-Size #1
Sean Gaffney: Genkaku Picasso Vol. 3
Bob Temuka: Son Of The Gun: Sinner #1
Benjamin Herman: Love From The Shadows
Greg McElhatton: Patrick: A Teddy Bear's Picnic And Other Stories
 

 
May 23, 2011


Jean-Christophe Menu Resigns From L'Association

The artist and founding member Jean-Christophe Menu has resigned from his present position of authority at the seminal French arts-comics publisher L'Association. In a letter that was sent out to a number of French-language comics professionals and quickly copied and re-copied in several places, Menu explained his various reasons for leaving. My college French, never much use when it comes to these things, indicates that at one point Menu colorfully calls L'Association a three-legged dog, those three legs being incompetence, inconsistency and revenge. Plus, he tosses in, the dog stinks.

imageThe recent turmoil at L'Association may have been simmering for years, as many of the founding members had left the publishing collective for a variety of reasons and the usual issues that come when maintaining a longstanding company as the member get older hit L'Association just as they have many other initiatives. When a general economic decline over a period of several months led to the late 2010 announcement that workers would be let go from the L'Association offices, the refusal of those workers to depart and their resolve to bring the issue to the public's attention at the 2011 Angouleme Festival brought Menu's future leadership of the company into question. This led to several accusations flying back and forth, and rounds of speculations from sometimes bewildered onlookers. It also gave us the spectacle of an intensely dramatic public meeting several weeks back between Menu, the current principals, and past members of import, much of which seemed to filmed.

I don't have a horse in this race other than the fan's concern that comes when that many talented people are spending time on things other than creating fantastic comics work. I do know that despite his contentious personality Menu is a sublimely talented editor that I hope gets another chance to develop talent and a comics line if he wants such an opportunity. (There's a vague allusion to him doing this in the letter.) I also hope the best for L'Association without him; they are truly one of the medium's signature companies.

For your cutting and pasting into google translation pleasure, what follows is the text of that letter, appearing in no less than five e-mails sitting in my inbox.

*****

MUNIQUET ONICIEL

DE JCMENU.

A tous.

Je laisse L'Association derriere moi.

Sans rancœur ni regrets.

Il aura fallu, pour accepter l'amputation de 21 ans de vie, un fameux diagnostic de gangrene incurable.

Il aura fallu aller au bout de cette incurie pour le savoir vraiment.

L'impossibilité d'aller de l'avant dans ce contexte ne fait désormais pour moi plus aucun doute.

Et ma décision, mûrement réfléchie, est désormais inexpugnable.

Ce n'est pas très gai de voir une Utopie s'écrouler sous le poids de la plus basse trivialité. Une poignée de revanchardise, une autre d'inconséquence, une autre d'incompétence : ça fait un chien à trois pattes. Et il pue.

Bon courage aux lapins inattendus qui sortent du chapeau, par hasard ou par tour de passe-passe : ils se voient sauveurs, ils ne sont que l'ombre d'un Collectif fantasmé qui n'est plus actif que dans certains cauchemars, ceux-là mêmes où le mot "démocratie" devient moins que rien.

Je quitte L'Association avec un seul souci : perdre ces moments magiques où un Editeur et un Auteur découvrant leur ouvrage sorti des presses, éprouvent ce que j'oserais appeler une Epiphanie. Epiphanies qui doivent continuer à exister ailleurs. Et mieux.

Donc non, finalement, je pars sans aucun souci.

J'ai été "patron-voyou", lynché des mois publiquement, puis j'aurais (paraît-il) été "plébiscité". Pour moi c'est la même chose, dans le sens où cela n'a aucun sens. J'ai besoin de sens pour construire quelque chose. Dans la configuration qui s'annonce, je ne suis indispensable que muselé et rouméguant moi-même sur trois pattes. Sans façons.

Tout se passe dans le déni total de ce que j'ai pu faire seul depuis cinq ans : à savoir un travail d'Editeur libre à qui on ne cherche pas noise au moindre pet. Noise que j'ai déjà vécue. Et que d'aucuns se croient autorisés à me faire revivre. Eh bien non.

J'ai été jusqu'à la réconciliation, au pardon, j'ai voulu y croire, j'y ai presque cru. Mais dès que les points fondamentaux ont été abordés, la mésentente séculaire est revenue au galop, en pire puisque désormais "Bureau" (autoproclamé et illégitime, mais quelle importance ?). La suite de l'Histoire de L'Association ne m'appartient plus. Mais la suite de mon Histoire n'appartient qu'à moi. Et à certains d'entre vous.

Par respect élémentaire pour les Auteurs, je souhaite accompagner jusqu'au bout les livres que j'ai initiés ; achever de superviser le graphisme du site internet de L'Association. Mais dès ce jour, je me désolidarise de toute décision et de toute procédure émanant de L'Association, lesquelles, souvent consternantes à mes yeux, ont déjà commencé à s'élaborer sans mon consentement.

On "remercie" l'Expert-Comptable, conseil de la structure depuis plus de quinze ans. On "remercie" l'Avocat de L'Association. On "remercie" un chef de fab intérimaire dont j'étais sûr des compétences. On annonce, à L'Association, le fameux livre "sur L'Asso" prévu ailleurs et bâti sur le règlement de comptes, sans mon accord et alors que je n'en ai rien vu. On envoie des "communiqués officiels" dont je n'ai suivi ni la rédaction, ni la diffusion.

Le plus curieux, c'est que cela ne m'affecte même plus.

Il suffit désormais de passer son chemin, en se forçant à la mansuétude.

Quitter ce marigot toxique n'est plus qu'un immense soulagement.

Ensuite, je créerai une autre structure.

Mieux vaut refonder, même le métal le plus précieux, que de se laisser fondre.

Pour moi, L'Association a achevé son Histoire. Une Magnifique Histoire, utopique, imprévisible et chaotique à souhait. Je crois d'ailleurs qu'elle a fini son Histoire dans le Valais Suisse, à Sierre en juin 2010, dans les liesses de l'exposition et du livre de ses 20 ans. Ensuite (même s'il y eut des Livres et non des moindres) tout n'a plus été que délire.

Il en aura fallu beaucoup, pour me dégoûter de 20 ans d'une Utopie que j'aurai créée. Il fallait que j'aille jusqu'au terme de ce processus (crise, conflit social, grève, agressions, calomnies, AG truquée, revenants hostiles, nouveau constat d'incompréhension) pour imaginer possible de laisser tout ce travail derrière moi, et imaginer possible de tout reprendre à zéro. C'est fait.

Merci, du fond du cœur, à tous les Auteurs et Amis qui m'auront soutenu, non seulement au cours de ces derniers mois abjects, mais pendant toutes ces années de lutte contre les moulins à vent (bien inoffensifs, finalement) et de réalisation de livres impossibles. Je laisse derrière moi un des plus beaux Catalogues de la Terre. Aucun regret : la moindre virgule de ce puzzle fait partie de ma vie. Vous êtes nombreux à le savoir. Le puzzle continuera autrement. Nous n'en perdrons aucune pièce.

Nous nous interdirons la nostalgie. Les Livres, eux, sont vivants.

Un Catalogue cohérent est vivant et dangereux.

Pour toujours. Si ce n'est pour l'Ethernité.

Je ne souhaite mauvaise chance à personne.

Je sauvegarde tout bonnement ma liberté.

Mes convictions. Et ma raison.

Voire ce qu'il nous reste à faire ensemble.

Allez savoir.

Intransigeance !

Opiniâtreté !

Où c'est possible!

Jean-Christophe Menu.

23 mai 2011.
*****

A fun introduction to Menu is his interview with Sammy Harkham from The Comics Journal #300. At one point he actually describes the comics scene in which he operates as, "France, country of shitty comics, with a kennel for the few weirdos who don't like big-tits humor and sword-and-sorcery," which I find hysterical.
 
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Go, Read: Spanish Revolution

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The Angry Ones protests in Spain haven't exactly crowded the usual partisan battles and celebrity gossip off the front pages (or their equivalent) of US media sources, but hopefully it's on your radar: the street-level movement against politics-as-usual and financial corruption has certainly hit hard and deep with that nation's younger people and artists straining to communicate their general dissatisfaction with the way things are.

Alberto Garcia Marcos of Entrecomics was nice enough to send along one expression of cartoonists trying to grapple with what's going on. The piece by Santiago Garcia & Pepo Perez went up on writer Garcia's blog here, but is also available in an English-language version here. I can't imagine not wanting to at least take notice of these kinds of questions being asked by all manner of affected people, including those who make comics.
 
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Go, Look: New Jon McNaught Short Piece

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Go, Read: On Marvel Ending Any UK New Comics Production

imageHere's a story that seems to have bloomed in the blind spots of my on-line comics reading: Marvel has apparently decreed they will no longer allow new work to be produced for the Marvel magazines distributed in the UK. As one of the few places for off-brand Marvel comics work, the Marvel UK material has been a valuable resource in terms of generating quirky comics material for the audience picking up those magazine featuring Marvel material, including work in the magazine kind of orphaned by Marvel proper in a sense during the 1990s upheaval. It's one of those decisions where you kind of get it -- Marvel's in the brand management business now, and there are elements at those companies closer to the core business that might not care for a counter-voice, no matter how modest -- while at the same time you might appreciate that there was this kind of Marvel side door out there.

A couple of the pieces e-mailed to me -- here and here -- seem to be framing this general cease and desist as a specific loss for comics aimed at kids. I'm not certain I follow the reasoning here, as I'm not sure how those kinds of comics were specifically the result of a semi-independent creative outlet like those generated in the "Marvel UK" books. Heck, I can't even ascertain how many comics we're talking about that fulfill this kid-friendly role. I'm also not certain why moving forward this kind of structure is necessary for Marvel to value and generate comics for kids if they wanted to. If they wanted to. It seems to me more like a peripheral issue from which you can derive some righteous heat. Furthermore, while I think it's a peripheral issue with significant weight and import, I think both writers ascribe a motivation to drive fans to publishing that probably doesn't exist anymore. In other words, new Marvel-related kids cartoons for Disney networks don't seem to me uniquely designed to drive kids to the comic books later on in any way, and to judge them as unlikely to do so seems really old-fashioned and presumes the companies share this concern. My guess is that Marvel would be perfectly happy if the kids watching the cartoons remained fans of Marvel cartoons and movies and toys and licensing and never, ever picked up a comic book, in the same way that the makers of James Bond movies don't seem particularly concerned with driving traffic to the Ian Fleming prose works.

That disagreement beside, I join those critics in being generally sad when creative avenues become limited rather than expanded upon, even as much as I understand why this is done. You can definitely argue that this is an overall creative loss, and that it even might run counter to where things are going in the future. In fact, I think there's a lot of room for companies like these to open up certain corners of their universes to outright open interpretation and untethered creative contributions in addition to secondary creative and editorial cultures like the one they're snuffing out here.
 
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Go, Read: A Bit Of Alan Moore's Miracleman #11 Script

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Not Comics: Attempt To Flip William Steig's Skinny House

To be perfectly honest, the home in question is really known as The Millay House, after previous owner Edna St. Vincent Millay. Its best-known resident not Millay is almost certainly the actor Cary Grant. It's also honest to note that the building is notorious not for its ownership provenance but for the fact that it's apparently the skinniest home of its type in New York City. But to see a former residence of a cartoonist like William Steig go on sale for millions after some simple renovations brings to mind a moment in history when the most famous and influential cartoonists lived in remarkable New York buildings and that this wasn't seen as a massive aberration or traced solely to their ability to cash out on some sort of film- or licensing-related effort. Plus: photos of a deeply weird little house.

It's been a good few weeks for cartoonist home news. Al Hirschfeld's famously adorable-sounding home was sold recently for a similar, multi-million dollar amount. This led to ruminations like this one, where we witness the final fate of the chair from which Hirschfeld drew cartoons for what seemed like the lifetime of entire civilizations. Maybe "seemed like" is unnecessary, as I'm pretty sure there was still an Ottoman Empire when Hirschfeld sold his first theatrical caricature.
 
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Go, Look: Jordan Crane Is Back At What Things Do

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Bastien Vives Wins Prix Des Libraires For Polina

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The young and prolific cartoonist Bastien Vives has won a library award designed to put the marketing forces of the library system behind his ballet story Polina in an attempt to support diversity in comics. What's interesting to me is that it's being portrayed as another milestone in the career of the 27-year-old Vives, a sign that his virtues in terms of art and formal presentation remain intact as he moves from indie-darling type works to more mainstream-accessible ones. Those are such artificial distinctions that it's hard to figure out how much of it is true, but it's noticeable when a cartoonist is treated as bigger than the prize they receive. I don't have access to the shape and nature of the backlash-- and this is a cartoonist that practically screams "there's a backlash" -- but Vives has certainly put together an impressive string of works and it's hard for me to imagine that someone in the English-language market won't invest in a relationship with the cartoonist at some point.

You can read some of the Vives' static-image strips here; there's a report from an gallery opening featuring original art from Polina here.
 
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Go, Look: Preview Of Dave McKean's Celluloid

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Bill Rechin, 1930-2011

imageThe cartoonist and graphic designer Bill Rechin passed away at his home in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on Saturday, May 21, from complications due to esophageal cancer. Rechin was best known for decades of cartooning on Crock, a gag strip in the Parker/Hart vein (Brant Parker was a co-creator) about a group of French Foreign Legionnaires.

Rechin was born in Buffalo, New York. He attended St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, where he had already begun to draw -- frequently in inappropriate ways at inappropriate times, but always with obvious talent (he was four decades later nominated for a distinguished alumni prize). After graduating high school in 1948, Rechin took classes for advertising design at Albright School of Art. He worked briefly for an engraver after graduating before entering the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was stationed at For Belvoir in northern Virginia, where he worked on a variety of menial tasks and a few that called on the breadth of his artistic training. By this time he had married fellow former art student Patricia Teller.

Rechin worked for 20 years as an art director in and around Washington, D.C., working on several high-profile government campaigns including the Johnny Horizon material disseminated by the Department of the Interior. Having met and been inspired by Shel Silverstein during his army days, Rechin also kept an eye on and a hand in newspaper strips. He syndicated his first effort, Pluribus, set in the early days of the U.S., in 1970.

Rechin is cited as a co-creator on Crock, which launched in 1975, although at least one source indicates that Rechin was brought in a bit later on in the development process (based on his work on Pluribus) when Brent Parker wanted to reduce his time commitment in order to focus more directly on his existing work. Parker formally left the strip very early in its run, Rechin having bought out his interest.

imageThe writer Don Wilder is listed as the third co-creator of Crock and wrote for the feature until his passing. Rechin and Wilder shared high-profile Washington-area gigs, a similar background in the US military and a sense of humor; they hit it off immediately. The only strip to my memory to trade so extensively in the stock setting made popular by Beau Geste in repeated film efforts during Hollywood's Golden Age, Crock was a modest but solid success from the start, picking up a significant number of clients for Field Enterprises in a difficult, recession-era market. The feature enjoyed an aggressive paperback program through Fawcett, starting with 1977's Crock.

In 1986, Rechin and Wilder launched a second feature, the sports-focused Out Of Bounds.

Crock was a nominee for the National Cartoonist Society Division Award for best humor strip in 1983, losing out to Garfield. Rechin and Wilder shared an NCS Division Award for panel cartoons in 1992 for Out Of Bounds. Rechin served briefly as a national officer for the cartoonists' group and was also a chairman of the D.C. area chapter.

Crock remained a solid performer for the entirety of Rechin's run. The feature garnered some attention during those periods when the U.S. found itself in combat in desert settings -- Wilder and Rechin even added a female soldier to better reflect the growing experiences of young women in the military. Crock was also one of the classic gag strips that some felt suffered as newspaper editors in the 1990s-on focused on disseminating material that would be offensive to absolutely no one that might possibly read their publication. While Crock was never racy, Wilder and Rechin seemed to believe that a great deal of humor was found in running counter to mainstream political and cultural sensitivities.

Out Of Bounds ended in 1993. Wilder died in 2008, after which Rechin created Crock on his own. The Rechin and Wilder families experienced a number of battles with cancer over the last dozen years.

According to the Associated Press article, Crock maintains over 200 clients for syndicate King Features (who acquired it from Field), including newspapers in 19 countries. In 1990 the strip had somewhere around 300 clients.

Rechin's son, Kevin, and his son-in-law, Bob Morgan, are set to continue the strip. Kevin Rechin is a past winner of the NCS division award in illustration, an event his father was on-hand to witness and later called a highlight of his own career. The Rechins had seven children and multiple grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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Go, Look: More Esquire Cartoons From 1959

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Go, Look: Some Bill Woggon Comics Art

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Go, Read: Weird Science-Fantasy #24

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Go, Look: Four-Color Comics #139

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Go, Look: A Few Gil Kane Green Lantern Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* when the retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs is good, he can be very good: here he is with notice that the publishers serving the comics direct market are overproducing and leaving tons of sales on the table if not killing sales outright.

* Brigid Alverson has a bunch more on the availability of Toon Books material on various digital devices. It's another pencil poke in the lampshade of what's to come in that arena.

image* Chris Mautner names six noteworthy debut comics. I actually wouldn't include Craig Thompson on this list. While most people discovered his work with Goodbye, Chunky Rice, enough people had seen his mini-comics to not be surprised in the least by anything in Chunky Rice. The "way more people saw this work than saw that one" is a tough, tough game to play in comics, where practically no one sees anything, so I'd look for at least a clean break from previous work. I'd swap in Persepolis or even that Duncan, The Wonder Dog for the Thompson. One not-exactly-technically debut work I remember that was completely different than previous work to the degree that no one could have conceivably expected what we were seeing in front of us was the Antarctic Press edition of Schizo, revelatory and astonishing even if you knew and liked Misery Loves Comedy. Night Fisher is a great choice by Mautner.

* Paul Gravett offers up one of his valuable survey, this time on current adaptation projects in comics.

* Laura Terry presents her four-page story from Quattro Monstro an anthology whipped up by CCS-related cartoonists for sale at the Maine comics festival just past.

* here's a list of political comics that makes me wonder how political Maus is, really.

* Michael Cavna has not one, not two, but three super-solid follow-ups to this weekend's big WaPo magazine profile of the great Richard Thompson, all at his Comic Riffs blog: an interview with cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl about his life and career with Parkinson's, a short talk with Bill Watterson about that portrait of Petey Otterloop he did for the forthcoming Team Cul De Sac fundraising efforts, and a post about those Cul De Sac animated shorts you might have seen floating around.

* Jared Gardner has unearthed a self-analytical Frank Miller document from his fanzine days.

* I can't think of any series of article's I'm enjoying more than these Ryan Holmberg pieces on the origins of alt-manga, although I have to admit a lot of what I'm reading could be totally made up and I'd have no idea which parts were fanciful.

* speaking of TCJ, a reading assignment from Professor Santoro.

* Chris Marshall tells people how to find new comics they'd like. I find trial and error is pretty effective, too.

* finally, another day, another unfortunate act of insensitivity on the part of a mainstream comics publisher. DC labeling a map of Africa "ape-controlled" instead of "Grodd-controlled" will likely fall prey to the usual comics thing of becoming a referendum on the amount of racism DC has in its company heart, when really it's just an example of bad editorial gate-keeping and general cluelessness. The thing is, both things should engender apologies.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, John Bolton!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Mike Deodato!

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Quick hits
Craft
Aw, Cute
On Texture
Weekly Process Round-Up
How Tezuka Writes A Story
Sean T. Collins On Scripting

Exhibits/Events
All About The International Alternative Press Festival 2011

History
All The Batmans
This Made Me Laugh
Name That Thor Artist
End Of Times Cartoons
This Also Made Me Laugh
They're All Imaginary Stories
Ragnarok = The Original Rapture

Interviews/Profiles
DC: Jeff Lemire
Vice: Dan Nadel
Marvel: Jeff Parker
CBR: Tom Breevort
Love For Richard Thompson

Not Comics
Kill The Rich
Kickstarter In Houston
Philip Nel's Rapture Party Mix
Mo Willems Makes A Poop Devil
Comics People Shouldn't Be Quick To Make Fun Of Outmoded Things

Publishing
On Cross Game
Rapture Cartoons
Avengers #14 Previewed
Thunderbolts #157 Previewed
Sweetheart #4 Is Back In Stock
Matt Seneca Recommends Matt Seneca

Reviews
Ben Towle: Pinocchio
Rob Clough: Various
Colin Smith: Various
Yan Basque: Various
Rob McMonigal: Hulk: Gray
Kelly Thompson: Paying For It
Todd Klein: Green Lantern #63
Bob Temuka: The New Gods #2
Todd Klein: Irredeemable Vol. 5
Greg McElhatton: Bunny Drop Vol. 3
Bill Sherman: Garfield & Co.: Fish To Fry
Richard Gehr: Eye Of The Majestic Creature
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Approximate Continuum Comics
 

 
May 22, 2011


ActuaBD.com: Paul Gillon, RIP

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The Best Jeffrey Catherine Jones Scans I've Seen Yet

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a well-selected group of images, too
 
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Your 2011 Glyph Comics Awards Winners

imageThe following listed in bold are the winners for the 2011 Glyph Comics Awards. The awards were presented in conjunction with the East Coast Black Age Of Comics Convention in Philadelphia. Jamar Nicholas' graphic novel adaptation of Geoffrey Canada's Fist Stick Knife Gun was the big winner with three awards; Keith Knight and creators/creations related to Unknown Soldier were also winners.

STORY OF THE YEAR
* Afrodisiac; Jim Rugg, co-writer and artist; Brian Maruca, co-writer
* BB Wolf and the 3 LPs; JD Arnold, writer, Richard Koslowski, artist
* Fist Stick Knife Gun; Geoffrey Canada, writer, Jamar Nicholas, artist
* Unknown Soldier: Dry Season; Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist
* Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty; G. Neri, writer, Randy DuBurke, artist

BEST WRITER
* JD Arnold, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs
* Geoffrey Canada, Fist Stick Knife Gun
* Joshua Dysart, Unknown Soldier
* Mat Johnson, Dark Rain
* Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca, Afrodisiac

BEST ARTIST
* Denys Cowan, Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers
* Christian Dibari, Pale Horse
* Simon Gane, Dark Rain
* Richard Koslowski, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs
* Jim Rugg, Afrodisiac

BEST MALE CHARACTER
* Afrodisiac, Afrodisiac; created by Jim Rugg, co-writer and artist, & Brian Maruca, co-writer
* BB Wolf, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs; created by JD Arnold, writer, Richard Koslowski, artist
* Cole, Pale Horse; created by Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson, writers, Christian Dibari, artist
* Geoff, Fist Stick Knife Gun; Geoffrey Canada, writer, Jamar Nicholas, artist; based on the life of Geoffrey Canada
* Moses Lwanga, Unknown Soldier; Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist; inspired by the character created by Robert Kanigher & Joe Kubert

BEST FEMALE CHARACTER
* Aloya Rose, Unknown Soldier; created by Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist
* Nola Thomas, NOLA; created by Chris Gorak & Pierluigi Cothran, writers; Damian Couceiro, artist
* Sarah, Dark Rain; created by Mat Johnson, writer, Simon Gane, artist
* Scout Montana, Shadoweyes; created by Ross Campbell, writer and artist
* Selena, 28 Days Later; Michael Alan Nelson, writer; Declan Shalvey & Marek Oleksicki, artists; based on the character created by Alex Garland for the motion picture 28 Days Later

RISING STAR AWARD
* Nicholas DaSilva, Dread & Alive
* Carl Herring Jr. & Tod Smith, The Enforcers
* Brandon Howard & Sean Mack; The Revolutionary Times
* Jamar Nicholas, Fist Stick Knife Gun
* Geoffrey Thorne & Todd Harris, Prodigal: Egg of First Light

BEST REPRINT PUBLICATION
* Cold Space TP, BOOM! Studios
* Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Deluxe HC, DC Comics
* Unknown Soldier: Dry Season TP, DC/Vertigo

BEST COVER
* 28 Days Later #6, Tim Bradstreet, illustrator
* Afrodisiac, Jim Rugg, illustrator
* Cold Space #1, Jeffrey Spokes, artist; Juan Maruel Tumburus, colorist
* Unknown Soldier #15, Dave Johnson, illustrator
* Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty; Randy Duburke, illustrator

BEST COMIC STRIP OR WEBCOMIC
* The K Chronicles, Keith Knight, writer and artist
* Marty's Diner, Dmitri Jackson, writer and artist
* The Revolutionary Times, Brandon Howard, writer, Sean Mack, artist
* Solomon Azua; Jake Ekiss, writer and artist
* World of Hurt, Jay Potts, writer and artist

FAN AWARD FOR BEST COMIC
* Azrael: Angel in the Dark; Fabian Nicieza, writer, Ramon Bachs & John Stanisci, artists
* Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers; Reginald Hudlin, writer, Denys Cowan, artist
* Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural; Rick Remender, writer; Jefte Palo, Gabriel Hardman & Alessandro Vitti, artists
* New Avengers: Heroic Age -- Possession; Brian Michael Bendis, writer, Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger & Art Adams, artists
* New Avengers: Luke Cage -- Town Without Pity; John Arcudi, writer; Eric Canete, artist


As previously announced, the Chairman's Award went to Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art and Culture, by Damian Duffy & John Jennings.

The awards were founded in 2005.
 
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Don't Forget The WaPo Photo Gallery Of Richard Thompson

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it accompanied today's profile of the strip cartoonist, recommended here on Friday
 
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Go, Look: Danny Hellman Draws Donald Trump

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facebook only, I'm afraid
 
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Go, Read: Edie Jumps

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

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If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Mimi Rosenheim!


 
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FFF Results Post #255 -- Adaptations

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Two Comics (#1-2) That Haven't Been Adapted To Film Or Television You'd Like To See As A Movie Or Television Series, One Comic (#3) That Has Been Made That You'd Like To See Done Again, And Two Comics (#4-5) That Should Never, Ever Be Adapted That Way." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Scene Of The Crime
2. New Hat
3. Sanctuary
4. Calvin and Hobbes
5. Maus

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Merely Margie
2. Ethel
3. Tillie the Toiler
4. Mamie
5. Babs in Society

*****

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Dave Knott

1) Peepo Choo
2) The Mourning Star
3) The Spirit
4) Teratoid Heights
5) The Hollow Grounds: NogegoN

*****

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Jason Michelitch

1. Pim & Francie
2. Jack Kirby's Fourth World
3. Bob Burden's Mysterymen
4. Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight
5. Promethea

*****

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Gary Usher

1. Tales from the Heart
2. "Heartbreak Soup" by Gilbert
3. The Spirit
4. "Locas" by Jaime
5. Blackest Night (DC)

*****

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Justin Colussy-Estes

1. Antique Bakery
2. Dykes to Watch Out For
3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
4. The Far Side
5. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth

Editor's Note: I think there were both live-action and anime versions of Antique Bakery. Just so I don't get those e-mails.

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. The Freddie Stories
2. Schizo! #2
3. Popeye
4. Cerebus
5. Bone

*****

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Chad Nevett

1. Scalped
2. Stormwatch/The Authority
3. Hellblazer
4. Flex Mentallo
5. Automatic Kafka

*****

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Shannon Smith

1. Doctor Strange. (There have been a couple of things but I'm going to pretend that there have not and hope for the most psychedelic movie ever made.)
2. American Flagg!. (Ongoing TV show on HBO, Showtime or AMC. Something like that. I think it would be fun but mainly, I just want Chaykin to catch a big check.)
3. Popeye. (Ongoing TV cartoon. And none of that computer crap. Real Popeye cartoons. There should always be new Popeye cartoons. That should be a law.)
4. The Invisibles
5. Love and Rockets

*****

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Michel Fiffe

1. Sinner
2. Mr. A
3. Dog Boy
4. Love & Rockets
5. Acme Novelty Library

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Unknown Soldier (Joshua Dysart's)
2. Elk's Run
3. Jonah Hex
4. Sandman (Neil Gaiman)
5. Calvin and Hobbes

*****

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Jill Friedman

1. Nextwave: Agents of HATE (HBO series, animated or live action)
2. Y: The Last Man (HBO series)
3. Scott Pilgrim (I'd like to see an animated series that takes the time on the series that the movie couldn't.)
4. She Hulk (2005 reboot)
5. The Boys (They'd cast Simon Pegg and no one else would look as true to their character.)

*****

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Mark Mayerson

1. Kamandi
2. Boys Ranch
3. The Spirit (done with drawn animation and directed by Brad Bird)
4. Fires
5. Market Day

*****

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Grant Goggans

1. Strontium Dog
2. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks
3. Modesty Blaise
4. Charley's War
5. Morrison's run on Animal Man

*****

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Don MacPherson

1) 100 Bullets
2) Talent
3) Catwoman
4) In the Shadow of No Towers
5) Asterios Polyp

*****

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Scott Cederlund

* DMZ
* Gotham Central
* Shazam
* The Airtight Garage
* King City

*****

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Ben Towle

* The Invisibles
* Jack Staff
* Scott Pilgrim
* Tintin
* Cul de Sac

*****

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Cole Moore Odell

1. Orc Stain
2. Sleeper
3. Jonah Hex
4. Jimmy Corrigan
5. Locas

*****

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Scott Dunbier

1) You Are Here (Kyle Baker)
2) Four Women (Sam Kieth)
3) Rocketeer (Dave Stevens)
4) Manhunter (Goodwin/Simonson)
5) Promethea (Moore/Williams III)

*****

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Johnny Bacardi

1. Mobfire (by Guy Ritchie)
2. Scalped
3. Dr. Strange
4. Sugar and Spike
5. Asterios Polyp

*****

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Mark Coale

1. Agents of Atlas
2. American Flagg
3. Lone Wolf and Cub
4. Quantum and Woody
5. Fables

*****

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Rob Clough

1. 676 Apparitions of Killoffer
2. Dungeon
3. Dr. Strange
4. Safe Area Gorazde
5. Multi-Force

*****

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Eric Newsom

1. Greg Rucka's Queen & Country
2. Paul Grist's Jack Staff
3. Jonah Hex (this time directed by Enzo G. Castellari, filmed in Almeria, Spain)
4. Gilbert Hernandez' Palomar stories
5. Kevin Huizenga's Ganges

*****

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Matthew Wanderski

1. Elmer
2. Ivy
3. Aquaman
4. I Never Liked You
5. Blankets

1.-3. must be live-action (in general, I don't like animation, and all things must cater to my likings).

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Return of the Dapper Men
2. Sleeper
3. Daredevil
4. Miracleman
5. I Kill Giants

*****

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Kenneth Graves

1) Zot
2) We3
3) The Tick
4) King City
5) Sandman

*****

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Matt Emery

* Rogue Trooper
* Birdland
* Human Target
* Mr A
* Asterios Polyp

*****

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Dan Morris

1. Domu
2. The Demon
3. Howard the Duck
4. Teratoid Heights
5. Promethea

*****

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Randall Kirby

1. Supernatural Law
2. Maze Agency
3. Blueberry
4. Omaha The Cat Dancer
5. All-Star Squadron

*****

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Matt Maxwell

1. Elektra: Assassin
2. Kirby's Fourth World
3. Dr. Strange
4. The Filth (but oh, the possibilities)
5. Luther Arkwright

*****

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William Burns

1. Nextwave: Agents of HATE
2. Dykes to Watch Out For
3. Catwoman
4. Promethea
5. Eddie Campbell's Bacchus

*****

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Nat Gertler

1. Barnaby
2. Zot!
3. Swamp Thing
4. Angriest Dog in the World
5. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

*****

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Jonathan Baylis

* Ed, the Happy Clown
* Preacher
* Blueberry (done right!!)
* Jimmy Corrigan
* Asterios Polyp

*****

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Joe Keatinge

1. Moebius' Aedena Cycle
2. Steve Ditko's Mr. A
3. Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland
4. Bill Keane's Family Circus
5. David Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp

*****

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Brandon Graham

1. The Bozz Chronicles by David Michelinie and Bret Blevins
2. Havoc Inc. by Mark Barnard and Terrie Smith
3. Grey by Yoshihisa Tagami
4. Appleseed (it has. but I wish it wasn't)
5. Most comics I love I really don't want movies of.

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Abadazad
2. The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
3. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (preferably with a cameo by Steranko)
4. Planetary
5. Understanding Comics

*****

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Indigo Kelleigh

1: Pirate Corp$, as an animated series most likely. Such a great group of characters.
2: Age of Bronze -- have to be an extreme miniseries, though. Maybe several.
3: From Hell -- as a 6-hour miniseries, without Johnny Depp. Stephen Fry as Dr. Gull. Boom.
4: Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth. At least as complex as Watchmen, and far more depressing. Unless it was animated, and in Ware's style, then I'd give it a pass.
5: Asterios Polyp -- As great a comic as it is, it exists to be a comic. I have a hard time seeing how this would translate without losing most of its thesis.

*****

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Fabrice Stroun

1. The New Gods
2. Kamandi
3. Thor
4. The Demon
5. Street Code

*****

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Marc Sobel

1. Grendel
2. Concrete
3. Swamp Thing
4. Little Nemo
5. Locas

*****

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Diana Tamblyn

1. Fables
2. Dr. Strange
3. Hellblazer
4. Sandman
5. Love and Rockets

*****

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Andrew Horton

1. Bottomless Bellybutton
2. Alec (or just a reality TV series about Eddie Campbell)
3. From Hell (As an HBO mini-series)
4. New Gods Saga
5. Acme Novelty Library

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Luann
2. Pearls Before Swine
3. Dilbert
4. Funky Winkerbean
5. Funky Winkerbean (listed twice to really make sure it never gets adapted!)

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. American Flagg!
2. 'Mazing Man
3. Fantastic Four
4. The Unwritten
5. Planetary

*****

topic altered from a pair of suggestions by Mark Mayerson and Michel Fiffe

*****
*****
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Karl Stevens Draws Callers On A Call-In Show


I'm Not Certain Why This Five-Years-Old Neil Gaiman Video Is In My Bookmarks, But Here You Go


Another Random Video From Deep In The Bookmarks Folder


Thorp & Central Business Center 2011 from TWVS on Vimeo.


Video In Support Of Dave Lapp's Book


Rob Tornoe On The Bin Laden Death Story


A James Stokoe-Related Trailer I Can't Remember If I Ran Already Or Not


Robert Boyd Walks Through The Marc Bell/Jim Woodring Show He Curated
via


Musical Performance In Two Parts At Secret Headquarters Shop In LA 01
via


Musical Performance In Two Parts At Secret Headquarters Shop In LA 02
via


A Static Window Re-Presentation Of A Gabrielle Bell Comic
via
 
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May 21, 2011


CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 14 to May 20, 2011:

1. The Tahawwur Rana case begins with the seating of a jury of the businessman's peers. Rana is accused of assisting terrorist activities, including providing supporting for a planned massacre at the Jyllands-Posten offices.

2. Borders posts another month of million-dollar losses and its prospects for an outright buyer look dimmer than ever.

3. Tokyo announces the first banned books in its municipal ban aimed at books with troubling themes.

Winner Of The Week
Brian Gable

Loser Of The Week
Tokyo's manga fans

Quote Of The Week
"TCAF was packed to the gills with amazing comics of all kinds. Stuff I'd never heard of and even a print room that had tons of amazing hipster multi-colored freak outs. Even zines about bicycles. And of course indy comics like Becky Cloonan and Brandon Graham, loads of different stuff. There wasn't a Marvel, DC or Dark Horse table. But from my point of view the show brought in tons of new readers and people who were open to all kinds of different comics, most importantly, art comix. If I worked for Dark Horse or thought that Marvel's survival had anything to do with the future of comics I might be mad. But I don't." -- Dylan Williams

*****

today's cover is from the great comic book series Four-Color

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

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If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near Foster City, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 67th Birthday, Kim Deitch!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Mark Crilley!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Neil Kleid!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Gary Reed!

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Happy 31st Birthday, Sammy Harkham!

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May 20, 2011


Friday Distraction: Greg Theakston's Facebook Photos

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Go, Read: Forest Frolics

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* the jury in the Tahawwur Rana case has now been seated. Rana is the Chicago area businessman indicted for trying to help out on any number of dubious causes, some spearheaded by an acquaintance named David Coleman Headly, including scouting out locations for what became the Mumbai Massacre and plotting to shoot up the offices of Danish Cartoons newspaper Jyllands-Posten. This trial is a big deal, as Headley has already pleaded guilty and supplied Indian and US authorities with enough dirt to discombobulate affairs in a way 10,000 bombs might not have. Rana has for the most part maintained his innocence throughout.

* I don't know if I ever heard about the man who was fired from his job for putting a portrait of Muhammed out in his yard. Now my life is much more complete complete. I have to say I share his objections to the initial news coverage, although publishing the Muhammed cartoons on placards in my yard never occurred to me.
 
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Go, Look: Rare Jeffrey Catherine Jones Color Work

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Your 2011 Anthony Mystery Award Graphic Novel Nominees

imageMy father was very much involved with the Mystery Writers of America, but I never would have known they expanded their Anthony Mystery Awards into a graphic novel category if I hadn't seen this post by Johanna Draper Carlson. The nominees are:
* Scalped Volume Six: The Gnawing Jason Aaron and Jock (Vertigo)
* Richard Stark's Parker Volume Two: The Outfit, Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
* Tumor, Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia)
* A Sickness in the Family, Denise Mina and Antonio Fuso (Vertigo)
* Beasts of Burden, Jill Thompson and Evan Dorkin (Dark Horse)
* The Chill, Jason Starr and Mick Bertilorenzi (Vertigo)
I applaud Johanna's decision to add the artists into the nominations listing, and follow her lead. It looks like the winners will be named at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in St. Louis in September. It's nice that there are enough titles that fall under standard definitions of the genre that an awards category appearance like this is possible.
 
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Go, Read: The Secret Origins Of Level Up

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Please Go Read This WaPo Profile Of Richard Thompson

imageIf the quality of the standard newspaper profile depends somehow on the impressiveness of the testimony-givers, please note that this long Washington Post profile of Richard Thompson includes commentary from Garry Trudeau, Art Spiegelman, Pat Oliphant and Bill Watterson. Watterson's insights are fairly compelling and to the point for someone that never, ever does that kind of thing. I don't know that there's a nicer man I've met in comics than Thompson, and his strip continues to be beautiful and put a smile on my face. There's a bunch of stuff in Michael Cavna's piece I didn't know about, including material about his parents and the exact process by which his Parkinson's was initially indicated.

He probably hates this, but people care enough about his talent that they almost fuss over Thompson; I know I do. I was worried earlier this week that no new Cul De Sac books appeared on the Amazon.com publishing horizon that I actually wrote Thompson about it. He assured me in the calm manner of the way-too-nice senior explaining the way things work to a clueless freshman that both book tracks for Cul De Sac from Andrews McMeel -- the standard books and the bigger books with commentary -- continue unimpeded, just with the next book coming out Spring 2012 rather than this year for Christmas. I can't wait.
 
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Go, Buy: Simon Gane Is Selling Original Art

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Go, Look: Mathilda's Mother

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Not Comics: Russell Patterson And The Meaning Of Life

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Not Comics: Bernard Krigstein In Boys Life

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Go, Look: Love For Dan Hipp's Art

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* please consider helping colorist Moose Baumann in his attempts to raise money for his wife's cancer treatments.

image* here's a discussion of the Green Lantern oath, one of the super-cheesiest things of all time, but also one of the clear touchstones for that character. I think it works for little kids, something you can see if you can memorize while you're reading those books and one of those There Are Rules plot devices that can be fun to sweat through when they become an issue. There's absolutely nothing wrong with something that works that way. It's hardly worth analyzing for its content or dramatic impact beyond those kinds of things, though.

* from Sean T. Collins, Sammy Harkham on Paying For It. At TCJ, more from Jeet Heer on Paying For It. At D+Q, Chester Brown and John Porcellino visit Brown's old neighborhood. Those are all fun links. Brown is almost certainly going to be this summer's blogging subject matter MVP.

* the co-publisher, translator and editor Kim Thompson gives notes on Isle Of 1,000 Graves.

* not comics: the thing about this article on Wonder Woman that strikes me hardest is how past successes with superhero properties like Spider-Man and Iron Man may have resulted in such limited thinking as to what might work and what might not with a property like the Maid of Might. Sure, an invisible airplane could look dopey if you do it one way, but I imagine it could be the coolest thing in the world if you do it another. I've said this before, but once you realize that Wonder Woman could absolutely get over if she were to crash that invisible airplane of hers into the front of Wayne Manor and beat the holy guano out of Batman for 15 minutes in the middle of his next movie, just punching him right down long hallways, it becomes clear that there are several ways for a character like that to work, you have just to stop fussing over the character and do one of them. Also, I figure once Thor gets over with audiences to the tune of a few hundred million, no one gets to complain about the impossible cross-adaptation task represented any other superhero character.

* speaking of mainstream superhero comics, the writer and critic Graeme McMillan suggests that the scale of the violence involved in those stories does more harm than good. I'd agree.

* does anyone else think that the Barnes & Noble purchase offers being discussed is partly B&N being really mean to Borders, like some pretty older sister making a really big deal of her various prom invites so that the whole household hears about them? I like to think so, anyway.

* Chris Pitzer is first one in with his preview of HeroesCon, the great regional full-service comics show and one I'd recommend to anyone in driving distance, no matter how you define "driving distance." It's the model con of its type right now, I think.

* the cartoonist Lynn Johnston is apparently doing weekly video podcasts now.

* I might pay up to $8500 to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger do the "Ma... ma... where's my pa?" chant.

* finally, this looks like a nice feature: Canadian cartoonists discuss the books that inspired them.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Jane Wiedlin!

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Quick hits
Craft
The Plastic Chicken Leg
The Flow Of The Authority
Embracing Comics' Special Effects

History
Scott Edelman Remembers Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Industry
Larry Marder's Liberty Cards Diary 02

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Rob Williams
CBR: Bruce Canwell
Inkstuds: Zach Worton
ICv2.com: Matt Wagner
Robot 6: Sam Hiti, Joe Midthun

Publishing
Manga This Week
Unpublished Don Rosa Art
Eldritch! Coming Back To Life
Congratulations To Zak Sally On Meeting His Kickstarter Goals

Reviews
Kirk Warren: Various
Gabe Bullard: Garfield
Gabe Bullard: Multiplex
Doug Zawisza: Avengers #13
Don MacPherson: Alpha Flight #0.1
Rob McMonigal: Karakuri Odette Vol. 3
Bob Temuka: Teen Titans Year One #6
Jason Wilkins: Rocketeer Adventures #1
Sean T. Collins: Eyes Of The Beautiful 02
Greg McElhatton: Rocketeer Adventures #1
Grant Goggans: John Stanley's Summer Fun
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Pepper Penwell And The Land Creature Of Monster Lake
 

 
Jeffrey Catherine Jones, 1944-2011

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Jeffrey Catherine Jones, a painter and illustrator who influenced comics both as a member of The Studio and as a surprisingly prolific maker of work in the field, died May 19 after a brief period of complications related to issues of lung capacity. She was 67.

imageJeffrey Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944. Her father served in World War II. He returned home from deployment in Germany a couple of years after the fighting had ended, late enough in the 1940s that Jones was old enough to keep memories of his arrival home into adulthood. Jones lived in near-northeast Atlanta, near the Fabulous Fox Theater in that grand movie house's heyday, and describes in her autobiographical notes a living arrangement straight out of a gothic novel: a big house with clay tennis courts, where multiple generations of slightly lost, elderly relatives haunted its airy rooms and moss-canopied lawns. She came of age in an American south that, like her own personal journey and that of the curious, hybrid art form in which she frequently worked, would all the way not resemble itself by story's end.

Jones describes a childhood interested in art for its own sake and for being rewarded by an early facility in making images come to life in a way her peers could understand and enjoy. She mentioned in a later-life essay that unlike many kids that ended up in comics in one form or another, Jones started with a broad interest in art that only later on narrowed into a focus on fantasy illustration and comics. She later cited an issue of Joe Kubert's 3-D work on Tor as a particular inspiration as a child. Jones also read and enjoyed cartoon story strips such as those that Carl Barks wrote for the Disney duck comics, comics to which she returned when reading them to her daughter in the 1960s and 1970s.

She wanted to be a scientist when she grew up. Jeff Jones attended Georgia State College (I think the one that became Georgia State University as opposed to the one that became Savannah State). Jones studied geology in college, building on teenaged experiences searching out stones. She was also a passionate rocket builder, and later spoke wistfully of a time when a kid could purchase supplies for a hobby like that without a background check. "I loved school," she told Sequential Tart in 2004. I was very big into science; had a lab in the basement. I used to make rocket fuel. The tar that budded up from the pavement was a very good oxidant and I would use it in the fuel. I had to build my own rockets out of aluminum tubes from the hardware store. In those days a kid could go into a chemical supply store and buy anything. In high school I was the weird kid -- wasn't into sports; I was into the chess club, Latin club. I was the geeky kid."

Jones began dating fellow Georgia State College student and Atlanta native Mary Louise Alexander in 1964. They were married in 1966. In their early-married months Louise worked at the phone company while Jeff, conscious of the draft, stayed in school. Their daughter Julianna was born in July 1967. By that time, Jones had become a professional cartoonist and illustrator, with a growing portfolio and a promising series of forthcoming gigs. Jones started doing work for the thriving comics fanzine scene in 1964. Her first professional work was for Witzend in 1966 -- it was published some years later. In her on-line autobiographical notes, Jones names Screw Magazine, and foundational underground publication The East Village Other as early markets for her work.

imageSpurred on by a correspondence with Larry Ivie, a first-order fanzine-maker and occasional comics artist, Jones visited New York in the winter of 1967 with the idea of finding a place to launch a more ambitious career in commercial art. Jones found an apartment during that winter's notorious February blizzard that rented for $100 a month. Upon returning to Atlanta, Jones told her pregnant wife he'd be moving to the Big Apple with her or without her. Louise was more than happy to make the move, and their daughter was born that summer. Jones' client began to expand to include minor assignments for Gold Key and King and slightly higher profile work at Warren (a cover would wait until a 1970 effort for Eerie #67). She also provided illustrations to the sister publications Amazing and Fantastic. She created a few memorable covers for DC Comics, including a couple of pieces for their Wonder Woman comic book, and also worked for Skywald and Charlton.

Jones' move to the big city was specifically well timed in terms of her illustration career. Successful movie poster illustrator -- and one time prolific comic book/comic strip artist -- Frank Frazetta had stormed into the consciousness of the prose publishing world with a series of highly successful paperback covers that found their sales stride in the form of a Conan series that launched in 1966. Art directors wanted to find people that painted like Frazetta; Jones came as close as anyone out there to the successful artist's facility and the underlying grace of her figures.

Jones' first formal book illustration job was the dust jacket and frontispiece for an unreleased Edgar Rice Burroughs work, I Am A Barbarian. Jones' second book job was four color plates for a book of Robert E. Howard Solomon Kane short stories called Red Shadows. Among her prominent assignments during the next dozen years were the Ace paperback editions of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series and various high-profile Andre Norton releases. Jones worked in a variety of genres, however, and with a range of cover subject choices; she kept up a prolific pace of 10-15 covers a year for nearly a decade. A nice selection of that initial burst of covers can be found at Bud Plant's site here.

Louise and Jeffrey separated during the early 1970s. She kept the name throughout the early part of her own successful comics writing and editorial career, eventually taking on the last name of eventual husband Walt Simonson.

imageIt was roughly in that divorce period that Jones began work on the first of two celebrated, independent magazine strips. Her strip Idyl appeared in National Lampoon in the early 1970s. A later comic, I'm Age, appeared in Heavy Metal in the early 1980s. Jones was one of the few artists to easily span the late-underground and early over-ground periods. A spotlight magazine called Spasm came out in 1973 from Last Gasp (she also did a short work for the Print Mint publication Junkwaffel); one of the more memorable covers for the publication Star*Reach came from Jones' drawing board, a portrait of sorcerer king Elric that appeared in 1976. You could also say that Jones bookended the early independent comics movement. A late 1983 one-shot from early independent label Pacific Comics called Ravens & Rainbows collected a number of Jones' fantasy-tinged comics and related artwork and repackaged them for a new, comic store-oriented generation of readers. In the end, however, the momentum was sustained. It's believed that Jones stepped away from comics largely because artistic interests took her elsewhere, for instance into expressionistic artwork over the classic rendering of figures and set pieces. Jones lingered long enough to proved one of the most memorable covers in the short run of Epic Illustrated, published in 1984 and a sign as to how mainstream comics had absorbed a lot of what distinguished the early independents.

Jones' legend was already secure, by prodigious output and via synergistic proximity. Starting in 1975 Jones worked for a few brief but memorable years in a large, shared Chelsea neighborhood space with fellow artists Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael William Kaluta. The four artists had early success and boundary-pushing in common, at a time when work in comics and perhaps more broadly illustration seemed at the end of a cycle rather than at the beginning of one. That space and their time together was known as The Studio -- a book of that name came out in 1979 and solidified the space's reputation, ironically after all four men had moved on to different work situations. The legacy of that much talent doing what was collectively very good work at a point of almost monolithic and degrading corporate influence over the kind of art they wanted to do has provided The Studio with a legacy that can be embraced even by those that didn't particularly care for the artists' output. The idea of a dedicated workplace that would allow for coercive influence one artist to another has been carried over into very nearly ever cartoonists' collective space initiative since.

Beginning in 1998, Jones, after years of consideration, pursued sex reassignment surgery and began to live as a woman. A flurry of mental health issues that surfaced in 2001 led to a nervous breakdown and accompanying personal and professional setbacks. In 2004, Jones apparently got back on her feet. Now settled into an isolated area in the Catskills, she began to reach back out into the comics and illustration worlds, attending a convention here and there, connecting with fans that knew her at stages of her career spanning from the undergrounds to trading cards, keeping a lively on-line presence through a web site stuffed with scans of work and later through social media services. Facebook and its focus on wide outreach, curatorial participation and recurring accomplishment seem perfectly suited to Jones and her philosophy of an in-the-moment interaction with art. Always pressing for new areas of artistic exploration, in a Sequential Tart interview in 2004 Jones said she had recently been working in sculpture in terracotta.

A documentary film about Jones by Maria Capardo called Better Things: Life + Choices of Jeffrey Jones has been in the making for some time, pressing forward as much as possible despite a recently failed kickstarter campaign to secure more significant funding. Capardo was one of the first sources close to the artist that confirmed her passing. That project gives us this poignant footage of Jones discussing her mortality, and one hopes it can one day see completion.

imageShe cited "I Bled The Sea" (2001), a two-page illustrated poem, as a personal favorite among her later-period comics.

Jeffrey Catherine Jones reportedly died at 4 AM on May 19 after suffering from emphysema and bronchitis -- it was asserted that the doctor noted some hardening of the arteries around the heart as well. She was too weak and severely underweight to muster a fight, and had in fact been brought into hospice care early this week after a period of rapid decline. There was no resuscitation order. Jones leaves behind a legacy of image-making and comics creation of high craft quality and sincere, personal expression, of making comics fans reconsider the value of art as a narrative device and of making illustration fans aware of the mix of word and picture, of story, always story.

As evening closes on the first day without this special artist since the mid-1940s, testimonials from peers and fans both professional and personal continued to wink into existence. The artist and author James Owen wrote, "C.J. was one of the best painters, ever; one of the most elegant draftspersons, ever. And a very gentle soul who was trying to make her way in the world."

style note: Jones says she felt like she was meant to live as a woman from a very early age; the personal pronouns and possessives have been changed in the above to reflect that statement.

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May 19, 2011


Sammy Harkham Confirms Rumors Of Kramers Ergot 8


At least I think that's what this is.
 
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Jeffrey Catherine Jones, RIP

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The filmmaker Maria Cabardo -- a documentary filmmaker who was working on a film about the artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones -- announced via twitter earlier today that the artist has passed away. Judging from unsubstantiated chatter on Twitter and Facebook, the artist had slipped into hospice care fairly quickly a few days ago, and had not been expected to recover. Jones was 67 years old.
 
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Please Consider Buying Powr Mastrs Pages From CF

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apparently, the talented artist could use a cash infusion to make an emergency house payment
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Cons, Shows, Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I don't know that I've paid any attention to this handsome, Craig Thompson-drawn poster for the forthcoming SPX. I want to attend, but my goodness there are a lot of shows now and they all seem to be the same $400-$600 airplane ticket away from where I live.

* this is pretty fascinating: a bunch of comics folks are setting up kind of a programming/promotional salon focused on comics across the street from the convention center during Comic-Con International. Without endorsing this specific set of events -- I look forward to seeing if they're good, and I hope so, but we won't know until CCI -- I endorse the crap out of the idea of this thing. I think this kind of event makes perfect sense and I'm only surprised there isn't more of it.

* Wizard's Big Apple Con (Spring Edition) is this weekend -- you can look at the comics guests here. That's a great photo of Matt Kindt. That Minnesota con that's on a fairgrounds is this Saturday and Sunday. The festival in Maine is one-day-only this weekend as well, and there's a growing show in Olympia that will feature cool people like Megan Kelso, Chris Cilla and Jim Blanchard. That one's on Saturday. I'd love to see that one. They have Larry Gonick!

* I enjoyed Sean Phillips' delight in being able to take some time at a comics show to shop for a specific comic book, as he was able to do at last weekend's Bristol event.

* in case you missed it, Mark Evanier had a short post up about a likely hotel tax hitting San Diego tourists, a tax that will help the city pay for their part of convention center expansion costs.

* finally, Dustin Harbin's diary comics about the Doug Wright Awards are building into a criticism of other shows' awards, whether Harbin intends them to or not. It's not a criticism with which I agree -- why not have an awards that honors things like best lettering? why is that view of comics not legitimate? -- but it's always fun when someone makes their opinion known.
 
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Go, Look: Iron Lung Woman

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

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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Smythe Of Scotland Yard

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Go, Look: Random Wally Wood Wizard King Art

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Go, Look: Two Artists Doing Interesting Barbarian Work

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Vic Catan, Jr.

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Walt Simonson
 
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Go, Look: Bungle Island

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Brian Hibbs wants to find some talented alt-cartoonist a job.

image* Ryan K. Lindsay expresses a deep and abiding love for artist Riley Rossmo's depictions of various superhero characters. Lindsay is right in that Facebook has become this huge repository for visual imagery far ahead of what one might have thought it would.

* iFanboy does its readers the favor of pointing out that "we sold out of ____" announcements should never be taken at face value.

* not comics: I had about five people overnight e-mail me a link to Phil McAndrew's fun essay on tips for creators, which means someone prominent (if not several prominent people) likely had it well before I'm linking to it here. I apologize to that person or those people. It's never a bad thing to reflect on one's general professional conduct.

* Daryl Cagle points out that a big winner of this week's gossipy Arnold Schwarzenegger news is an old cartoon by Cam Cardow. There is likely something profound to be said about conducting a life in public in a way that old cartoons can be applied to new scandals, but I'm not the person to say it. In case you were wondering, Team Stan Lee is still on board with the action star for a cartoon.

* not comics: Michael Buntag recommends a slideshow of inspiring bookstores. Not not comics: Greg Burgas recommends Nextwave: Agents Of HATE, the funny Warren Ellis/Stuart Immonen effort that felt like they were getting away with something they shouldn't have been.

* finally, Tom Devlin writes in praise of the Lars Jansson Moomin strips that D+Q just published.
 
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Happy 44th Birthday, Steve Lieber!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Shirrel Rhoades!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Tom Gammill!

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Quick hits
Craft
Craig Thompson Makes A Mural
This Is Serious So Give Me A Quarter

History
This Would Indeed Be Creepy
With The Super-Power Of Murder
Rejected Batman And Robin Adventures Covers

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Fabien Vehlmann, Jason
The Damned Interviews: JH Williams III
Inkstuds: Brandon Graham, Paul Pope, Sam Hiti

Not Comics
Fall 2011 Animation Books

Reviews
Sean T. Collins: Lose #3
Johnny Bacardi: Various
Matt Seneca: Paying For It
Johanna Draper Carlson: Various
Rob McMonigal: Groo: Hell On Earth
Robert Stanley Martin: Paying For It
Don MacPherson: Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965
Greg McElhatton: An Elegy For Amelia Johnson
Grant Goggans: The Essential Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2
Bob Temuka: Star Wars: Boba Fett: Bounty On Bar-Kooda
Michael C. Lorah: Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Vols. 3-6
 

 
May 18, 2011


Go, Look: Beautiful Imagery From Dominique Goblet

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Go, Read: Rob Tornoe On The Tsunami Cartoons

The best comics-related things at Editor & Publisher these days all tend to be columns by Rob Tornoe. While this site has linked to issues surrounding cartoons that chose to respond to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year as they developed, Tornoe's latest E&P piece stitches them all together in smart fashion. It's worth a short review if you're familiar with some of what happened, and putting your toe in if you're not.
 
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Go, Read: The Divorce By Johnny Ryan

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

imageHere 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.

*****

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 on me. I apologize.

*****

JAN111196 EYE O/T MAJESTIC CREATURE GN (MR) $18.99
I was surprised how much I enjoyed my first reading of this very odd series of real-life/fantastically-flavored vignettes from Leslie Anne Mackenzie Stein, although I'm not certain how much of my reaction is "it has a quality" and how much is "it's quality." Not yet, anyway. I'm going to read it again soon.

DEC100075 ADV OF DR MCNINJA TP VOL 01 NIGHT POWERS $19.99
Dark Horse's trade program featuring successful on-line efforts continues with Chris Hastings' well-regarded humor strip.

JAN110328 FLASH OMNIBUS BY GEOFF JOHNS HC VOL 01 $75.00
Geoff Johns is one of the three or four important mainstream comics writers of the moment, and one of two with big bodies of work at DC. I'm far enough behind the times not to realize there's enough material he's done with the Scarlet Speedster to merit a big, fancy volume, but I'm certain may fans out there will be delighted to have this material in this form.

imageMAR110442 ROCKETEER #1 100 PENNY PRESS $1.00
MAR110416 ROCKETEER ADVENTURES #1 (OF 4) $3.99
There is not one percent of my person that desired any more comics starring the late Dave Stevens' Rocketeer than we already have, but while I'm sure 15-year-old me might have a by-the-numbers rant on the matter, the present-day me can't really get worked up about it. The latter is an anthology title featuring many admirers and I think even a few same-age peers; I have to image it will be at least solidly crafted. Publisher IDW did more than right by the original material with multiple editions and presentations. I hope this does whatever it is they hope it will do.

DEC100444 SCIENCE DOG SPECIAL #2 $3.50
I like to pretend these are the adventures of Dalgoda's little brother.

MAR118166 IMAGE FIRSTS JACK STAFF #1 (PP #967) $1.00
FEB118156 IMAGE FIRSTS ORC STAIN #1 (MR) (PP #966) $1.00
It's not a great work for new serial comic books, which makes $1 reprints of two pretty good Image series that much more attractive, especially if you're unfamiliar with them.

MAR111222 IF N OOF GN $29.95
This massive graphic novel from Brian Chippendale failed to garner a lot of attention upon its initial, extended, press-the-flesh market release. My memory is that it's a highly entertaining blend of vaudevillian comedy, modern-comic landscape exploration and 1980s movie moments, any element of which might be enough to recommend the book by itself.

FEB111211 ILL GIVE IT MY ALL TOMORROW TP VOL 03 $12.99
I haven't caught up with this series yet, but it's the generally best-reviewed of the manga series that have new volumes out this week and you have to admit that title is an all-timer.

MAR111105 PAYING FOR IT HC $24.95
Your big, bad, major-release, lots-of-press book of the week. One thing we haven't seen yet that I thought we might by this point is a backlash in terms of negative reviews, perhaps from younger cartoonists. If you are reading this site and don't already know all about this book, you are probably my mom.

JAN111242 PINOCCHIO HC $29.95
Another major work for the week: a mostly silent re-telling of the classic story featuring some beautiful comics pages Winshluss. This is sort of a surprise release in that a lot of people I know bought the French edition figuring they wouldn't get one otherwise.

*****

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Go, Look: Kent Williams Draws Some Ladies

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Analysts: April 2011 Direct Market Estimates

The comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com has offered up their usual array of lists, estimates and analysis regarding the performance of comic books and graphic novels in the Direct Market of comic and hobby shops, this time for April 2011.

image* Overview
* Analysis
* Top 300 Comic Books
* Top 300 Graphic Novels

My favorite numbers cruncher John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has begun his analysis of the month here.

One thing we see this month is that despite the reduction of top-end numbers in previous 2011 charts, that isn't necessarily reflective of some sort of structural issue: the first issue of of the Marvel event series Fear Itself sold almost 130K into the market (and will surely pass that number on selective reorders), while the latest volume of the solid performer Fables trade series had over 11,000 copies sprinkled throughout the direct market.

Beyond that, you can almost take your choice as to what to analyze and how to analyze it. The numbers up top generally continue to impress no one. If you compare the numbers this month to the numbers five years ago, you find that in 2006 there were only 32 comic above the 50,000 sales mark as opposed to the 28 that hit that level now. But where the comics rest above that point has changed radically. Only four serial comic books sold over 70K last month. In 2006 five comics sold over 110,000 copies.

That may not be as bad as it sounds. The month to month figures suggest a bit of staunching in terms of recent trends favoring decline. John Jackson Miller assures us that the comics down the charts from this more elite class are selling 100, 200, 400 percent more than they did in previous years, and that this has a impact across the market. It's still super-uneasy for me to conceive of a DM where the top books have taken such a big hit in sales. This is primarily a hunch of mine, in that the market seems to me to have been set up to deliver best-selling superhero books, and any inability to do just that is a bit scarier for that perceived emphasis. I'm also not sure that the market as currently constituted isn't calcified to the point it resists change. For example, one ameliorative circumstance of the last big stale period for serial superhero comic books is that you saw some very real attention paid to reliable and well-executed serial books like Bone and Sandman. Most of those books have been chased from the market outright, and those that remained seem to hit a glass ceiling really, really quickly. (There are a few exceptions.) I wonder at the long-term effect of a Direct Market that maintains this exact shape.
 
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Go, Look: Alt Comics Tumblr

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Daily Cartoonist: Bill Kellogg Launches Syndicate

imageAlan Gardner at The Daily Cartoonist has a nice piece up about Bill Kellogg launching what seems to be sort of comics mini-syndicate, called Ink Bottle. Kellogg is known as the guy who grew Chad Carpenter's Tundra into a 450-client sales success. A few things about this new effort seem worth noting. It's limited to comics. Kellogg is only going to represent a limited number of strips. Getting out of the Ink Bottle contract if something comes along that sounds better seems to be pretty easy, which should benefit both sides over the long run. Gardner also notes that Ink Bottle will be publishing its offerings on-line on a two-week delay, a standard strategy to allow newspapers the latest work while still allowing folks to sample the represented comics in a central, easy-to-find location.

Strips currently represented are Carpenter's Tundra, That Monkey Tune (Michael Kandalaft), Sunshine State (Graham Nolan), Holy Molé (Rick Hotton), Biz (Dave Blazek), Future Shock Comics (Jim and Pat McGreal), Half Baked (Rick Ellis) and 15 Minutes (Robert Duckett). The syndicate launched Monday.

from Nolan's Sunshine State
 
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Go, Look: Odd, Beautiful-Looking Steve Ditko Job

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

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Not Comics: A Devoted Mel Crawford Blog

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Go, Look: 1970s Marvel Headers

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Go, Look: The Tracy Twins, Dicky & Nicky

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Go, Look: Felix The Cat #4

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* so Al Hirschfeld's iconic New York residence was sold, for a price over $5 million. I doubt Hirschfeld paid that much.

image* happy five-year anniversary to the routinely stupendous sketchblog kept by Mattias Adolfsson. And it looks like there's a book now.

* mostly not comics: I don't know if it's the summer convention shopping season or what, but it seems like there's a bunch of nice stuff out there to buy from individual cartoonists. Dan Zettwoch has a print of Pee-Wee Herman's best bike in the world. Theo Ellsworth unearthed a few copies of Thought Cloud Shrines. Joseph Lambert has a nice-looking very affordable print for sale as well as a bunch of original art. I'm not sure if or exactly how she's selling them, but Lucy Knisley has another Harry Potter poster up. I'm sure there are a ton more, but those are the ones that jumped out at me doing the rounds this morning.

* you know, Fables has done really, really well for DC.

* speaking of DC: I'm not really a consumer of their superhero comics, so my vote certainly doesn't count, but I always have a negative fannish reaction to seeing the old World War II-era characters walking around in the company's modern adventures. For one thing, and I've written this a bunch of times now, the culture of celebrity would favor those characters over ostensibly more important modern heroes like 10,000 to one, the same way that coverage in the real world currently favors older athletes within team sports. (If you think that football coverage favors a Brett Favre over a Josh Freeman now, imagine if Johnny Unitas were still out there leading fourth-quarter comebacks.) Plus it just sort of seems lame to me. Is there a good story behind any of that stuff, or are those characters just sort of there?

* David Brothers discusses some of those super-solid Hellboy comics that everyone likes but very few people take the time to explain why. Speaking of taking time to explain the why of something, this piece does just that for a recent Alan Davis mainstream illustration gig.

* not comics: some notes on the state of the digital transformation of newspapers. Even when they're full of good news, these kinds of articles depress me, and I'm not certain why.

* what it looks like when you get a professional photographer to take pictures at your con.

* finally, Kevin Huizenga is indeed amazing.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Arthur Suydam!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Gabrielle Gamboa!

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Quick hits
Craft
Cute
Cuter
Fighter
Layout Workbook 10
The Spanish Armada
The Post-Grad Sorting Hat
Lovely Darwyn Cooke Cover
Folks Love These Costume Makeovers

Exhibits/Events
Wilfred Santiago In Seattle
More On That Trickster Salon
Go See J. Chris Campbell At Fanaticon

History
Alpha Flight Is Exactly The Same As It Was 30 Years Ago?

Industry
Support For Zak Sally's Kickstarter Project
Thor: The Mighty Avenger Page Up For Sale
CBLDF Auctions Off Molly Crabapple Original

Interviews/Profiles
iFanboy: Joe Quinones
Mindless Ones: Mark Buford
CBR: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Talking Comics With Tim: Patrick Zircher

Not Comics
Tintin Teaser Trailer
Richard Cook On Thor

Publishing
Failed Ideas For Sky Mall Magazine
Big Event Series Solicitation Slapfight
It's Nice To See Mike Sterling So Happy
Frank Cho Bringing Liberty Meadows Back

Reviews
Jeff Lester: Various
Nina Stone: Various
Mark Verheiden: Various
Andrew Wheeler: Reunion
Graeme McMillan: Various
Sean Kleefled: Mixxing Linx
Greg Burgas: Flashpoint #1
Sean Gaffney: Naruto Vols. 1-3
Bob Temuka: Vertigo Resurrected #1
Michael C. Lorah: Yotsuba&! Vols. 8-9
 

 
Go, Look: Chris Schweizer's Team Cul De Sac Offering

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I know Schweizer's a fan of Richard Thompson and Cul De Sac because he kept stepping across the hallway at HeroesCon to listen to me interview Thompson... during a panel he was on!
 
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May 17, 2011


Go, Look: CCS Thesis Summer Showcase

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explained here
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: A Publishing News Column

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

*****

* the cartoonist Andi Watson has done three Skeleton Key stories for the new Dark Horse Presents. The DH announcement of the first story is here. Watson mentions the work and the titles of all three stories here.

* Brian Wood is bringing his DMZ to a close with its 72nd issue. The next one out is #65, so there's a while yet before the close.

* here's a potentially interesting publishing strategy, announced by DC Comics late last week. The week that the fifth issue of their Flashpoint "event" series ships, it may be the only DC comic book that ships that week (the language DC uses suggests this, but hedges a bit). If that comes off as most people think it will, this would ostensibly throw a big spotlight on the event-ness of that specific event comic, and in that it even earns a mention on this site some extra attention seems likely. The flip side of this is that if DC displays the discipline to not ship anything else for an entire week, this throws the spotlight on just how much control they have over shipping product when they want to exercise it. A longstanding objection of some forward-thinking retailers is that the mainstream companies could do a much better job of being precise with their shipping of certain titles within a monthly schedule.

* there are a bunch of worthy Kickstarter projects up right now, all clamoring for your attention and patronage, all willing to dispense with the premiums in order to secure your support. One that caught my attention is Zak Sally's Sammy The Mouse project from his La Mano.

image* NBM will put out a fourth volume of their Little Nothings series from Lewis Trondheim, comics I would eat with a spoon if that were possible. That this volume will come out mid-year as opposed to the first few months on the calendar will hopefully place it into more people's minds come best-of-year list-making time. You can see some of that material on the NBM site.

* a second Crossgen property is being revived by Marvel: Mystic.

* Blank Slate is firing up a high-concept anthology book for this fall, called Nelson. It's being edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix.

* Ditkomania #84 is out.

* this is more a publishing news column than a column about stuff that people have for sale, but I'm sure you'll forgive me a slight digression to note that the minis distributor Profanity Hill is apparently selling copies of Justin Green's Sacred And Profane for five bucks a pop. That's a good comic at five times the price.

* Valerie Gallaher is blogging again.

* not comics: Art Spiegelman is providing illustrations to one of a number of limited releases being put out by legendary singer-songwriter Van Dyke Parks. Thanks to Jamie S. Rich for bringing that to my attention.

* Evan Dorkin has announced that some Beasts Of Burden material will appear in the new Dark Horse Presents.

* Jillian Tamaki talks about placing a short work of hers into the next Best American Comics.

* Hinako Takanaga announces the end of The Tyrant Falls In Love. No fair quizzing me on any of that, and doubly-unfair to quiz me on content, but damn if that isn't an terrific-sounding title for a comics series.

* the cover to Richard Sala's The Hidden, no longer hidden.

* finally, I keep forgetting to mention Benjamin Marra's new web-oriented project: Space Barbarians Of The Ultimate Future Dimensions.

*****

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Go, Look: Jeffrey Brown Art Show At Scott Eder Gallery

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Borders Begins Final Series Of Shudders And Heaves?

More bad news for troubled bookstore chain Borders, who in trying to reorganize through bankruptcy has resembled less a shiny new robot being rebuilt and pointed towards the stars than one of those rapidly decaying, half-melting monsters that seem to pop up in Miyazaki's films. The latest article at Detroit Free-Press -- Borders is an Ann Arbor based company that is moving many of its offices to business-hungry Detroit -- suggests a total lack of serious buyers, with a few businesses sniffing around here and there for a small subset of stores or other partial purchase. Meanwhile, the company continues to hemorrhage massive amounts of money according to any standard of time applied to its recent performance: $24.3 million in March alone, $300 million in fiscal 2010.

I think the freaky part of the Borders story is that while the idea of restructuring seems like a plan, and the number of stores closed would seem to indicate that they may have a new philosophy of getting out of some urban markets served by multiple stores and perhaps trying to keep the suburban stores that may anchor an entire region book sales wise, there's little to suggest that the fundamental problems facing the chain can be reorganized off the table. It really does look like an enterprise far enough past its time that contracting to meet what may be required from them right now in terms of corporate set-up and infrastructure will cause the whole thing to shrink to the point it maybe doesn't exist anymore.

I believe Borders remains the second-largest national bookstore chain, and has been a key player in the migration of comics into trade form -- from both traditional companies and translated manga publishers -- and onto bookstore shelves over the last dozen years.
 
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Go, Look: Bob Sikoryak Sketches The 2011 DWAs

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* jury selection has begun in Chicago federal court in the case against Tahawwur Rana, the businessman linked to David Coleman Headley in a wide-ranging plot focused on enabling Headley to assist terrorist faction in scouting and executing activities including a shooting up of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The fact that Headley confessed and has been supplying U.S. and Indian authorities with information about his role in doing advance work for the Mumbai Massacre has kicked this whole thing into overheated backroom political status. The Rana team and extended circle of family and friends has pretty consistently maintained Rana's general lack of knowledge about Headley's admitted-to activities and has denied accusations directly related to his own involvement, although there have been a few rumblings that Rana could make a deal in the same way Headley did. Well worth watching, and in terms of the cartoon it may be worth noting if the Danish Cartoons Controversy is presented as a kind of spur to get someone involved that would not have been involved otherwise.

* an innocent plea was entered by the Chechen man accused of readying a bomb for the Jyllands-Posten office, a device that exploded and injured the subject. There haven't been enough trials of folks accused of directly doing things related to the Danish Cartoons Controversy for this one to be ignored, although I think it's a pretty straight-up criminal case with little in the way of interesting cultural grind in the background.
 
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Go, Look: The Astral Edge

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Tokyo Presents First Half-Dozen Books For Manga Ban

imageANN has a straight-forward piece up on the first six manga named by the Tokyo Metropolitan for potential restriction under its controversial revised laws that burrow past pornography to works with troubling themes and storylines; Sankaku Complex has a similar piece more stridently and entertainingly written. It's kind of a horror show of a news story on a lot of levels, from a critic using paste-overs to make a work seem more extremely dirty to talk that controlling these works is necessary for social order. Both pieces point out how the disruption in business that comes with being named to the list can have an immediate and drastic impact on the work's publishing opportunities. There's also a significant element of "look what's happening" to it, which has a different tone than "look what may happen."

The books are Oku-sama wa Shogakusei [My Wife Is an Elementary Student], Seiji Matsuyama (Akita Shoten); Aki Sora, Masahiro Itosugi (Akita Shoten); Lovers & Sharing, Yashi Natsuba (Shobunkan); Koibito 8-go [Lover No. 8], Makoto Ojiro (Shonen Gahousha);
Hanamizawa Q-taro Jisenshu Hana-Hiyori, Q-taro Hanamizawa (Mediax) and Midori no Kisetsu [Blue-Green Season], Maako (Moerl).
 
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Not Comics: Way Better Than A Fondue Set

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Go, Read: Dylan Williams On TCAF, Conventions Generally

imageDylan Williams has written a lengthy post concerning the convention about which everyone right at this exact moment is probably a bit sick of reading lengthy posts -- TCAF from 10 days ago -- but it's a potentially important piece in a greater sense because Williams staked out some territory in a previous essay about the future of the conventions vis-a-vis his publishing efforts at Sparkplug and this serves as a bookend to that essay. You should both if you have the time. I rarely do justice to how Williams thinks, but it seems to me that he's suggesting that conventions and festivals can be an extremely important tool in securing a future for a certain kind of comics with its greater, potential audience, and that many conventions simply don't fail to do this. In fact, some things about some conventions may work against the optimal future as he sees it.

I'm not coming from the very specific place Williams comes from having a publishing house and being an artist, but I do think different shows have different functions and at this point the benefits of different kinds of shows may be calcifying. I need to write about this at greater length some point soon, but I think that conventions that don't at least consider adding a festival element -- a unique space, a tamping down on a certain kind of commerce, free access to a wider public -- run the danger of not only failing to do what shows like TCAF do, but also may risk failing to do what they've traditionally done well because there's no longer the broad industry follow-up necessary in keeping and serving certain kinds of fans. In other words, an average person that goes to Toronto or Brooklyn may be perfectly served by planning to go to next year's show or by paying peripheral attention to a certain kind of comics or even a certain set of creators; the potentially more intense, commerce-oriented, immersive fan that may go to a regional or national or mainstream-focused comics convention I might suggest isn't being all the way served by simply hitting that next show or keeping comics in mind. But coverage issues, pricing issues, and the general disjointed way that comics can treat the person that wants to buy in more completely may keep them from doing anything other than mark the calendar one year down the line. Comics in general may actually be doing a better job serving the needs of more casual fans than making and keeping intense ones, which I realize is probably the opposite of what most people believe.

At any rate, you should read Williams' well-articulated point of view. I'm glad there's a subset of shows that work for a publisher like Sparkplug, and I don't think there's anything wrong with making distinctions and hard choices as to what works and what doesn't in such a tricky overall venture like making comics. He's not criticizing; he's surviving.
 
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Go, Look: Oddball Alex Toth One-Pager

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Please Consider Putting SAW On Your General Radar

I've been having a difficult time keeping track of events and announcements related to The Sequential Artists Workshop, an effort to create another cartooning school spearheaded by comics makers/educators/all-around nice people Tom Hart, Leela Corman and Dan Stepp. Sometimes blogging about something boils down to many of the discordant elements that make up a bad date or wobbly friendship -- for whatever reason, and if you could figure it out you'd fix it, you just have a hard time connecting. I hope to improve my efforts in coverage, but I also imagine that many of you might want to follow this effort on your own or, like me, need to catch up. So here's what I can find out there right now that seems pretty important.

* The SAW Blog
* Workshop Fundraiser (that's the video, up top of this post)
* More General Donation Page
* Student Testimonials
* Update On Progress, May 2011
* Facebook Page
* Twitter Feed
 
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Go, Look: Various Cartoons In Boy's Life

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Go, Look: Tailspin Comics #1

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Go, Look: Comics About Dead People

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Go, Look: The Heady Days Of The Jungle Ladies

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Ninety-Three Issues Is A Lot Of Spooky Comics

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* D+Q presents The Death-Ray, which according to photo evidence is either a really big book or they're employing Elves in the workshop now.

image* the artist and critic Matt Seneca writes about Poem Strip, which seems to be one of those important publications that nobody really writes about at great length, without anyone knowing why that is. Speaking of critical pieces, it's good to have Sean Collins reviewing anything given his busy schedule right now, and I'm particularly glad he's doing Garden because I honestly don't think I understand it.

* speaking of Collins, he has a longish post up here about some recent back and forth between the journalist Kiel Phegley and Marvel Comics' public point man Tom Brevoort on what he describes as a kind of comics-culture conspiracy theory -- that Marvel has long favored certain concepts in its publishing line because their film division more directly controls the film rights to that character or characters. Good for Iron Man, Captain America and Thor; bad for X-Men and Spider-Man. It's a compelling piece even if you, like me, have only a cursory knowledge of Marvel's publishing moves and next to no interest in the particulars of its movie deals. I'd suggest another complicating factor with the X-Men and Spider-Man: those characters have been in a lot of stories over the last 20 years; it could be argued they're just a bit more generally burnt out as a franchise than, say, the Avengers set-up that Brian Bendis figured out or the full-on embrace of super-spy material and World War 2 revisionist thinking that Ed Brubaker brought to Captain America. The X-Men is a particularly problematic franchise for Marvel, I think, because so many of its fans are invested in some particular aspect of the franchise that doing anything even slightly different -- say Grant Morrison's multi-year love letter to the Claremont/Byrne/Cockrum era -- is seen as A Great Betrayal in a way that's not offset by new readers. In other words, I doubt there's any Bendisian Knot splitting on the horizon for the mutants are the web-crawler.

* Jeet Heer discusses his friend Chester Brown and Brown's new book Paying For It.

* Mark Evanier notes that a new San Diego hotel tax is almost an inevitability, given the general lack of displayed knowledge as to how the city is going to pay for expansions at their convention center.

* here's one of those always-valuable Paul Gravett survey pieces, this time on Finnish comics.

* I like all the people involved and members of my family enjoy the TV show (it's on too late for me), but doesn't a project like this one seem like a holdover from the days when comics could saturate the market with six-figures of a book? I'm just trying to wrap my mind around what the goals are for a project like this from a publishing perspective. I look forward to reading it.

* not comics: somehow it's always deeply unsettling whenever Drew Friedman is asked to draw someone less than 40 years old.

* the writer Sean Kleefeld has an extremely long post up reminding us that the Blackbeard of the Marvel Universe is a time-displaced Ben Grimm.

* KC Carlson talks about what he usually likes about comics during one of those periods we all have where maybe he doesn't want to read any.

* because you're old? (sorry, Brian; couldn't resist: happy anniversary)

* finally, David Welsh pulls up an old survey-style article to point out works from a defunct publisher that might be revived by someone else to good effect.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Brigid Alverson!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Michel Fiffe!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Jake Parker!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Dave Sim!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 32nd Birthday, Brandon J. Carr!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Dan Zettwoch!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Craft
G Is For Gerenuk
Bar Fights And Boobs
Tony Taka's Shining Artwork
Making Him Love A Costume
Minck Oosterveer Draws Spider-Man

History
Comic Opera
Oz-Related Comics Covers
Aquaman Is The Best Damn Superhero
Drinky Crow's First Published Appearance

Industry
FCBD Musings
Win A Copy Of Refresh, Refresh
How To Keep Customs From Seizing Your Comics

Interviews/Profiles
Jimdo.com: Daniel Zalkus
Mr. Media: Wilfred Santiago
Matthew Badham: Ian Edginton
Washington City Paper: Steven Weinberg

Not Comics
Beard Check
Mike Sterling Reviews Thor
Peter David Reviews Smallville Finale
Christopher Allen Reviews Smallville Finale
Help Japan's Quake/Tsunami Recovery Through Viz App

Publishing
Big Oil Cartoons
The Arctic Marauder Previewed
See The Progress On Oil & Water
Science Dog Special #2 Previewed

Reviews
Paul O'Brien: Various
Austin English: Stigmata
Garden Review Round-Up
Don MacPherson: Various
Yan Basque: Flashpoint #1
Grant Goggans: Numbercruncher
Carlo Santos: Black Butler Vol. 5
Greg McElhatton: Superman #711
Sean Gaffney: Kekkaishi Vols. 1-3
Kate Dacey: Blood Alone Vols. 1-3
Michael Buntag: Action Comics #900
Erica Friedman: Comic Yuri Hime Vol. 3
Bob Temuka: American Splendor: Unsung Hero
Ed Sizemore: Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Garrett Martin, Hillary Brown, Sean Edgar: Various
 

 
May 16, 2011


Go, Bookmark: Dustin Harbin = New TCJ Diarist

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Some TCJ.com-Related Drama For A Monday

imageThe Comics Journal went off-line for a few hours this morning, it looks like because they forgot to re-up on the TCJ.com address. It's back now for me and for everyone I know, except maybe for those who have cache issues. It's probably worth noting I got a flood of e-mails on the matter, which means that the new TCJ has settled into a habit for at least a certain cross-section of comics fans. With articles like this lovely piece by RC Harvey on the sad, haunting fact that we lost the archivist Bill Blackbeard six weeks before we realized we lost Bill Blackbeard, which is something that's bothered me since word of his passing made the rounds, I don't blame anyone making the new TCJ daily reading.

The new print TCJ is in that nebulous half-life between being printed and available in certain outlets but not widely available for purchase quite yet. I pissed off a lot of Direct Market retailers by noting that Amazon.com was selling it a few months ago for a tremendous discount. When those discounted sales were canceled, I got angry e-mails from people that ordered it after learning about it on CR. Kind of a win-win situation, as far as one may delight in disappointing and upsetting people. So what's up? I asked Team TCJ what happened and got a response back from Gary Groth that indicated they basically underestimated orders drastically and are waiting three to four weeks until they can fulfill all of them before they fulfill any of them so as not to short one segment over another. Everyone else in the pipeline has adjusted their strategies according to how they usually adjust to such delays.

Groth added a friendly, "This is so tedious an explanation that I can't imagine you could pass this on to your readers with inflicting catatonia on them." If nothing else, I'm sad to learn Gary has apparently never read this site and experienced first-hand the obvious, high priority we place on tedium.
 
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Go, Bookmark: Justin Green And Brian Hagen At Pen Grenades

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posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* the Copenhagen Post digs into that bizarre trial in Jordan of a "heck no, I'm not going anywhere near there" Kurt Westergaard and 19 other defendants for making/use of the Danish cartoons. Apparently even a few local advocates of unity through Islam think it's a ridiculous show trial. They get a bit into what happens if the verdict comes back guilty -- there's no real mechanism for deporting someone convicted of a crime involving expression. The trial is currently suspended for another week or so, I believe, which allows for the writing of feature articles like this one.

* one of the men in Ireland accused of plotting to murder the artist Lars Vilks for his Muhammed-on-head-of-dog cartoon, done in part as a commentary on the Danish Cartoons Controversy, has lost his bid to have evidence tossed from the courts. That prosecution in general has gone swimmingly well for the authorities.
 
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Go, Look: Mother's Day By Paul Slade And Hans Rickheit

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posted 5:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Diary Strips From SPX Sweden Feature Americans

imageChristian Maiwald wrote in to note that Swiss cartoonist Kati Rickenbach penned at least two diary cartoons about the recent SPX in Stockholm, Sweden that feature not-named North American comics figures: one that snores, and one that's having a lot of fun at the afterparty. I can't vouch for the portrayals in any way -- I can't read them, and I don't even have a working knowledge of Rickenbach's cartoons of this type from which to draw a comparison (in other words, they could be completely fanciful) -- but I do think it's interesting that we seem to be seeing way more comics about cons than we used to. And by interesting, I mean terrifying.
 
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Go, Look: That Dan Clowes Exhibit At Fumetto

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via
 
posted 4:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Carlos Trillo, 1943-2011

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Carlos Trillo, the versatile Argentinian comics writer who seized an international readership penning stories for some of the finest illustrators in the art form, including many from his country's rigorous comics art tradition, died in London on May 8. He was 68 years old.

Among the prominent artists with whom Trillo worked are Horacio Altuna, Domingo Mandrafina, Peni, Jordi Bernet, Eduardo Risso, Alberto Breccia, Walter Fahrer and Enrique Breccia.

Trillo was born in Buenos Aires in 1943.

He made his professional debut in 1963, penning a story for Patoruzu and working as a freelance editor for a variety of publishers and publications. Among the features to which Trillo contributed writing work from 1964 to 1968 were La familia Panconara, una familia muy rara and El hada Patricia. In 1969, Trillo penned his first significant work about comics, three volumes in a wider cultural series on the specific subject of writing humor.

In the early 1970s, Trillo famously took on art director duties at the satirical magazine Satiricon (1972-1973). That publication was banned by Argentina's military dictatorship in 1976, although I'm certain it reappeared on stands at a later date. Trillo apparently penned several parodies of other people's work for that publication before and after work was suspended. He also worked on the staff of the publications Mengano (1974-1976) and SuperHumor (1981-1982). In 1980, Ediciones Record published what may have been his most significant work about comics, a history of the form focused on the thriving Buenos Aires/Argentinian market: Historia de la historieta argentina.

imageBy this time, Trillo's writing career was firmly established: he had become a part of the comics history he described in his non-fiction prose. His sphere of influence would grow over the span of three-plus decades, as he became one of the world's most consistent scriptwriters. Trillo wrote the well-received Un Certain Danari for the legendary Alberto Breccia in 1975, quickly followed in that same calendar year by Chavez le Fou for Horacio Altuna. He also continued writing for several magazines in a variety of genres, placing work in El Pendulo and Superhumor>. Trillo teamed with Altuna on a newspaper strip that became a career highlight, El Loco Chavez. That ran from 1975 to 1987 in the newspaper Clarin -- Argentina's most-read newspaper, a politically centrist publication with a massive share of Buenos Aires' collective eyeballs on a daily basis. Glenat collected a portion of that work for the French-language market. A replacement strip, El Negro Blanco, ran from 1987 until 1993 and featured the artist Ernesto Garcia Seijas. Key to Trillo's work reaching multiple markets was his collaboration with Enrique Breccia Alvar Mayor, the late '70s, early '80s effort that was republished in Italian, Spanish and French. His album-length collaborations with newspaper strip partner Altuna were also key in establishing a presence in the Spanish market -- Altuna eventually moved there -- and Trillo also placed work in English through Heavy Metal. A partnership with Jordi Bernet starting in the mid-1980s cemented for Trillo an attentive international audience. Much of Trillo's best-regarded work, which soon included another significant partner, Eduardo Risso, exhibited rock-solid values of their representative genre but added a level of reflective social satire.

imageIn the 1990s, Trillo published Cybersix with frequent creative partner Carlos Meglia. That series was published as a book series in several languages and in multiple markets starting with Argentina. It was a significant, international sales success. A live-action version of the property bombed, while a later cartoon adaptation was well-received; no matter the fate of any spin-off, the comics were a definite sales highlight for the writer, and, partly as they came in such quick succession, a notable accomplishment for their content.

Trillo was a two-time winner of the Lucca comics festival's Yellow Kid Award for Best International Author (1978, 1996), and won the Salon Internacional del Comic de Barcelona's prize for best writer of the year in 1984. A significant career highlight came in 1999 when Trillo won the writing prize at the Angouleme Festival -- back when Angouleme had a writing prize -- for La Grande Anarque, an effort with the artist Domingo Mandrafina published in France by L'Echo Des Savanes. In June 2001, a major exposition of his works was given at that year's Napoli Comicon, where Trillo was given the Premio Attilio Micheluzzi as a career honor.

Trillo's work was still being actively published in several markets, including the sometimes difficult-to-penetrate North American comics industry. IDW published his Chicanos in an eight-issue series in 2005-6, collected into two trades. Another work with artist Risso, the 600-page Borderline, was turned into a series of trades by Dynamite at around the same time, volumes published and volumes yet to come. Trillo continued to publish with a variety of artists including new partners such as Domingues and Ignacio Noé. Starting in the mid-2000s, Trillo even wrote another serial for Clarin, called Hunted, which was illustrated by Alejandro "O'kif" O'Keefe. Trillo continued creating in prolific fashion across several platforms until the time of his passing.

Carlos Trillo is survived by a wife -- the writer Ema Wolf, with whom he was vacationing at the time of his passing -- and their two children.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Missed It: Ethan Rilly Four-Pager Ex-Montreal

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Brian Gable Wins National Newspaper Award

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Brian Gable of the Globe And Mail won the Editorial Cartooning category at the National Newspaper Awards ceremony held on May 13 in Ottawa. Those are awards that have been given out since the late 1940s, switching about twenty years ago from the Toronto Press Club to the Canadian Newspaper Association. This year was marked by the first significant impact of digital media reporting on the awards. This is the fifth of these honors for Gable, who also won in 1986, 1995, 2001 and 2005.
 
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Go, Look: The Largely Underrated George Roussos

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

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Go, Look: Tubby #8

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Go, Look: Terrific Comics #4

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Go, Look: Deep Breath

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Esquire Cartoons From May 1959

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Joyce Farmer wins, perhaps for all time, the "most fascinating day job ever held by a cartoonist" contest.

image* new Sam Kieth pages previewed at Chris Ryall's blog.

* the writer and critic David Brothers responds to that whitening of the X-Men article in resolutely critical fashion. Brothers is much more ensconced in mainstream comics than I am, and I appreciate reading his perspective on that front. I think we would agree that these issues are important and that the author of the essay loaded his arguments to the point of being untrustworthy on the issues raised.

* here's a story that I assumed was run that I can't find in the archives so it gets a big fat missed it: the opening of Fantastic Comics in the old Comic Relief space, with Image's Erik Larsen as one of the partners. Sometimes there are stories that you know you just sort of assumed you wrote something about; my bad. This is of course the second of two stores to open in the wake of the collapse of legendary Comic Relief, after The Escapist Comics Bookstore. If only multiple stores leaped to life every time we lost a great shop. CR reader Charlie Hancock, in writing in says "As of a few days ago, it's kind of sparsely stocked, but has all the new comics, a variety of collections & graphic novels, and a giant Thor's hammer display in the middle of the floor that some kids were climbing on."

* Top Shelf co-publisher Brett Warnock provides the expected, photo-driven report from the SPX in Stockholm some 8-10 days ago. Here's a cool photo set from the cartoonist Vanessa Davis from that same event.

* this strip gets that much better with that line tagged on the end.

* there was a bunch of good Bill Gallo-related stuff that went up late last week with the cartoonist's passing. There was a nice post at Cagle. There was a reaction post at Daily Cartoonist. Also at Daily Cartoonist are links to some audio recordings featuring the great sports cartoonist.

image* the cartoonist Ty Templeton explains all things God Of Thunder in four panels.

* not comics: the Financial Times has an article up that rejects the made-up standards by which magazine articles judge the most livable cities by substituting a bunch of made-up standards of its own and being snarky about the old ones. I swear to God, the entire feature writing world is becoming threads from a comics message board circa 1998. Suggesting that no not-rich people live in Vancouver -- I know about 50 -- and that a qualifying standard for a livable city is that it's easy for some out-of-town goofball to tick off things to do on a Sunday afternoon (even I know the difference between livable and fun to visit) hardly makes for a compelling case. To suggest that Monocle's list is the same as everyone else's probably isn't a safe bet, either, and reducing that publication's relentlessly articulated notions about a certain kind of artisanal commerce as a lifeblood of communities as accounting for big cups of coffee makes me glad that the whoever wrote that dismissive one-liner likely won't ever be living in the same city I will.

* not comics: the Kevin Cannon-illustrated Ben And Lucy Play Pond Hockey won a bronze medal in its kids' book group at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards. There were two graphic novel categories
46. Graphic Novel/Drawn Book -- Humor/Cartoon
Gold: The Adventures of Jasper: Secrets of the Petroglyph, by Glen Lovett (Lovett Pictures)
Silver: Bogus: An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel, by Karla Oceanak; illustrated by Kendra Spanjer (Bailiwick Press)
Bronze: Revenge of the Pun!, by Barry Corbett (Corbett Features)

47. Graphic Novel/Drawn Book -- Drama/Documentary
Gold: The Nature of Wonder: Volume Three, by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier and Sami Makkonen (Automatic Pictures Publishing)
Silver: David: The Illustrated Novel, by Michael Hicks Thompson (Shepherd King Publishing)
Bronze: Mi Barrio, by Corey Michael Blake (Round Table Press)
but I can't for the life of me recall if I've ever heard of any of those books.

* not comics: I had no idea there was an animated version of Buddha being done, but Mike Rhode sent me this link that says it is so.

* early Marvel: scorn for the Invisible Girl and 10,000 jokes about touching Thor's hammer.

* finally, if you ever doubt that Wizard is functioning in some sort of strange world of positioning brands and naming boards of directors and offering stock related to a publishing venture that's barely breathing except as a thing that issues stock, all you have to do is look at whatever current PR they've sent out. The only way I'll ever make a million dollars is if someone gives me five million and I'm allowed to lose four million of it, but it's always weird to me how things end up.
 
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Happy 10th Birthday, Savage Critics!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Chester Brown!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Chris Browne!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Daniel Goossens!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Rick Altergott!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Ray Zone!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Craft
Cap'n Ahab
Roger Langridge Gags
Doodles During Down Time
How Well-Read Is Grant Morrison?
Ben Towle Draws Auguste Escoffier

Exhibits/Events
A FCBD In Phoenix
TCAF Is Now A Must-Visit

History
Waddy's Wagon
Why He Hates The Bat-Man
Minding The Generation Gap
Looking At Famous, Sequentially-Oriented Tapestries
Scott Edelman Hopes You Can Solve His Bill Gallo Mystery

Interviews/Profiles
TCJ: Will Elder
Mr. Media: Brian Walker
CBC Books: Alex Fellows
Speakeasy: Daniel Clowes
Heroes Online: Chris Pitzer

Not Comics
Wise Advice
Peter Laird Reviews Thor
See Frank In Off B'Way Play
Jim Woodring Tribute On Adventure Time
Fourth Installment Of Ted Rall's Disposable Up Now
Marilyn Monroe Reading Some Funnybooks (thx, Devlin Thompson)

Publishing
Praise For GBB

Reviews
Yan Basque: Various
Chris Mautner: Garden
Ao Meng: I Will Bite You
Todd Klein: The Flash #9
Derik Badman: Lone Pine
Bob Temuka: What If...? #6
Michael C. Lorah: The Nobody
Scott Cederlund: Thor Omnibus
Bob Temuka: Swamp Thing #60
Todd Klein: Brightest Day #18-19
Rob McMonigal: Tyrannosaurus Beth #1
Johanna Draper Carlson: Spontaneous #1
Chris Marshall: Saga Of The Swamp Thing Vol. 4
Mick Martin: Gladstone's School For World Conquerors #1
Bhob Stewart: Barney Google: Gambling, Horse Races & High-Toned Women
 

 
May 15, 2011


Go, Read: Remembering The Artist Louise Altson (1910-2010)

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posted 9:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Balloon, By Kevin Huizenga

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posted 9:18 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Where The Underground Comix Artists Lived

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click through for the map key; stay for the Jay Kinney essay excerpt
 
posted 9:16 am PST | Permalink
 

 
So Who Are All These People? -- TCAF 2011 Edition

What follows is photos of folks from my recent trips to the Center For Cartoon Studies and last weekend's TCAF.

I apologize in advance for being this bad with names and faces. It's not you, I swear. Every time I do one of these, I end up posting people I know really well into these round-ups. I am that visually unsophisticated.

I'll be adding names to these as they come in. If you think any of them are wrong, I'd love to know that, too.

*****

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119 -- Keith Jones
*****

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125 -- Box Brown

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126 -- Pat Aulisio

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127 -- Jordan Shively

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130 -- I'd say it's probably Ken Turner, but I've been burned before!

*****

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131 -- Tom Kaczynski

*****

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132 -- Marta Chudolinska (second from right), George Walker (far right)

*****

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133 -- Andy Ristaino

*****

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135 -- Jamie McKelvie, maybe?

*****

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136 -- Sean Ford

*****

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137 -- Gabby Schulz, Edie Fake

*****

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139 -- Katie Shanahan, Adriana Blake

*****

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140 -- John Martz

*****

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142 -- Mike Yoshioka

*****

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145 -- Marie-Claude Mongeon

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146 -- Rupert Bottenberg

*****

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148 -- Ryan Claytor

*****

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149 -- Mike Holmes

*****

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150 -- Team Blank Slate: so far I have Kenny Penman at far left and Joe Decie at far right

*****

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153 -- Andy Brown

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155 -- Greg Means

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156 -- Wei Li

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161 -- Eva Volin

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171 -- Josh Tierney

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172 -- Jordyn Bochon, Tim Carpenter

*****

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173 -- Tom Humberstone

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174 -- Katie Skelly

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175 -- Brian Evinou

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181 -- Ross Campbell

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182 -- Ray Fawkes

*****

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184 -- Eric Wight

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189 -- Eric Skillman

*****

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194 -- Stephen Floyd

*****

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195 -- JP Coovert

*****

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197 -- Bob Flynn

*****

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199 -- Joe White

*****

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201 -- Nathan Stapley

*****

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202 -- Gabe Miller

*****

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203 -- Nick Maandag, Jason Kiefer

*****

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204 -- Ethan Rilly

*****

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211 -- David Huyck

*****

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218 -- Robin Nishio

*****

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220 -- Bryan Munn

*****



*****

thanks so far to Robin McConnell, Diana Tamblyn, Nat Gertler, Aaron Costain, Michel Fiffe, Ben Towle, Pat Aulisio, Kathryn Immonen, Steven Wintle, Michael DeForge, Bob Flynn, Oliver East, Seth, Rich Dannys, Ed Brisson, @realgonegirl, Annie Koyama, Dustin Harbin, Phil Jackson

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Periscope Studio's Pen And Ink Drawings

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

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

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Happy 75th Birthday, Ralph Steadman!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Stéphane Blanquet!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, John Fantucchio!

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I actually have no idea if Mr. Fantucchio, one of the most unique of the fandom/fanzine artists during that expression's heyday, is still with us or not
 
posted 9:02 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #254 -- Non-Conventional Wisdom

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Take A Creator. Name A Work Considered A Or Even The Great Work By That Creator And Put It In The #5 Slot. Name Four Works You Suspect May Be Better And Put Them In The #1-4 Slots." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. "Pictopia"
2. "The Anatomy Lesson"
3. V For Vendetta
4. From Hell
5. Watchmen

*****

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Dave Knott

1) Monkeyman & O'Brien
2) Godzilla
3) Jonni Future
4) Gumby
5) Longshot

*****

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Jason Green

1. Next Men
2. Namor
3. Babe
4. Man of Steel
5. Uncanny X-Men

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Daredevil: Born Again (#227-233)
2. Daredevil #168-181
3. Elektra: Assassin
4. Batman: Year One
5. The Dark Knight Returns

*****

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Scott Cederlund

1) Invisibles Volume Three #1
2) New X-Men: For Tomorrow
3) Animal Man #5
4) The Filth
5) WE3

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Young Allies
2. Boy Commandos
3. Young Romance
4. Justice Traps the Guilty
5. Incredible Hulk

*****

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Grant Goggans

1. Doctor Who
2. Legion of Super-Heroes: "There's This Girl"
3. Dan Dare
4. Ro-Busters: "The Terra-Meks"
5. Watchmen

*****

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Shannon Smith

1. The Invisibles
2. Flex Mentallo
3. The Filth
4. Animal Man
5. All-Star Superman

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Doctor Strange #48-53
2. Cap'n Quick & A Foozle #1-2
3. Madame Xanadu #1
4. "Death Strikes at Midnight and Three" in DC Special Series #15
5. Detective Comics #475-476

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. "My World" (Weird Science #22)
2. "The Comic Strip Characters' Christmas Party" (Mad #68)
3. "Julius Caesar!" (Mad #17)
4. Cannon
5. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

*****

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Robin McConnell

1. I Never Liked You
2. Showing Helder
3. Paying For It
4. Apostles
5. Playboy

*****

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Justin J. Major

1. "Philippe is standing on it"
2. "Lie Bot, what is the saddest thing?"
3. Orange creamsicle alcohol drink (the drink, not the strip)
4. "Ray's Place"
5. The Great Outdoor Fight

*****

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Gavin Lees

1. We3
2. Flex Mentallo
3. The New Adventures of Hitler
4. The Filth
5. The Invisibles

*****

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Scott Dunbier

1) You Are Here
2) Cowboy Wally
3) "Leticia Lerner, Superman's Babysitter"
4) Plastic Man
5) Why I Hate Saturn

*****

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Max Fischer

1. Thirteen (Going On Eighteen)
2. Kookie
3. Melvin Monster
4. Bridget And Her Little Brother Newton The Nuisance
5. Little Lulu

*****

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Danny Ceballos

1. Doom Patrol
2. Animal Man
3. St. Swithin's Day
4. The Invisibles
5. All-Star Superman

*****

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Chad Nevett

1. Wildcats Volume Two
2. Automatic Kafka
3. Codeflesh
4. Adventures of Superman #613-624
5. Wildcats Version 3.0

*****

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Sean T. Collins

1. "Browntown"
2. "Flies on the Ceiling"
3. "Tear It Up, Terry Downe"
4. "A Date with Hopey"
5. Ghost of Hoppers

*****

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Des Devlin

* "Four Freedoms"
* "Breaking Home Ties"
* "After the Prom"
* "Elect Casey"
* "The Chars"

(I think Mr. Devlin meant for "Four Freedoms" to go in the #5 slot; I can't tell)

*****

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Ben Ostrander

1. Blueberry
2. The Airtight Garage
3. Madwoman of the Sacred Heart
4. Arzach
5. The Incal

*****

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Mark Coale

1. Manhunter
2. Thrilling Adventures
3. Fantastic Four
4. 1st Issue Special
5. Thor

*****

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Thomas Scioli

1. The Forever People
2. Eternals
3. Thor
4. Captain Victory
5. Fantastic Four

*****

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Joe Keatinge

1. Hip Flask
2. Spider-Boy Team Up
3. Cable
4. Superman: Transilvane
5. Final Incal

*****

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Matt Maxwell

1. Elektra: Assassin
2. Ronin
3. Batman: Year One
4. Sin City (The Hard Goodbye)
5. The Dark Knight Returns

*****

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Stergios Botzakis, Ph.D

1. Daredevil: Born Again
2. Batman Year One
3. Daredevil #191
4. That Yellow Bastard
5. The Dark Knight Returns

*****

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Stergios Botzakis, Ph.D

1. The Question
2. The Shadow
3. Batman
4. Detective Comics
5. Green Lantern/Green Arrow

*****

topic altered from a suggestion by Matthew Badham; thank you, Matthew

*****
*****
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Paul Hornschemeier from thisartist on Vimeo.
via


A Short Documentary Featuring Editorial Cartoonist Jeff Stahler
via


Video Employed To Introduce Best Book Nominees At Last Weekend's DWAs
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This Week's Video Designed To Distract Us From A Declining America
via


Team Guys With Pencils At TCAF
via


Lorenzo Mattotti Signs A Book For My Pals Gil And Amy


Opening Sequence To 1972 TV Version Of Go Nagai's Devilman
via


Sock Anthology Previewed
via


Steve Brodner Animation On Death Of Bin Laden


Various Chicago Comics Stores On FCBD 2011
via
 
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May 14, 2011


CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 7 to May 13, 2011:

1. The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar had his day in court over the 2009 banning of two of his books. The judge heard from a lawyer representing the cartoonist and his publishers and a lawyer representing the Home Ministry and various officials posted within. A decision will come this summer.

2. Two books were seized by Canadian officials on their way to TCAF, for the usual reasons that they were naughty. The officials were apparently super-polite about it, though.

3. Bill Gallo, one of a vanishing breed of sports cartoonists, passed away. The creator of "General Von Steingrabber" was the recipient of a significant number of fondly-recalled memorials from fans and fellow professionals.

Winners Of The Week
Team TCAF

Loser Of The Week
Jordan

Quote Of The Week
"You can only lose something you have. The people who read my books have already lost trust in the government." -- Zunar, on whether or not his cartoons could cause people to lose their trust in the Malaysian government.

*****

today's cover is from the great comic book series Four-Color

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*****
 
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Congrats To This Year's CCS Soon To Be Alumni And If I Were In Vermont I'd Surely Go To This

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Francoise Mouly is speaking to the graduates today, and the public is invited
 
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If I Were In Bristol, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near Hawthorne High School, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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Happy 55th Birthday, Joe Field!

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Happy 87th Birthday, Brad Anderson!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Francois Avril!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, David Chelsea!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Bob Wayne!

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Happy 28th Birthday, Sarah Morean!

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May 13, 2011


Friday Distraction: Society Of Illustrators Videos

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: A Publishing News Column

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

*****

* the cartoonist Malachi Ward shows off a page of work that will be appearing in the final issue of MOME.

* Daily Kos has added Jen Sorensen and Matt Bors to its cartoon line-up.

* a lot of the coverage of an event like last weekend's TCAF is asking people what projects they have coming out and when; the key is remembering what you hear back, which isn't always first priority, and then straining to recall if you're allowed to talk about what you heard. That's the long way of saying you might want to poke around here for that kind of thing.

* Ger Appeldoorn is going to be the new editor of a Dutch MAD.

* so is the Chase collection due out by the end of the year the first-such from that fondly remembered DC Comics series? I'm not certain. I do know at one time that people collected the individual issues with the thought that there might never be such a collection.

* so one of the Harvey Pekar posthumous projects might not come off. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, but everyone seems to agree that things sound dire.

* somehow I missed the fact that Fantagraphics is doing a collection of Bill Griffith's non-Zippy comics stories. Griffith's underground work is one of comics' great, under-appreciated sources of comics material.

* Jim Starlin is bringing his Breed concept back, through Image.

* Udon Entertainment has dropped the floppy comics format to focus on another variation of the trade paperback.

* the Ditko Comics site has a look at this summer's Pure Imagination collection of Ditko comics.

* here's a page of comics from a forthcoming Zatanna/Black Canary team-up story. I like those characters just fine, but it's really bizarre when you can sell only 110,000 Batman comics on a very, very good month to assume that there's any sort of sustainable audience for characters maybe two-dozen places down the depth chart.

* it looks like they're making comics out of the Kevin Smith Six Million Dollar Man script from a dozen or so years ago. I'm not certain how we've avoided a Will Ferrell Six Million Dollar Man movie. It will be hard for any new comic to match the fundamental awesomeness of the 1970s Charlton effort, of course.

* finally, new Mack White? Why didn't someone tell me? Other than Brad Mackay, I mean. That's the trailer below.

*****



*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Wendy MacNaughton Illustrates The SFPL

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thx, John Vest
 
posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Matt Bors On The Hajo Lion King Cartoon

Good article by Matt Bors at Cartoon Movement on complaints over a cartoon by Hajo de Reijger depicting President Obama as a baboon in a Lion King-style scenario that has him lifting up Osama Bin Laden's head. The article notes that the blase reaction of European cartoonists to this kind of imagery, but challenges the assumption that follows, that there isn't cognizance of the issues such choices represent. For instance, comparing people to monkeys is a common tactic taken against black players in soccer stadiums all over Europe.

One of the rhetorical hiccups that comes up when processing issues like this is the automatic presumption that a cartoon that uses racist imagery is best understood as some sort of referendum on the innate racism of the person making that art. That's why you find so many debates over whether or not the cartoonist is racist and to what degree. In actuality, you can make all sorts of racist statements or make art with racist elements for any number of reasons, ranging from insensitivity to wanting to be mean to wanting to call attention to yourself to a simple misunderstanding of how certain visual keys are going to be interpreted. Just because you can look at the artist that made a racist statement or racially insensitive art and reasonably confirm that this person would probably not turn a fire hose on black people in the American Deep South 50 years ago doesn't mean that making this kind of statement is desirable or even allowable. There should be an even stricter standard for a professional maker of cultural imagery.
 
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Go, Look: TCAF Comics

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Missed It: Digital Point Man Ron Perazza Leaves DC

This is where I saw news that DC Entertainment Vice President Ron Perazza has decided to forgo a planned move to Burbank in the still ongoing DC split of company tasks. Rather, he'll stay in New York, leaving the company after a short period. Perazza is probably best publicly known as the driving force behind DC's now-collapsed Zuda imprint, which I believe is considered one for the noble effort pile as opposed to the crash and burn column by those who process those kind of mainstream comics news stories in much smarter and more regular fashion than I do. Perazza is one of those DC employees with a skill set and track record that even in tough times for publishing will likely be expected to secure a new position of some sort in short order if he wants one. Where this leaves DC's digital efforts I have no idea, although one gets the sense that things are calcifying in a way that the market may drive the company in certain directions for the next half-dozen years. To be honest, I had little idea what DC was up to long-term even when Perazza was on board.
 
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Go, Look: Bill Sienkiewicz Cover Mini-Gallery

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Garry Trudeau's Inbox Is More Interesting Than Yours Is

The site Politico has been copied on an exchange between cartoonist Garry Trudeau and a lobbyist named Lanny Davis over Trudeau's criticism of Davis' relationship with loathsome Ivory Coast thug Laurent Gbagbo. Davis believes the details of that relationship are pertinent to the characterization; Trudeau disagree and is unwilling to apologize. I lean towards Trudeau here, at least based on that initial article. For instance, that the lobbyist only took half of the money offered doesn't change the characterization because the characterization isn't based on the amount of money taken; it's based on having any relationship with the strongman Gbagbo at all.
 
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Go, Look: There Really Was A Magazine Called Horseshit

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Collective Memory: Toronto Comics Art Festival 2011

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF), held May 7 to May 8, 2011, at the Toronto Reference Library in Toronto, Ontario.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention
* Location
* Host City

Audio
* Comic News Insider
* Comics Podcast Network
* Guys With Pencils
* TheComicBooks.com

Blog Entries
* Across The Universe
* AdHouse Books
* Adventuresome
* Andreas Schuster
* Aparna Varma Blog
* Awolla's Balls To The Walls

* Ben Towle
* Bleeker The Rechargeable Dog
* Blurs Of The Tired Eyes
* BoysLuv.com
* Brian Evinou
* Brood Of The Outerfish
* bubble.wrap

* Caitlin Cass
* Canada Tour Headlines
* CanCulture
* Clark Adams
* Comic Book Daily
* Comics Beat (Category)
* Comix Cube
* Connor Willumsen
* Conundrum Press
* Conundrum Press 02
* Cream Puffs

* Dan Nadel At TCJ
* Dave Kellett
* Doug Wright Awards Entries For 2011
* Dustin Harbin

* ebabble comics art
* Edward Gauvin
* Erika Moen
* Erika Moen 02
* Espace Studio
* E.T. Press

* Faith Erin Hicks
* Farm Boy In The City
* Fleen
* Flog!
* Forbidden Planet
* From Byron To Buffy

* Gina Gagliano
* gullible's travels

* Hijinks Ensue

* (I'm) Not A Fanboy
* Inkstuds

* Jeannie Phan
* John Porcellino 01
* John Porcellino 02
* Jonathan Mahood
* J. Sorese

* Ken Turner
* Kevin Czap
* klovharu
* Kuriousity
* Kuriousity 02

* mark thisse thinks
* Matt Hammill's Blog
* Megatronica
* Michael DeForge
* Mommy Running Through
* MTV Geek
* Mystery Board

* Namesake
* nesslee
* Niall Eccles

* Oracular Dream
* Overcompensating

* Phil Rickaby
* Pui Yan Fong

* Robot 6 (Category)
* Rosemary Travale
* Rosemary Travale 02

* Sean Azzopardi
* Sean Ford
* Sean T. Collins
* Secret Acres
* Sequential (Category)
* She Said Pop
* Skull Kickers
* Stuff No One Told Me
* Success Fashion Trends & Lifestyle

* t42
* Tara Tallan
* Teach English In Japan
* The Alabaster Sock
* The Back Row
* The Becka Blogs
* The Crooked Little World
* The Jason Turner Project
* The Mary Sue
* The Porcupine's Quill
* timfishworks
* Tom Devlin At Drawn And Quarterly
* Tom Humberstone
* Tom Neely
* Tom Scioli
* Torontoist
* TorontoRealEstateMarket.Net

* Uterus Parade Press

* Werebears And Only Children
* Wowee Zonk

* X///ATT

* zubkavich
* Zub's Art Refuge

Miscellaneous
* Chalk Full Of Dreams
* Doug Wright Awards Blog
* Dustin Harbin's TCJ Diary
* Hijinks Ensue Fumetti
* Maurice Vellekoop At TCAF
* Nintendo Pipeline Message Board
* Revolution Series By James Turner
* TCAF comics by galsan

News Stories and Columns
* Daily Cartoonist On The Doug Wright Awards
* Toronto Standard

Photos
* AdHouse Books
* AdHouse Books 02
* Agnes Garbowska
* AkaokA

* Blog TO
* bottomlesspop
* Brad Mackay

* cfrakes

* Dave Lapp
* DH
* dharbin

* Erika Moen

* Flog!

* Illustrophile
* Inkstuds
* isabox

* Jamie Coville
* Jason Turner
* jess.fink
* jimmyx69
* John Porcellino
* Julia Wertz

* Koyama Press At TCAF

* Maison Immonen

* Open Book Toronto

* Quill & Quire

* Reactor Blog
* Robin McNerdel

* Sarah Glidden
* sniderscion
* Squidface And The Meddler

* thedoodlers
* TCJ
* TCJ 02
* Tom Devlin At Drawn And Quarterly
* Ty Buttars

* verabee

* Wendy Ding

Twitter
* #tcaf

Video
* GC4K: Ben Towle
* GC4K: Gina Gagliano
* GC4K: Christopher Butcher
* GC4K: Ab. Velasco
* GC4K: Barry Deutsch
* GC4K: Jim Ottaviani
* Guys With Pencils Podcast 01
* Jim Zubkavich
* One Minute At TCAF
* The Adventure Time Panel
* The DWA Best Books Video

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Toronto Comic Arts Festival: Pencil it In from Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Vimeo.

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*****
 
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Go, Look: Marvel Comics Splash Pages, May 1971

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

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Go, Look: Photos Of Bill Gallo's Sports Night (1968)

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Go, Look: Doug Moench Working With Russ Heath

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Go, Look: More Wally Wood Inky-Dinks Imagery

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Go, Look: Doctor Heinrich Frankenstein

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I don't think anyone would be surprised to learn that the writer Robert Kirkman created Super Dinosaur just to run around with whomever's in that suit; I also don't think anyone would blame him.

* not comics: I'm not always up on how such stories work, but I have to think that NBC taking a pass on a Wonder Woman TV project is a blow to that brand specifically and DC's assumed new place as bright constellation in the Warners universe generally, at least as much as the idea of that project was considered a clever way to get that character over in a medium in which she's enjoyed past success and didn't have the risk of what many felt was a movie that would have been difficult to impossible to film. There was kind of a "smart kid taking shop class" aspect to that initial announcement that looks like hubris now as well. Between you and me, I'm not certain why the character doesn't work in a movie project -- a stone-cold ass-kicker from a magic island of hot ladies sounds like a good time to me, especially if you get someone funny like Josh Holloway to do all the slow burns required of being the dude in that set-up -- although to look at this another way Wonder Woman wouldn't be the first once-potent character of the 1940s to slip into second-tier status some decades later.

image* I'm pretty sure that whenever anyone writes about Richard McGuire, they're doing so just for me.

* the worthy-to-hold-the-hammer Chris Sims suggests Thor comics to read after you see the movie. Ideally, there would be one obvious Thor comic to read and a bunch of a secondary choices for critics like Sims to suggest, but Marvel's never been all that on the ball with their trades program that way.

* we really need a Jimmy Corrigan one of these.

* I haven't done enough looking around for Free Comic Book Day reports, but I enjoyed this short piece on the event as experienced by those going to Atomic Books. My understanding via various e-mails is that it was a good-to-great event overall.

* not comics: this caught my attention mostly in that I can't fathom enjoying any of the movies more than the comic books on which they've been based, except maybe in the case where the comic book in question is really, really bad. But the superhero ones all seem to work far better for me on the printed page, even ones like Iron Man which really benefited from being able to cherry pick from a bunch of different takes on the character. Of course, that's not what the article's about -- it's about maybe not being able to find a comic book version you'd like even if you try to find one -- but that's what got me to thinking.

* finally, this was bound to happen sooner later: someone hijacked a defunct publisher's site and directed people to donate money in order to save that publisher.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Andrew Pepoy!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Lloyd Dangle!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Diane Noomin!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Marv Wolfman!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Frank Santoro!

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Quick hits
Craft
Two Posters
Rina Piccolo Sketches
Nick Abadzis Sketches
Geoff Grogan Draws Hellboy
Jeremy Eaton Draws Thor (Sort Of)

Exhibits/Events
Dodgem Logic Night

History
The Return Of Nate Gray
Steve Ditko On Reed Crandall

Industry
Manga On Free Comic Book Day
Larry Marder On Those CBLDF Cards

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Peter Bagge
Inkstuds: Johnny Ryan
CBC Spotlight On DWA Winners
The Bat Segundo Show: Daniel Clowes
In Central Pennsylvania: Mike Hawthorne

Not Comics
Chris Butcher Re-Emerges
J. Caleb Mozzocco On Thor Movie

Publishing
Iron Man #504 Previewed
Alpha Flight #1 Previewed
Mystery Men #1 Previewed
Just Add Ink Comics Due June 15

Reviews
Brian Hibbs: Various
Naomi Fry: Paying For It
Doug Zawisza: Chew #27
Don MacPherson: Various
Kate Dacey: Gosick Vol. 1
Christopher Allen: Various
Charles Hatfield: Lone Pine
Tom Bondurant: Flashpoint #1
Kate Dacey: Spice And Wolf Vol. 4
David P. Welsh: Maoh: Juvenile Remix Vols. 4-5
Bob Temuka: The Adventures Of Superman Annual #3
 

 
This Is The Weekend I (Hopefully) Answer All My Correspondence

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My apologies to everyone to whom I've failed to return e-mail over the last several days, weeks and months, and to anyone confused by getting an answer at this late date from something they've completely forgotten.

If you don't hear from me by Monday AM, and you've been expecting to, maybe write again. Again, all apologies.
 
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Go, Look: Rich Ellis Profiles Sushi Chef Jason Knowles

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May 12, 2011


Zunar's Court Case Held Wednesday; Decision July 14

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The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar sent out a letter today providing an update on the progression of his court case challenging the government over the 2009 banning of his books 1Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun. The court case was held at Kuala Lumpur High Court on May 11, with Judge Rohana Yusuf hearing from both sides. Zunar, real name Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaq, joined his publishers in filing a challenge last summer.

imageAccording to the report provided by the cartoonist from a local media source, the government's lawyer Noor Hisham (officially representing Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his deputy Abu Seman Yusuf) maintained the previously stated public position that the books could lead to public disorder and this is what caused their banning. The source for that disorder would ostensibly be the "terrible accusations" made by the cartoonist against political officials. Hisham further suggested that there cannot be a judicial review in those case where the minister is attempting to maintain public order, and that any decision of the court must focus on the process of the decision, not whether that decision is right or wrong.

Lawyer K. Shanmuga, representing Zunar and the publishers Mkini Dot Com Sdn Bhd and Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd, noted that the banning notice said the books were prejudicial, not that they were likely to be so as the lawyers now claimed. He also pointed out, as the cartoonist has in public appearances, that the books were out for more than half a year without a breach of the peace, and that no evidence for believing that this happened has been supplied by the minister. He further suggested, as Zunar has to the press and to the public, that this more about the image of the politicians than any other factor. He suggested a "reasonable and proportionate" response standard was not met by the banning.

Zunar had the best line of the day -- several days -- in responding to a question about whether or not his work could force people to lose trust. "You can only lose something you have. The people who read my books have already lost trust in the government."

photo of Zunar at the KL High Court on May 11, 2011 provided by the cartoonist
 
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Go, Look: How TCAF Guests Signed Books

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows, Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* so TCAF happened over the weekend. I think you could argue that's the biggest show in the North American indy/alt track of things now, maybe by a significant margin. The site's "collective memory" entry is here. the site's report is here. I had a great time. I joined my friends Gil and Amy Roth for a lot of the weekend. and just the fact that comics fan Gil comes all the way up from New Jersey for the weekend to do that one show a year, and that Amy is more than happy to join him, told me a lot about TCAF before I ever saw it myself. What's not to like? It's free, it's curated, it's in a lovely space, it's well-organized, it's solicitous towards its exhibitors, it's in a city worth accessing on all sorts of levels beyond the show, there are great guests and they have a small programming track that has nothing to do with snarky answers, publishing news announcements and teaser images. I look forward to going back and making more of a weekend of it.

* the Swedish SPX occurred over the weekend as well, and was the answer to the question of what happened to a dozen or so people many expected to see at TCAF. I haven't seen a whole lot written on it yet -- I bet Brett Warnock will have something eventually -- but I'm told the usual good time was had by all, and it seemed like a total second-generation and younger alt-comics group, which is kind of interesting to me.

* as for this weekend, it's what may be the last Hawthorne High School Comics Festival, a quirky old-school show held at a high school to benefit their art department; and the Bristol International Comic And Small Press Expo 2011, where you can meet and greet with folks like Paul Grist and Sean Phillips. Sounds like fun.

* the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award is now accepting submissions. That's been part of Comic-Con International for almost three decades now.

Amy and Gil Roth get a book signed by David Boswell
 
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Tom Toles Receives Opinion Award From The Week

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I know that Tom Toles joined columnist Peggy Noonan and blogger John Sides as the recipient of an Opinion Award from the publication The Week because they were nice enough to provide photos with Toles' appearance at the event. This is the eighth annual iteration of those awards, which are designed to celebrate opinion writing. Here is the publication's write-up on Toles when it named him a winner. I think Toles is one of the best cartoonists working and he's certainly one of a handful whose opinion I both take in regularly yet also actively seek out when a big issue erupts. Toles, syndicated widely as well as staff cartoonist at the Washington Post, was this year's Herblock Prize winner.

Finalists were Glenn McCoy, Steve Breen, Mike Luckovich and Rob Rogers.
 
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Go, Look: John Severin & Wally Wood Together

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Russ Manning Award Makes Call For Submissions

Comic-Con International announced today via press release that they're now accepting submissions for the 28th annual Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, an honor whose presentation is folded into that weekend's Eisner Awards but actually precedes it by several years. It is presented by CCI and the West Coast Comics Club and goes to "a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics." Past winners include Steve Rude, Scott McCloud and Jeff Smith. More information including the details of the submission process here. The award is named for the prolific Tarzan and Magnus, Robot Fighter artist Russ Manning, who passed away in 1981.
 
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Go, Look: Frank Quitely & Robbie Morrison Together

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Go, Look: Chris Samnee Art Explosion

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a modest explosion, but still
 
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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Sweetie Pie

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Go, Look: New Funnies #70

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Go, Look: Fighting Robot Comix

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Go, Look: A Selection Of Sid Check-Drawn Stories

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* here's an essay on the whitening of the X-Men and the perceived failures of diversity at the modern superhero comics companies. I'm arguing a bit with the author over on Dylan Horrocks' Facebook account. I agree that mainstream companies like Marvel do a horrible job with diversity and they don't treat characters that might have symbolic social meaning with the special consideration they deserve. I'm much less enamored with the essay's argument constructions, which I think are unnecessarily loaded.

image* I'm very jealous of Augie De Blieck for getting his hands on the new Mickey Mouse collection.

* not comics: Michael May talks about why he liked the Thor movie better than any recent issue of the comic book (he liked the Iron Man movies more than any Iron Man comic ever). What I find intriguing about this is that I can't fathom liking any of the superhero movies more than the best comic books, it's not even on the table for me.

* we're getting closer and closer to the day where cartoonists start to make money by having people pay them not to run their material.

* Michael Cavna profiles Stan Lee as a way of getting at the state of the superhero film.

* not comics: of all the recent wave of comics-related shirts I'm too old to wear, I think I like the one in this picture the best. I think I could maybe wear a Razorback one under a standard blue oxford.

* the notion that Marvel may shorten their page counts on their $2.99 comics will likely delight those who see the comics industry as a game of partisanship in that Marvel officials made fun of DC for dropping their page counts a tiny bit. I'm not sure what it really means. I do know from recent personal experience that it sort sucks donkey balls to buy two funnybooks and have to pull out a ten-dollar bill, and in almost every circumstance I'd prefer to buy slightly older material at a reduce price.

* finally, here's a huge and helpful list of free comics out there in Digital Comics Land.
 
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Happy 35th Birthday, Andrew Farago!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Cat Yronwode!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Tom Armstrong!

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Quick hits
Craft
Figure Drawing
Notes On Salome
A Steve Bissette Sequence
Manga-Style Game Of Thrones Art

Exhibits/Events
The DWA's Happy Ending
More Mark Kalesniko At The LA Festival Of Books

History
The News Of 1909
Warriors And Weather 02

Industry
Jason Aaron Answers His Mail

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Mark Paniccia
CBLDF: Jeffrey Brown
Word Balloon: Marty Pasko
Washington City Paper: Liz Suburbia
Joe Keatinge's Comics & Stories: Nate Simpson
Blog@Newsarama: Marsha Cooke, Candis Cooke

Not Comics
Craig Thompson Is Back From China
Lucy Knisley's Harry Potter Prints Profiled

Publishing
The Daily Forlorn Launches
Gingerbread Girl Previewed
The Secret Of Flashpoint Batman
On That John Stanley FCBD Book

Reviews
Tucker Stone: Various
Bob Temuka: Zoot Suite
Jason Green: Silver Surfer #2-3
Bob Temuka: The Defenders #39
Snow Wildsmith: Rainy Day Recess
Johanna Draper Carlson: Arisa Vol. 1
Christopher Allen: Action Comics #900
Michael C. Lorah: Neil Young's Greendale
Bob Temuka: Sergio Aragones Destroys DC
Bob Temuka: Green Lantern: Blackest Night
Bob Temuka: Marvel Tales Starring Spider-Man #200
Bob Temuka: Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers #1
 

 
I Love Going To The Comics Shop

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Dave's Comics And Paintball on May 10, 2011. I was waiting out a road closure. Total Cost = $28.50. I'm not sure my life would feel the deep impact of a worldwide ban on dollar boxes, but I know I'd own very few of these comics otherwise.
 
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May 11, 2011


Go, Read: Don Heck In His Own Words

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Missed It/Not Comics: Penguin CEO On Digital Publishing

As long as this site is offering up a link to a massive article about the business of digital journalism two posts down the page from this one (on a traditional site view, anyway), let's do something with more traditional digital publishing issues.

This interview with Penguin CEO John Makinson about the future of digital publishing indicates both the wide-open quality of what's to come and the accrued experience that people in positions like Makinson are bringing to the table (he's an independent bookseller, and he has reams of information from Penguin's sales of such books so far).

I liked the piece because it was pretty matter-of-fact that the publishing experience is going to be very different moving into the future because it's already different right now. Makinson also suggests something that I think a lot of comics people feel: that people may want to read a certain kind of book in print and may want supplement that experience with an entirely different one using digital means. This could mean that people will want to read comics in print because that best flatters comics art, but it could also mean that we were lucky for the past couple of decades in that the best and most exciting work was new, and now the new must compete with the last three decades of new and all the decades of work before then that has been re-discovered for us.

thx, Gil
 
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Go, Read: First Story From Psychiatric Tales Sequel

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Not Comics: CJR On The Business Of Digital Journalism

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The Columbia Journalism Review has a broad survey-style story up on the state of digital journalism from a business standpoint, with a main page here leading to many others and a PDF download. I have to imagine there are a bunch of lessons for anyone interested in the coverage side of the comics industry; I found parallels in a bunch of their examples to things going on in comics coverage. The main takeaway for me so far -- I have to re-read, more slowly -- is that comics sites operate in a saturated environment. Heck, CR isn't even the only comics-focused magazine out there with the word "Reporter" in its title.
 
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Go, Read: Paul Gravett Interviews Jon McNaught

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

imageHere 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.

*****

FEB111186 TWIN SPICA GN VOL 07 $10.95
I've never been an enthusiastic advocate for this series, about a group of elite schoolchildren going to a kind of advance placement school for an astronaut and the tragedy of years ago that still haunts many of them. Still, the books have a quality and this is an issue with at least one big reveal. Big reveals always have potential for reconsideration of the series entire.

MAR110033 HELLBOY BEING HUMAN ONE SHOT $3.50
Mike, Hellboy, Richard, Roger. What's not to like in a funnybook?

JAN110118 LITTLE LULU TP VOL 27 TREASURE MAP & OTHER STORIES $14.99
These smaller-proportions-than-usual books seem to have done as well for Dark Horse as any of their other programs over the last several years.

JAN110321 BATMAN AND ROBIN DELUXE HC VOL 03 BATMAN MUST DIE $24.99
I can't remember which one in the series this is, and I'm not all the way certain what kind of customer exists for hardcover versions of a comics series it seems easy to buy in original form for $1 each, but these were reasonably fun comics.

FEB110214 JEW GANGSTER TP $14.99
FEB110212 YOSSEL TP $14.99
Two from the great Joe Kubert, both of whom I think were orphaned by previous publishers.

DEC100636 CAPTAIN AMERICA OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 GARNEY COVER $99.99
A big book of Captain America comics sounds like just the thing, what with the film coming out and all. I'm worried that the $100 price tag is there to push anyone that has it right into a new super-soldier program designed to combat the national debt.

MAR111221 GARDEN GN (MR) $24.95
I'd say this is the must-buy of the week: the next Yuichi Yokoyama work. I have one on the shelf, and it looks bigger than the previous pair.

*****

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 on me. I apologize.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: The Kirby/Simon Flying Fool Stories

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

Just a single story today: the Amman court trying the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and 19 journalists in absentia for either making or utilizing the Danish Muhammed cartoons that were published in Jyllands-Posten in 2005 has now postponed that trial until May 22. While I suspect the idea is that the unique brand of absurdity represented by the trial be parceled out over a longer period of time, the article insists that the delay is in order for lawyers to arrange witnesses to testify. It's believe that even if found guilty, Westergaard and the others would also serve any sentence in absentia, which is the best way to serve such things.
 
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Go, Look: Don Martin's Nutheads Comic Strip

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Bill Gallo, 1922-2011

imageBill Gallo, a cartoonist and columnist who was one of the deans of American newspaper cartooning and part of a fading tradition of sports cartoon making, died on May 10 from complications due to pneumonia. He was 88 years old. Gallo was widely known for his remarkable seven-decade run at the New York Daily News, during which he became an institution at the publication, in the wider New York sports scene and among newspaper cartoonists.

Gallo was born in Manhattan in 1922 to parents of Spanish descent. He lost his newspaperman father Francisco Gallo of the publication La Prensa at the age of 11. He began work at the Daily News for a brief period after he left high school in 1941. Gallo was called to service in December 1942; he would serve for the U.S. in World War 2 as a marine, and would later see action at Iwo Jima. Upon leaving the service, Gallo went to college at Columbia. It was during this period he returned to the Daily News this time as a reporter and cartoonist.

Gallo, indeed, was a link to another time, both in the industry and in the city. He was born in 1922, and he started work as a copy boy for the Daily News shortly after graduating high school. Gallo wound up serving in the Marines during World War II -- where he saw action at Iwo Jima -- and enrolled at Columbia University upon his stateside return. He would later attend the School Of Visual Arts.

In 1960, Gallo became the Daily News' primary sports cartoonist, following Leo O'Melia. It was in this role he thrived, becoming a signature feature of the paper.

If Gallo were a baseball player, his cartooning talent would make him what they call a five-tool player, one able to perform with aplomb every function required him. Gallo's material was generally attractive -- he had a nice sense of limited color, white space and spotting his black in order to maximize attention on a page of crowded text. He had the comedian's gift of letting his own decency shine through his portrayals, which allowed him to sidestep most of the backlash that might have come his way were he perceived as petty or vengeful. He also struck a nice balance between reverence for athletic accomplishment -- his straight-up portrayals of area athletes are among the best -- and irreverence for just about everything else.

Gallo employed recurring characters in his work, both as a way to shine the spotlight on outsized characteristics of various Gotham sports figures and as a short hand that would communicate to longtime readers. Gallo's "General Von Steingrabber" provided commentary on George Steinbrenner's voracious appetite for media coverage.

Gallo's drawings have appeared in venues ranging from the Baseball Hall Of Fame And Museum in Cooperstown to local New York art galleries.

As a writer, Gallo received the James J. Walker Award (Boxing Writers Association) and the Champions Award (Downtown Athletic Club). He was later inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. As a cartoonist, Gallo was the Milton Caniff Award winner in 1998. He received the New York Newspaper Guild award 20 different times. The Power Of Printing Award, the Elzie Segar Award and the achievement award given by SVA to deserving alumni were all Gallo's. He was a ten-time winner of the NCS' sports cartoon category, starting in 1968 and ending in 1988.

He is survived by a wife, two sons, a brother and four granddaughters.

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Go, Look: Gungle Image Gallery

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Go, Look: Odin, Fashion Icon

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

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

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Go, Look: Smash Comics #48

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Go, Look: Classic-Looking Pete Morisi

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Go, Look: Crack Comics #8

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Go, Look: Wonderworld Comics #6

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the cartoonist Alex Robinson is serializing some of his fun fantasy work on-line.

image* Jeffrey Brown is profiled by Graphic NYC, which means a bunch of photos like the one from the image at right is taken.

* speaking of comics on-line, this one with an inspiring message for young artists/cartoonists is making the rounds, or at least I assume so from the number of people that e-mailed in a link.

* there's a nice feature up at the Cagle site where Daryl Cagle looks at Zapiro's progression of images used to comment on the Osama Bin Laden killing. Zapiro's a great choice because he's a prominent world cartoonist and capable of a real savagery with the pen, but at the same time he's not exactly dealing with that specific political subject matter every day.

* here's something of a make-up from the Doug Wright Awards: the Jeet Heer appreciation of Spotting Deer that wasn't read at the ceremony.

* speaking of things from TCAF weekend, my initial report has been tightened up, shorn of many embarrassing typos, and linked-up to a much greater extent.

* R. Fiore writes on Paying For It, one of the reviews of that book I've been waiting to read.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco pulls together a bunch of horrifying images and story moments from a DC mega-event/limited-series thing called "Brightest Day."

* this profile of Emily Carroll showed up in my bookmarks folder this morning, which means I probably got it e-mailed to me, or perhaps at Robot 6 or through Sean Collins. All apologies.

* this TCAF report from Secret Acres is a lot of fun, but I want to pull it out of the Collective Memory and mention it here because it confirms a hunch I had about traffic flow at such an event. My memory is that I stopped by every table on both Saturday and Sunday; the reality is I never saw the Secret Acres booth. I saw those guys on the way over, and I think talked to both separately at some point during the show, but their table? Not so much. So there are dead spots or at least hard-to-lock-onto spots in every table set-up imaginable, even one at a mighty show like TCAF.

* I've had no idea how one gets sketches at cons for so long that I actually asked someone two years ago in San Diego how it was done because it confused me to death. The writer and critic Don MacPherson is a sketch collector, and talks about his collection a bit here.

* J. Chris Campbell has a very sweet FCBD report up here.

* this is perhaps the most adorable story ever with a crotch-hugging at its center.

* finally, fans are digging into this teaser for a forthcoming DC comics mega-event series or some variation thereof. I've said this in the past, but I think 12-year-old me would have liked the idea of staring at teaser images, but would have become frustrated in rather short form by how poorly many of them pay off.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Russell Lissau!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Matt Feazell!

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Happy 85th Birthday, Paul Gillon!

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Happy 30th Birthday, Brian Heater!

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Quick hits
Craft
F Is For Frigate Bird
Comics As Criticism
The Difference Engine
The Chemistry Of Berlin
Fun Home Panel Transitions

Exhibits/Events
Dash Shaw Is On A Trip
CCS Summer Workshops Imminent

History
Thoughts On Canonicity
Kim Thompson On Steve Gerber
The Least-Threatening Werewolf Of All Time

Industry
Happy 25th To Viz
Why Write Negative Reviews?
Free Comic Book Day Musings
Theo Ellsworth Has Art For Sale
Ben Catmull Has Prints For Sale
Team Cul De Sac Deadline Extended

Interviews/Profiles
TCJ Talkies: Josh Cotter

Not Comics
Ed Chavez On Thor Movie

Publishing
Constructive Issues

Reviews
Rob Clough: Various
Paul O'Brien: Various
Bill Sherman: Various
Rob McMonigal: Rin-Ne
Johnny Bacardi: Various
Michael C. Lorah: Young Liars
Vanessa G.: Uncanny X-Force #9
Sean Gaffney: Itazura Na Kiss Vol. 5
Grant Goggans: Iron Man: The Inevitable
 

 
Go, Look: Two Photos Of Major Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson

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May 10, 2011


I Still Miss Frank Frazetta

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he died one year ago today
 
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Go, Read: Late March Concludes With Part Five

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* the trial of Kurt Westergaard and a number of journalists for crimes committed related to the publication of the Danish Muhammed in 2005 and 2006 continued Sunday in Amman. None of the defendants have shown, although the article notes that a western journalist arrived on the scene to cover the trial. It's not expected to go well for the accused, although how much direct impact a negative outcome might have on them is very much in question.

* this may not be worth noting for anyone but me, but there's a bunch of uses of the Danish cartoons as a metric of measurement for how people would be pissed if death photos of Osama Bin Laden were released -- here's a pretty standard one. I just sort of like how the Danish cartoons and the reaction to them has seeped into the culture enough to be a reference point.
 
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Go, Watch: The DWA Best Books Video


via
 
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Sigma Delta Chi Announces Its 2010 Winners

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The journalistic honorary society Sigma Delta Chi has announced the winners of its yearly awards, including those in editorial cartooning categories. The cartooning winners are:

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine): Stephanie McMillan (Sun-Sentinel/Los Angeles Times)
Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 50,001-100,000 or Online Independent: Cartoons by Mr. Fish, Dwayne Booth, Truthdig
Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 1-50,000 or Regional Magazine): Mike Lester Editorial Cartoons, Mike Lester, Rome News Tribune
Editorial Cartooning (Non-Daily Publication): Tom the Dancing Bug, Ruben Bolling (Universal Uclick Syndicate)

This list seems familiar to me, so I'm still slightly afraid these are old winners as opposed to the organization just naming their awards after the year for which they're being given as opposed to the year they're given. Appearing on Romenesko clinches it, though. That is a diverse bunch, and even Lester can be controversial in terms of his approach to content.
 
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Go, Look: The Adventure Time Panel At TCAF

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Missed It: Young Lions Also Seized On Road To TCAF

imageThe Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a concisely-written report on the seizure of two books on their way to the Toronto Comics Art Festival. They also include links. The two books in question were Black Eye, an anthology marshaled through producton by Ryan Standfest being carried to the show in the luggage of contributor Tom Neely, and Blaise Larmee's Young Lions, which was being taken across the US/Canadian border by publisher Dylan Williams of Sparkplug. Both were cited for obscenity.

I talked to both Williams and Neely at the show -- they were sitting next to one another. Neely says that the officer in question searched all of his material and with Black Eye flipped right to some material by Jeremy Onsmith which was probably the most graphically severe of any comic he was taking to Canada. (He also noted with a laugh that this was the material that was located at the deepest location within his suticase.) In contrast, Williams said that he suspected that the Larmee book was taken because its overall visual "look: and employed iconography could conceivably invite comparisons to child pornography, or at least the kind of art that people might associate with that kind of work. Williams laughed that some of the works he took across the border without incident contained much more harrowing details than anything Larmee had put down on the page.

Both Williams and Neely cited the overall professionalism of the officer involved, and the polite way with which they confiscated the material. This seems important to me because there's a tremendous tendency to want to personalize these encounters into instances of a bully exploit a poor, victimized artist when in this case and others like it the root cause is bad law rather than bad people. Some rules and laws are bad at their core, others are set up in a way they're badly executed, some are both.

According to this piece by Ryan Standfest, the books in question will go to Ottawa for review and then may be mailed back to the person from whom they were confiscated. Neither the cartoonist nor the cartoonist-publisher seemed to me to expect to see those books again.
 
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Go, Look: Ben Towle's TCAF Super-Pinups

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they're in the middle of a fine convention report
 
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Go, Look: Revolution Series By James Turner

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Daryl Cagle talks to Hajo about the cartoon where President Obama is depicted like a baboon from The Lion King. I don't think a cartoon like that one suggests the cartoonist is racist, just that they made a piece of art with troubling aspects. If a clear path to the heart of the artist and definitive proof that the artist is a flat-out Bull Connor racist were the only standard that counts, that really limits any serious conversation about art. Then again, since that kind of TV-show racism is sometimes assumed, it's hard to tell someone not to defend themselves that way.

image* not comics: this Troll Hunter poster by James Stokoe looks nice. Stokoe's stuff looked really great on the big screen at the Doug Wright Awards.

* is this Peter Sanderson-approved? Because it doesn't count unless it's Peter Sanderson-approved.

* I'm not even comfortable with the DC Universe version of noted writer-about-comics Chris Sims dying before I get my hands on him. Your days are numbered this universe and next, Sims.

* not comics: this set of coping mechanisms is way better than the last one I heard for a fussy baby on a plane.

* there's an interesting note here from Evan Dorkin about a conversation he had with Shannon Wheeler on not being able to talk about forthcoming work.

* the aspiring cartoonist Daniel Beyer wins the Cartoonist Studio's Cartoon Contest and secures a developmental deal with Creators.

* Sean Rogers interviews Chester Brown for the Journal. Joyce Farmer is writing about her week for them.

* here's a fun one: the writer Paul Tobin has compiled all of his favorite cover artist essays into one place.

* you know what comics needs? There needs to be a Blockbuster for comics.

* finally, this news indicates that's the recession is at long last over, although it may only be over for like 2350 dudes.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Kola Fayemi!

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Quick hits
Craft
Play Time
F Is For Fox
Multiple Jams
The Great Night
Comics And Poetry
The Process Of Penciling 04

Exhibits/Events
LA Fully Loaded 01
LA Fully Loaded 02

History
Clubs
Sacre Bleu
Who Is Mighty Thor And Why Should Anyone Care?
Thanks For Dressing In Full Costume, Secretary Batman

Industry
A Dark Mystery
Free Afrodisiac Reminder
Angry Is A Profitable Energy

Interviews/Profiles
ORF FM4: Brian Fies
CBR: Robert Kirkman
Talking Comics With Tim: Roger Stern

Not Comics
Framing Todd Klein
Dressing Lady Gaga
Keith Knight Is A Boston Sports Fan
Today's Least Important News Story
Johnny Depp Trying To Make Folks Hate Him

Publishing
Buy SF

Reviews
Philip Nel: Bow-Wow!
Rob Clough: Habitat #2
Todd Klein: Warriors Three #1-4
Todd Klein: Legion Of Super-Heroes #9
Ryan K. Lindsay: FCBD: Thor The Mighty Avenger #1
 

 
May 9, 2011


Notes From A Trip To TCAF 2011

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What follows is a selection of insights and observations from a trip to Toronto for the 2011 version of the Toronto Comics Art Festival. It was held on May 7 and May 8 in and around the Toronto Reference Library. Admission was free.

*****

* I don't have many broad, non-comics travel notes, but one thing that struck me this time out is that hotels are doing incidentals deposits differently than they used to. It used to be a four-day trip with three different, pre-paid hotels would mean making sure I had a hundred dollars available on my credit card. This time out it meant several hundred -- more than three times as much as I paid for the actual hotel rooms. It wasn't a hassle for me, and I'm happy to loan these business some money for a few days: I've seen Fawlty Towers, so I know the life of an innkeeper is a tough one. Handing over $300 certainly keeps me from my old routine of gutting a pig in the bathroom and setting fire to the curtains. Still, that kind of travel note is curious to me. I'm not exactly sure why the change other than that there's an obvious benefit to holding other peoples' money for a few days. It reminded me that it's more difficult to travel now than it was 15 years ago, maybe a lot more difficult, and thus conventions with a regional or even local element are becoming that much more important.

* the only thing more depressing than the nearest comics store being a bit more than two hours away and thus a place you only see on a three-hour trip to the airport is that store closing down and selling off its recent back stock of Final Crisis tie-ins and random issues of Locke & Key on several interconnected card tables of woe. Such was my experience Thursday the 5th at Dave's Comics And Paintball. I continue believe that geographical coverage is a fundamental issue facing the Direct Market, coverage both in absolute terms (any store at all in as many given areas as possible) and coverage with stores that meet certain, basic standards whereby they can roughly be said to represent the entirety of comics (not by an unreasonable standard, but by a "basic comics shop from 1988" standard) as opposed to one man's comics collection. You'd think it would be a bit more important for the biggest publishers to have their material represented in more markets in their most traditionally profitable way.

* Toronto seems like a great city to me. I probably don't need to tell that to anyone who's visited or lived there. It feels like Chicago a bit -- you even drive into the city proper from the outskirts via a Lake Shore-type highway drive -- with a more intensely lively downtown. Seeing all the storefronts in different sections of the city makes me realize just how much of a hit physical proximity shopping has taken in the US the last dozen or so years. I particularly liked a walk I took from The Beguiling to the art gallery that hosted the Doug Wrights, which was a little bit less upscale than most of the other neighborhoods I had a chance to see. It's certainly a town where you can enjoy certain aspects of it as value-added moments of your trip, or can even take a few days to hang out. Even as much as the hardcore professionals and industry folk may focus in on the cons and the bare minimum of outside activities, I think there's another kind of attendee for whom having something to do in addition to looking at comics is quite important. Toronto has all of these things.

* I stayed at a place called the Delta Chelsea: a proper, plump matron of a hotel. I had absolutely no complaints.

* I probably don't have to tell anyone this, either, but TCAF is a really good show. It's well-organized; it benefits in glorious fashion from being free and in a lovely, wide-open space; the juried guest list allows for some gotta-sees up top and a generally high level of quality table to table; Toronto is a vastly appealing city worth visiting; the off-site activities are suited for people young and old; there are bookstores and one of the world's great comics shops to visit. I could go on. Kudos to Chris Butcher and all involved, including the army of volunteers.

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* I made a point of asking after people's business as late in the weekend as I could (I left a couple of hours before things closed up on Sunday). Many cited best-weekend-ever sales, while only about 10 percent of the people to whom I spoke said that sales were off or disappointing. Drawn and Quarterly had their best weekend ever, Nobrow sold out of about a half-dozen books and Top Shelf I believe flat sold out of a couple of their debut books including Chester 5000. Fantagraphics' Mike Baehr said that his employers -- still a bit knee-deep in the water deciding whether or not to dive the rest of the way in -- had their best TCAF yet. Tom Neely and Dylan Williams had done well enough they looked like they had just eaten a big Thanksgiving meal and were ready to push back from the table and take a nap. (Williams promised a forthcoming blog post about this year's TCAF that will serve as a companion piece to his post-Stumptown meditation on the utility of shows.) Newer material did well across the board, no surprise there. I don't think it was a great weekend for everyone, but in general I think a lot of people moved a lot of product and most had a real good time.

* it's too big a show for a buzz book beyond obvious must-gets like Paying For It, but a lot of folks sent me to Nick Maandag for Streakers, while Neely and Jason Little cited some work they got in the upstairs salon area from local artists and 'zine makers. I liked the David Boswell t-shirts I saw; they were vibrantly colored.

* before I forget to mention it, Sunday was really busy and Saturday attendance-wise was a mere two clicks of the dial below "uncomfortable-crazy."

* it's a big enough show I never saw Paul Pope, Ludovic Debeurme and Sarah Glidden. I actually sat next to Brecht Evens for a dinner and had no idea I was doing so. I saw the very popular Kate Beaton once, when she was signing next to David Boswell in a formal signing area downstairs. The big manga creators on hand could have existed in some library space read right to left because I sure didn't stumble across them. Big show.

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* meeting the creator David Boswell and getting to talk to him for his TCAF spotlight panel was a real treat, for both adult me and 15-year-old me. I liked how honest he was about the outside motivations for key cartooning decisions. For instance, he said that one reason that the Reid Fleming comics looked different than the magnificent one-shot Heartbreak Comics is that each style reflected the story's lead, but he also confessed that part of the appeal of the Reid comics is that with the lead's white clothing and frenetic action working on his adventures freed more time for him to spend with the woman he ended up marrying. An initial impulse to become a cartoonist was to escape a job in a darkroom that took away his summer daylight hours, and an admitted impetus to plunging ahead was finding out how much New Yorker cartoonists were paid.

* I did ask after the screenwriting and film option process with a bit more interest than I figured Seth might in his "Giants Of The North" interview with the cartoonist that evening (I was right). I read Boswell's screenplay when I worked at Fantagraphics; we had a copy in the library. I thought it was very good, in addition to the interest it accrued simply being that rare screenplay penned by a property's creator. There were some interesting anecdotes in his film experiences. Jeph Loeb and his partner, still maybe students, attempted to buy rights for a very small amount back in the early days. Among the army of people conceived of as potential Flemings was Boswell's own choice Bob Hoskins, but there wasn't enough money on the table at any point to solicit Hoskins' real interest. Boswell talked about a staged reading done when Jon Lovitz wanted to do a film version of Reid, which if you've never heard that story had the stellar supporting cast of Phil Hartman as Crabbe, Ed Asner as Mr. O'Clock. Lisa Kudrow as Lena and Dan Castellaneta as Cap Cooper. Boswell praised Hartman as someone who could play any of the parts, including Reid, and I think he's probably right about that. He said there was no actor he saw as his title role right now, although interest may spike as the new book collections are published. It didn't occur to me following that summary dismissal to ask after potential Flemings such as Jack Black and Charlie Sheen.

* Boswell mentioned that we might see the second volume of IDW's collection of his Reid Fleming work in 2012, a year he hopes to be a special guest at Comic-Con in order to promote that release. If it's not clear from the above, Boswell was super-pleasant to be around, and a thoughtful, engaging presence -- he'd be a great if not perfect guest for CCI, so hopefully that comes off.

* the next Reid Fleming contains the full version of a second graphic novel-sized story starring the character, which this time apparently includes some sort of Milkman Olympic Games.

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* ran into CR's own Bart Beaty. We talked about L'Association, the number of cartoonists at the show with whom he's not familiar and how this is probably a good thing, his own now long-ago move away from serial comics (he quit them when he quit Cerebus), and the subject of his forthcoming book -- how comics were once written out of the history of 20th Century art and look to be mostly written back into the history of 21st Century art, and how this has an impact on everything from the reputation of individual artists to original art sales. That will hopefully be out this Fall or early in 2012. I'm looking extra-forward to it, because Bart's books tend to be crammed with idiosyncratic detail that can be informative above and beyond any academic thesis presented. It was great to see Bart; it had been a long time.

* ran into a charging-back-to-his-table Darwyn Cooke, who was nice enough to chat for a bit. He reiterated how devoted he was to his forthcoming digital-only project, and that he feels that these kind of efforts are crucial for comics over the next few years.

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* it was great to see Todd Bak, probably not the only cartoonist on the floor cutting his day at the show short to go do some homework but maybe the one with the best beard. He plans on continuing his really fine, recent Wild Man work for MOME in some sort of self-publishing effort; the cartoonist had never planned on doing more than one-half of the final work in serialized form in the first place, so that softened the blow of the anthology's cancellation.

* I love watching/listening/reading Lorenzo Mattotti talk about his own work, and the spotlight panel he did with Robin McConnell was no exception. He spoke of Fires as a work where he was struggling with modes of presentation and storytelling in a way that mirrored the rational/irrational, nature/reason conflicts within the work. He also said that many people thought the still amazing-looking Fires was his first work; I think I was one of those people. I missed his illustration panel on Sunday with Adrian Tomine and Jillian Tamaki; I'm told it was excellent.

* why European comics like Mattotti's don't sell to greater acclaim and profits in the U.S. was a topic of discussion that came up two or three times during my 56 hours in Toronto. My personal theory is I don't think the comics audience is big enough to encompass reliable sales in a lot of categories, no matter how great the work might be. While it's great that avenues exist to distribute those books that are potential, wider mainstream successes, a lot of worthy books from Europe are the kind where a devoted patronage might be necessary to help get them over, and we're not there yet. There are competing theories, of course, and they all likely overlap into something resembling the truth.

* I had a lot of fun talking to Chris Ware for an afternoon spotlight panel. This was in the first floor's largest meeting space, and it was standing-room only with a line before-hand. Chris has a pre-packaged selection of images that he can run through slideshow-style, and was nice enough to power through them in about 20 minutes. I like it when artists have something for people to look at, although I realize that this can be quite dull for the artist and I'm always wary of doing the entire panel that way. I hadn't seen some of the images before, and I think they focused the audience on the work and the prodigious amounts of craft involved.

* Ware and I talked a bit about his identity as a Chicago artist (he cited the lack of pretension as something he liked about his adopted city), the changes in his artistic life upon become a parent (it allowed him to do the parts of his current work that engage parenting; he says he's avoided stories about siblings for not having one, and wouldn't do a parenting story until he had that insight), and how much of Lint was about memory (a reasonable amount, both memory's failures and its subtle propensities towards misdirection). The audience's questions were very good as well.

* one thing I found memorable is that Ware cited the positive and upbeat aspects of his work a few times, and described Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid On Earth as a story about the world's beauty told from the point of view of someone completely unable to see it.

* as was the case on Friday night's group panel, Ware mentioned that he's been doing diary comics since 2002 and that this is a massive work that is too personal to ever be published. So there's your great unpublished comic of legend and whispers for the next 25 to 50 years.

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* Ware's signing line before the panel was humongous. I didn't pay much attention to formal lines with all the madness swirling around, but I did see extensive ones for Chester Brown (who had the new book) and Kate Beaton.

* another before-I-forget item or two that may only interest me: one person at the Ware panel I haven't seen in 15 years was Tom Galambos, who's been painting and is currently working on an installation presentation of some comics work. I noted that Billy Mavreas was in attendance at that one, too.

* I was happy to later relate to Chris Ware a story about working my occasional events-related job at Tony Fitzpatrick's World Tattoo gallery in 1991 and all of us talking about and laughing over what I learned was the very first ACME strip in NewCity (entitled "God"; I knew it was an early one but I didn't know it was the first one). Ware's Chicago fanbase was considerable when I was there, even though I'm certain there were the usual reactions from people that fundamentally didn't understand what Ware was doing. One thing that generally connects Ware to fellow guest Mattotti is how alarming it was to see their work for the first time in the context of comics of their era. You could argue that Ware is an important artist simply for how he changed the way folks approached art direction, which is a tiny percentage of his overall legacy.

* that new TCJ, the fat one, looks really beautiful.

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* I'll fix this paragraph if I have to when I get full Internet access again, but until then: Ed Chavez was apparently promoted at Vertical to a more general publisher's position, building on his management of their manga titles to encompass more work with the prose. He'll have a bigger say on what comes out generally. As for the book's on display, Chavez says that 7 Billion Needles is doing very well and that Twin Spica is only doing okay. He cited game changing reveals in volume seven of that series.

* lots of writers about comics milling about. I saw Deb Aoki for like five seconds. I met Chris Randle, who's been writing for various mainstream publications and apparently contributed something to CR years ago, which I don't remember because I'm old. I also got to meet Jeet Heer, who seemed to still be on big high from recently adding a member to his family. Heer was so nice that when I told him I would be taking the subway across town to see The Beguiling before dinner, he walked me to the subway station and gave me a token. I'm just glad he didn't pat me on the head or hand me a bagged lunch, but I'm not complaining. Nice goes a long way with me. I got to meet Sean Rogers and Robin McConnell, both of whom are carving out significant space in the comics commentary world. McConnell figures there might be 350 Inkstuds interviews at this point and had on hand a DVD with 300 of them.

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* no surprise here: The Beguiling is as incredible as you've heard. It rests in what seems like a reasonably well-trafficked, young person-dominated but not exclusively so neighborhood, in a building with two floors. The star, I think, is the stock -- there was stuff in there I haven't seen since I stopped working at Fantagraphics, like the various softcover Frank Frazetta art books and a full run of the old NBM Wash Tubbs books. I expected an insanely well-stocked store; what I didn't think I'd see was a store that was as well-stocked as that one but still funky in that primary sense of making you want to dig around and look at stuff. There's a fine line there, but they manage it with aplomb. The atmosphere was fun, too; a friend of mine said that when she shopped there they played the best music she'd ever heard in a store.

* another thing that was surprising about The Beguiling is that I was by far the oldest person in the store of about 20-25 people that stopped by during my visit. My friend Gil Roth explained this as "well, you're old now" -- thanks, Gil -- and that's partly true, but usually when I'm in a comics shop I'm joined within three to five people walking in by someone similarly ancient, if not many people. I later told Gil that if CR ever launches a podcast, we'll have a feature that's just his reading of weird comic shop names; it was great to have Team Roth along for a different perspective on what I was seeing.

* speaking of my friend Gil: he wrote recently of how ill-served he is by standard bookstores, but I noticed that none of that cropped up during his Beguiling visit. He was effusive. Gil nearly broke down and bought a beautiful-looking Dupuy and Berberian art book he hadn't heard of before; he did take home a Sammy Harkham print, which is the kind of two-pronged shopping decision you make in a really good, print-focused shop in Belgium more than it is the typical North American comics shop. It's as good as you've heard, maybe a little better, and totally worth the stop-by and dropping a few hundred dollars. From the number of cartoonists that hoped to move product into The Beguiling's hands at the conclusion of the show, I'd say they're particularly stuffed with a lot of hard-to-find work right now.

* Joe Ollmann and Pascal Girard really are that amusing when together.

* I don't want to exhaust what should be an obvious point, but the ability to sit down in a variety of restaurants and take a great meal is part of what makes Toronto a city worth hosting a comics show. People need to want to visit the city in question, and that is a full-service city. This is doubly important with Toronto if the show continues to grow in scope and importance, because it's expensive to get there.

* I enjoyed the Doug Wright Awards a great deal. It really helps that the ceremony only focuses on four awards -- its avant-garde award, an emerging talent award, a book of the year award, and a single induction into their Giants Of The North hall of fame. Seth and Brad Mackay are able administrator-type sub-hosts. Seth's interview with new Giant Of The North David Boswell was as genial as any interview I've ever seen and certainly so for the circumstances of being on stage with a bunch of folks staring at them. Boswell lived in Toronto and had a ton of family on hand, many holding Reid Fleming placards, and it was really nice to see him honored in the sense I think it meant something to him to come back to a place he lived to receive a nice award for work accomplished. He showed off his medal at the afterparty. Seth remains as impressed by Heartbreak Comics as I am. Don McKellar was a fine host -- Tom Devlin refused to believe that I knew who he was, probably because he'd never been in a Bill Forsyth movie -- and the animated sequences starring the playwright and actor proved generally amusing. I liked that someone gave a supplementary speech about each award winner as the winner accepted an award; it focused attention on the recipient.

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* one unexpected highlight was a photo of David Boswell and his wife with a bunch of emerging cartoonists superstars from 1990 or so, popped onto the big screen. This included a long-haired Chester Brown, who responded to a crack made about his current lack of hair by noting, Reid-Fleming style, "I get my hair cut this way."

* there were some slip-ups. Chester's speech about David Boswell included a description of him watching cable TV in the 1950s, something Brown corrected mid-course. A young actress that presented told a bunch of Archie jokes that didn't go over well, basically about the Riverdale gang being super-skeevy. Eye-mmonen. There was a curious, general attention to penises -- a full-frontal image on a piece of art for one of the scenes; McKellar drawing his dong for a joke -- that seemed like some sort of collective, phallic-oriented Tourette's. A number of people expressed concern for what Doug Wright's widow must have made of all the elliptical dirty talk. Mostly you noticed the small stuff because the show was solid, and I don't think any of it came close to having an impact on anyone's bottom-line perception of the show. I also have a sense most of the glitches will be ironed out in future years. Brad Mackay in particular seems passionately devoted to pulling of a strong ceremony every year, and it shows.

* the DWAs had Bob Sikoryak draw throughout the show off to the side of the stage, which was really cool if you could get over your personal concern for Bob having to work his ass off for the entire ceremony. He seemed to enjoy himself, though, and it was indeed interesting to see what graphic elements he would seize on to communicate a particular moment on stage. He told me the next day that it took him a second to figure out what they wanted him to do, but once he did, it was fun.

* spoke to the Kathryn and Stuart Immonen at the end of the awards show, briefly. It's really cool that Stuart Immonen can be up for a comics arts award like a DWA at the same time he's doing art for a giant mainstream comics series released through Marvel. I'm not sure that aspect of his career is appreciated to the extent it should be. Saw Chris Pitzer, too. We talked briefly about his time at Eclipse because of Boswell's proximity. When I mentioned that Pitzer had Eclipse Comics roots to someone later on that evening they were stunned because they had always thought Pitzer had started AdHouse with no previous experience in comics.

* I got to talk to Dan Nadel of PictureBox and The Comics Journal at the DWA afterparty, and he swears that he and Tim Hodler are thus far enjoying themselves on the Journal. He reiterated that he didn't like the movie Thor, and that Gary Groth has thus far been enthusiastically supportive of their efforts with the site.

* I spent most of the after-party in a comfortable corner of the bar's second floor with the lady employees of Drawn And Quarterly, including a young woman I'd never met before who is apparently the granddaughter of Frederik Pohl. I was too terrified of saying something stupid to drink, and too wary of being teased once out of ear shot to go to the restroom. We were joined about halfway through the short evening by Pascal Girard, who was carrying around a fancy red box with his prizes in it. This year that prize set included a DWA edition of the winning work, with a special Seth-designed cover. A significant chunk of the cartooning talent on hand bailed from the afterparty early, it was decided most likely to attend some sort of Sons Of The Kingdom style super-meeting of elite North American cartoonists they weren't allowed to tell anyone about.

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* Michael DeForge was very sweet, I thought, in his heartfelt thanks to his publisher Anne Koyama. (In general you could float an ocean-liner on the love that Koyama's cartoonists have for their publisher.) It was also great to see Alex Fellows win, because that's someone who's worked hard to get consistently better.

* I hope Jim Ottaviani doesn't mind if I share his suggestion that a way of understanding the structure and tone of his forthcoming Richard Feynman biography is to look to Feynman's anecdote-driven writing about his own life.

* Leigh Walton was nice enough to slip me a copy of Lucille, which I devoured on the plane ride home. That one is going to fairly slaughter some people. Pascal Girard pointed out to me as we shared a shuttle bus to the airport that part two of that work has just come out in France, so hopefully Top Shelf sells enough copies of their version of volume one that the second volume is possible.

* it was nice to finally meet Rina Piccolo. I mentioned how much I appreciate the sheer amount of work in terms of comics and writing she manages to put onto her web site, and she immediately responded with news she'll be taking some time away from the site. This kind of conversation happens to me way more than it should.

* it was fun to talk to people about getting to meet Chris Ware, a formidable figure for cartoonists as well as for comics fans. I didn't observe Chris a whole lot, but he seemed to handle these encounters and his signing times with a lot patience and class.

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* most of Sunday was spent catching up with creators and their future plans. Lucy Knisley has been coming to some version of this show since she was 19 years old. That food-related book of hers from First Second may see the light of day in late 2012; it's full-color, which I'm not sure I knew. Jason Little had the first part of a serialized work on hand; so did James Turner. I hadn't heard of the imminent arrival of either, so this was good news. In not-comics news, the extremely talented and affable Graham Annable is excited that Laika has announced their next animated project, ParaNorman, on which he and Vera Brosgol did a lot of early work. It was great to finally meet Barry Deutsch, Frank Cammuso and Maurice Vellekoop. Dave Roman's Teen Boat moves closer and closer to publication, which is a wonderful and, let's face it, at one point slightly far-fetched thing. I'm happy for him and John Green. Brandon Graham's next big thing is Multiple Warheads, original pages from which I was too chicken to touch because I was afraid I'd sweat on them. His stuff is amazing-looking up close, and he and Marian Churchland couldn't have been nicer. I met Sam Hiti and Ben Towle, too, but I'm not certain I asked them about upcoming projects. I'm likely forgetting 18 billion people.

* there were a few Mother's Day-related things going on. A lot of Sunday breakfast plans were shifted around because of the devotion of some spaces to reserved-in-advance holiday brunches. Joe Ollmann got up at 5 AM to have breakfast with his mother over in Hamilton before heading back to the show, endearing him to everyone in proximity. More than a few tables had Mother's Day-related art or sketching services available.

* I wrapped things up at the show by doing a panel with John Porcellino in the same room I kicked off my time at TCAF with David Boswell. It was great to talk to him, and it was one of those panels where it felt to me more like a personal talk than a presentation to an audience, although they laughed throughout and no one left. Porcellino also thinks of himself as a Midwestern cartoonist and as someone proud to be linked in any way to cartoonists like Frank King and Chris Ware. He talked about having a foot in both the 'zine world and the comics world, and that he's still attending events related to the former as much as he is the latter. I asked him to describe the 'zine world now as opposed to 15 years ago when I maybe knew more about that particular publication world, and he says that the Internet migration means that most of what gets printed in classic 'zine form tends to resemble the cream of the crop stuff from the busier era. He talked about being proud of the Walden project for Hyperion, and said the funniest complaint he got on that project was from someone who reminded him that Thoreau didn't have a beard at that point in his life. He talked about his involvement in the The Next Day interactive project about failed suicides, and how his own depression and anxieties have left him sympathetic to people experiencing psychic trauma. I wish I could type out every answer -- he was so engaged and present it was scary, and doing that panel was a total thrill.

* something fascinating that John Porcellino said about his business is that the ratio of handsold/subscribed-to books/directly ordered books to books moved through retail channels has reversed in the last 15 years, and now favors the books he sells in stores. For that reason, Porcellino mentioned he is worried about the decline in comics shops for the reasons that they've begun to do well by King-Cat Comics And Stories. The latest issue of King-Cat, by the way, is two-thirds done.

* I left the library at 3:10. On the corner, in front of a cold, glass building, a young lady sang with what sounded like a trained voice as on-lookers stopped and stared. I have no idea what that was about, but it was nice.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Goele Dewanckel's Flickr Stream

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Go, Look: dankemama

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Go, Look: Sarah Yu Zeebroek

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Go, Look: Puff And Magic

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Go, Look: Delphine Durand

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Go, Look: Richard Case Has A Blog

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Go, Look: Harvey Kurtzman's Magno And Davey

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* well, ouch.

image* I'm pretty certain that today is the last day Comic-Con International hotel room deposits are fully refundable through Travel Planners.

* not comics: I'm reading an E.B. White book off and on right now, so I'd be partial to his letter to kids about a library even it weren't terrific, which I think it is. (thanks, Devlin Thompson)

* it's difficult to tell if "Professor Zoom" is the best or worst name for any super-villain, ever. It's probably a pretty good one. While there's admittedly very little reason anyone would choose to do evil things in the way that many superhero comics just have folks running around being full-time shitheads, there's even less of a chance that many among them except the extravagantly flamboyant would call themselves something grim.

* I don't quite get why this would ever be in question. The most interesting thing about that kind of phenomena is the nerd aspect of it, this assumed primacy of a specific kind of consumer fused to a very broad definition of comics consumption. In other words, I'm all for people dressing up like Thor, but I don't really see it as all that interesting in terms of their identities as comics readers and/or comics makers. It's basically trivia. The writer Peter David recently attended a chunk of a comics show as The Green Hornet; David Boswell at TCAF this past weekend charmingly admitted more than once to a less-than-intense interest in the world of comics and cartooning. It takes all kinds of orientations. As for attractive movie and television personalities faking a level of interest in a subject matter to promote something, that seems like it's been going on since 1938, and I'm suspicious that it relates to the initial question except in the broadest sense. It'd be rough on television and movie studios if fans of those media applied the same authenticity tests to those dopey actors littering the stands during the World Series and NBA Finals, trying hard to look interested in something other than their assigned television cameo.

* not comics: I'm not sure how many folks are aware of this, but there are a bunch of Stan Lee movie ideas in note form among his papers at the University of Wyoming. He literally at one point just started jotting down film ideas. The post linked-to above does make me wonder if there's anything in the Marvel western canon that could be done as films. My memory is that they're not super-strong conceptually, that they're solid but not spectacular, but I could be wrong.

* finally, another piece of not comics: Marvel is apparently going to redeploy some of its library of cartoons on the Netflix streaming service. The Marvel cartoons are probably a bigger factor than we realize in building a core audience for many of their properties, but I haven't seen anyone seriously engage that subject since the first X-Men movie came out.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Ty Templeton!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Walt Holcombe!


 
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Quick hits
Interviews At The Daily Cross Hatch
Edie Fake 01
Edie Fake 02
Edie Fake 03
Edie Fake 04
Robin McConnell 01
Robin McConnell 02
Robin McConnell 03
Robin McConnell 04
Noah Van Sciver 01
Noah Van Sciver 02
Noah Van Sciver 03
Noah Van Sciver 04
 

 
May 8, 2011


Go, Look: Cartoonists Celebrate End Of Prohibition

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Your 2011 Doug Wright Awards Winners

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The Doug Wright Awards were held last evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario's Jackman Hall, with David Boswell, Pascal Girard, Michael DeForge and Alex Fellows the big winners. I was in attendance, and a report will appear on Monday as part of this site's TCAF coverage. The awards were hosted by the actor Don McKellar and featured a discussion between the cartoonists Seth and David Boswell. Boswell was inducted into the Giants Of The North Hall Of Fame, and members of his extended family holding Reid Fleming placards waved them at him from the audience,

The DWAs were established in 2004 to "recognize the best in English-language comics (or translations of French) by Canadians living at home and abroad."

The nominee slate is below; winners appear in bold.

BEST BOOK
* Bigfoot by Pascal Girard (Drawn and Quarterly)
* Chimo by David Collier (Conundrum Press)
* Lose #2 by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
* Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen (Top Shelf Productions)
* Streakers by Nick Maandag

*****

BEST EMERGING TALENT
* Aaron Costain, Entropy #5
* Alex Fellows, Spain and Morocco
* Keith Jones, Catland Empire (Drawn and Quarterly)
* James Stokoe, Orc Stain Vol. 1 (Image)
* Tin Can Forest (aka Marek Colek and Pat Shewchuk), Baba Yaga and the Wolf (Koyama Press)

*****

THE PIGSKIN PETERS AWARD (GIVEN TO NON-TRADITIONAL AND AVANT-GARDE COMICS)
* Indoor Voice by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn and Quarterly)
* Stooge Pile by Seth Scriver (Drawn and Quarterly)
* So I've Been Told by Maryanna Hardy (Conundrum Press)
* Spotting Deer by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
* Wowee Zonk #3 edited by Patrick Kyle, Ginette Lapalme and Chris Kuzma (Koyama Press)

*****

The winners were selected by a committee of Sara Quin, Michael Redhill, Anita Kunz, Marc Bell and Mark Medley. They worked from the above nominee list, which were selected by a a committee of Chester Brown, Seth, Jerry Ciccoritti, Bryan Munn and Sean Rogers.

*****

image at top from David Boswell's amazing Heartbreak Comics

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*****
 
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Ryan Standfest's Black Eye Seized At Border Pre-TCAF

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I'm way behind on this particular story, but there's a very long post here. They have a few more links as well, which should take you out to the parameters of current coverage. At issue seems to be a custom agent's interpretation of work by Jeremy Onsmith.
 
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Go, Look: Chester Brown's Custom DWA Invites

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Go, Look: Screaming Planet Preview

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Alex Dueben promises me this is a complete short story
 
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Go, Look: Three Thors By Jack Kirby

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Go, Look: Daniel Clowes At The Strand On May 5

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

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

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Happy 48th Birthday, Robert Boyd!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Moebius!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Hiromu Arakawa!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Matt Madden!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Kevin Colden!

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A Happy Mother's Day To All To Whom The Term Applies

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including the one that made me my cape
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Rick Parker Being Interviewed; Not Sure Where I Got This One, Really


An Al-Jazeera Feature On Media's Role In African Elections That Includes Zapiro


Steve Bell Did Some Videos Linked To The Royal Wedding Eight Days Ago


Alan Moore Interview From I Think Five To Seven Years Ago
via


Patrick Chappatte Goes To Lebanon


Jack Kirby Art Set To Music #1
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Jack Kirby Art Set To Music #2
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Hillary Allison's Nib Holding Secret
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The Kochalka Family Musical Performance Legacy Continues


An Animatic By Cartoonist Cathy Malkasian
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Artist P. Craig Russell Discusses Finished Pencils For His Adaptation Of The Happy Prince
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May 7, 2011


CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from April 30 to May 5, 2011. (Any events from Friday, May 6, will be included in next weekend's CRWIR.)

1. At least one creator and one comics shop in the storm-ravaged southern U.S. rally: the creator could use a hand, the store is ready for your patronage, and is able to give back to the community through a canned-food drive tied into Free Comic Book Day.

2. Last one out the door at Wizard, please turn off the lantern: the former dominant print publication about comics, now an on-line offering and not really dominant in any way, loses the person that is perhaps its most prominent employee of the last dozen years.

3. The Kenyan cartoonist GADO receives $100,000 from the Ford Foundation, a signal of the cartoonist's growing influence on Eastern African media. GADO, real name Godfrey Mwampembwa, is both widely syndicated and followed in print and has a Spitting Image-style satirical puppet television show.

Winner Of The Week
Mike Peters, taking home the Thomas Nast award, which he can slip next to his National Headliners honor from about a month ago.

Loser Of The Week
Fans of either comics-related mainstream newspaper column that came to an end recently.

Quote Of The Week
"Let;s raid the compound of incompetence and fire bullets of sarcasm through the trite tropes of terrorists as they dive for their human shields of forced analogies, bloggily burying them at sea to dampen their foul smell." -- Matt Bors, looking around at some of the cartoons featuring the death of Osama Bin Laden he thought were turds.

*****

today's cover is from the great comic book series Four-Color

*****
*****
 
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If I Were Near A Comics Shop, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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

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sorry about the art; I'm sitting in a hotel lobby and that's the image that shows up in a google search. basically, this is an event in which Gene Yang and some other cartoonists are participating
 
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Your Brief Kentucky Derby Mention Of 2011

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I hadn't thought about posting anything on this year's Kentucky Derby, but since a few of you asked... Having glanced at the contenders and their breakdowns I like Nehro the most of the reasonably well-regarded horses. That's the one that seems primed to run its best race. I'm not one on betting track conditions, but I guess Soldat is the choice of some if it's muddy. I don't like either horse very much. With that many horses running, it's hard to like anyone, and I wish they'd pull things back to 12-14 horses. I think they'd get a better race.

Anyway, I'd treat this one like a lot of recent Kentucky Derby betting days and settle in one one or two of the 20-1 long shots or longer. You'll have more fun betting two to three horses that will really pay if they come in, and it seem so certain that at least one of those horses will sneak into the top 3 that it's almost a vote that one won't.

Don't forget: The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Michael T. Gilbert!

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something I'd read had Gilbert's birthday on April 22; he corrected me and my apologies
 
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Happy 69th Birthday, Tony Auth!

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Happy 31st Birthday, Box Brown!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Kevin Scalzo!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Roberta Gregory!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Rick Veitch!

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May 6, 2011


Friday Distraction: Al Hirschfeld Foundation

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UNM Students Protest Use Of Hajo's Bin Laden Cartoon

imageThe television station KOAT in Albuquerque, New Mexico has coverage of a student protest over the use of a Osama Bin Laden cartoon that students say depicted the President of the United States as a monkey -- a racial caricature they felt was insulting to them as well as the president. There's some video footage included that if nothing else indicates that University of New Mexico students have one ass-kicking advocate in the young woman unpacking the complaints -- she's pretty terrific; I want her to go to bat for me the next time I need someone to articulate my viewpoint.

Unless KOAT is using one cartoon to represent another, the cartoon in question seems to be one from the cartoonist Hajo that uses the Lion King "circle of life" visual tropes often used as a gentle satire of the President's "chosen one" status as the basis for a gag about Osama Bin Laden being at another point on such a circle. So the cartoonist is depicting President Obama as the mandrill-baboon hybrid that is the character Rafiki, and while I'm sure it's meant in the nicest possible way, it's at the very least monumentally unfortunate. Certainly I can't imagine a student newspaper editor choosing to run that piece of the 10 billion others out there.

The editors have since apologized in verbal and written form.
 
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Go, Look: Edmond Baudoin Mini-Gallery

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Your 2011 Martin Toonder Award Winner

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According to this post by Martin Wisse, the Dutch Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture has awarded the 2011 version of its Martin Toonder prize to Peter Pontiac. Pontiach is a Dutch artist with a career nearly four decades in length, perhaps best known for being influenced by R. Crumb and American underground comix who has split time between comics and commercial illustration. The award goes cartoonists for a lifetime of contributions to the "development of Dutch comics." Pontiac follows inaugural winner Jan Kruis. Wisse states that the awards program cited his graphic novel Kraut as a significant contributing factor in his being given the award.

Pontiac will formally receive the prize and its nearly $37,000 USD first prize in September at the Breda Stripfestival.
 
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Go, Look: The Ballad Of Red Dog

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the comic is also available in a slideshow format at Metropolis
 
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Missed It/Not Comics: Neil Gaiman Responds To Politician

A bunch of you sent me a link to this interview with Neil Gaiman, where he responds to a strident and colorfully-phrased criticism of a fee he took from a library, monies he forced no one to give and which he donated to a pair of charities. It's very funny. The politician has apparently apologized for the pro-wrestling part of his diatribe.

The writer and comics historian Mark Evanier, who has written several times on the expectations and demands of a professional writer when it comes to such matters, comments on the whole affair here.
 
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Go, Look: Brecht Vandenbroucke's Blog

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A Further Round-Up Of Bin Laden Related Cartooning

imageAs expected, there was a torrent of editorial cartooning this week related to the weekend killing of Osama Bin Laden. As always, Cagle has multiple takes on the subject. He was first in with a best-of feature, quickly followed up by a more standard survey of the site's syndicated cartoonists on the matter. On his blog, Cagle drives notice to a couple of politically partisan cartoons, his own work on the subject, and those from the international cartoonists syndicated on the site. Michael Cavna at Comic Riffs pulls together what he thought were 13 arresting images on the subject. Matt Bors punishes the wicked. Here's Tom Toles. Here he is again. Comic Strip Of The Day calls attention to Signe Wilkinson's take on the wider issues involved. Finally, Jim Blanchard provides a cover to The Stranger featuring the now-deceased terrorist.
 
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Go, Look: Roope Eronen On Flickr

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

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Go, Look: Tom Hart Sort-Of Self-Portrait Timeline

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Go, Look: Kabochenook

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Go, Look: The Love Leaflet

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Dan Barry

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* here's something that's been out there but not here at CR yet: Northern Kentucky University is assigning David Mack's Kabuki: The Alchemy to its Freshman class. I've seen this kind of thing before, but only featuring work from Art Spiegelman and Marjane Satrapi, whose comics are different than Mack's. I'm sure I'm forgetting a billion other comics that have been assigned this way.

image* did you know that you could go to this page and find out what comics were on the stands the month you were born? This seems like the kind of thing that I would have known about 10 years ago, but if I did, I've forgotten about it. I have no idea how it ended up in my bookmarks folder, but it's sort of fun. My month of birth was not exactly one for the ages.

* it's good to see that Shaenon Garrity will be writing about webcomics for the new TCJ, even though I'm one of about 50 targets to receive a rhetorical whipped-cream pie in the face in the inaugural edition. She's a fun writer, and she knows enough about the print and webcomics worlds not to fall prey to false distinctions between them. Without quite knowing why, it feels to me like we're in the midst of some kind of in-between point for webcomics, a period similar to that which directly preceded a move away from formally inventive webcomics to a more widespread adoption of a standard strip-format equivalent by a lot of the top practitioners. My take could be totally wrong, of course, and there are no clean breaks in art. Mostly, I look forward to what Garrity has to say about what's out there right now.

* speaking of TCJ, Dan Nadel reviews Thor.

* I had meant at some point to do a round-up of reactions and features stories generated by Mike Keefe wining the Pulitzer on April 18. I thought that was a nice story in addition to its obvious newsworthiness because Keefe is slightly older than some of the recent winners, so I had to imagine it came as that much extra and welcome of a surprise to the cartooning veteran. Keefe is also -- unless I'm missing out on some aspect of his career -- pretty much a meat-and-potatoes kind of editorial cartoonist; I'm not aware of a YouTube cartoon series with name on it, for example. Here is the home newspaper article, which points out that he follows Paul Conrad and Pat Oliphant as Post winners in the editorial cartooning category. Here is Cagle's re-presentation in slideshow form of the winning submission packet (Keefe is syndicated by Cagle). Here is Michael Cavna's profile. Here's an article that lauds the Post for keeping a staff cartoonist.

* it's my understanding that this essay on The Filth is a part of a long series; I've bookmarked it so I can go back and explore at a later date.

* this is a reminder that the artist Chris Wozniak could probably still use your help.

* finally, James Kochalka sent along this letter from Harry Bliss about e-readers vs. printed material published in I think a Vermont weekly: the gist is that an over-reliance on print is contributing to the ecological death of Planet Earth, so switching over to e-readers is a good thing. Also, he threatens to vomit on people.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Craig Fischer!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, David Michelinie!

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Quick hits
Craft
Owlbear
Deaf Comics
On A Moebius Sequence
An Adam Hughes Mini-Gallery

History
Henry David Thor
Moucherot Meets Manga
Celebrities Love Comics
Warriors And Weather 01
The Essential Wolverine Stories

Interviews/Profiles
Word Balloon: Joe Quesada
Collected Comics Library: Peter Maresca

Not Comics
A Study Of Billboards
Mark Evanier On Jackie Cooper
Kathleen David Reviews Thor Movie
The New Rules For Comic Book Movies

Publishing
Read A Classic Adventure Strip On-Line
Ooh, That Mickey Mouse Book Is Imminent

Reviews
Win Wiacek: 21
David Brothers: The Spirit
Bob Temuka: Palooka-Ville #1
Yan Basque: Action Comics #900
Don MacPherson: Moon Knight #1
Sean Gaffney: Kimi ni Todoke Vol. 8
 

 
Reminder: Free Comic Book Day Is Tomorrow


via Joe Field
 
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May 5, 2011


Go, Look: Who Are You, Jesus?

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* Denmark's top prosecutor has charged a Chechen-born man with terrorism for intending to send a letter bomb to the Jyllands-Posten newspaper office because of their publication in 2005 of 12 cartoons related to Muhammed. You may remember the accused as the man who was building a bomb in a Copenhagen hotel room when it went off -- non-lethally -- right in his face.

* the Copenhagen Post adds up what Osama Bin Laden cost that nation, largely in terms of security and law enforcement upgrades designed to counter his repeated calls that Denmark -- home of the Danish Cartoons Controversy -- become a target for violence.
 
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Go, Look: Sean Phillips 2000 AD Mini-Gallery

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

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* TCAF this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at the Toronto Reference Library. Programming here, promotional video here, Friday event here and guest list here. It's free. This is a big year for the show in that it's their third in a row -- to my mind, that means they should be settling into a sustainable model for the near-future, shifting completely away from their previous every-other-year operation. That's a bigger transition than you'd think, as you have to find a way of putting on the show that doesn't wipe out the organizers and volunteers for an entire season.

* I aim to be at TCAF on Saturday and Sunday, and have taken every precaution I can think of to make that possible. If all goes well, I'll be talking to Chris Ware and David Boswell on Saturday; John P. on Sunday. Hope to see you there. I'd love to meet you.

* the Swedish SPX is also this weekend, making it maybe the best weekend for art/alt comics this year. Looks like the North American contingent will include Eric Reynolds, Vanessa Davis, Gabrielle Bell and Chris Staros.

* this weekend is also an event about which I know very little but sounds: the first annual Latino Comics Expo at the Cartoon Art Museum.

* and I'm not forgetting the other big, obvious event: Free Comic Book Day got its own post further down the page. What a weekend. Summer is officially here.

* here is the standard people in costumes photo display from last weekend's Boston Comic Con.

* missed it: Jeff Smith is going to Baltimore Comic Con this year. That's a great get for them, as Smith is a A+ comics convention guest.

* I've linked to it once before, but I thought very good this post on FLUKE 2011, drawn from a number of attendees' perspectives. I think anyone planning a local show -- and why wouldn't you want to have a local show? -- should pay attention to what a show like FLUKE does as a potential model for what works and what doesn't.

* I actually got a postcard in the mail for Minnesota's Springcon, which worked enough I looked up to see if I had it list and am mentioning it here. Old school!

* finally, the event information for the Hawthorne High School Comic Convention has been released. That's a quirky show for obvious reasons, and I think I read somewhere that this could be the final one.
 
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Go, Read: A Black And White Thor Story

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all my teenage moves came from Thor
 
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Not Comics: Could Kickstarter Be Evil?

Paul Constant (an occasional and very good writer about comics) and Jen Graves debate the popular money-raising platform over at The Stranger. I think the thing to consider with something as successful as Kickstarter is that it may have a deleterious effect on a culture without doing anything in functioning the way it's intended to function. I think Kickstarter's pretty awesome. I can even see a day where I might have a project for which it might work extremely well. At the same time, I'm sort of suspicious of its success contributing to a comics culture that's already short on people bringing capital investment to the process of making comics (many of whom expect to reap capital reward on the other end).
 
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Go, Look: A Great Jack Kirby Single-Page Splash

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This Saturday Is Free Comic Book Day

imageThis Saturday marks the return of one of comics' odder traditions, the industry-wide promotion through Direct Market outlets that is Free Comic Book Day. It may be that the shop closest to me is two and a half hours away, but it's been a difficult things around which to wrap my head. For instance, I'm not sure exactly when the promotion shifted some of its emphasis from reaching out to new customers with a new comic book for every person to making sure regular customers are satisfied by getting one of everything they want, but I definitely see that element to it now.

A couple of things that haven't changed is that 1) comic shops are mostly wonderful places and if they didn't exist and one suddenly popped up out of nowhere we would all poop our pants over how amazing it was, so that despite their occasional annoyances giving some love back to that network of stores is worthwhile even if the bulk of your shopping is through Amazon.com now and 2) the Free Comic Book Day comics themselves have gone from tossed-together efforts with one or two half-way decent gems to much more deliberately planned offerings eight or nine of which I want to read right now. They are of a high enough general quality that I don't think it's worth reviewing them in advance -- the average person can pretty much decide by what's on the front cover if they want the individual FCBD comic in front of them or if they don't. I'm personally looking forward to the John Stanley (D+Q) and Floyd Gottfredson (Fantagraphics) efforts maybe a little more than most, but I also want that Thor comic and five or six others.

One thing that was pointed out to me by a couple of CR readers is that you can go to the FCBD site's news page and access a ton of interviews with various participants.

Two shops I hope do well this weekend are Comics Compulsion in Christchurch, which had to relocate after that area's earthquake, and Sho'Nuff Comics, a shop in storm-tossed Tuscaloosa that's doing a canned food drive with this Saturday's event.
 
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Go, Read: Thor (The Short Version)

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If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Read: Sam Henderson On Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead

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Sam Henderson uses the occasion of a vast, Borders-collapse discounting on a book about National Lampoon to provide a mini-meditation on National Lampoon, both its cartoonists and the shift from 1970s counter-culture humor magazine to a humor magazine perhaps best known reliable place young men could find a few photos of topless women.
 
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Go, Read: Frank Young On Early John Stanley

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Go, Look: Gold Key Spotlight #6

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Go, Look: All-Flash Comics #31

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Philip Nel presents his opening to his forthcoming Crockett Johnson biography, unpacking the writing and editorial process a bit.

* politics is stupid. I'd feel bad for Neil Gaiman if he were getting that particular criticism of his reading fee if he were doing it to squeeze money out of the libraries and spending what he got on hookers and crystal meth because it's hardly his fault if someone wants to pay his fee. That Gaiman sets his fee where he does in order to price himself out of most speaking engagements and then donated the money to charity makes me want to move to Minnesota, run for the statehouse and then sneak out of the first full legislative session to poop in that guy's office.

image* who on earth wouldn't want a mural for their shop created by Eleanor Davis and David Mack?

* it's on Facebook, so I apologize to anyone this frustrates, but here's a sketch of Usagi Yojimbo by Gahan Wilson.

* I always enjoy Bully's scan-driven posts, mostly because it boggles the mind that he would know where to find all of the material, single panels across a thousand funnybooks. The latest is a group of detail-light shortcut panels.

* Joe Keatinge talks about achieving one of his dreams.

* one of my favorite comics commentators out there is Graeme McMillan, and I sort of see the general point of what he's getting at here, but it seems silly to me to even suggest that when organizations ignore work that's routinely covered in major media sources and focus on some minor superhero work that's maybe covered on like 15 web sites that it's somehow the fault of the PR people that this happens as opposed to the shortsightedness and lack of effort on the part of the people at the organizations looking to honor work for X, Y, Z reason.

* today is National Cartoonists Day. Do we still celebrated National Cartoonists Day? Did we ever really celebrate it?

* here's a fascinating article on Chester Brown's use of text notes. I imagine that after the issues Brown introduces the focus of most of the conversation about Paying For It will be those notes. I hope it doesn't get mired into a legitimacy argument, although I'm afraid it will.

* the day Hayley Campbell almost killed Kurt Busiek.

image* here's something I've never seen: James Owen drawing Uncle Scrooge.

* the world's least cost-efficient super-villain returns!

* not comics: I forgot all about this, but of course there were a bunch of special commemorative issues of newspapers built around the death of Osama Bin Laden. That's how a lot of papers make money now. That particular phenomenon is going to have a very odd effect on the news in the short term. In the long term, I'm not sure any of it matters.

* that fun-sounding "Defective Comics" panel from the last HeroesCon that I couldn't attend because of interviewing Richard Thompson is now on-line. Craig Fischer explains.

* this is quite the meaty review/interview column from Nick Gazin.

* finally, yesterday was apparently Star Wars something-or-other, I guess because of the horrible lack of all things Star Wars the other 364 days a year. I didn't run across a whole lot of stuff, but this post at DC Women Kicking Ass has a couple of nice Princess Leia drawings by big-name mainstream comic book illustrators.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Éric Ivars!

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Happy 61st Birthday, David Lloyd!

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Happy 30th Birthday, Mart!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Adam Hughes!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Stan Goldberg!

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Quick hits
Craft
Nice Poster
Slim And Shorty
Nice Alternate Cover

Exhibits/Events
That's Athorable
Go See D+Q At TCAF
Go Buy Garden At TCAF
Go See Robin McConnell
Go See John Porcellino On Tour
Go See AdHouse Books At TCAF
Miriam Katin Profiled In Hungary
Mark Kalesniko At The LA Times Festival of Books

History
Arnim Zola Jesus
Nobody Likes Azrael
A History Of Storm On Comic Book Covers
Thor, Mainstream Audiences; Mainstream Audiences, Thor

Industry
WowCool Undergoing Changes
Rob Clough's Top 25 Mini-Comics Of 2010

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Victor Gischler
Kapow!: Shaky Kane, David Hine
Manga Out Loud: Rumiko Takahashi
Talking Comics With Tim: Stuart Immonen

Not Comics
Dear God, No
The CBLDF Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Publishing
DC = Cheaters?
Three #2 Imminent
Love For Matt Forsythe
Behind The Scenes With Domino
More Twain Sneaks From Michael Kupperman

Reviews
Rob Clough: Various
Tom De Haven: Mid-Life
Bob Temuka: Flash #129
Colin Smith: The Flash #10
Sean Rogers: Paying For It
Nina Stone: Brightest Day #24
Garrett Martin, Hillary Brown, Sean Edgar: Various
Matthew Brady: Gladstone's School For World Conquerors #1
Michael C. Lorah: Delirium's Party: A Little Endless Storybook
 

 
May 4, 2011


Go, Bookmark: Drew Friedman Has A Blog Now

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Go, Look: Jim Blanchard Covers The Stranger

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Jackie Cooper, RIP

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Cooper's Academy Award nomination as a nine-year-old for the movie based on Percy Crosby's Skippy is one of the all-time great comics trivia trip-ups
 
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Amazon Pulls Yaoi Works From Kindle Store

I want to play catch on this for at least few more hours and probably through the rest of the day before weighing in, but my lack of contextual certainty should not keep you from learning that Amazon apparently pulled some yaoi titles from its Kindle store. This is important for all the obvious reasons, all circling around the fact that companies may now more strictly control what reaches the marketplace. It looks like there may be some chewiness this story based on the arbitrariness of what's being pulled; I can't tell yet.
 
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Go, Look: Black Peider

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Missed It: Mike Peters Wins Thomas Nast Award

imageThe cartoonist Mike Peters was given this year's Thomas Nast Award for cartooning on international affairs at the Overseas Press Club awards dinner last Thursday evening in New York City. This was Peters' second big cartooning win of the season, having taken home the first-place prize in the National Headliners Awards back in March. Peters does two editorial cartoons a week and is carried by approximately 400 papers through syndication. His home publication is the Dayton Daily News. Peters may be better known for his strip, Mother Goose And Grimm, which the article linked-to above says has around 800 clients.
 
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Go, Look: Bill Watterson Mark Twain Cartoons

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GADO Receives Ford Foundation Visionaries Award

imageAccording to a press release issued earlier today, the Ford Foundation has named the Kenyan cartoonist Godfrey Mwampembwa among twelve social innovators that are to receive $100,000 to advance their work. Mwampembwa, better known by his pen name GADO, is one of the two or three most widely syndicated and influential cartoonists on the entire African continent, and I believe he's the biggest voice of that type in his part of Africa by a wide margin. GADO also has a TV series called The XYZ Show, which uses puppets in the tradition of the UK's Spitting Image. That show, which debuted in 2009 after a seven-year gestation period, has brought the cartoonist's skeptical, reformist point of view to millions of people in the region.

The awards are part of the Foundation's 75th anniversary celebration and were given out through their visionaries program. Other winners include the women's advocate Ellen Bravo, Peru's indigenous peoples activist Tarcila Rivera Zea and the education reformer Steve Barr.
 
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Go, Look: Fun Bill Everett Horror Comic Art

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

imageHere 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.

*****

DEC100085 ARCHIE ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 $49.99
Archie's all over the place these days, the little tramp, and while this might be the last place I'd access the life and time of Riverdale's red-headed wonder I know for others these bookshelf-ready editions are the only way to fly. This is the Pep and Jackpot material, in order so it's not every issue of either, and that's when the characters looked really, really funky. I'd be interested to know how this stuff reads in a big chunk, though.

FEB111187 HUNTINGTON WEST VIRGINIA ON THE FLY GN (RES) $19.95
This is one of those books that has me wishing my community was served by a comics store -- a series of Harvey Pekar vignettes as interpreted by a single artist, Summer McClinton.

MAR111242 I WILL BITE YOU AND OTHER STORIES GN $14.00
Joseph Lambert's debut volume, a bunch of short stories created over the last few years. I probably did more harm than good suggesting this might be a book that people pick up and enjoy at the recent MoCCA Festival. We're soaking in such riches as an art form right now that people can afford to take the expectations game more seriously than they should. I thought this was a nice book, though, and Lambert certainly one to watch.

FEB110038 USAGI YOJIMBO #137 $3.50
I didn't see a whole lot of single-issue comics that struck my fancy, but I'm always up for picking up and reading an issue of Usagi when I hit a comics store. Seeing how many serial comics it's outlasted, I wonder if the people that have been following this one since the beginning feel like they backed the right horse.

JAN111233 ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY SCREAMING PLANET HC $24.95
I don't know that much about this except that it's an old-fashioned single-theme sci-fi anthology, which in this case means stories about different reactions to a dead, runaway planet. The illustrators in question are JH Williams III, Ladronn and Adi Granov, three of the more interesting talents to work in the North American mainstream the last two decades. I'd sure pick it up if I were in a funnybook shop.

FEB111195 HIKARU NO GO TP VOL 23 $9.99
The most successful translated sports manga of all time, right? Unless "being a ninja" or "being a pirate" is a sport now. I guess Ranma 1/2 had a tamped-down, sports-type take on martial arts, if I remember correctly (and I could be wrong, it's been years). I sure wouldn't have bet on 23 volumes of a series about playing Go, though, even with a ghost involved.

FEB111185 7 BILLION NEEDLES GN VOL 04 $10.95
FEB111208 GENKAKU PICASSO GN VOL 03 $9.99
The best of this week's manga offerings in terms of books in a series. I think the 7 Billion Needles one may be the last.

FEB111184 LYCHEE LIGHT CLUB GN VOL 01 $16.95
A well-liked stand-alone by Usamaru Furuya for Vertical? Yes, please.

MAR111223 NEXT DAY GN $16.95
This is the combination illustrated work and interactive documentary film about depressions. Hopefully, Porcellino will talk about it some this weekend at TCAF.

FEB110373 BAT BOY WEEKLY WORLD NEWS STRIPS HC BY PETER BAGGE $17.99
Hasn't this already been done? If not, I'll certainly be buying it. I buy everything Bagge does; I think he's a talent for the ages.

JAN111436 DODGEM LOGIC MAGAZINE #8 (MR) $7.00
I'm not sure how many issues they did in their first burst, but we have to be nearing the end of their release into comics shops, right?

MAR111427 RALPH STEADMAN BOOK OF DOGS HC $24.00
When deciding on one's personal definition of comics, I always suggest one that allows the purchase of Ralph Steadman books with one's comics budget, because that's money well-spent.

*****

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 on me. I apologize.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Piotr Nowacki

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Rise Of Arsenal, Greek Street Win PRISM Awards

One of the most thoroughly ridiculed comics of recent years won a PRISM award over the weekend for its supposedly accurate description of substance abuse and mental illness. Justice League: Rise Of Arsenal was one of those books that in trying to underline certain serious aspects to a superhero character and his adventures quickly settled into near-legendary status for its extravagant, outsized take on, well, just about everything. One guesses this was not an opinion shared by the awards organizers. Since the web site itself seems to have been put up to frustrate people into punching their screen as they scream vows of revenge on the organization, I'll send you to JK Parkin's well-linked posting on the matter at Robot 6. Also receiving recognition is a storyline from the now-defunct, mythology-driven Greek Street about post-traumatic disorder that was almost certainly not as wild-eyed as the Arsenal book. At the same time, I'm also guessing far fewer people read it.
 
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Go, Read: I'm Going To The Comic Convention!

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

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

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Howard Post Western Stories

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Go, Look: Dell's The Twilight Zone #1

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I love the mild horror stuff from the 1960s and 1970s because they give normal adult activities the imprimatur of horror, which of course many of them deserve
 
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Go, Look: Little Iodine #1

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Go, Look: Wonderworld Comics #23

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the writer Brad Mackay provides some personal context for his recent review of Paying For It.

image* Matt Seneca breaks down some of the art in Prince Valiant and how Hal Foster achieves certain effects. It's great to see today's generation of comics critics re-appraise Foster's masterwork after a period in which folks looked on Prince Valiant with suspicion due to how much an earlier generation lauded it.

* people keep sending me this: Hot Chicks In Batman Shirts

* the cartoonist Dan Zettwoch teases the forthcoming anthology Root Rot with a page of his work from the publication.

* Alex Boney uses a Darwyn Cooke short story to facilitate some thinking on the death of Osama Bin Laden. Speaking of which, Kevin Melrose bravely asks the least-important question. Still, I know I wondered. Just to get all of this material in the same place: Richard Thompson shows off a now-obsolete cartoon.

* Mike Baehr expresses mixed feelings about being able to look at material Charles Schulz didn't attend for public viewing.

* Fred Hembeck's Women Of The DCU.

* so I guess Marvel is relaunching its Ultimate Universe yet again. That would be cool if that line's basic organizing principle were to become quicker and quicker total line relaunches.

* Erica Friedman explores the concept of the "Girl Prince" in an installment of her column at Hooded Utilitarian.

* finally, the writer and critic David Brothers engages a shortcoming common to a lot of writers about comics, myself included: we don't know enough about how art works.
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Shaenon Garrity!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Geoff Grogan!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Alé Garza!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Craft
Whistle Blower
Joseph Lambert Sketches
Chris Samnee Draws Thor
The Process Of Penciling 03
Sean Phillips Sketches A Cover

Exhibits/Events
Go See First Second At TCAF
Go See Secret Acres At TCAF

History
On Basara
Mjolnir The Bouncer
Tied For All Of Them
Love For Mort Meskin
Nice Photo Of Adam Hines
A Very Early Julia Wertz Comic

Industry
Anya's Ghost Giveaway

Interviews/Profiles
Comicdom: Douglas Paskiewicz
Washington City Paper: Katie Omberg

Not Comics
Brian Hibbs Reviews Thor
The Wonders Of Technology
Philip Nel Has A Book On Kids' Lit Coming Out
Bully Takes A Really Close Look At A DC T-Shirt

Publishing
Praise For 7 Billion Needles
More On The Forthcoming Clamp Effort

Reviews
Dave Ferraro: Hipira
Bog Temuka: Dork #6
Don MacPherson: Various
Daniel Von Egidy: Various
E. Peterman: The New York Five
Paul Di Filippo: Duncan The Wonder Dog
Christopher Allen: BPRD: Plague Of Frogs Vol. 1
Michael C. Lorah: Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Sean Gaffney: Higurashi: When They Cry Vols. 11-12
Johanna Draper Carlson: The Manga Guide To Relativity
 

 
May 3, 2011


Go, Look: Roger Langridge's Little Neuro For Team Cul-De-Sac

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posted 7:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Watch: The Don Rosa House Tour


The Don Rosa House Tour, Part 1: The Studio from Jano Rohleder on Vimeo.


The Don Rosa House Tour, Part 2: The First Floor from Jano Rohleder on Vimeo.


The Don Rosa House Tour, Part 3: The Second Floor from Jano Rohleder on Vimeo.


The Don Rosa House Tour, Part 4: The Comic Vault from Jano Rohleder on Vimeo.


The Don Rosa House Tour, Outtake: Don's Dogs from Jano Rohleder on Vimeo.

Before the onset of his admirable comics career, Don Rosa was the kind of collector about whom they wrote newspaper feature articles. This completely thorough walk through the cartoonist's home contains a visit to his famous comics vault. (thx, Stefan Dinter)
 
posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bookmark: Mike Dawson's Ain't No Power

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posted 9:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: A Publishing News Column

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

*****

* Sonny Liew has released what is the likely cover for a forthcoming English-language version of Malinky Robot.

* on Sunday, the writer Warren Ellis posted an update on various comics projects. Of particular note is his plan to bring Freakangels to a close, as that webcomic seems to me a model to which other people might pay attention over the next few years.

* Wayno sent out an e-mail that indicates he will be taking over Dan Piraro's Bizarro feature from May 16 to May 22, so that Mr. Defending Reuben Award Winner can have a small vacation. I always liked that kind of thing, although I realize that many hardcore comics fans never did.

* one of this year's Reuben Award finalists, Stephan Pastis has announced one of those comics+commentary books, this one coming from Chronicle and to be called Only The Pearls.

* I think this is a new message-board set-up for comics types. As much as I've come not to care for particular Internet offerings over the years, some in message-board form, I don't begrudge anyone who loves them and I'm always thrilled when someone finds use for a slightly out-of-date publishing expression.

* I wish we lived in a world where this were bigger news, but we have a really diffuse industry coverage scene right now, and I probably benefit a bit from the shape of that landscape. Anyway, TCJ has added a podcast, its first, TCJ Talkies. First up is all-time talker Evan Dorkin.

* details on the Strange Adventures re-launch. Speaking of details on already-announced projects, here's Stuart Immonen providing details on Centifolia 2, and a blog post providing details on Dark Horse's forthcoming Clamp book, Gate 7. It looks like DH is doing Gate 7 in some kind of short-burst serial form, which should be interesting. Not a lot of new information a sneak peek of Michael Kupperman's next book here.

* not comics: there will be a second Machine Of Death. The story of the first one is worth knowing, if that didn't ring a bell.

* the cartoonist Darwyn Cooke talked about a bunch of future books at his panel in Boston: a digital-only creator-owned book, a big project for DC, that there may be five instead of four Parker books and that he'd like to adapt The Fountainhead. A Darwyn Cooke adaptation of Ayn Rand would be a gas, so I hope someone buys that project from him.

* here's a wrap-up of publishing news announced at the BCC, including Cooke's.

* Roman Muradov is writing Fantagraphics a letter.

* here's a worthy-sounding project about which I haven't heard much else; I certainly didn't know in advance that it was coming out: The Artist At War, by veteran mainstream comics illustrator Nick Cardy. The book from Eva Ink collects his wartime drawings.

* finally, there a couple of other projects in the bookmarks which, like Cardy's, I haven't seen much discussed even though they seem out or imminent: Skippy Vs. The Mob and Aurora Borealice. The latter is from a cartoonist with whom I'm completely unfamiliar. I hope that you'll check both out because other than an illustrative piece of Aurora Borealice art below, I'm not sure I can do a good job of "selling" either link.

*****

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*****
*****
 
posted 9:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Excellent Scans Of Fine, Guardineer, Pinajian

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posted 9:38 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Superman For Everybody

imageMartyn Pedler at Bookslut asks after what might happen if Superman were allowed to renounced his corporate ownership. This involves both an analysis of the copyright situation as it exists right now and a lengthy exploration of what might happen where the character to fall into the public domain.

I think the first part is more astute than the second, although the entire essay is valuable. I also think it's not as dumb or naive a question as Pedler suggests it may be. Mainstream comics publishers such as DC and their communities have ascribed a real-world moral authority to these fictional characters for years now. Why shouldn't that extend to broader ethical issues involved in their creation, publication and distribution? If Superman, Batman and Spider-Man are presented at times as moral agents capable of instructing and inspiring their readership, why wouldn't the expectations they engender apply to a situation where the press of ownership concerns has taken precedence over the greater morality represented by treating people with compassion and gratitude? It's exponentially more troubling to me that something other than a rigid definition of what rights can be won through multiple depositions and a drawn-out legal process has failed to be applied here given that there's a massive reservoir of cash involved, the resources on hand to match all desires, heal all wounds and do right by any reasonable standard.
 
posted 9:36 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sex Is No Accident

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posted 9:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Susie Cagle On Local Issues Cartooning

imageSusie Cagle has penned a short essay for Cartoon Movement about her experiences making cartoons on local issues, a piece that I think is very strong when it comes to nailing down in concise fashion how the economic issues facing that profession might constantly kneecap cartoonists in terms of their exploring a rich, potential area of editorializing, an area in where they could do a great deal of journalistic good. I'm not sure what the answer is, or if there is one, really. I know that there are some cartoonists with whom we engage on a national-issues level that do local cartoons -- I believe Tom Toles has done a number of cartoons on regional transportation issues, although I can't recall a one, and Joel Pett's 2011 editorial cartooning Pulitzer Finalist status was based in part on his attention to issues facing Kentuckians -- but that kind of example doesn't necessarily facilitate staffed cartooning positions with that kind of focus. I do think you're going to find a number of papers that are reinvigorated through strident leadership on local coverage, so maybe cartoonists being hired to cover those issues will be an outcome of that.
 
posted 9:32 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Man Who Disappeared

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posted 9:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Editorial Cartoonists Render Bin Laden Story

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As expected, the editorial pages were quickly filled with cartoons related to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Cagle has his usual really handy sampling up drawing from the cartoonists the site represents. I liked the above piece by Taylor Jones for Hoover Digest just fine. What jumps out to me is that maybe a quarter to a third of the cartoonists jump right to the political elements of the story rather than linger for a day on the event itself.

Here's a reaction to both the news and the rising tide of cartoons from alt-cartoonist Jen Sorensen.
 
posted 9:28 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ghost Dog

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posted 9:26 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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