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
















July 31, 2011


CR Sunday Interview: Stan Sakai

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this interview has been archived
 
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Go, Look: Sketches By Duncan Fegredo

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Go, Look: Vaughn Bode In Junkwaffel

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Go, Look: Gil Kane And John Giunta Art

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

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

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

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

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Happy 36th Birthday, Alex Holden!

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Happy 30th Birthday, Jog!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Gary Barker!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Leinil Francis Yu!

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FFF Results Post #260 -- Politicians

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Politicians From The Comics." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Joe Quimby
2. Foggy Nelson
3. Lacey Davenport
4. Simple J. Malarkey
5. Lord Julius

*****

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1. Luba (Love and Rockets)
2. Nezu (Akira)
3. Phoncible P. Bone (Bone)
4. Superman (Action Comics Annual #3 and various imaginary storylines)
5. Richard Nixon (Watchmen)

Michael Buntag

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Senator Barrows
2. Joseph McCartaway
3. Senator Jack S. Phogbound
4. Governor Rodney Richpigge
5. Senator Lucias Bedfellow

*****

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Justin J. Major

1. Dr. Vulko (Aquaman)
2. Senator Boggle (Gasoline Alley)
3. Marte Allon (Legion of Superheroes)
4. Sen. Creed Phillips (The Flash)
5. Richard Milhous Nixon (Watchmen/Futurama)

*****

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Jim Wheelock

1. Senator Harrington Byrd
2. Prez
3. John F. Kennedy (Action Comics #309, Herbie)
4. King Kull
5. Bobman and Teddy (The Great Society Comic Book)

*****

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Chris Duffy

1. Mr. O'Malley
2. Prez
3. Howard the Duck
4. Nelson Rockefeller (from Squadron Supreme's earth)
5. Charlie Brown (ran for class president)

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John Platt

1. Mitchell Hundred
2. J. Jonah Jameson
3. Archie Andrews (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_YjG9xb9JE)
4. Oliver Queen
5. Pete Ross

*****

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Joe Schwind

* TR
* Tim Pettigrew
* Nixon
* Zippy
* Garfield

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Congresswoman Barbara Gordon
2. Mayor Oliver Queen
3. Governor Duke
4. Senator Harrison Byrd
5. Senator Robert Kelly

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Dr. Doom (Fantastic Four)
2. Empress S'Byll (Silver Surfer)
3. President Nixon (Captain America)
4. Mr. Nezu (Akira)
5. C.K. Blitz (American Flagg)

*****

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Grant Goggans

1. Dave the Orangutan
2. Prez Rickard
3. Peter St. John
4. Kandro Boltax
5. Mayor Byron Ambrose

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Yagyū Retsudō
2. The Mayor of Townsville
3. Phoncible P. "Phoney" Bone
4. The Little King
5. James Norcross a.k.a Super President

*****

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Christopher Keels

* Mayor C.K. Blitz (American Flagg)
* Mayor Dalgang (Spring 1982)
* Senator Rebel Ralston (former Howling Commando; shown to be a senator by the '80s)
* Counclman Randolph Winston Cherryh (Miller's DD)
* President Ken Wind / Garrett (Elektra Assassin)

*****

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M. Emery

1. Mayor Byron Donald Ambrose
2. Chief Judge Cal
3. Chief Judge Griffin
4. Chief Judge Hershey
5. Chief Judge McGruder

*****

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Johnny Bacardi

1. Prez Rickard (might as well list the obvious one first)
2. Sen. H. Warren Craddock (The Avengers, sp. the Kree-Skrull War)
3. U.S. President William Martin (Thriller)
4. California Gov. Ronald Reagan (Brother Power, the Geek- he ordered BP to be shot into space!)
5. U.S. President Super-Hip! (Adv. of Bob Hope #100)

*****

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Max Fischer

1. The Friend
2. Lord Hebi
3. King Blozo
4. King Cold (father of Frieza)
5. "Bird" Bowers

*****

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Mark Coale

1. Boss Rupert Thorne
2. Gephetto (Fables)
3. Sideshow Bob
4. Ellan Dolan
5. Nelson Rockefeller (Serpent Crown version)

*****

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Eric Newsom

1. Mayor Myra Fermin of Hub City
2. Mayor Luba of Palomar
3. Mayor Hamilton Hill of Gotham City (especially in animated series episodes that feature Clock King)
4. Rep. Barbara Gordon (D-NJ) [That last part is just a guess]
5. United Planets President R.J. Brande

*****

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Chad Nevett

1. The Smiler
2. Tartleton Sweeney
3. Bob Heller
4. James Longmarch
5. The Beast

*****

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William Burns

* J. Jonah Jameson
* Prez Rickard
* Senator Snort
* Randolph Cherryh
* Barbara Gordon

*****

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Rob Cave

* Senator Robert Kelly
* Barack Obama
* Dan Quayle
* Lex Luthor
* Cerebus

*****

I'm happy to have Five For Friday back. I will, however, be that much more likely to delete an entry if when I read it I feel it doesn't answer the question directly or if it's formatted in a difficult way. The former constraint is necessary to keep people from making more and more self-indulgent "riffs" on the questions; the latter is necessary to keep my sanity. No personal acrimony on my part is ever intended: I just delete and move on. I have even less time and energy for arguing about it, so unless some obvious, actual injustice was done I'll delete your e-mail, block your address and get back to work. I appreciate everyone's participation and patience.

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topic suggested by Stergios Botzakis, PhD, thanks, Dr. Botzakis

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Graphic Novels, Comics And Cartoons Panel At Auckland Writers And Readers Fest 2011
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Short Documentary On The Landon Cartooning Course
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Promotional Video For Top Shelf's English-Language Publication Of Lucille


That Frank Miller Holy Terror Trailer For The Three Of You That Haven't Seen It Yet


The Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar Drawing


Episode Three Of Comic Book Storytellers, Featuring Several Creator Interviews


Preview Of Brad McGinty's Wysteria
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Trailer For Top Shelf's Kagan Mcleod Book Infinite Kung Fu
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Nate Powell Lectures On Comics Storytelling
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Cartoonist Andy Kuhn Playing At The Trickster Lounge At CCI 2011


Grant Morrison Sings At Meltdown
 
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July 30, 2011


CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from July 23 to July 29, 2011:

1. Marvel's summary judgment against the family of legendary, late artist Jack Kirby granted; summary judgment motion from the Kirby family dismissed.

2. Comic-Con International 2011 concludes in San Diego Sunday evening with major stories including resurgence in pride concerning comics publishing's place at the show, a surge in digital comics initiatives and the establishment of the first major comics-related off-site event.

3. Comic-Con admits to some uncertainty as to when and particularly where WonderCon 2012 will take place, as traditional site the Moscone Center will be closed for renovations.

Winners Of The Week
Your 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners.

Loser Of The Week
Fans of Oh, Brother!, the classy Bob Weber Jr. and Jay Stephens newspaper strip aimed at kids. It ceased production this week never quite having caught on.

Quote Of The Week
"People from New York have been calling, to see if I'm still alive. When I answer the phone, you can hear the disappointment in their voice." -- Maurice Sendak

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

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

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

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Happy 35th Birthday, Dan Nadel!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Chris Sprouse!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Tom Ziuko!

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July 29, 2011


Marvel Wins Summary Judgment Against Kirby Family

imageAs has been widely reported by now, Marvel won a summary judgment against a case brought by attorney Marc Toberoff on behalf of Jack Kirby's heirs, challenging Marvel's ownership of characters the iconic comic book artist co-created or created. The Kirby family's own motion for a summary judgment in their favor was dismissed. Toberoff says the family plans to appeal.

Although a few comics-industry observers have confessed confusion about the relative merits of this case vis-a-vis what seemed like more grounded, recent claims for return of copyright petitioned for by the families of Superman's co-creators, there remained a great deal of sympathy for the case because of its perceived ability to right a fundamental wrong of comics. Jack Kirby, without whom Marvel as we know it today would not exist, did not significantly enjoy in the fruits of his labor while living, his family does not enjoy in the fruits now that he's gone, and he was treated and his legacy continues to be treated outright shabbily in other areas (credit, original art, general reputation). The resulting reality is some random lawyer sitting on Marvel's board in 2000s probably made more in bonuses over a two-year period off of Kirby's creations than Kirby made in his lifetime. In other words, I can imagine a lot of folks are more disappointed than they are surprised by this outcome.

A few initial observations as I dig into the legal material.

First, a summary judgment is pretty much a crushing defeat no matter how you spin it, and the judge's thorough dissection of each claim in the judgment even more so. It's difficult for me to see how there's any solid ground for appeal here unless the standards for work-for-hire are changed, there's something to be chiseled at in the judge's interpretation, or there's something demonstrably false in key testimony.

Second, Stan Lee's deposition on the matter seems to have been a key if not the key to this outcome (probably not the key, given the emphasis on Kirby having signed retroactive contracts stating that work done was work-for-hire). As Lee outlived Kirby, his testimony seems to have been pitted against a construction of second-hand accounts and analysis on how the Marvel Method worked. Testimony by one of the only people "in the room," at it were, is going to outweigh most counter-arguments that don't have a similar person backing them up.

Third, any analysis that counts this loss in terms of a generic sports-style setback for attorney Marc Toberoff falls into the trap of portraying the legal system as some sort of TV Show Battle Of Personalities. It's fun, but adults should know better. The Kirby family and their attorney seem to my eye to have lost on the merits of the case as the law is currently constructed according to this judge, not because the cultural force of their attorney has been diminished. The family's moral claim remains unfazed, and some sort of easy journalistic narrative for Marc Toberoff ("the guy who seems to always win on issues of intellectual property takes one on the chops") is a distant side issue.

Fourth, this case never should have been filed. It's pathetic that it had to come to this. Marvel should have used a decade's worth of mega-cash to settle honorably with the Kirby family a long, long time ago, using their current relationship with Stan Lee -- which itself had to be haggled out in court -- as a model. Marvel doesn't even match its closest rival's efforts in terms of compensating creators for use of their characters in movies. At some point, no matter how well they treat their current crop of creators, no matter how many entertaining comics they make, no matter how many weekends are won by their movies, this easily correctable series of shitty policies should matter to people.
 
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Go, Look: Lunch

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Martin Skidmore, 1959-2011

Martin Skidmore, a prolific comics reviewer and editor of the influential fanzine FA who served as editor at the late 1980s/early 1990s comics publisher Trident, died late July 27 of complications due to cancer. He was 52 years old.

Skidmore held degrees from Cambridge and De Montfort Universities, and at least later in life found work as a systems analyst. His lifelong interest in comic books settled in when as a teenager in the 1970s he rediscovered the form through the comics of writer Steve Gerber. Unlike some same-era writers about comics Skidmore's taste in comics continued to develop over the years, later encompassing old comic strips. In recent times he may have been best known as a strong advocate for manga and many of that tradition's great works.

imageSkidmore's editorship of the longtime 'zine Fantasy Advertiser starting in 1984 saw the publication tighten its name (to FA) broaden its focus away from a strict diet of fantasy and into other genres, and generally become more political and engaged with the entirety of the comics medium and it attendant industries. Skidmore took FA to Trident in 1988 (I believe once again called Fantasy Advertiser) when he became that new publisher's editor; that iteration of the magazine was canceled in 1991.

While at Trident, Skidmore edited several of that small publisher's most notable works. This included but was certainly not limited to Grant Morrison and Paul Grist's "St. Swithin's Day," the Bacchus efforts in the anthology Trident, Paul Grist's title Burglar Bill and writer Mark Millar's first professional, a title called Saviour. Trident went under in 1992 with its parent company, Neptune Distribution.

In recent years, Skidmore enjoyed a major presence as an on-line reviewer and conversationalist about comics on several platforms. Skidmore resurrected FA as an on-line effort in 2010. He also contributed to a number of on-line destinations such as Freaky Trigger and The Singles Jukebox. Perhaps Skidmore's most valuable effort at Freaky Trigger was a Beginner's Guide series that painted a broad outline of great comics for curious readers to fill in on their own time.

Skidmore also became one of the more prolific writers-about-comics to find a home last decade on Livejournal when that outlet and its tight feedback circles seemed to become a particularly rich place for comics- and comics creator-related writing and promotion. Skidmore reviewed comics until a very short time before his death, such as this piece on the new Captain America series from Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven.

Skidmore died in University College Hospital following a long engagement with cancer, the progression of which he wrote about on both Livejournal and Facebook in heartbreaking detail. He is being remembered for his contributions to the British comics industry and to the on-line comics community in a flood of tributes.
 
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Go, Look: Sam Bosma's Blog

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Oslo Muslim Cartoon Riles Newspaper Readers

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A short article here describes a minor brouhaha at The Cape Breton Post of Sydney, Nova Scotia over editorial cartoonist Sean Casey July 26 cartoon showing two stock caricatures (suggesting Muslim terrorist) expressing pleasure over the recent terrorism in Oslo. It's fascinating to note how broken and sad the rhetoric that surrounds acts of terror that a subset of people keep trying to shoehorn issues and elements that seemingly have nothing to do with the set of crimes in question into discussions about them. It's like watching a super self-absorbed relative during the holiday season steer every conversation into a discussion of themselves, only even less connected to reality. Also, I'm not exactly a fan of the "why are you showing people in this kind of dress celebrating terrorism" line of inquiry that at least one letter writer employed, as I think the intention and connections are clear and you can pretty much get to just calling the cartoon a not-good one without having to prove some sort of precise motivation that displeases you.
 
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Go, Look: Bogeyman #3

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con 2011

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this article has now been archived; click through the image above to go to the resources section
 
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If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: Repository Of Radio Shack Comics

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thanks, James Langdell
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Gil Roth goes on a Comics Buying Odyssey, 2011 version. "I figured that six months of Kirby's career showed more creativity and vitality than all of the 52 'creative' teams and titles previewed in the comics. At home that evening, I flipped through the preview and revised my opinion: two months."

* I've been bemoaning the fact that there's been so little discussion of the "feature article"-style panels from the recent Comic-Con International, although it looks like The Comics Journal made some efforts in that direction, such as this Art Of The Graphic Novel panel taping.

* missed it: Marc Toberoff in Marc Toberoff's words. Also missed it: Marvel movie point man Kevin Feige in the NY Times' words.

* so this is what Bill Watterson's letterhead looked like at one time.

* Laura Hudson talks out loud in Dan DiDio's direction about the lack of female creators at the new DC Comics. Two things of note. First, she runs the full quote of DiDio's from when he challenged the audience member that brought the issue up at a Comic-Con panel. I'm not sure I thought this possible, but the full response somehow manages to be more ludicrous that its panel-report description. Second, I think the issue here should be fairly obvious and I hope people won't over-think it. DC is entering a publishing phase that depends on them having a lot of talent to put on all these new books. They're clearly not developing, or perhaps outright ignoring, major pools of talent. Why on earth wouldn't DC want to be aggressive in developing talent? Why would they prefer to be defensive about it? There's a huge opportunity for a company with DC's reach and resources to nurture a lot of talented people in a way that directly benefits DC. I always suggest a variation of the NFL's Rooney Rule, whereby every job and every assignment at a company fosters an interview or a pitch with a representative of whatever under-served group is identified at the program's outset, but hell: name your program. It's better than what's in place now. And all any of this costs is maybe not winning every argument with every fan.

* not comics: MSN Money suggests that those great deals at Borders during their liquidation aren't really deals at all. That Borders for whatever can't even compete price-wise during a liquidation sale is sort of a brilliant last statement from that company.

* head over to Facebook for the painting of Dick Tracy by artist Tony Fitzpatrick, stay for the story of 8-year-old Fitzpatrick ringing the doorbell at Chester Gould's house.

* finally, Newsarama grabs an interview with new Marvel digital czar Peter Philips while he still has that new hire smell.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Lovern Kindzierski!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Ted May!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Baru!

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Happy 28th Birthday, Nick Gazin!

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July 28, 2011


Oh, Brother! By Jay Stephens And Bob Weber, Jr. Ceases Production

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Jay Stephens' local paper the Guelph Mercury is running an article that Stephens and Bob Weber, Jr. have ended production on Oh, Brother!, their visually appealing comic strip aimed at kids from King Features. Stephens told the paper that the strip simply didn't find enough clients, and that the stress of churning it out on a daily basis without it bringing back anything in the way of real profit had a negative impact on his health. Stephens came to many comics fans' attention for his formally inventive comic book work in the mid-1990s and went on to enjoy critical and commercial success in animation; Weber Jr. is responsible for the successful kids strip feature Slylock Fox And Comics For Kids.

Stephens identifies the young readers focus of the strip as a hindrance given that younger readers don't read newspapers. While I'm not sure it's 100 percent true that comics appealing to kids no longer have a place in the paper, building a client list for something other than a strip that at least overlaps with the core older audience of those publications has to be amazingly difficult right now.

I wish Oh, Brother! had caught on. I thought it was a super-classy effort, and believe the newspaper comics page is poorer for it not being an option.

The strip launched on June 28, 2010.
 
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Go, Look: Kevin Huizenga's A Postcard From Fielder

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Maurice Sendak's First Written-And-Drawn Book In 30 Years Imminent

An article in Vanity Fair by Dave Eggers reminds us that this Fall's Bumble-Ardy is the first time the celebrated Maurice Sendak has both written and drawn a book in years and years and years. The piece is only a few paragraphs long, but Sendak comes across as everything you'd ever want from a grand creator in their Lion In Winter phase: funny, insightful, protective of his legacy and oh-so-slightly cranky. (via Timothy Hodler)
 
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Not Comics: Lisa Hanawalt Reviews Transformers 3

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Go, Read: Two Pieces On The Changing Comics Business

* I haven't liked a whole lot of the articles I've read at Editor & Publisher the last two or three years, but Rob Tornoe's work on comics-related news has been generally strong and this article on the business models used by syndicates is no exception. I think King Features' Brendan Burford has it right in that those businesses are in a relatively stable period after a super-panicky 2009. I think the piece may be best as a selection of isolated insights, such as one from Rick Newcombe at Creators where he actually admits that technology has driven some costs down. No one ever talks about that kind of thing because saying you're making some money back due to an unforeseen circumstance takes some of the force away from company moves designed to maximize profits in various other ways.

* It's much less comprehensive than Tornoe's piece, but Warren Ellis writing about the return of a specific practice at mainstream comics companies where creators are made to submit work without actually having a gig yet speaks directly to the kind of broadly exploitative practices by major comics companies that are frequently excused by the citation of growing economic pressures and market realities. The distressing thing about that excuse is that it's applied whether or not those economic pressures are really any worse than the period when those practices didn't exist.
 
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Go, Look: Simon Gane Sketches Crete

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Go, Read: Matt Seneca On A Tribute To Gene Colan

The writer and critic Matt Seneca compares a heartfelt tribute to Gene Colan in the pages of a recent comic book with how the industry and its major players treated the gifted artist over his professional lifetime and in his final days.
 
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Go, Look: 22 Panels That Always Work (Sometimes)

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con 2011

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this article has now been archived; click through the image above to go to the resources section
 
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Go, Look: From The Final Thirteen Going On Eighteen

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Go, Look: Larry Todd Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* what if they started cancelling comics in the newspaper and almost nobody complained? It might be a sign that most devoted readers have migrated on-line, but it also might be general dissatisfaction with and apathy for newspapers. Or maybe everyone hates Peanuts now. If you've ever worked in a newspaper and experienced something like 50 letters hitting the office when something like Apartment 3-G is replaced, the thought that no one cares about these major strips anymore, at least in this one market, will feel like an even bigger sign that the newspaper industry has been vastly deflated.

image* I love that Steve Bell is getting an honorary degree, but not as much as I adore the cartoon the paper is using to illustrate the article. Look at that thing. I have to imagine if that was the first time you'd ever seen Steve Bell's work you'd think his work a gateway to madness.

* the artist Brent Anderson had 50+ pages of original art stolen from a car that was broken into during the recent Comic-Con International. If you're in a position to do so, keep an eye out for anyone trying to re-sell this material.

* it's not really comics, but related: I nearly missed this obituary for Lyonel Feininger's son. Another couple of not-exactly-comics items in my bookmarks folder are this site of redrawn children's drawings and a redesigned store for Josh Simmons.

* people always talk about getting a review from the New York Times, but when I was a much bigger consumer of prose it was the New York Review of Books that seemed the belle of that particular ball. Here's a review that includes the Ottaviani/Myrick biography of Richard Feynman.

* Robin McConnell would like to invite you to his book club.

* so I guess Marvel is doing another "send us our rival's comics and we'll send you a better comic" promotion? The fact that this is the kind of thing that's usually only funny once will do battle with the fact that a certain kind of mainstream comics fan gets hilariously apoplectic whenever a company does something semi-obnoxious like this.

* vintage hardcore gay sex fumetti.

* finally, here's another story I missed while on hiatus: Jeet Heer kicked off the new, Ben Schwartz-directed LA Review Of Books coverage with a piece on Ben Katchor's The Cardboard Valise.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Jim Davis!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Will Pfeifer!

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Happy 30th Birthday, Miriam Libicki!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Jon J Muth!

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July 27, 2011


Comic-Con's David Glanzer On WonderCon To Anaheim Rumors

In one of his newsletters written from the floor of Comic-Con International, Mile High Comics retailer Chuck Rozanski unearthed a rumor that WonderCon may be moving to Anaheim for 2012. Looking at the CCI web site, indeed WonderCon lacks dates, so I asked Comic-Con's Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer if the rumor was true as Rozanski had reported, and WonderCon was indeed Anaheim-bound.

imageAs it turns out, Anaheim is in play, but other alternative locations are as well, San Francisco is back in play, and, most importantly, nothing's been decided yet.

Glanzer explained the ongoing process to CR, which apparently with planned renovations at traditional WonderCon facility the Moscone Center. "Typically we try to reserve a venue as far in advance as possible. We were disappointed to learn that the Moscone Center could not give us dates for 2012. It is our understanding they will be in the process of renovating the facility. We were told no dates were available to us. We were faced with the decision to either wait out a year, or try to secure another venue."

It was at this point that Anaheim came into the picture, but only as one alternative. Glanzer: "We began to look at alternative locations and Anaheim was among them. I should point out that no contract has yet been signed with any facility and just as we were in full swing with Comic-Con we received word from San Francisco that they did indeed have dates that could accommodate us."

Asked why the process hadn't been completed yet, Glanzer offered a very good excuse: all of the organization's resources were at this point devoted to the CCI event in San Diego. "Because of Comic-Con we have not had the opportunity to look at this new proposal in terms of dates or even which facility is available. So the long answer to the short question is we are uncertain as to next years dates and location for WonderCon. But we are well aware that exhibitors need to plan ahead as far as possible and the decision made needs to be the best for them, and our attendees."

I would imagine there will be a formal decision as early as possible. I liked WonderCon quite a bit the one time I attended, although it's probably the least directed at my personal kind of comics reading than any show I've been since the waning days of the old Chicago convention. One thing I liked best about it was it being right smack in San Francisco and the outside opportunities provided by the show being in one of the great North American cities. Still, you can't have a show in the middle of the street. So while I hope this a temporary or completely avoidable hiccup, it certainly makes sense for Comic-Con officials to explore alternative venues if the opportunity presents itself.
 
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Go, Look: Basil Wolverton I'm Not Sure I've Read Before

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L'Association's Post-Infighting Steps: Books, Blog

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The seminal French arts-comics publisher L'Association has emerged from its recent spate of super-dramatic infighting with three books which they've announced on a brand-new blog. Those books are La Bande à Foster by Conrad Botes & Ryk Hattingh, about a notorious South African group of criminals in the early 20th Century; Viva la vida by Jean-Marc Troubet (Troubs) and Edmund Baudoin, a series of portraits from Juarez; and a combination audio/book piece of interview turned performance pieces by Christian Rosset called Avis d'orage dans la nuit.

The blog also includes photos of L'Association-related artists from the Angouleme Festival in the early 1990s. Just the fact that they have a blog, even at this late date, is an amazing thing given how fundamentally inscrutable the publisher's on-line exposure has been to date (it's even difficult to google the publisher and get an official site). A revamped site should follow this Fall.
 
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Go, Look: Gipi Draws Pirates

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Totally Missed It: Elmer Won 2011's Prix Asie-ACBD

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This happened almost a month ago now, during this site's lengthy hiatus: Gerry Alanguilan's Elmer won this year's Prix Asie-ACBD, a critics' prize given out for the last five year's by the writers-about-comics group during the popular Japan Expo. That prize goes to a work from Asia translated into French that year. The edition of Alanguilan's story of sentient chickens was published by çà et là and translated by Sidonie van Den Dries.

That's an amazing thing given that Elmer's self-published status and word-of-mouth build early on, the kind of thing where individual comics stores were ordering the book directly from the author, building both an audience and further awareness. It's hard for me to think of a book that's traveled further. You can read Alanguilan's reaction and see the award he was given here.

This year's other nominees were Kamui Den, Sanpei Shirato (Kana); La Plaine du Kantô, Kazuo Kamimura (Kana); Le Voyage de Ryu, Shôtarô Ishinomori (Glénat); and Vinland Saga, Makoto Yukimura (Kurokawa).

Past winners include works by Keiji Nakazawa and Naoki Urasawa.


 
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Go, Look: Floc'h

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con 2011

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this article has now been archived; click through the image above to go to the resources section
 
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If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Box And Sarah Brown's Hobo Wedding

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also here
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* an appeals court has reinstated the case against the San Diego Union-Tribune filed by Steve Kelley, a case that was dismissed in 2009. It's fascinating reading.

image* Richard Sala's art right now is about as pretty as comics art gets.

* this site missed a bunch of interviews while on hiatus. Roger Langridge is always worth reading. Here's an interview with comics educator and cartoonist James Sturm that was conducted at the Munich Comics Festival. Robert Boyd sent along a link to this talk with Edie Fake. Interviews with the great Michael Kupperman are always welcome. So are talks with Alan Moore, especially one as focused on his current work as this chat about LOEG: 1969 remains. Dave McKean discusses his newest work at Suicide Girls. Jesse Reklaw popped up at TCJ a day or so ago.

* Michael DeForge previews some forthcoming anthology work.

* if this were anything close to the best news coming out of Comic-Con, I'd never go back. Plus I'm pretty sure each and every one of K. Thor Jensen's tweets about Comic-Con was more fun to read than any of these.

* Abhay Khosla kneecaps Grant Morrison's shockingly callous recent statement about the current Siegel/Shuster lawsuits, which Khosla rightly points out may have been more cynical than usual given Morrison just wrote a book about these comics and therefore probably shouldn't have the excuse of remaining totally ignorant of the two situations he contrasts.

* not comics: Paul Tobin establishes his geek cred.

* Dustin Harbin talks process.

* Frank Santoro talks the slow build.

* finally, Joe Sacco received a lot of love in this survey of cartoonists on cartoonists published in the Guardian earlier this month. There's no more exciting cartoonist project to project than Sacco right now.
 
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Happy 73rd Birthday, Pierre Christin!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Ernie Chan!

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July 26, 2011


Bundled Bonus: Ethan Rilly's Pope Hats #2

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In the last several days I've received multiple inquiries about the provenance of the image of two girls in the AdHouse advertisement running here at CR. Turns out that it's Ethan Rilly that made that image, and that it's from the cover of Pope Hats #2, a forty-page comic for $6.95 due in October.

Among those factors sure to be enjoyed concerning this follow-up -- Seth was among those that raved about the late 2009 debut -- is that it's a comic book in the first place, which means that we get more Rilly sooner than we might have were he doing serialized books. The main feature is a story about a law clerk struggling both at work and with a severely destructive best friend, one of which should apply to something you experienced or are currently experiencing as a similarly young person.

You can read about the physical details of the object being released, pick up its codes and download a PDF preview by going here.
 
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Go, Look: Minimally Invasive's TCAF Photo Set

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there are some fun photos of cartoonists in this set of (I believe) two years' worth of TCAF visits by the photographer
 
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Catching Up With Embattled Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar

The last few weeks have been tumultuous ones for the Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, best known by his pen name Zunar. A prolific cartoonist with a long string of book collections to his name, Zunar has over the last few years intermittently and now consistently struggled in heroic fashion with elements of his government over the release and dissemination of his work in book form.

image* On July 7, Zunar traveled to Florida and Washington, D.C. He received a Courage In Editorial Cartooning from the Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) while in St. Petersburg, giving a rousing speech (part one, part two) upon acceptance. You can read the text of the speech here, where Zunar compares receiving the honor in terms of his battle with censorship to Popeye being fed some spinach. I encourage everyone to read the text or watch the speech.

* In a sadly expected turn of events on July 14, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur upheld a ban placed by Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on a pair of Zunar's more recent books, dismissing a motion for judicial review filed by the cartoonist and his lawyers. Judge Rohaya Yusuf went so far as to support the banning itself rather than just denying the petition, taking the position that the cartoons in question discussed sensitive matters and this all by itself makes the books an overall detriment to Malaysian society. Despite the discouragement potentially involved in such a thorough defeat, a resigned Zunar said after the proceedings he plans to appeal for as long as he's able.

A lawyer for a pair of Zunar's publishing partners also taking part in the filing claimed that the judge did not look over any of their submitted documents or even the books in question, relying solely on the minister's statement.

The books in question were Zunar's 1Funny Malaysia, collecting work from 2005 to 2009 and Perak Darul Kartun, which contained cartoons and prose from Zunar as well as material from other contributors. The second work was self-published in February 2010 by Zunar's own Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd. The books were banned in June 2010.

* Robert Russell of the CRNI states in strong terms in this editorial at a Malaysian news portal why the latest decision in particular is a travesty of justice and far more harmful to the nation than anything Zunar could put on paper.
 
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Go, Look: A Sketchbook Featuring Animal

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con 2011

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this article has now been archived; click through the image above to go to the resources section
 
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If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: He Shall Have Vengeance

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* kudos to Marvel for an announcement made during this site's recent hiatus that they're goosing the offerings they provide new comics stores in hopes to get them as firmly established as possible during that tremulous first couple of years. Not only is Marvel the powerful publishing figure in such stores, they're not well-known for these kinds of supportive programs. Plus there's some karma at work: and it's Marvel's self-immolation in the 1990s that caused the biggest blow of the last 25 years in terms of region-to-region store coverage. So I'm for this. I'd like to see more. Heck, I'd love to see a program announced by several publishers in tandem. The more support there is, the wider the variety of comic store models that have a chance of catching on.

image* here's something potentially super-exciting that also happened during this site's downtime: The Center For Cartoon Studies received a quarter-million-plus dollar grant to jump start a set of programs designed to lock in assistance and support for post-graduates.

* Sean Witzke interviews Brandon Graham, a very talented and articulate and I believe still quite young creator. Included at the end are a bunch of reactions from Graham to creators' names tossed his way by Witzke.

* Nick Mullins goes there with his Power Girl joke.

* I believe this contains the Darryl Cunningham interview on the BBC that garnered him a bunch of attention a month or so ago, and this has an interview with artist Tony Fitzpatrick about comics.

* is criticism from a commission a setback if you decided not to acknowledge or invest in the criticism in any way, shape or form? This article asks that question as something called the Commission For The Promotion And Protection Of The Rights Of Cultural, Religious And Linguistic Communities criticized the cartoonist Zapiro for his long-time depiction of President Jacob Zuma as having a shower head permanently attached above his body. I'd blow it off if I were Zapiro as well, as the reasons given by the commission sound like my summer camp counselor trying to make everyone in the cabin friends again after a particularly heated verbal exchange on the four-square court. Also, as Zapiro points out, a committee with greater standing in terms of designating something like this out of bounds had earlier approved of its usage.

* finally, here's a larger-than-usual profile of the cartoonist Ed Koren, including a slideshow of tribute art from other celebrated Vermont cartoonists.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Bob Pinaha!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Lawrence Watt-Evans!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Brannon Costello!

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Did Anyone Go To The Epic Literary Adventures And/Or The Little Orphan Annie Panels At CCI 2011?

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I'm curious if anyone out there went to the Epic Literary Adventure panel or the Little Orphan Annie panel during Comic-Con. I'd love to hear from you. Of the panels I was originally supposed to moderate before being unable to attend, I haven't heard or read a thing about either one.
 
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July 25, 2011


More Criswell Than Nostradamus: A Brief Comic-Con International 2011 Wrap-Up From Very Far Away

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On Wednesday, this site posted a few potential storylines for this year's Comic-Con International, which concluded yesterday afternoon in San Diego.

Some of the potential storylines failed to materialize to any dramatic extent. The only violence perpetrated at the show came from actor Rhys Ifans, which I'm not sure counts in any way and certainly doesn't connect to last year's face-stabbing to build a narrative of "violence at Comic-Con." No one out there I can find engaged the issue of the potential graying of convention exhibitors and any potential nature of a split between older audiences and younger ones comics-wise. This year's Eisner voters failed to elect the late archivist and cultural historian Bill Blackbeard into that awards program's Hall Of Fame, as I had hoped. This makes me sad as it's hard for me to imagine a Hall Of Fame without the membership of a man who directly contributed to a significant double-digit figure percentage of the entirety of North American comics publishing. It's also hard for me to figure out how comics retail performed at the show, at least at this early date. In fact, the measure that matters most, how many comics retailers sign up for 2012, usually becomes clearest closer to the next show. Although it sounds like there remains a slow bleed of energy from that end of the show, some of the reports -- like Chuck Rozanski's daily letters -- seem agitated for the sake of being agitated.

imageA couple of the suggested stories enjoyed some minor action. I thought there might be some wins from older nominees at the Eisners, first-timers or folks that hadn't won a lot in the past. The Eisners honored a number of traditional favorites. I think Shannon Wheeler and Paul Levitz fit the profile for which I was going, and it's probably not a surprise that they're the only two winners I noticed beaming about their individual wins on Facebook the next day. It feels like the general enthusiasm for Comic-Con from the movies and pop culture end of thing was healthy although not fevered, probably exactly where it should be this many years into this Hollywood/Comics blend of a show and given the changing economics of Hollywood. I wondered if there might be some "Comic-Con is over" articles coming out of this year's show, and I think CCI forestalled the bulk of those. Steven Spielberg's trip to the show to promote the forthcoming Tintin movie was treated as a state visit, while Andrew Garfield's from-the-audience stunt on behalf of the forthcoming Spider-Man movie went over with a bit less skepticism than last year's Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern oath moment.

It seems to me there was a bit of pushback on DC's forthcoming relaunch at the show, but nothing major or unsettling. Depending on your point of view, you could probably argue it was a good show or a not-good PR show for that company and in doing so win some minds as to your position. Certainly this major event was not the runaway attention-getter even over rival Marvel's more traditional announcements, and one could argue that DC should have owned this year's show. One thing that struck me anew was that reports of the DC panels made them seem slightly hostile and unpleasant, which matches my own limited experience with them. For example, an early question at their first panel from a fan wishing DC had employed more female creators in the relaunch effort was met with what seemed like a combative "Who should we have hired?" from the panel. This seems nuts to me. While on a message board a fan might call out another fan about bringing forward some examples, in a public setting with a fan asking a company a question it seems that it's the company's responsibility to have hired people or take heat for not hiring them, to at least acknowledge the wide variety of creators out there and show that they're aware of them, not force some poor person to defend their legitimate query. It also seems crazy to me that prime DC movers would sit down on a panel and nobody would have an answer for a question as to why the downloads will cost what they'll cost. A revelation that the relaunch has been in the works since October 2010 mostly obviates the criticism that the move was made super-hastily earlier this year as some feared, but adds force to potential criticism over the creative teams selected and the overall, eventual execution of the endeavor.

I think I mis-analyzed a larger issue for the show by limiting my pre-show observations about the event's functionality to "Crowd Control." In her best article of the weekend, Heidi MacDonald identified continuing institutional tweaks by Comic-Con on various security issues and general show-running. It's only eight years since it took me 11 minutes to find three extra passes for local friends of mine to come in for a panel and a walk-around. Most of the two dozen loopholes that a lot of us used to make use of to make our weekends easier and that kept our preparations very loose have now been closed. It's a different con now.

If I had to guess from what I saw on-line and from talking to people in attendance, this year's CCI may have been defined by a combination of two of this site's potential storylines and one that I stupidly didn't even think of mentioning. The off-site events continued to proliferate and this year enjoyed a significant comics element that caught favor with fans and pros. I think the reason for that is a retrenchment and new devotion to the publishing aspects of the show above and beyond a celebration of licensing aspects or being befuddled and slightly stunned by the non-comics surge. There were a lot of great books available at the show; there were a number of major publishing announcements to match those of any of the other industries combined. If comics can continue to carve a place of pride for itself at Comic-Con and make these kind of Fall Season and next-year announcement the way they did in 2011, San Diego will continue to be an extremely valuable place for this industry and its players for as long as it's feasible. The issue I overlooked was digital, and this year's digital announcements from Marvel, Top Shelf and various manga-makers were the most newsworthy of the entire week.
 
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Go, Look: Jonathan King

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: CCI 2011 Edition

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Comic-Con International remains the biggest comics of the year for North American publishers. What follows is a catalog of major publishing news announcement either made at the convention itself or made somewhere else close to CCI's place on the calendar. It ends today.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Monday AM

* David Small has sold his follow-up to Stitches, a graphic memoir called Murphy, to Liveright & Co. It's about a dog.

image* A bit of publishing news from a few days back that I missed entirely is that Steve Niles and Berni Wrightson will be working on a project called Frankenstein Alive, Alive. That one will debut in 2012. Wrightson has a well-known publishing history with that character.

* Marvel still had projects to announce on Sunday, including a Matt Fraction/Terry Dodson revival of the Defenders concept and a spin-off series featuring characters brought to the forefront during Marvel's latest Fear Itself crossover. Also, they're relaunching or renumbering or whatever it is they call it one of the Hulk titles.

* I'm thinking this Superman panel actually happened Friday or Saturday but DC apparently released a bunch of Superman-related details from its launch and the now sort of strangely status-changed Superman: Earth One book series.

* I haven't watched them yet, but it looks like Todd McFarlane and Joe Quesada both discuss the forthcoming DC re-launch in their respective CBR video interviews.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Sunday AM

* Fantagraphics announced it has acquired rights to the William Gaines library. They'll be doing four books of EC Comics material a year starting in 2012, in black and white, organized by artist. The first four books will feature Harvey Kurtzman's war comics, Wally Wood's suspense comics, Al Williamson's science fiction and Jack Davis' horror. Gary Groth is editing the series and Jacob Covey will design.

image* The other big news announced at the Fantagraphics panel is that they'll be publishing a two-volume slip-cased Complete Zap Comics, which will encompass all 16 issues to date, approximately 515 pages. The work will include an oral history of the flagship underground comix title.

* Legendary announced a Paul Pope art book, Pulphope, for this Fall, and a Matt Wagner supernatural action-adventure project called The Tower Chronicles at their panel.

* On yet another panel, Image Comics announced a series of Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard stand-alone volumes called Album, a pair of Jonathan Hickman projects including one about the creation of the Atomic Bomb, a science-fiction series by Brian K. Vaughan called Saga, a short series based on TV's MacGyver character of all things, Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss 2. Robert Kirkman has what seems like a staggering amount of work on his plate right now, although he's never struck me as a creator that would plan himself into a corner production-wise. Vaughan interviewed here.

* DC/Vertigo will publish a spin-off of the Fables series called Fairest. Story arcs will focus on the adventures of various female characters from the Fables comic. Bill Willingham will write the first one.

* please oh please let it be Jughead.

* Marvel announced the return of its Cable character -- he can't have been gone very long -- and more of the .1 "jumping-on point" comics.

* This is more of a publishing side note than it is a publishing news story, but D+Q selling 300 special CCI editions of Kate Beaton's forthcoming Hark! A Vagrant in nine hours speaks well to how that book might do this Fall.

* According to a post at Daily Cartoonist, Tom Richmond is self-publishing a book called The Mad Art Of Caricature!.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Saturday AM

* Top Shelf announced a major digital comics initiative, making over 70 of the books in its library available through iVerse.

* Two huge on-line manga stories may clinch this CCI as the Year Of Digital Comics Announcements. Viz launched its Viz Manga site, I believe in conjunction with an anniversary party; a group of Japanese publishers discussed their JManga effort at a panel devoted to same. I have no idea if either of these ventures will be successful. Strangely, you can make a case either way based on the thriving on-line piracy of such material. On the one hand, piracy has shown that consumers will indeed process this material on-line; on the other hand, paying for such material on-line as is the case with at least the Viz effort is an entirely different process. Heck, you can even make the case that piracy will have little to do with either effort, and I bet those involved will even make that case so as to duck the issue entirely. One thing both efforts seem is overdue, and I worry with some of these efforts that there's a confidence in certain models that hasn't had a chance to play itself out in the marketplace in an earlier form.

image* The stalwart Vertigo series Scalped will apparently end with issue #60. Congratulations to its creators on a long and successful run. The end of this series along with the previously announced cessation of Northlanders makes Vertigo a slightly less diverse group of series, which I think is too bad.

* Dark Horse joined in the Big Digital Announcements Festival by revealing at its panel that its vast library of Star Wars comics will now be available through their various digital publishing initiatives. This includes new work.

* Dark Horse also announced a new edition of Jim Steranko's Red Tide, which was initially issued a whopping 35 years ago, and a Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldson serial set to start in Dark Horse Presents #8.

* Today's IDW future Artist's Edition announcement: The Spirit.

* Comics Alliance is among those that has a report up on the second DC panel devoted to its forthcoming relaunch, which provides some background on the big publishing news in terms of when and how the venture developed. Tracing it back to October 2010 makes it seem less like a crazy, desperation move, although at the same time it makes some of the early rumblings of how it's being executed (creative team changes; a push to get material in; some of the creators involved generally) a bit more curious for having that long ramp-up period.

* this may be publishing news only at my house, but this is a new Perry Bible Fellowship strip, right?

* So I leave for a few weeks and I come back and First Comics has returned. (I had Harrier in the pool.) They were apparently already selling four books at the show, and announced old and new Ms. Tree material from Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. I know that most material that can be re-released will be re-released given the continuing richness of the trade paperback market and its generally low entry point, and I further realize that such a company's reformation serves as an organizing principle for that kind of thing as well as providing an opportunity to re-present certain properties to potential filmmakers. Still, it's hard for me to imagine something that First itself brought to the overall publishing market that would provide a compelling raison d'etre in this endeavor, although I'm sure its backers are very enthusiastic and the name may still have some power for a certain generation of comics fans.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Friday AM

* Drawn And Quarterly announced a new Guy Delisle book for 2012, called Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City.

image* Abrams announced The Art Of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura for next Spring.

* Marvel announced that several of their major titles will be available in digital form the same day as they hit comic shops, a program they'll phase in by the end of the year. The hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com has details. I asked Direct Market retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs about the move when it first started popping up on sites and he responded, "I remain to be convinced that huge flocks of new customers would have been buying comics, if only they had been Day-and-Date digital -- I think the far more likely outcome is, instead, that some percentage of current customers will migrate channels, leaving mainstream comics with essentially the same-sized audience, just less profitable, as current print circulations are barely profitable as they are. Having said that, I think that the report of this plan (if accurate), with a slower phase-in, is the smarter way to do it."

* It's not really publishing news in any way, shape or form, but the imminence of this book makes me happy.

* Pages from Frank Miller's forthcoming Legendary effort Holy Terror began to show up in the comics press in conjunction with the show.

* I whiffed on noting another con lead-in announcement, this one from Dark Horse Comics: the return of Bob Burden's Mysterymen and related comics.

* I'm not familiar enough with Vertigo's output to know if any of the stuff discussed at their panel constitutes publishing news or not, but I imagine if you're a fan there will be bits and pieces of stuff you'll want to hear about. In other DC news, they announced the return of their version of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, although I'm a bit lost as to who might actually be buying that material. There will apparently be a third Perdition graphic novel. I couldn't find anything worth reporting from this panel devoted to DC's forthcoming soft relaunch, although it's always odd when a convention panel to get people excited about forthcoming comics comes across -- at least in the reports I've seen -- as defensive and slightly hostile. Also, if you're doing what many perceive as expensive digital downloads as part of a major publishing initiative, someone should probably have a public answer as to why they can't be cheaper.

* IDW announced another worthy "Artist's Edition" subject: John Romita. They'll also be reviving The Crow and Popeye. That's two different titles, by the way, although I'd be first in line for The Crow & Popeye.

* Archaia has announced an all-ages title at the show, Cow Boy from Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. That's due next March. You can read a preview here. You can read about the announcement from Cosby's perspective here.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Thursday AM

* On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly announced that cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley has signed with Villard to publish a new series/book/probably-book called Seconds. Little information is available beyond that it will be published in 2013, it will be edited by Ryan Doherty and that Judith Hansen acted as O'Malley's representative on the deal. O'Malley is of course best known for his runaway series success Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which sold over one million books total.

image* If I'm correct in my assumption that this site is in the outermost concentric circle of press sites that receive press from the company, DC Comics has three semi-sizable announcements heading into the show. One is the launch of its Android app; another is details from its Superman re-launch; yet another is a Vertigo anthology. That Superman re-launch looks and sounds hideously awful to me despite its creators' pedigrees. Granted, I can't tell you how much of my critical reaction is the repugnant idea brought into play that this is all being done for DC to salvage something if/when the Siegel and Shuster cases finally -- and against DC's efforts -- resolve themselves.

* Another pre-CCI announcement I think designed to take advantage of keen, pre-CCI press awareness and to set a tone for the weekend was Marvel's announcement of a "Season One" graphic novel line, re-telling various classic Marvel stories with new creative teams. That sample looks dire to me, and the general idea doesn't seem to me a good one, and I think these companies lose something when they don't drive new readers to older material in a way that potentially broadens their taste beyond the right-now way of doing comics, but I suppose it's all in the execution of the books themselves. I also have to imagine the primary being-thought-of audience for such books is on-line.

* Image partner Robert Kirkman's new series also profiled in USA Today in a "lead up to the big show" way, Thief Of Thieves, will use a writer's room approach to its creative teams. Passing off a book to another writer for a while while maintaining general creative control has been done informally in comics before, and even more formally I think with the last round of Joss Whedon books.

* IDW announced a bunch of stuff in the days leading up to the show. The one that sticks out enough to mention it this morning is a Wednesday announcement about its next "Artist's Edition" book subject: Wally Wood. The other books in the series featured Dave Stevens and Walt Simonson. That one's due in October.

*****

photo of books displayed at the 2010 CCI; Victor Moscoso in Zap; art from Scalped; cover to The Art Of Daniel Clowes; panel from forthcoming Superman effort

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*****
 
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Go, Look: Random Kamandi Imagery

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con 2011

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this article has now been archived; click through the image above to go to the resources section
 
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Go, Look: Vincent Giard

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Go, Look: Doug Wildey In Astonishing #39

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* it's weird to me that the discussion of a cartoon by a Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper staffer asking that people pay less attention to the News Of The World scandal seemed to quickly veer into whether the cartoon was tasteless or not. I don't know and I don't care if it's tasteless: the points that need to be made is that it's a shitty cartoon, that a story about massive corruption affecting major social institutions is very important even if you want to pretend that it's not, and that a Murdoch-owned paper and Murdoch-employed cartoonist would think they are in a position to make this kind of commentary is a more genteel display of the exact same kind of above-it arrogance that led to problems at News Of The World in the first place.

* while this site was on hiatus, IDW named its new Senior Editor: John Barber. Barber is a former Marvel editor linked to their Ultimate line and the Dark Tower adaptations. He penned the prose adaptation of the recent Transformers movie, one of the properties whose comics iteration will be a part of his duties at the San Diego-based publisher. IDW also announced Tom Waltz to a senior staff writer position and promoted Alonzo Simon to assistant editor.

* this site also missed that Rick Marshall left his MTV perch overlooking the funnybook industry; I'm sure I join many in wishing him the best of luck with what's next.

image* the critic and historian Jeet Heer write a short, survey-style article on the cultural importance of Captain America. Speaking of heavyweight writers-about-comics, Paul Gravett wrote in to direct your attention to this year's The Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize.

* well-regarded comics editor and cartoonist Chris Duffy is displaying his weekly comic strip Wolf X. Wolf at Terence Donovan Gallery in Cold Spring, New York. The strip will premiere in the front window of the gallery. The on-line iteration can be found here, and is accessible to those seeing the gallery window display through a QR code.

* I had a blast catching up with this article from John Jackson Miller on comics numbering, the various strategies employed and where they came from.

* Rich Johnston was smart enough to pull quotes out of a recent comics-panel video featuring Dylan Horrocks, where as a then-DC Comics writer Horrocks was in on the writers' meeting where the death of the character Spoiler was discussed. He makes it sound really, really, really depressing.

* there aren't a whole lot of interviews being done with the cartoonist Dave Sim these days, which is too bad because Sim is one of comics' all-time best talkers.

* Nicole Rudick interviewed Paul Hornschemeier for The Paris Review Daily.

* a statue for Harvey Pekar is planned.

* finally, GOSH! Comics is moving to Soho, having outgrown its previous space and planning to hold more public events than had become possible at the old location. We wish them the best of luck in their move, and are jealous of the nearby locals.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Ted Benoit!

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Happy 70th Birthday, S. Clay Wilson!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Alex Wald!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Ray Billingsley!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Dan Shahin!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Chip Bok!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Jon Lewis!

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Any London Or London-Savvy Comics People Out There?

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Can anyone out there from London or that knows London recommend some comics shops? My knowledge of shops in the city is vastly outdated. I'm particularly interested in shops that have a) back-issues, b) a focus on British comics, new and old. I'd love to hear from retailers directly. Heck, I'd love to hear from everybody and anybody.
 
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July 24, 2011


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: CCI 2011 Edition

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Comic-Con International remains the biggest comics of the year for North American publishers. What follows is a catalog of major publishing news announcement either made at the convention itself or made somewhere else close to CCI's place on the calendar. It will run through Monday.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Sunday AM

* Fantagraphics announced it has acquired rights to the William Gaines library. They'll be doing four books of EC Comics material a year starting in 2012, in black and white, organized by artist. The first four books will feature Harvey Kurtzman's war comics, Wally Wood's suspense comics, Al Williamson's science fiction and Jack Davis' horror. Gary Groth is editing the series and Jacob Covey will design.

image* The other big news announced at the Fantagraphics panel is that they'll be publishing a two-volume slip-cased Complete Zap Comics, which will encompass all 16 issues to date, approximately 515 pages. The work will include an oral history of the flagship underground comix title.

* Legendary announced a Paul Pope art book, Pulphope, for this Fall, and a Matt Wagner supernatural action-adventure project called The Tower Chronicles at their panel.

* On yet another panel, Image Comics announced a series of Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard stand-alone volumes called Album, a pair of Jonathan Hickman projects including one about the creation of the Atomic Bomb, a science-fiction series by Brian K. Vaughan called Saga, a short series based on TV's MacGyver character of all things, Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss 2. Robert Kirkman has what seems like a staggering amount of work on his plate right now, although he's never struck me as a creator that would plan himself into a corner production-wise. Vaughan interviewed here.

* DC/Vertigo will publish a spin-off of the Fables series called Fairest. Story arcs will focus on the adventures of various female characters from the Fables comic. Bill Willingham will write the first one.

* please oh please let it be Jughead.

* Marvel announced the return of its Cable character -- he can't have been gone very long -- and more of the .1 "jumping-on point" comics.

* This is more of a publishing side note than it is a publishing news story, but D+Q selling 300 special CCI editions of Kate Beaton's forthcoming Hark! A Vagrant in nine hours speaks well to how that book might do this Fall.

* According to a post at Daily Cartoonist, Tom Richmond is self-publishing a book called The Mad Art Of Caricature!.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Saturday AM

* Top Shelf announced a major digital comics initiative, making over 70 of the books in its library available through iVerse.

* Two huge on-line manga stories may clinch this CCI as the Year Of Digital Comics Announcements. Viz launched its Viz Manga site, I believe in conjunction with an anniversary party; a group of Japanese publishers discussed their JManga effort at a panel devoted to same. I have no idea if either of these ventures will be successful. Strangely, you can make a case either way based on the thriving on-line piracy of such material. On the one hand, piracy has shown that consumers will indeed process this material on-line; on the other hand, paying for such material on-line as is the case with at least the Viz effort is an entirely different process. Heck, you can even make the case that piracy will have little to do with either effort, and I bet those involved will even make that case so as to duck the issue entirely. One thing both efforts seem is overdue, and I worry with some of these efforts that there's a confidence in certain models that hasn't had a chance to play itself out in the marketplace in an earlier form.

image* The stalwart Vertigo series Scalped will apparently end with issue #60. Congratulations to its creators on a long and successful run. The end of this series along with the previously announced cessation of Northlanders makes Vertigo a slightly less diverse group of series, which I think is too bad.

* Dark Horse joined in the Big Digital Announcements Festival by revealing at its panel that its vast library of Star Wars comics will now be available through their various digital publishing initiatives. This includes new work.

* Dark Horse also announced a new edition of Jim Steranko's Red Tide, which was initially issued a whopping 35 years ago, and a Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldson serial set to start in Dark Horse Presents #8.

* Today's IDW future Artist's Edition announcement: The Spirit.

* Comics Alliance is among those that has a report up on the second DC panel devoted to its forthcoming relaunch, which provides some background on the big publishing news in terms of when and how the venture developed. Tracing it back to October 2010 makes it seem less like a crazy, desperation move, although at the same time it makes some of the early rumblings of how it's being executed (creative team changes; a push to get material in; some of the creators involved generally) a bit more curious for having that long ramp-up period.

* this may be publishing news only at my house, but this is a new Perry Bible Fellowship strip, right?

* So I leave for a few weeks and I come back and First Comics has returned. (I had Harrier in the pool.) They were apparently already selling four books at the show, and announced old and new Ms. Tree material from Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. I know that most material that can be re-released will be re-released given the continuing richness of the trade paperback market and its generally low entry point, and I further realize that such a company's reformation serves as an organizing principle for that kind of thing as well as providing an opportunity to re-present certain properties to potential filmmakers. Still, it's hard for me to imagine something that First itself brought to the overall publishing market that would provide a compelling raison d'etre in this endeavor, although I'm sure its backers are very enthusiastic and the name may still have some power for a certain generation of comics fans.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Friday AM

* Drawn And Quarterly announced a new Guy Delisle book for 2012, called Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City.

image* Abrams announced The Art Of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura for next Spring.

* Marvel announced that several of their major titles will be available in digital form the same day as they hit comic shops, a program they'll phase in by the end of the year. The hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com has details. I asked Direct Market retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs about the move when it first started popping up on sites and he responded, "I remain to be convinced that huge flocks of new customers would have been buying comics, if only they had been Day-and-Date digital -- I think the far more likely outcome is, instead, that some percentage of current customers will migrate channels, leaving mainstream comics with essentially the same-sized audience, just less profitable, as current print circulations are barely profitable as they are. Having said that, I think that the report of this plan (if accurate), with a slower phase-in, is the smarter way to do it."

* It's not really publishing news in any way, shape or form, but the imminence of this book makes me happy.

* Pages from Frank Miller's forthcoming Legendary effort Holy Terror began to show up in the comics press in conjunction with the show.

* I whiffed on noting another con lead-in announcement, this one from Dark Horse Comics: the return of Bob Burden's Mysterymen and related comics.

* I'm not familiar enough with Vertigo's output to know if any of the stuff discussed at their panel constitutes publishing news or not, but I imagine if you're a fan there will be bits and pieces of stuff you'll want to hear about. In other DC news, they announced the return of their version of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, although I'm a bit lost as to who might actually be buying that material. There will apparently be a third Perdition graphic novel. I couldn't find anything worth reporting from this panel devoted to DC's forthcoming soft relaunch, although it's always odd when a convention panel to get people excited about forthcoming comics comes across -- at least in the reports I've seen -- as defensive and slightly hostile. Also, if you're doing what many perceive as expensive digital downloads as part of a major publishing initiative, someone should probably have a public answer as to why they can't be cheaper.

* IDW announced another worthy "Artist's Edition" subject: John Romita. They'll also be reviving The Crow and Popeye. That's two different titles, by the way, although I'd be first in line for The Crow & Popeye.

* Archaia has announced an all-ages title at the show, Cow Boy from Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. That's due next March. You can read a preview here. You can read about the announcement from Cosby's perspective here.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Thursday AM

* On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly announced that cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley has signed with Villard to publish a new series/book/probably-book called Seconds. Little information is available beyond that it will be published in 2013, it will be edited by Ryan Doherty and that Judith Hansen acted as O'Malley's representative on the deal. O'Malley is of course best known for his runaway series success Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which sold over one million books total.

image* If I'm correct in my assumption that this site is in the outermost concentric circle of press sites that receive press from the company, DC Comics has three semi-sizable announcements heading into the show. One is the launch of its Android app; another is details from its Superman re-launch; yet another is a Vertigo anthology. That Superman re-launch looks and sounds hideously awful to me despite its creators' pedigrees. Granted, I can't tell you how much of my critical reaction is the repugnant idea brought into play that this is all being done for DC to salvage something if/when the Siegel and Shuster cases finally -- and against DC's efforts -- resolve themselves.

* Another pre-CCI announcement I think designed to take advantage of keen, pre-CCI press awareness and to set a tone for the weekend was Marvel's announcement of a "Season One" graphic novel line, re-telling various classic Marvel stories with new creative teams. That sample looks dire to me, and the general idea doesn't seem to me a good one, and I think these companies lose something when they don't drive new readers to older material in a way that potentially broadens their taste beyond the right-now way of doing comics, but I suppose it's all in the execution of the books themselves. I also have to imagine the primary being-thought-of audience for such books is on-line.

* Image partner Robert Kirkman's new series also profiled in USA Today in a "lead up to the big show" way, Thief Of Thieves, will use a writer's room approach to its creative teams. Passing off a book to another writer for a while while maintaining general creative control has been done informally in comics before, and even more formally I think with the last round of Joss Whedon books.

* IDW announced a bunch of stuff in the days leading up to the show. The one that sticks out enough to mention it this morning is a Wednesday announcement about its next "Artist's Edition" book subject: Wally Wood. The other books in the series featured Dave Stevens and Walt Simonson. That one's due in October.

*****

photo of books displayed at the 2010 CCI; Victor Moscoso in Zap; art from Scalped; cover to The Art Of Daniel Clowes; panel from forthcoming Superman effort

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Johan F. Krarup

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Go, Look: Bobby.N

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Maybe Nobody Tell Fox News About This

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via Robert Boyd
 
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If I Were In New Zealand, 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 San Diego, I'd Go To This

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Robert Greenberger!

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Happy 76th Birthday, Pat Oliphant!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Steven Stwalley!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Mark Andrew Smith!

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July 23, 2011


Fantagraphics Acquires Gaines Library; Will Release B&W EC Books By Author; First Book: Kurtzman War

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Fantagraphics announced at its company panel today at Comic-Con International that it has reached an agreement with William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. to publish one of the great founts of quality comics in the medium's history, the EC Comics Library.

The second major part of the announcement is that Fantagraphics plans to break with the tradition of presenting material from that publisher's lauded comics series such as Tales From The Crypt, Weird Science and Two-Fisted Tales as direct replications of the comic books or collections of same, and will instead format the books as (primarily) single-author books designed to throw the spotlight on specific creators in that company's roster of illustrative and comics-writing giants. The intention, says the publisher, is to present the material to a new generation that may not have been exposed to the EC Comics except in fits and starts, and to better underline specific artistic achievements of creators like Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood and Bernard Krigstein.

The first four books, to begin publication at that rate per year in 2012, are:

* Corpse On The Imjin And Other Stories. This will reprint all of the Harvey Kurtzman written-and-drawn war stories from Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, as well as Kurtzman-written war work for EC "non-regulars" such as Gene Colan, Joe Kubert and Russ Heath.

* Came The Dawn and Other Stories. This is a Wally Wood collection, but of his tightly-wound suspense stories rather than perhaps more traditionally lauded work.

* Untitled Book Featuring Jack Davis' Horror Stories. Another great artist and another perhaps unappreciated source of comics stories for that artist, this time all written by the great Al Feldstein.

image* Untitled Book Featuring Al Williamson's Science Fiction Stories. This is exactly as it sounds, and promises 174 pages of material from Weird Fantasy and Weird Science.

CR talked to Fantagraphics co-publisher and series editor Gary Groth about the acquisition. He says that while he didn't wish to share details of the deal process in a way that might potentially run counter to the right-holder's desire to have such information made public, that it was another signing long in the making. Although Groth didn't indicate one way or another if this was a factor, recent EC publishing partner Gemstone (with Russ Cochran) made news in 2009 by admitting that its status was in a state of flux.

Groth said that Jacob Covey will design the books for Fantagraphics, although whether this will include an overall series design or whether the company will design each book from the group-up, and to what extent each strategy might be employed, is still being debated in the office. "I'm leaning toward treating each individual book as an individual book, customized to the individual artist," Groth stated. "I want to get away from treating EC Comics as this kind of cultist monolith. I want the stories to stand on their own." Groth admitted that the one thing that may eventually lead to more of a series design is the opportunity that comes with exploiting the still-popular EC brand.

The books will be in black and white. Groth indicated that support material in each volume will include at least an EC history and some sort of written profile on the featured artist, although additional and more selectively focused pieces are possible for each book.

Groth indicated that Fantagraphics has access to the pre-trend (the company's early days, starting in 1944), new trend (the glory days of the early 1950s) and new direction (mid-1950s post-Code efforts) offerings from the company -- essentially everything save for the Warner-owned MAD. Groth says that while the publisher will certainly focus on the best material from the company's obvious heyday, they will be open to using material from the early comics and will pay particular attention to the later comics, as they have a more direct artistic continuity with the new trend era.

The acquisition of this publishing effort makes for the fourth such tricky, massive series for the Seattle-based publisher, following in the footsteps of books featuring Peanuts and comics efforts starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Those efforts of course join any number of stand-alone efforts and archival series put onto the market by Fantagraphics. Asked if overtaxing his company's resources is a concern on any level, Groth readily admits they're reaching the limits of current production and announced plans to hire one and possibly two new employees by year's end. "I don't think I've ever worked longer hours in my life," the publisher said.

Groth claims a personal connection to the EC material that goes back to his days as a fanzine maker and comics collector, when he and a friend pooled resources and bought a complete run of the classic New Trend material. As a maker of quality comics just out of the future publisher's direct, historical grasp -- Groth grew up too late to read the book as they were published on the stands -- the EC comics had obtained an undeniable imprimatur of quality through a still-active fandom and some of that era's best writers about comics. "In that era, the early 1970s, EC really did represent a standard that hadn't been achieved since. Even today, with all of the changes of the last 30 years, they represent a significant benchmark in quality comics." Groth calls the work by Harvey Kurtzman in the first planned volume the finest work both written and drawn by the cartooning and cultural icon during his long and distinguished career.

"I assume there's a generation of comics readers out there that are either unfamiliar with EC Comics or only dimly familiar with them," Groth said of his decision to re-purpose the material into author-driven books, which he says was part of his original proposal. "I want to introduce EC Comics to a generation of readers."

imageGroth knew William Gaines, and interviewed him for a seminal issue of The Comics Journal. Asked if he had any insight into Gaines based on that contact and the fact that he himself has been a publisher of comics for decades now, Groth demurred. "I spent a great afternoon with Gaines for that interview," Groth told CR, "But I'm not sure I came away with any brilliant insights. EC was very much in the past for him, even though he could talk fluently about it. He remembered all the stories. He was very generous, loose and casual."

"The more I think of Gaines, the greater a publishing figure he becomes," Groth continued. "EC couldn't have existed without Gaines, specific books couldn't have happened without Gaines. He nurtured a lot of books, and had a sense of quality that virtually no publisher could match with the possible exception of St. John. Although he was somewhat paternalistic, you can see that from today's point of view, Gaines was incredibly generous to the artists by the standards of back then. He's a remarkable figure in comics publishing. I think among mainstream publishers he still might stand alone."

"It's an honor to be publishing books that William Gaines published."

images -- in color -- taken from previous reprints: Kurtzman, Williamson, Wood

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Your 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners

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Winners were named last night for the 2011 iteration of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

What follows are a list of nominees, with last night's winners in bold.

BEST SHORT STORY
* Bart on the Fourth of July, by Peter Kuper, in Bart Simpson #54 (Bongo)
* Batman, in Trick for the Scarecrow, by Billy Tucci, in DCU Halloween Special 2010 (DC)
* Cinderella, by Nick Spencer and Rodin Esquejo, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image)
* Hamburgers for One, by Frank Stockton, in Popgun vol. 4 (Image)
* Little Red Riding Hood, by Bryan Talbot and Camilla d'Errico, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image)
* Post Mortem, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)

*****

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR ONE-SHOT
* The Cape, by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, and Zack Howard (IDW)
* Fables #100, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and others (Vertigo/DC)
* Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
* Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1: "Sparrow," by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
* Unknown Soldier #21: "A Gun in Africa," by Joshua Dysart and Rick Veitch (Vertigo/DC)

*****

BEST CONTINUING SERIES
* Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
* Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
* Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
* Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
* Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
* Scalped, by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra (Vertigo/DC)

*****

BEST LIMITED SERIES
* Baltimore: The Plague Ships, by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, and Ben Stenbeck (Dark Horse)
* Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus (Vertigo/DC)
* Daytripper, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Vertigo/DC)
* Joe the Barbarian, by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)
* Stumptown, by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni)

*****

BEST NEW SERIES
* American Vampire, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC)
* iZombie, by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred (Vertigo/DC)
* Marineman, by Ian Churchill (Image)
* Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
* Superboy, by Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo (DC)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS
* Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, by Sara Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney/Hyperion)
* Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know), by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
* Binky to the Rescue, by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press)
* Scratch9, by Rob M. Worley and Jason T. Kruse (Ape Entertainment)
* Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
* The Unsinkable Walker Bean, by Aaron Renier (First Second)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR TEENS
* Ghostopolis, by Doug TenNapel (Scholastic Graphix)
* Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch (Amulet Books)
* Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
* Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
* Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low)

*****

BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION
* Afrodisiac, by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca (Adhouse)
* Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book, by Ian Boothby, John Delaney, and Dan Davis (Bongo)
* Drinking at the Movies, by Julia Wertz (Three Rivers Press/Crown)
* I Thought You Would Be Funnier, by Shannon Wheeler (BOOM!)
* Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953, by Dave Kellett (Small Fish Studios)
* Prime Baby, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)

*****

BEST ANTHOLOGY
* The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow (Lucidity Press)
* Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators, edited by Nicolas Finet (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Liquid City, vol. 2, edited by Sonny Liew and Lim Cheng Tju (Image)
* Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, edited by Paul Morrissey and David Petersen (Archaia)
* Trickster: Native American Tales, edited by Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum Books)

*****

BEST DIGITAL COMIC
* Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl
* The Bean, by Travis Hanson
* Lackadaisy, by Tracy Butler
* Max Overacts, by Caanan Grall
* Zahra's Paradise, by Amir and Khalil

*****

BEST REALITY-BASED WORK
* It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
* Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Special Exits: A Graphic Memoir, by Joyce Farmer (Fantagraphics)
* Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Terrible Axe Man of New Orleans, by Rick Geary (NBM)
* Two Generals, by Scott Chantler (McClelland & Stewart)
* You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- NEW
* Elmer, by Gerry Alanguilan (SLG)
* Finding Frank and His Friend: Previously Unpublished Work by Clarence 'Otis' Dooley, by Melvin Goodge (Curio & Co.)
* Market Day, by James Sturm (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia) (TIE)
* Wilson, by Daniel Clowes (Drawn & Quarterly) (TIE)

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- REPRINT
* The Amazing Screw-on Head and Other Curious Objects, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
* Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
* Motel Art Improvement Service, by Jason Little (Dark Horse)
* The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis, by Ian Boothby, James Lloyd, and Steve Steere Jr. (Abrams Comicarts)
* Tumor, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia)
* Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

*****

BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER WORK
* Dante's Divine Comedy, adapted by Seymour Chwast (Bloomsbury)
* The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, adapted by Joann Sfar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
* The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
* 7 Billion Needles, vols. 1 and 2, adapted from Hal Clement's Needle by Nobuaki Tadano (Vertical)
* Silverfin: A James Bond Adventure, adapted by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker (Disney/Hyperion Books)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- STRIPS
* Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946-1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein (IDW)
* 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, by G. B. Trudeau (Andrews McMeel)
* George Heriman's Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays, edited by Patrick McDonnell and Peter Maresca (Sunday Press Books)
* Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, by Cliff Sterrett, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW)
* Roy Crane's Captain Easy, vol. 1, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- COMIC BOOKS
* Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read!, edited by Jim Trombetta (Abrams Comicart)
* The Incal Classic Collection, by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius (Humanoids)
* Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts, edited by Art Spiegelman (The Library of America)
* Thirteen Going on Eighteen, by John Stanley (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL
* It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
* The Killer: Modus Vivendi, by Matz and Luc Jacamon (Archaia)
* King of the Flies, Book One: Hallorave, by Mezzo and Pirus (Fantagraphics)
* The Littlest Pirate King, by David B. and Pierre Mac Orlan (Fantagraphics)
* Salvatore, by Nicolas De Crécy (NBM)

*****

BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL -- ASIA
* Ayako, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
* Bunny Drop, by Yumi Unita (Yen Press)
* A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
* House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono (VIZ Media)
* Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

*****

BEST WRITER
* Ian Boothby, Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book; Futurama Comics #47-50; Simpsons Comics #162, 168; Simpsons Super Spectacular #11-12 (Bongo)
* Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)
* John Layman, Chew (Image)
* Jim McCann, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
* Nick Spencer, Morning Glories, Shuddertown, Forgetless, Existence 3.0 (Image)

*****

BEST WRITER/ARTIST
* Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
* Joe Kubert, Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 (DC)
* Terry Moore, Echo (Abstract Studio)
* James Sturm, Market Day (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media)

*****

BEST PENCILLER/INKER OR PENCILLER/INKER TEAM
* Richard Corben, Hellboy (Dark Horse)
* Stephen DeStefano, Lucky in Love Book One: A Poor Man's Story (Fantagraphics)
* Rob Guillory, Chew (Image)
* Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key (IDW)
* Skottie Young, The Marvelous Land of Oz (Marvel)

*****

BEST PAINTER/MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST (INTERIOR ART)
* Lynda Barry, Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Brecht Evens, The Wrong Place (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
* Janet Lee, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
* Eric Liberge, On the Odd Hours (NBM)
* Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST COVER ARTIST
* Rodin Esquejo, Morning Glories (Shadowline/Image)
* Dave Johnson, Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain (Dark Horse); Unknown Soldier (Vertigo/DC); Punisher/Max, Deadpool (Marvel)
* Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse)
* David Petersen, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard (Archaia)
* Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)

*****

BEST COLORING
* Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
* Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), Louis: Night Salad (Metaphrog)
* Dave Stewart, Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Let Me In (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Neil Young's Greendale, Daytripper, Joe the Barbarian (Vertigo/DC)
* Hilary Sycamore, City of Spies, Resistance, Booth, Brain Camp, Solomon's Thieves (First Second)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST LETTERING
* Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
* Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
* Todd Klein, Fables, The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (WildStorm/DC); SHIELD (Marvel); Driver for the Dead (Radical)
* Doug TenNapel, Ghostopolis (Scholastic Graphix)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICAL/JOURNALISM
* Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
* The Beat, produced by Heidi MacDonald
* ComicBookResources, produced by Jonah Weiland
* ComicsAlliance, produced by Laura Hudson
* The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon
* USA Today Comics Section, by Life Section Entertainment Editor Dennis Moore; Comics Section Lead, John Geddes

*****

BEST COMICS-RELATED BOOK
* Doonesbury and the Art of G. B. Trudeau, by Brian Walker (Yale University Press)
* Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics, by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
* The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, by Denis Kitchen and Charles Brownstein, edited by John Lind and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse Books)
* Shazam! The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams Comicarts)
* 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, by Paul Levitz (TASCHEN)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION DESIGN
* Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk (IDW)
* Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, designed by Lorraine Turner and Dean Mullaney (IDW)
* Return of the Dapper Men, designed by Todd Klein (Archaia)
* 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, designed by Josh Baker (TASCHEN)
* Two Generals, designed by Jennifer Lum (McClelland & Stewart)

*****

SPIRIT OF COMICS RETAILER AWARD
* Comics and Vegetables (Israel)

BOB CLAMPETT HUMANITARIAN AWARD
* Patrick McDonnell

BILL FINGER EXCELLENCE IN COMICS WRITING AWARD
* Bob Haney
* Del Connell

RUSS MANNING MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER AWARD
* Nate Simpson

*****

HALL OF FAME: JUDGES' CHOICES, ALREADY SELECTED
* Ernie Bushmiller
* Jack Jackson
* Martin Nodell
* Lynd Ward


HALL OF FAME: VOTERS' CHOICES, SELECTED FROM THE FOLLOWING
* Bill Blackbeard
* Chris Claremont
* Kim Deitch
* Rudolph Dirks
* Mort Drucker
* Jenette Kahn
* George McManus
* Dennis O'Neil
* Harvey Pekar
* Cliff Sterrett
* Roy Thomas
* Rodolphe Töpffer
* George Tuska
* Marv Wolfman

*****
*****
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: David Axe And Ryan Alexander-Tanner's Boom!

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posted 9:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: CCI 2011 Edition

image

Comic-Con International remains the biggest comics of the year for North American publishers. What follows is a catalog of major publishing news announcement either made at the convention itself or made somewhere else close to CCI's place on the calendar. It will run through Monday.

CCI Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Saturday AM

* Top Shelf announced a major digital comics initiative, making over 70 of the books in its library available through iVerse.

* Two huge on-line manga stories may clinch this CCI as the Year Of Digital Comics Announcements. Viz launched its Viz Manga site, I believe in conjunction with an anniversary party; a group of Japanese publishers discussed their JManga effort at a panel devoted to same. I have no idea if either of these ventures will be successful. Strangely, you can make a case either way based on the thriving on-line piracy of such material. On the one hand, piracy has shown that consumers will indeed process this material on-line; on the other hand, paying for such material on-line as is the case with at least the Viz effort is an entirely different process. Heck, you can even make the case that piracy will have little to do with either effort, and I bet those involved will even make that case so as to duck the issue entirely. One thing both efforts seem is overdue, and I worry with some of these efforts that there's a confidence in certain models that hasn't had a chance to play itself out in the marketplace in an earlier form.

image* The stalwart Vertigo series Scalped will apparently end with issue #60. Congratulations to its creators on a long and successful run. The end of this series along with the previously announced cessation of Northlanders makes Vertigo a slightly less diverse group of series, which I think is too bad.

* Dark Horse joined in the Big Digital Announcements Festival by revealing at its panel that its vast library of Star Wars comics will now be available through their various digital publishing initiatives. This includes new work.

* Dark Horse also announced a new edition of Jim Steranko's Red Tide, which was initially issued a whopping 35 years ago, and a Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldson serial set to start in Dark Horse Presents #8.

* Today's IDW future Artist's Edition announcement: The Spirit.

* Comics Alliance is among those that has a report up on the second DC panel devoted to its forthcoming relaunch, which provides some background on the big publishing news in terms of when and how the venture developed. Tracing it back to October 2010 makes it seem less like a crazy, desperation move, although at the same time it makes some of the early rumblings of how it's being executed (creative team changes; a push to get material in; some of the creators involved generally) a bit more curious for having that long ramp-up period.

* this may be publishing news only at my house, but this is a new Perry Bible Fellowship strip, right?

* So I leave for a few weeks and I come back and First Comics has returned. (I had Harrier in the pool.) They were apparently already selling four books at the show, and announced old and new Ms. Tree material from Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. I know that most material that can be re-released will be re-released given the continuing richness of the trade paperback market and its generally low entry point, and I further realize that such a company's reformation serves as an organizing principle for that kind of thing as well as providing an opportunity to re-present certain properties to potential filmmakers. Still, it's hard for me to imagine something that First itself brought to the overall publishing market that would provide a compelling raison d'etre in this endeavor, although I'm sure its backers are very enthusiastic and the name may still have some power for a certain generation of comics fans.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Friday AM

* Drawn And Quarterly announced a new Guy Delisle book for 2012, called Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City.

image* Abrams announced The Art Of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura for next Spring.

* Marvel announced that several of their major titles will be available in digital form the same day as they hit comic shops, a program they'll phase in by the end of the year. The hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com has details. I asked Direct Market retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs about the move when it first started popping up on sites and he responded, "I remain to be convinced that huge flocks of new customers would have been buying comics, if only they had been Day-and-Date digital -- I think the far more likely outcome is, instead, that some percentage of current customers will migrate channels, leaving mainstream comics with essentially the same-sized audience, just less profitable, as current print circulations are barely profitable as they are. Having said that, I think that the report of this plan (if accurate), with a slower phase-in, is the smarter way to do it."

* It's not really publishing news in any way, shape or form, but the imminence of this book makes me happy.

* Pages from Frank Miller's forthcoming Legendary effort Holy Terror began to show up in the comics press in conjunction with the show.

* I whiffed on noting another con lead-in announcement, this one from Dark Horse Comics: the return of Bob Burden's Mysterymen and related comics.

* I'm not familiar enough with Vertigo's output to know if any of the stuff discussed at their panel constitutes publishing news or not, but I imagine if you're a fan there will be bits and pieces of stuff you'll want to hear about. In other DC news, they announced the return of their version of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, although I'm a bit lost as to who might actually be buying that material. There will apparently be a third Perdition graphic novel. I couldn't find anything worth reporting from this panel devoted to DC's forthcoming soft relaunch, although it's always odd when a convention panel to get people excited about forthcoming comics comes across -- at least in the reports I've seen -- as defensive and slightly hostile. Also, if you're doing what many perceive as expensive digital downloads as part of a major publishing initiative, someone should probably have a public answer as to why they can't be cheaper.

* IDW announced another worthy "Artist's Edition" subject: John Romita. They'll also be reviving The Crow and Popeye. That's two different titles, by the way, although I'd be first in line for The Crow & Popeye.

* Archaia has announced an all-ages title at the show, Cow Boy from Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. That's due next March. You can read a preview here. You can read about the announcement from Cosby's perspective here.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Thursday AM

* On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly announced that cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley has signed with Villard to publish a new series/book/probably-book called Seconds. Little information is available beyond that it will be published in 2013, it will be edited by Ryan Doherty and that Judith Hansen acted as O'Malley's representative on the deal. O'Malley is of course best known for his runaway series success Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which sold over one million books total.

image* If I'm correct in my assumption that this site is in the outermost concentric circle of press sites that receive press from the company, DC Comics has three semi-sizable announcements heading into the show. One is the launch of its Android app; another is details from its Superman re-launch; yet another is a Vertigo anthology. That Superman re-launch looks and sounds hideously awful to me despite its creators' pedigrees. Granted, I can't tell you how much of my critical reaction is the repugnant idea brought into play that this is all being done for DC to salvage something if/when the Siegel and Shuster cases finally -- and against DC's efforts -- resolve themselves.

* Another pre-CCI announcement I think designed to take advantage of keen, pre-CCI press awareness and to set a tone for the weekend was Marvel's announcement of a "Season One" graphic novel line, re-telling various classic Marvel stories with new creative teams. That sample looks dire to me, and the general idea doesn't seem to me a good one, and I think these companies lose something when they don't drive new readers to older material in a way that potentially broadens their taste beyond the right-now way of doing comics, but I suppose it's all in the execution of the books themselves. I also have to imagine the primary being-thought-of audience for such books is on-line.

* Image partner Robert Kirkman's new series also profiled in USA Today in a "lead up to the big show" way, Thief Of Thieves, will use a writer's room approach to its creative teams. Passing off a book to another writer for a while while maintaining general creative control has been done informally in comics before, and even more formally I think with the last round of Joss Whedon books.

* IDW announced a bunch of stuff in the days leading up to the show. The one that sticks out enough to mention it this morning is a Wednesday announcement about its next "Artist's Edition" book subject: Wally Wood. The other books in the series featured Dave Stevens and Walt Simonson. That one's due in October.
 
posted 9:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In New Zealand, I'd Go To This

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

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posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Kelley Jones!

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posted 9:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Mike Vosburg!

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posted 9:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 31st Birthday, Calista Brill!

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posted 9:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Comics Reporter Video Parade Featuring A Bunch Of Videos From MTV's Coverage Of MoCCA 2011


MTV Interviews Peter Bagge At MoCCA 2011 01


MTV Interviews Peter Bagge At MoCCA 2011 02


MTV Interviews Peter Bagge At MoCCA 2011 03


MTV Interviews Peter Bagge At MoCCA 2011 04


MTV Interviews Leslie Stein At MoCCA 2011 01


MTV Interviews Leslie Stein At MoCCA 2011 02


MTV Interviews Gahan Wilson At MoCCA 2011 01


MTV Interviews Gahan Wilson At MoCCA 2011 02


MTV Interviews Charles Burns At MoCCA 2011 01


MTV Interviews Charles Burns At MoCCA 2011 02


MTV Interviews Charles Burns At MoCCA 2011 03


MTV Interviews Charles Burns At MoCCA 2011 04

all via this post a few weeks back at FLOG!
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 22, 2011


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: CCI 2011 Edition

image

Comic-Con International remains the biggest comics of the year for North American publishers. What follows is a catalog of major publishing news announcement either made at the convention itself or made somewhere else close to CCI's place on the calendar. It will run through Monday.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Friday AM

* Drawn And Quarterly announced a new Guy Delisle book for 2012, called Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City.

image* Abrams announced The Art Of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist by Alvin Buenaventura for next Spring.

* Marvel announced that several of their major titles will be available in digital form the same day as they hit comic shops, a program they'll phase in by the end of the year. The hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com has details. I asked Direct Market retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs about the move when it first started popping up on sites and he responded, "I remain to be convinced that huge flocks of new customers would have been buying comics, if only they had been Day-and-Date digital -- I think the far more likely outcome is, instead, that some percentage of current customers will migrate channels, leaving mainstream comics with essentially the same-sized audience, just less profitable, as current print circulations are barely profitable as they are. Having said that, I think that the report of this plan (if accurate), with a slower phase-in, is the smarter way to do it."

* It's not really publishing news in any way, shape or form, but the imminence of this book makes me happy.

* Pages from Frank Miller's forthcoming Legendary effort Holy Terror began to show up in the comics press in conjunction with the show.

* I whiffed on noting another con lead-in announcement, this one from Dark Horse Comics: the return of Bob Burden's Mysterymen and related comics.

* I'm not familiar enough with Vertigo's output to know if any of the stuff discussed at their panel constitutes publishing news or not, but I imagine if you're a fan there will be bits and pieces of stuff you'll want to hear about. In other DC news, they announced the return of their version of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, although I'm a bit lost as to who might actually be buying that material. There will apparently be a third Perdition graphic novel. I couldn't find anything worth reporting from this panel devoted to DC's forthcoming soft relaunch, although it's always odd when a convention panel to get people excited about forthcoming comics comes across -- at least in the reports I've seen -- as defensive and slightly hostile. Also, if you're doing what many perceive as expensive digital downloads as part of a major publishing initiative, someone should probably have a public answer as to why they can't be cheaper.

* IDW announced another worthy "Artist's Edition" subject: John Romita. They'll also be reviving The Crow and Popeye. That's two different titles, by the way, although I'd be first in line for The Crow & Popeye.

* Archaia has announced an all-ages title at the show, Cow Boy from Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. That's due next March. You can read a preview here. You can read about the announcement from Cosby's perspective here.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Thursday AM

* On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly announced that cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley has signed with Villard to publish a new series/book/probably-book called Seconds. Little information is available beyond that it will be published in 2013, it will be edited by Ryan Doherty and that Judith Hansen acted as O'Malley's representative on the deal. O'Malley is of course best known for his runaway series success Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which sold over one million books total.

image* If I'm correct in my assumption that this site is in the outermost concentric circle of press sites that receive press from the company, DC Comics has three semi-sizable announcements heading into the show. One is the launch of its Android app; another is details from its Superman re-launch; yet another is a Vertigo anthology. That Superman re-launch looks and sounds hideously awful to me despite its creators' pedigrees. Granted, I can't tell you how much of my critical reaction is the repugnant idea brought into play that this is all being done for DC to salvage something if/when the Siegel and Shuster cases finally -- and against DC's efforts -- resolve themselves.

* Another pre-CCI announcement I think designed to take advantage of keen, pre-CCI press awareness and to set a tone for the weekend was Marvel's announcement of a "Season One" graphic novel line, re-telling various classic Marvel stories with new creative teams. That sample looks dire to me, and the general idea doesn't seem to me a good one, and I think these companies lose something when they don't drive new readers to older material in a way that potentially broadens their taste beyond the right-now way of doing comics, but I suppose it's all in the execution of the books themselves. I also have to imagine the primary being-thought-of audience for such books is on-line.

* Image partner Robert Kirkman's new series also profiled in USA Today in a "lead up to the big show" way, Thief Of Thieves, will use a writer's room approach to its creative teams. Passing off a book to another writer for a while while maintaining general creative control has been done informally in comics before, and even more formally I think with the last round of Joss Whedon books.

* IDW announced a bunch of stuff in the days leading up to the show. The one that sticks out enough to mention it this morning is a Wednesday announcement about its next "Artist's Edition" book subject: Wally Wood. The other books in the series featured Dave Stevens and Walt Simonson. That one's due in October.
 
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Go, Look: Tozo

image
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Borders Liquidation Sales May Begin As Early As Today

Power manga shoppers and comics-friendly gift-card holders nationwide may have a comics-buying experience on their hands to match any offered by this weekend's Comic-Con International: the Borders bookstore chain earlier this week announced it was giving up the ghost and its remaining stores would go to liquidation status to rid themselves as much product as possible as early as today. Despite the troubled chain's efforts in recent months to financially reform itself and the store closures and employee shedding that followed, approximately 400 stores and 10,000 employees will feel the impact of this latest, final move.

imageFounded in 1971 and perhaps best known in business circles for Kmart's 1990s acquisition and not-always-smooth partnership/merger with Waldenbooks, the Borders company once operated over 1200 stores. It last turned a profit in 2006. The closure is a further blow to the recession-battered state of Michigan, as the bookseller's headquarters is split between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

The effect on comics culture and the ultimate legacy of Borders as it pertains to comics will take some sorting out. Borders aggressively stocked and sold comics trade paperbacks, and enjoyed a general reputation for supporting manga from Viz and Tokyopop during their years of rapid expansion. Having those kinds of books in retail establishments that serve a resolutely mainstream audience and that encouraged people to stick around and pull material from the stands helped certain comics reach audiences they might have had a deeply problematic time finding 10 years earlier. At the same time, a lot of Borders' purchasing was apparently focused on certain companies: two publishers have told CR not for attribution that the slow, heaving decay of the bookstore giant has had little effect on them because the company never carried their books to any great extent in the first place. It'd be difficult to underestimate their importance to certain kinds of comics, though, particularly in the larger context of other, similar bookstore chains; it'd be just as unfair to give them sweeping, absolute credit for any achievement in comics as a category given what their rivals did at roughly the same time and efforts like those of independent bookstores on behalf of art comics trades or the Direct Market in the 1990s in terms of adding a significant trade paperback element to their comics retail efforts.

On a personal note, I worry a bit after the closure's effect on reading culture in a lot of the markets in which they were the sole or dominant player. This isn't to say that the appearance of these stores with their comfortable chairs and giant magazine racks and coffee shops right in the bookstore didn't wreak havoc on many smaller bookstores. They almost certainly did. But for the most part, Borders provided a different experience than that network of smaller shops, and hit a vastly different demographic as a result. At their best, and despite the ridicule that might come from certain circles for the thought (mostly coming from people in big cities), big stores like that served as a community resource and sort-of public space, all revolving around books. I know that one such store was a semi-lifesaver for me the year or so before I moved to Seattle when I lived in a small Pennsylvania town, and I can't imagine how I would have reacted to a place like that when I was 13 or 14 and dreamed of family trips to Chicago so that I could maybe look at more books than might fit into the trunk of my Grandmother's Cadillac. I discovered work by several cartoonists at my one-time Borders as well, particularly in the kids book and discount sections. Certainly these stores' departure won't automatically restore things to how they used to be. In this case, less is probably going to be less.
 
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Go, Look: Mandy Ord

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

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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Go, Look: Love For Underground By Parker & Lieber

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Go, Look: Ming Doyle

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Not Comics: Larry Ivie's Monsters & Heroes

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Go, Look: The Last American By Mike McMahon

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posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Shawn Nyland-Hoke!

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Shawn no longer writes regularly about comics, but it was hard to resist swiping this photo; we miss you, Shawn!
 
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July 21, 2011


D+Q Announces Next Guy Delisle Book: Jerusalem

image

Drawn and Quarterly's Editor-In-Chief and Publisher Chris Oliveros announced today that his company has acquired world English rights to Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City, a graphic novel memoir from Guy Delisle. The book details the day to day life in Israel within the context of the conflicts that rock the area, based on the year the acclaimed cartoonist spent with his family in East Jerusalem.

The first printing will be 30,000 and will come out in North American during the Spring 2012 season. The French-language edition will be released by Delcourt's "Shampooing" imprint headed up by Lewis Trondheim. UK rights were secured through Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Literary Agency by Dan Franklin at Jonathan Cape.

D+Q has published English-language edition of Delisle's Pyongyang, Shenzhen and Burma Chronicles, selling over 60,000 copies of those books collectively. Pyongyang was the company's fastest seller in a first printing.

Says Oliveros: "Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City powerfully captures the conflict of the Gaza War, a three-week long military strike that resulted in over 1000 Palestinian deaths, while also showcasing olive gardens, check points and the architecture of the region. There has never been a book like it and it will surely become a handbook on the region much like Guy's Pyongyang is for North Korea."
 
posted 9:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: MRZ

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posted 9:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: CCI 2011 Edition

image

Comic-Con International remains the biggest comics of the year for North American publishers. What follows is a catalog of major publishing news announcement either made at the convention itself or made somewhere else close to CCI's place on the calendar. It will run through Monday.

CCI-Related Or CCI-Proximate Publishing News: Early Thursday AM

* On Tuesday, Publishers Weekly announced that cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley has signed with Villard to publish a new series/book/probably-book called Seconds. Little information is available beyond that it will be published in 2013, it will be edited by Ryan Doherty and that Judith Hansen acted as O'Malley's representative on the deal. O'Malley is of course best known for his runaway series success Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which sold over one million books total.

* If I'm correct in my assumption that this site is in the outermost concentric circle of press sites that receive press from the company, DC Comics has three semi-sizable announcements heading into the show. One is the launch of its Android app; another is details from its Superman re-launch; yet another is a Vertigo anthology. That Superman re-launch looks and sounds hideously awful to me despite its creators' pedigrees. Granted, I can't tell you how much of my critical reaction is the repugnant idea brought into play that this is all being done for DC to salvage something if/when the Siegel and Shuster cases finally -- and against DC's efforts -- resolve themselves.

* Another pre-CCI announcement I think designed to take advantage of keen, pre-CCI press awareness and to set a tone for the weekend was Marvel's announcement of a "Season One" graphic novel line, re-telling various classic Marvel stories with new creative teams. That sample looks dire to me, and the general idea doesn't seem to me a good one, and I think these companies lose something when they don't drive new readers to older material in a way that potentially broadens their taste beyond the right-now way of doing comics, but I suppose it's all in the execution of the books themselves. I also have to imagine the primary being-thought-of audience for such books is on-line.

* Image partner Robert Kirkman's new series also profiled in USA Today in a "lead up to the big show" way, Thief Of Thieves, will use a writer's room approach to its creative teams. Passing off a book to another writer for a while while maintaining general creative control has been done informally in comics before, and even more formally I think with the last round of Joss Whedon books.

* IDW announced a bunch of stuff in the days leading up to the show. The one that sticks out enough to mention it this morning is a Wednesday announcement about its next "Artist's Edition" book subject: Wally Wood. The other books in the series featured Dave Stevens and Walt Simonson. That one's due in October.
 
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Go, Read: Ward Sutton On The Man In The Rockefeller Suit

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Your 2011 Will Eisner Spirit Of Comics Retailer Award Finalists

Comic-Con International announced the finalists for the Will Eisner Spirit Of Comics Retailer Award mid-day Wednesday. The award is presented as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. The nominees are selected from a wider list suggested by fans and other retailing peers, and the award is given out according to a variety of standards designed to promote excellence in comics retailing. The nominees are:

* A Comic Shop
* Alternate Reality
* Bridge City
* Challengers
* Comics and Vegetables
* The Comic Bug
* The Dragon
* Green Brain Comics

This year's judges are Mike Holman (Diamond UK), Jeff Smith (Bone), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate, Chip Mosher (BOOM) and last year's winners Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale of Vault of Midnight.
 
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Go, Look: Spirit Of Stone

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

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

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Not Comics: Jon Klassen Art From Coraline

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Go, Look: Steve Epting Thor Cover Art

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1, 2, 3
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: One From The Bookmarks

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Go, Look: Affected: The Drug Scene

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 63rd Birthday, Garry Trudeau!

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posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Bill Knapp!

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Mark Parisi!

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posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
All Eyes On San Diego: Everyone Have A Great Comic-Con

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 20, 2011


Comic-Con International 2011 Launches With Preview Night

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North America's largest comics-related event, San Diego's Comic-Con International, gets underway in San Diego's Convention Center later today with the annual Preview Night. Today will also see the nearby Comics, Media and Digital Conference run by by the hobby news and analysis site ICv2.com. While not an official event, the conference is surely the first big event tied into the show's all-consuming five-day presence in the Southern California city. Comic-Con officially begins tomorrow with its traditional first-day Thursday.

Here are ten stories that may or may not develop in the next few days ahead concerning that show.

1. Violence -- Comic-Con International displayed an extraordinary amount of institutional discipline in how it dealt with last year's incidence of violence during a panel on the show's movie programming track. Comic-Con officials were straight-forward and sober about the event itself, and in a focused, deliberate way, that seriousness allowed them to denigrate the event as an aberration rather than an expected outcome due to the popularity of those panels and the number of seats available to those that would like to see them. Despite how well that first such incident was handled, a second event of some sort -- any sort -- would dismantle some of that work by allowing for a rudimentary narrative around which press could construct articles and inquiries.

2. Enthusiasm -- Another potential narrative that seems out there for the widespread adopting is to declare the show's influence and presence diminished from that of previous years. That's an easy commentary take in general -- pundits of every shape and size love to declare tipping points -- and there's a launching point this year for that kind of analysis due to the greater variety of studio strategies regarding participation in the show. There's also ironically an opportunity to indict the show more broadly due to the resentment that some fans have that their particular kind of comics fandom no longer holds prime position. I'd almost certainly disagree with both lines of analysis: there's an institutional strength in the TV/Movie involvement now that wasn't there a few years ago, and I think it's a fine, fine comics show. I bet not everyone agrees with me, though.

3. Off-Site Events -- I think Comic-Con is in a specific state of transition, although I'm pretty safe in saying so because its stable periods tend to last two conventions, tops. One thing that could potentially have an impact on the show is a proliferation of off-site events designed to ride the wave of attendees and significant professional presence while also claiming to provide access to programming that may not require eight months of travel planning to see. Some of the studios have already moved some of their events to nearby venues, and we've already mentioned the ICv2.com conference. The San Diego Wine and Culinary Center is offering a mini-venue nearby as described here. There's also something called Gam3rCon up the street at one of the theaters. How well all of these events are perceived could conceivably alter the CCI landscape to something more akin to a week-long festival of comics, despite the potential for modest friction.

image4. Crowd Control -- I'm not sure how many people have noticed how much more sophisticated CCI has come in terms of handling its excess crowds. You have a slight backing away from the strong-arm techniques of paid convention security hissing at people to stop standing in the middle of aisle, and more things like roped off mini-areas to facilitate two-way traffic and the placement of certain exhibitors in a way that keeps the themed integrity of the floor but doesn't pool people into specific corners. More impressively, the con seems to handle the sheer size of its TV and movie-track crowds in a way they're hardly noticeable unless you're right up on them; maybe not even then. The 2010 registration process to my experience seemed light years ahead of the more rigid lines and long waits of years' past. The end result is that the show breathes surprisingly well for an event of its size, although whether or not this always remains the case with a potentially changing audience profile is what makes looking at this area fun every year.

5. Publishing Pride -- I think it's taken a few years for the comics publishers to get used to the massive swell of new attendees and new exhibitors. For those with wider media ambitions the close proximity of those folks may have naturally stolen focus for a while. It's possible that we're seeing a new surge in pride for CCI as a publishing show. The easy way to describe this is that there may be more comics-related parties and fewer comics-related people standing in roped-off lines hoping to get into a wider-media party in evidence, but I also think there's something more fundamental in play here. I think there are a few more comics media elements that are willing to focus on the show as a publishing show -- not nearly enough, but more than maybe in 2007 and 2008. I also think there should be a good mix of big, important books to delight and amaze people over the weekend, everything from that lovely Lucille at Top Shelf to the new Anders Nilsen at D+Q to a potential appearance by a full-color, one-volume Bone.

6. Older Eisner Nominees -- There are a good half-dozen veteran comics industry creators and contributor nominated for Eisners this year for relatively strong work, folks that have not received a lot of Eisner attention in the recent past. It could be one of those years with a lot of surprised, flushed, genuinely grateful, first- or second-time winners. That usually puts a smile on a lot of faces.

7. Bill Blackbeard -- Because of the inexorable addition of bronze age and underground/alternative transitional figures to the ballot over the next few years, this may be the best opportunity for the Hall Of Fame to add archivist Bill Blackbeard to its honor roll. Blackbeard died this year during the voting process, although he was cut off enough from the world that no one in comics noticed until a few weeks after voters had their say. In terms of how many books in the marketplace bear his direct influence, Blackbeard is a titan of the field. I hope he gets in.

8. DC Comics -- I imagine a lot of folks would have engaged this issue as point one or two, but I'm cautious of awarding DC wins and losses based on the perception of their publicity roll-out. Their September re-launch needs to be seen as an execution thing, not just short-term but long-term. Still, how the company plays the recent under-performance of the Green Lantern movie, how they present themselves to fans (I personally find their panels strangely hostile, but that may only be me) and how the fans generally respond (for instance, if one of the panels dissolves into acrimony) are all things on which one may keep tabs.

9. State Of Comics Retail -- If I were attending, I would be very interested if someone would write about the shape and tone of comics retail on the convention floor. Losing the premier all-in-one retailer and floor's anchor comics-seller Comic Relief a few years ago has given that area of the convention a different feel. What dealers/retailers choose to attend and what they're selling should be fascinating. I believe some retailers still do very well at the show, but it's tricky, and there's some risk, and there are multiple larger economic forces within the field (DC Comics launching a bunch of titles this year; a long 2010-2011 winter sales-wise) and without (the weak economic recovery) that could be in play as well. If you get the chance, I urge anyone in attendance to go buy $10 of old comics from someone, if only as the comic-con attendee's equivalent of honoring one's ancestors.

10. Generations -- I'm becoming more and more interested as to how the event is skewing in terms of age. On the one hand, there are a ton more parents with children in attendance, a lot more publishers making credible all-ages work, and a lot more creators with at least one such work on their resume. The spread into toys and animation may make it easier for parents to attend with kids as more areas of interest are touched on by the show itself. On the other hand, I think the show has lost a lot of smaller, younger arts publishers to smaller, younger-skewing art shows, I'm not sure manga drives attendance to a show like this one in relative proportion to its popularity, and I'm generally unclear where the young adult western comics readers are coming from, that group of readers that comes after the now thirty-somethings that rode the excitement of the Image era into a lifelong habit, if they exist at all.

*****

I hope everyone at the show has a great deal of fun and that everyone's programming, sales and related activities are ones for the win column. I'll be around this weekend with select commentary.

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Go, Look: Evan Dorkin's Vintage Comics-Related Photo Sets

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Why It May Have Been Time For The Xeric To Go

Near the end of this site's hiatus, the cartoonist, publisher and philanthropist Peter Laird announced that the Xeric Grant is no more, ending after the next cycle of monies dispensed to (mostly) young cartoonists hoping to fund a comics project. The foundation will continue to serve regional charities.

Kudos of every kind should go to Laird for this significant contribution to the comics art form. If there's an award for which he qualifies for the money he poured into comics over the last two decades, Peter Laird should win that award immediately. This was an overall great thing that he did. Not only were dozens of creators given a splendid opportunity at what was likely a key point in their careers, thousands of readers have richer lives for the art he helped make available. I am one of those readers.

imageWhile the knee-jerk reaction is to bemoan the loss of a publishing opportunity of any kind, and to look back with kindness on all the material that the program put into paper form, there are reasonable arguments that the program as it exists today had become far less necessary than it used to be.

I mostly agree with the statement given in the Xeric press release that more publishing opportunities exist today, chances for cartoonists that did not exist at the time of the program's founding. For some reason, I've seen in a couple of places this become a very limited and boring debate on the virtues of Kickstarter. While crowd funding is one such new opportunity for cartoonists, I think there are a number of changes in play. There's the more basic, next-to-free distribution of your material on-line, for instance, a kind of publishing that seems more directly on Laird's mind. In many cases when a promising talent is involved, this kind of distribution has led to the exact same kind of career-establishing moment that a Xeric book used to (or that it was hoped it might): an offering that could be brought to the attention of potential future publishing and distribution partners, a chance for talent refinement and development in the act of executing the project, and the chance for a core fan base that might make that journey and subsequent ones with you. Another factor is that there are many more publishers now, a lot of them more firmly devoted to smaller books that might not have had a home 18-19 years ago. The books that most resemble exciting Xeric books of the past are the strong first books at smaller companies like Koyama and AdHouse and PictureBox and Secret Acres.

There are other factors that have cut into the Xeric's potency. As someone who's read nearly all of the Xeric books on this list, I feel that on balance the quality of submissions and cartoonists involved is heavily stacked towards the early years. As an active critic back then, I'm measuring this according to my estimation of those talents at that time in comparison to my more current estimation of more recent winners. I also thought the program was a tad more effective early on because the act of self-publishing received greater emphasis. There seemed to be a tighter focus those first few years out on having the artists go through roughly the same self-publishing experience that made Laird a wealthy man, with the faint hope from some circles that this might help create an army of DIY-savvy creators that wouldn't be afraid to strike out on their own if companies didn't provide enough in return for the percentages they took. This is a feel thing, so I could be shouted down, but it felt to me like the emphasis shifted a bit at some point during the Xeric's history to simply placing a printed comic in the winners' hands. As the program progressed, more grant winners seemed to to secure arrangements with established companies that made it possible to outsource some of the work that would normally fall to a classic comics self-publisher. Finally, one has to consider the overall calcification of the Direct Market over the last several years and the general flood of material available now as opposed to the years when the Xeric was getting underway. It's hard to imagine that a Xeric book -- no matter how good -- could by itself secure a toehold in a market where more and more store owners are scrambling to find the money to stock what the established companies offer.

I'll miss the comics aspect of the Xeric Foundation. I think what Peter Laird did was a wonderful thing. I'm happy that I got to read those comics. At the same time, let me suggest it's far too easy in this case to apply an ethos of "more." By such a standard, calling for the continuation of the grants or for finding someone else to provide that same service might be an unstoppable argument. I'm sympathetic. It was probably just as great for the first group of creators as it will be for the last group to open that printer's box and hold an actual printed comic in one's hands, a comic made possible by some wonderful benefactor's money and interest, a comic with their name on it. It's everything else that's different now.
 
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Go, Look: Thor Image Mini-Gallery

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OTBP: Favorites, The Team Cul De Sac Favorite Comic Zine

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On Jaime Hernandez's The Death Of Speedy
By Tom Spurgeon
For Favorites, The Team Cul De Sac Favorite Comic Zine, 2011


I must have read Jaime Hernandez's The Death Of Speedy 300 times in the summer of the 1990, right before senior year in college. It was serialized in the greatest comic series ever published: the first volume of Love and Rockets. It was the only run of magazines I ever read in the car outside of the funnybook shop, hands trembling as I extricated each issue from the pressed-against edges of that brown stock paper bag you only ever saw in such stores. Hernandez's evocation of that fragile period between school and adulthood, that extended moment where every single lustful entanglement, unwise friendship, afternoon spent drinking outside, nighttime spent cruising are acts of life-affirming rebellion, is as lovely and generous and kind as anything ever depicted in the comics form.

imageViolence intruded into my circle of friends a few years before Death Of Speedy was published. Like the gang in Hoppers, it was not the possibility of a dramatic event that we vainly hoped to forestall, but the inevitability of its consequences. Speedy's death is in one sense as natural as it's possible for a jarring event to be. In another, his passing immediately assumes a larger than life aspect, providing no less than a half-dozen characters a moment of life-altering self-discovery, something they can use to look back at a time where "things became different" even if such a claim is far from the full truth. For Maggie and Ray D., Death Of Speedy's twin leads, the days before Speedy's final fate seal self-sabotage into what is already a pair of dubious adult living skill sets. They belong together for reasons healthy and harmful.

Jaime Hernandez's genius in Death Of Speedy was in creating a story that stabs at youthful self-delusion without cheating the issue by stripping those days of their romance. Quite the opposite, really: the swirling blacks and vibrant figures make this one of comics' most inviting worlds. Speedy shuffles off this mortal coil with an almost shamelessly touching and mystical episode, followed by a heartbreaking denouement that provides searing context for everything just lost. Death Of Speedy is sad and beautiful and wise, and my absolute favorite comic.

This article was written for the Favorites 'zine, to benefit the Team Cul De Sac effort against Parkinson's. Please buy it. Death Of Speedy best read in this volume, I think.

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Go, Look: Don Rosa Cover Mini-Gallery

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

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If I Were In San Diego, 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 Los Angeles, 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: A Very Handsome Will Eisner Sequence

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Go, Look: Simon Gane Paris Mini-Gallery

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Go, Look: Love For Marian Churchland's Beast

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Go, Look: A Retro Romance Cover Gallery At Pop

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Happy 40th Birthday, Benoit Ers!

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posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Please Consider Helping Don McGregor And Family

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Seminal 1970s mainstream comics writer Don McGregor is selling his artwork to pay family medical costs. Clifford Meth has details in the link through the image.
 
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One More Day Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 19, 2011


CR On Hiatus

Text-driven posting will resume Wednesday.
 
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Go, Bookmark: The Adventures Of Mr. Phil

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Go, Look: Paul Davdison Art

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Missed It: A Very Cute Alan Moore Portrait

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Go, Look: Have Space-Suit, Will Travel

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Not Comics: Imagery From Oliver Jeffers

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OTBP: The Art Of Denis McLoughlin

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Happy 49th Birthday, John Kovaleski!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Richard Pini!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Bob Burden!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Luke McDonnell!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Terry LaBan!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Jamal Igle!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Rupert Bottenberg!

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Two Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 18, 2011


CR On Hiatus

Text-driven posting will resume Wednesday.
 
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Go, Look: Pascal Girard's Site

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Go, Bookmark: Spain And Morocco

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Go, Look: Henry Flint Mini-Gallery

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Go, Look: A Selection Of Early Joe Kubert Stories

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Go, Look: Hot Stuff, The Little Devil #57

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Go, Look: Heroes Out Of Time!

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Happy 31st Birthday, Wes Molebash!

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Three Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 17, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
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Go, Look: M.A. Noregna

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Go, Look: The Snejbjerg Blog

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abandoned, but stuffed with images
 
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Go, Look: Jim Lawson's Dinosaur Comic Blog

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Happy 35th Birthday, Brian K. Vaughan!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Ned Sonntag!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Hermann!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Jeffrey Brown!

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Four Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 16, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
The Comics Reporter Video Parade



Two Episodes Of Frick Weber's Comic Book Storytellers Sent To Me By Mr. Weber


Dave Lapp Children Of The Atom Video He Once Sent Me And I Lost
 
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If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This

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Happy 41st Birthday, Pierre Wazem!

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Five Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 15, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
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Friday Distraction: Photos Of Comic Book Hearings As Published In Life

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Happy 40th Birthday, Chris Cilla!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Kelly Sue DeConnick!

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Six Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 14, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.

 
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Happy 7th Birthday, Jog The Blog!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Alex Cox!

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Happy 50th Birthday, JK Snyder III!

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Happy 77th Birthday, Gotlib!

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Seven Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 13, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Eight Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 12, 2011


Nine Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 11, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Ten Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 10, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Eleven Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 9, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
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Twelve Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 8, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Thirteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 7, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Fourteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 6, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Fifteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 5, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Sixteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 4, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
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If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

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Seventeen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 3, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Eighteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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July 2, 2011


CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Nineteen Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 1, 2011


Friday Distraction: Pat Grant's Lovely-Looking Blue

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posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR On Hiatus

In light of the upcoming holiday and travel season, CR is taking a brief hiatus. Regular posting should resume shortly.
 
posted 2:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Twenty Days Until Comic-Con International 2011!

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