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














February 29, 2016


Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon
 
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If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* if there's one person right now not a comics creator with whom you should acquaint yourself, it's Katie Lane.

image* Todd Klein on Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales. Paul O'Brien on Extraordinary X-Men #6-7. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Johanna Draper Carlson on Kiss Him! Not Me! Vol. 3. Zainab Akhtar on See You Next Tuesday.

* this Anders Nilsen post about Alvin Buenaventura is as powerful as any that were done.

* not comics: everyone should look at this amazing Marc Bell print and more than a few people in a subset of that first group of people should maybe consider buying one.

* I bet a lot of musicians worked at some point in a comic book store.

* Greg McElhatton points out an all-time highlight moment for comics industry journalism.

* Hillary Brown talks to Josh Cotter. Carolyn Cox talks to Sophie Campbell.

* not comics: veteran comics writer Peter David engages with fan sentiment that an Asian actor might be cast as Iron Fist in the forthcoming TV version of the character's story. I imagine there is is significant pushback. I'm a bit at a loss in terms of the assertion that the character is white, and I think if you analyze the top 200 characters at the mainstream companies only about two or three have caucasian-ness as an integral component of their primary narratives.

* hard to disagree with this statement.

* finally, I'm glad Charles Vess got an answer to his Spider-Man collection question, but it's still pretty weird.
 
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February 28, 2016


Go, Read: Darrin Bell On Hollywood Racism

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Not Comics: Jackie Gleason At Timely/Atlas

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Not Comics: The Diary Of A Teenage Girl Wins Best First Feature At Spirit Awards

imageCongratulations to all involved, particularly the author of the comics work from which this lauded film was adapated: the great cartoonist Phoebe Gloeckner.

I think that the film is held in a high enough regard for it be one of those movies from this year that people watch five, ten years down the road. Hopefully, people will read Gloeckner's stunning original work as well.
 
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If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In Jersey City, I'd Go To This

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FFF Results Post #450 -- License To Draw

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Favorite Comics You've Enjoyed By Specific Comics-Makers Featuring Licensed Properties." This is how they responded.

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Jamie Coville

1. The Destroyer (Marvel) by Will Murray and various artists
2. X-Files (Topps Comics) byStefan Petrucha and Charles Adlard
3. GI Joe (Marvel) by Larry Hama and various artist
4. Revolution on the Planet of the Apes (Mr. Comics) by Joe O'Brien, Ty Templeton and other various writers and artists
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation (DC Comics) Michael Jan Friedman and various artists.

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. Jonny Quest, William Messner-Loebs, Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley
2. Sesame Street, Jay Fosgitt
3. G.I. Joe, Larry Hama
4. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Carlos Garzón, Ron Frenz and Tom Palmer
5. Popeye, Roger Langridge and Tom Neely

*****

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Antranik Tchalekian

1. The Shadow by Andy Helfer & Bill Sienkiewicz
2. Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larrocca & Edgar Delgado
3. The Shadow by Howard Chaykin
4. Star Wars by Jason Aaron, Stuart Immonen & Wade von Grawbadger
5. The Shadow by Andy Helfer & Kyle Baker

*****

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Randy Clark

1. The Shadow, Andrew Helfer and Kyle Baker
2. Captain Action, Gil Kane
3. The Lone Ranger, Brett Matthews and John Cassaday
4. Micronauts, Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden
5. The Prisoner, Dean Motter

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Tarzan -- Joe Kubert
2. Doc Savage (1987) -- Denny O'Neill, Adam and Andy Kubert
3. Batman vs Predator -- Dave Gibbons and Andy Kubert
4. The Shadow -- Denny O’Neill and Mike Kaluta
5. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born -- Peter David, Jae Lee, and Richard Isanove

*****

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Ali T. Kokmen

1. Star Trek by Mike W. Barr and Tom Sutton. DC Comics' mid-1980s run was the first, best way a die-hard Trek fan could get an ongoing fix of their favorite franchise, especially between the cliff-hangery movies.
2. Star Wars: Dark Empire by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy. Similarly, before the Star Wars movie prequels were more than a pipe dream, this comic book series was demonstrated that there was yet potential in Star Wars storytelling.
3. Green Hornet by Ron Fortier and Jeff Butler. Having only been vaguely aware of the Green Hornet character from the 1960s TV series, I never really "got" what made the character popular until NOW Comics did their stories, clearly with great affection.
4. The Hobbit by Chuck Dixon and David Wenzel. Eclipse Comics' adaptation of Tolkein's story has deservedly stood the test of time.
5. Muppet Show by Roger Langridge. Because all right-thinking people appreciate Kermit the Frog

*****

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Michael Buntag

1. Adventure Time, Ryan North
2. Godzilla: The Half-Century War, James Stokoe
3. The Empire Strikes Back, Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson & Carlos Garzon
4. Avatar: The Last Airbender, Gene Luen Yang & Gurihiru
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Star Trek, Mike W. Barr & Tom Sutton (DC)
2. Star Wars: Dark Empire, Tom Veitch & Cam Kennedy (Dark Horse)
3. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe, Tom Scioli & John Barber (IDW)
4. Godzilla, Doug Moench & Herb Trimpe (Marvel)
5. The X Files, Joe Harris & Michael Walsh (IDW)

*****

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Anthony Stock

1. Justice Inc. by Kyle Baker & Andrew Helfer
2. The Shadow by Kyle Baker & Andrew Helfer
3. Dick Tracy by Kyle Baker, John Moore & Len Wein
4. Hot Wheels by Alex Toth
5. Transformers vs G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli & John Barber

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. King Kong (Gold Key 1968), art by Alberto Giolitti, cover by George Wilson, writer unknown
2. Gorgo (Charlton), Steve Ditko & Joe Gill
3. King Kong (Fantagraphics 1991), Don Simpson
4. Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth (IDW), Matt Frank & Chris Mowry
5. Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (Marvel), Herb Trimpe & Doug Moench

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Star Wars, Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin
2. Micronauts, Bill Mantlo and Mike Golden
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Walt Simonson and John Buscema
4. Battle of the Planets, Munier Sharrieff and Wilson Tortosa
5. G.I. Joe, Larry Hama and Herb Trimpe

*****

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John Vest

1. Conan The Barbarian, Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith
2. Korg 70,000 BC, Pat Boyette
3. Konga, Steve Ditko & Joe Gill
4. Alien, Archie Goodwin & Walt Simonson
5. 2001, Jack Kirby

*****

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Gavin Lees

1. The Muppet Show -- Roger Langridge
2. Transformers vs GI Joe -- Tom Scioli and John Barber
3. "Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa" -- Moebius
4. The Prisoner - Jack Kirby
5. "George R. Binks" - Tony Millionaire

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Atari Force, Gerry Conway & Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
2. Master of Kung Fu, Doug Moench & Gene Day (the licensed property was Fu Manchu!)
3. Mad-Dog, Ty Templeton
4. A Wrinkle In Time, Hope Larson
5. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, John Wagner, Andy Diggle & Henry Flint

*****

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Jeff Flowers

1. Micronauts by Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden
2. Rom by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema
3. Shogun Warriors by Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe
4. Elric: While The Gods Laugh by Roy Thomas and P. Craig Russell
5. Almuric by Roy Thomas and Tim Conrad

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Star Trek: Debt of Honor by Chris Claremont, Adam Hughes & Karl Story
2. Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke
3. Planet Of The Apes by Doug Moench and Alfredo Alcala
4. NHK ni Y0koso! by Tatsuhiko Takimoto and Kendi Oiwa
5. The Shadow by Andy Helfer and Kyle Baker

*****

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Michael May

1. Flash Gordon, Jeff Parker and Evan "Doc" Shaner
2. Red Sonja, Roy Thomas, Clara Noto, and Frank Thorne
3. Star Wars, Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino
4. Tarzan, Joe Kubert
5. Godzilla, Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe

*****

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Chris Arrant

1. Hot Wheels by Alex Toth
2. Bram Stoker's Dracula by Mike Mignola
3. Stormwatch/Aliens crossover by Warren Ellis & Tom Raney
4. Bill & Ted's by Evan Dorkin
5. The Muppets by Roger Langridge

*****

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Patrick Watson

1. Godzilla by Moench and Trimpe (loved it so much I own a page)
2. Space Ghost by Evanier and Rude
3. Micronauts by Mantlo and Golden. shoutouts for Pat Broderick and Gil Kane.
4. The Empire Strikes Back by Goodwin and Williamson
5. John Carter, Warlord of Mars by Wolfman and Kane.

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Master of Kung Fu -- Doug Moench and Gene Day
2. Terror on the Planet of the Apes -- Moench and Gene Day
3. Tarzan -- Russ Manning
4. Space Ghost -- Mark Evanier and Steve Rude
5. Jonny Quest -- William Messner-Loebs

*****

idea and examples provided by John Vest; thanks, John!

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FFF Results Post #448 -- Animal People

On Friday a couple of weeks ago, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Favorite Anthropomorphized Comics Characters." This is how they responded.

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Michael Dooley

1. Desdemona (Bud Fisher)
2. Kitty (Cliff Sterrett)
3. Pete the Pooch (Milt Gross)
4. Mr. Mock Duck (George Herriman)
5. Gorgon (Crockett Johnson)

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Hobbes
2. John Blacksad
3. Rat (Pearls Before Swine)
4. Pogo
5. Frog Thor

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Jones

1. Gladstone Gander
2. Man-Hog (kind of the reverse Gladstone, really)
3. Bum Bil Bee
4. Beauregard Bugleboy
5. Marvin the Red

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Andrew Mansell

1. Clonezone the Lizigator
2. Gyro Gearloose
3. Sgt. Kemlo Caesar
4. Mr. Elephant (of Myopia)
5. "Bum" Bill Bee

*****

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Ali T. Kokmen

1. Oedi (from Dreadstar)
2. Ch'p (Green Lantern)
3. Fritz the Cat
4. Booga (from Tank Girl)
5. Thor, Frog of Thunder

*****

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Michael G. Pfefferkorn

1. Scrooge McDuck
2. DI Archie LeBrock
3. Jose Carioca
4. John Blacksad
5. Gorilla Grodd

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Fone Bone
2. Churchy LaFemme
3. Ignatz Mouse
4. Hobbes
5. Bob the Squirrel

*****

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Justin J. Major

1. Fred Milton (#1!!!)
2. Snoopy
3. Roastbeef
4. Hobbes
5. Waldo

*****

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Michael Buntag

1. Snoopy
2. Jake the Dog
3. Krazy Kat
4. Manhog
5. Jake Gallo

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Dave Knott

* Gen
* Cerebus
* John Blacksad
* Howard the Duck
* Lewis Trondheim's avian self-caricature

*****

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Rob Salkowitz

1. The Wraith
2. Howard the Duck
3. Captain Carrot
4. Wonder Warthog
5. Omaha the Cat Dancer

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Joe Schwind

1. (Heckle and) Jeckle
2. Toadettes
3. Happy Hedgehog
4. Mr. Peanut
5. Drinky Crow

*****

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Terry Eisele

* Hip Flask
* Howard the Duck
* Mark Kalesniko's recurring dog protagonist
* Rickey Rat (Three Fingers)
* King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger

*****

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Patrick Watson

1. Herbert the Duck
2. Usagi Yojimbo
3. Cerebus
4. Sabretooth Swordsman
5. Prince Tuftan

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Joe Gordon

* Gene the Hackman, from Kingdom in 2000 AD
* John Blacksad
* Howard the Duck
* Opus the Penguin (Bloom County)
* Detective Inspector LeBrock (from Bryan Talbot's Grandville series)

*****

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Michael May

1. Blacksad
2. Miyamoto Usagi
3. Gorilla Grodd
4. Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock
5. Koj (Tellos)

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Buzz Dixon

1. Howard The Duck
2. Eek & Meek (does that count as one or two?)
3. Cerebus the Aardvark
4. Bode's Lizards
5. Every April 1st, Arlo And Janis' cat, Ludwig (cartoonist Jimmy Johnson grants him the power of speech on that one day)

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Cerebus
2. Lenny the Frog
3. Uncle Scrooge
4. Hobbes
5. Frank

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Marc Arsenault

1. Horus (in Nikopol)
2. Felix the Cat
3. Gorilla Grodd
4. The Wraith
5. Vladek Spiegelman

*****

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Tim Hayes

1. Booga from Tank Girl
2. Ferdinand the Minotaur chef from Wonder Woman
3. B.H. Calcutta (Failed) from The Perishers strip
4. Krypto in Starwinds Howl
5. Stewart the rat

*****

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William Burns

* Horace Horsecollar
* Howard the Duck
* Clonezone the Lizigator
* Pogo
* Sheba

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John Vest

1. Mr. Tawky Tawny
2. Omaha The Cat Dancer
3. Dalgoda
4. Mickey Rat
5. Mr. Toad

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. McConey
2. Neil The Horse
3. Squeak The Mouse
4. Owl
5. Damien

*****

idea and examples provided by John Vest; thanks, John!

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February 27, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Joey Feldman Interviewed


Philippe Becquelin On Charlie Hebdo


Spotlight On Arab-American Political Cartooning


Easel Monster On Copying And Stealing


Steve Sack Profiled On Local TV
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from February 20 to February 26, 2016:

1. Mark Fiore wins 2016 Herblock Prize; Ruben Bolling named Finalist. This has become in its short life an important award for both the cash prize and its ability to recognize traditional values of cartooning across a variety of expressions.

2. Nearly every publisher of import bands together to tell Angouleme that this year's show was unacceptable in a variety of ways, and they won't attend in 2017 unless major changes are made.

3. LA Time Book Prize nominees are out including the graphic novel category -- that's always one of the most interesting groups of books in any calendar year.

Winner Of The Week
No one's really beating Mark Fiore this week, but if I had a second choice it would be the Marvel comic Ms. Marvel, which won the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity In Comics. That's rare for a book to be honored past the first year of publication, and is a strong sign of its pop-culture impact.

Losers Of The Week
Let's say the Angouleme Festival, particularly if there were people in charge that thought the storm had passed.

Quote Of The Week
"Lee may have personally made possible an expansive comics culture populated by idiosyncratic voices telling morally complex stories about relatable characters, layered over with much more darkness than had ever come before (achievements for which he still enjoys occasional bouts of adoration from the mainstream press and casual fans). But hard-core comics geeks greet news of his new projects with a certain degree of eye-rolling." -- Abraham Riesman, in this week's must-read mainstream media on comics article.

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this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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Go, Look: International Cash Day: Cash '68

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If I Were Near Warren, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This

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If I Were Near Northridge, I'd Go To This

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

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

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February 26, 2016


Go, Look: Lee Kyutae

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Go, Look: Massive Collier's Gag Cartoon Dump

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Go, Look: First Jessica Campbell In A Long While

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Assembled Extra: Stela Profiled

Susana Polo takes a leisurely walk through the digital comics service Stela. I think there is some discussion to be had how the streaming services at Netflix and Amazon and Hulu will have a long-term effect on comics consumption habits. There's something about the way modern comics fans want to be told where the good stuff is I think makes them uniquely amenable to curated monthly content in a way that previous generations simply weren't. What that looks like, I think that's a much longer voyage of discovery. My hunch is that this will work with perviously well-known material rather than brand-new.
 
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If I Were Near Warren, I'd To To This

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

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If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Six Drawings Of Arthurian Knights By BWS

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Daniel Clowes did this year's Oscars-related New Yorker cover.

* I remember a media analyst friend back in the mid-2000s saying he knew things were screwed up in the way on-line media was developing in relation to print because most of the terminology he used had a 10 year lifespan as opposed to something that would last two or three years and then have to be recovered. This time out? Paywalls.

* Robert Kirkman talks to Ryan Ottley. Abraham Riesman talks to Michael DeForge.

* apparently several newspapers swapped out their Dilberts this week.

* Matthew Box on The Goddamned.

* Jackson Ayres writes on the idea of a Dark Age.

* RC Harvey on instances where the money involved had an effect on the comics art being made.

* finally, here's a piece on a company that specializes in secret lairs and passageways.
 
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February 25, 2016


OTBP: Those Dark New Hampshire Woods

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Go, Look: Frankenstein #5

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Go, Look: The Ed Wood, Jr. Players

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Mark Evanier reminds that we're in Bill Finger awards season. Nominate with passion.

* speaking of Mark, I also liked his write-up on the convention being dragged into some of the football negotiations going on. You can't believe anything said on the show's behalf because the needs of the con are so specific that it's astonishing to think any other entity could even try. I've been staring at Comic-Con International since 1994 and I don't have them figured out.

* we're mid-SPX table registration lottery, which is a very specific form of quiet. I know that even with the explosion of shows and opportunities that a lot of people still fairly count on SPX table placement to focus their year and make a couple of grand that can work against show costs both in Bethesda and throughout the year. I'm not sure it's healthy, but it certainly happens.

* Sergio Aragones is giving the keynote at this weekend's MSU Comics Forum.

* finally, the parade of guests for this summer's Comic-Con continues to build.
 
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If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This

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Not Comics: Art From Astounding Stories

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Simon Bisley draws the Hulk fighting the Thing.

* James Whitbrook on Karnak #2.

* Mark Fiore talks with Michael Cavna about the personal meaning involved in winning the Herblock Prize. I love when comics people allow themselves to enjoy those kinds of things. We all know that awards don't mean anything in the wider scheme, but the way that an honor can hit us in the course of a career, or the realization that you've gone from someone who had this relationship with your field, or the prize-given, and now you have another kind of relationship, these can be special things.

* did I know that Robyn Chapman is working at First Second now, or did this Internet post tell me? Either way, that's a fine get for the comics publisher.

* finally, the crew at Trouble With Comics engages with the issue of anniversary comics.
 
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February 24, 2016


Go, Bookmark: Hotel Fred Daily

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Mark Fiore Wins 2016 Herblock Prize; Ruben Bolling Named Finalist

Mark Fiore has won the 2016 Herblock Prize, given out by the Herb Block Foundation to a cartoonist that follows the courageous example of Herblock in terms of subject matter and approach. The award is now in its second full decade.

The finalist for the award is Ruben Bolling.

Fiore was cited for his independent voice -- he's worked the majority of his professional as an untethered freelancer -- and for his groundbreaking work in political animation. He'll received $15,000 and a silver sterling plate at a ceremony later this Spring which traditionall features a major, outside speaker. Bolling will receive $5000.

Both Fiore and Bolling are solid choice in a run of solid choices for this honor, continuing the foundation's ability to look outside of traditional cartooning expressions into a variety of different ways cartoonists are making their opinions now. Our congratulations to Fiore and Bolling.
 
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Go, Look: Yoshitaka Amano Mini-Gallery

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Your 2016 LA Times Book Prize Nominees, Graphic Novel/Comics Category

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Five comics were nominated in the graphic novel/comics category of the LA Times Book Prizes, released yesterday. They are:

* Sam Alden, New Construction: Two More Stories, Uncivlized Books
* Julian Hanshaw, Tim Ginger, Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing
* Riad Sattouf, Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir, Metropolitan Books
* Maggie Thrash, Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir, Candlewick
* Carol Tyler, Soldier's Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father: A Daughter's Memoir (You'll Never Know), Fantagraphics

Those are all solid books, with the Riad Sattouf in particular receiving international recognition in various-language editions. The one I'm looking towards seeing how it might do is the Tyler, which I think is a titanic offering.

Congratulations to all nominees, their creators and the publishers that helped bring them to print.

A winner will be named in early April.

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Go, Look: Frank Quitely Black & White Art

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Go, Look: Nick Cardy Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Girl Genius: The Beast of the Rails: The Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne Vol. 1. I had to list this one because when I started the site 11 years ago Johanna was notorious -- without meaning to be -- in terms of covering comics with the longest freaking titles known to humankind. Monica Friedman on Melody.

* Robert Frost would approve of this message.

* Abraham Riesman believes there are too many comics. There are too many comic in terms of making a more easy to handle industry. There are a lot of comics generally, and a lot of comics with a low-level fanbase.

* this I Hate Dr. Wertham comic is amazing.

* it seems like there are a number of articles out there like this one wondering out loud how long big corporations will let ambitious artists make prints and hand-crafted versions of their work. It comes up every three to five years or so. There's some nuance to the issue, a degree of difference between an artist being asked to draw someone Batgirl and these hyper-commercialized pirate mini-outfits very actively trying to work a blind spot. I do think conventions can do a lot more in terms of keeping these kinds of vendors out of their shows.

* Mark Evanier is looking for suggestions for the Bill Finger award.

* finally, OTBP: Low Light.
 
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February 23, 2016


Go, Look: Autobiographical Comic Strip

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The Warning Shot Of All Warning Shots: Publishers Threaten To Boycott Angouleme 2017

Friend to CR Bart Beaty pointed out this remarkable letter from a consortium of key French-language publishers that says, basically, the last Angouleme Festival was so bad, and that show is such a key part of how French comics publishing is presented to the world, that there must be reform or they're not going to go next year.

Among those things cited were the high-profile Grand Prix fiasco and the trainwreck of a prizes ceremony with its fake-out portion, but also dwindling attendance, ordinary exhibitions and a lack of transparency as to how decisions are made. They call on the ministry of culture to name a mediator.
 
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Go, Look: Young Brides #3

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Go, Read: Abraham Riesman On Stan Lee's Legacy

I enjoyed this article by Abraham Riesman on Stan Lee's legacy, even after it gave me a heart attack by noting the author was 12 years old in 1998. Riesman does a fine job of putting together Lee's later-period activities -- all those special Stan Lee projects -- and finding a reason for them that fits into a continuity for his larger career. He also covers the basics pretty well. I have my own areas of interest when it comes to grand theories of Lee, of course, and these aren't mind but these seem solidly conceived.

One thing I hope for as Lee's reputation continues to be debated and shaped is that none of us flash in a defensive way when some of the explorations get tricky or potentially unflattering to one theory or the other. As someone who co-wrote what is supposed a great critical biography of Lee, I can go for hours about Lee's intriguing accomplishments in a way that makes him an undeniably major pop culture figure of the 20th Century. Anyway: fun article.
 
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Go, Look: Mike Lynch On John Caldwell

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Go, Look: Glen Baxter

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Ms. Marvel Wins Second Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award

I'm a little bit late to this mostly out of confusion as to how it was disseminated -- it felt like a product announcement rather than a news story -- but once my confusion dimmed I was happy to hear that the Ms. Marvel title won the second Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics. This was announced at a ceremony held during the Long Beach Comic Expo. The award was accepted on behalf of the creative and publishing teams via a video presentation by writer G. Willow Wilson.

In general, the award has positioned itself well to point out multiple positive developments for diversity in comics at a time when the industry continues to struggle with a sustained commitment to concepts, characters and series that embody those issues in a positive way.

As the article notes, the title has enjoyed recent success at both Angouleme and at the Eisners, and the character is starting to have her presence felt in popular team books.
 
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Go, Look: Ramon Villalobos Mini-Gallery

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Go, Look: Smiley Burnette

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Fate/Zero Vol. 1.

* this is the best feature out there at the beginning of this week, all-time cartoonist Al Jaffee holding first wisely on the use of Yiddish language in MAD, and how that shifted from silly-sounding language into something else. MAD has multiple periods of interests worth studying even if you don't include a single publication past 1980.

* if were had more newspapermen doing posters like the one portrayed here, there might be no print newspaper crisis.

* not comics: I had some friends ask why the Milch gambling story is of interest, but heroic consumption stories of all kinds are of interest right now.

* Katie Skelly goes to CCS.

* there's always a danger in extrapolating the experiences of one Direct Market retailer to stand in for the experience they're all having, but I liked this piece from Mike Sterling on how New 52 was a different beast in terms of a relaunch and how nothing they've done since then or likely will do should see the same, specific degree of excitement.

* finally, look at all those lovely small-press comics.
 
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February 22, 2016


Go, Look: Nyssa Oru

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John Caldwell, 1946-2016

John F. Caldwell, a self-trained cartoonist who went on to have one of the most prolific and successful careers of the late 20th Century, died on Sunday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 69 years old.

imageCaldwell studied at Hudson Valley Community College and Parsons School Of Design for work in art that wasn't cartooning, an option that wasn't even on the artist's radar during his first few years post-education. When cartooning held promise as a creative outlet in a way that mapmaking didn't, Caldwell, moved in that direction. His straight-forward, rock-solid gag work put him in demand almost immediately. His magazine clients would include National Lampoon, Playboy, The New Yorker, and Wall Street Journal.

He began placing work with MAD in 1978, and became one of that publication's most prolific contributors if not a signature, name-above-the-magazine talent. While he occasionally worked with writers, Caldwell mostly placed work on his own.

For the newspapers, Caldwell developed a self-named panel effort that maxed out at about 60 clients in the late 1980s.

Caldwell's books included Running A Muck: A Bunch of Zany Cartoons (Writer's Digest Books, 1978); Mug Shots: A Splendid Collection of Cartoons (Fantaco, 1980); The Book of Ultimates (McGraw-Hill, 1983); Caldwell (Fawcett Columbine, 1988); Fax This Book: Over 100 Sit-Up-and-Take-Notice Cover Sheets for Better Business (Workman, 1990); and Faxable Greeting Cards (Workman, 1991).

Caldwell continued to enjoy a number of freelance opportunities through Christmas of this year, when the cancer robbed him of the ability to sit and do work.

Upon Caldwell's passing, Tomas Bunk posted a cartoon that Caldwell had sent him ten years upon the occasion of his own cancer diagnosis.

Caldwell is survived by his wife Diane, daughter Kristen, and a grandson. A funeral service is planned for Wednesday.
 
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Go, Look: Deth P. Sun

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Go, Read: Harper Lee/Berkeley Breathed Correspondence

As much as Lee's work functioned as a nostalgic grace note from a lost time, so does the idea of two literary persons engaging each other in written correspondence. I'm grateful someone tracked this down. Write your idols.
 
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Go, Look: Sugar And Spike #1

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Your 2015 SPACE Prize Winners

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Bob Corby of the indie-show SPACE has announced this year's prize winners.

Congratulations to the winners, finalists and to all those that entered. SPACE is April 9-10, 2016.

Since there are first and second prize winners, they're listed with those books.

*****

Graphic Novel Category

* Amiculus: A Secret History Volume I, Travis Horseman And Giancarlo Caracuzzo (Amiculus Books) [2ND PLACE]
* Apama: The Undiscovered Animal, Ted Sikora And Millo Miller And Benito Gallego (Hero Tomorrow Comics) [1ST PLACE]
* Askari Hodari: Guerrillas, Gunsmoke & Mirrors, Glenn Brewer
* Connections, Canada Keck (Editor)
* The Hues, Alex Heberling
* Spitball, Laurenn McCubbin And Alissa Sallah (CCAD)
* When the Heart Betrays the Blood, Mat Calvert (Calvert Comics)
* The Works, Robert Loss And Mike Laughead (CCAD)

*****

General Category

* Bear Wonderland Vol. 1, Steve Steiner (Mullet Turtle Comics) [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* Binary Gray #7-10, Christopher Charlton And Rowel Roque (Assailant Comics)
* Black of Heart #3-4, Christopher Charlton And David Hollenbach (Assailant Comics)
* Cosmo-Simian #1, Craig Bogart (Mystery City Comics)
* Goodbye, Weather, Eric Adams And Jerem Morrow (Narrier) [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* If the Shoe Fits, Emily Willis And Ann Uland (Arbitrary Muse) [1ST PLACE]
* Miserable Americans #3, Evan Derian
* Ol' Crazy & 40 Oz of Death, Victor Dandridge And Bryan Moss (Vantage: Inhouse Productions)
* Open Tree #2: Linus & the Fluke of Love, Christopher Charlton And Lauren Sparks (Assailant Comics)
* Ragged Rider: Tales of the Cowboy Mummy #2, Andrew Meyerhoefer And Seth Kumpf (So How 'Bout Comics)
* The Revisionist: 10 Years Gone, Chad Lambert (Old School Comics)
* Whatzit #2, Gideon Kendall
* Woodstalk #4: Reason to Believe, Bruce Worden (Black Market Books)

*****

Minicomics / Short Story Category

* Ant: Special S.P.A.C.E. Edition, Harrison Warden
* Bad Sex, Lauren McCallister [1ST PLACE ]
* Colonies, Victor Dandridge (Vantage: Inhouse Productions)
* The Cosmographer, Joe Kuth (Red Panda Comics)
* Cupid Seller, Ann Uland
* Doug Hates Ghostbusters, Max Bare And Melissa Sue Stanley
* Dutchy Digest #9, Steven Hager And Bruce Rosenberger
* Far Tune, Terry Eisele And Brent Bowman [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* Lupa Cachula's Life: Showing Stamina, Dre Grigorpol [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* Magic Clock, Pat Kain
* The Metatron, Ian Higginbotham
* Mrowr, Bruce Worden (Black Market Books)
* New Here, Clare Kolat
* Pegasus And Out Come The Krakens, Jack Gonzalez
* Presidents of the United Space, Chris Ludden
* The Secret Origin of the Dust Elves Book Two, Gordon Harris (Collide-A-Scope Comics)
* The Secret Origin of Brimy, Amy Canini And Brian Canini (Drunken Cat Comics)
* "Shrooms" from Wait... #2, Gideon Kendall
* Sour Milk #2, Max Bare
* To Boldly Go..., Shawn Feaking And Stu Rase (Prince Delight)
* Traitor Chapter One, Sean Dempsey (SMDempsey Comics)

*****

Webcomics Category

* Clattertron.com, Daniel J. Hogan [1ST PLACE -- TIE]
* Drunken Cat Comics, Derek Baxter And Brian Canini (Drunken Cat) [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* Mixed Drink Wednesday, Derek Baxter And Brian Canini And Dave Grant (Drunken Cat Comics)
* Melancholly Evil Poptart, Kate E. Lore
* Mutant Elf, Steven Myers (1st Issue Comics) [2ND PLACE -- TIE]
* Wonder Care: After School, Justin Castaneda And Victor Dandridge (Vantage: Inhouse Productions) [1ST PLACE -- TIE]

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Bruce Zick

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Go, Look: The Spider-Man/Machinery Sequence

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Twilight Children #4. Sean Gaffney on Behind The Scenes!! Vol. 1. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Johanna Draper Carlson on Sweaterweather.

* Box Brown visits CCS.

* Paul Gravett provides his latest post on imminent graphic novels. I always find those posts greatly encouraging.

* Stan Lee is announcing a Fall convention appearance in Toronto as his last Canadian appearance. Given the phenomenal amount of traveling Lee's done over the years I can't imagine anyone having a problem with how Lee chooses to wrap things up in the months, perhaps years ahead. I hope he's having fun.

* RJ Casey talks to Nick Drnaso.

* finally, Todd Klein begins a study of Danny Crespi's work.
 
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February 21, 2016


Go, Read: The Late Umberto Eco's 1980s Essay On Krazy Kat And Peanuts

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By Request Extra: New Herb Trimpe Scholarship Fundraiser For Kubert School

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Not Comics: Astounding Stories Images Array

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

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

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If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #449 -- Kane, Kane, Kane

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Favorite Comics Stories Or Publications By Gil Kane." This is how they responded.

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Amazing Spider-Man #122
2. The Ring of the Nibelung
3. The Life Story of the Flash
4. Showcase #34
5. Captain Marvel #17

*****

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Jim Wheelock

1. Star Hawkins - "The Case of the Blonde Bomshell" in Strange Adventures #182, Nov. 1965 (jpeg included)
2. "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper!" in Journey Into Mystery #2, Sept. 1972 -- inked by Ralph Reese
3. His Name is Savage
4. Star Hawks
5. "The Valley of The Worm" in Supernatural Thrillers #3, April 1973 -- inked by Ernie Chan

*****

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Steven Grant

1) His Name Is… Savage
2) Legends Of The DC Universe 28-29 (Green Lantern & The Atom)
3) Stand Proud The Warrior Breed (Super DC Giant S-15)
4) The Ring Of The Nibelung
5) Edge

(I apologize for any apparent egocentricity, but those are chosen strictly on Gil’s contributions.)

*****

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Jeffrey A. Goodman

1. Amazing Spider-Man #100
2. Amazing Spider-Man #96
3. Amazing Spider-Man #101
4 Amazing Spider-Man #97
5. Amazing Spider-Man #98 & #102 (TIE!)

Never much of a Kane fan, but I loved that run of his on Spider-Man as a kid. Only issues I ever held onto!

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. "The Making of Warrior Woman, 1942!" in Invaders #17
2. "The Spider or the Man?" in Amazing Spider-Man #100
3. "Green Lantern's Statue Goes To War!" in Green Lantern #12
4. "Behold! The Ultimate Man!" in Superman Special #1
5. "Flyer" Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #24-26

*****

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Des Devlin

1, "Antibiotics: The Killers That Save Lives" (Celebrate the Century: Super Heroes Stamp Album #5, 1999)
2. "Mystery of the Counterfeit Space-Cabby!" (Mystery in Space #26, 1955)
3. "Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig!" (Micronauts #43, 1982)
4. "Star Hawks" strip installment: Thursday, February 23, 1978
5. "Rex, the Amazing Bullfighter!:" (Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #36, 1957)

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Star Hawks
2. His Name Is... Savage #1
3. The Ring Of The Nibelung
4. "The Planet Of Doomed Men" Green Lantern #1
5. "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" Amazing Spider-Man #121

*****

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John Vest

1. Captain Action #4
2. Blackmark
3. Savage
4. "He That Hath Wings" in Worlds Unknown #1
5. "Valley Of The Worm" in Supernatural Thrillers #3

*****

idea and examples provided by John Vest; thanks, John!

*****
*****
 
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February 20, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


The Last Flower Sequence From War Between Men And Women




Calista Brill At The Comic Archive


Printing The 1940s Sunday Comics
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from February 13 to February 19, 2016:

1. Sparkplug Comic Books announces its plans to shut down this calendar year.

2. The comics industry remembers the late Alvin Buenaventura, a bright star of art- and alt-comics publishing in the post-2000 comics world.

3. The CBLDF announces a this-year move to Portland, Oregon.

Winner Of The Week
The CBLDF. Being in a cheaper location in a thriving comics community on a completely different coast should add a lot energy-wise to the institution.

Losers Of The Week
Fans of Sparkplug. That as a well-loved company, and it's sad that it's going.

Quote Of The Week
"He was inexplicable, the most singular human being I've ever met. There's nobody else in the world even remotely like him. He can't ever be replaced in any way." -- Daniel Clowes on Alvin Buenaventura

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

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

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

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If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This

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February 19, 2016


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

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

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If I Were In Portland I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Ken Parille wrote a piece in memory of Alvin Buenaventura, here.

* Elle Collins at Comics Alliance has the basics from the first round of strategies announced for DC's Rebirth initiative, which really is another near-linewide reboot. Part of me thought that was a joke that stuck. It seems there's a focus on cheaper books by copy fewer titles but several titles doubled-up, and a step away though not dismantling of pro diversity narrative strategy. I assume Batman will still be cool. No odd takes on characters seems to be coming back in a major, bet-the-farm way , although I've always been charmed by the Super Sons. I think it's all in the execution.

* good news in that direction would be DC's signing just announced of a few sturdy, younger mainstream comics creators, including the popular Tom King.
 
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February 18, 2016


Go, Look: More Thomas Teodor Heine

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Announcement: CBLDF Moving Offices To Portland, Oregon

Here. This will be the third major move in the orgnization's history, and should be finished by year's end. Budgetary savings and serving Portland's unique cartooning community were cited as two of the decision-making factors. You could interpret this story in several different ways, a number of which comfortably overlap. National organizations have been leaving New York City in recent years to save on costs, and comics companies have been going west.
 
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Go, Look: Betty Turbo

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Sparkplug Comic Books To Shut Down Later This Year: Backstock to WowCool/Alternative

Virginia Paine of Sparkplug Comic Books sent out a letter to that company's artists saying that she has reached the decision to shut the company down later this year. Backstock will be transferred to Marc Arsenault and Wow Cool/Alternative.

The closing date will be sometime after the CAKE show in June.

Sparkplug debuted in 2002 under the direction of the late Dylan Williams. It would publish some of the most promising work of the post-alternative generation: cartoonists like David King, John Hankiewicz, Chris Cilla, Chris Wright, Jason Shiga, Trever Alixopulos and Rina Ayuyang. It would invest heavily in neglected formats, like serial handmade minis, and sold its comics enthusiastically and by hand -- reviving a 'zine market which had become fractured in the previous decade.

Best of luck to Virginia with whatever she has planned, and god bless Sparkplug. A lot of of good comics were made there.
 
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Go, Read: Sweet Love

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image * one thing that's joyful about silver age imagery like this one is that it reminds us how much that generation of action/adventure comics counted on a wide range of entry points into dangerous fantasy scenarios. Like you would have comics were people would fight really bad winds. It's classically one way that fantasies help kids negotiate the world in front of them, and it's not something you get with endless permutations of fight club and black ops scenarios.

* Michael Cavna digs up the first round of post-Scalia cartoons.

* Alan Gardner notes that the John Locher Award has reduced its filing fee to zero and expanded its basic eligibility to more cartoonists. That one's deadline is April 15.

* Comic-Con International is going to which is kind of going from a computer that no no on-line capacity to one that't maximized for streatming video. That could have some fascinating consequences for a bunch of infrastructure things they do and I'm dying to see the outcomi.

* finally, check out these great drawings from Ron Rege, Jr.
 
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If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

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

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February 17, 2016


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

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

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February 16, 2016


"He Was As Loyal A Friend And Advocate As I'll Ever Have" -- Daniel Clowes On Alvin Buenaventura

imageBy Daniel Clowes

Alvin Buenaventura was the most important person in my life outside my immediate family. He was, to me, among many other things, an art representative, a production assistant, an archivist, a monographer, a tireless advocate and champion, a media representative, a technical advisor, a troubleshooter; but far beyond than that, he was my dear and beloved friend, a daily, constant, essential presence in my life.

I said this to anybody who asked about the mysterious Alvin: he was inexplicable, the most singular human being I've ever met. There's nobody else in the world even remotely like him. He can't ever be replaced in any way. He was born into a nondescript suburban So. Cal. army-brat childhood that could have in no way indicated his future, magically gifted with what can only be described as a perfect eye. It was as apparent in the stuff he found at flea markets and hung on his bathroom wall as in the entirety of his publishing empire, a remarkable series of choices in which there was not a single artistic misstep among the many logistic, personal and financial ones. All of it had a certain something that often only he could see at first, but once he saw it, you saw it too. Just two weeks ago, he and I sat talking on the phone, staring at the listings in an online Illustration Art auction. We decided to go through and pick our favorite pieces. I went for some obvious stuff, big names like Charles Addams and Heinrich Kley, but Alvin's number one pick was a weird moody painting of a guy in a cave by an unknown mid-level '50s illustrator. I had completely blipped over it, but he was 100% right -- it was the best thing in that auction. That painting is now in the mail, headed toward his empty house.

Alvin was a complicated man. He was as kind-hearted and generous a person as I've ever met, but he also held deep, complex, immutable grudges. He had what seemed to be a debilitating shyness, barely speaking above an inaudible mumble (I used to pretend I'd heard what he said -- with very mixed results -- so I didn't have to keep saying WHAT? like an old man all the time) but he was weirdly comfortable around famous artists, difficult lunatics, celebrities, assholes. He felt a parental protectiveness toward his artists to the extent that this soft-spoken, non-aggressive Buddhist once bought a plane ticket to LA to beat up a plagiarist on my behalf before I talked him out of it. He suffered terribly from depression and had gone through some bad spells in the 15 years I've known him, but had always managed to get himself back on track. This time was different -- he had been in increasing and agonizing pain from an autoimmune disorder and was feeling especially hopeless. All of his close friends and loved ones -- and there were many -- would have given anything to make him feel better, and we all will wonder what more we could have done, while recognizing that we could never really understand his anguish.

He was as loyal a friend and advocate as I'll ever have. He was the first person to read my books, often by many months, and his generous, idiosyncratic, ramblingly unpunctuated comments are the ones I'll most treasure. I hope to extend a similar loyalty to him in his passing, to uphold his memory and to be forever inspired by his beautiful and tragic human spirit.

*****

PS: I had intended to post this to my own website, but I just learned that Alvin carried all my social media passwords to his grave.

*****

photo provided by Daniel Clowes

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

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Go, Look: John Wayne Adventure Comics #10

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Carol HIlls profiles Badiocau. Angela Boyle profiles Julie Delporte.

* G. Kendall on Wizard #46.

* not exactly comics, but informative of them.

* Derf notes how one publisher used their "fake prizes" from Angouleme to clever sales advantage.

* finally, here's a Tijuana Bible-style comic from Jacob Canfield.
 
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February 15, 2016


Go, Look: Walker Cahall

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

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Not Comics: Alex Schomburg Illustration

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Resident Alien Vol. 3, Ragnarok: Last God Standing and The Autumnlands #8. Sean Gaffney on One Piece Vol. 77. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Henry Chamberlain on Fante Bukowski. Bob Temuka on Love & Rockets: New Stories #8. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. Michael Buntag on Lulu Anew. Jerry Smith on Star Wars #14. Alex Hoffman on The Beauty Theorem. Andy Oliver on Off Life. James Whitbrook on The Vision. Tom Murphy on Hax.

* Jeff Lemire talks to Matt Kindt. Meagan Damore talks to Mark Waid.

* here's a long Facebook essay arguing that the Batgirl title lost sales momentum because of an editorial choice to kill a cover out of step with the current direction of the comics. I'm not sure how opting away from a jarringly different cover is best seen as a break in momentum, and don't understand the confidence in the causation elements of these numbers more generally, but it's intriguing to me that comics culture still insists on having this debate.

* the latter two posts from Library of American Comics about strip advertising have posted: here and here.

* Patrick O'Connell has been hired by Dynamite to be its sales manager. He was previously at DC Comics.

* finally, Orrin C. Evans is profiled.
 
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February 14, 2016


Go, Look: Maria Stoian

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If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near Dallas, I'd Go To This

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

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February 13, 2016


Alvin Buenaventura, RIP

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The publisher, designer, curator, writer and manager has passed away, with details only beginning to surface Friday morning.

I liked Alvin very much and thought him a significant and unique contributor to alternative and art comics, post-2000. My condolences to his family, his friends, the artists with whom he worked and his fans.
 
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Go, Look: Conor Stechschulte

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If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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February 12, 2016


Go, Read: Scene Report: Housing In Seattle

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Go, Look: Shirley Jackson

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Go, Look: Sarah Winifred Searle

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Go, Look: Chris Schweizer's Warrior Women Wednesday

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If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Simon Gane Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Cassius #2. Andy Oliver on Take It As A Compliment. Paul Mirek on Mirror #1. Greg Hunter on I Fell Asleep and Ce/Ze. Katherine Dacey on Behind The Scenes!! Vol. 1. Sara Dempster on Whispered Words Vol. 1. Sean Gaffney on School Judgment Vol. 1. Thomas Maluck on Batman Volume Seven: Endgame. Todd Klein on Justice League #46.

* It took me until yesterday to notice that Brandon Graham wrote a lengthy post about his Wicked + Divine art work at his little-used, old-fashioned blog.

* not comics: AO Scott has a new book out on the value of criticism, so there are likely to be by the end of the press cycle a bunch of article like this one, which may appeal to readers of this site. I'm looking forward to them myself.

* Ben Kesling profiles Maximilian Uriarte. Gil Roth talks to Kriota Willberg. Alexander Lu profiles Marc Tyler Nobleman.

* Festivals Extra: Linework NW has announced its exhibitors. Remember that the Portland show has anchor exhibitor that exhibit both Saturday and Sunday and then individual exhibitors that do one day or the other. Particularly given that caveat, it's a strong list. I quite like that show, and hope to return this year.

* can anyone answer Charles Vess' question?

* follow this to a Jacob Canfield comic in PDF form.

* John Weeks profiles a small group of favorite Cambodian cartoonists.

* finally, missed this: Zak Sally gets to work on his PKD project.
 
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February 11, 2016


Late Congratulations To Ken Parille On Fifteen Years With The Daniel Clowes Bibliography

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In a recent post at his own site Blog Flume, the very fine writer about comics Ken Parille noted it has been 15 years since he launched The Daniel Clowes Bibliography. It remains one of the great, straight-forward, sensible and useful places on all of the comics Internet, and I'm grateful that he's kept it going.

I've worked on a similar project in another field. The great thing about something like that for me was that yes, it helps others to have this resource, but it also reminds your creative side that you can do something on-line that's not wrapped up in selling yourself to the biggest audience possible.

Congratulations and thank you to Ken Parille.
 
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OTBP: Take It As A Compliment

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Go, Read: Dave Filipi On Films Adapted To Comics Form

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Dave Filipi, who is the director of film/video at Wexner Center For The Arts here in my new hometown of Columbus is a great friend of comics and cartoonists. I'm not sure I've read him write on comics at any length, so I look forward to diving back into his piece on film adaptations for Film Comment after a cursory look this morning.

The stuff on the older adaptations is fascinating, particularly the idea of how scoring a Dell adaptation was a valued get by publicists because of the numbers involved, and how the production process of such comics meant that sometimes the comic would emphasize different scenes than the finished film.

Film adaptation are also something that I always think has a chance of being reinvigorated at different nexus points throughout the industry than the way it's done right now. I may be waiting forever, though. Without a lot of money involved it's hard to imagine some cartoonists taking those rare moments of freedom to work on their own stuff to pursue a gig that employs different skills in service, or at least related to, other artists' work. But all it takes is for someone to be creative enough to find a way that this is more regularly done.
 
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Go, Bookmark: What We Mean By Yesterday

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the application part of the Small Press Expo exhibitor registration process begins tomorrow. Not a lot of shows offer up a significant part of their exhibition space to an open process, but the new-artist discovery of that particular show wouldn't work with a fully curated festival. If you're a young person that makes comics, I encourage you to go for it.

* Nick Sousanis will soon be stomping around the grand small city of Champaign, Illinois. You should go see him.

* finally, this looks like a potentially interesting effort to do a virtual con via video presentation in comic book shop, although I'm still a little unclear what the final product looks like. There are so many conventions now. One outcome of that is people are going to find a way to present all of them as a thing in addition to all the little battles that are occurring. One concern I see emphasized is how the convention experience can tie into an experience the other 360 days a year, and this looks to be a half-step in that direction, too, at least conceptually.
 
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Go, Look: Denis Medry

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Go, Look: Yes, Krtek

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By Request Extra: Batton Lash Launches Another Kickstarter

I made some noise here the other day that I'm fascinated by older cartoonists that make use of crowd-funding mechanism. By older artists I mean those that are coming to that way of funding after more traditional ones. Comics has a really bad history of dumping creators while they still have good work in them, and crowd-funding may provide a way around that. Project to project, crowd-funding makes possible projects via reaching a small number of readers than just about any comics project that simply isn't a publisher providing blind support to a favorite artist or project. In other words, in the case of a small, core audience crowd-funding is a more efficient match than reaching out to those same fans through the inefficiencies of a multiple-play market. In addition, it's not like this is a either/or proposition; a project can do both, and perhaps pull an enthusiastic $20 payer into the role of a $40 payer.

It looks like indie veteran Batton Lash is exactly what I'm talking. He and partner Jackie Estrada have made crowd-funding what seems to be a permanent part of plans for publishing Batton's work. They have just announced a book called A Vampire In Hollywood, And Other Stories Of Supernatural Law, the seventh in that series overall and at least the third partially funded this way. They're seeking $9500.
 
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Go, Look: Sketch Portfolio From 1986 UKCAC

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Go, Look: The Fighting Yank #29

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Swamp Thing #1.

* a civil case against Marvel for Iron Man designs the plaintiffs say were taken from their own armored superhero designs of several years earlier has been kicked out of a state court system when it was found there was no basis for having the case in that state's court system.

* Grave Bello talks to Daniel Clowes.

* the front half of this PW article on Angouleme you've seen in dozens of other places: all the controversies. The back half gets into the interesting rights scene, and is a bit more fun.

* there a couple of things to note about this comic shop profile, of a store in Cincinnati: the first is that the design aesthetic backs away from the overload of visual input mode that many stores favor; the second is that the store own as a business for someone late in their career doing a bunch of different stuff. I think that will be a significant percentage of comics retail outlets in 20 years.

* finally, Jason draws Lemmy.
 
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February 10, 2016


Go, Look: Stream

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This One Summer Pulled From Multiple School Districts In Florida

imageBrigid Alverson is probably the best place to start with the ongoing news story of the award-winning This One Summer being pulled from school libraries in districts in Florida. I'd then move to Maren Williams for the usual, thorough, CBLDF write-up.

You should also watch a regional TV news report on the initial complaint and a follow-up story.

I think it's fair to say the basic storyline here is a mother making a complaint against the Caldecott Honor winning book based on profanity standards for an elementary school collection, local media driving a wider and not-deserved sense of alarm about the book, the combination of which led to removals not just in the original library or library-level, but in multiple libraries including high school collections. More challenges could take place, the process of which can be Byzantine and may even be problematic because except for that first complaint these aren't advocacy-based pulls and there therefore might not be a lot force to a complaint against which anyone can push back.

It's a textbook example how an act of censorship can be built out of policy that's lazy, or that favors a lack of engagement, as opposed to an evil cabal of unpleasant people or politically motivated lawmakers desperate to step between consumer and customer. It can be the difference between slugging it out with General Zod and picking your way through a Kafkaesque system of gentle denial that might disappear if you look away. Both are dangerous.
 
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Go, Look: Dorothy Dare

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Your Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics 2016 Nominees

imageThe Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics surges into its second year at a time when diversity in comics continues to be something championed and appreciated by just about everyone save a few bruised, possible damaged souls. McDuffie was a significant presence in comics and animation based on comics before his untimely death the day after his 49th birthday.

The awards announced their nominees today through I think Hollywood Reporter. If I'm not right about that, the show business publication had the article very quickly upon its announcement.

The nominees are:

* Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven, Brandon Easton And Denis Medri (IDW Publishing)
* Fresh Romance, Janelle Asselin, Editor (Rosy Press)
* Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder And Natacha Bustos (Marvel Entertainment)
* Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson And Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment)
* Zana, Jean Barker And Joey Granger (Emet Comics) (pictured)

Ms. Marvel was also nominated in 2015 for the inaugural award.

The winner will be decided by a committee consisting of Neo Edmund, Joan Hilty, Joseph Illidge, Heidi MacDonald, William J. Watkins and Matt Wayne.

Marc Bernardin will provide the keynote address on February 20 in conjunction with Long Beach Comic Expo. Congratulations to all of the nominees.
 
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Go, Look: Tara Booth

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

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*****

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

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

*****

NOV150469 RENEE GN (MR) $29.95
Top Shelf did Ludovic Debeurme's Lucille several years ago I think in part to expand on the part of their catalog that might remind one of Blankets: a very good-looking moments, full of romantic moments and a massive drop in terms of the number of pages involved. A lot has changed for the publisher since then, and I'm glad to see them go back to Debeurme with IDW's backing support and all the wisdom they gained with that previous work.

imageOCT151287 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #4 REG SMITH $3.99
OCT151288 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #4 SUBSCRIPTION YOUNG $3.99
DEC151259 BADGER #1 (MR) $3.99
DEC151323 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #7 $3.99
NOV150583 AUTUMNLANDS TOOTH & CLAW #9 (MR) $2.99
OCT150566 THEYRE NOT LIKE US #11 (MR) $2.99
DEC150072 ABE SAPIEN #31 MAIN CVR $3.50
This is a solid if not exactly spectacular week in comic-book format comics. It's always a joy to get new Jeff Smith, and this issue of Tuki features a kind of restful repurposing and, on some copies, a variant cover by Skottie Young. Badger precedes even Jeff Smith's first book, Bone; the Mike Baron-scripted character is a war vet whose martial arts prowess is augmented by mental illness -- not exactly a concept for right now, although it seems like one from which you could squeeze a movie or a few more small runs. It's a tough market, though. Ed Pisko continues to climb Comics Mountain in a serious bid for top dog. Dogs are a big part of Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw; I liked this issue enough to mention it here because it seemed to bring with it a definite shift in terms of pacing, which I think will benefit the book if it's around for a long time. They're Not Like Us seems to have slowed down a bit pacing-wise, but I'm too busy looking at Simon Gane's art to care. Finally, here's your Mignola-verse comic book of the week.

OCT150048 ELTINGVILLE CLUB HC $19.99
This Dark Horse collection of the latest -- and last -- material featuring Evan Dorkin's sometimes-severe take on the stunted lives of geek culture fans comes hot on the heels of an all-in-one collection of the cartoonist's name-making Bill & Ted comics work to make this a great year for fans like me. I'm not sure how much this later Eltingville material hit with fans old and new, but I know Dorkin didn't flinch when it came to portray his awful, awful yet hilarious people.

NOV151335 WALT & SKEEZIX HC VOL 06 1931 - 1932 $44.95
DEC151270 WAS SHE PRETTY GN (D&Q ED) (MR) $19.95
A Walt & Skeezix volume is always cause for celebration, and my memory is that the next ten volumes will all demand immediate purchase and comic-strip worship, too. That's a powerful format, and great work. Was She Pretty is the other major offering from D&Q this week, bringing back to print the Leanne Shapton book based on the relationship built since that book came out with another publisher's name on it, I'm thinking about ten years ago.

NOV151315 PUBLIC RELATIONS #5 (MR) $3.99
I hope this comic was created just to make PR jokes about comics. Comics is obsessive about the idea of PR campaigns.

DEC151439 AS YOU WERE VOL 04 LIVING SITUATIONS $10.00
This is a small press anthology I believe to be -- not sure -- based mostly out of the San Francisco area. A bunch of the young people live here, like Ben Passmore and Liz Suburbia and we don't have enough anthologies catching comics at the moment between early expression and young maturity.

OCT150080 GIGANTO MAXIA TP $13.99
This is the manga out there this week that I'd choose to read; a return to comics by the creator of Berzerk.

DEC151325 CRICKETS #5 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) $7.00
NOV151393 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY GILBERT GN VOL 06 COMICS DEMENTIA $19.99
OCT151450 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 08 $14.99
NOV151394 EC REED CRANDALL & FELDSTEIN HIGH COST OF DYING HC $29.99
AUG151472 UNDERWORLD HOBOKEN TO HOLLYWOOD HC $39.99
NOV151392 NOD AWAY GN $24.99
This is a massive week for Fantagraphics, good gravy. Starting with their distribution of Sammy Harkham's great one-artist anthology Crickets, which I think we may see more frequently now. The Love & Rockets library volume has a whole bunch of out-there Beto, and the new New Stories continues Jaime Hernandez's recent run of powerfully drawn and well-observed Locas comics. I don't know when the next format switch comes, but this is a nice ending point if it becomes one. Fantagraphics' series of EC books has been most beneficial to me as an avenue for reconsidering those great artists at EC that weren't one of the two or three super-iconic figures at the groundbreaking publisher. Crandall fits that bill for me and I'll enjoy that one like deeply hardy meal. That Underworld is my late-night reading choice right now, and is such an excellent book to have just fall from the sky without warning like this one did for me. Finally, Nod Away is Joshua Cotter's return to comics, and a welcome one, a suspenseful drama told with science fiction droppings.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Bookmark: Maps To The Suns

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Festivals Extra: ReedPOP Moving Away From Their NYC Show Focused More Explicitly On Comics-Makers

Heidi MacDonald had a nice catch here based on an idea she unearthed while talking to ReedPOP's Lance Fensterman and then tracking subsequent media appearance by the convention organizer. They won't be doing their "Special Edition: NYC" show this year. This was their NYC show focused on North American comics creators as opposed to the bigger spread of media properties that are the backbone of their popular New York Comic Con event.

I never quite caught the strategy of that one, but I assumed it was partly trying out a slightly different formula and partly staking claim to New York across the board, but I can't be sure. ReedPOP and Fensterman are certainly busy trying out specialized shows and shows out of North America; MacDonald suggests that a stand-alone manga/anime event may be in the offing. I'm pretty sure with the number of small events and the general costs of New York that a competing show featuring North American comics creators in the same way as the Special Edition event did isn't going to happen unless some comics fan out there gets into a Brewster's Millions scenario.

I'm generally worried about an industry overly reliant on shows as opposed to these being the icing on a digital/DM/bookstore cake, but I'm not sure I can articulate a compelling reason why I have those fears.
 
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Go, Look: Elena Casagrande Superpeople Portraiture

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Go, Look: Classic Marvel Bullpen Self-Portraits

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Go Look: Mister Mystery #7

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the writer Abhay Khosla is penning four articles on the year in comics 2015. You can access them here. I'll try to respond to some of the ideas presented when I read all four essays.

image* Todd Klein on The Marvels.

* not comics: homebrew is always best.

* here's Charles Brownstein in good form on the Our Comics, Ourselves exhibit. It's always nice when Charles gets the time to write something.

* not comics: this is the second essay I've seen recently on the general subject of corporate entertainment doing away with the notion of Happily Ever After. The corporate element isn't emphasized here., although that's a big reason why we have more narratives extended to accommodate more movies, more books, more whatever. The weird thing to me is that my enjoyment of the closure provided by Return Of The Jedi or Return Of The King wasn't dependent on believing that there wouldn't be some tough times further ahead.

* Steve Lieber writes for the Comic-Con site about launching a creator-owned series.

* Brian Heater talks to Tommi Musturi, Noah Van Sciver and Derf.

* David Barnett writes about Comic Republic in Nigeria.

* finally, this comic looks potentially amazing. I have a very shallow understanding of underground comix created by women, and look forward to becoming more well-versed in that area.
 
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February 9, 2016


Go, Read: The Making Of Daniel Clowes

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Bundled Extra: King-Cat Joins Alternative Comics Co-Op

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The alt-comics publishing co-operative Alternative Comics put out a release Monday saying that the iconic series King Cat Comics & Stories will be joining its line-up with the issue that came out last year, #75. That issue featured comics about the cat owned by creator John Porcellino for years, and appeared on several year-end list. It will now be available through Diamond Comics to bookstores and comic shops that buy comics that way.

I'm all for anything that gets Porcellino's series into as many hands as possible. Porcellino was such a crucial figure for the mid-1990s generation we sometimes forget he remains a potent, intriguing cartoonist and every comic he makes is of interest. That issue #75 I thought as good as any comic I read last year, and hope you'll seek it out if you haven't had the pleasure.
 
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OTBP: In Her Words

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* James Whitbrook has a preview of work from I Am A Hero, Kengo Hanazawa's zombie comic that has an omnibus series debut from Dark Horse in April.

* this is very charming video confirming that we will be seeing the delightfully strange Demon in completed form from First Second.

* author Marissa Meyer is set to make the graphic novel leap.

* profiles the path to publication for Terminal Lance: The White Donkey, a graphic novel from an ex-Marine derived from his own experiences in service. The fluidity between markets right now suggests to me we'll see one to five stories of self-publishing successes shaped in roughly the same way as this one from now until there is another paradigm shift in how comics are sold.

* Matt Madden has a nice write-up on the new iteration of Lapin.

* finally, Chip Zdarsky will be joined by artist Kevin Maguire on the seventh issue of Marvel's Howard The Duck comics. He doesn't sound nervous at all.
 
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Go, Look: Leslie Stein In Montreal

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By Request Extra: Celebrating Michael Lynch's 10th Anniversary

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Mike Lynch is a valued member of that first, primary, significant generation of comics bloggers. He's just celebrated ten years of blogging about his own work. Mike blogs about a variety of things, but the ones of most interest to CR readers are the times he check in on comics history and explores the ins and outs of cartoon freelance work.

I hope you'll join me in considering a small donation, particularly if you're lucky like I am to read him post-to-post. If you enjoy the links I've done to his site from CR, please bolster what will be a shamefully insignificant amount mustered on my own.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Captain Steve Savage Over Korea

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note the presence of denigrating racial stereotypes common to the time
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on The Trouble With Women.

* that's some Daredevil commission from Gene Colan. It's strange to conceive of for a generation that wanted to know every name responsible for every comic ever made, but there's likely to be a time when some artists are remembered while so many great creators will have passed entirely from view. I wonder frequently who makes the cut.

* not comics: the pre-Rapahelites on paper. (thanks, Bob Levin)

* Gil Deacon talks to Neil Gaiman. Sloane Leong talks to Meredith Gran.

* totally missed this Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill horror anthology crowd-funder. The use of crowd-funding mechanisms by established artists is fascinating because of the amount of goodwill they usually have built up with a sizable audience before heading to a place where those things are at a premium. The publishing experience are different enough that I wonder if that's why we're not seeing people of that generation routinely using these sites and the culture that's sprung up around what seems to be each and every one.

* here's a lengthy gallery process profile featuring late-period work by Carol Tyler.

* finally, I forgot to point out this fine Jillian Tamaki illustration from a couple of weeks back.
 
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February 8, 2016


By Request Extra: Rich Tommaso Art Sale

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Go, Look: No Diplomacy

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Missed It: Egyptian Cartoonist Held Briefly On What Look Like Made-Up Concerns

If you get the chance, you should read Al-Monitor's interview with the Egyptian cartoonist Islam Gawish about his late January detention by Egyptian officials. There are a bunch of compelling ideas in operation there. Gawish is best known for very simple cartoons that comment on politics and culture; as you can read in the interview he isn't exactly a radical about it and is happy to decry people that go too far into inappropriate uses for caricature. Still, Gawish found himself being charged with operating an unlicensed web site.

One big problem is that Gawish distributes his material via social media, on pages that don't have a licensing or fee structure. That makes this look less like an administrative practice and more like a potential censor checking in.
 
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Go, Watch: Phallaina

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Go, Read: The Trouble With Superman

We're going to see a ton of general-media thinkpieces on superheroes this year. Comics fandom's caped division is a coveted army of eyeballs for anything put on-line, and there are multiple avenues for such articles in 2016. We get DC's big three and DC in general with Superman Vs. Batman. We get the state of Marvel and broad political allegory in the new Captain America. We get genre correction with Deadpool, series correction with Doctor Strange and a flip-take with Suicide Squad. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther will generate some ink. I'm sure there will be others.

imageI like this article by a writer named Asher Elbein just fine. I think it's a measured piece, lacking that squeal of giddy fanboy approbation for one version of the character over another that tends to shock me when I read an article like this one. At the same time, it seemed like a thorough analysis, for instance citing the fairly obscure Joe Casey-written, Derek Aucoin-drawn "Never Throws A Punch" run on the Siegel/Shuster character. I will always think the way to a better Superman, a way to a better versions of all of these properties, as much as that's ever an interesting goal, is to tell good stories built around an appealing take on the character in question -- as opposed to genre tweaking or trying to puzzle out what fans want or having these grand line-wide plans and complicated narratives that obscure or simplify the individual characters of note. I rarely see narratives from DC that serve as vehicles for these characters to make a case for their own greatness.

I've yet to catch up with Gene Luen Yang's version of Superman; I've read only a few issues by the well-regarded team of Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder. The other versions I've seen post New 52 have been something of a chore and that basic conception? Ugh. I sort of hate that guy. And while I'd usually I'd say I'm not the audience, it's Superman. Everybody's the audience.

Update: the great Stuart Immonen just wrote in to point out that the article I mention credited writers without artists except in extreme historical circumstance, like Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. That is an awful thing that happens, I should know better. There's no excuse; that's a mistake on my part. I still like the piece, even thought I understand it's pretty unpopular. But, if nothing else, the practice of leaving artists out whole-hog should be its own criticism every time it happens.

I do have some sympathy for writers that try to engage with the world of mainstream comics when they do not exhibit the nuanced appreciation most of us try for that an artist and writer may have overlapping conceptual responsibilities -- in much the same way I think Elbein doesn't credit how increasingly character portrayals are tied into "universe" narratives. I think most of us feel our way through these things more than we care to admit. I added Aucoin's and Kuder's names to the above because that's how I think of those books. However, I didn't add Gene Luen Yang's certainly creative partners because in my conception of those comics for the point I'm seeking to figure out, I think of myself as being specifically interested in Yang's contribution. That might also be in error. It's certainly a rude assumption.

I couldn't tell if you that's a forever-hitch in my step -- if all artists deserve co-author credit in all facets of writing as thoroughly as Jack Kirby does, or if these kinds of things ebb and flow across individual partnerships that makes finding the target of focused analysis super, super difficult. I still feel like there are comics where a primary author might reveal herself; I think Kirby's authorial voice dominates most of the comics he worked on post 1961, and that the early Image comics that used writers were dominated by their artists. The Comics Journal was always Gary Groth's magazine, even when I worked on it. Ditto Wildwood and Dan Wright. But since I can't know that for other people, I should favor mentioning as many voices as seems sensible, and point out the practice when I see it employed across the board. Lord knows we've had a lot of abuse and shortsightedness from the other end of things.

Anyway: my bad. Thanks, Stuart.
 
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Go, Look: Black History In Its Own Words

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there are three up so far
 
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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the writer Paul Di Filippo has reached a crowd-funding stage on an element of his The Black Mill project. It involves artist Orion Zangara and is stretch-goal heavy.

* two recognizable names that jump out at me that I hadn't seen before today are Alex De Campi and Jerry Ordway collaborating.

* here's some of the still ongoing crowd-funders we've been following here: Kevin Budnik, North Bend #1, Root & Branch, a second volume for The Hues, projects for Ben Dunn and Fred Perry; translation work for Guillem March.

* finally, as far as I know the gofundme campaigns for the artist Gerry Acerno/Jerry Acerno and the caricaturist Glenn Ferguson remain ongoing.
 
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Go, Look: Garry Trudeau Book Cover Illustrations

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Go, Look: Fighting Yank #28

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Linus Maurer, RIP.

image* Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #4. Shawn Starr on Ding Dong Circus.

* Michael Cavna walks us through some cartoons about the first voting for what will eventually yield a new president.

* not comics: this is kind of interesting. There was an episode of the television show Agent Carter which showed the Peggy Carter character at a frivolous, less-being-awesome-all-the-time point in her life. A bunch of the reaction I've seen -- like this one -- reminds me of the old Wolverine trap, where a certain kind of fan is attached to a bunch of positives of the character in a way that anything that's a step back from that specific portrayal is criticized. That might not be what's going on here, but it sure looks similar.

* go, look: this is my kind of celebrity encounter in that it's off the beaten path and ends up embarrassing.

* Nick Hanover talks to Pete Toms. Thomas Golianopoulos profiles Rob Liefeld in an article with a strange focus on kicking Fabian Nicieza in the dick.

* not comics: here's Liefeld on securing creator credit for himself and Nicieza on the Deadpool movie, a post that seems less weirdly aggressive than the interview.

* this is a wonderful panel. I don't know if it was solid underlying craft or what, but the mid 20th Century DC Comics, particularly the Superman group, are wonderfully expressive and have a similar tone across the board, even when they're doing wildly odd stories. I like reading them now, and they were almost unreadable to me between the ages of 15 and 35. It might be a trick of curation, I'm not certain.

* finally, would that all bookstores including comic book stores have a mysterious benefactor.
 
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February 7, 2016


FFF Results Post #447 -- Double Up

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Writer-Artist Duos That You Like In Comics." This is how they responded.

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr (pictured)
2. Robert Loren Fleming and Keith Giffen
3. John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake
4. Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell
5. Brett Lewis and John Paul Leon

*****

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Sean Rogers

1. Jean-Claude Forest and Jacques Tardi (pictured)
2. Héctor German Oesterheld and Francisco Solano López
3. Alan Moore and Mark Beyer
4. Natsuo Sekikawa and Jiro Taniguchi
5. Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger

*****

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Steven Grant

1. John Broome & Gil Kane (pictured)
2. Jean-Michel Charlier & Jean Giraud
3. Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
4. Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
5. Warren Ellis & John Cassaday

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Mike Baron and Steve Rude
2. Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones
3. Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
4. Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson
5. Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen

*****

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Rob Salkowitz

1. Archie Goodwin -- Walt Simonson
2. Denny O'Neil -- Neal Adams
3. Neil Gaiman -- Jill Thompson
4. Frank Miller -- David Mazzucelli (pictured)
5. Alan Moore -- Eddie Campbell

*****

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Bryan Munn

1. Tomomi Fujimaru and Ray Sohn
2. Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney (pictured)
3. Peter Bagge and Dan Clowes
4. Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez
5. Don "Duck" Edwing and Don Martin

*****

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Ian MacEwan

1. José Munoz and Carlos Sampayo (pictured)
2. Eduardo Risso and Carlos Trillo
3. John Romita Jr and Ann Nocenti
4. Goseki Kojima and Kazuo Koike
5. José Luis García-López and Gerry Conway

*****

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Amy Racecar

1. John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
2. Peter Milligan and Brett Ewins
3. Peter Milligan and Michael Allred
4. Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun
5. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill (pictured)

*****

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Bonny

1. Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (pictured)
2. Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb
3. Bob Karp and Al Taliafero
4. Mario Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez
5. Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

*****

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John Vest

1. Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith
2. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
3. Allyn Brodsky and Don Heck
4. Tom Veitch and Greg Irons
5. Nick Cuti and Joe Staton

*****

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Jamie Coville

1. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
2. Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
3. Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
4. René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
5. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

*****

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Steve Harrick

1. Chris Yambar and George Broderick, Jr
2. Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
3. Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
4. S. Steven Struble and Sina Grace
5. Richard Pini and Wendy Pini

*****

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Randy Clark

1. Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers
2. Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo
3. Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy
4. Cary Bates and Curt Swan
5. Doug Moench and Don Newton

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Benoit Peeters and Francois Schuiten
2. Carlos Trillo and Jordi Bernet
3. Carlos Sampayo and Jose Munoz
4. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
5. Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jacques Tardi

*****

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Jeff Flowers

1. Dean Motter and Ken Steacy (The Sacred and the Profane)
2. Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson (Freak Show)
3. Chris Claremont and John Bolton (Marada The She-Wolf)
4. Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rodgers (I Am Coyote)
5. Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (Neonomicon)

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Marv Wolfman and George Perez
2. Bob Rozakis and Stephen DeStephano
3. Mike W. Barr and Alan Davis
4. Mike Baron and Steve Rude
5. Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. David Gallaher & Steve Ellis
2. Roger Stern & John Byrne
3. John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
4. René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo
5. Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

*****

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Mark Mayerson

1. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
2. Fred Toole and Owen Fitzgerald
3. Jules Feiffer and Will Eisner
4. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
5. Archie Goodwin and Alex Toth

*****

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Josh Fitzpatrick

1) Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
2) Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
3) Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire
4) Alejandro Jorodowsky and Moebius
5) Matt Fraction and David Aja

*****

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Jeffrey A. Goodman

* Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder
* Sean Kelly & Neal Adams
* Michael O'Donoghue & Frank Springer
* Dave Sim & Gerhard
* Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

*****

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Mark McMurray

* Robert Kanigher/Joe Kubert
* Tom Veitch/Greg Irons
* Don McGregor/Billy Graham
* Steve Gerber/Gene Colan
* Roger Stern/John Byrne

*****

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Terry Eisele

* Steven Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen
* Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera
* Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jacques Tardi
* Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis
* Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

*****

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Joe Gordon

* Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
* lan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra
* Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
* Goscinny and Uderzo
* Pat Mills and Joe Colqhoun

*****

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Patrick Watson

1. Mike Baron and Steve Rude
2. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
3. Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
4. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
5. Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima

*****

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Des Devlin

1. Dean Young and Jim Raymond
2. Larry Siegel and Mort Drucker
3. Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers
4. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
5. Franz Kafka and Robert Crumb

*****

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Iestyn Pettigrew

1. Pete Milligan & Chris Bachalo - Shade the Changing Man
2. Wendy & Richard Pini - Elfquest
3. Ann Nocenti & John Romita JR - Daredevil
4. Ann Nocenti & Sean Phillips - Kid Eternity
5. Mark Evanier & Sergio Aragones - everything they do but especially Groo!!!

*****

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Steve Replogle

1. Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz
2. Dave Gibbons & Steve Rude
3. Scott McCloud & Chuck Austen
4. Jim Starlin & Berni Wrightson
5. Howard Chaykin & Mike Vosburg

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. "Alabaster Redzone" (Jim Stenstrum ) and Abel Laxamana
2. Steve Gerber and Gene Colan
3. Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert
4. Al Feldstein and Wally Wood
5. Otto Binder and C.C. Beck

*****

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Tim Hayes

1. Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema
2. Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius
3. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
4. Keith Giffen/JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire
5. Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz

*****

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Dave Knott

* Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb
* Pierre Christin and Enki Bilal
* Otto Binder and C.C. Beck
* Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
* Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

*****

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Chad Nevett

1. Jim Starlin and Ron Lim
2. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
3. Joe Casey and Nathan Fox
4. Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov
5. Peter David and Angel Medina

*****

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Michael May

1. Chris Claremont and John Byrne
2. Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson
3. Matt Wagner and Guy Davis
4. Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski
5. Neil Gaiman and Chris Bachalo

*****

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Chris Arrant

1. Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
2. Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
3. Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore
4. Louise & Walt Simonson
5. Joe Kelly & Chris Bachalo

*****

idea and examples provided by John Vest; thanks, John!

*****
*****
 
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February 6, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Tom Richmond Profiled
via


Sudhir Tailang, RIP


2015 John Callahan Tribute Podcast


Chatting With Our Pal KAL


Interview With Ed Piskor Focusing On Old-Timey Comics-Making Tools
via
 
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If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

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

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February 5, 2016


Go, Read: Seth T. Hahne's Top Comics Of 2015 List

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Go, Read: Habit Forming

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can't remember the provenance on this one; my apologies to those that had it first
 
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Go, Look: Chantal Montellier's Obituary Comics

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Collective Memory: FIBD 2016

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this article has now been archived
 
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Go, Look: Various Prime Time Murphy Anderson Covers

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Any Time This Guy Would Show Up, I Would Quit

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Go, Look: Thrilling Comics Covers

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Go, Read: Bob Fiore On Invisible Ink

I thought Bob Fiore provided a strong reading of Bill Griffith's Invisible Ink with this essay at TCJ.com. That's a book I admire very much, but it's clear to me that not every smart person is going to find an in with a book about a very specific kind of American culture and a subject matter as hard to grasp as the inevitability of history as it plays out on a billion tiny stages. I think we sometimes assume that every admirable book is for everyone, having come from an arts comics culture where every book of reasonably-argued worth was an event in and of itself so precious that for a while this really was the case. That culture of comics is gone in the same way the New York of Bill Griffith's mother is gone.
 
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Go, Buy: Last Gasp Finds Secret Cache Of Undergrounds

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Assembled Extra: New Comics Workbook Site

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Frankie Santoro and his crew of fellow-travelers and Pittsburgh free-thinkers have moved a version of their popular tumblr-based site into a more basic .com effort.

Santoro can boast of a lot of deep, overlapping relationships with alt-comics figures, so his picture of things in the broader sense are always fun and worth seeking out. This looks like a place you can spend some considerable time clicking through various links and recommended destinations.
 
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If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Startling Comics

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* all best wishes to Mike Baehr, a longtime Fantagraphics employee who has parted ways with that company. Several times he made my job a whole lot easier just in the course of doing his job: thank you, Mike.

image* Alex Hoffman on Super Cakes. Sean Gaffney on Strike The Blood Vol. 2. Johanna Draper Carlson on Friday Barnes, Girl Detective. Ginnis Tonik on Toil And Trouble #4-5. Tony Venezia on Ghost World. Calvin Reid on Tipping Point. Craig Fischer on Providence. Alex Spencer on Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl.

* in case you were wondering what the wallpaper in Hell looks like, here you go. There's a lot of fun stuff when you back up out of that particular post and look around, for sure.

* I've heard of these Wally Wood diploma, but never seen an image of one.

* go, look: Frenchmen and their books, including comics.

* not comics: people tend to get huffy and weird when writing about Amazon wanting to do brick and mortar retail, but it seems like having those places makes sense to the, so why not? There's a certain kind of customer that likes that experience, and they can use the site tool in the store without being yelled at.

* Mark Maynard talks to Eric Nakamura.

* finally, Moment Of Moore tweeted the link to these three 1980s comics photos in my direction; I don't know that I'd ever seen a photo of Bill Marks before.
 
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February 4, 2016


Go, Look: Two Big John Buscema Image Mini-Galleries

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1, 2
 
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Go, Look: Love Secrets #41

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OTBP: š! #24

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

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Go, Look: Young Love #61

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Tobias Carroll talks to Rick Remender. Sean Gaffney on Kagerou Daze III: The Children Reason. Johanna Draper Carlson on Say I Love You Vol. 9.

* James Whitbrook notes that Superman has a new power either from or as a pushback from that plotline that put him in a t-shirt and jeans for a while. It's not the strangest power he's ever had, but it's up there.

* the comedian and comedic actor Bob Elliott has passed away. Mark Evanier's explanation of Bob and Ray's relationship with MAD is the best, most succinct.

* Brigid Alverson talks to Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke. James Whitbrook talks to Brian Michael Bendis.

* Noah Van Sciver and his 'stache visit CCS.

* finally, I can't remember if I linked to this well-traveled article about Louis Riel becoming an unexpected hit in the Canadian prose market, or if every time I saw it I immediately drank until I passed out. It's been a weird 2016.
 
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February 3, 2016


Go, Look: Tillie Walden's Hourly Comics Day Comics

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Go, Look: Ann Stark's Warning

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this is an old post that was revived by the linked-to site
 
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Go, Look: DETROCBOI

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

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*****

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

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

*****

DEC151200 RAMSHACKLE GN $20.00
This is Alison McCreesh's part memoir, part place-study of north-central, rural Canada, and just the kind of book I love seeing at the comics shop. If I had Scrooge McDuck's building of cash dropped in my backyard, a really interesting way of setting up a comics foundation would be one for local history and memoir, which I think comics does so freaking well. Anyway, delighted to run into this one. I hope it's good!

imageDEC150469 AMAZING FOREST #2 $3.99
NOV150631 PRETTY DEADLY #8 (MR) $3.50
MAR150612 VELVET #13 (MR) $3.50
DEC150554 WALKING DEAD #151 (MR) $2.99
DEC150536 MIRROR #1 (MR) $2.99
DEC150069 JOE GOLEM OCCULT DETECTIVE #4 $3.50
DEC150823 DOCTOR STRANGE #5 $3.99
DEC150792 HOWARD THE DUCK #4 $3.99
DEC150754 VISION #4 $3.99
Here are the comic-book comics that leapt to my attention from this week's list. You won't find ten better-looking covers than the one featured here, from IDW's solid-sounding Amazing Forest series. I hope to buy that myself tomorrow or Friday. Issues of Pretty Deadly are welcome in those shops that have made it a solid performer; no one rips it up now, I imagine. Steve Epting's work on the spy thriller Velvet is a lot of fun. It's a deliberately paced story for all the flying suits and double-crosses, and I wonder how these pages will play in the context of all of them in this particularly storyline. Walking Dead enters a new phase and I appreciate the creative team's ability to resist a ramp-up around the anniversary issue. Mirror #1 is more 8House. Joe Golem is the part of the Mignola-verse with which I'm least familiar, but it's always to see those book with a steady market presence. Doctor Strange, Howard The Duck and Vision are the series I follow from Marvel Comics right just to get a sense of their line, so it looks like I'll be at the comic shop, too. I'm always intrigued by how Doctor Strange resists memorable storyline, I feel Chip Zdarsky has found tone and pace but maybe not structure with Howard and Vision is the one all the kids talk about while I cross my arms and glare.

AUG150896 SUPERIOR FOES SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS HC $49.99
This is a bunch of well-crafted, funny comics about various lower-level bad guys with Spider-Man in common. They don't have that extra artistic and formal oomph of that Fraction/Aja Hawkeye series, but they have a similar tone and the worlds seem built from the same sets. I might look into buying the whole series in comic book form rather than this form, but to each his own.

MAY150451 COMP JUNIOR & SUNNY BY AL FELDSTEIN HC GIFT ED $75.00
This is a run of the slightly naughty Fox teenagers comic Al Feldstein did, with some extras to make it gift-able. This isn't an area of comics I collect, but it'd kind of extraordinary that there are enough people out there for whom that's true to make such a project possible. I'm glad for those people to be maximally happy.

DEC151366 ANYAS GHOST GN $15.99
NOV151445 BABY SITTERS CLUB COLOR ED GN HC VOL 04 CLAUDIA & MEAN JANI $24.99
NOV151444 BABY SITTERS CLUB COLOR ED GN VOL 04 CLAUDIA & MEAN JANINE $10.99
DEC151569 ROBOT DREAMS TP $9.99
DEC151365 LAIKA SC NEW PTG $18.99
DEC151354 SWEATERWEATHER HC $19.99
That's a lot of reprints. Some of these are for First Second to have on their 10th anniversary convention stops. They're all sturdy books, and should be in print. Both of those Sara Varon books have an idiosyncratic rhythm to them, if you've never had the pleasure. I own them all.

DEC151698 ONE PIECE GN VOL 77 $9.99
DEC151686 SCHOOL JUDGMENT GAKKYU HOTEI GN VOL 01$9.99
If I were to buy some manga this week I'd choose between checking in on One Piece -- just the most popular comic series in the world, bristling with virtues that made it possible for that to be the case. I enjoy every chance I get to read some. It's likely, though, that I'd opt for the first volume in a fantasy about a court system for kids drawn by Takeshi Obata.

SEP151625 SKYDOLL DECADE GN (MR) $34.99
I had to look it up, but it's been eight years since Skydoll has been put in front of English-language audiences, so it's time that happened again. It's very attractive work, and this edition has all of it plus pin-ups so I'd love to see it in the store.

DEC151087 FUTURE SHOCK ZERO GN (MR) $18.00
This is a good-looking anthology from the Retrofit crew including such artists as Keren Katz, Ben Urkowitz and Sophia Foster-Dimino. It's priced at a nice point for the "pick up work from artists I don't know that well" crowd, and the "I follow almost everything these people do" crowd.

NOV151482 TIPPING POINT HC $29.95
NOV151483 TIPPING POINT ULTRA DLX HC $499.00
I'm probably more of a Future Shock Zero guy than I am a Tipping Point person, but I'm impressed with any $500 comic book because it reminds me of some sort of bizarre prediction/threat my father might have shouted at me in 1981. This is actually a star-stuffed, illustration-heavy-but-not-overly-so fancy anthology of the kind where people notice the lack of female contributors. Atsushi Keneko, Naoki Urasawa, Paul Pope, Boulet and Bastien Vivès are name I would buy anthologies to read, and pretty much the whole line-up is like that. The $500 is a limited (100 copies) slipcase editions with bookplates signed by the whole crew.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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Go, Look: 1976 Hulk Splash Pages

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Master Keaton Vol. 2 and Shokugeki No Soma Vols. 9-10. Sean Gaffney on orange: The Complete Collection Vol. 1. Richard Bruton on Briar. Alex Hoffman on Solanin. John Seven on Long Red Hair. Kali Kavouklis Wolf on Rosalie Lightning.

* the cartoonist Steve Bell received a death threat because of a cartoon he did recently disparaging the Danish prime minister and his political party, criticism of which was in the new because right-wing critics had argued on principle rather than content that the Danish Cartoons should be defended. It's hard to think of something coming out of this, but you never know. Labeling a cartoonist and seeking their censure nearly always has the result of people criticizing or feeling angry towards that cartoonist in a way that can lead to trouble.

* Oni hires and promotes its way to a new managing editor and a completely rebuilt PR/publicity wing for the company. I don't have any complaints about Oni Press publicity as a media member, although I suppose like most companies some continuity and as many hands on deck as possible would be most welcome. Congratulations to Andrew McIntire, Ari Yarwood and Rachel Reed. If all of those jobs were at one point listed, that would be a lot of jobs for Portland to have free. There are basically no jobs in Portland, ever.

* Rob Beschizza visits Ed Piskor in his studio. Sean Edgar talks to Thomas Desaulniers Brousseau and Simon Leclerc. Heidi MacDonald profiles Tom Hart. Martin Scholz talks to Pierre Christin.

* John Hendrick of Big Bang Comics in Dublin has written a lengthy article about how to work with Direct Market retailers if you're a comics creator. I am neither of those things, but I've seen examples of both lavishing praise on the article.

* finally, that's a great ad, and it's always interesting to see how even Fantagraphics -- the least genre-bound company of its generation -- would occasionally still figure things out through such a prism.
 
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February 2, 2016


Go, Look: Sara Lautman

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Go, Bookmark: Musical Urban Legends

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Go, Read: Matt Madden On Angouleme Festival Weekend

Go, here. The cartoonist Matt Madden had something of a ringside seat for the whole weekend and has the ability to draw on the perspectives of numerous comics-making friends, both English- and French-language.

One nice thing about the report is the extra details. The ceremony was icky in a couple of ways past the lengthy, fake-awards opening; primarily there was a board for cartoonists to provide a drawing in order to receive their awards, which had uncomfortable connotations for a lot of the artists in the room in terms of their value. He also notes from fundamental difficulties in getting information on certain winners to the press on a basic level. I agree with Matt that there were multiple levels to many of these events: minor snafus, major snafus and then a sort of derisive, angry arrogance in terms of how criticism of events was greeted by organizers.

I join Matt in hoping that improvements are made by the smart, comics-loving people in charge, from the angriest response to much more general issues like how older artists' work can show in a sophisticated way that does honor to past and present. My particular worry is that when people get close to a rhetorical stalemate they see that as work actually done on an issue or a concern instead of its avoidance. Let's hope that's not the case here. We all have things we can work on, it's just most of us don't have our missteps play out in public like this.
 
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Not Comic: Mr. Joe Turp Writes

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Go, Read: Retailers Complaining About Mainstream Sales

I got a few e-mails from readers complaining about this late last week article at Bleeding Cool rounding up retailer complaints about the direction of last year's publishing plans by Marvel and DC Comics. There's a lot going on there, and plenty of entry points depending on what your interests might be.

In general this seems to me a reminder that changing the general direction at big companies takes some time, and that it's really hard in an industry that is ruthlessly squeezed at every opportunity to make any sort of move at all to change linewide tone, or fold in new readers, or extend the life of certain creations that are years and years and years into multiple-story-per month development. I'm grateful for all the shops that adroitly sidestepped the worst of 2015's strange moves by those companies just in terms of events, scheduling an execution; that was the sign of a highly skilled core industry, that so many did so well with both companies making odd decisions. I would hope there's some room for growing that particular market in a way that doesn't feel like a radical, stomach-churning shift -- there's so much potential for growth based on the relative rigidity of material over the last 40 years. The overall context, as much as there's pushback, remains need for change.
 
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Go, Look: Best Love Profiled

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Gary Tyrrell has a list of forthcoming works from First Second.

* the cartoonist and artist Leela Corman will be releasing some work through Retrofit this year.

* one of my favorite old-school bloggers, Mike Sterling, extends on a recent Johanna Draper Carlson article about the return to the Direct Market of the Badger character and what that means to him as a retailer. That's 30 years ago those comics were being sold -- I can't imagine too many other media where a character from 30 years ago, published in a minor way since, would be expected to find market purchase. I like that character and wish the new work's creators well, but it does seem pretty odd. One of the reason I wonder if movies aren't a better home for some characters is I wonder how much story they have in them.

* Bleeding Cool caught something I didn't: we're far enough into their Secret Wars-related series rollouts that some of them are now being cancelled. I'm old enough that Marvel not being able to squeeze double-digits out of anything it might want to feels remarkable, but I imagine it happens a lot these days. See you, Black Knight. You'll likely have company soon.

* I don't do a lot of wandering through Amazon.com listings because it seems they get less and less trustworthy every half-year but if we get this Anders Nilsen book sometime this Fall I'll be happy.

* Spike Trotman doing a biographical work featuring Josephine Baker sounds like a very interesting and potentially successful project. We get that one in 2017.

* finally, here's a preview of a forthcoming series from Heavy Metal called The Doorman. The first issue of that is out in March. Also in March that same site has a preview of a Titan Comics series called Rivers Of London: Night Witch #1.
 
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Go, Look: Running For Love

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Go, Look: Comics By Ludwig Bemelmans

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to Riad Sattouf on his decision to accept the chevalier des arts et lettres offered to him. He promises to press for answers on the economic well-being of comics-makers, a huge topic in the French-language market and creative culture.

image* Paul O'Brien on All-New X-Men #1-3. Todd Klein on Justice League #47. Henry Chamberlain on Bernie. Michael Buntag on Ultraman Vol. 2. James Whitbrook on Old Man Logan #1. Mark Dickson on Hass #1 and After The Gold Rush #1. Andrew Weiss on World's Worst Comics Awards. Shawn Starr on Werewolf Jones And Sons.

* the late Al Hirschfeld's famous pink Harlem townhouse, where the caricaturist and comics-maker made art for something like 230 years, has been successfully turned over to the tune of several million more dollars. The mural included is pretty incredible. No word on the barber's chair, but I don't see it in any of the pictures.

* here's a nice historical article filled with wonderful names concern an early 20th Century political campaign with a cartooning element.

* Oliver Sava talks to Eric Stephenson. Brian Heater spends some anniversary time with Bill Griffith. Congratulations to Mr. Heater on his 150th show. Angela Boyle profiles a CCS-visiting Liniers.

* James Whitbrook does a deep dive into the Wonder Woman character and various re-imaginings of her secret origin.

* go here to contribute to an article naming the top 50 black creators of all time.

* Bruce Canwell dives into the rich subject of advertising for comics.

* finally, she's a cartoonist.

 
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February 1, 2016


Go, Follow: Hourly Comics Day

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Your 2016 FIBD Palmarès Officiel

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What follows are the official prize winners from the 43e Festival International De La Bande Dessinée, given out over the weekend in Angouleme, France.

You can poke around on the site and find a few of the categories (Polar, Patrimoine, Jeunesse) where there's a list of easy-to-scan nominees. They also seem to pull some of their awards from their large list of official selections, and others from off the list altogether -- this kind of forces me out of presenting these the way I usually do.

So here are your winners.

* Prix Du Meilleur Album (Best Book): Ici, Richard McGuire (Gallimard)
* Prix Du Public (Public Prize): Cher Pays De Notre Enfance -- Enquete Sur Les Annees De Plomb De La Ve Republique, Benoit Collombat and Etienne Davodeau (Futuropolis)
* Prix Spécial Du Jury (Special Jury Prize): Carnet De Santé Foireuse Pozla (Delcourt)
* Prix De La Série (Best Series): Ms. Marvel Vol 1., Adrian Alphona and G. Willow Wilson (Panini)
* Prix Révélation (Strongest Debut): Une Etoile Tranquille -- Portrait Sentimental De Primo Levi, Pietro Scarnera (Rackham)
* Prix Jeunesse (Best Book For Younger Readers): Le Grand Méchant Renard, Benjamin Renner (Delcourt)
* Prix Du Patrimoine (Best Historical/Reprint): Père Et Fils -- Vater Und Sohn -- L'Intégrale, EO Plauen (Warum)
* Fauve Polar SNCF (Best Crime/Thriller Book): Tungstène, Marcello Quintanilha (Ca Et La)
* Prix De La BD Alternative: Laurence 666

As far as commentary, that strikes me as a sturdy list: I'm not sure how much I have to say beyound that. I don't have the breadth of knowledge of that market to know of any surprises, but I can't remember any citing the McGuire book going into the show as a potential best album winner. I know that book suffered a bit in the US from a take that some readers had that the book-length version wasn't as good as the original short story. For me, that's an astonishing book no matter how you look at it. G. Willow Wilson is the only female winner I see on this list, and it's fun to see that Ms. Marvel work acknowledged in a market that doesn't give that genre a ton of play.I'm looking forward to see the Benjamin Renner work when it makes it over here, that's been in the news a few times. As always, I'll be looking at the Alternative prize pretty closely to see what I can find in terms of new artists.

*****
*****
 
posted 10:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Lucky Luke Originals

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled Extra: Slings And Arrows Guide Launches On-Line

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I haven't gone there to poke around yet, but I've been getting e-mail update on the Slings & Arrows guide opening up its review archives to the public. This has been done now.

Until archivists figure out how to better catalog the best comics content, what survives until then will likely be that material with continuity (an interviewer's still-active web site, for example) and the occasional revival project like this one. That makes me want to note it here.
 
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Go, Look: Square Comix

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posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Becky Cloonan Illustrates Gifts For The Earth

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Several Notes About The Fake Awards At Angouleme

* in case you haven't heard -- and I'm not sure everyone has yet -- the festival prizes at Angouleme used a comedian named Richard Gaitet to do something they thought would be humorous with their weekend program. What they came up with was a short, fake awards show preceding the real one. This involved riffing on some of the design elements of the full program thematically, but basically constituted calling certain actual cartoonists and nominees up to stage as if they had won one of the festival's prizes, giving them a fake award, and then declaring that first part of the awards program fake before moving onto the real prizes.

* here's Derf with a plain-language description of the events as he learned about them at the festival.

* you can get some of what they were thinking in the apology Gaitet wrote for Le Monde. You might not understand what's being suggested -- I'm not sure I do -- but it sounds like there was some humor theory at work there, that old saw of introducing a second idea (fake awards winner) to "question" the first (the real awards winners). I'm guessing there was also a secondary level of "stupid host... this isn't how awards work!" Why either dissonance or self-reflection would be the subject of humor at an awards program, I couldn't tell you. Why joking incompetence might be part of a show whose competence was hammered for two weeks preceding, again: couldn't tell you. If we're going to talk theory, a structural piss-take on an awards show that barely has historical structure is very New 52, too. They haven't done these awards in this way long enough for there to be effective satire on how they're done.

* theory aside, just on a practical level, it's hard to fathom how no one thought this was a terrible idea. The joke depended on putting people into an embarrassing situation. Working artists who might find an award meaningful aren't exactly the best choice for this kind of satirical point: these aren't millionaires looking for another excuse to be lauded. Awards don't just exist in the room they're given, so the failure to realize that publishing reps and friends would be tweeting out and texting congratulations they'd later have to rescind -- a huge fucking embarrassing bummer for all involved -- seems criminally stupid. A stunt that would in any way stand between the winners and the traditional, practical good of being singled out and lauded in front of a market that's so hard to penetrate, that seems slightly insane. And after two full weeks of being hammered for the lack of female nominees on the original long list for grand prix, why would you move forward with anything that was the least bit potentially controversial without a huge projected upside?

* an idea floated that this stunt was a good idea because comics exist in a context that emphasizes wacky satire and taking the piss out, that just isn't true. That's one context of like 50 different contexts for comics, and everything about the Festival stands to counter that kind of rigid thinking. What a lame response. Seriously, that's an argument abusive dorks used to use on message boards in 1998.

* since there were reports that the "fake" winners were confused about their status vis-a-vis the real winners right there at the show, that suggests this wasn't even executed well -- unless, again, the point was dissonance and inquiry and humiliating people.

* here's Matt Madden with the official jury statement. Translated from the French for "What the fuck?"

* one thing that honked me off about the grand prix nominees long-list fiasco was the cynical deployment of the historical argument as a defense. Part of the genius of introducing that argument was that our eagerness to beat the shit out of it took us further away from getting at how and why the committee screwed up going 0 for 30 with grand prix nominees -- a very specific task with very specific parameters that isn't exactly strict historical inquiry in several ways that matter. The equivalent argument with the fake awards may have already presented itself: a "tyranny of social media" position that suggests social media mechanisms like twitter distort things that happen in a way that makes the organizers victims rather than malcontents. Arguments like that are the beginnings of arguments, not arguments themselves, and there's no footing to make it stick here. In fact, specifically in this case, what happened at the awards was so baffling and unthinkably dumb that it resisted becoming viral.

* one thing that I think people should remember about awards programs of all kinds is that some people are into them way deep, but most people aren't. Ignoring them is easier than you'd think, and an awards program that people are behind just in terms of it being a practical, overall good represents more fragility than one might be comfortable admitting.

* does anyone remember that a convention in the 2000s in Spain attended by Peter Bagge and Eric Reynolds had a fake terrorist takeover? The reason you don't is because that wasn't particularly hilarious, either.
 
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Go, Look: Thomas Theodor Heine

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I'm a fan of the artist Kevin Budnik, out of Chicago, and I hope this Kickstarter goes well for him. It looks like it might reach its initial goal between the time I type this and the time this rolls out on the site. There's still plenty of time to be involved, though.

* the artist Gerry Acerno/Jerry Acerno is still in need of cash assistance. If you can help the inker probably best known for his work in the Image retro comic Big Bang, I hope you'll look into helping. He's the patriarch of a family of five, and if I'm reading the gofundme page correctly a gossamer-thin safety net was disrupted by personal illness and accompanying mental hardship.

* all of the standard crowd-funder projects we were tracking last week remain live: North Bend #1, Root & Branch, a second volume for The Hues, projects for Ben Dunn and Fred Perry; translation work for Guillem March.

* finally, the gofundme for the caricaturist Glenn Ferguson still needs some money to meet its initial goal.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jungle Comics #3

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Go, Look: Exciting Comics #1

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* hard for me to imagine a much better time than this modestly priced course on comics from Scott McCloud.

image* Sean Gaffney on My Monster Secret Vol. 1 and The Testament Of New Sister Devil Vol. 1. Abhay Khosla on his reading pile. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Todd Klein on Unfollow #3. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. Andy Oliver Of Tales Of The Old West.

* the only reason we need on-line platforms for comics is to read comics that tell us the only reason we need newspapers.

* Sean Kleefeld tells the sad story of Skippy.

* Jackson Connor profiles Punk and its driving force, John Holmstrom. That's an impressive cultural cul-de-sac just off the main highway of comics history that rarely gets discussed. Barry Thompson talks to Tom Fowler. Hillary Brown talks to Tom Hart.

* finally, the Angouleme train station might be a top 30 comic book store in the U.S.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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