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














March 31, 2016


Go, Look: Anissa Espinosa

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Go, Look: The Incurious Case Of Thomas

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Go, Read: Profile Piece On Court Street Comics

It makes sense in a time when a lot is made of "legacy heroes" in mainstream comic books as a way of reinforcing a brand and extending the length of bearability on certain properties that we'd start to see comic shops citing older comic shops as an inspiration or at least a proximate spiritual antecedent. This is the case with a new comic shop in Brooklyn, with ties by location and hoped-for fervent customer loyalty to Bergen Street Comics and Rocketship.

I used to despair much more than I do now about the first generation of comic book stores going away and what would replace them. I don't do that as much anymore. One reason is that I mellowed the fuck out some. That's a dumb thing to be worrying about, the continuity of comic book stores. What the hell was wrong with me? I was just making stuff up to raise my blood pressure and kill myself early for a while there. Sheesh. Another reason is I think the comic book store is an attractive enough thing for some young business owners that it will be part of what a lot of people try.

The cultural shift, then, may be measured in terms of "that store was my life" becoming "that was the 11 years we did the shop, remember?" This will certainly have an effect on how shops serve customers, good and bad.
 
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Go, Look: Dave Wachter

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Go, Read: Two Cartoonist Tribute Articles

* there's a biography by Michael Maslin of the iconic New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno coming, so expect a decent amount of feature article writing on the subject. The best part about this first piece of I've seen is the analysis of specific cartoons.

It's difficult at times with an artist like Arno, whose humor might come with a leer, to dissect what was funny and important about what they did. Arno's personal style and the powerful visual impact of his cartoons mitigates the dismissiveness that might greet his frequently deplorable treatment of women in service to his sense of humor. I hope this new biography gives us a chance to sort things out a bit or a chance to see the work with practiced eyes.

* Jessica Zack remembers Phil Frank. Frank had one of the more interesting careers of any 20th Century cartoonist, and was sort of regarded -- with cause -- as the last living "local-only" of artistic significance.
 
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Go, Look: Dana Wulfekotte

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* wow, wow, wow look at the French-language cartoonist and Wowee Zonk participant line-ups at TCAF. What an amazing bunch of gets. That's a whole show right there.

* Linework NW has started naming its special guests. That show has an illustration/art focus which leads to about half of their featured artists in any given year. I like that show, I think it's a perfect neighborhood show, and hope I can get out there.

* veteran writer-about-comics Brigid Alverson covers C2E2, a commuter train ride from her old stomping grounds.

* report on "The Face Of Scottish Comics."

* another incremental step -- possible big news, possibly not news -- in the saga of Comic-Con International's lawsuit agains the similarly themed show in Salt Lake City.

* I don't see this as any big deal; I don't detect a crucial overlap in the core attendees that would wound one show or the other. I could be wrong, though.

* finally, CR's co-publisher Jordan Raphael sent along a few photos from the LA version of WonderCon. The kids in tow are his children Leo and Mirabel, big comics fans. I think that was an interesting experiment, and I hope people found out anything they wanted to find out so that the southern California convention scene will continue to stabilize. Thanks, J.

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

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Go, Look: Jeffrey Jones Illustrating Robert E Howard

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Mat Colegate talks to Dan White. Priscilla Frank talks to Austin English. Bret McCabe talks to Ben Katchor. Some nice person from The United States Of Nerd talks to Peter David.

* go and read: a colorists roundtable.

* Batman has a new costume. He should probably have a lot of costumes, given his bank roll and the necessity of dressing for the part and for the job.

* there's a tongue-in-cheek element to stories about a Garfield art book, from the readers if not the writer (this writer plays it straight), but well-executed I'd be interested in reading it. I know historian and critic RC Harvey is a legit fan.

* I got made fun of for not watching this Richard Thompson short film until recently; don't be me.

* Andy Oliver on Fedor.

* finally, I never did find a "go, look" space for this police blotter comic about a person driven a bit wild by the tenor of today's politics.
 
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March 30, 2016


Go, Look: Hannah Fisher

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Not Comics: Jeff Jones Illustrating Red Shadows

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Go, Look: FOOM #3

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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.

*****

JAN161486 GLORKIAN WARRIOR HC GN VOL 03 MUSTACHE OF DESTINY $19.99
I don't know that I'm familiar with this particular series of kids comics, although of course I know James Kochalka's work from a variety of sources spaced out over two full deades. I'd be interested in seeing it, that's for sure. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd go into the comics shop this week. It seems so light, although I imagine with the first book of the next section that most shops will have a good week.

imageJAN160610 SAGA #35 (MR) $2.99
NOV150655 THEYRE NOT LIKE US #12 (MR) $2.99
JAN160862 DAREDEVIL #5 $3.99
JAN160812 DRAX #5 $3.99
JAN160858 HERCULES #5 $3.99
An odd mainstream comic book week to supplement the generally weird vibe emanating from the list entire. Saga is a best-seller with multiple entry points and works hard to keep that status. I enjoy Simon Gane's art in They're Not Like Us, and like Eric Stephenson's adventure-comic writing generally, although I get lost a bit in keeping the characters straight. That may be weird only in that the series is very diverse and thus the signifiers one character to another are larger than in many books. The final three listed above are Marvel books either on the cusp of or outright ending what will go into a first trade collection. That makes it a good time to read those books' reviews to see how they're getting over with the fans of that material a half-year or so into the run. It may be a more important sign than first-issue reviews.

DEC151453 GOLEM GN $19.99
DEC151718 NICHIJOU GN VOL 01 $10.95
JAN160520 TET TP $19.99
This is the kind of week where I would wander around the store, knocking children down. No, sorry, those last three words weren't typed by me. Plus there are few children in comic book stores, at least the ones where I shop. No, what I mean is that the lack of sure things, regular titles, established creators, would send me looking at stuff I might not check out in a busier week. These three books look like likely candidates. Golem looks like fun eye candy, from the well-liked artist Lorenzo "LRNZ" Ceccotti. Nichijou is a series with up to ten volumes to be translated. I like the look of it, and the gentle bend of reality in the make-up of its cast is something I'm always interested in as far as comics goes. Any series of this length with a commitment from Vertical is bound to be at least pretty good. Tet I remember mostly for its handsome cover in the serial format. It's a murder mystery with a direct tie into that particular piece of Vietnam-era nasty business. Somewhere in there is a book I'll like, I'm sure.

DEC151364 ROBOT DREAMS GN NEW PTG $17.99
I assume this is the Sara Varon effort from First Second as opposed to some hardcore sci-fi book I haven't exactly nailed down. I liked that book when I saw it originally.

FEB162031 ED BRUBAKER CONVERSATIONS HC $40.00
Ed Brubaker is a great talker, and I'm sure this bunch of interviews has some good stuff in it. I don't know if anything I talked over with Ed is in this; I tend to out of these kind of "donate your work for someone else's book" kind of projects these days. Still, given the way on-line sources have drifted and print sources before them faded, this may be a valuable bunch of books to have in libraries two decades from now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Needed: More Carny-Related Comics Series

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Durarara!!, Vol. 3. Jason Wilkins on The Pitiful Human Lizard.

* Jonah Weiland talks to Brian Bendis. Vaneta Rogers talks to Grant Morrison. Robin McConnell talked to the late Jess Johnson back in 2013. Gil Roth talks to Tom Tomorrow. Rachel Cooke talks to Riad Sattouf. Shea Hennum talks to Daniel Clowes.

* not comics: I would imagine a blanket would be a very effective comics crossover licensing item.

* it's almost startling to see a fictional depiction of Jack Kirby, even on a cake.

* Ken Parille's long look at Patience deserves at least its one starred entry point here.

* Jaime Hernandez takes a turn in one of those New Yorker cover artist profiles.

* finally, Matt White picks graphic novels about video games.
 
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March 29, 2016


Go, Look: Grace Kim

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Not Comics: Richard Corben Illustrating Robert E Howard

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Go, Look: Tristan Wright

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Julia Wertz announced via Facebook she'll be published in 2017 by Black Dog & Leventhal. That's a Hachette company now, and one I believe best known in comics circles for the relationship to the New Yorker, where Wertz has been publishing.

image* Hope Larson writes about her new gig as writer on Batgirl. The nice folks at ComicsAlliance did a fine job of assembling all of the WonderCon weekend-announced creative announcements on the Rebirth books -- that's DC's latest editorial-driven line overhaul, this time promising a back to basics approach and top titles receiving more than one issue a month. That should give them a slight boost in sales, if nothing else. Creatively, I think they still may have a problem finding top-of-the-line talent to cover as many books as they want to put out there. This can be exacerbated by using an editorial-driven approach like this one seems to be: it's harder for many artists to execute someone else's vision than it is for them to bring life to their own. Book to book it doesn't seem to me all that different from what they've been doing, although I'm not the target audience. It's all in the execution, and there can be great choices made in a way that we don't see until the books start coming out. I'm interested that none of the WildStorm characters seem in play, although maybe I missed a couple. Also, they're taking a pass on another shot at the Legion Of Super-Heroes right now.

* Jason Copland mentioned on twitter that Dark Horse is doing a massive compilation of the Kill All Monsters! comics.

* I talked to a bunch of Julia Gfrorer fans this week that didn't know about Laid Waste and I consider that my fault.

* here's a preview of Rich Tommaso's She Wolf. That looks really nice, and I hope it hits in a way that Tommaso can work a while within a single concept, if that's even a possibility the way that's set up.

* if you're Facebook friends with Leslie Stein, you can see and enjoy her next book's cover design.

* hitting the stands (or festival table, or both, or just staying at home to be ordered) near you: Kill The Wizard.

* finally, Charles Vess writes and shows art concerning the re-formatting of a forthcoming work from a mural to a more amenable, publishing-ready size and shape, which involved flipping the material among other things.

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

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Go, Look: Marvel Advertisements

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1. James Kaplan on Turncoat #1.

* John Kelly has an article up at Comics Workbook on Bill Griffith's Weird Pittsburgh.

* here's 13 comic book Julius Caesars.

* there is a lovely Ed Graham on-line gallery here.

* James Johnson talks to Vince Andrews.

* perhaps the most interesting thing about this Trouble With Comics group post about the newspaper comics page is that only two of their writers chose to send along a response. I enjoyed Joe Gualtieri's analysis of his local metropolis comics page and the role that the ubiquity of bland features has in terms of the way people perceive the age of strips.

* Mark Evanier dips into comics history a bit to help explain why he has no interest in seeing the film where Superman and Batman fight. Speaking of which, Steve Weissman draws the property icons here.

* finally, a Street Angel and Michelangelo team-up.
 
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March 28, 2016


Jess Johnson, RIP

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Go, Look: Diego Agrimbau

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Missed It: Illustrator My Atlegrim Among Brussels Slain

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Bill Kartalopoulos made comment in a mail-around this morning that the illustrator My Atlegrim was among those killed in the recent public attacks in Brussels. Atlegrim was 30, from Sweden, and had been living in Brussels and working freelance for about a decade. She was also a textile designer and worked in a tea shop. A site with art samples and a bio is here.
 
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Go, Look: My Atlegrim's Tumblr

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Go, Read: Brian Hibbs On ComicsPro, DC's Rebirth

Brian Hibbs is decidedly on for much of this article about his experiences at the recent ComicsPro retailing summit, in particular a Q&A session attended by Jim Lee and Dan Didio. My various hunches about what's going on with this particular relaunch match up with Hibbs' much more considered analysis for the most part, although I might assign different levels of importance to different elements of it than he might.

I think what we may be seeing overall is an audience that's simply too small to carry an industry with this many titles. It's a savvy audience that wants the best value and is thus susceptible to being told what to buy, in the various ways the industry can do that, but there's simply not enough of them to create an upper class and a middle class, let alone a sustainable lower-middle class of comics works. Everyone else is simply hanging on.
 
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Go, Look: Inhumans Pin-Ups By Jack Kirby

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DC Announces A Little Bit More About Talent Development

Here. That may actually all be out there in a different form, but that article is the first time I've seen some bare structure as to what they're doing.

It makes sense for them to do that. Both Marvel and DC seem talent-light to me. One reason may be that Image, other independent comics companies in the classic "genre works not by a top three publisher" sense, and I think perhaps animation work become options for a lot of talented artists and writers a company like DC might otherwise see on their doorstep. If they're going to do books at a release rate more furious than monthly, they'll need more talent than they have titles. It's not like developing comics-makers this way makes other recruitment tools obsolete, either. Gene Yang and Hope Larson are DC creators now.

The proof for this program will be in the comics, just as shifting recruitment areas for comics sub-industries like newspaper comic strips were justified (or not) by the resulting work. I imagine this possibility is very exciting if you're a wannabe comics-maker that for whatever reason simply isn't already making comics on your own.
 
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OTBP: Dream Tube

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* the Fashion In Action crowd-funder is in its last few days, looking like it will easily surge past its initial goal.

* looks like Sophie Goldstein sold some Oven pages and has plenty more for sale.

* I'm still a bit confused that the Retrofit crowd-funder hasn't drawn more widespread support. I wonder if it's something in the mechanics of what they've set up, or maybe a general distrust in the publisher? I couldn't say.

* it seems to me that Giancarlo Caracuzzo's crowdfunder should meet its initial goal, so only pursue that one if you're interested in the project itself.

* finally, success for the dinosaur arsonist.
 
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Go, Look: Steve Rude Pin-Ups

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Go, Look: A Big Bunch Of BC Strips

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Kurt Ankeny talks to Tyler Landry. Ron Rosenbaum profiles Molly Crabapple.

* this is so old -- solely because of my inability to catch it -- that I really can't make it its own post without confusing people, but an award called the Prix Tournesol went to Derf back at Angouleme. It's one of the outside awards that kind of drafts behind the big show, but it should have been noted. I was busy being enraged by the Festival's terrible attempt at spinning its Grand Prix fiasco, but there's no real excuse.

* go, look: Al Columbia drawing Sea Monkeys. Here's another Columbia from the same source, the Facebook account of the newspaper anthology Smoke Signal. Their latest issue features a Columbia cover that's pretty amazing.

* I don't know that I totally trust this link -- it took me a to January/February sale when I initially used it myself -- but if it doesn't poke around at their site and social media and you should find Fantagraphics doing an "underground sale." Of the works that I saw offered, and I hope the same works will be offered again or this commentary is useless, I liked the Sacco humor book and generally admire the work of Patrick Rosenkranz.

* finally, cutest exhibitor ever.
 
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March 27, 2016


Go, Look: Esther

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Go, Look: Sean Dove

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Not Comics: Random Shadow Print Imagery

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Not Comics: Margaret Brundage Covers Weird Tales

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

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

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March 26, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Unearthing Tom Scioli Zines From 1998


Bill Griffith, Art Spiegelman On Their Early Days


Enrique Fernandez Drawing


Ted Rall Speaks In Walnut Creek


Frank Santoro Interviews Jeff Yandora
 
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Go, Look: Superlark

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

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

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

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

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

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March 25, 2016


Go, Look: A Decade In Immigration Purgatory

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Go, Look: Kazimir Lee

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Go, Look: AT Pratt

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Great, Mostly Goofy World's Finest Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Saga Vol. 5. Paul Constant on beds! Beds! BEDS!

* Tom Kaczynski talks to Kid Koala. Peter Bagge talks to Kaz. Mike Dawson talks to Austin English and Bill Kartalopoulos. Sean T. Collins talks to Daniel Clowes. Someone at Sex Life talks to Aidan Koch. Emma Silvers talks to Daniel Clowes.

* the Retrofit Kickstarter is starting to reach the "needs a white knight or two" point, but I've seen last minute rallies cover that amount with half the number left on the board. Retrofit has had a good year, and I think that they should be encouraged to continue on this road they're on right now. I hope it happens.

* finally, Mary & Bryan Talbot write about their latest work: The Red Virgin & The Vision Of Utopia.
 
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March 24, 2016


OTBP: Internet Murder Revenge Fantasy

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Brad Gessner: WonderCon Back To Anaheim In '17

Here. Gessner is the general manager of this year's location, the Los Angeles Convention Center, and so should know.

Gessner's general take on things is interesting, too, such as their barely-concealed interest in working with the con-throwing organization in the future and the structural differences he sees between various locations.

apologies to whomever had this where CR readers could see it and send me e-mail; also thanks to those readers
 
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Go, Look: Michael Dialynas

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* con-coverage superstar Jamie Coville has a mega-post here about the recent King Con, with a special focus on Seth's appearance there.

* I hadn't noticed that Portland's Rose City had announced dates, although they probably did a while ago. The Beat has a short piece up about their initial round of guests. Hard to believe that one's been around five years.

* hey, look at all the creators announced for this Fall's Cincy Comicon. The pros I talked to about last year's edition of that show liked it quite a bit, and thought it had potential for growth.

* here's a review of the Silicon Valley convention in San Jose, put into the context of that region's desire to find a replacement show for WonderCon.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald notes that the Marriott near the San Diego Convention Center is opening up some new space include two large ballrooms, which should assist with some CCI programming space needs.
 
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If I Were In Burlington, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Frazetta Painting Conan

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Edgar talks to Ronald Wimberly. Someone at Tripwire talks to Howard Chaykin. Ian Thomas profiles Tom Scioli. Matt William profiles Simon Hanselmann. Jessica Gross talks to Daniel Clowes.

* this t-shirt is super-cute.

* a certain high-placed editorial employee at a well-liked company reminded me that this existed, and I immediately lost two hours, much of it with my mouth agape. It's hard to believe I spent all those early teenaged years reading stuff like that in letters columns, and then repeated my exposure to that stuff in my late 20s on message boards.

* poverty in France: it's not just for cartoonists.

* Ben C on The Journey. Duncan Leatherdale on Andy Capp. Rob Clough on The Story Of My Tits.

* prolific political cartoonist and free-speech icon Zunar will have a special place of prominence at a new cartoon museum in Penang.

* finally, people are excited about DINK Denver.
 
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March 23, 2016


What Matt Jones Learned From Ronald Searle

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Go, Look: The WhatIfKirby.com Gallery

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Go, Look: Jon Han

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By Request Extra: Fashion In Action

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I'm told that the books Hope Nicholson books hoped to sell last weekend didn't make it to C2E2, which led two CR readers to suggest that maybe this site could do one more mention of her Fashion In Action crowd-funding proposal.

I wasn't necessarily a fan of that book when I read it as a kid, but it was certainly striking enough I remember it, the project itself looks very well thought-out, and I have a political campaign comic the artist John K Snyder III did in the mid-1980s that's one of the treasured objects in my high school reliquary.

I hope you'll consider participating. They're a good but achievable chunk away from meeting their goal, with nine days remaining.
 
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If I Were In SF, 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: Kid's Komics #1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Tobias Carroll talks to Ben Haggarty. Manu G. talks to Inio Asano.

* someday I'm going to make Jason live at my house for a month and make a sketch for me every day. Please no one remember I wrote this if Jason disappears.

* someone should do an Ursula K. LeGuin 'zine.

* Danielle Boyd on Spider-Gwen Vol. 0.

* this should be revisited somewhere other than the link-post, but manga sales are up.

* Chris Schweizer wants to talk process with you.

* it's been a rough year, but new Roger Langridge comics on-line is an undeniable great thing.

* I totally missed this Ryan Holmberg article on pro-nuclear manga from the '70s and '80s.

* finally, this is nearly three weeks old and still creeps me out. Matt, I know you're busy but think of the rest of us.
 
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March 22, 2016


Go, Look: Initial Cartooning Responses To The Recent String Of Tragedies

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thank you, Eric Yockey
 
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Go, Look: Olga Andreyeva

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Go, Look: Plantu's Viral Cartoon About Belgium

Here, with accompanying article. There are probably a dozen books to be written about how we process public tragedy now, but it does put cartoonists in an unusual position of having to negotiate a lot of attention. It's always interesting to see what hits people and what doesn't.
 
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Go, Look: Stop Shehata

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Use Of Same-Sex Couple In Rhymes With Orange Results In Almost No Commentary

An article here makes note that a recent Rhymes With Orange strip from creator Hilary Price used a same-sex couple as the engine of its joke, and that except for some scattered, mostly positive Facebook reaction, yielded nothing in the way of controversy. Given the newspaper's history of adhering to almost quaint, old-timey values as befits a delivery vehicle preferred by older people, the lack of news is news. Price has some interesting things to say about comedic shorthand and how that plays a role more than the point being the make-up of that cartoon couple.
 
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Not Comics: Conan Paperback Covers Featuring Frazetta Art

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* hey, there's a brand-new softcover version of Crused Pirate Girl imminent. Jeremy Bastian's book was popular, and I think deservedly so, as a fancy hardcover.

* Chris Sims notes the conclusion of the Tom Scioli and John Barber Transformers Vs. GI Joe crossover, the kind of comic which in future years will be used to locate a specific era.

* Zainab Akhtar reports that Pocahontas: Princess Of The New World will receive an English-language edition. Those are some super handsome-looking pages.

* I'm happy this comic book about selling comics (and other things) is near crowd-funding success. I just sort of want to read that one.

* here's an interview with Mike Marts, whose big drop of Aftershock titles with a promotional push centered around C2E2 will certainly shape the market in the near future -- either as a success story, or as something other than a success story.

* finally, Oni Press plans a special print edition of Princess Princess Ever After; there's a lengthy quote from writer Katie O'Neill in the article.
 
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Go, Look: Naomi Franquiz

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Go, Look And Buy/By Request Extra: Sophie Goldstein The Oven Pages Sale

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Sophie Goldstein is having a sale for her 31st birthday today: pages from the well-reviewed and extremely good-looking book The Oven for $85 a pop, which includes the original pencils.

If you're not in a buying mood, it's also just fun to look at her pencils next to the original art. I believe that her sale is set up here.
 
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Go, Look: Classic Skip Williamson

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Go, Look: Bob Powell At True Comics On Zachary Taylor

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Blood Lad Vol. 7. Dominic Umile on The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture.

* Japan is working on a National Manga Museum. It's interesting to me how openly the article examines that effort in terms of being a part of Japan's efforts to capitalize on the popularity of manga in terms of a cultural export.

* not comics: if this were about comics instead of prose publishing, I would accuse the writer of these two articles to be trolling for big-time hits: how broke writers are, why he won't self-publish.

* Katrina Tulloch speaks to Roz Chast. Colin Thomson talks to David Glanzer. Tyler Chin-Tanner talks to David Tischman.

* given the current political climate, I'm grateful Derf has an escape plan all worked out. For more Derf, check out this killer rant against comic strip surveys. He's right about everything he says there -- newspapers and comics would have had a stronger relationship if more newspapers took curating this part of their publication with greater seriousness.

* finally, this is your occasional "holy crap, the career Raina Telgemeier is having" reminder.
 
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March 21, 2016


Go, Look: Geoff Vasile

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Go, Read: Interview With Katie Proctor, Opening A Woman-Friendly Comic Book Store

There's a feature article here about a new comic book store opening up in June. Portland is rich with comics shops, but even so I have to imagine there's room for a few more and for whatever particular take the owner wants to emphasize. I'm grateful for more comic book stores with female owners, and if I had that billion dollars we're all pretty sure we deserve it'd be something I'd fund.
 
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Go, Look: Chris Carlier

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Go, Listen: Deconstructing Comics Podcast #488

Tim Young and I talk about Alvin Buenaventura here. I liked Alvin and respected his work; I'm still processing his passing so all apologies if that resulted in a poor articulation of his accomplishments, as I suspect it did. We switch gears midway and talk about MoCCA Festival. You can practically hear my brain charlie horse; I end up praising an exhibitor list I found out an hour later was from 2014. I still think that show's fun and that its general virtues are 1) NYC, 2) the programming, 3) the social opportunities provided by the show, 4) a motivated exhibitor base because of cost. But the specifics... well, you should probably double-check an up-to-date site against everything I say. You should do that with me all of the time, really.
 
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Go, Look: Images From Short, Early Barry Windsor-Smith Run On Marvel's Daredevil Comic

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Go, Look: Melvin

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Jacked #4. Rob Kirby on various comics. Lots of interesting work reviewed in that one. Jason Little on Patience.

* I keep forgetting to make a stand-alone post of it, mostly because I haven't read it yet, but Brian Hibbs' analysis of Bookscan figures is always fun and a lot less aggravating since the days when he used every third line to extol the virtues of the Direct Market. I hope to return to this year's specifics.

* go, look: a Paul Pope variant cover.

* Rob Cline talks to Gary Groth. Someone at DC In The '80s talks to Michel Fiffe.

* nearly everyone that's been published has done this or would consider it.

* these deserve to be seen every time they're posted.

* finally: one thing Dash Shaw has been doing.
 
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March 20, 2016


Go, Read: Only In Angouleme

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In his postscript for this year's Angouleme Festival, Paul Karasik urges that the whole thing be burnt to the ground. He also tells a couple of stories as to why he hopes it's rebuilt.
 
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Go, Look: Jen Lee At TCJ.com

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Go, Look: An Appreciation Of Augie Scotto (1927-2016)

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OTBP: Take Me Back To Manchester

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If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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March 19, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Chris Hedges Talks To Mr. Fish


Old Promotional Video For A Hyewon Yum Book


Tiny Kid Drawing Star Wars Stuff


Li Jie Interviewed


Kevin Czapiewski Interviewed


My Dad's Comic Book Collection
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from March 12 to March 18, 2016:

1. Zainab Akhtar announces she's closing her Comics & Cola site.

2. C2E2 this weekend and DINK Denver next weekend as the convention/festival season launches its spring campaign.

3. Despite a strong year and a healthy record of publishing material as they're able to do so, the latest Retrofit kickstarter is staring up at a formidable revenue benchmark heading into its final days.

Winners Of The Week
Your 2016 Dinkie Award Nominees

Losers Of The Week
the folks across the street from this

Quote Of The Week
"Hats are the best." -- Box Brown

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

*****
*****
 
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Go, Buy: Jeremy Eaton's $25 Non-Comics Page Art Sale

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

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

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

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If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near College Park, I'd Go To This

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March 18, 2016


Go, Look: Niv Bavarsky

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Go, Look: Sal Buscema Covers

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Go, Read: Paul Gravett Profiles Tillie Walden

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Paul Gravett has one of the great, if not the greatest, legitimizing eye in the comics business. If he runs a story that hasn't gone public, even if he mentions it just on social media, I consider that story fair game. If Gravett takes time to profile an artist, it connotes a certain institutional interest that no one else can muster with a single article. So this Tillie Walden profile caught my attention, after maybe a half-dozen encounters with the artist in profiles and reviews.

Right up top, Gravett makes a significant note of the fact that the cartoonist is 19 years old. That may or may not be a history-making big deal (there are other cartoonists who were as good as early, but not a ton of them). It will likely end up being a part of her story. The note made me realize that she's an entire Michael DeForge younger than I am, so I bet I would have pointed that out, too. I think the level of visual accomplishment from young artists has only surged in the last 10 years, and we're bound to see more cartoonists make their mark early and continue doing so.

None of that projected theorizing should keep you from enjoying this introduction to an emerging, idiosyncratic talent to watch, which Walden's talent would demand oblivious to what age she might be when she made the art you're seeing. Both of her current projects sound intriguing, and I can't wait to see them.
 
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Go, Look: Valerie Kao

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* I've had a couple of people ask, but as far as I know at the time I put this post to bed, there's been no change in the story of critic Zainab Akhtar closing her Comics & Cola site. Heidi MacDonald was effusive in her praise for Akhtar, here, in addition to covering the story more generally.

* Gary Tyrrell reminds here that there's no reason that webcomics makers shouldn't get nominations for individual efforts in comics-making. He's right.

* the wonderfully-named Michael L. McGlathery penned a short piece for the Harvard Crimson about the role that internet meme creation plays in modern webcomics, pointing out that old strips had a similar function vis-a-vis our culture, and asserting that it's part of the dismantling of highbrow culture. I'm not sure I agree with the bulk of that, but it's not a take I've seen all in one place.

* finally, some grappling with the true meaning of Patreon.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Las Vegas, 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 Jose, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: Dawn O'Day In Hollywood

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Astro City #31. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Joe Gordon on Preacher Vol. 1.

* John and Sandra make a PR score.

* the writer Gail Simone enjoys her time on Twitter.

* the White House is just nerding it up these days. It does seem like every time I turn around Sana Amanat is enjoying some tremendous opportunity.

* Marlee Baldridge talks to Christina Blanch.

* here are the "sides" in the forthcoming Civil War sequel that Marvel is doing. As with the writer of the piece, I find some of the choices odd given the issue as explained. Unlike the writer, I don't remember enough of the first Civil War series to make a comparison between this war and that one. One thing that's interesting to me is that this is a really grand old conception of what superheroes do: interact with criminals. It doesn't seem like I see much if any of that kind of thing in the monthly comics I occasionally read.

* I think I missed the fact there was a 'zine fest in Times Square recently.

* finally, Sean Kleefeld has re-run an interview with the late Paul Ryan.
 
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March 17, 2016


Go, Bookmark: New Ted Jouflas Site

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this is my favorite thing right now
 
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Go, Look: Matt Wuerker's Favorite Donald Trump Cartoons

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Assembled Extra: Zainab Akhtar To Shutter Comics & Cola

Via this tweet, the well-respected and widely-read writer about comics Zainab Akhtar announced the imminent of her site, Comics & Cola. I don't know an exact count, but I think it's fair to say that's the place she's done the majority of her writing about comics over the last several years.

Akhtar cites comics' "toxic culture" and "other people's racism and sexism and bigotry" as major contributing factors to her decision. She also cites this essay posted to her site, written by Kim O'Connor as talking about the kind of issues that led to her decision.

It's distressing for anyone to leave behind something they do very well, particularly for the reasons involved. I hope that we'll honor her request to confront these issues. I also want to congratulate Akhtar for the run she had with the site, and wish her every happiness with whatever she chooses to do with the time she used to spend on Comics & Cola. That site has been very instructive for me, particularly in terms of newer UK work.
 
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Go, Look: Vincent Flückiger

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the Birmingham Comics Festival released some PR in PDF form talking about their unique show-opening event:

BCF_2016_PR_5.pdf

I'm interested in any and all ways show distinguish themselves in this crowded marketplace.

* speaking of show that are distinguishing themselves, there's a lot of buzz -- by which I mean a few people e-mailing me, but it's a reliable measure I swear to God -- about the Denver DINK show forthcoming. That show is in a region of the country that hasn't had a proper small-press/indy show, has invited smartly from out of town, and seems to have a lot of resources; I think it has a very good chance of instant success.

* here's the cover to the SPACE show program.

* the show I work for, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has relaunched its web site with an eye back at 2015 (lots of photos; thanks to sponsors) and its other eye, Jack Elam style, directed at the future. That means a mailing list application and exhibitor applications. I hope you'll consider attending. It should be a good year.

* looks like Eric Reynolds from Fantagraphics was able to join Dan Clowes for at least one stop on his Patience tour.

* I always admire the CCI guest list. They have some very specific values they enact through some people they invite, but it also always seems a smart sampling of current comics talent. I could spend all four days in spotlight panels.

* a significant number of largely mainstream-focused comics-makers will appear in Chicago this weekend. That's a show that continues to do pretty well on the ground without entering into comics culture as a unique force.

* finally, this came when I was out of commission health-wise recently, so I missed announcing that Chester Brown is going on tour next month in support of his new work, Mary Wept Over The Feet Of Jesus. I will make it up to D+Q and Brown by running the tour flier at the bottom of this posts. It's not much in the way of an apology, but it's all I got.

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

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

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Go, Look: Russ Heath Drawing Kid Colt

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Michael Buntag on If You Steal. Sean Gaffney on The Boy And The Beast. Alex Hoffman on Dealing With Winter.

* not comics: there's a new superhero play on the horizon, this one to be performed in Santa Monica starting mid-April.

* I never had to sell my comics collection to pay for grad school like our newest Supreme Court Of The United States nominee, but that's only because I'm a terrible collector whose entire comics holding would bring about $200 -- that I would pay those hauling it away. Also, it looks the our President is claiming the same outcome for his own collection.

* this Todd Klein presentation of an early '80s DC Comics staff photo is a lot of fun.

* here's something for "By Request Extra": a pair of nice people with Kickstarter interests have written the site for some mid-week coverage. There's Bubbles O'Seven, most of the way to its modest goal. There's also Melissa McCommon's Epic Chaos! Vol. 1, which is slightly less on its way to a more ambitious goal. As always, it's nice to pay attention to things for a little bit when asked, but whether or not to do so -- or help out, if you like the project -- is up to you.

* finally, Jamie Greene writes at length on First Second, using the occasion of their 10th anniversary as a springboard. I would like to write an article about my favorite First Second books, and hope to find the time.
 
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Go, Look; Perhaps Buy: Chuck Forsman Original Art

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March 16, 2016


Go, Look: Alex Fellows' Batman V Superman

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Go, Look: Prints By Andreas

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Go, Look: Old Sylvie Fontaine Blog

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Go, Look: Sarah Bowie

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Festivals Extra: FLUKE Updates Site; Releases PR

The fine Athens small-press show FLUKE sent out a press release yesterday directing me to this post... I thought it was an announcement for show dates but it was already out there (April 23, 2016). So I guess it's just a reminder plus various things like a list of sponsors.

I'm fond of that show, though, so I'm only too happy to run whatever. If you're in the region, you should go. There are so many new shows now with almost ravenous ambition (I help run one) that it's nice to run into an event that serves its community in more laidback fashion.
 
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If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Barry Smith Powerhouse PinUps

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Brian Nicholson on Generous Bosom #2. Sean Gaffney on Demonizer Zilch Vol. 1. J. Caleb Mozzocco on various comic books.

* I don't care for the hard binary in the title and its suggestion that admirers aren't cognizant of the various issues in play with Robert Crumb, but I appreciate the new show being reviewed so I can know about it and it's always good to challenge artists.

* here's a list of more recent comics memoirs, I guess to spice up your library's collection.

* not comics: this is a nice story. Furry fandom isn't a core part of wider convention culture the way it was in the 1990s, but that culture endures.

* David Harper talks to Javier Rodriguez.

* here's a segment from How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?”: Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs, by Tahneer Oksman.

* finally, here's a lengthy podcast interview with the writer Chris Claremont.
 
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March 15, 2016


Go, Look: Ian Sundahl

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Go, Look: Richard Scarry Vehicles

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Go, Look: Luke Oram

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Sean T. Collins shares the Mirror Mirror 2 creator line-up. That's quite the crew. Al Columbia!

image* Darryl Cunningham shows a panel or two from a forthcoming work called Six Scientists.

* the artist Colleen Doran write about her forthcoming Troll Bridge, in collaboration with Neil Gaiman.

* Andrew MacLean mentions that his Head Lopper will be continuing past #5 at Image. That comic book is daffy. I enjoy it.

* not comics: Julia Wertz shares word of a forthcoming illustration project.

* here's the cartoonist Ben Towle on what follows Oyster War.

* finally, here's a look at what Derf has coming this summer.

*****

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

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

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Go, Look: Manowar, The White Streak

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Patience. Sean Gaffney on Umineko: When They Cry Vol. 12. Bob Temuka on Groo. Richmond Clements on Lois Before Superman: Fallout. Alex Hoffman on Frontier #11. Steve Foxe on 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank.

* I hope that Jessica Campbell continues to make comics; she's been putting new ones out every few weeks for a tiny while, now. She's genuinely, consistently funny.

* as of this writing, Mike Lynch has two (1, 2) posts up about a Virgil Partch publicity tour.

* I'll have the tour notice up above this post in the regular place those announcements go, but it may be worth noting for some of you that Rina Ayuyang is handling questions for Daniel Clowes on his Patience tour.

* not comics: that's a nice mural Wayne White made.

* where Star Wars swiped from Valérian and Laureline.

* not comics: there are some fine-looking doodles in this doodle-contest post right here.

* Tim Young talks to Maya Kern. That one has done very well for that site, and Kern is not a cartoonist with whom I'm totally familiar. I love it when that happens.

* finally, that is some hardcore asked-and-answered Marvel trivia right there.
 
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March 14, 2016


Go, Look: The Brothers Lionheart

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Go, Watch: Several Cartoonists On Charlie Hebdo Anniversary

Matt Bors, Lalo Alcaraz, Ann Telnaes and Zunar all spoke on the Charlie Hebdo murders and their aftermath and some of the issues raised at an LA-area conference covered here. That incident is always worth thinking about, and always worth confronting, no matter how frustrating we find others' thoughts.

I have yet to write with any significant weight on that whole affair. I find my position is tied into the Danish Cartoons Controversy and a lot of my feelings about the value of making irresponsible art and some of my thoughts about the humanity of being in error. Also I haven't figured out how to make it so my point of view disappoints everyone, so there's definitely some refining to do. I know there are no easy points of view on something like this, and I know this isn't something that happened to me, but I don't know a lot more. Not yet, anyway.
 
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Go, Look: Barry Windsor-Smith's 1969 Marvel Images

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Mary Henderson, RIP

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Not Comics: Steranko's The Shadow Book Covers

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Your 2016 DINKie Award Nominees

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Heidi MacDonald has an article up here about the forthcoming Denver Independent Art & Comic Expo (DINK) that includes something I didn't know at all: they're doing an awards program.

Let's get right to it. This should be pretty self-explanatory.

*****

Best Work -- Self Published

* Baseline Blvd, Emi Gennis
* Being Myself Is My Treasure, Sam Spina
* O Human Star: Volume One, Blue Delliquanti
* Tom O'Bedlam, Maia Kobabe

*****

Best Work -- Small Press

* Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back, Priya Kuiyan And Larissa Bertonasco And Ludmilla Bartscht (Ad Astra Comics)
* Mahou Josei Chimaka Magical Woman Chimaka, Kate Rhodes And Jennifer XU (Chromatic Press)
*
No Ivy League, Hazel Newlevant (JMC Aggregate)
* A Story For Desmond, Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
* Vulture City Stories, Sam Spina (Kilgore)

*****

Best Work -- Mid/Large Press

* Dressing, Michael Deforge (Koyama Press)
* An Entity Observes All Things, Box Brown (Retrofit Comics/Big Planet Comics)
* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
* March: Book 2, Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Punks Git Cut, Jay Howell (Last Gasp)
* Saint Cole, Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)

*****

Outstanding Work -- Diversity

* Ikebana, Yumi Sakugawa (Retrofit/ Big Planet Comics) (pictured at top)
* The Immortal Nadia, Jamal Campbell
* March: Book 2, Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* O Human Star Volume One, Blue Delliquanti (Self-Published)
* The Story of My Tits, Jennifer Hayden (Top Shelf)

*****

Best Zine Or Mini

* Apartment Hunting, Alison Wilgus
* Dog Craps 2, Sam Spina
* Grease Bats And Others: A Collection of Mini Comics, Anna Bongivanni
* Laffy Meal, Pranas T Naujokaitis
* Sky Gods, Leda Zawacki

*****

Outstanding Work From Colorado

* Cosmic Be-ing #1, Alex Graham (Self-Published) (Couldn't Find It; Here's #2)
* Looking At Stuff Is For Chumps: Barry The Blind Crow, Lauren Barnett (Tinto Press)
* Mahou Josei Chimaka Magical Woman Chimaka, Kate Rhodes And Jennifer XU (Chromatic Press)
* Revolt To What/30 Miles of Crazy, Karl Krumpholz (Suspect Press/Self-Published)
* Uncanny Adventures Duo #1-2, Several (8th Wonder Press)
* Valley of The Silk Sky, Dylan Edwards

*****

Outstanding Web Comic

* Failing Sky, Scout Tran-Caffee
* The Immortal Nadia, Jamal Campbell
* Inside Hollow Montain, Austin James
* Some Did Rest, Niki Smith
* Witchy, Ariel Ries

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Uptown Ruler

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the big crowd-funder of the moment is the Retrofit one. They're asking for $35,000, and they may have a couple of things to overcome, like having their crowd-funder come after significant ones from 2D Cloud and (further back) Locust Moon. In other words, don't assume this one will get over without all hands on deck. They've had a good year and deserve your consideration.

* hey, it's Fashion In Action. They all come back; if not now, eventually.

* I am interested in everything Melanie Gillman does.

* the Super Secret Comic Book Club is hardly a secret being trumpeted on the Internet and all, but perhaps this is the kind of grassroots effort you love to support.

* this gentleman has been very nice about e-mailing me in search of support, so if you could click through and look at his crowd-funder I'd feel less guilty.

* finally, James Moore and Talcott Starr are well-liked figures in the Columbus comic scene, and they aren't asking for much.
 
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If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Hope For The Best

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Doctor Fate #8. Sean Gaffney on A Certain Magical Index Vol. 6. Sean Kleefeld on the newspaper strip version of Howard The Duck. Chris Sims on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Alex Hoffman on Girl In Dior. Andy Oliver on The Cornwall Narwhal.

* not comics: I like the character just fine and the movie was fun, but you really don't need to know a damn thing about Deadpool.

* these are the best Iron Man/Captain America moments in comics, says Tini Howard.

* this was my favorite comics-related photo from the weekend.

* for some reason, this reminded me of stumbling across Seth's Coober Skeber Marvel Benefit Issue cover for the first time. I guess it's that it's neat, and it's unexpected to see this style encompass that kind of material, but it's not like I want to see an entire school of off-key art super work. I don't even know if that's what this (I'm sure you can follow the links and find out), but it put me in mind of that stuff.

* Sean Edgar talks to Sean Gordon Murphy. Jeff Lemire talks to Matt Kindt.

* finally, bird is the word.
 
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March 13, 2016


Go, Look: Alison Sampson Talks Female Artists

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Go, Look: Cavities

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this is the one on the Slate prize shortlist with which I had the least familiarity
 
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Go, Look: Wuvable Oaf Comic Over At Vice

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

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

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March 12, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Joel Pett Draws
via


Why Scott Adams Is Backing Donald Trump
via

 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from March 5 to March 11, 2016:

1. Paul Ryan, RIP.

2. Behold, the ultimate get. In many ways we've surpassed the world for comics we once imagined.

3. SV Padmanabha, RIP

Winners Of The Week
Excluding Fantagraphics and their new freelancer, President Obama, those winning applicants.

Losers Of The Week
Those not-as-winning applicants.

Quote Of The Week
"Five or six years ago I was interviewed for a magazine in the UK, which had a little interview page. This woman wrote me these questions and it was, 'What would you do if you could travel back in time?' And I wrote this long, thoughtful answer that was like, 'I'd like to think I'd go back and kill baby Hitler and discover the divinity of Jesus, but I know I'd just go back to my childhood and go to the stores that have been out of business since 1972. I later found out the whole point of the [article] was that they wanted concise, short answers, so when the piece came out... it just said 'I would kill Hitler.'" -- Dan Clowes

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

*****
*****
 
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Go, Read: Michael Dooley On Wonder Woman And Neal Adams

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Go, Look: Tula Lotay

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

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If I Were Near Ontario, Oregon, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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March 11, 2016


Go, Look: Kristian Hammerstad

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Slate Names Short List For Cartoonist Studio Prize

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The Slate Book Review and the Center For Cartoon Studies released the names of the nominees for their Cartoonist Studio Prize yesterday. There are two categories: print and webcomic. The shortlists were picked by Dan Kois (Slate); Center For Cartoon Studies as an entity represented by Noah Van Sciver, their fellow; and guest judge Caitlin McGurk (Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum).

There are bunch of interesting choices, and it sort of has a TCJ Top 100 Of The 20th Century feel in terms of what constitutes an individual work in each category.

Last year's winners were Richard McGuire (Here) and Winston Rowntree (Watching).

*****

Print

* Bright-Eyed at Midnight, Leslie Stein (Fantagraphics)
* Curveball, Jeremy Sorese (Nobrow)
* New Construction, Sam Alden (Uncivilized Books)
* Not Funny Ha-Ha, Leah Hayes (Fantagraphics)
* Sacred Heart, Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
* Sky in Stereo, Sacha Mardou (Revival House)
* Soldier's Heart, Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)
* Stroppy, Marc Bell (Drawn and Quarterly)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn and Quarterly)
* The Oven, Sophie Goldstein (AdHouse)

*****

Webcomics

* Baseline Blvd, Emi Gennis
* Cat and Girl, Dorothy Gambrell
* Cavities, Andrew White
* The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo, Drew Weing
* Dorris McComics, Alex Norris
* The Fabric of Appropriation, Whit Taylor
* I Want to Believe, Boulet
* Lighten Up, Ronald Wimberly
* Longstreet Farm, Mike Dawson
* The Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch

*****

Winners are set to be announced in the April issue of Slate Book Review.

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Full-Page '70s/'80s Marvel Ads

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Festivals Extra: SPX Results Back With Applicants

imageThe SPX lottery has given us its 2016 round of winners and losers, informed today of the outcome. I don't even know how that lottery is physically done, but I like to think it involves Warren Bernard having a few drinks and throwing darts at a couple of interns covered in post-it notes. (You can sort of figure it out from posts like this one.)

Seriously, though, it's a unique part of comics culture that such an important show has a significant element of non-curation, as befits its wide-open mission. I like it. Congratulations to those that will be exhibiting and I'm sorry to those of you denied that opportunity. I hope you'll still attend, and network, and sell/trade some books to people on the other sides of the table and the like. I plan to be there, and would like to meet you.
 
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Go, Look: Aud Koch Illustration

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Robert Boyd On An Artist Residency That May Be Suited To A Comics-Maker

Great friend to this site and one-time, longtime alt-comics industry mainstay Robert Boyd wrote in this morning in reaction to a news item from the Random posting:
I saw your link to the residency that Julia Wertz got and I wanted to make another residency known to you -- the Galveston Artist Residency. Artists who do this residency get an apartment, a studio, a monthly stipend and a bike. So if you are a typically poor cartoonist, it would be pretty great. ... It doesn't cost anything to apply except time.
Here's that link. It'd be great if the next five years could be all about getting things for and to working cartoonists.
 
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OTBP: The Bloody Cardinal

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Pathlkrit Sanyal profiles Rachita Taneja's Sanitary Panels, a stick-figure webcomic popular in India. That comes out of the same region as the recent newspaper cartoonist that took his own life, so I'm happy to have a positive story set near there. I didn't find all of these funny, but I did some of them for sure, and that direct nature of doing comics this way is bound to rustle up some fans.

* here's something I didn't know: Jim Zub has been re-running his print comic Skullkickers on-line, and the result has according to Gary Tyrrell been fans that had no conception of the fantasy comic on paper. That's such an interesting model, a kind of digital victory lap.

* Matt Bors does whatever comics do that's like pumping your fist, about the number of comics he edited and posted that made the Slate prize short list for webcomics.

* finally, speaking of Tyrrell the second post back, I greatly enjoyed his comparison of recent design choices made by Howard Tayler and Rich Stevens. For some reason, I think there may be some significant work yet to be done in creating an orthodoxy for how to navigate such strips. As a dabbler, that still seems slightly unsettled to me in a way that strikes me as odd.
 
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If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This

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

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OTBP: Eyez

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Unfollow #4. Johanna Draper Carlson on My Neighbor Seki Vols. 5-6.

* Chris Mautner profiles Michael DeForge. Andrew Yates talks to Andrew MacLean.

* congratulations to Julia Wertz. Remember, comics-makers: apply for every single "regular" arts honor and grant and fellowship that's out there that you can find.

* Kelly Sue DeConnick helps disprove the notion that women comics artists are rare.

* I don't know what it is, but I could read Jason Shiga all day on any damn topic.

* not comics: Chip Zdarsky would like to be on your TV or actually in Riverdale, I'm not certain.

* finally, here's a short discussion about Stan Lee and the creation of The Black Panther. Basically, there's not a lot in terms of context or content to suggest he had a ton to do with it, let alone enough to make a sole creative claim. Then again, Lee has established that he considers broad conceptualization to be the same as character creation.
 
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March 10, 2016


Go, Look: Andy Hirsch

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Festivals Extra: Seattle's Short Run Announces Its 2016 Dash Grant Procedures; Names 2016 Dates

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The full information is here. I like this grant -- I like grants generally because it usually means money to cartoonists, but I like the grants that shows like this give out that hook into their shows. Plus it would be fun to receive mentoring from Trevor Alixopulos.

Kelly Froh writes in with more fundamental Short Run news: "... our SAVE THE DATE for our annual Comix & Arts Festival at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center -- Saturday, Nov. 5th, 2016." I hope to attend.
 
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Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Glenn Head

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Cartoonist SV Padmanabha Takes Own Life

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A noted freelancer with a large client base and significant fan following has killed himself, wire and regional reports note. A former head of a regional cartoonist association (Karnataka Cartoonists Association), SV Padmanabha worked for a number of Kannada-language publications in and around Bengaluru (Bangalore) and currently held a staff position as a senior news cartoonist.

In 2015, Padmanabha extolled the virtues of cartoonists' employability as publications moved more and more into a variety of on-line expressions in addition to print.

The root cause of the cartoonist's distress was believed to be financial.
 
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OTBP: Ablatio Penis

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the opening to the Scott Eder-hosted Crepax show is Saturday. That should be a lot of fun.

* comics hero Bob Corby tells me a few tables have opened up at this year's SPACE. That's a fun show; I'll be there. If you can, consider joining us.

* Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, the festival with which I'm aligned and by which I'm employed, has announced a new academic symposium. A bunch of good people are involved, primarily Jared Gardner of OSU and Laurenn McCubbin of CCAD. That's also a call for papers, on a pretty cool subject.

* I'm very sad that in my recent required half step away from the site for a couple of days I didn't cover this video for STAPLE, North America's most under-appreciated indie/alt show, in a more timely fashion.

* I didn't have SC Comicon listed until very recently, and only then I noticed them because of this sweet J. Chris Campbell banner logo.

* finally, Nicholas Forrest reviews the "Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics" show at London's House Of Illustration.
 
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OTBP: Endless Journey

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Collective Memory: Alvin Buenaventura, RIP

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Commentary and reaction around the Internet to the passing of publisher, packager, designer, curator, editor and writer about comics Alvin Buenaventura (1976-2016).

*****

Institutional
* Facebook

Miscellaneous
* 2012 Essay At Huffington Post
* 2012 Interview With Meltcast 2.0
* Funeral Information From A Family Member

Posted In Memory
* Adrian Tomine
* afNews
* Alex Hoffman
* alino
* Andy Yates
* Anne Elizabeth Moore
* Anne Koyama
* Anna Koak
* Anne Stormont
* Austin Kleon

* Becky Conzett
* Ben Schwartz 01
* Ben Schwartz 02
* Beth Atkinson
* Blake Sims
* Blog Flume
* Bob Flynn
* Boing Boing
* Brad Mackay
* Brian Chippendale
* Brian Warmoth

* Carlo Benini
* Cartoon Art Museum
* Chris Anthony Diaz 01
* Chris Anthony Diaz 02
* Chris Anthony Diaz 03
* Chris Anthony Diaz 04
* Chris Anthony Diaz 05
* Comics Grinder
* Conundrum Press
* Czap Books

* Daniel Clowes 01
* Daniel Clowes 02
* Darryl Ayo 01
* Darryl Ayo 02
* Derek M. Ballard
* Dewey Guyen
* dreimalalles
* Drew Weing
* Dustin Harbin
* Dylan Horrocks

* Eric Reynolds

* Fluorescent Hill
* Forbidden Planet
* Fumetto Logica

* Gosh! Comics

* Hayley Campbell
* Hidden Fortress Press
* Hope Larson

* Ian Harker
* Igort
* Inés Estrada

* Jay Babcock
* Jeet Heer
* Jesse Fuchs
* Joe Gross
* Jog 01
* Jog 02
* Jon Adams
* Jonathan Barli
* Jon Ward
* Joseph Remnant
* Joshua Leto
* Julia Scheele

* Ken Parille 01
* Ken Parille 02
* Kevin Scalzo
* Kid Koala
* Kiel Phegley

* Last Gasp 01
* Last Gasp 02
* Leigh Walton
* Lisa Hanawalt
* Livon Jihanian
* Luke Ramsey

* Marc Arsenault
* Metabunker
* Metafilter
* Michael Cho
* Michael Muller
* Mike Baehr
* Mike Dawson
* Mr. Phil Jackson

* Nicole J Georges
* Niv Bavarsky
* Noah Berlatsky

* Patrick Dean
* Paul Hornschemeier
* Pikitia Press

* Ramon De Veyra
* Remembering Alvin Buenaventura
* Robert Venditti
* Robot 6
* Ryan Sands
* Ryan Stively

* Sam Humphries
* Scott McCloud
* Scott Saul
* Sean Edgar
* Sean T. Collins 01
* Sean T. Collins 02
* SPX Comics
* Steve Lafler

* Terence Bernardo
* The Beat 01
* The Beat 02
* The Beat 03
* The Beguiling
* The Comics Journal
* The Comics Reporter
* The Metabunker
* The Tiny Report
* Thomas Ragon
* Tim Hensley
* Tom Gauld
* Tony Millionaire
* Tugboat Press

* Walter Biggins

* Yuli Scheidt
* Yumi Sakugawa

*****



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

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

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Go, Look: Two Illustration Posts From Simon Gane

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Don MacPherson on American Monster #1. Johanna Draper Carlson on Will Eisner's The Spirit. Richmond Clements on Lois Before Superman: Fallout. RJ Case on the comics of Adam Buttrick.

* to help celebrate International Women's Day, Zainab Akhtar put together a list of cartoonists AV Club readers should get to know. You should get to know them, too.

* just a reminder that Todd Klein is continuing on his profile of Danny Crespi.

* the new, much-anticipated Black Panther is previewed on familiar ground: The Atlantic.

* bundled extra: Rob Williams will join Jim Lee on the Suicide Squad book coming out in anticipation of the movie.

* finally, this article about 12 comics fashion icons from the 1980s features several interesting choices within the context of 1980s comics (I don't know from fashion), including a couple of characters about whom I'd forgotten. The article is correct in that few mainstream comic book artists paid attention to fashion in the same way a romance newspaper strip artists from the 1960s would have.
 
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March 9, 2016


Go, Look: Author Galleries At Éditions Tanibis

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Go, Read: NYT Article On Perlmutter Lawsuit

I would imagine that the primary appeal of this article about a hate-mail lawsuit facing Marvel's Ike Perlmutter is the oddball nature of the charges lobbied at one of the more enigmatic and idiosyncratic figures in comics history. Pay attention to the contextual work, though. The idea that lawsuits of the kind that gravitate to rich people like clotting to the lungs of a fat diabetic have practical implications for the functionality of the businesses involved, that fascinates me. I think there's an element of this that has an impact on all comics entities, no matter their size, as cartoonists that have hitched their wagon to a publisher only to see them leave the field might attest.
 
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OTBP: Three Sisters

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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.

*****

JAN160502 PARACUELLOS TP VOL 01 $24.99
I'm very excited for this release, inaugurating a new line of curated European classics. This is a autobiographically informed work from Carlos Giménez featuring vignettes from the state orphanage system in Spain as the 20th Century moved into its second half. It should be well supported by text: Dean Mullaney and IDW have contributed mightily to the "significant volumes with significant essays in support" wave of the last 15 years. I liked the work, although it comes from a place in comics history where you can sort of taste the novelty and break from tradition that working in autobiographical, serious modes used to bring to the page.

imageDEC150970 STREET DAWGZ (MR) $5.00
JAN160159 AW YEAH COMICS ACTION CAT & ADVENTURE BUG #1 $2.99
JAN160296 GOTHAM ACADEMY #16 $2.99
JAN160581 DESCENDER #11 (MR) $2.99
JAN160586 HEAD LOPPER #3 CVR A MACLEAN $5.99
JAN160587 HEAD LOPPER #3 CVR B STOKOE $5.99
DEC158783 DOCTOR STRANGE #5 NOWLAN 2ND PTG VAR $3.99
JAN160874 DOCTOR STRANGE #6 $4.99
JAN160811 HOWARD THE DUCK #5 $3.99
JAN160803 VISION #5 $3.99
AN161174 THE UNMENTIONABLES (ONE SHOT) $6.00

Seems like a solid week for comic-book comics, including a Lizz Lunney effort (an honest to god alt-comic) coming from the Alternative Comics camp. The rest is genre work, but solid for the lack of huge series names: the latest Aw Yeah! effort, as reliable a source for kids comics as anything we have that's not a reprint series; one of DC's better-selling off-kilter efforts that I noticed just for the fact that we're already 16 issues in; Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen continuing their pre-sold science fiction serial; the very fun Head Lopper, which combines cute design and constant violence and undercuts it with a great deal of comedy, and then the three Marvel comics I currently follow (not an straight-up endorsement of their quality, because we're only a few issues in, but an endorsement of suitability for me as an older reader tired of the basic mainstream formulae). That Dr. Strange is getting some second printing action may indicate some underlying demand ahead of the sales number. To take us full circle, the Jack Teagle The Unmentionables is another straight-up alt-comic, this time from Retrofit. I saw that one a long time ago, but don't know that the comics retailers have.

SEP150292 BATMAN BY NEAL ADAMS OMNIBUS HC $99.99
For me the visuals are more fun than any of the stories; there's something about the relative seriousness claimed for Adams' style that makes the lunatic parts of Batman that much more fun, like casting Tab Hunter in Polyester. I'm sure many fans would be happy to have this in their libraries, and I'd certainly take a peek.

DEC150513 MARCH OVERSIZED HC BOOK 01 LTD ED $29.99
I would imagine this is a sign of the series' overall success that a limited edition of the first March book seems commercially viable. The extra size should flatter Nate Powell's art. I wasn't as big a fan of this first volume as I was the more focused second, but I know people that feel the opposite way, even, and I would assume if this one sells even a little volumes two and three will follow in this format.

JAN161483 DELILAH DIRK & KINGS SHILLING GN $17.99
Well-crafted work with an on-line serialization pedigree. I think this is the second published through First Second, a company that does a good job with author-driven work of this type. I have yet to catch up with the work itself, but I'm looking forward to it.

DEC151267 THROUGH THE HABITRAILS LIFE BEFORE AFTER CAREER IN CUBICLES $14.95
This is the surprise offering for me, a new version of Jeff Nicholson's offbeat, placid treatment of life lived in corporate work settings. Nicholson had a prolific period through the 1980s and 1990s as relentless as any alt-cartoonist. His fans are kind of all the place; heck I don't think context-providers Steve Bissette and Matt Fraction are two creators you think of working from the same perspective. It should be interesting to see if discussion of this one pierces the usual veil of silence when it comes to reprinted work, if it speaks to readers today the way it did to that array of comics fan when it was first published.

*****

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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Go, Look: Becca Kacanda

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Go, Follow: Françoise Mouly

imageI was checking out the new Chris Ware New Yorker poster, minding my own business, and a couple of minutes later I'm at Francoise Mouly's twitter site.

It's astonishing to me that she has so few followers. I don't know if she's particularly good at or useful with her tweets, but that's a Hall of Fame comics person by any reasonable standard. Please go follow her.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Bewitched Comics

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on FukuFuku: Kitten Tales Vol. 1. April Kilcrease on Patience.

* Chris Pitzer walks us through a Valentine's Day-related promotional effort on behalf of the new Luke Howard book.

* I enjoy these process post at Humanoids.

* a few images from Bristol Board: 1) never seen this Archer Prewitt poster for Blab! #8. 2) I always love looking at Francois Schuiten. 3) Dave Cockrum inking Steve Ditko is one of the more interesting mixes I've seen recently. I don't know that it quite works on this page, and I'm not sure how many pages Cockrum doing, but there are elements of this that intrigue me as much as I ever tend to be intrigued by random superhero art.

* Colleen Doran talks some more about migraines.

* Tony Cliff just set out on tour.

* who doesn't love the smell of freshly printed books in the morning?

* finally, we need a resurgence in comics about mounties.
 
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March 8, 2016


Paul Ryan, RIP

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Go, Look: Drift Plain Collective

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OTBP: 1944

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Go, Read: Susan Karlin On News Playboy Is Dropping Its Cartoons With Latest Revamp

imageI enjoyed reading this article by Susan Karlin on the recent news that Playboy is dropping its cartoons along with its nude pictorial in a recent, radical revamp of the titanic 20th Century men's magazine. The news that Playboy was moving away from cartoons was greeted with a bit of dismay for a variety of reasons: the magazine's history, which includes a number of fine cartoonists; the historical decline of magazine comics more generally; loss of a solid market for a number of creators currently working and some second-guessing of the thesis that the best way to reach younger readers and hold folks' attention in modern times is to reduce the comics market.

The article suggests things are slightly more complicated. I say slightly because there's a reading where few of the nuances that Karlin mentions matter, but at least in understanding the situation they do. There will be a artist-in-residence feature which should spotlight at least some cartoon and illustration content every issue. There seems to be an openness to stand-alone comics content: small features, for instance, or what sounds like the occasional notes-from-author type feature.

As much of a comics fan as I am, I'm sympathetic to the publisher here because I think in the modern media landscape comics content needs to be curated: there's no baseline expectation that can serve as a substitute for an editor or publisher conceiving of a strategy and then executing it. Let's hope they find space to do so. Cartoons are a legacy with that magazine and a strong feature for other entities that a vigorous reinterpretation might really work. I know this site would pay attention to premiere features appearing in that publication, or a house cartoonists of uncommon skill.
 
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Go, Look: Jack Davis Draws Sesame Street

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President Obama Writes Intro For Complete Peanuts

My goodness. It's volume 25. I assume everyone knew about this but me, but it's of course worth noting.

It'd be great if we could have a discussion about how that particular project has changed our perception of Schulz. I'm not sure it has for most people, but my own reading of Peanuts is very different now.

But back on point, yeah, that's the ultimate get.
 
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Not Comics: Various Shadow Pulp Magazine Covers

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the cover to March Vol. 3 popped up in a ton of places yesterday. I'm looking forward to that book. I thought Volume Two was a tremendously interesting book in a lot of ways.

image* in a similar vein, I nearly missed Noah Van Sciver's reveal of the cover of his forthcoming June book, to be published by Fantagraphics.

* Image Comics is going to do a promotional/service sounding magazine later this Spring, with David Brothers in charge. That could be very interesting.

* and speaking of Image, here's a peek at a forthcoming Rich Tommaso work, due in June.

* Johanna Draper Carlson reveals Private Beach will have a proper ending. She also lets us know that Wandering Star will be back in omnibus form.

* Zainab Akhtar has the best write-up on the Beasts Of Burden one-shot "What The Cat Dragged In?" That's welcome news, I think that group of characters and that milieu has a lot of readership to claim, even though it's already a hit, albeit intermittently appearing, series. Akhtar also had news last month about a 13th volume of Yotsuba&!. That's a really fun series.

* finally, Elijah Brubaker gives us a look at his next comics project, This Is All We Have.

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Go, Look: Walkin' The Streets

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Go, Look: Marvel Mystery Comics #92

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Swamp Thing #2. Andy Oliver on Gulag Casual.

* Padraig O Mealoid talks to Peter Hogan. Andrew Yates talks to Kristen Gudsnuk. Grace Bello talks to Dan Clowes. John R. Parker

* straight from David Glanzer's elegant typing fingers comes Comic-Con International's official stance on convention center expansion, made pertinent because of assumptions by fans and even entities with potential different interests in mind. They're in an unenviable place, that show, at least as regards to finding the perfect home every single year moving forward.

* Zack Davisson writes about manga translation\.

* finally, PEN has a significant preview up for Sonny Liew's The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye.
 
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March 7, 2016


Go, Look: 2D Cloud Winter Collection Preview

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By Request Extra: Hopefully By This Time The 2D Cloud Crowd-Funder Has Hit Its Goal

It's here. Twelve books a year sounds ambitious in a good way -- you need a goal and you need the manpower to meet it, and you need the money, which is what the campaign is for.

I think they're right in their roundabout assertion that there's a place for a company to pick up on some of the material and effort of recently-depart companies of this type, although the editorial profile makes clear how idiosyncratic such efforts area, how much of a curatorial exists with all the small publishers.
 
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OTBP: Unwell

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Collective Memory: Alvin Buenaventura, RIP

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Commentary and reaction around the Internet to the passing of publisher, packager, designer, curator, editor and writer about comics Alvin Buenaventura (1976-2016).

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Institutional
* Facebook

Miscellaneous
* 2012 Essay At Huffington Post
* 2012 Interview With Meltcast 2.0
* Funeral Information From A Family Member

Posted In Memory
* Anna Koak

* Becky Conzett
* Beth Atkinson
* Boing Boing
* Brad Mackay

* Carlo Benini
* Chris Anthony Diaz 01
* Chris Anthony Diaz 02
* Chris Anthony Diaz 03
* Chris Anthony Diaz 04
* Chris Anthony Diaz 05

* Comics Grinder

* Daniel Clowes
* Dewey Guyen

* Eric Reynolds

* Ken Parille

* Metafilter

* Remembering Alvin Buenaventura
* Robot 6

* The Beat
* The Comics Journal
* The Comics Reporter
* The Metabunker
* The Tiny Report
* Tony Millionaire

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Go, Look: New Beard -- Solamente Cloud

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By Request Extra: The Queer Japan Project

imageThis has a tie to comics rather than being comics itself, but I noticed the Massive team of Graham Kolbeins and Anne Ishii are trying to crowdfund a documentary about Queer Japan. This is the subject about which they'd know in great part because of their work with cartoonists like Gengoroh Tagame.

I think the Massive comics have been some of the most fascinating of the last decade, so I'm interested to hear what they have to say about some of the same subject matter placed into a wider context. I'm also fascinated by those comics projects that allow the comics-makers, or in this case comics-facilitators, enough cultural force to set themselves up as go-to people for a broader cultural issue, which is not something that comics used to do.

That crowdfunder is in a semi-precarious state, too, amount-wise to time remaining.
 
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Go, Look: Gale Allen And The Girl Squadron

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Go, Look: The Flash Always Had Great Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco on Green Lantern #50. Todd Klein on Rat God. Katherine Dacey on a pair of comics. Johanna Draper Carlson on Master Keaton Vol. 3. Martin Wisse on One-Punch Man.

* Don MacPherson profiles Bernard Chang.

* the great chronicler of the digital comics world Gary Tyrrell writes a bit about Kazu Kibushi's pedigree as a chart-topper with his Amulet series, including the interesting nugget that the sixth volume was released the same day as Raina Telgemeier's Sisters. Now that was an interesting publishing decision.

* here's one of those within-the-book/but-aware-of-that hero histories, this time about Punisher and the Vietnam War. I like how differently he's been drawn over the years, I swear because of the changing perception of what a creep like that might look.

* not comics: I don't follow the movies that closely, but this one seemed a key one in terms of positioning for DC Comics and their ambitions there. The way the fashion has gone since that one has been announced, I wouldn't be surprised to see them direct that one towards TV to better accommodate the sprawl of the original story. Hard to pass up on the glamour and money-making punch of a feature, though.

* finally, I'll try to remember to do a stand-alone post about Bob Beerbohm's auctions on behalf of health care for his family, but in case I don't, it's something you should know about. Beerbohm was an early enough comics retailer of the kind we've had ever since that all of us that enjoy that model likely owe him some thanks.
 
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March 6, 2016


Go, Look: Ronald Searle In 1951 Sketch Magazine

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

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March 5, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Theo Moudakis Endorses Donald Trump For What It Will Do For Cartooning


Tony Auth And Jeff MacNelly


Stephen Collins Holds Forth


On The Slopes With Alison Bechdel


How Garfield Is Drawn
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from February 27 to March 4, 2016:

1. Maurice Sine sues Bernard-Henri Levy.

2. ComicsPRO wraps up their annual meeting with awards to David Gabriel and the late William Gaines.

3. A trend story, but a crucial one: Manga sales enjoy increased momentum.

Winners Of The Week
Everyone involved with Diary Of A Teenage Girl, coming out of Hollywood awards weekend with a lot of attention. This includes cartoonist Phoebe Gloeckner.

Losers Of The Week
Lois Lane fans. I mean, not really, but I like that article and Lois Lane fans deserve the best.

Quote Of The Week
"Feminist comics should poke and provoke more than they do right now. They should confidently point out injustice, and tell hard truths. They should be willing to demand things, and to overstate those demands. To be wrong sometimes." -- Monica Johnson

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this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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Go, Look: Making New

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and congratulations to cartoonist Lucy Knisley
 
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If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

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If I'm Near Wherever I Have To Be Near To Do This, I'll Do It

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

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March 4, 2016


Go, Look: Misnumbering Of Mars

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Assembled Extra: Oliver Sava At AV Club On Webcomics From Black Female Creators

I'm not sure that I saw this article from a few weeks back, from Oliver Sava at AV Club throwing a spotlight on a few webcomics ventures with black female creators involved. I certainly wouldn't know if there was a follow-up controversy or set of complains about the piece. For me, though, it's a nice reminder that some of these strips are out there, and work coming from different voices is always exciting. The greatest thing about webcomics is the low threshold for participation beyond the discipline necessary to make this kind of work in the first.
 
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If I Were In Princeton, I'd Go To This

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If I Were Near Portland State University, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Saturday Evening Post Cartoons 2-6-60

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Lumberjanes Volume One: To The Max Edition. Matt Brady on Fragments Of Horror. Rob McMonigal on a bunch of different comics and artists. James Whitbrook on Elektra: Assassin.

* this photo of stockpiled MariNaomi original art impresses.

* here are some random beautiful images from Promethea, still remembered fondly for that kind of imagery.

* the Trouble With Comics crew responds to the idea of variants.

* I did not know that this was the 25th Anniversary of Cornelius.

* finally, Bob Temuka reprints "The Religious Experience Of Philip K. Dick."
 
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March 3, 2016


Go, Look: Cartooning And Illustration In Duke Magazine

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Bundled Extra: David Harper Solicits Retailer Reaction To Latest DC Linewide Moves

These kinds of articles are always fascinating: Direct Market retailer round-ups with just core, base reaction to big-publisher moves. In this case it's the Rebirth initiative being put into action by DC Comics: a smaller overall group of characters making up the core line, a number of comics going twice a month and closer ties into what's been working on some of their media crossover.

The retailers to whom David Harper speaks seem a lot more optimistic than I am, but one comment early on that things aren't great and let's try something else, sure, seems to indicate a mindset where optimism is a vocational necessity. I do worry about whether or not the creative talent is out there for either Marvel or DC to really kill it across the board -- in a lot of cases it's not the primary deal the best creators want right now, and I think a lot of the properties there's some exhaustion that has to be overcome. I'm always interested in whatever works with these initiatives, even if it's a comic book or two out of thirty.
 
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If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: A Ton More Collier's Cartoons

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco muses on the Lois Lane character within the period of time bound by the New 52 initiative. Lois Lane's a great character, a potential top five character for that company if handled correctly, and I have no idea what they've been doing with her since 2011 except that she's not dating Superman.

* Michael Buntag on The Star Wars. Rob Kirby on Trashed. Greg Hunter on I Fell Asleep. Eszter Szep on The Motherless Oven.

* Dave Richards talks to Charles Soule. Rob Kirby talks to Robert Triptow. Annie Mok talks to KL Ricks. Julinda Morrow talks to Gerhard.

* like many older comics fans, I wonder if there are similar repositories of comics out there still to be discovered. The most useful, I think, might something fiercely devoted to 1970s and 1980s alt/underground/indie with a dip into minis, which seem to me categories and time periods where things are really hard to find even if you have a ton of cash.

* here's something slightly different: a profile of an original art dealer, with maybe the added novelty that they arrange for commissions. I think that side of the business is fascinating and barring systemic abuse useful in a lot of cases, and I'm super pro library so maybe I shouldn't have such kind feelings.

* hey, new Ryan Holmberg.
 
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March 2, 2016


Go, Look: Sophie Yanow Sketches More Voters

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ComicsPRO Annual Meeting Wrap-Up: Appreciation Awards, Board Member Movement

The comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com has a brief but information-stacked report up as to formal outcomes as the ComicsPRO Annual meeting held recently in Portland, Oregon. It's probably not the most important thing that goes on at a ComicsPRO meeting -- I'm guessing that's the publisher-retailer outreach -- but they're all moves worth noting.

ComicsPRO gives out two Industry Appreciation Awards, one to a living person and one to someone no longer with us. David Gabriel, currently SVP of Sales and Marketing, won the living-person award and thanked the organization via a statement. Legendary William Gaines of EC Comics and later MAD received the posthumous version.

As far as the make-up of the organziation, Ralph Mathieu of Alternate Realities in Nevada was re-elected treasurer. Current office-holders not up for re-election can be found through that link. Carr D'Angele of Earth-2 Comics and Eric Kirsammer of Chicago Comics were replaced on the board by Patrick Brower of Challenger Comics & Conversation and Jenn Haines of The Dragon in Ontario. That is two very solid retailers -- and solid supporters of Comics Pro -- replaced by two solid retailers, although in a small organization like this one the individual personalities and skill sets hold a lot of sway. We wish everyone old and new the best.
 
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Go, Look: 1970s Marvel Doc Savage Splash Pages

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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.

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AUG151476 COMPLETE WIMMENS COMIX HC BOX SET $100.00
I like this work so much I'm happy to produce with this post one of those ugly three-quarters view of the cover, and I almost never do that. Twenty years of great cartooning, some of it ignored, some of it only recently reclaimed via admirable single-cartoonist omnibus projects. There's a precursor comic included here as well as some contextual writing from Trina Robbins. If you can only get one thing this week... this is it.

SEP150464 GRAHAM INGEL EC STORIES ARTIST ED HC PI
This will have to be really beautiful, as Graham Ingels was a killer image-maker and this is the presentation that most routinely flatters great image-makers. It's also an artist's edition, which mean all original art being used instead of a mix.

JUL150524 TOME HC VOL 01 VAMPIRISM $150.00
JUL150525 TOME HC VOL 02 MELANCHOLIA $150.00
IDW-produced combination art book/music/comics/prose by theme featuring nearly all of the cartoonists with whom they've done this kind of work on perhaps a slightly smaller scale. I'm dying to see one of each in the shops. Go big or go home.

imageJAN160743 BLACK WIDOW #1 $3.99
JAN160129 JOE GOLEM OCCULT DETECTIVE #5 $3.50
DEC150579 DEADLY CLASS #19 (MR) $3.99
NOV158283 DEADLY CLASS #19 CVR B (MR) $3.99
DEC150584 FUSE #18 (MR) $3.99
DEC150610 REVIVAL #37 $3.99
JAN160624 WALKING DEAD #152 (MR) $2.99
This doesn't strike me as a strong week for serial comics, which usually means I'm wrong and missing something. Of what's there, I'd look at the Black Widow comic from the accomplished recent Daredevil team. That sounds like it should be accomplished and fun. I'm always up for Mignola, in whatever form that appears. The three Image comic I note for how far along they are as serial comics. Revival in particular strikes me as a solid performer for that company without ever breaking through to fervent hit status. The Walking Dead comics I enjoy although this latest military preparations storyline doesn't seem to match up to the situation depicted in the comics: it's a group of people making martial plans that were betrayed by security lapses, not a shortcoming in military might. I don't have a comic that's run that long, though, or any kind of comic at all.

SEP150855 DAREDEVIL BY MILLER AND JANSON OMNIBUS HC NEW PTG $125.00
SEP150856 ELEKTRA BY FRANK MILLER OMNIBUS HC NEW PTG $100.00
I don't always understand Marvel's thinking with its reprints, but I frequently like the individual books and these are two groupings of work that sound to me like they should be in print. It also took me a long time not to cast aspersions on other people's choice of formats -- not everyone made a solemn, Batman-like vow to never spend more than cover price for any comic book series. Of these two books, it seems to me the Elektra volume would offer up a bit more variety in terms of approach, but the work in both books would be a proud part of any superhero or Miller oriented collection.

NOV151233 KELLY GREEN COMPLETE COLL HC $59.95
OCT151676 MANDRAKE MAGICIAN HC $39.99
Two giant collections of key comics serials from two completely different times. Leonard Starr and Stan Drake did Kelly Green for European publication at a time when interest in the kinds of comics they did best were lighter in the US. It's striking-looking, mature work and having it all in one place is a treet. Mandrake is an important character in terms of that last hard left curve down the stretch that led us to superhero comics, and it's not material of which I've read a lot. So again: lucky.

JAN161601 ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE REG HC $30.00
Sonny Liew is probably best known for his collaborative work on The Shadow Hero with Gene Luen Yang, but he's been around for a whole spin of the comics-generation wheel and is always an artist to consume and enjoy. A fake biography of a Singaporean cartoonist and the works he (didn't) make sounds like a great use of Liew's talents and the kind of handsome platform that will flatter Pantheon's usual sharp-looking contributions in that area. We need more giant, new, out-of-left-field work, and I hope you'll spend 50 percent more time than you might otherwise figuring out if you can support work like this one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: I, Rocket

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul O'Brien on Deadpool & Cable: Split Second. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comic-book formatted comics.

* love for Shrinking Violet. The more they leave those Legion Of Super-Hero characters alone, the better they seem in memory.

* it's hard to imagine a more interesting article than this one from Carol Tilley about an early academic effort dissecting a not-major but still fascinating comic book publishing endeavor.

* CCS celebrating Will Eisner Week.

* I like that Matt Bors' new home still sees a simple, direct presentation of his work, which is how it is best flattered.

* not sure I can get behind the rankings in this article, but I thought choice-to-choice the art was well-selected and mostly flattering to each artist featured.

* not comics: Oh God, the Snoopys.

* finally, that's a cute-looking print by Jen Lee.
 
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March 1, 2016


Go, Look: Ron Regé Jr. Comissions Post

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By Request Extra: Latest Supernatural Law

I didn't get a "By Request" column done for its traditional Monday posting. This is usually no big deal in terms that there will be another column next week, but I noticed that the latest Supernatural Law fundraiser is right near its initial goal in a way that someone reading this might be able to push them over or onto their first stretch goals.

Batton Lash is a devoted comics-maker, and I'm glad that crowd-funding has given the veteran cartoonist a more efficient way to publish his comics by reaching out to his fans earlier in the process.
 
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If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Vol. 2.

* Johanna Draper Carlson, the best of the old guard when it comes to conceiving of comics stories as consumer's issues, takes a look at the recent Amazon.com crackdown on poor review practices.

* not comics: it'd be fun to get to the day where we got juiced over Hall Of Fame selections and what they meant, but the standards involved here are basically corporate buzzwords which is the least elegant way of thinking about anyone's creative career.

* Neil Gaiman talks about being bullied when you're a kid, and how the differences for which you are bullied at a younger age become the things special about you that you turn into a life and career. I think these factors or something very close to them are collectively a true thing for a lot of people growing up, and I can only wish for that much grief and pain to stop.

* Peter Tonguette reviews the very good new exhibitions up at the Billy Ireland.

* someone must have re-posted this Spike Trotman 24-Hour Comic about making comics, because I'm getting people sending me links as if it were brand new.

* finally, the great Kate Beaton has provided a digital dress-up doll to TCAF for its promotional/having fun efforts.
 
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