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














May 31, 2016


Go, Look: Location, Location, Location

image
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
On This One Summer's Key Position In A Minnesota-Based Battle Over Free Speech Issues

Alison Flood at The Guardian has a nice write-up on the crucial position held by the book The One Summer in a free speech battle caused by its banning from a K-12 school library in Minnesota.

I am so disconnected from this kind of fight and feel like history has already so very much overwhelmed the issues involved that I'm sort of baffled they still get argued, let along argued the way they are here. We're far past the point where there is any gateway function played by a school library, and so past the point where a parallel prurient interest might be served by a book in a library. I think libraries should hold everything for which positive value can be argued, and this is a certainly a book that has positive values. The rest of it seems 1978: kids aren't going to be checking this book for a thrill, and unless they're perpetually treated like the kind of morons that need material hidden from them aren't going to process it in some out-of-step way.

To put it another way, I am not frightened for one millisecond by the prospect of a young person built in the worst way one could possibly project from exposure to the ideas of This One Summer, and I don't like young people as a general rule.
 
posted 10:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Pot-Shot Pete

image
 
posted 10:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Older Cartoonist's Cartoon About Trans People Blasted

Here. It is punished in a more than justifiable way, I think: it's a dumb cartoon that offers nothing I can see in the way of insight beyond its rudimentary insult.

Although the cartoonist is older, there's no reason why this should be a barrier for them to learn a different way of thinking on a general set of issues about which we're privileged to live in times where we have any number of opportunities to learn, including a public chiding. I hope that that's ultimately the case here.
 
posted 10:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jim Osborne In Thrilling Murder Comics

image
 
posted 10:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* here's great news: a reprinting of 23 Skidoo, an early Al Columbia comic.

* this Instagram post seems to indicate that we'll be getting another stand-alone Graham Chaffee comic soon, published by Fantagraphics, so that's great news.

* it's a couple of weeks in the rearview window now, but I've intended to put a link up to this George O'Connor cover for the latest Olympians series book at First Second.

* I did not know that Ted Rall has a Donald Trump biography coming out, although if you told me I knew, I might believe you. Apparently, he did one on Bernie Sanders.

* the artist Reimena Ashel Yee provides an update on a lengthy work in progress.

* here's another First Second cover reveal -- it's kind of their thing -- for the forthcoming Pénélope Bagieu biography California Dreamin', which is about Mama Cass. That could be a lot of fun, and it's the perfect time for a re-examination of that pop star's life.

* finally: Warren Ellis, back to prose. I liked the book of his I read.
 
posted 10:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Ralph Bakshi-Era Spider-Man Cartoon Frames

image
 
posted 10:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Drew Ford has inaugurated a crowd-funder for his publishing company's forthcoming western, featuring Joe R. Lansdale and the great Sam Glanzman. I didn't know this was the kind of thing Entertainment Weekly covered, but it makes sense, I guess.

* I thought this was classy: Jamie S. Rich wrote this site personally to ask that some attention be driven to the continuation of the show that he did that he can no longer do as an employee of one of our leading entertainment juggernauts. I wasn't that familiar with the show other than that Rich was involved, but we can always use good ones and if you were a fan you might check out their post-Rich plans.

* this is where I'm always reminded that Gil Roth has a Patreon going. Roth was the featured media guest of the first Cartoon Crossroads Columbus -- a show of which I'm a part -- and I enjoy the 1/3 of his shows that are comics-oriented. I enjoy them all, actually, that Clive James one is aces.

* the two crowd-funders I haven't run mention of yet that jumped out at me on a cursory search are the latest from Pow Pow Press and a new one by Tyler Page.

* Kelly Tindall has a crowd-funder going for The Adventurers. There's a devoted web site for the project here.

* finally, there are a number of higher profile crowd-funders that have met their goals you can still get on: the latest Erika Moen (and friends) collection, a book by Abby Howard and the second collection of Rocket Robinson.
 
posted 10:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Where Monsters Dwell

image
 
posted 10:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

image
 
posted 10:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* veteran Marvel editor Tom Brevoort relates a death threat lobbed in his direction because of the recent Captain America comic book plot-line.

image* John Seven on Irmina.

* Nick Gazin did a video about the ten best comics of all time, but I couldn't embed it without it automatically playing so it gets a URL link here. Just in case the implication wasn't clear, it will probably start playing when you go there.

* not comics: if you were going to sell a bunch of your books, to have Aaron Cometbus show up and buy a significant number, well that would be cool.

* Melissa Giraud talks to Jeremy Whitley.

* here's a true OTBP: a charity publication created by Paul Hornschemeier that simply isn't available.

* can't be 100 percent certain why Brandon Graham is drawing Buddy Bradley, but I approve.

* not comics: I enjoyed watching this little kid wailing away on a video game store thief. I wonder if a comic shop or a video game store has ever been robbed by someone not into the hobby at hand.

* SAW has re-presented its single-year program, with a bit more clarity and a lot more support testimony.

* finally, the artist Melanie Gillman anguishes over the income and time lost to the presumption of free content.

 
posted 10:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, David Anthony Kraft!

image
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 30, 2016


Stay, Read: Terry And The Pirates, Memorial Day 1943

image
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Aiyana Udesen

image
 
posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled Extra: MyComicShop.com Suffers Downtime

Explained here. I mention it on the site here not to make fun but because I don't think I've ever seen one of the big retailers go down, which is pretty remarkable considering CR goes down if I breathe on the keyboard by accident. I wish them the best in getting back to business.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Pair Of Mort Meskin Covers At Prize

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2015 NCS Division Award Winners

image

They were given out during a black-tie ceremony in Memphis on May 28, and if the statements out of the show are any indication in articles like this one, they are now branded or are re-emphasized to be the Silver Reuben Division Awards. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners, there are some really nice and really deserving people on this list. Outside of my personal take, this is a life highlight for nearly everyone involved.

Winners in bold.

*****

EDITORIAL CARTOONS

* Mike Luckovich
* Michael Ramirez
* Ann Telnaes

*****

NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION

* Anton Emdin
* Glen Le Lievre
* Elwood Smith

*****

FEATURE ANIMATION

* Boy And The World -- Ale Abreu (Director, Writer)
* Inside Out -- Pete Docter (Director, Original Story) and Ronnie Del Carmen (Asst. Director, Original Story)
* The Peanuts Movie -- Steve Martino (Director)

*****

TELEVISION ANIMATION

* Tumble Leaf (Amazon) -- Drew Hodges (Creator, Director, Executive Producer)
* Puffin Rock (Netflix) -- Maurice Joyce (Director)
* Zack & Quack (Nick Jr.) -- Gili Dolev & Yvette Kaplan (Co-Creators, Co-Directors)

*****

NEWSPAPER PANELS

* Argyle Sweater -- Scott Hilburn
* Bizarro -- Dan Piraro
* The Flying McCoys -- Glenn McCoy
* Reality Check -- Dave Whamond

*****

GAG CARTOONS

* Glen Le Lievre
* Benjamin Schwartz
* David Sipress

*****

ADVERTISING / PRODUCT ILLUSTRATION

* Ray Alma
* Anton Emdin
* Luke McGarry

*****

GREETING CARDS

* Jim Benton
* Scott Nickel
* Robin Rawlings

*****

COMIC BOOKS

* Giant Days (BOOM! Box) -- Max Sarin
* Prez (DC Comics) -- Ben Caldwell
* Squirrel Girl (Marvel) -- Erica Henderson

*****

GRAPHIC NOVELS

* Nanjing The Burning City (Dark Horse) -- Ethan Young
* New Deal (Dark Horse) -- Jonathan Case
* Two Brothers (Dark Horse) -- Gabriel Bá

*****

MAGAZINE FEATURE / ILLUSTRATION

* Anton Emdin
* Rich Powell
* Julia Suits

*****

ONLINE COMICS -- LONG FORM

* Drive -- Dave Kellett
* The Creepy Casefiles Of Margo Maloo -- Drew Weing (pictured top)
* Octopus Pie -- Meredith Gran

*****

ONLINE COMICS -- SHORT FORM

* Bouletcorp -- Boulet
* Kevin & Kell -- Bill Holbrook
* Sheldon -- Dave Kellett

*****

BOOK ILLUSTRATION

* Juana Medina -- Smick
* Sydney Smith -- Sidewalk Flowers (pictured bottom)
* Gitte Spee -- The First Case

*****

NEWSPAPER STRIPS

* Lio -- Mark Tatulli
* Pajama Diaries -- Terri Libenson
* Pearls Before Swine -- Stephan Pastis

*****

OUTSTANDING CARTOONIST OF THE YEAR (THE REUBEN)

* Lynda Barry
* Stephan Pastis
* Hilary Price
* Michael Ramirez
* Mark Tatulli

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dying In Paradise

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: The Stranger

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2016 Max Und Moritz Prize Winners

The Max And Moritz Prize winners have been announced in conjunction with this year's International Comic Salon Erlangen. The final results were released via e-mail. Unlike a divisions-type prize, the German award names a list of nominated books and then gives some of them awards. This year a special lifetime achievement award went to humor giant Claire Brétecher, unable to attend for health reasons. Luz's post-Hebdo memoir Katharsis and the publisher Avant-Verlag were also given special awards. The nominated comics winning prizes were:

* Audience Choice Award: Crash 'n' Burn, Mikiko Ponczek (Tokyopop) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Best Comic Strip: Das Hochhaus. 102 Etagen Leben, Katharina Greve (www.das-hochhaus.de)
* Best International Comic: Ein Sommer am See, Mariko Tamaki und Jillian Tamaki. Translation By Tina Hohl (Reprodukt)
* Best German Artist: Barbara Yelin for Irmina (Reprodukt)
* Best Comic For Kids: Kiste, Patrick Wirbeleit und Uwe Heidschötter (Reprodukt)
* Best German Comic: Madgermanes, Birgit Weyhe (avant-verlag)

A comic I don't think was listed in the nominees, "Wunderfitz" from the Münster School of Design, won the student comic award.

The best artist and student publication awards came with endowments, which I'm always delighted to see.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Mike W. Barr!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 44th Birthday, Mark Price!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 44th Birthday, Tom Galambos!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 54th Birthday, Kevin Eastman!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Dean Haspiel!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 29, 2016


Michael Ramirez Wins Reuben Award

image

Article here. I'm not sure what to say, other than congratulations to him. Ramirez is probably the leading conservative editorial cartoonist, and his cartoons reflect that worldview in rigorous fashion. He's also a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and multiple past division awards winner.

What's confusing about Ramirez, to be frank, is that I've never encountered an articulation of what makes him a special cartoonist, let alone a cartoonist of the import you'd infer from his award wins. I have heard and agree that he's notable for his stands-out status as a conveyer of political views from the right-hand side of the spectrum, but I'm still way more familiar with the virtues of the late, beloved conservative editorial cartoonist Jeff MacNelly than I am with this award-winner that's much more of a contemporary and now joins Walt Kelly, Roz Chast, Hal Foster and Charles Schulz in a specific room in the building of cartooning's history.

I'd run such a piece if someone wanted to write one, and I'd certainly link to one if directed, but the absence has always been noticeable to me.

One thing that's interesting about this year's awards program is that five cartoonists were nominated: Ramirez, Lynda Barry, Hillary Price, Mark Tatulli and Stephan Pastis. Looking at that list, it might be worth noting that Ramirez stood out in terms of being the sole representative of his kind of cartooning. But beyond understanding it, I'm not sure we need to go further than that the awards program has always considered him a favorite.

There's a full list of happy division awards winners ranging from Dave Kellett to Ann Telnaes at the link; I'll post that group tomorrow here.
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Haven't Seen This Odd Gem In Twenty-Plus Years...

image
this may not be accessible unless you're in the Al Columbia Facebook group, but it's a proposal for a Cave Carson comic involving the cartoonist that I believe was done around 1993 or 1994.
 
posted 5:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Congratulations To Bart Beaty On Leading This Year's Congress Of Humanities And Social Sciences

image

I was happy to see some press coverage for Bart Beaty on being the Academic Convener at this year's Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. Beaty is a longtime contributor to this site, and it was my honor to work with him back in the Journal days as well. They are in very good hands with Bart in charge, and the job title makes Bart sound like a Jack Kirby villain, perhaps an agent of the Kree Empire.

There is a little bit of a comics overlap that isn't just Bart or the giant book they always choose for people to read in office photographs. At ICAF in 2014 here in Columbus, Dr. Beaty gave a fun opening address challenging his colleagues to participate more widely in general academic opportunities like leading a department or, one presumes, this Congress affair. I get the counter-arguments, but I liked the idea and I liked that Bart used his platform in a way that people discussed the issue all weekend.

I think in general comics could use more of its best people taking that next step forward in the general contexts in which they find themselves. We have the best art form, and many of the best things related to an art form, and the world should know about it.

I also hope Bart has fun. It looks like he's having fun.
 
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Exes

image
 
posted 4:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The First Few CR Calendar Show Entries For 2017

image

I noticed on Saturday that the great Fumetto show had put up their dates for 2017, which led to me to add the first half-dozen or so shows to CR's rolling events calendar. It's interesting in that it seems where there was a lot of clumping this year by shows, those same cons and festivals are much more spread out next Spring. I think that's going to be important the next few years for shows to kind of find their place on the calendar.

Also please note we have CXC up through 2019 and SPX through 2020.


 
posted 4:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: All-American Comics #71

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Lengthy Article On The State Of Salon

There's a ton of stuff in this article about the long history and I guess not-as-stellar recent story of Salon.com. One thing that I think binds comics to print publishing more generally is how modes of presentation and modes of structural organization have transformed two or three times and some businesses have ignored this entirely because that's what they are.

In other words, when you read the amounts of money involved in this article, you'll likely think: "Could I get to the end result of Salon with this amount of money?" The answer seems "Oh, sure." Other people have different expectations for what such an enterprise looks like and have a much more hesitant answer. The reality is always a bit more shaky than both.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Larry Marder!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Jim Salicrup!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Aaron McGruder!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Max Ink!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 72nd Birthday, Ryoichi Ikegami!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #454 -- Travel Comics

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Specific Physical Comics Publications Or Specific Downloads You'd Take With You On A Proposed Trip. In The Fifth Slot, Describe In A Single Sentence The General Purpose Of The Trip." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. Cerebus: The Phone Book Editions (issues 1-300)
2. Lone Wolf And Cub Vols. 1-28 (Dark Horse mini-editions)
3. The Archies Americana Series 1940s-1990s
4. Yotsuba&! Vols. 1-13
5. A slow boat to China. The late fantasy author Thomas Burnett Swann told me he used to write his novels while traveling around the world via tramp freighters. Modern container ships still offer spartan passenger quarters: They'll give you a cabin and feed you but you're on your own re finding any diversion. Such a journey (and Swann took several to Asia) affords a writer plenty of time to write and read and think, and when done with writing and thinking, I'd take advantage of various downloads to read both text and graphic novels.


*****

image

Patrick Watson

1. Essex County by Jeff Lemire (book)
2. Cerebus thru Church & State Vol. 2 Sim and Gerhard (download)
3. Pluto Vols. 1-8 by Urasawa (download)
4. Solo, the Deluxe Edition (book)
5. Take the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and then the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles. Visit family and friends.

*****

image

Steve Harrick

1. Journey (Volume One) by William Messner-Loebs.
2. Mercury by Hope Larson.
3. Lewis and Clark by Nick Bertozzi.
4. Complete Elfquest (Volume One) by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini.
5. An extended weekend enjoying the outdoors at Brown County State Park in Indiana.

*****

image

Tom Spurgeon

1. The Smithsonian Book Of Newspaper Comics
2. Kamandi Omnibus Vol. 1.
3. Kamandi Omnibus Vol. 2.
4. Locas: The Maggie And Hopey Stories.
5. Summer vacation rental of eight weeks or more where I expect people constantly dropping in and out, sometimes on rainy days.

*****

image

Alan David Doane

1. The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
2. Daredevil Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
3. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
4. The Freebooters by Barry Windsor-Smith
5. Two-week getaway in a resort hotel

*****

image

Oliver Ristau

1. King City
2. The Eternaut
3. Treasury of Mini Comics
4. From Hell
5. Winter holiday of six weeks in Norwegian cottages buried in snow dreams

*****

image

Justin J. Major

1.​ Superman #199
2.​ ​The Flash #175
3.​ ​World's Finest #198
4.​ ​World's Finest #199
5.​ ​A race around the world!

*****

image

Philippe Leblanc

1. Moomin and the Comet by Tove Jansson
2. L'ABC de Monsieur Pizza by Ohara Hale
3. Showa 1944-1953 by Shigeru Mizuki
4. Ping Pong by Zviane
5. A two-week trip to a cottage to explore Prince Edward Island with my wife and baby boy (#1 & #2 are for him, #3 & #4 for me)

*****

image

Sean Kleefeld

1. Alice in Sunderland
2. Laika
3. Sensational She-Hulk #14 (with the extra cover promo)
4. Judge Dredd #1 (Eagle Comics)
5. If I'm traveling, I have tons of reading material to catch up on that is accessible anywhere with an internet connection and I would have no need to choose specific pieces to carry with me. BUT if I were to travel to Great Britain for a week or so, I'd certainly try to see if I could overlap my stay with a comics event(s) where I could get some of my physical copies signed by the creators.

*****

image

Jeffrey A. Goodman

1. Sadowski, Greg (ed.) -- Four Color Fear (Fantagraphics)
2. Gilmore, Donald H. -- Sex In Comics: History Of The Eight Pagers Volume Two: Mr. Prolific (Greenleaf Classics)
3. Wood, Wallace, and Jim Mooney and Bill Ward and Various -- Pussycat, The Complete 66 Adventures (Marvel/Various Men's 'Sweat' Mags compilation and Custom Bound)
4. Crumb, R. -- The Weirdo Years (Last Gasp)
5. I'm going to a funeral.

*****

image

Andrew Mansell

1. Barnaby Vol. 2
2. King Aroo Vol. 1
3. Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales
4. Groo Friends and Foes Vol 2
5. A bittersweet trip with far too much reflective alone-time as I visit 6 east coast Universities with my soon-to-be college bound daughter.

*****

image

Michael Dooley

1. Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons
2. Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez
3. Comics & Media: A Special Issue of "Critical Inquiry"
4. The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art
5. Lengthy, long-distance summer vacation, so text-heavy selections since I'm limited to just five (fyi: that'll never happen).

*****

image

Grab Bag

1. Big Questions, Anders Nilsen
2. The Frank Book, Jim Woodring
3. The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1, Lee & Ditko
4. The High Cost of Dying, Reed Crandall, Al Feldstein, et al
5. All downloads on a tablet for a summer family trip to Poland that will provide ample waiting/reading time during plane, train, & bus travel with intermittent Internet reach.

*****

I appreciate every last participant but will edit for the sake of the series. In order to keep people from making a point of coloring outside the lines, I tend to edit these in much more rigid fashion. I skipped that rigid control this time -- happy Memorial Day! -- but be forewarned.

*****
*****
 
posted 12:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 28, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


A Look Inside Patrick Kyle's Apartment


Venn Diagram: Art/Comics


Dean Haspiel TV Appearance


Video Profile Of My Friend The Great Cartoonist Dan Wright From Several Years Back, For Those That Met Him At This Week's CXC Event


The Cartoonist
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week(s) In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 14 to May 27, 2016:

1. comiXology announces a streaming service where a monthly fee gets you access to a significant number of works that rotate in and out. Two things noted: Marvel and DC aren't participating; the comics are curated which indicates that access to a deep, deep pull or lengthy run of a series could be limited.

2. Much to the astonishment of half of my e-mail inbox, giant of the field Zunar did a monkey grinder cartoon that depicted a black South African political appointee as the monkey.

3. The NCS on the eve of its national meeting releases a statement of support for opposition to host-state Tennessee's anti-LGBT counseling bill and vows to use an anti-discriminatory standard when it comes to future yearly gatherings.

Winner Of The Last Two Weeks
Mr. Graham Jules

Loser Of The Last Two Weeks
Zunar and anyone who had a chance to say WTF between the completion of the cartoon in question and its publication.

Quote Of The Last Two Weeks
"Hail Wizard!" -- a comics industry journalist pal, signing off after e-mailing me about the endlessly tedious Captain America story and finding out I'm really no longer on Twitter. I know enough to get the joke!

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

 
Can I Mention Really Quickly How Much I Love Highbone Theater?

image

It's funny and weird and kind of beautiful. I wish we could all live in a headspace carved out by comics like this one as opposed to spending time puzzling over our feelings for even the most clever and enduring corporate products. Joe Daly is a treasure.

You can buy it here.
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Julia Nikitina

image
 
posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Two Ways To Measure The Seriousness Of Your Life

image

1. Imagine every person who has it in for you on some level gathered against a neutral backdrop and photographed. This picture is your own Masters Of Evil/Injustice Society/Your-Name Revenge Squad. Is it impressive? Is it formidable? Have you conducted your life in a way that has brought with it some serious resistance? Anyone you could talk over with a three-page scene, heavy on the dialogue?

2. Never do this.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 69th Birthday, Lynn Johnston!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 27, 2016


Go, Look: Jordan Mello Short Comic

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Marvel/DC Quit The Field On Author Graham Jules Over Use Of Term Superhero In His Title

I keep forgetting to post a link to this article, and people forget to send it to me. I'm not sure I stray far outside the limits of conventional wisdom here. It's a dumb thing that word is held in copyright, and that article sure reads like Marvel and DC know that their hold on that word might not stand up in court if tested outright.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sheena's Debut

image
 
posted 1:24 am PST | Permalink
 

 
NCS Releases Statement About Holding Meeting In Tennessee After Passage Of Anti-LGBT Counseling Law

Here's their statement on HB1840, discussed in The Advocate here.
"The National Cartoonists Society Board of Directors is disheartened by Tennessee's recent enactment of discriminatory law HB1840, which gives counselors and therapists permission to refuse mental health services to LGBT people and others, and directly conflicts with mental health providers' codes of ethics. We affirm to both our diverse membership, and to the public at large, that the NCS Board strongly opposes state-sponsored discrimination against any group or individual, and that the NCS itself does not discriminate in any way. We look forward to holding our annual Reuben Awards Ceremony and convention in Memphis, Tennessee this Memorial Day weekend. However, in the future when selecting a location for our annual convention, this Board will consider only states that do not have discriminatory laws. In supporting Memphis, we are supporting ALL of its citizens, which includes members of the LGBT community and anyone else who may be adversely affected by HB1840."
There are a couple of things that are interesting with that. One is that the NCS has now set itself up to perhaps moves it convention if there are similar laws enacted in future NCS weekend locales. The second is that the organization itself isn't necessarily all the way left-leaning. Division awards go out regularly to conservative cartoonists and Michael Ramirez is up for the big award this year. So one wonders how much that statement reflects the belief of the entirety of the membership. Perhaps it does; no one's constrained to a position projected for them. It's still interesting to me.

The statement came from Bill Morrison's account.
 
posted 1:23 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Revisiting The Peanuts Advertisements

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Astro City #34.

* someone from The Takeaway talks to Dean Haspiel. Chantal McStay talks to Aidan Koch. Alex Dueben talks to Roberta Gregory, and then talks to Brecht Evens. Sam Thielman talks to Axel Alonso.

* some nice person wrote in and asked that I write about this, which looks like some process to present small press titles in a way that's beneficial to their being noticed and/or sampled. I don't really have the time to sort this out -- anyone would could unpack it for me would have a vested interest in selling me on it -- but there it is, and if it's something you can use, I'm happy to be the one that introduced you to it via that link.

* submit those comics to these Ignatzes.

* team Trouble With Comics with more recent comics favorites. You should pay attention to them as they were clever enough to fool me into running links to all three articles.

* I don't know much about anything and less all the time, but I know I'm meant to spent a night in the pickle barrel house.

* comic book store employee when I asked if I should buy DC Universe: Rebirth #1. "I guess. It's like 80 pages for three bucks. You might as well." I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I laughed reading the first line of description through that link because the first page of the comic tells you to read two other comics first.

* finally, please someone show their appreciation to this site with a modest purchase of a comics classic.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 26, 2016


Go, Bookmark: Halftrack

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: comiXology Announces Netflix-Style Service

I didn't miss it by a lot of time, but I am playing a bit of catch-up. Here is a reasonably straight-forward comics industry oriented piece on the digital distributor comiXology starting a streaming service called comiXology Unlimited. It's similar to curated streaming experience for film like those offered by Amazon.com or Netflix. It's not really a deep-dive offering like some of the company-specific programs. Under this program you pay your six bucks a month and get a mix of first-few issues and representative titles that kind of rotate in and out. For film, this strategy has hit a sweet spot between a world when lots of stuff is being offered, but that you're also not over-exposing the catalogs involved in terms of total depth and breadth.

I made my usual inquiry as to how the pay model works, and was given a no-comment by the distributor. I've been told that creators get paid out of a pool based on the relative number of contributed pages, and that sounds like the kind of strategy that could be in play.

Marvel and DC, ideal candidates for self-launched services featuring their own libraries, are not included.

I'm reading things on Twitter that indicate Image Comics made this particular distribution decision on behalf of the creators who publish under their banner, with all the usual questions about the implications of that for the company's aura of self-directed publication. I'm not finding a piece that confirms that, though. Then again, I'm writing this at 5:31 AM and should be able to update when I'm fully awake, perhaps even before this rolls out.

There are also significant questions about the overall effect of such services on other art forms, and what a successful version of this program would mean for comics folks.

Also from what I've reading this has been an opportunity for comiXology to reiterate its branding as a dominant market player and a force to potentially expand readership.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Barry Windsor-Smith Mainstream Work Gallery At ComicsAlliance

image
always a pleasure; this has imagery I haven't seen used before as representative work
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Linework NW 2016

image
this article has been archived
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Trillian Gunn

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
You Should Always Wear Clean Underwear Over Your Leotards In Case You Get Injured

Whoops. Never mind.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jerry Siegel-George Tuska Angel Back-Up Stories

image

I try to avoid wholesale reruns of copyrighted stories in deference to posts that at least re-contextualize such material, but I do think there's enough that's interesting about these stories and George Tuska's art and Jerry Siegel's writing that you can absolve yourself of most of your guilty feelings by taking a peek. I think the period at Marvel between Jack Kirby's departure and the publication of Giant-Size X-Men #1 to be its most fascinating one, with comics that were like the flickering shadows cast by Kirby's vibrant flame.
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Zapiro Slammed For Monkey Grinder Cartoon; Tells Press That The Depiction Was A Mistake

image

I sort of get why editorial cartoonists remain attracted to the monkey grinder metaphor. It's visually odd, and the message is clear: this person is in service to the other person in a crass way. It thus can be used in a way that's critical of the monkey, critical of the grinder and/or critical of the entire monkey-grinder enterprise of pulling money from pockets via base appeal.

It's also, by general cultural agreement, deeply fucked up to depict anyone as a monkey, a billion times more so when that person is black, as is the case with political appointee Shaun Abrahams. It's hard for me to fathom that someone that is as generally astute and knowledgeable about the savage elements of visual metaphor as South African's institution of a cartoonist Zapiro could do this, or that any editor of an African newspaper wouldn't jump into the presses to stop it coming out. Zapiro concedes it's a mistake, which, um, yeah. My cursory reading of the backlash is that this so completely dunderheaded there's little chance that the cartoonist tried to slip one by or get it out there in a way that a retraction would cover his ass once that point was made (the way a TV lawyer might slip out banned information in front of a jury and then withdraw). Zapiro's own explanation seems to promote artistic hubris as the cause.

It's always seemed to me that Zapiro has a significant amount of goodwill built up with his readers, which has enabled him to pound on certain political issues in a way that would be difficult for others to pull off. I imagine this has a chance of wiping out vast reserves of it with a lot of people. At this point, the only things to do are listen and learn.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Leonie Brialey

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* dates and first round of guests announced for the Helsinki Comics Festival.

* NYCC has a new verification process for tickets. This kind of thing is the wave of the future, although convention-goers tend to be split in seeing this kind of thing as a necessary evil that discourages re-selling and a process designed to gather better marketing information. I think 100 percent people will do what's necessary to fill this show. The text:
Fans,

Each year when we take over the Javits Center in October, we have one priority in mind: you, the NYCC Fans. We don’t run NYCC year after year because we love hanging out by the Hudson or we need to reach our step goal in October, we do this because we want to provide the experience of a lifetime to everyone who attends NYCC each year.

imageWith that in mind, we want the New York Comic Con 2016 Ticket buying experience to be as smooth and fair as possible, so this year we are requiring Fan Verification. What does Fan Verification mean? It means we are requiring anyone interested in attending NYCC to fill out a profile between Friday, May 20 and Monday, June 13. We recognize that this is an extra step before buying your Tickets and requires more commitment from you, but we also know that as true Fans of the Show, you won’t mind making it tough for the supervillains out there. Here’s a quick look at nine important points for this new process:

1. Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
2. Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
3. Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely -- there’s no need to rush through it.
4. All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
5. We will no longer be selling VIP Tickets for NYCC.
6. NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
7. All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
8. The email you receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where you will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
9. If you are purchasing Tickets for you and your friends or family, you must assign each individual Ticket to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If you are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, you will add their name and age to the Ticket.

These changes are being done with you in mind and the hope that more of you will get the opportunity to experience NYCC. Please visit NewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification for complete details on the NYCC Ticketing process along with other important NYCC Show news.

Thank you for your commitment and passion for the Show and willingness to take these extra steps to help us get more Tickets into your hands. We're looking forward to giving you even more amazing content to experience with us and can't wait to reveal more of what we've been working on for you.

NYCC 2016 is going to be our best Show yet and it's all going to start with Fan Verification improving the Ticket buying process for you.
Looking around for a place to link I noticed that The Beat says they're also rebranding their week-before stuff to put NYCC in the title.

* here's a walk-through of that NYCC process. I don't have a firm grasp of people's expectations when it comes to being an attendee of such shows, but this has to be a vastly different experience.

* two great questions remain for the calendar year in festival-attending: will there be a CAB this year? What will be the dates for CALA? If anyone knows, I can keep a secret.

* here's word of a focused 'zine show in Newark in early July.

* don't know that I knew about this Dan Clowes exhibit up at the University of Chicago. Here's a profile piece. Thanks to Joe Muszynski for the heads-up.

* finally, my friend Gil Roth sent me some photos of the Masonic Hall venue that TCAF picked up this year. He took them just as the venue opened. Wow, this is basically nicer than 80 percent of everyone else's primary venues. I look forward to seeing how they employ it in the years ahead.

*****

image
image
image
image

*****
*****
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Nightmare

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on What Is Obscenity?

* there's probably some sort of joke to be made about Randian philosophy and the use of white-out, but mostly I just love seeing any later-period Ditko.

* more recent picks from Team Trouble With Comics. I didn't notice that they were going to split this one into three parts, so my apologies for not therefore waiting until the entire series was posted. You'll get one more link from me on this.

* here's a roundtable on the first issue of DC's DC Comics: Rebirth series, a series meant to kick off a line reboot at the venerable mainstream publisher. One thing that always strikes me as odd about these kind of "weigh in on the entire line and potential across the board" articles is that they seem to end up coming at you from the perspective of people that will be buying or paying attention to these comics no matter what, and thus the range of effect in question is whether those comics with which they're going to be engaged are either enjoyed or not enjoyed. That's not a big sweep of the needle to go from one of those groups to the other.

* Rachel Davies talks to Aidan Koch. Alex Dueben talks to Rebecca Sugar.

* by request extra: congratulations to the Cool Dog Annual Sticker Fund crowd-funder, the only comics-related crowd-funder about which anyone need know.

* finally: boy, that's a good-looking Doctor Strange on the top of Kevin Nowlan's Twitter account page.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 25, 2016


Go, Look: Tom Lechner

image
 
posted 11:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Our Fractured Industry Needs To Put Aside Our Differences & Unite Behind A Single, Vital Issue

Noah. My God. Shave.
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Gary Brodsky's Passing Noted At The Beat

image
this apparently happened May 9 and I totally missed it. I think. It's been a rough year for my memory in addition to a rough year for people passing away
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Marvel Responds To DC's Tossing Of Sadness Gauntlet

imageDescription of plot points in the new Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 here. Ew! It's like discovering film of your Mom making out with your elementary school principal, except for some reason it's trending.

These are corporate properties designed to move product, and sometimes that's a little more apparent than usual. It's really apparent this week! The way these companies occasionally seek to manipulate the affection and feelings of ownership that they themselves have encouraged in their fans is interesting to a point, but only a point.

Comics like these rarely satisfy. The focus on the characters as their own thing aggressively diverts from any insight into the human condition they might afford, even through amplification, and the attention paid to plot points and continuity almost always makes a low priority of the element of spectacle through which superhero funnybooks can be a beautiful thing to behold. What you're left with is static images declaring their own wikipedia entry updates. No thanks.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Archangel #1.

* Rebecca Bates talks to Aidan Koch. Alex Dueben talks to Dana Simpson.

* not comics: I will fight you, New York Times.

* hey, a Sacha Mardou comic.

* I have no idea why this set of Moebius illustrations is in my bookmarks, but I'm not displeased. Always fun to look at Moebius, a happy master.

* not comics: remember, if you're ever feeling sad about your own station in life, watch Peter Cook in the Ed McMahon role on a 1980s Joan Rivers show. Nothing more excruciating in show business history.

* here's Team Trouble With Comics on the recent funnybooks they like. They're trouble, it's right in their name.

* finally, Devin Feraci writes at length on DC Universe: Rebirth #1. I have no doubt there is a lot of meta-commentary in this reboot; I'm just imagining I'm not going to agree with a whole lot of it.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 24, 2016


Mell Lazarus, RIP

image
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brian Dionisi

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Book Con/BEA Definitely Happened

Torsten Adair has one of those nice first-person, tedium and touchdown reports on this year's Book Expo America and its commercial show within a show, Book Con. It took place in Chicago mid-May the same weekend as TCAF.

As you can tell from Adair's article, there were several comics people on hand, certainly enough for a comics fan to spend those days in a graphic novel wallow. It still isn't near what we thought it might become for comics 11, 12, 13 years ago. As long as comics remains a strong category for bookstores, it's going to have a chance to be a solid comics show, focused on reading and the act of selling to readers as opposed to artistic issues or spending time in the shared nerd culture that reaches across media.

But man, I didn't hear a peep from anyone excited to go, have heard in bare minimum fashion from people that went, and certainly this provided a sharp contrast to those once-upon-a-time hopes and what a huge deal TCAF has become. The fact that it's in Chicago after several years of trying to develop a recurring Springtime in New York feel with all the morning shows and late night shows stuffed with prose authors, indicates there's still some focus left to come.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1987 Kevin Nowlan Hand-Painted Color Guide

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Over-Valuing The Entreprenurial Class

Here. Comics has a version of this, in that it tends to see being paid for comics to the point it can be a primary profession as a key value, with all sorts of distortions and dysfunction spinning off from that central idea.. It's a myth from which we could back away a bit, I think, in the course of improving things for artists and getting more quality art out there.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kikuo Johnson On Latest New Yorker Cover

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* here's some more news about Chinese versions of DC big three characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I don't have any dark, Trump-like thoughts on this: I think these are properties and it's probably smart to have properties directly attuned to the world's great markets. I have almost no interest in this in a story sense, though. I do sort of wonder if these are the kinds of characters will be killed five years from now in service to propping up the big-bad in a crossover mini-series.

* William Gibson, comics-maker.

* so I guess there's a new Wasp character. The Wasp is probably the only female Marvel character that really works in a distinctive way in the 1960s Marvel comics, although I have a soft space for Kooky Quartet-era Scarlet Witch. It's weird to read the Jarvis character yelling at people.\\

* finally, Tillie Walden cements her Next Big Thing status with a book from First Second announced. It's a skating memoir.

image
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Amazing 1964 S. Clay Wilson Sketchbook Page

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kate Bingamin-Burt

image
 
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Two Heartfelt Con Reports

Ran across two emotionally-driven convention reports within ten minutes of one another: Dustin Harbin on TCAF 2016; Erik Nebel on the just-completed Linework NW. The Harbin piece might of slightly greater interest because Harbin has written about shows before and the contrast between those pieces and this one seems pretty strong. They're both pretty great in similar ways, though.

One reason it becomes compulsive for some folks to want all of the things about comics to stop being harmful immediately is because there are so many things that are great about working in comics, or being a close observer, or being a devoted and focused reader. There's no reason everything couldn't be that much better.
 
posted 6:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Anna Craig

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: The Case Against Dan DiDio

By Abhay Kosla, here.

That's a brutal assessment of DiDio's career-to-date. I don't understand corporate culture, but as an observer of comics more generally it has always seemed to me that a whole lot of people could be held more accountable for the performance of their companies, and for the culture they foster in which others have to operate. (My performance since mid-2014 hasn't been great, either, but I own the joint.) It's not like with DC I can point to a lot of awesome publishing positives there, more like a scattering of decent-selling series, but maybe a few more will come to mind when I re-read Abhay's article. I'm happy to give space here and if it's of a high quality pay for the rights to anyone who would like to write a rousing, thorough defense of the arguments presented in that article; that would be interesting to read.

As far as DiDio goes, I've always thought if his job wasn't even close to being in danger in May 2008 when the first issue of the we-are-all-in Final Crisis somehow wasn't that month's #1 comic, he was going to be a really difficult fire. The nature of the success enjoyed by the New 52 publishing initiative seemed then and seems now like the kind of thing that keeps people in jobs, too, despite any number of caveats. People still remember the publicity-generating editorial tweaks and the lines outside of the NYC comic shops with that one. They don't remember it was a move that was self-correcting a couple of years of near free-fall, that Bob Wayne secured a lot of the retailer confidence involved, that the sales bumps enjoyed on certain books went away quickly, that the line once again became bottom heavy even more quickly than that, and that at best three or four characters were developed in an interesting way that might have other-media payoffs.

Anyway, that's a fun article; you should read it if you're a deep-diver when it comes to comic-book industry watching or if you ever want to work here. I've benefited greatly by comics' low standards, but we're at a point that's not good enough anymore -- doubly, triply, infinitely, finally so for the people whose performances have a drastic impact on a significant number of people's lives.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Few Ruben Moreira Comics Pages

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Chainmail Bikini. Conori Bell-Bhuiyan on Talk Dirty To Me.

* Keith Jones, Keith Jones, Keith Jones.

* video parade extra: not sure I can embed this video tour of Forbidden Planet NYC without it automatically popping up, so I'll direct you there in this post via the URL. That's a solid shop to shop in, I always buy something when I drop in. Most of what I look at is in the last 11 seconds, of course. One more time: that pops up really loud for me.

* I always love it when a cartoonist opens up their sketchbook and shows off those doodles.

* all of Kevin Nowlan's drawings are handsome, but this sketch of Batman looks like it would slap the cigarette out of your mouth if you dared smoke in the Batcave.

* just a couple of pals, hanging out.

* not comics: longtime writer-about-comics Marc Mason has self-published a book about his trip to Norway at age 40.

* finally, here's an interesting article about diversity in the Indian market. If you're like me, you'll be jotting down names and titles.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 23, 2016


Go, Watch: Sam Alden Reads From The Cursed Prince


 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2016 Glyph Awards Winners

imageWinners were named May 20 for this year Glyph Awards, given out in conjunction with the weekend's East Coast Black Age Of Comics Convention.

Chuck Collins and BOUNCE! won three of the awards. Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator Of Discipline took awards in two categories,

Winners in bold:

*****

STORY OF THE YEAR

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton, Writer; Denis Medri, Artist
* Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker -- Julian Voloj, Writer; Claudia Ahlering, Artist
* Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline -- Guy A. Sims, Writer; Dawud Anyabwile, Artist

*****

BEST COVER

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton, Writer; Denis Medri, Artist
* Blue Hand Mojo: Dust to Dust -- John Jennings, Writer and Artist
* Tephlon Funk! -- Stephane Metayer, Writer; David Tako & Nicolas Safe, Artists

*****

BEST WRITER

* Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, Concrete Park Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
* (H)Afrocentric">Juliana "Jewels" Smith, (H)Afrocentric
* David F. Walker, Cyborg

*****

BEST ARTIST

* Dawud Anyabwile, Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline
* Keef Cross, Dayblack #4 -- Shot in the Ass
* John Jennings, Blue Hand Mojo: Dust to Dust

*****

BEST MALE CHARACTER

* Arron Day (Blackjack), Blackjack: There Came a Dark Hunter -- Alex Simmons, Writer; Tim Fielder, Artist
* Antonio Valor (Brotherman), Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline -- Guy A. Sims, Writer; Dawud Anyabwile, Artist

*****

BEST FEMALE CHARACTER

* Moon Girl, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur -- Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, Writers; Natacha Bustos and Amy Reeder, Artists
* Lily, Malice in Ovenland -- Micheline Hess, Writer and Artist
* Naima Pepper, (H)Afrocentric -- Juliana "Jewels" Smith, Writer; Ronald R. Nelson, Artist

*****

RISING STAR AWARD

* Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist -- Bounce!
* Stephane Metayer, Writer; David Tako & Nicolas Safe, Artists -- Tephlon Funk!
* D.C. Walker, Writer; Bruno Oliveira, Artist -- When the River Rises

*****

BEST COMIC STRIP OR WEBCOMIC

* Blackwax Boulevard -- Dmitri Jackson, Writer and Artist
* Bounce! -- Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist
* Detective Boogaloo: Hip Hop Cop -- Jamar Nicholas, Writer and Artist

*****

BEST REPRINT PUBLICATION

* Ajala: A Series of Adventures, Book Two (XMoor Studios)
* Concrete Park, Volume One: You Send Me (Dark Horse Comics)
* Concrete Park, Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Dark Horse Comics)

*****

FAN AWARD FOR BEST WORK

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton , Writer; Denis Medri , Artist
* Bounce! -- Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist
* Concrete Park, Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T -- Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, Writers; Tony Puryear, Artist
* Shaft, Volume One: A Complicated Man -- David Walker, Writer; Sanford Greene, Artist

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Greg Irons' History Of Pirates Illustrations

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Visions Of Donald Trump

Michael Cavna gathers together various major political cartoonists' depictions of Donald Trump. There's some interesting stuff in there about how a few of them choose to do his mouth, believe it or not. A couple of the cartoons used made me laugh.

If Mr. Trump wins -- and he has a good chance of winning -- you're going to see the old adage that even the most brutally effective satire doesn't work anymore get a sound workout.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Paintings By Piotr Jablonski

image
thanks, Bob Levin
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Right Around Home Original

image
love these
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Argument For Expanding Cosplay's Role At Shows

Here. It's not something that applies to all shows -- I don't see this being a concern for SPX or Linework NW -- and I'm always confused when these things are changed from a strategy someone might pursue to an argument to be won on the Internet. Still, there are some details in there that are worth knowing if you follow the convention business.

I would imagine most people running a show with a cosplay element would prefer someone of value to a show be a guest of a show as opposed to a free agent and perhaps, say, charging for photos. I also have to believe this already happens with a few shows. Many of the shows are conceived of in broad enough fashion that paid costume people would seem way less of a stretch than people you're likely to see invited to shows if there are this many of them in 2021.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Robert Pranzatelli Profiles Max De Rodriguès

image
 
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Adolf Born, RIP

image
I don't recall Born ever making comics, but he was a super-fun illustrator whose work was animated; thanks to Paul Di Filippo on the heads up
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Brief History Of Mainstream Comics

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* I hope they bring this shirt back for another round; I think they could sell a lot more than have already been sold. And it's for a great cause!

image* the Seymour Chwast crowd-funder continues to grind its way to its fairly big ask.

* it's been two weeks since this column ran, but a few of the crowd-funders it paid attention to on the 9th are still going now: the Brian Pulido's, the latest volume of Skin Horse, the Abby Howard and one by Adam Casey.

* Julia Wertz had her stoop sale over the weekend, but until she suspends sales I imagine she will use any Etsy sales to further finance her move.

* I don't get a lot of not-comics-itself projects aimed at this weekly post, but here's a crowd-funder for an interview series. That's a reminder I'm a big fan of Gil Roth's Virtual Memories podcast, which is about 1/3 comics-oriented; he has a patreon.

* what's newer that caught my on on Kickstarter: veterans Jan Duursema and John Ostrander on a project; another science comic, which is becoming a sneakily popular sub-category; the latest Erika Moen, crushing it; a sequel project reaching its first goal as I'm typing this; a Jack London adaptation far from its goal and one I hadn't noticed at all from Matt Lubchansky.

* finally, Salgood Sam has a patreon now.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Walter Molino Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Swamp Thing #5. Alexander Jones on Civil War II #0. I haven't moaned like a moan-y old man recently about how much I hate the #0 books and the side series and the series that fold into the final book that you don't know worked that way when you're buying individual comics. I still feel that way, if anyone wondered.

* I had to remind myself to what controversy this amusing visual by James Kochalka referred, but I got it after a few minutes.

* festivals extra: it's not my area of coverage with that particular show, and I suppose the Star Trek franchise isn't at its healthiest in terms of hardcore fan goodwill, but this has to be a good get for Comic-Con and it's interesting to see how they approach opportunities like this and having Conan O'Brien's show in town last year. I liked those first two new Star Trek films just fine -- they passed the time and amused me -- and didn't see a lot of difference between them. I felt the same way about the four most recent James Bond movies, so clearly I am no longer to be trusted for close analysis of pop-culture soaked movie-making.

* vegetable lovers.

* this site does a terrible job with discussing art direction and book design, but these Reprodukt editions of Jaime Hernandez's work sort of jumped out at me. It's interesting just how many approaches have been taken with Los Bros' work, the vast majority of which have been rewarding.

* someone hire Jason to do minimalist reviews like this for their site so we can read them all of the time. Not much more to say about most of those books. It's unbelievable to me that Jason is just now catching up to Saul Steinberg. There should be a holiday named after Steinberg and every citizen of the world should own at least three of his great books.

* Dan Mims talks to Michael Sloan.

* finally: paid writer-about-comics freelancer positions.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 22, 2016


Go, Read: Meg Lemke Interviews Tom Hart For Mutha Magazine

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: James Sherman-Era LOSH Splash Pages

image
 
posted 1:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kid Gloves

image
 
posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look; Perhaps Buy: I Did Not Know There Was A Site For Rob Goodin's Kurdles

image
I even bought a t-shirt...
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Stephen Collins On Mindfulness

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #453 -- Second Shift

On Friday, CR asked its readers to "Name Five Superheroes That For Whatever Reason Developed Or Utilized A Secondary Set Of Powers." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Andrew Mansell

1. Light Lass -- Makes objects super light-weight
2. The Beast -- Mutated into animal form
3. Frankie Raye -- Became the fourth herald of Galactus
4. Superman -- From leaping tall buildings to flying
5. Vision -- became one with the internet

*****

image

Oliver Ristau

1. Punisher -- angelic powers
2. Ant-Man -- growth
3. Stone Boy -- movement
4. Wildfire -- controling energy form without needing containment suit
5. Superman -- flying instead of leaping tall buildings in a single bound

*****

image

Des Devlin

1. Superman -- generates miniature, full-powered Supermen that fly from his fingers
2. Spider-Man -- objects and people will adhere to his back
3. The Flash -- when falling, can gyrate his limbs to generate an air cushion
4. Plastic Man -- immortality
5. Gambit -- can ingest plagues and disease

*****

image

Michael G. Pfefferkorn

1. Black Canary -- Sonic Scream
2. Lightning Lass / Light Lass -- Gravity Powers
3. Guy Gardner -- Shape Shifting Powers
4. Shrinking Violet -- Growing Powers
5. Star Spangled Kid I -- Flight, Energy Powers

*****

image

Michael Buntag

1. Aquaman -- The Clear
2. Spider-Man -- Organic webbing
3. Wonder Woman -- Lansinarian Morphing Disk
4. Thor -- Warrior madness
5. She Hulk -- Body Switch

*****

image

Chris Duffy

1. Marvel Girl--Phoenix powers
2. Sub-Mariner--fish-related powers during early Marvel era
3. Beast--various powers related to blue furriness, including regeneration
4. Supergirl--flame-bird angel powers
5. Captain Mar-vell--cosmic awareness et al

*****

image

Stephen Harrick

1. Wonder Woman--Flight
2. Black Lightning--Naturally manipulating electricity
3. Spider-Man--Iron armor
4. Guy Gardner--Shape-shifting
5. Vixen--Borrowing others' superpowers

*****

image

Tom Spurgeon

1. Hawkeye -- Growing powers
2. Emma Frost -- Diamond skin
3. Invisible Girl -- Force field projection
4. Superman -- Electric powers
5. Iron Man -- Stealth armor

*****

image

Sean Kleefeld

1. Captain America -- Throwable, disc-shaped shield
2. Spider-Man -- Four extra arms
3. Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) -- Thing-like appearance and strength
4. Superman -- Flight
5. Nova (Frankie Raye) -- Power cosmic

*****

image

Justin J. Major

1. Superman -- X-ray vision
2. Lightning Lass -- Anti-gravity
3. The Hulk -- See & interact with astral forms
4. Beast -- Blue fur & mood-altering pheremones
5. Jean Grey -- Phoenix force

*****
*****
 
posted 12:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 21, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Katie Skelly Interviews Simon Hanselmann At The Strand


Frank Santoro Interviews Noah Van Sciver


Jim Davis Interviewed


Frank Santoro Interviews Grace Ellis


Frank Santoro Meets Caleb Orecchio


Sean Phillips Draws At TCAF 2016
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Print Collects Memorial Essays For Darwyn Cooke; Illustrates Them Heavily

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Somehow Missed This Linework NW Promotional Comic

image
that show is today and tomorrow
 
posted 1:29 am PST | Permalink
 

 
I Get The Weirdest E-Mail From CR Readers

A couple of people wrote in last night to ask me to comment on this rumor article about the narrative direction of the DC Universe with its latest revamp/reboot/rebirth line-wide story reset.

I went. I saw. I laughed.

I don't have a refined sense of Rich Johnston's site to know if it's true or not. Looks true. Johnston certainly seems to have a giant pipeline straight from well-established sources at DC and right onto his site, which strikes me as odd in that it's never been shut down. Most companies that have the money and the structure to have executives with hard-to-parse, multi-word titles are usually a tiny bit more disciplined in that way, at least when measured in years passing.

What actually struck me more than the potentially distressing narrative choice on hand (plenty of time to see how that plays out) it was that the way these rebirthed comics look they could be a comic from 1996: so much frowning and gritting of teeth, so much armageddon-fueled fear, so much certainty that these properties have intrinsic emotional value. It's an interesting set of developments to have leaked a few days after Darwyn Cooke's passing, as Cooke's vision for that line, a group of characters he frequently drew, was actually forward-looking in its embrace of original conceptions and in his expressed desire that someone or a group of someones might do tonal revamp. The other thing that struck me is that this might somehow be more fun if Mark Millar were behind it all.
 
posted 1:26 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Remember To Buy Stuff From Julia Wertz Today

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 20, 2016


Go, Look: Andrea Rosales

image
 
posted 9:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Men In Action #6

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Joe Garber

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Terrible Time Machine!

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Michael Dooley On Siné

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: TCAF 2016

image
this article has now been archived
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
In A Blackstone Story, The Only Magic Was His Hair

image
 
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Darwyn Cooke, RIP

image
this article has been archived
 
posted 6:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Two From Matt Seneca

image
image
 
posted 6:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Linework NW This Weekend

The Linework NW show is this weekend. That's the one from Jason Leivian and Zack Soto. It's the alt-/arts- show in town. This approach distinguishes it from the city of Portland's Rose City show, a popular, rising convention that I would describe as more mainstream-leaning/indy-friendly.

imageI really like Linework NW. I can't go this year because of some personal travel restrictions, but I'll miss not being there and I hope to go back in future years if they continue doing it. To me, it's right up there with the Brooklyn shows which Gabe Fowler does and what I hear about FLUKE as almost neighborhood shows, ideally experienced as something to attend in hangout mode, and use as a springboard to loll about, and eat nearby and drink nearby and walk back to your hotel when you've put enough intoxicating things into your body, when you've had enough terrifying conversation about how old your friends' kids are. It's difficult for me to imagine Linework NW ever having national ambitions, which makes it a rare, rare show for the sake of being a show. It feels like it's in competition with a hundred yard parties more than it is any other comics show.

I like the Norse Hall where the show takes place. I'm particularly fond of the strategy they use to have one-day exhibitors so as to diversify its offerings without making for a bigger, maybe not better, experience. I love that their special guests draw from illustration and comics and I'm only really familiar with one of four. I like that there's a bar built into the exhibit space and that in 2015 I always found a seat. I love that they're trying a pop-up retailer space downstairs this year.

If you're within 90 minutes or so, I hope you'll stop by and look around. If you're a rich person who can be the show's benefactor, I hope you'll stop by and write them a check with the promise that it not change too much. I worry that every year may be its last from simple exhaustion and because a fragile set of circumstances as makes a show like this one simply becomes thin and falls apart. If you're going, have fun! Buy something from Josh Simmons, Jason Shiga (he's a genius, you know) or Daria Tessler. Get something from the food truck. Stand around telling jokes.
 
posted 6:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: LOAC Promotional Video


 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Massive Seattlish Post On ECCC Being Subjected To A Class-Action Lawsuit

I'm not familiar with the Seattlish blog, but Seattle has a rich tradition of contrarian muckraking and pretense that approximates that activity, sometimes both within the same publication. I greatly enjoyed this article on ECCC being the subject of a class-action lawsuit for two transitional years between local ownership and Reed's ownership, a group that utilizes event staffing and non-volunteer workers. It's interesting just right on the face of it. You should read the whole thing.

A few things that jumped out at me. I think a lot of organizations with solid non-profit status and a very specific approach to throwing a festival won't be hit with this kind of thing. I think the "volunteers being treated as employees, in that they do essential tasks that employees do" is important reminds me of the projected standard that drove Marvel into settlement with the Kirby Family. No matter where there legal precedents take us, I think there may be a cultural shift where pay is expected for this and a lot of similar tasks, which might be a wonderful thing to happen in comics.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Covers In That Carl Burgos Article Are Wonderful

image
I recommended the article yesterday, but you can really just look at the pictures
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco on various Secret Wars tie-ins.

* I would have hated this toy promotion as an 11-year-old that took his superheroes seriously. As a 47-year-old, I very much don't care. A slightly more interesting question might be how I would have processed a Fred Hembeck variant on "Days Of Future Past" or whatever. Fred Hembeck would have done like 3045 variant covers if they had been a thing a generation earlier.

* not comics: what a great-looking poster. Fine movie, too.

* Kelly Sue DeConnick is right: calling superhero movies "comic-book movies" does unfair things to the ultimately wider readership who don't put the superhero genre front and center. I'm not sure why this persists: I can't remember another expressive medium being so defined by a single genre within it that people had problems with the basic terminology. The Times has had a very not-like-the-Times up and down history with the way it has covered comics.

* Mike Sterling writes about great comics stories told in a single comic-book issue.

* there aren't a lot of real differences between the ways that fans from one generation or another process popular art, but one way may be the idea that the generally reader-approved version of the character is the right one against which other versions are judged. When I was a kid there were times when I didn't like how a character was treated, but I just kind of didn't like it, I didn't have that sense of ownership over the characters and their portrayals on the page. That's really interesting to me.

* finally, Michael Cavna talks to Seth about the end of The Complete Peanuts.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 19, 2016


OTBP: Cheesesteak: The West Philadelphia Years: A Rememboir

image

Bob Levin is my favorite writer about comics and one of the great ones. He wrote the best book with comics as a major subject.

This is him in a more personal vein, and is really off the beaten path, being self-published. I don't even have a sharp scan of the cover!

I hope if you're a Levin fan you'll give it a try.
 
posted 9:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Still The Oddest Book I've Read In Last 24 Months

image

I enjoyed it, even, it was a pleasurable read, but I'm still imagining the person interested enough in Moses to read this comic but not interested enough to read the Caro biography. I mean, I suppose the "casual interest in Robert Moses" people exist, and that the Venn diagram with that crowd and comics readers yields a healthy overlap, I just have a hard time endorsing that obvious reality from the gut. Admittedly, it's not like a snapshot of the perceived audience has to be on any creator's mind. I do love me a measured, handsome comics biography, no matter what's come before. You should maybe buy one.
 
posted 9:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Leaving Denver

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: The World's Least Popular Comics Show

Here's an article on Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Exhibition, held in Tehran with almost comically transparent political faction encouragement.

Cartoon competitions of the non-distressing political view variety are kind of like the regional karate tournaments of the international cartooning community. They're apparently a very big deal for some people, but may not register at all for the bulk of people who are practitioners or devoted fans of the cartoon forms. They don't for me. I probably couldn't tell you a single winner of any cartoon competition of this type, ever, and I get those e-mails about a half-dozen times a year. That there's one that seems to come out of a place of support for holocaust denial strikes me as weird as a 9/11 conspiracy cartoon contest at SPX would. Labor doesn't lie, though; this is a thing.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Killer Bees

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Edward Gicheri Gitau, RIP

image
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Pascal The Rascal

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Maria Torres

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics Characters Drive Creation Of Toys, Other Bullshit

Breaking news.

Apparently, characters featured in a movie will be that much more successful in generating things. These items may then be bought or given away as a premium.

Developing.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Massive Carl Burgos Centennial Post

image
 
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Group Calls For Zunar To Be Stripped Of Free Speech Award

A lengthy post at Free Malaysia Today describes a group calling for the cartoonist Zunar to be stripped of the Cartooning For Peace award he won from a Swiss Foundation earlier this Spring. This also involved filing a police report against the cartoonist for art show in conjunction with that award.

As you can tell pretty quickly, the objection makes no sense other than a purely political counter-idea: free speech as free speech, just not directed at the government or the police. To my mind, and I'm guessing the mind of the average pre-teen, deliberately circumscribed free speech on the basis of excusing powerful institutions because they're powerful is a pretty weak-sauce version of free speech.

My guess is that this is a ploy by political forces to suggest an upheaval caused by Zunar's work which may help make any sedition charge stick even though the outrage seems wholly manufactured. I certainly can't say for sure, though.
 
posted 6:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ghetto Swirl

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Poor Elke Sommer Had Ghosts

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Anne Happy: Unhappy Go Lucky! Vol. 1. Alan David Doane on Palooka-Ville #22. Paul Tumey on Gus Mager's comics.

* Simon Moreton talks about his own Plans We Made.

* what a great panel.

* not comics: everyone means well, but there's really nothing less hopeful and optimistic than the idea of hope and optimism as branding tools.

* speaking of which, I love this Gil Kane two-page spread. It's amazing to me that so many artists in the commercial art field that comics was at the time would do these knockout pages, almost semi-frequently, as if the time spent on a single page would somehow pay off later on.

* Mr. Lynch would prefer you not call Mr. Schulz "Sparky."

* John Reiner talks to Mort Drucker. Someone at Techsmart talks to the great Joe Daly. Dror profiles Siné.

* finally, I want to see the fight before this picture where Speedy shoots that huge guy up and down his shoulders and arms.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 18, 2016


Go, Look: Sean Karemaker

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Seth On James Simpkins At The DWAs

image

The cartoonist Seth is also one of our best writers-about-comics, if somewhat secretly. His profiles and tributes are astute and elegant. Here he is on James Simpkins.

The occasion for this one was Simpkins' induction into the Giants Of The North Hall Of Fame administered by the Doug Wright Awards. That speech was last weekend, and for it Seth borrowed heavily from his 2004 obituary he wrote for the National Post.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Chris Gooch

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Lengthy Profile Of Rick Friday

Here. Includes video. Friday was the cartoonist fired from Farm News after an advertiser complained about a cartoon tweaking the humongous and disproportional profits that defines the agricultural sector -- and so many others -- these days. This is the longest account I've seen, ropes in the editor directly supervising Friday, and lets us know that Monsanto wasn't offended.

I hope Friday ends up back at Farm News, having proven to its readers his baseline integrity when it comes to addressing topics that might need his voice on their side. It sounds like there may be a path for him to do so.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Dog Walk

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Paul Karasik's Rejected Donald Trump Cartoons

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

*****

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.

*****

FEB161503 HIGHBONE THEATER HC $34.99
I can't stop reading this book, the latest bit of madness from the great Joe Daly. I think it's about twenty-something aimlessness, guy culture and the way 9/11 haunted every damn thing in the world for a few years, but I'm not sure. He has a Chester Brown meets Basil Wolverton feel to his artwork, where I would have fun looking at anything he draws and am particularly pleased by his grotesques.

imageFEB160424 APOCRYPHA NOW HC $19.99
This is Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler's follow-up to their previous tag team against God and propriety. I have not read a page, although I'm sort of dying to.

JAN160179 WALT KELLYS FABLES AND FUNNIES HC $49.99
Yeah, sure, Walt Kelly. I like looking at it, you like looking at it, and we all recognize the beauty of the visuals when they're show to us. Kelly's second-rung work by virtue of having done all-timer Pogo is going to be better than the primary expression of many a cartoonist. That price point is impressive, but I'd definitely look this over in a store.

JAN160134 BPRD HELL ON EARTH TP VOL 13 END OF DAYS $19.99
JAN160160 ITTY BITTY HELLBOY SEARCH FOR THE WERE JAGUAR TP $12.99
My brother and I go back and forth on how to collect Hellboy, and I have to admit that maybe we made the wrong choice in going with the comic books. That trade program for these books has the same relentless quality of most folks' comics-publishing strategies, and there's much less fuss in that you don't have to remove trades from the little baggie-things.

MAR160486 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 20 $39.99
FEB160448 MICHAEL WM KALUTA COMP SKETCHBOOKS HC $49.99
This pair fell together by accident, but they're two things I like a lot that I haven't had a specific compulsion to buy the last decade or so. I'm in the minority on the necessity of having Gould's work, although I enjoy what I read very much. I have a ton of fantasy art books almost on a purely nostalgic track, and while this might be that I think it might satisfy the same itch. I don't have a lot of sketchbooks proper, though.

FEB120395 WALLY WOOD GALAXY ART AND BEYOND HC $29.99
FEB161494 WALLACE WOOD PRESENTS SHATTUCK HC $24.99
Wally Wood is the patron saint of comics suffering. I'm familiar with the work in the Galaxy book and enjoy it very much; I'm not familiar at all with the Shattuck work but I have that book on my desk and have been enjoying it during reboots and computer delays. Some days I think our compulsion to reprint will be the strangest thing about the first forty years of this rebirth for comics, the 1985-2025 period. But damn, do I enjoy it.

FEB160687 LAZARUS HC VOL 02 (MR) $39.99
MAR161471 BOYS CLUB GN (MR) $19.99
Two more things I enjoy from very different perspectives are the very TV-show like action adventure Lazarus and Matt Furie's stoner comics. The world that Greg Rucka and Michael Lark have created in Lazarus is basically Occupy Nightmare Scenario #15, but they've found a nice balance between fun political tweaking and lean-and-mean TV-style don't think about it fight and intrigue comics.

MAR161406 CLUB LIFE IN MOOMINVALLEY GN $9.95
FEB161665 PEPLUM GN $24.95
Okay, that's enough of that. I got nothing. The big connection is that I desperately want both of these. Everything Moomin must be mind, and that's one of the great Blutch works. New York Review Books has been quietly killing it in its first several initial months. I do wonder after the ceiling of some of these projects sales-wise, but it's not like I'll be loudly complaining.

MAR160570 INVINCIBLE #128 $2.99
NOV150826 KARNAK #4 $3.99
JAN160133 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #141 $3.50
MAR160085 USAGI YOJIMBO #154 $3.99
A strong week in stand-alones brings with it a relatively light week of comic books, although your tastes may vary in a way that this is the grandest week of the year in this format. I still read Robert Kirkman's superhero story although it's lost some narrative propulsion for me. I can't put my finger on how or why, though. Karnak is writer Warren Ellis' nasty little joke on multiple decades of comic book kung fu masters and the physical devastation they bring; I believe this is a second issue for the artist Roland Boschi, who should be settling in. There aren't a lot of comics that can function within that particular style, but this is one of them. There's another Mignola-verse work, while Stan Sakai continues his proud march into every cartoonists' Hall of Fame there is. I've read every issue.

MAR161304 20 X 20 TWENTY YEARS OF CONUNDRUM PRESS GN $20.00
All hail Andy Brown: a quiet, dignified publishing neighbor in a country best known for being a nation of quiet, dignified neighbors. I like the concept here, which is turning each year to a creator published in that year. Conundrum's journey from a personal project, to a 'zine culture driven house to its full embrace of graphic novels. Nice Jillian Tamaki cover. Lots of photos.

*****

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.

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Revenger + The Fog #2

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Conrad Roset Mini-Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Astro City #33. John Seven on Incomplete Works.

* not comics: this Kelley L. Carter profile of Marvel films producer Nate Moore is interesting for itself but also for the reminder that the men and women shaping those industries with a direct effect on comics have backgrounds and stories that are useful to know.

* Bully sums up the year 2016.

* some of my Facebook friends and I discussed Dave Sim and Cerebus yesterday, on the occasion of the cartoonist's 60th birthday. Charles Brownstein's reading is super-interesting, I think. Here's an essay holding forth in hugely positive fashion, with some caveats. I'd disagree strongly with some of the assertions made there.

* not comics: I know lots of people read articles like this movie analysis of interest in a Harley Quinn film -- I read this one! -- but the last two things in the world of interest to me is Marvel vs. DC on film and the idea of something that should be just something we do (in this case, have films with female protagonists) be justified by projecting the financials.

* finally: interested teens, kids and parents of same should note Gene Yang is doing workshops during his June visit to Columbus, Ohio.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 17, 2016


Go, Look: Xulia Vicente

image
 
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
DC Announces New Retro Logo That Apparently Sprung To Life Through Corporate Willpower

Here.

It's not the kind of news I usually cover, but there's something darkly humorous about a press release that makes sure to include every letter of someone's 11-word job title but fails to supply the two words that might indicates the logo's creator. It's funny if this is elided; it's funny if there is no creator.

A bit less funny is that more executives (and their titles) are happy to be directly included in the new-logo PR than step up in the harassment policy press notice.

All that said, I'll miss the peel-back logo jokes.
 
posted 12:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Those Other Nurses

image
 
posted 12:50 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Youth In Decline Announces Wax Paper From F. Choo For Publication In Spring 2017

image

Ryan Sands from Youth In Decline announced earlier this week his boutique publishing will be releasing a full-length graphic novel called Wax Paper, a coming of age work from illustrator and cartoonist F. Choo. The book involves the games and inner lives of two young girls as they enter their teen years.

The Melbourne-based Choo's other major credits include Red Herring, illustration on the book The Well and work in the sixth issue of Island.

Sands also announced two books are off to the printer: RAV 2nd Collection from Mickey Zacchilli and a hardcover collecting the Thickness anthology. They should be out this Fall.

image
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Bruce Canwell's Favorite Things

image
part one, part two
 
posted 1:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Koyamori Shop

image
 
posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Right-Wing Media Critique Of NRA Cartoon Could Have Used Waiting Period

In today's world where plot developments on TV shows are perceived as news stories, it shouldn't surprise anyone that a strong editorial cartoon being severely critical about something that other people believe in has the chance of becoming a news story. "I don't agree with what this person said" wouldn't have gotten you past the letters section of my dad's paper, but those were simpler times. "I don't like the way you say it" might not have printed at all in lieu of a personal phone call.

I am amused that the story as linked to here has to come with not one but two qualifications, with the truth as yet unknown. "Man with job disagrees with us; potentially distasteful in doing so" isn't the media assault a new cartoon endorsed by a newspaper in the same city as a convention could have been. "Man uses rerun to make point known" is hardly any better. I can be a terrible newsperson, and make mistakes every day, but the idea that someone working in this particular area of news went off half-cocked and angry for no particular reason to lousy result did garner my attention. Some days it seems that journalism as theater may be the only journalism left.
 
posted 1:37 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Lisa Hanawalt On CBC Radio

image
 
posted 1:36 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Harry Katz

image

The comics-interested podcast Virtual Memories scores a guest that crosses over between its comics and general culture aims: Harry Katz. Among the comics-related subjects discussed are Jules Feiffer, Herblock and David Levine. That's a deep pull, but it paid off.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: My Girl

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Our Gang #4

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul Montgomery talks to Jeff Parker. This Julia Wright profile of Kate Beaton is a lot of fun. Angela Boyle talks to Noah Van Sciver and Tillie Walden.

* bindles are always funny.

* Mike Sterling has solid advice for those readers that like a cartoonist or two that won't produce in a way they can be easily followed.

* missed it: congratulations to the very well-liked Dan Evans on his promotion at DC Comics. I'm always a bit confused by how necessary it seems in general for these companies to have so much salary-wise and energy-wise tied up in management, but there's a reason I don't get to run giant publishing companies, and I certainly don't wonder that in terms of all the hard-working, great folks that have many of those gigs.

* finally, we have way better headlines now than we did when I was a kid.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 16, 2016


Go, Look: Darwyn Cooke As A Tumblr Search Term

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2016 Doug Wright Award Winners

image

Michael DeForge, Dakota McFadzean and Patrick Kyle all won at the 2016 Doug Wright Awards, held Saturday evening in Toronto in conjunction with Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). It's a repeat win for Deforge; McFadzean and Kyle picked up their first Doug Wright awards.

The DWAs honor the best in Canadian cartooning, and are a standard Saturday night event at the Festival.

James Simpkins, the late creator of Jasper the bear and a prolific gag-panel cartoonist, was inducted into the Giants Of The North Hall Of Fame. The awards program cited Jasper, the length of Simpkins' career and the cartoonist's success with a licensing program built around Jasper. The cartoonist's daughter accepted the award.

The DWAs are named after Doug Wright, the Canadian cartoonist behind Doug Wright's Family. He died back in 1983. The program bearing his name was formed in 2004.

My understanding is that North Carolina resident and great fan of all things Canadian Dustin Harbin was a last-minute hosting addition, and performed more than ably with Betty Liang running the show on the ground.

Alvin Buenaventura and Darwyn Cooke were remembered.

Winners in bold:

*****

BEST BOOK

* Dressing, Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
* Melody, Sylvie Rancourt (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Palookaville #22, Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Step Aside, Pops!, Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Stroppy, Marc Bell (Drawn & Quarterly)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

DOUG WRIGHT SPOTLIGHT AWARD ("THE NIPPER")

* Ted Gudlat for Funny Ha-Has (Roads Publishing)
* Dakota McFadzean for Don't Get Eaten By Anything (Conundrum Press)
* Rebecca Roher for Mom Body (The Nib)
* Sabrina Scott for Witchbody (Self-Published)
* Kat Verhoeven for Towerkind (Conundrum Press)

*****

PIGSKIN PETERS AWARD

* Leather Vest by Michael Comeau
* New Comics #6-7 by Patrick Kyle
* Intelligent Sentient? by Luke Ramsey (Drawn & Quarterly)
* We Are Going To Bremen To Be Musicians by Tin Can Forest and Geoff Berner
* Agalma by Stanley Wany (Éditions Trip)

*****

Jury statements have been made available here.

*****
*****
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Buy: Digital Copies Of Darwyn Cooke's Entire Parker Series For Just About Twenty Bucks

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tucker Stone Talking To Darwyn Cooke (2010)

image

Before settling in at Nobrow and even before he was for a time a part-owner of a comics shop, Tucker Stone was primarily to comics readers a writer about comics. He did an 18,000-word interview with the late Darwyn Cooke for Comics Alliance that he's reprinted on his own site. It's quite good, and the contextual presentation had me nodding the whole time I read it.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Thor Pin-Up Cover Sampler

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: A Few Far-Away Notes About TCAF 2016

I didn't make it to TCAF this year. I was medically cleared to travel too late for me to find a ticket that worked, and six hours there and back in a rental car sounded tougher than I wanted to risk. TCAF is an important show now, as important as any show in the world, and certainly in North America. I spent a lot of the weekend at home talking to people who are at TCAF. Here are a few impressions I got through their eyes.
* it was an extremely good show for most people, including everyone to whom I directly spoke. The crowds looked incredible.

image* the placement in the Toronto Reference Library was changed around a bit to reflect concerns about overcrowding, particularly in that front of the library area. There were some people worried about traffic on the second and third floor, but as was the case in many of the spaces brought into the fold in previous years, most of those fears were allayed by about halfway through the first day.

* some attendees felt the absence of some former regulars. They all had different regulars they missed, though, just certain people they see every year who help define TCAF for them. Anecdotally this seemed due in part to a request by the show to walk back exhibition plans if you didn't have something brand new to have on hand, or if you'd gone several years in a row. It didn't ruin the show for anyone to whom I spoke. TCAF has done an excellent job of keeping the show at the forefront of the show's attractiveness.

* maybe it's just another generation aging into their thirties and in many cases no longer being at the financial level they're doing math in their heads every time they're asked to lunch, but more than half of the people to whom I spoke mentioned how much they're beginning to enjoy Toronto as a city to visit: the restaurants, the bars, the places to see. My hunch from one e-mailer's statements is that this may be due in part to people staying in different places throughout the city rather than in a convention hotel.

* a few US folks mentioned how much they enjoyed the exchange rate, which was approximately $.75 US to $1 CDN.

* people quite liked the Masonic Temple space, although I'm told it was a bit slow coming to life traffic-wise that first day. Personally, I feel like they needed a space like that and now that they have it they're unstoppable. Another thing I heard is that there were a couple of really good panel spaces, and I'm not sure exactly what the person who told me that meant by saying so. I think they may have utilized the library auditorium space upstairs? At any rate, the panels looked well-attended from what I saw from strangers' tweets.

* one friend suggested that TCAF has done a really good job of finding young cartoonists out of the flow of standard comics culture and giving them a place to meet what in many cases are sizable audience far ahead of what someone might think who only read more traditional sites like this one.

* more than a few people suggested that there is some general ennui concerning shows right now, just the broad idea of how shows, cons and festivals should fit into a cartoonist's life and how many an artist might do in a year. No one suggested skipping TCAF, but one cartoonist said that cutbacks to 1/2 to 1/3 as many shows in a calendar year is on the table for a lot of folks.

* finally, I'm told our pal Dustin Harbin was dragged into hosting the DWAs last minute due to a family illness suffered by the planned-for host, and that he killed.
So at least from my loose squad of Global Frequency-style random agents, it sounds like it was a great show. Congratulations to Chris Butcher, Peter Birkemoe and all of the staffers there, all of the volunteers, all of their pros. One of the most exciting things about TCAF being over for another year is all the work that debuted there will now trickle into the North American marketplace.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The ClairFree System

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Run, Joker, Run: Batman's Done Got A Gun

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: On The Perfection Of Mini-Comics

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there's a custom hardbound Darwyn Cooke volume of some sort on sale here; the seller will turn the money made over to the Hero Initiative in the name of the late cartoonist.

image* Alexander Jones on Black Panther #2 and the chances it captures the imagination of a certain kind of comics fan more generally. It should be interesting how that series does sales-wise as it progresses. Beth on Classic Comic Postcards. Rob McMonigal on Satellite Falling #1. Paul Gravett on Asian Comics.

* Farel Dalrymple draws characters created by Brandon Graham.

* here's why Philip Pullman loves comics.

* Chris Arrant talks to Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp about their forthcoming work on Wonder Woman. That headline sounds like a exploitation-era movie poster tagline. Angela Boyle profiles Tillie Walden.

* hey, it's Alan Moore's Unearthing.

* the writer Chris Sims breaks down the Batman Family into its prime components. That's an interesting historical note that Grant Morrison saw Batman's sometimes huge-seeming network of pals and allies as a primary element of the character. Also, yes, that Gordon vs. Flass scene is an all-timer.

* never knew about this underbelly plotline in Marvel's Civil War series from several years back. It's pretty silly.

* election years are the worst. I don't even know what the hell is going on with the First Lady's penis there.

* finally: I'm not sure exactly why I bookmarked Erik Larsen's occasional comics-teaching posts on Facebook, but here you go.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 15, 2016


CR Sunday Interview Classic: Darwyn Cooke, 2009

image

*****

The following interview with the late cartoonist and artist Darwyn Cooke, his one-time collaborator Ed Brubaker and editor Scott Dunbier right before the launch of the Parker was one of the best-received interviews this site has ever run. It is run top of blog for a limited time in his memory. -- Tom Spurgeon, May 2016.

*****

imageDarwyn Cooke's adaptation of Richard Stark's The Hunter appears right this very second for order in the current Diamond Previews. It's published by IDW, and its ordering number for the Direct Market is MAY090880. I'm saying this right up front because I think people will want to have this one and I hope the DM will be a big part of that. The first of up to four possible books in a short series, The Hunter is one of the more interesting comics projects to come along in quite some time: a major visual talent in the prime of his career tackling a run of near perfectly-realized prose works. Writing as Richard Stark, the late Donald Westlake created in the Parker series a much-copied icon of pulp in its same, single-name protagonist as well as bringing to crime fiction a way of writing and a sensibility in terms of subject matter years ahead of its time. By making his focus presenting the work through a new medium rather than forcing his own authorial voice onto the page, Cooke allows us to see a modern classic with new eyes. I have the first 50 pages of the adaptation, and I've read them seven times in seven days. The Hunter is lovely, literate, accessible comics and I hope Cooke sells a million copies.

I talked with Darwyn Cooke on Monday, May 4. We were joined by his editor on the Parker adaptation series, Scott Dunbier, and another Westlake fan: comics crime writer and former Cooke collaborator Ed Brubaker. Brubaker and Cooke have a nice rapport, and it was fun to hear the one-time Catwoman team banter back and forth. I'm glad the conversation at one point slipped into a discussion of Brubaker's collaboration with Sean Phillips, Criminal. I think Criminal is a great serial comic and I wish it had greater traction in an increasingly precarious marketplace for such book. I look forward to its return from its current hiatus as much as I look forward to having Darwyn Cooke's original graphic novel in my hands this summer. I had a really good time talking to these guys, and I hope that shows in what follows. I also hope that it will lead to some of you remembering this interview and taking a look at the project when it comes out. For that matter, just about every film, book and comic mentioned in the following discussion is worth your consideration. Start with The Hunter. -- Tom Spurgeon

*****

TOM SPURGEON: Darwyn, can you talk about the nature of your collaboration with Mr. Westlake? How did you initiate the back and forth?

DARWYN COOKE: The whole thing got started because I had had this in mind for a few years. Scott [Dunbier] and Ted [Adams] and IDW put it together with the agents on a formal level. I asked if it would be okay to contact Donald through e-mail about the project. And he was really forthcoming through the e-mail. I tried to be polite and not to badger him [Brubaker laughs] and ask a bunch of stupid questions. I tried really hard to think about how I would feel about a fan of mine working with me, how I'd want him to behave himself. [laughter] I just started sending him e-mails when it was important in my developing the project to get some insight from him. He was always affable and forthcoming. He's a lot more like the Westlake that writes the Dortmunder books than he is the Stark that writes the Parker books. He was a funny man.

SPURGEON: Was there a burning issue for you, something you were really curious about getting from him?

COOKE: You take a character like Parker, which has been sort of clearly but sketchily defined in Stark's books -- a lot of our visual impression of the character comes from film. Lee Marvin played the character in Point Blank. Mel Gibson played him in Payback. Jim Brown played him in The Split.

ED BRUBAKER: There was a French woman who played him in a movie.

COOKE: I was just going to say: some chick played him in a Godard movie.

BRUBAKER: I recently got a copy of The Outfit, where Robert Duvall played him.

COOKE: That's right. And Joe Don Baker plays Handy McKay.

BRUBAKER: Yeah.

COOKE: Westlake's often said the character kind of lacks definition [laughs] because anybody can really play him. One of the things I was intensely curious about was his visual impression of Parker. Because for me, it's Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin is what I saw in my head going into this. I wanted to sort of get that out of my head. That was the one thing he was kind of reluctant to get into. It was really neat. Because he said, "I don't want to color your impression."

SPURGEON: Didn't he at one point say that he saw Jack Palance?

COOKE: That's what he finally gave up to me. [Brubaker laughs] Young Palance, in that...

BRUBAKER: That crime movie where he's the bad guy.

COOKE: Panic in the Streets.

BRUBAKER: Yeah.

COOKE: He's got like a virus or something.

BRUBAKER: He's huge in that.

SPURGEON: Young Jack Palance was terrifying.

COOKE: You read that first chapter of The Hunter, and there are great lines like, "His hands looked like they were made by a sculptor who worked in wood, and thought big." [laughter] You get this wonderful impression of his physicality, but I couldn't see a face. Once he mentioned Palance, I moved towards that considerably. For me, it was really important going into this adaptation that there was a shot of putting his vision of the character forward. As opposed to say, a Hollywood vision of it. Or an auteur's vision. I really wanted to capture what he thought was there.

It was interesting, Ed, because he said when he writes, he never pictures his characters as real people.

BRUBAKER: Really?

COOKE: He said, "Every character I've ever written is an imaginary character in my head, except for Parker." [Brubaker laughs] "He's the only one I thought of as somebody, as Jack Palance, everybody else is a complete fiction in my head."

BRUBAKER: Wow.

imageSPURGEON: Was the sheer number of adaptations something that hung over your collaboration? It seems like he'd be used to seeing people work with his characters, but at the same time that might not have always gone smoothly.

COOKE: I asked him about that in one of my e-mails. I thought his response showed a certain amount of wisdom and experience. He said that it was a lot more frustrating when he was younger, but that he's sort of come to appreciate all of the films for one thing or the other. He said his two favorites happened to be The Outfit, with Robert Duvall, and Point Blank, for completely opposite reasons. "Point Blank is this total, way-out fantasy [laughter] based on one of my books. I love it as a film, but it's the least faithful adaptation. I love The Outfit for the opposite reason. It's the most faithful and sort of taciturn of all of them."

BRUBAKER: It really does feel like the book.

COOKE: The word I've been using to describe it is Buffalo. Like Buffalo, New York. [Brubaker laughs] Even though it takes place in New York, it feels like Buffalo. [laughter] It's the city I imagine Criminal takes place in.

BRUBAKER: Yeah, Buffalo fits. Buffalo is like the Tijuana of America.

SPURGEON: Is it a stamp of approval from Westlake that you get to call the character "Parker"? I noticed that the character is always called something different in the movie adaptations.

COOKE: There are a couple of rumors as to why it's that way. The story that's out there, I guess, is that he would never allow them to use the name unless they'd commit to a series of films.

BRUBAKER: I had heard that Warner Brothers had bought the rights to The Man With The Getaway Face and then they never made it.

COOKE: That's another story. They bought the rights to Getaway Face and the name Parker, way back like in '65 or '66. They never made it, but they retained the rights to the name.

BRUBAKER: I had a meeting a few years ago with Joel Silver's office and they were working on Comeback or Backflash, one of the recent ones. They had Scott Smith writing it. They were actually going to use the name "Parker," they claimed, but then they never made it.

COOKE: There was no question that he was happy to have the name on the graphic novel, and what we're doing here.

SPURGEON: Was any of your back and forth on comics terms?

COOKE: Almost zero. We made sure he got a healthy dose of my work. And some of Ed's, too -- the Catwoman stuff is part of what we sent him. So he had a chance to look at all of that. But you have to keep in mind, he was a man in his 70s. I feel like this punk, right? [laughter] And I didn't want to badger him, or take the conversation anywhere he didn't want to go. I always kept it to story and character, those kinds of things.

imageSPURGEON: Ed, I remember you once saying that you discovered a bunch of crime and pulp writers at once. Was Donald Westlake one of those authors?

BRUBAKER: The Point Blank movie I'd seen when I was young. HBO or Showtime showed it one month. That really blew me away. I had no idea what it was. And I think I read one of the Parker novels when I was a teenager. But it wasn't until Darwyn and I were working on Catwoman, actually. Darwyn had a friend who just stumbled into a bunch of these books; he was reading the Parker books again. We were talking about it. I went out and started picking them up at used bookstores and really getting into them. I had read some of Westlake stuff. I'd read some of the Dortmunders, and The Axe and The Hook.

The Parker books were a huge revelation to me. My desk, I have a bookshelf next to my desk. It has a bunch of writing reference and crime reference books on it, and it has all the Parker novels. [laughs] Westlake's Stark stuff and Ross MacDonald are pretty much the big influences on me as a writer, I think. I'm constantly re-reading those books. They're so much fun to read.

Just this morning I read the first 85 or so pages of Darwyn's book. It was really interesting because I know The Hunter so well to see things that I'd forgotten from it, or things that were emphasized in certain way because of the adaptation, that I hadn't actually thought about that way. To see the poetry of his prose. He was the first guy to really write that way, to write about criminals in this matter-of-fact kind of way. Parker is definitely not a good guy, but at the same time you constantly root for him. [laughs]

COOKE: It wasn't news, but he wrote me the one time that the whole point of the series was an exercise at the beginning to see if he could write a character who's completely internal. Where all the emotional content is internalized to the point where the only indication you get of how they might be feeling is how they act physically. I guess the book 361, which has the Westlake name on it, not the Stark name, is the first book where he first experimented with that approach. And then he rolled right into The Hunter. I'd say by the time you get to The Outfit, the third book in the series, he's caught lightning in a bottle.

SPURGEON: What is it like to portray that style visually? In Point Blank, director John Boorman seemed to see the book's lean prose as a blank slate that allowed him to interpret some of the scenes in wildly evocative ways. What was your decision-making like?

COOKE: Part of what you consider right off the top is that it has been adapted already, and these approaches have been taken, and they're there for you to see. While I think especially the director's cut of Payback has some merit, and I think that Point Blank is a bonafide classic, neither one of them really represent Parker faithfully as a character. In each case they could not help but add a layer of sentiment to his relationships that does not exist in the books. The hardest part of the work was staying true to that Buffalo mentality that just permeates the man's work. It's like Bob Burden. I don't know, man. [laughter] It takes place in this nothing hellscape.

The movies... they made brilliant visual choices, but they all run counter to the nature of the stories. Like in Point Blank, we have Big Al Stegman's car lot, and it's this awesome looking place with corvettes and great graphics. It's wonderful in the film. In the book, it's a shitty little shack in between two houses with a couple of dirty cabs parked in front of it. I had to resist all the story training I got at Warner's, which is to amp it up, to stage it bigger, to make more of everything. In this case, to keep it down where it was. Every time I sort of started to sympathize with Parker, or wanted to edit his behavior to make him more sympathetic, I would just stop working for a day, and then go back and do whatever heartless little scene I had to do. [laughter]

There's a scene in the book, oh my God, where he take his wife's corpse, she'd OD'ed, and he carries her out into the park to dump her body. He takes out a knife and cuts her face up, because he knows if her face is cut up they won't run her picture in the paper and it won't tip the guy that she's been killed.

BRUBAKER: And doesn't he get rid of the body because he doesn't know how long he's going to have to wait and he doesn't want the body around? [laughs]

COOKE: He wants to get rid of her. He sees her corpse, he dresses her and leaves her on the bed and says, "You always were stupid." And then goes out and watches TV until it's night time and then carries her out to the park and then cuts her face. That's... my nature is I believe in the heroic ideal to a great degree. You get to a scene like that and you go, "Shit. This isn't really in me." But it's certainly in Parker, so I just had to bear down and go with it. I wanted to interpret in that regard. I went right back to what Donald had put down there and said, "No, no, let's go with this." Let's see how we can make this real as opposed to find a new reality for it.

imageSPURGEON: There's a page right before that scene, the "tree wasn't dead" page. You briefly show the shadow of his wife encroaching on him at one point: her memory. It's a very striking scene, but it's also interpretive -- because that text is fairly straightforward.

COOKE: I'm looking for a compact way in four panels to get across the fact that she haunts his sleep or his dreams. And it's funny because the prose on that page... there are maybe eight lines in the entire series of books that would give you any indication of what's going on in this guy's heart. And that's a big one.

SPURGEON: It's not sentimental, though.

COOKE: No, but it's very telling. It's fear. And fear is the last thing you associate with this guy. It's a critical moment in the book, and I wanted to make sure it got noticed, I guess. I pulled that trick.

BRUBAKER: I like that scene a lot, though. It made me pick up the book. "Was there a dream sequence?" [laughs] I love the way you did that, because I forgot that line at the end of the chapter where he was afraid of her. That's the last time he's scared of anything.

COOKE: This book is like a kiss-off to any sort of emotional burden the character has as he plunges ahead in the series. We're seeing the man at this point where he's jettisoning the last things that would make him vulnerable. So there are a few really nice moments where you get some insight into the man he was.

BRUBAKER: Did you ever ask him why he stopped doing the books in the '70s? I know he started again because of Payback; they seem to have started coming out again right around then.

COOKE: It was all through e-mail, and again I don't know how much of these are straight answers because he was a wry and funny guy, but he said "Stark just went away one day." He literally talked about him like he was another guy that showed up and then split after Butcher's Moon. He started another one, but it just never took. He said, "Yeah, the guy just sort of went away for 20 years." It was probably a combination of writing the screenplay for The Grifters and all those things jelling that brought it back.

imageSPURGEON: Darwyn, I wanted to ask you about the shift in presentational modes, right around page 45, maybe the third or fourth major extended scene in the book. You start with this lovely picture of Parker and his wife at a hotel, and from there you move into several pages of this heavy narrative that's very different than the pantomime that starts the book and the more traditional words-and-pictures comics that come right after the opening. I found it very striking. Why did you change the way you presented the story at that point?

COOKE: When you're looking at this from a storytelling standpoint, you're trying to find subtle ways to shift gears and control pacing in a way that a book or a film can't do. If there's one thing that you can bring to a book like this that's perhaps well known, it's a fresh look at certain things. You can take the time to really blow it out at the beginning and getting to know him visually. You'll notice that most of the scenes that take place in the here and now have very, very sparse narrative. They're almost all dialogue and visually driven. Narrative has been stripped down to what I considered essential character or plot stuff that you needed to have. When you go into flashback, which we happened to do twice in the book, I move into a denser narrative. It evokes that sense of someone telling you the story, it allows me to cover more ground in fewer pages, and it gives us a format that distinguishes the flashback from the real-time story, without doing big scallops around all the panels.

BRUBAKER: I loved it when you got to that. As I was reading it, I'm like, "How is he going to deal with the back-story stuff?" And then I got there and I was like, "Oh, yeah. That's great."

COOKE: A lot of the back-story stuff, too, has to do with double-dealing, and dirty tricks and what's going on in people's mind. There's no way you can replace the narrative, unless you're jamming expository dialogue into people's mouths.

BRUBAKER: I loved the Keeley's Island map page, too, I thought that was great. [image below]0

COOKE: That's fun, too. I don't know. I haven't followed a formula with how I structured it, it's just as I went along with the structure of the book, whatever felt natural at that point. I really like a pacing shift-up on a longer form project. You can have a brisk action scene, you can have a thoughtful character scene of dialogue and then you can get a dense piece of narrative that gives you a bunch of detail. And then move forward again. It helps create dynamic pacing, I guess.

BRUBAKER: I always loved in the books that most of it was from Parker's point of view, but one part of the book is from everybody's point of view, or someone else's point of view.

COOKE: This is what I love about the guy, man. In a way, from the very first book, he sort of sat down and said, "Okay, I'm going to put myself in the tightest box imaginable. These are all going to be four books long. They're all going to be six or seven chapters. One of the chapters will be from someone else's point of view. And then we'll switch it back." And then he followed that pattern. Forever.

BRUBAKER: Yeah. [laughter]

COOKE: And it never got old, it never got tired, it never stopped being fun to read. He just eliminated all that structural nonsense right off the bat so that every time he sat down he could sit and write the story. He knew how to plug it into these boxes. It reminded me that I like to work on a grid. It eliminates a certain amount of touchy-feely stuff at the beginning and allows you to dive into the story and keep it clear and linear. I thought it lined up nicely.

SPURGEON: Can you talk some about your overall structural choices? Did you make any decisions before you started working, or did you work on specific sections first? Was there anything new about the process to you?

COOKE: You can always see how you'd handle certain scenes or what certain characters might look like. The things you're dying to take a shot at. On a broader level, I guess I looked at it and I wanted it to be completely cartooned by me: down to the lettering, the color tints, even the digital corrections. I'm doing all of the work. The other thing was that I took what he said about how he approached writing the books -- the name "Stark," even -- and strip down what I do and take the polish out of it. I tried to make sure the art had a real live, off-the-floor look, to the point where the blue tint is laid right onto the boards. Nobody does that anymore. It forces you to work quickly and to do it for real. I also thought that it feels right when you're doing something about 1962 to sort of do it that way.

imageBRUBAKER: You're doing the blue with a brush?

COOKE: A watercolor ink and a brush.

SPURGEON: Whoa.

BRUBAKER: I was looking at it and thinking it looked like a scan and not an overlay. [laughs] Too cool.

COOKE: You get that brush texture to it. It's like the wash that Tim Sale does but with a tint to it.

SPURGEON: Was there anything that represented a significant learning curve for you, something that was harder for you on this project than on past ones?

COOKE: Yeah. The one thing for sure was I was trained at Bruce Timm's studio to look at a story a certain way: What can you bring to it? What can you do to plus it up? How can you make it bigger? I hesitate to say this, but it'd kind of like the Marvel Method, you know? It's like Stan [Lee]: make more out of everything. And that's been my approach all the way down the line.

Then you hit this and you're like, "No, the trick here is to make less of it." When we get to the end scene of the book, when he actually does get his money back, contrary to the film there are probably 15 different antagonists that he has to deal with on a subway platform. He does the whole thing without firing a single shot. It's a completely non-violent climax. It goes so against my instincts. My instincts are that you need a page to see him loading a thousand guns [laughter], putting them in his overcoat, ratcheting several of them and turning the subway platform into a bloodbath. Make it visually exciting enough to feel like the end of the story. I had to get past that.

SPURGEON: Was there a point when you looked at what you were doing and knew that you had made the right choice?

COOKE: One of the e-mails Donald sent me, he referred to Parker. He said, "Think of him like a carpenter. Or an electrician. He's not there to cause a fuss. He's there to do a job. He takes pride in the job he does. He doesn't want any bullshit from anybody. He just goes about his job." Looking at the character that way, that's exactly how he'd handle the thing on the subway platform. The goal is the money. He's not childish enough to have to demonstrate himself violently. I had to work my way through it and figure out why it was that way and why it's hopefully more powerful.

BRUBAKER: You mentioned that e-mail to me when we were in San Diego. You said that he also said that Parker was a contractor where every now and then he might have to kill the customer to get the job done but it's nothing personal. [laughter]

COOKE: It's funny you mention that because I went to his memorial, which was on April Fool's Day up in New York. It was at this place called The Player's Club, which is this cool theatre-club place. They had Peter Straub and Lawrence Block, they spoke at the memorial, but the highlight of the evening was Westlake's contractor [laughter] who was apparently his best friend. He had renno'ed a townhouse for Westlake in the '80s and then Westlake bought the farmhouse outside of New York and he had the guy come out to work on that. The guy ended up moving across the street. They spent their lives out there building shit all of the time. So he knows what he's talking about.

SPURGEON: This particular book is getting close to 50 years old now. Is there anything about the way the character works for people now that may have been different at that time?

COOKE: The last book came out just over a year ago, the last Parker, and he's in a world of cell phones or what have you. In The Hunter he's able to hand forge a driver's license with a ballpoint pen. And at the end of Dirty Money, he has to pay $200,000 for new set of computer-safe IDs. So I don't think the then and the now of it have ever really interfered with the character.

I know for me personally I just love, anarchist that I am, the notion of a cat who's got his own little scorecard and is out there making it on his own. He's got his dough tucked away where he needs his dough, and he quietly goes about his business. Where he's drawing the line is nowhere near where I'd draw it [laughter] but I admire the fact that this guy is out there making his own decision and moving forward in what he considers an incredibly fair fashion. [laughs]

He said in one of the e-mails that when the first half-dozen books came out, all of the fan letters he got came from either guys in prison or young black men. He said he was pretty certain that the black men were identifying with a guy who had to operate outside of society.

BRUBAKER: Every now and then I get fan mail from someone in prison, for Criminal, and I always feel a little swell of pride and a little fear. [laughter]

COOKE: You don't want to go Norman Mailer, go to jail and make an honest man out of him?

BRUBAKER: No. [laughs] I want research. I'm always afraid I'm going to ask too many questions and suddenly they're going to be in my life.

COOKE: I tell you, Ed, as long as we're talking about it, Criminal is the best book out there. It's just fantastic.

BRUBAKER: Well thanks, man.

COOKE: It's great to have a comic book I love to read.

BRUBAKER: We were talking about this at San Diego, and you told me Tracy was like your favorite comic book character. I was like, "Oh. I'll have to hit Darwyn up for a variant cover when I do Tracy again." [laughter] My brain clicked into publisher mode.

COOKE: Tracy was my favorite until I met Frank Kafka. I would love to draw the Frank Kafka daily.

BRUBAKER: He's like my Amazing Screw-On Head. Those are absolutely the hardest parts of the book to write. [laughs]

imageSPURGEON: Darwyn, are you looking forward to this part of it, the getting it out there aspects? How do you feel about The Hunter, now that it's done? How do you hope people will look at it?

COOKE: I couldn't say. I will say there was a certain amount of calculation involved in what we're doing. For me, this is my first major work outside of a major comic direct market publisher. IDW, in my head they're a book publisher. When I look at the breadth of their line, I don't categorize them the same way I do DC and Marvel. So right off the bat, that's been exciting for me.

What's been incredible is that with Scott and everybody there, there's 100 percent support. I want the book to look a certain way, in terms of the design, the outer case, the typography, paper selections... we're taking the time to go through that in a way we can't with Marvel or DC. You get one from column A and one from column B with those guys, pre-formatted stuff. Here we're able to create a product that's going to look a lot more like a book.

BRUBAKER: The book's amazing, I gotta say. I don't know if I'd say easily, but it's definitely your best work.

SPURGEON: Are you aware of how handsome the book is, Darwyn?

COOKE: I only know what I like and I gotta be honest, I'm still... I'm not completely free. [laughter] You spend a certain number of years cutting Superman's pecs so that everybody's fucking happy and it tightens you up a bit.

It's funny because for me it's like stepping back to where I wanted to go in the first place. If you look at the Slam Bradley stuff... the roots of this work are right there. They're in Big Score. Then as I get into more Justice League-oriented work everything starts tightening up and getting cleaner, draftsmanship has to be on top instead of underneath. This is a chance to get back to where I wanted to be in the first place.

BRUBAKER: I'm jealous you got to do it. The first 20 pages are pretty fucking ballsy. We don't see his face for almost 11 pages, and there's no real dialogue.

COOKE: The first chapter of that book is so well written it makes me want to puke, but it was like there's nothing visual left if you put the prose down. It's all there. It's an external description, people's reaction to the guy. So it's like, "You know what? Let's take a good chunk of space here and see if we can achieve the feeling of that chapter purely through the visuals that he's directing. Right down to the holes in his shoe.

BRUBAKER: I was going to mention that hole in the shoe when he steps into the puddle.

COOKE: He steps into the gutter, steps off the curb... I sort of sat down and mapped it all out, and then just thought, "Okay, let's try to make it real clear."

imageBRUBAKER: I love the scene where he hops the subway terminal right next to the guy and the guy is like, "What the hell?" [laughs]

COOKE: It's one of the benefits of cartooning, I guess. Just being able to sit there and go, "I was going to do it this way but you know what works? Walk-off camera, action and reaction, a little guy looking up, all of those things."

BRUBAKER: That's a place where I think your cartooning and your time in the Bruce Timm mines really paid off. I've worked with guys like you before but it's so hard for me to free up the narration. I have to force myself to use less narration in the Criminal stories just to let Sean [Phillips] have more room to show. But nobody else would have had the guts to adapt this this way. That's really amazing, I thought.

COOKE: If it was a brand new manuscript, I wouldn't have either. The book is readily available. If you've read the book and you enjoyed it, here's a take on that first chapter. Or for people that pick this up first and then the novel. But yeah, if this was something he had just typed there's no way I would have even thought, "Oh, boy..."

BRUBAKER: But if it was something you were writing yourself I could see you easily doing pages and page of silent stuff following the character, as a writer and an artist. I never had that when I was a cartoonist, but I was never that good.

SPURGEON: Darwyn, am I to understand you might do the next Parker book earlier than maybe we first thought?

COOKE: It went really well, all things considered. I've got other projects that I'm moving forward on, but as long as we don't completely crash and burn we're probably going to have book two for next summer.

BRUBAKER: Wow.

SPURGEON: Is there something you're looking forward to getting back to the next book, something new you want to try out or something you want to build upon?

COOKE: There's one really huge thing about it that's incredibly unique. In the next part of the story he has face-altering plastic surgery, so he looks like a completely different person. And that's a wonderful, kind of horrifying thing; because we've spent a book building up a character people can visualize and relate to. And then he disappears so we have to do it all over again. [laughter]

imageBRUBAKER: Are you doing the whole series?

COOKE: Not the whole series, I'll never live that long. [Brubaker laughs] We're looking at four. Originally we were thinking of doing the first four in a row. But the more I looked at it, there are books that are incredibly strong a little further down the line. We're looking at maybe using bridging material from a couple of the books so that the through-line of the story is clear. For example, right now we're discussing the notion -- and I actually want to throw this out there in case there's any outrage out there I can get it out of the way. Getaway Face is a good book, but it's not a brilliant book. It's an important book to the through-line of Parker's story. But The Outfit, the third book, is brilliant.

BRUBAKER: The Outfit is closer to a sequel to Point Blank in some ways.

COOKE: Exactly. So the plan we're discussing right now is to use the first chapter or two on Getaway Face as a prologue to The Outfit. We'd take all the stuff out of Getaway Face we need to to understand the story and where we are.

Getaway Face is great, but it basically comes down to an armored car thing.

BRUBAKER: It's not my favorite of the books.

COOKE: God bless you, Donald, I'm not trying to say anything negative, but I think he was still finding his feet there with how he was going to move forward. Because we can only do four, the idea of being able to move straight to The Outfit would be great. The other two that I really want to do are The Score, which is I think one of the best ones.

BRUBAKER: I have the pocket book edition of that, which has one of the coolest covers.

COOKE: With the field and the black truck driving towards you.

BRUBAKER: With the black truck driving towards you, yeah.

COOKE: That's a wicked cover. [laughs]

BRUBAKER: There are hundreds of these things on eBay. Butcher's Moon and Plunder Squad were so hard to find.

COOKE: Hey, just do what I did, man. I did a Wizard interview where I said, "I really need those books, but they're too expensive on eBay." I've got three copies of each now. [laughter] The final one I really want to do is Slayground.

BRUBAKER: That one is so good.

COOKE: From a premise standpoint, yeah, it's a masterpiece.

BRUBAKER: I really like the one that no one seems to like: The Sour Lemon Score. I don't know why I like that one, but it's just such a fucked-up story.

COOKE: The Grofield book?

BRUBAKER: No, that's Lemons Never Lie, which I really like a lot, too. The Sour Lemon Score is the one [where] he keeps being chased by other thieves. They hole up in a house and rape this woman and then one of the thieves gets thrown down the stairs and crippled. Super fucked-up book. It's so unlike all the other ones. He did a sequel to it where you find out what happened to this woman and these two thieves. One of them is gay and in love with his sadistic friend. His sadistic friend is now in a wheelchair and they live in New York. Parker happens to walk by on the street, and they all want to kill him because he ruined their lives. It's one of the better of the modern ones.

COOKE: He never worked out a plot.

BRUBAKER: Really? He just made it up as he went along every time?

COOKE: Guy sat down and just started typing himself a story. That's the other part that really freaks me out. Once you get into the books' construction, you go, "That's why he decided to take a wild turn." He woke up and today and said, "Where am I going with this. Let's shake it up." [laughter] It's really amazing when you stop to think about it.

SPURGEON: Ed, I wanted to ask about something from earlier. I can see Ross MacDonald in your writing. Where's Westlake in your work, do you think?

BRUBAKER: The willingness to flip the story. In the most recent Criminal book we got to the end of chapter three of a four-part story and chapter four began telling the back-story of one of the other characters.

COOKE: Is this Dead and Dying?

BRUBAKER: No. That one, too, though. That was almost Jim Thompson. But no, Bad Night, the one about the cartoonist. The guy who draws the Frank Kafka strip. That's the most recent one. Chapter three opened with the story of the bad cop who'd been setting the whole thing up. So you got tot the end of the chapter three and realized the whole story up to that point was kind of a set-up. With something like that I was very consciously riffing on the Westlake stuff and on the Richard Stark stuff.

Also: the sort of inside world of where the criminals are the main characters. I would sit and read these books when we were working on Catwoman, and all I kept thinking about was how we could make Catwoman more like this. [laughs] You know? I want to do it where she's not a good guy, where they're all actually living outside the world. In Westlake's stuff it's all about the criminals hook up, how they plot their scores. The only other people in the stories are either innocent victims or their marks.

COOKE: He was fascinated by process, I think. The notion of how you would go about and do something. To the point where explaining the trouble Parker has to go to get a car, to go to a town, where he buys the guns from the toy dealer. He'll take a chapter to walk you the mundane details of that. But there's something so compelling about it.

BRUBAKER: Then two paragraphs to have him kill 12 guys on an island. [laughter]

It's totally true. Five pages for how he gets a fake ID and a hundred dollars from a bank, and then less than a page for the killing 12 guys. Where everybody else would do it the exact opposite. I love that part of it. It really sparked something in my imagination as a writer to constantly look for heists. Whenever you're anywhere looking at the world as if you're a criminal.

I have a friend, Duane Swierczynski, who's a crime writer. He wrote an encyclopedia about bank robbery called This Here's A Stick-Up. I was in my bank branch not long ago and I realized it was one of the banks in his book. There was that Seattle bank robber in the '90s, the guy who got shot in the weird police standoff, that guy who lived in a tree house. I don't know if you remember that guy. He was a famous bank robber. He was on the FBI's most wanted list. He was robbing mostly around Seattle. I realized my bank branch where I'm at currently was his first bank robbery, where their hotwired getaway car was in the parking lot and it had died. So they ran across the street, ran across the golf course. I'm standing in the bank and I'm like, "Oh..." I wrote to Duane and I'm like, "Do you see heists wherever you go at this point? Are you always looking for a score?" He said that just kind of gets in your head as a crime writer. You just start seeing the world that way.

Westlake was such an influence on so many other writers, it's kind of like looking back at Knut Hamsun or Ernest Hemingway. So many things came from him. You go through the list of characters that are based on Parker. Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs. Robert DeNiro in Heat. The list goes on and on. Any cool thief character, you're like, "Oh, they're doing a Parker."

imageCOOKE: I think the other thing Criminal has that feels Westlakian to me... your what I'll call a protagonist [Brubaker laughs], they all have a moral center or their own personal sense of right and wrong.

BRUBAKER: They have a code.

COOKE: And the people around them are all over the fucking place. And the code isn't manageable when you're mixed up with those people, unless a hell of a lot of effort and sacrifice goes into it.

BRUBAKER: Yeah, that's true. I'm trying not to do Parker in these things. Leo was a conscious effort to invert Parker because I got so sick of everybody misunderstanding Parker and just writing these over the top, really violent crime books.

SPURGEON: Parker as played by Steven Seagal.

BRUBAKER: Exactly: a guy who would punch first. That's not who Parker is. Parker does the expedient thing. He also doesn't try to get himself arrested.

COOKE: I sent Westlake something in terms of a cover drawing and he wrote back and he said, "Too violent."

SCOTT DUNBIER: I remember that.

COOKE: That's how we ended up with a cover that's introspective, where he's sitting on the bed beside the body of his wife. What he said took me right there to that moment. Which is sort of like the meat of the matter there. That's his dead wife. There's his life, gone. It's all inside him. We ended up with something completely different because Westlake completely agreed. It was never about violence with him, unless that's what he had to do to get where he was going.

BRUBAKER: There's a scene in I think the first book from when he came back to the series. His pal Nick and his wife are working with him on one of the scores. Nick expects that Parker will leave him if it comes down to getting caught or helping him out of a firefight. He expects that Parker will walk away and that's part of their code. He doesn't expect that Parker would ever give him up. But Parker expects that Nick would give him up. [laughter] And it's understood he wouldn't go kill him because he knew he would give him up if the money were gone, too.

COOKE: There's a couple of books where you can see him spend the whole book making sure the guy he was with gets looked after. The book where McKay gets all fucked up. Is it The Outfit? Then there's the book where Grofield is all shot up, which is Butcher's Moon, I think. The back half of the book Parker puts months into making sure everything's okay. It's weird, because he makes that decision for himself whether you're worth that or not.

BRUBAKER: He's one of those guys if you've never fucked him over he's a good friend to have. But if it's possible you've fucked him over, you don't want to be in the same car as him.

COOKE: The other thing I noticed about this book The Hunter as I was putting it down: other than maybe Rod Serling's Patterns, that teleplay he did about corporate life in America, this is one of the first mainstream indictments of corporate culture, disguised as a book about the mob.

The plot of this book is guy gets a phone bill. There's a mistake on it. He phones the phone company and says, "You took this money off of me. It's a mistake. Give it back to me." And he goes up this chain. [Brubaker laughs] He keeps getting transferred to another department. There was a phase where I was looking at the book as sort of a dark comedy about corporate America.

SPURGEON: I'll never think of "Let me speak to your supervisor" the same way again. [laughter]

BRUBAKER: It's totally true.

COOKE: He asks the guy on the phone, "Are you going to pay me or not? Yes or no." And the guy says, "No." He says, "Hold on a minute." And then he shoots the other guy in the head. [laughter] "Hold on a minute."

BRUBAKER: That's really funny. That's true, though. He was sort of writing about corporate culture in America the same time that Philip K. Dick was doing it as sci-fi.

COOKE: I'm not well read enough to know who was mapping that terrain. But it's a real gem in that regard.

imageBRUBAKER: I'm not well read in that era, but I can't think of someone who put down the Outfit, this Chicago mob that was instrumental in starting Off-Track Betting. There's a book about them that's fascinating. They were not fucked with. They were the first time the mob decided to get together and run as a business instead of "We're all Italians" or "We're all Jews." It was, "We're going to be the best businessman." Westlake was the first to use that in fiction, I think.

I don't know where he would have gotten that from except being in the world back then. He must have had a few friends that knew that world. That was so realistic for how they actually operated, with a board of directors and meetings. "Hey, we're going to help JFK get elected." They had a major impact on American society and they were a crime syndicate. That was pretty amazing. I love when they bring Mal in and they give him the three options. They give him the one that leaves them the least on the hook, and they're still screwed.

COOKE: Everybody gets theirs.

BRUBAKER: I'm glad you're doing The Outfit if you end up doing it that way, because you'll get right to the meat of the blowback from the first book.

COOKE: Yeah. Any reader who decides to pick up the second one, going "I'll give it one more shot" should be hooked. [laughs]

BRUBAKER: I don't think you're going to have anything to worry on that.

SPURGEON: That's hardly the most optimistic way of looking at it, Darwyn.

COOKE: You try to keep your expectations low. In terms of the calculation, too, part of going forward in such a big way with this is that Donald's name means so much at a bookstore. The book buyers, when they see this product, because guys like Ed and I I'll bet the corresponding marketing VPs at DC and Marvel could calculate what we're going to sell within 5000 copies.

The idea is that a bookstore buyer, no matter what category it's in, they're going to see "Richard Stark" and "Parker." They know this is a brand they see re-released every five years and sell out. There's a hope that will stimulate interest on that side of it.

BRUBAKER: If it fails, we'll only have Scott to blame.

COOKE: That's actually in the foreword to the book. [laughter] "It's Dunbier's fault."

SPURGEON: Why do you think Westlake wanted a series as opposed to a stand-alone book? Was that his way to press for a better deal?

COOKE: This is guesswork, but I would assume that he felt it had merit and that he didn't want to give up the name on a one-shot.

BRUBAKER: Also the first four or five books are basically one long story.

COOKE: That's the other thing. It's really easy to adapt in a sense because there is sort of a comic-book continuity to these books. Just enough sub-plot carries through that they connect.

imageSPURGEON: Did he see any of it?

COOKE: That's the part that breaks my heart the most. I e-mailed him on the 22nd of December [2008]. I told him I had the first part of the book finished. He used e-mail and the Internet, so I could have sent him a PDF. But I thought, you know what? I'm going to send him a nice hard copy of it all set up properly. I e-mailed him and said, "Look, I just Fed-Exed the first part of the book." One of the paintings I'd done for the development I had framed. I sent it all down to him for Christmas. He e-mails me back and said, "That's great, but I'm not going to see it until January 4th. We're going to Mexico for the holidays. I can't wait to see it. I'll talk to you when I get back." Then he passed away on the trip.

He did see a lot of developmental artwork.

BRUBAKER: Scott says he had to be swayed, but seeing your artwork was immediately like, "Oh, okay."

COOKE: He never let on. [laughter]

DUNBIER: When I sent him that first e-mail, he sent me back a long e-mail on why it wouldn't work. It was very polite. I had sent him some of the preliminary drawings that Darwyn had done. I think he used the word hothead, that this Parker was a hothead. He did say obviously this guy was very talented, they're beautiful drawings, they look great. So I figured, "Okay, let's try again." I can't remember what we sent next, but whatever it was, that one was much, much more positive. He was saying, "This is really on the right track." Then you got involved and sent him your basic proposal. His next e-mail said that he was enormously encouraged. Which was great.

COOKE: I'm sure he was thinking all kinds of things in terms of what was going to be done with his work. I told him. "I don't think I'm going to have to write more than a couple of dozen sentences for each book. Your words are there. Your dialogue for me is perfect. And when I need narrative, it's there for me. So this is not going to be an attempt to interpret your words with my words as much as bringing this whole story into another medium." I think he was happy to know that the words coming out of their mouths would be.

BRUBAKER: I'm bummed that he didn't get to see any of it because I think it's amazing. I think he would have been blown away by it. I was also bummed because I had been talking to Scott early on that I wanted to talk to Darwyn and Westlake. It was going to be my excuse to talk to the guy because I was such a huge fan.

COOKE: I have to admit, the thought of doing a signing with him was something at the end of it for me.

DUNBIER: He had agreed to do a signature in a limited edition, up to a thousand I think. He was excited about the project.

BRUBAKER: I know a lot of guys in the crime-writing field now. They all grew up worshiping him, and got to meet him at a show or at a crime convention. He'd take them all under his wing. He was this nice, forthcoming guy.

SPURGEON: That's a depressing place to end it.

COOKE: That's perfect.

*****

* The Hunter, Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark, adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, hardcover, 144 pages, MAY090880 (Diamond Code), 9781600104930 (ISBN13), July 2009, $24.99

*****

* cover to The Hunter
* photo of Cooke provided by IDW
* photo of Brubaker by Whit Spurgeon
* array of visual reminders of the Parker character's film history, provided by IDW
* I think this may be a promotional or developmental image, but was in the material provided by IDW
* part of the "the tree wasn't dead" sequence
* the image that marks the shift in presentational styles, as discussed
* the Keeley's Island page discussed
* some of the preliminary imagery used to promote the project early on
* the jumping the turnstile sequence
* three of the paperback covers
* an illustrative image of the popular character, provided by IDW
* a lovely panel by Cooke bringing the reader into a scene with Outfit representatives
* photo of Westlake provided by IDW
* another panel from that first Parker book

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Beauty And Power: 100+ Stand-Alone Pieces Of Art By The Late Darwyn Cooke

Creating pretty pictures was in no way the entirety of his massive skill set, but the late Darwyn Cooke was throughout his career a wonderful maker of stop-and-stare, stand-alone images and strikingly assembled pages. Here are a few I looked at over the weekend, drawing from some but not all facets of the cartoonist's prodigious career.

*****

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

*****

if I got one of these wrong, and I usually do,

*****
*****
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Merced, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 14, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade







Darwyn Cooke Interviewed/Featured In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 7 to May 13, 2016:

1. Darwyn Cooke's family announces the artist is receiving palliative care (the popular comics-maker passes away early on May 14).

2. DC Comics releases statement about improving and expanding upon their anti-harassment policies.

3. One of the great shows of the year, TCAF gets underway with its pre-programming Friday and a week full of various satellite events.

Winner Of The Week
Cooke. He did not win the battle with cancer, but he certainly won in terms of the admiration, affection and grief expressed by friends, peers and fans.

Loser Of The Week
DC Comics. From it being disseminated on a Friday afternoon to the vague language used to its lack of a direct statement from accountable company leadership, the company's press release on harassment policy may have been most successful in raising more red flags.

Quote Of The Week
"Ed, you can either make the best comics you can or you can be a good boy for your editors." -- Darwyn Cooke to Ed Piskor, some time back

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

 
Please Consider A Donation In Darwyn Cooke's Memory

image

I received a note asking I boost the signal on the donations request made by Darwyn Cooke's family on behalf of the late cartoonist, artist and comics-maker.

* Canadian Cancer Society
* The Hero Initiative

I don't have an address for the family to receive a card from CCS donors, so I just made mine a general one. If I get an address for the Cooke family where they might receive word of your donation, I will pass it along. The Hero Initiative site seems set up for pay pal donations in a more general way, and as a comics industry charity would seem equipped to be able to separate out any Cooke-related giving.

Don't be shy about giving. Every last dollar helps these charities. There is no donation so small that it won't be appreciated or so large it won't be fully utilized. With Darwyn I'm reminded that the last martini I bought for someone cost $20.

I hope you'll consider joining me in making a gift and retweeting spokesperson David Hyde on the matter.
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Darwyn Cooke, RIP

image

From the family, at the site:
We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning at 1:30 AM ET. We read all of your messages of support to him throughout the day yesterday. He was filled with your love and surrounded by friends and family at his home in Florida.

Donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society and Hero Initiative.

Please continue to respect our privacy as we go through this very difficult time.

A longer statement will come later today.

"Then we shall not be weary. Then we shall prevail."-- John F. Kennedy's New Frontier speech
Our condolences to his wife Marsha, his family, his many friends and his legion of fans. Multiple articles to follow.
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: What We Know About Falling Apart

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 13, 2016


Go, Read: Lady Of The Shard

image
via
 
posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
DC Releases Statement On Harassment Policies

CBR has the statement and brief context here.

I fully expect the reaction from the fan and professional communities most attuned to this story will be shrugged shoulders and derisive laughter. And they're right to the extent that it's a misapplied reaction at best, an outright misfire at worst. In fact, what I read on-line isn't dissatisfaction with policy but a vote of no-confidence in the company's culture and management in enforcing whatever rules and policies exist. I don't see that really addressed here, at least without knowing what "internal and external resources" means.

There is a positive way to look at this, which is if there's an investigation into current practice there will be an outcome to that investigation. Depending on the outcome, why policies were in place so deficient they needed to be shouted into question by ex-employees and concerned fans on the Internet also needs to be addressed as its own thing. If the Eddie Berganza demotion were to have a different outcome now, whoever came up with the previous policy needs to held responsible for that policy or its implementation. When you're facing a charge against culture and attitude, you can't simply soft-reboot a workplace culture and declare the past out of continuity, particularly when it's being brought to you by the exact same creative team.

I actually urge everyone to copy DC in one sense: let's all do a general review and expand our interest in these matters, even if it's just to change our own behavior in ways that aren't just not-actionable, but that perhaps go the other way as strongly as we feel we can go. Why can't we have the most respectful, harassment-free industry? In the way that comics should really think hard about not having unpaid interns and support a general contempt for the idea of free work because of the industry's horrifying history of financial exploitation, we need to think hard about maybe not having social-time at the workplace in all of its forms and perhaps developing contempt for the idea of mixing private and professional lives to the level we do now, because of the culture's history of harassment and abuse.

Also, it's disappointing that DC leadership failed to put a name or several names into the statement itself. Someone needs to be the face of this projected new way of doing things. If not, the face of this issue remains Eddie Berganza's. I also urge all of DC's leadership that has a reporter's name in their rolodex to do interviews on this. Let's get it all out there, as much as you can do. I'd be happy to do any and all of those folks here, but I just hope someone gets to ask some questions.

One more thing: anyone at DC that let this release be put out on a Friday afternoon after a news day where one of their superstar cartoonists of the last quarter-century announced a fight with cancer should be considered for demotion. Doing it this way just screams "we're trying to avoid this/hide this." Even if there's a formulation in your head when this was the primetime best timing for this announcement, I'm sorry: that formulation is wrong. Seriously, my Mom is at least that media savvy and she's still mad about Jane Pauley leaving the Today show.
 
posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
AdHouse Books Announces Tarantula For Fall 2016

image
imagePublisher Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books announced earlier today that the Virginia-based publisher would be releasing Tarantula this Fall.

The book is by Alexis Ziritt, Fabian Rangel Jr. and Evelyn Rangel. It's a 96-page hardcover in color, for $14.95. You can find it through its ISBN at 9781935233381.

The press copy description:
"Psychedelic pulp. Satanic noir. The story of three unusual agents of order trying to bring justice to a world on the brink of chaos. The pulp of yesterday retold through the lens of modern, over-the-top, psychedelic storytelling. The team that took the indie world by storm with Space Riders sets their sights on pulpy supernatural action/adventure!"
You can get more information here.

Ziritt was born in Venezuela and currently makes his home in Florida for the past decade. Clients include Complex and Dark Horse Comics. Fabian Rangel has worked for a variety of small sell-publishers.

image
 
posted 2:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Darwyn Cooke's Solo Issue On-Line For 99 Cents

image
part of a wider sale
 
posted 2:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Darwyn Cooke Receiving Palliative Care For Cancer

image

The popular, award-winning and much-lauded cartoonist and comics artist Darwyn Cooke is receiving palliative care after an aggressive bout with cancer. That phrase usually describes care based on providing comfort and relief to the patient rather than as part of a treatment program. My thoughts and prayers are with Cooke, his wife Marsha, and all of his many friends and peers.

I am greatly fond of Cooke as a person in addition to thinking highly of his art; I hope for every best possible outcome given the circumstances, for every second of time moving forward.
 
posted 2:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Caitlin Skaalrud

image
 
posted 2:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: FCBD 2016

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2016 edition of Free Comic Book Day, held May 7 at participating shops nationwide.

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

*****

Institutional
* Event Site

Facebook
* Event Page
* Marc Arsenault

News Stories
* Bend Bulletin
* Blastr
* Brampton Guardian

* CBR
* CBS Philly
* Cleveland.com
* ComicMix

* Den Of Geek
* Detroit Free Press

* Fox21

* io9

* Kotaku

* MacArthur Advertiser

* Newscenter 1

* Press & Guide

* Rocky Mount Telegram

* SD City Times
* Sierra Vista Herald

* The All State
* The Sentinel
* Times Union

* Union-Leader

* Wabi TV

Photos
* Jason Latour

Twitter
* Event Account
* Search On Term FCBD

* Babs Tarr
* Benito Cereno
* Big Bang Comics
* Charles Soule
* CBR
* Entertainment Weekly
* Francesco Francavilla
* Kate Leth
* Marvel Entertainment
* Mike Hawthorne
* Mitch Gerads
* Scott Snyder 01
* Scott Snyder 02

Video
* Scott Johnson

*****



*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 2:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 100% Slush

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: My Skull

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Matt O'Keefe talks to Jim Zub.

* here's an old-man question: if I prefer going to the site of a comic like Octopus Pie when told to by a Twitter update, is there any way to get to the new stuff without going to the last page first and kind of clicking back?

* I totally missed this, and it's only in this column to save me the embarrassment of a full post and because on-line comics is where most people first discovered Kate Beaton, but congratulations to her on this award. She's one of the great cartoonists working right now, period.

* finally, Ashley Okwuosa profiles JAND.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Santa Cruz, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Alex Maleev Images Mini-Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Hellboy In Mexico. Paul O'Brien on All-New Wolverine #7. Johanna Draper Carlson on Science Comics: Dinosaurs, Fossils And Feathers. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Ultimate End.

* Hillary Brown talks to Simon Hanselmann. Jonah Weiland talks to Gilbert Hernandez. Leonard Sultana talks to Jackie Estrada. Someone from Varoom talks to Sarah McIntyre; the focus of that one is social media from a practical standpoint of an artist's use, and I found myself nodding my head a lot.

* I don't remember the exact reason why, but my memory as a fan is that yes, initially the Monster and Eros imprints that Fantagraphics did in the early 1990s were meant to be stand-alone projects with no hint of coming from Fantagraphics. Comics was a lot more conservative then in a way it isn't now, and thank God for the abandonment of some of those bewildering hang-ups, but I still see weirdness about people doing comics with sex in them.

* finally, that is sort of weird.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 12, 2016


Go, Look: Alamo Igloo

image
 
posted 9:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Zunar's Comics Criticized By Malaysian Officials

In what may be a crowning achievement of groan-worthy moments related to comics and expression, a government official in Malaysia has gone on the record expressing regret that Zunar's comics criticize the prime minister, keeping alive the fantasy they are some sort of concerted effort to topple the government and now further indicts the cartoonist for taking the issues onto a world stage instead of keeping them within national borders.

I don't even know what to do about that last one. If you arrest and harass an artist with international reach, that arrest and harassment is going to be covered internationally. In this case, it's the treatment of the artist that's been 1000X the story over any of the straight-forward and familiar-in-tone message of that artist's work. Oppressors never see their oppression as a source for criticism. It's like blaming the buckets for a cracked pipe.
 
posted 9:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: If Jerry Can, Then Jerry Should #2

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Buzzfeed Getting Started With Comics List

Here. I never thought it was my specific mission to recruit new readers, but I know for a lot of people that read comics proselytizing on their behalf is a natural extension of their love for the medium.

imageThis one was interesting to me because it feels so, so limited to a certain kind of idiosyncratic-drama series expression. That's not a bad thing; I like those comics, too. Comics like that have a track record of pulling people into a habit of comics-shopping that's been very profitable for the industry. In the end, it just seems like one kind of comic to me and thus perhaps favors one kind of comics reader. In fact, it weren't for the Lumberjanes recommendation, you could have told me it was a list from 2009 or 1996 and I could have only argued that the specific choices made that not so.

One thing that comics has going for it is that there's so much material right now. In the US major categories can be talked about in terms of genre material like on this list, also superhero material, also newspaper strips, also arts-alternative works. Manga has an easy half-dozen recognizable types even within the relatively narrow range of what we get translated. There are dozens of hard-to-categorize efforts. I think this is wonderful.

When I was a kid, almost none of my friends had read a comic I hadn't physically placed in their hands. As an adult, most people I meet have read one comic or another, and usually have one about which they're enthusiastic. Persepolis, perhaps. Or Hark! A Vagrant. Or Death Note. I had drinks with someone in their 60s about two years ago on a wholly non-comics matter and when she asked after my day job she did a solid seven minutes on KAL's work in The Economist that could have introduced him at an awards dinner.

I only wonder if this were always so, at least on some level, or if it's a wholly modern development. Either way, it makes me happy. That doesn't mean I'm mad at anyone's list. As I mentioned, they comes out of love and enthusiasm and the way each person looks at authenticity or importance in an art form -- they are an answer to a question that has a dozen, two dozen, three dozen answers now. This is a good thing, because I was always terrible at tests.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Gil Kane Original Art Pages

image
 
posted 8:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: TCAF Has New Masonic Lodge Venue

Wow. I think TCAF just won comics art festivals for the next ten years.
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Great Action Comics #1

image
 
posted 8:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
No One Gets To Complain Most Comics Should Sell More

Read this article about a few of the Justice League comics being moved around the schedule.

It may have just caught me in a bad mood, but all of that just reads like gobbledy-gook to me, and I'm a 20-year veteran of looking at this stuff. Chris Arrant is a pretty good writer, too. I don't blame him. I'm sure the message is as clearly conveyed as is possible. It's the message that's the mess. You're talking about moving these titles around and doing relaunches with the same name with the same creators and there are two different titles running and blah blah blah kill me now blah blah blah. It's all stuff that we take for granted makes sense but in a fundamental way it just doesn't; certainly layers upon layers of it don't.

I'm under no illusion that these companies can pull away from this slow death spiral strategy of constantly revamping everything and running things right up to the last second and firing them out the door as if they have no capital on hand and are waiting to pay the gas bill with the next comic book's retail buy-in, and everything gets renumbered and has a slightly different take and when one series has a majority of the same creative team it seems like a total miracle now even though that's what everything was built on -- but man, let's be honest that it's a death spiral. All the skill the comics-makers put on display month after month can't hold back the shudder and heave of a creature devouring its own hind end.

I'm sort in awe of people that love this stuff so much they negotiate its anti-sense on a weekly basis, although I don't know if I'm impressed by their devotion or their ability to endure self-harm. Me, I'm the dope who struggles to find a few comics of this type to buy and ends up buying multiple issues because the covers are different or because I bought one from a previous relaunch that I wasn't interested in following, or they have a one-shot with the same name I can't tell if I'm supposed to have, or I can't which tell adjective of the X-Men has the artist I like looking at because she's not doing the latest issue because there are 17 issues a year now. I gave it a good shot, though.
 
posted 8:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: BT Livermore

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Connor Makes Comics

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* it's TCAF week. That's one of the Five Great Events in any calendar year, and stuffed with enough that the things you don't have time to do could be assembled into another top ten weekend. I desperately want to go, but I have an obligation here on Friday afternoon. I am cleared to travel again, but not soon enough for me to kind of force an itinerary on a Canada trip without it costing a few grand or making use of modes of travel not accessible to me. I hope everyone has a blast, and sells a lot of books. Except maybe Ollmann. If the nicely-dressed Gil Roth asks you to be on his podcast, please say yes. Everyone remind yourself that Annie Koyama is a treasure. Buy Rokudenashiko's book: no one did more for creative expression this week. The new Hanselmann is fun; many other releases are likely to be just as awesome. My apologies to anyone who wanted to yell at me in person.

* John Porcellino writes in frank fashion about clearing his 2016 convention schedule. This roaring tide of new shows -- including the one I'm a part of now -- came so suddenly that people are just now adjusting via a pushback. Not all of them are going to clear their calendars, but nearly everyone to whom I speak is cutting back and/or demanding more of the shows they're interested in doing. All the shows will need to adjust to this new reality. You can't just open up your doors and expect pros to come out anymore, and finding a package -- including money -- to make a show more attractive to certain pros is going to be a big part of the next half-decade.

* as part of putting together CXC 2016, we're partnering with a bunch of institutions for a academic conference on canon-building. Here's the information; I hope you'll maybe give it a try, if that's your world. I'll be up on stage for an early part of that getting rocks thrown at me for the TCJ Top 100.

* a related but just-as-important issue is that publishers may cut back their formal appearance and instead attend/support their professionals directly, sort of what Chris Pitzer gets at here.

* finally, here's my party crew from last year's SPX.

image
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brandon Lehmann

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Phantom Stranger #2

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Something New. Henry Chamberlain on Over The Wall #1. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. John Seven on The Ark.

* Hillary Brown talks to Brecht Evens. Frank Santoro talks to Noah Van Sciver. Joel Meadows talks to Eddie Campbell.

* please please please be Sexy Agatha Harkness.

* I'm lost trying to find a date on this, but Alison Bechdel is always interesting and of interest.

* not comics: this is adorable. Chris Schweizer makes the comics that I wanted to read when I was a kid after watching movies like Johnny Tremain and 1776.

* here's another call for papers, from an outsider's perspective a bit lighter even than most comics-related calls for papers, but I'm sure the scholarship involved is very serious and potentially enlightening just like any other academic inquiry.

* Ben Yakas visits with Al Jaffee. It's been interesting that Jaffee has taken on the grand older statesman of comics role in terms of these kinds of profiles. After Joe Kubert passed away I figured the only popular figure in comics people would talk about from that point forward would be Stan Lee.

* finally, our condolences to Colleen Doran.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 11, 2016


Go, Look: John Vestevich

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Best Of Luck To Alan Gardner During His Blogging Hiatus

image

Alan Gardner is putting The Daily Cartoonist on the hibernate setting for a little while, and describes his reasons and the admirable things he'll be doing with that time in this lengthy, photo-filled post.

The Daily Cartoonist and CR found their initial audience surge about the same time, and I remember we were covered in Editor & Publisher together at a point in time when Editor & Publisher had someone to write about stuff like that. The primary value of Gardner's site as I saw it was its primary focus on strip cartoonists and news of interest to strip artists. It wasn't the entirety of what the site covered, but it was definitely its focus. While I believe a number of people certainly enjoyed its cordial comments culture there for a while, I think it's the focus that stands out for the site as I experienced it. Because of that, I hope Gardner returns with the site or a different form of coverage and community-building, and if he doesn't, I hope he acknowledges a successor for his specific purview.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sabrina Elliott

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: FCBD 2016

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2016 edition of Free Comic Book Day, held May 7 at participating shops nationwide.

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

*****

Institutional
* Event Site

Facebook
* Event Page
* Marc Arsenault

News Stories
* Bend Bulletin
* Brampton Guardian
* CBS Philly
* Cleveland.com
* ComicMix
* Den Of Geek
* Detroit Free Press
* Fox21
* io9
* Kotaku
* MacArthur Advertiser
* Newscenter 1
* Press & Guide
* Rocky Mount Telegram
* SD City Times
* Sierra Vista Herald
* The All State
* The Sentinel
* Times Union
* Union-Leader
* Wabi TV

Twitter
* Event Account

Video
* Scott Johnson

*****



*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ann Macarayan

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

*****

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.

*****

FEB161706 ARIOL SC VOL 08 THREE DONKEYS $12.99
When I was a kid, I once heard my dad make fun of movies and TV shows that got us so worked up that the only thing we could do is ask for toys related to whatever it is we just watched. He would have approved of Ariol, whose tone and rhythm are tied more into real-world equivalents than toddler consumption triggers. I've liked every book I've read in this series.

imageMAR161587 KAIJUMAX SEASON 2 #1 $3.99
FEB161492 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #9 $3.99
MAR160021 ABE SAPIEN #33 $3.50
MAR160039 HARROW COUNTY #12 $3.99
MAR160537 ISLAND #7 $7.99
NOV150647 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #14 (MR) $3.50
MAR160829 BLACK PANTHER #2 $3.99
MAR160777 VISION #7 $3.99
MAR161388 BADGER #4 (MR) $3.99
Zander Cannon is a fun cartoonist in the midst of a fine career. His prison drama featuring giant monsters is humorous and odd, and Cannon's smart enough to know that just reinterpreting elements, giving them a second skin, isn't enough to make art that comments on real-world things. It kind of reminds me of a 1980s comic with its broad cartooning and its seeming not-give-a-fuck-about-a-movie-version plotlines. Ed Piskor's campaign for world domination continues; he may have to fight Mike Mignola, as two Dark Horse horror books are out this week. Brandon Graham's Island returns after I think a brief respite; this could be the issue after the issue that came after a short break. It feels like it's rounding into something. Southern Bastards is an Image heavy-hitter this week; I think it's back on the present-day storyline after the lengthy tale of the setting's local football coach. Black Panther and Vision are two well-liked comics by Marvel that stand out against what is for me a pretty hard to figure out soft relaunch now settling into place. I believe this Badger series has significant elements of reintroducing the character into modern times for a potential video/TV deal, or at least that's what Larry told me.

FEB161498 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 05 1959-1960 $22.99
I think I actually prefer reading these book in paperback form; those hardcovers make you suffer when you drop them on your face while reading them in bed. That's a good volume, too.

FEB161063 KING CAT COMICS AND STORIES $5.00
John Porcellino's most recent King-Cat was a good one, too, well worth the $5 price point at which it's being sold. I thought as originally distributed this was one of the five best comics I read last year.

FEB161064 LOU GN $14.95
This is Melissa Mendes' childhood saga, and I look forward to catching up with all of it in big, thirsty gulps.

MAR161559 NIGHT AIR GN $12.00
In terms of non-licensed, oddball series with massive elements of kids comics in play, I prefer Ben Sears to most of the artists working this corner of the funnybook playground.

JAN161450 STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES HC VOL 06 OUTER LIMITS $39.99
All of Steve Ditko's work is interesting to me, but I have to say that at $40 a pop I probably wouldn't be buying this early material were my connection to its publisher severed. There was something about the artists like Ditko that used the grind of the comics industry to develop a unique style, as opposed to falling in with someone else's.

JAN161569 THOREAU A SUBLIME LIFE HC $19.99
I don't know too much about this translated Thoreau bio, but I find it heartening that much attention was given to the natural world as the writer encountered it. This looks handsomely mounted by NBM>

DEC151792 PIONEERING CARTOONISTS OF COLOR SC $35.00
We've either already seen a hardcover of this or it's a little bit late, I can't tell. I don't know Tim Jackson's work well enough to call it from memory, but I'll for any attention paid to many of the great cartoonists who worked outside, adjacent or in opposition to the commercial comics possibilities of decades past.

MAR161029 WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT GN (MR) $10.00
I liked Andrea Tsurumi's comics whenever I've encountered them in the past, and her ability to switch between structural strategies should serve her well on a humor book, allowing her to match an individual comic's humor to a format that flatters it.

*****

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.

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sindre Goksøyr

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: I Foiled An Enemy Invasion

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Empress #2. Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #5. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Fistful Of Blood.

* Matt Kindt talks to Jeff Lemire. Daniel Kalder talks to Alejandro Jodorowsky -- it's not all comics, but there are some comics in there. Some nice person talks to Colleen Venable.

* this is an appreciation piece for Love & Rockets more than it is a review and Art Spiegelman actually enjoyed the significant surge in his career right at the same moment and after Los Bros made their early '80s debut. I think just standing back and looking at the achievement involved is a proper response: I'm not sure there are 10 artists over the last 50 years that have enjoyed a similarly long run near the top of the art form's output year-in and year-out.

* not comics: another facilitation of self-serving claims made by someone involved on behalf of Marvel's interconnected movie strategy. Admittedly, it's a strategy that's driving billions of dollars of box office and it's true that the third Captain America movie isn't an echo or replication of the first film's box office and impact; it's a significant build from that. They lose me at the comparison to Nashville, which isn't even a favorite movie of mine but still very much seems to exist on a different planet than all the superhero stuff; the differences are a bigger deal than any similarities, at least to me. If Nashville's continued existence depended on all the superhero movies going away, I'd throw that lever in a second.

* finally, this sounds like a fine program with which Van Jensen and David Mack are involved.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 10, 2016


Go, Look: Johnny Sampson

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Ignatz Submissions Close In Early June

image

The Beat reminds that Ignatz Awards submission end on June 7. The process on those awards is that a jury is named every year and kept secret (for the most part; I'm sure this has been breached multiple times); they get the submissions and make their choices. I'm not enough of a small-press historian to know if there's a book that famously cold-rushed a nominees slate. Most of the complaining I hear -- and there's not a ton, it's a popular awards program -- comes from the other direction, the notion that the awards reflect personal relationships or even comics-school ties.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Olivia Birdton's Science Adventure Time

image
via
 
posted 8:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Artist Rokudenashiko Found Not-Guilty On One Charge; Fined In Relation To Another

There are write-ups on yesterday's legal decision concerning the artist Rokudenashiko in a variety of places: the New York Post, Robert Boyd's blog, Tokyo Reporter.

The decision came in Tokyo District Court, judge Mihoko Tanabe presiding. The artist, legal name Megumi Igarashi, faced obscenity charges for a plaster cast of her vagina sold in an adult shop between 2013 and 2014, and the digital distribution of 3D image data to supporters of an art project.

The decision that the plaster cast work was not obscenity spoke directly to the political discussion around Rokudenashiko's work that there was an egregious double-standard regarding art that represented vaginas as opposed to those that made use of phallic imagery.

The monetary fee for the digital distribution charge was half of what the prosecutors asked for; the fact that the artist was found guilty of anything at all still seems ludicrous to me. The final fine was 400,000 yen.

Much of this struggle is detailed in the new Koyama Press book, What Is Obscenity? One hopes that the artist is able to travel in its support.
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Scraped Knee

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Longish David Harper Piece On Download Sites

Very little seems to have changed in terms of illegal download sites and comics except maybe the context. There are options that in terms of serviceability and cost seem to have become an option for a type of consumer that wants those options and doesn't mind paying for them. The numbers suggest a hydra-type situation in that the download consumers that may use legal options have been replaced or are utilizing both methods.

Harper makes a necessary distinction between sales that are lost and markets that remain cultivated, a model that more logically represents the market attitudes on display. One thing that's stayed the same is that there's an assumption that this is an issue best examined in terms of its financial losses and potential benefits, as opposed to a creator's rights issue. As a sub-culture and wider culture, we seem increasingly comfortable doing market analyses of things that may not be best processed that way.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Remembering The Pines

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* the great Tom Gauld does the formal announcement and pre-orders for his Fall 2016 book Mooncop. The Free Comic Book Day comic-book edition of this was terrific.

* this Alison Sampson imagery for Winnebago Graveyard looks swell.

* Koren Shadmi has a comic coming out all about casual sex.

* here's something I hadn't heard of, from the reprints-obsessed Dover Press: a single volume reprinting of Fires and Murmur, two fine comics from Lorenzo Mattotti and Jerry Kramsky. There are a couple of pages in Murmur I love as much as anything in comics or prose that I read in the 1990s. Mattotti 4-Ever. You can't tell when an Amazon-listed book might come out, but it probably will.

* I hope we see this new Joe Ollmann in early 2017.

* finally, Oni Press offers up a sex/how-to line of comics, called Limerence Press. Ari Yarwood will head up the line, and their first project is a three-volume reprinting of Oh Joy, Sex Toy.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Dilton Doiley Story

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Swamp Thing #4. Sean Gaffney on Emma Vol. 4. Henry Chamberlain on Batman Is Lost In A Woods. Johanna Draper Carlson on The New Deal. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Invincible Iron Man Vol. 1. Jerry Smith on Comic Book Creator #11. Greg Burgas on a bunch of different books.

* that is a heck of a diploma.

* Tobias Carroll talks to Faith Erin Hicks. Some nice person at Military History talks to Warren Bernard. That interview is fairly extensive for that kind of thing.

* and that's a great headline.

* I really like these drawings by Darryl Cunningham related to Alfred Wegener but for the life of me I can't remember why I bookmarked this page beyond liking the drawings.

* Abby Howard's comic about Portland made me laugh.

* Mark Evanier answers a question at length about any single comic book potentially motivating him to write comic books. Like a lot of people, Evanier seems like he was more enamored of the field in general than any specific work within it.

* finally: Panter, Panter, Panter.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 9, 2016


Go, Look: Walker Tate

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mario Miranda's Regional Legacy

image

I enjoyed this article by Pamela D'Mello about the state of Goa over in India using the anniversary of the late cartoonist Mario Miranda, gone now almost five years.

For one, it's fun to look at Miranda's cartoons. He did some standard magazine gag-format type things, but the real joy to be had is in the overstuffed drawings of tons of different people, which I take it are the ones that are of most use to tourism officials. The other thing that gets to me is that this is something cartoons did in the US and just don't know: this tie-in of cartoonist and locale. You get a bit of that with some people, but not the way you used to and certainly not the way it's presented here. It's something that comics does very well: snapshot appraisals of very specific permutations in tone and attitude and cultural detail. I hope that maybe it's a thing that cartoonists can do more of in the future, perhaps with the rise of the city as unique cultural center.

check out the full cartoon of the image excerpted at top, and how Miranda uses that black dress to bring the entire illustration into focus
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled Extra: NYT Starts Inside Death Row Digital/Print Series

image
more about the project here
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dave Lasky Pays Tribute To Hugo House Location

David Lasky made a short comic about writers to go on the wall of the will-be-demolished-for-condos Hugo House location in Seattle. I always like looking at David Lasky's comics. In this case I share his affection for the physical space involved. Hugo House does have a relationship with comics through 'zine-conscious cartoonists like Lasky; I certainly went to a number of events there when I lived in Seattle. It's old-man aesthetics rearing its head, but I never envision a space for comics in one of those condo+shopping spaces -- even the most crass and lightly stocked comic book shop doesn't quite fit into one of those commercial spaces like a Blimpie's might. I frequently feel that comics might have had a chance in the older building which the newer building is replacing.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: ChiChiLand

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: On Scott Adams As An Election Prognosticator

Zach Weissmueller has an article up that I expected to see before now: how Scott Adams basically called the rise of Donald Trump. I don't think this is as remarkable as Weissmueller given the Adams' theory is that Trump has a severely under-appreciated political skill: insults that suggest unexpressed truths, thus casting Trump as a truth-teller and causing untold damage to his opponents. As perhaps the most successful cartoonist of all time in relation to the degree of artistic skill brought to bear on the strip itself (depending on how you process Thurber), Adams knows his way around hidden, under-appreciated skills.

I think there are about a half-dozen factors of similar levels importance in play with the Trump candidacy, and not just political skill. I've always rejected the idea that if something happened that means it was bound to happen, which seems to be a dominant way of thinking now. A lot of things fell into place here, including the abominable slate of candidates the Republican Party put forward this time and the general clown show that the American citizenry has let its elections become. That said, it's worth noting the prediction that was made as Adams has projected a similar stomping in November, and a Trump presidency. I don't believe it's inevitable, but I do believe it's possible: 1) the candidate will lurch to the middle in front of an electorate that might be convinced the hateful flourishes were smart, funny politics, 2) both Clinton and Sanders seem to be weak candidates ahead of their projected utility as high-office holders when a disciplined, perhaps more broadly appealing one would be preferable, and 3) Trump can be convincing on the general notion that the American economy has escaped overseas.

In other words, I hope Adams is very, very wrong. The fact he could be on the right side of things is scary enough to demand all of our attention in every serious way you can imagine.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Book Of The Dead

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Mike Mignola: The 2016 Spectrum Award Grand Master Honoree

image

The artist Mike Mignola was named the Grand Master Honoree at this year's Spectrum Awards, an awards program of two decades-plus standing that focuses on fantasy, horror and science-fiction art. I honestly can't read the lettering on the site, but I think it says the awards were presented to the public last Saturday night.

I just read Mike Mignola's comic, and it struck me that it was as interesting and fun as the work that he was doing back when the awards first started, so anyone that wants to honor him is okay by me, at least in terms of that act. I'm also appreciative of the linked-to site using the old TCJ cover interview art for their art choice.

Comics division awards went to Daren Bader for "Tribes of Kai, page 41” (gold) and Nic Klein for "Drifter" (silver).

Comics are celebrated these days more for their narrative properties than they are their artistic ones, but the reasons for that are cyclical and linked to their use in other media. There was a time, of course, where comics were a vital part of nerd visual culture more broadly, an era where looking at a Brothers Hildebrandt Tolkien calendar and a John Buscema comic book scratched roughly the same itch. There is enough material one may be hyper-focused now.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Hub

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Henry Chamberlain writes in approving fashion of the Seymour Chwast crowd-funder currently going.

* that nice man Robert Clough has let everyone know he and his family could use some help. Clough is a writer-about-comics whose invaluable focus is reviews of early work from mostly young cartoonists.

* Vaughn Pinpin could use a few direct donations to relieve pressure brought on by mom's hospital bills.

* most of what I saw on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo that caught my interest were projects that had already met their initial goal: more Farlaine The Goblin, the latest Brian Pulido, ChaosLife, one from Jess Fink, the latest from digitalmanga and a sixth volume of Skin Horse. The ones I saw that caught my eye that weren't past their goal are from Abby Howard and Adam Casey, mostly just because I thought I recognized the names. I have to admit, I've been looking at these sites once a week for a couple of years now, and I still have a hard time finding a variety of distinctive work to spotlight just by being sold on the look of the material.

* I think the cartoonist Julia Wertz is still funding a move and I believe that there are now book bundles of various sorts at her Etsy store in support of that effort.

* finally, Alex Hoffman has a Patreon now.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Lucky Luke Originals

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Young Brides #19

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Planetes Vol. 2. Henry Chamberlain on Why Would You Do That? and Rikki. Johanna Draper Carlson on Goldie Vance #1. J. Caleb Mozzocco on some graphic novels he's recently read. Cosmo on Beasts Of Burden: What The Cat Dragged In. John Seven on Panther.

* Ng Suat Tong, one of the fine writers with whom it was my pleasure to work when I was at The Comics Journal, wrote two pieces I've seen pick up some traction elsewhere: one on Frank Miller, one not comics on the Civil War Marvel movie. I saw that movie: I thought it was genial and passed the time, with lots of fighting that 8-year-old me would have appreciated. (I also thought all the fighting very easy to follow, which I'm told via reviews was not the case for most people.) It didn't seem very nuanced or sophisticated to me -- quite the opposite -- but I thought that was to its advantage. I'll watch parts of it again someday, I'm sure. That would be a good movie to watch if you woke up early at San Diego con and couldn't get back to sleep. In contrast, to me the big DC movie seemed aggressively terrible, inward-looking to proctology levels and deeply unpleasant right down to its core, but again, I'm so not the intended audience for either at this point.

* not comics: the Guardian covers an on-line "fantasy is bad for you" back-and-forth. The novelty here is that's it's not a literary junk food style argument but one suggesting that fantasy literature is way too disturbing for those whose full sense of reality has yet to develop. Most of the kids with whom I grew up were straight-up horror fans at 10-13, with little effect that I can discern on their future lives.

* Eric Deggans did a thought-piece for NPR on the black superheroes in the Civil War movie. It's coming from a place that engages with the characters as having a distinct cultural force all their own, which of course they do. The thinking that Marvel brings to its casting of the major superhero roles is going to be something worth talking about for a while yet. I don't know why their characters aren't all wildly, matter-of-fact diversified in the comics and on screen at this point, given the prominence of the do-over button at these companies. I was legitimately surprised when white men were cast as Iron Fist and Doctor Strange in their forthcoming film/TV iterations, and am slightly baffled why the guy who died in Avengers seemed a natural for a spin-off series while a Black Widow movie is still being debated as some weird, out-there option.

* Alex Hoffman talks to Andy Barron. Andy Oliver profiles Kim Clements.

* finally, Todd Klein discusses his work on a Black Condor logo.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 8, 2016


I Don't Know How To Celebrate A Mother's Day That Doesn't Include A Guilt-Filled Call From TCAF

image

A cover gallery from her favorite artist and favorite all-time comic book will have to be step one. Further steps will be not comics and off-line. Hug 'em if you have 'em, everyone.
 
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Harvey Awards Headed Into Final Day Of Nominations

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Jessa Crispin On The End Of Bookslut

It's more Internet publishing culture and creative scenes than comics, but I enjoyed reading this Jessa Crispin interview about shutting down her Bookslut site, and the challenges she would have faced to keep it alive. I think 15 years or so is a great run, and it surprises me that we might be so oriented to things lasting forever that this wouldn't be the default pull-apart.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Uproxx Runs Entire Richard Corben-Drawn Hellboy In Mexico Story To Support Interview

image
 
posted 1:22 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Abraham Riesman On The Winter Soldier

I think Abraham Riesman gets at a lot of the balls in the air when a foundational comics character and storyline is pulled out and examined under the sun before reassembly. They did that one well, though, given all the odd pressures in play.
 
posted 1:21 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #452 -- Formats For The Ages

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Rank From One To Five Your Five Most Preferred Formats In Which To Read Comics, With One Being The Most Preferred." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Dave Knott

1. Album-size bandes dessinées (Tintin, Lapinot)
2. Marvel Treasury Editions (Dr. Strange Treasury Edition)
3. Medium-size manga (Dorohedoro, Phoenix, 20th Century Boys)
4. Modern alt-comix magazines (The Ignatz line, Crickets)
5. Large black-and-white archival volumes (Complete EC Library)

*****
image

Tom Spurgeon

1. Slightly Smaller Than Standard-Sized Alt-Comic Format (Black Eye Comics)
2. Newspapers As Comics (Smoke Signal)
3. Marvel's 1970s Giant-Size Format (Giant-Size Avengers #1)
4. Artist's Editions (David Mazzucchelli's Daredevil Born Again: Artist's Edition)
5. Standard 1970s/1980s Black And White Alt-Comics Magazine (Elfquest, Love & Rockets Vol. 1) (pictured)

*****

image

Michael Grabowski

1. Standard comic-sized single-creator regularly-published anthology (Bitchy Bits, Sergio Aragones' Funnies)
2. Sunday newspaper comics section, late 1970s (San Francisco Chronicle)
3. Daily newspaper comics section, 1982-1989 (San Francisco Chronicle)
4. Monthly magazine-sized anthology of syndicated strips & editorial cartoons (Comic Relief)
5. Standard four-color newstand comic, 1970s (Marvel, DC, Archie, Harvey, Charlton)

*****

image

Katherine Collins

1) The original comics format: huge full-size newspaper page (in colour of course)
2) Any other very "oversized" format, like 14x18 or something
3) Beautifully-printed European-style "albums"
4) Old-fashioned comic books, now called floppies
5) Web or any Digital comics, preferably with moving parts and effects

*****

image

Oliver Ristau

1. Black-and-white comics-magazine anthologies published by Marvel in the 1980s (Savage Tales, Bizarre Adventures)
2. Bigger than standard-sized Image books but smaller than most other anthology magazines (Island)
3. Pocket-sized Fumetti from Italy (Oltretomba)
4. Tabloid-sized comics (Comics section from the Panorama, Adapt)
5. Over-sized one shots (Destroy, Masterplasty)

*****

image

Charlie Ryan

1. 1971-1973 DC 100 Page Super Spectaculars (the no ads issues with wrap-around covers; World's Greatest Super-Heroes, etc.)
2. Larger-than-standard trim size color comics, thick card stock covers (Eric Larson's Next Issue Project titles)
3. Tabloid Treasury Editions (DC's Limited Collectors' Edition, Marvel Treasury Editions, Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories)
4. 8.5" x 11" magazine size graphic albums (Marvel Graphic Albums, DC Science Fiction Graphic Novels, Asterix, Blueberry)
5. 6" x 9" trade paperback black and white graphic novels (Darwyn Cooke's Parker adaptations, March, Maus)


*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. Digitally on my desktop (GoComics.com)
2. Standard Size Graphic Novels (Sin City)
3. American-style Format Manga Collections (Yotsuba&!)
4. Hard Cover Album Size Collections (Russ Cochran's EC collections)
5. Public Toilet Stalls (pictured)

*****

image

Ken Eppstein

1. Standard Size Comic/Floppy (Preferably without having to mess with a bag/board)
2. 4x6 Paperback Books (Like the old Mad collections)
3. As part of a Zine (Roctober, Razorcake, MRR, et. al.)
4. Hard cover book collection with dust jacket (Superman from 30s to the 70s)
5. Big soft cover collections of B&W reprints (Marvel Essential Volumes)

*****

image

Michael Dooley

1. Broadsheet format color comics sections in the five-papers-every-Sunday 1950s (Gordo, Smokey Stover, etc., etc.)
2. Variable formatted editions, each appropriately customized to unify form with content (Acme Novelties)
3. Required-on-the-floor-reading hardcover format (Society is Nix)
4. Saddle-stitched, 1980s-era oversized format with quality production and insets (Raw volume 1)
5. Lightweight and palm-of-the-hand flippable format (Byron Preiss's Schlomo Raven)

*****
*****
 
posted 12:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 7, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Eleanor Davis Reading From Her Comic BDSM


Frank Santoro's Tabling Tips


Rebecca Sugar Panel At 2016 MoCCA Fest


Tom Toles Profiled


Ariel Schrag And Phoebe Gloeckner In Conversation At MoCCA Fest
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
This Is A Photo Of FCBD In Claremont, California

image
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from April 30 to May 6, 2016:

1. Atena Farghadani released from Evin Prison.

2. Zunar wins a cartooning for peace prize, physically given to the heroically persistent cartoonist by Kofi Annan. Gauntlet thrown, Ignatzes.

3. Rick Friday's firing last week from Farm News because of a cartoon that criticized Big Corporate Farming became a fairly big "this is what media is going to become" story. No "if" on the end of that, by the way.

Winner Of The Week
Farghadani, reunited with her family.

Loser Of The Week
Farm News. Not only was this a terrible thing to do, to fire someone in an opinion-offering role at your publication for doing their job, but the cartoon was widely disseminated through all of the news reports.

Quote Of The Week
"At what point do comic book stores become independently operated gift shops for movie theaters?" -- Bill Kartalopoulos

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

*****
*****
 
posted 9:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If Comic Shops Did Not Exist, We Would Dream Of Them

image

enjoy FCBD; it's a sneaky-good event for readers of the civilian and arts/alt persuasions with comics featuring cartoonists like Jaime Hernandez, Tom Gauld and Craig Thompson
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Night Job

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: The Kentucky Derby Post

imageMy advice for betting on horseracing's Triple Crown hasn't changed in 20 years and should be familiar to readers of this site. I support the strategy that over time one should make bets of good value more than grinding out as many wins with poor return as might be available. The Kentucky Derby has way too many horses running for me to feel comfortable with any favorite so I try to find a couple of horses about which I feel positive whose betting line is in the 15/1 to 30/1 range. At the Preakness I bet the Derby winner if their betting line is greater than 6 to 1 or if I won money on them at the Kentucky Derby. I also take a serious look at local horses to show. At the Belmont I'm all about the longshot, particularly if one did inexplicably well at a track and/or distance similar to what you're seeing at that event.

And that's about it. Wear a hat. Have a cocktail. Enjoy the day. Horse racing is for those who think baseball has too much going on. I'm not a good gambler but I'm an enthusiastic amateur and I'm way, way up on a lifetime of occasional hunch bets. The most important thing is to have fun. Bet to direct your cheering and potentially upgrade your dinner plans, not to make cab fare home or to make enough money to afford dinner. If you're at the Kentucky Derby itself, bet an Oaks/Derby ticket and sing "My Old Kentucky Home" at full volume. That's a fun song to sing full volume.

Update: A pair of readers have pointed out the ugly past of "My Old Kentucky Home."
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were Near A Comic Shop, I'd Participate In This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 6, 2016


Go, Look: Rachel Suggs

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Zunar Accepts Cartooning For Peace Prize In Geneva

You can read about the award and the ceremony here. I wasn't aware that Kofi Annan was the honorary head of a cartooning anything, and I think that makes him the most storied person to head a comics organization, ever, since . I'm not sure that isn't more weird than the sitting president of the US writing a comics intro. Wait, I'm sort of sure it isn't. That one takes the all-time prize. Still.

That bit of levity aside -- truthful levity, mind you, that is astonishing -- Zunar has had an entire career's worth of very specific, very tenacious fighting for the right to be heard in unfettered fashion, and I hope that his oft-delayed current trial goes in his favor. There aren't enough awards to give him, and I'm grateful to every one of them for helping keep his personal cause a continued story of interest.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Captain America Fighting People Cover Gallery

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Rick Friday: Man Of The Hour, Cartoonist Of The Week

image

The Columbia Journalism Review -- the magazine most likely to be on the back of my Dad's toilet from 1974-1980 -- has a piece up on cartoonist Rick Friday being fired from a rural Iowa publication called Farm News after a late-April offering, reprinted above in the spirit of more people seeing a suppressed cartoon than would have ever seen it had it been left alone, brought an advertiser complaint followed by Friday's abrupt firing.

Friday self-announced the news through social media and it was borne through those currents through the first part of this week. I started to get e-mails on Tuesday. NYT ran a piece Thursday.

This most recent round of pieces note the ownership profile of Farm News, which goes to the one of the family conglomerates, Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, West Virginia. I suppose the pressures would be similar no matter the exact type of owner involved, with ownership closer to local likely to sacrifice wider corporate concerns but feel the departure of a single advertiser in a more severe way.

The notion that an expression of a political point of view as journalistic commentary should be punished by those with a dissenting opinion is a development of the commercialization of political opinion crossed Island Of Dr. Moreau style with the hyper-commercialization of the newspaper business. That's a tangled mess with some dire consequences for what remains of mainstream editorial cartooning. I'm already worried that a story like this one comes with a shrugged-shoulder ending, no matter how much we might be horrified by the longterm implications.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Two Sketchbooks By Andy Ristaino

image
image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Big Brain's Michael Drivas: "I Can Just Stop"

And so he will.

Michael Drivas talks to the Star-Tribune in the above, linked-to piece about the closing of his Top 30 North American comics shop, Big Brain, in June. As I've written before, maybe even about Big Brain, a tightened cycle of store life is a reasonable expectation for the next generation of comic shop owners. I hope someone in the area opens up a similarly-focused store for the Big Brain clientele, and I wish Drivas every happiness with whatever he has planned next. Thanks for all the Wednesdays.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: All In A Day's Work

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Stuart Moore sent out an e-mail on Tuesday morning alerting people to the existence of his on-line work of self-published prose, Garter's Big Score.

image* Terence Toh talks to Ernest Ng. Alex Townsend talks to Gordon McAlpin. Eric Ratcliffe talks to Michael Kingston. Christine Marie talks to John Allison.

* explaining this is fine.

* finally, I suppose this could be the formal announcement of the next Allie Brosh book, because that information has been out there for a while now.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Traps

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Jacked #5. Katie Skelly on Gorgeous.

* I greatly enjoyed Rebecca Wanzo's direct inquiry into the potential cultural impact of Marvel/Disney folding the Black Panther character created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee into their universe-spanning series of films. I wonder if the way Ta-Nehisi Coates writing the Black Panther comic book is being processed is the first movies-to-comics discussion of superhero comics' cultural value.

* I thought I mentioned this, but I can't find it, so here it is for the first or second time: Matt Badham interviews Tom Bondavand about his March cancer diagnosis.

* educator and industry veteran Stephen Bissette on the virtues of media that you can physically own and on which you can place your hands in a tactile sense. I remain interested in the pair of notions that seem, at times, to be at some odds: that as a consumer issue ownership is an advocacy issue but in a creators rights sense it might not be.

* Chris Stein on comics-related educational efforts in Nigeria.

* for weeks now I've been screwing up on placing the formal announcement of Top Shelf's Fun Family into its proper publishing news slot, so let me just skip that obsessive sorting act and mention it here. I'm not sure that for everyone Top Shelf has a line identity outside of March -- not a bad line identity to have! -- so every one of their releases for the next couple of years will likely at least subconsciously processed in terms of the publisher as well as on its own.

* finally, I love the directness of the emotional appeal here.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 5, 2016


Siné, RIP

image
 
posted 9:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Rob Clough Could Use Some Help

image

Here. Clough is a nice man -- that's him on the left with AdHouse's Chris Pitzer on the right -- and provides the invaluable service of giving hundreds of young cartoonists their first review.
 
posted 9:01 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Marina Julia

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Letters Archive In Support Of North American Visit For Artist Rokudenashiko

image

There is a deeply encouraging and slightly troubling array of letters here in support of a forthcoming visit by the artist Rokudenashiko to Canada and TCAF, followed by a strip to New York. The deeply encouraging part is in the array of letters and the content involved letter-to-letter and the foresight deemed necessary to help pave the way for a smooth trip; the slightly troubling part is that they are anticipatory of potential trouble in the artist's visit.

As an expression of my view on comics and on art more generally, this site gives the fullest support to the unfettered, unencumbered expression of creativity and opinion without political consequence of any kind. In Rokudenashiko's case I feel any impediment would be that much more tragic because of the important subject matter and her righteous, humane take on the issues involved, both in the act of making and in the messages communicated. It would be ghastly if there were any problems, and I am very appreciative of any and all people from Team TCAF to anyone that just takes the time to read the letters to help advance the notion there should be nothing but smooth sailing here based on expressed principle.

You can buy the graphic memoir here.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Bob McLeod-Inked 1970s Splash Pages

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Max And Moritz Prize Nominees Announced, Career Award To Claire Brétecher

image

I blew right past these about two weeks ago, but the Max And Moritz Prize nominees were posted, along with this year's special-award winners. Joining past winners like Pierre Christin, Robert Crumb and Albert Uderzo for that program's special lifetime achievement prize is the great humor cartoonist Claire Brétecher. Brétecher was in the news earlier this year during the "zero worthy female nominees" fiasco at the French-language festival in Angouleme as someone who was obviously, overwhelmingly qualified for their standard Grand Prix award and resulting festival presidency. Keeping in mind not everyone agrees on the value and utility of awards, I say give Brétecher all the awards there are to give. I was glad to hear she's going to get this one.

Other special awards look like they're going to the post-Hebdo Luz memoir Katharsis and to the Berlin-based publisher Avant-Verlag.

The standard awards program has its nominees list:

* Come Prima, Alfred. Translation By Volker Zimmermann (Reprodukt)
* Crash 'n' Burn, Mikiko Ponczek (Tokyopop) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Crissis Tagebücher, Joris Chamblain und Aurélie Neyret. Translation By Tanja Krämling (Popcom)
* Das Hochhaus. 102 Etagen Leben, Katharina Greve (www.das-hochhaus.de)
* Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof, Sarah Burrini (www.sarahburrini.com/Panini Books)
* Das Nichts und Gott, Aike Arndt (Zwerchfell)
* Der Araber von morgen, Riad Sattouf. Translation By Andreas Platthaus (Knaus Verlag)
* Descender, Jeff Lemire und Dustin Nguyen. Translation By Bernd Kronsbein (Splitter Verlag)
* Die Toten, Stefan Dinter, Christopher Tauber und anderen (Panini Comics/Zwerchfell) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Ein Ozean der Liebe, Wilfrid Lupano und Grégory Panaccione (Splitter Verlag)
* Ein Sommer am See, Mariko Tamaki und Jillian Tamaki. Translation By Tina Hohl (Reprodukt)
* Fahrradmod, Tobi Dahmen (www.fahrradmod.de/Carlsen Verlag) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Irmina, Barbara Yelin (Reprodukt)
* Junker. Ein preußischer Blues, Simon Spruyt. Translation By Rolf Erdorf (Carlsen Verlag)
* Kiste, Patrick Wirbeleit und Uwe Heidschötter (Reprodukt)
* Kleiner Strubbel, Pierre Bailly und Céline Fraipont (Reprodukt)
* Können wir nicht über was anderes reden? Meine Eltern und ich, Roz Chast. Translation By Marcus Gärtner (Rowohlt Verlag)
* Madgermanes, Birgit Weyhe (avant-verlag) (Erscheinungstermin: 20. Mai 2016)
* Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson und Adrian Alphona. Translation By Carolin Hidalgo (Panini Comics)
* Opus, Satoshi Kon. Translation By John Schmitt-Weigand (Carlsen Manga)
* Penner, Christopher Burgholz (Jaja Verlag)
* The Singles Collection (Vom Leben gezeichnet), Mawil (Der Tagesspiegel/Reprodukt)
* Tobisch, Joachim Brandenberg (Jaja Verlag)
* Von Spatz, Anna Haifisch (Rotopolpress)
* 78 Tage auf der Straße des Hasses, David Füleki (Tokyopop)

The award ceremony will be held during the festival later this month.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bookmark: Pictures Mean Business

image
double-dipping on Sarah McIntyre today; not sure I've ever directly sent people to the all-in-one PMB page
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* it's all TCAF right now in terms of what people I know are talking about, notably mostly for the fact it's more than a week away still. The festival has released its professional development and academic conference schedules. That money panel looks like it could be super-fascinating.

* spring tours announced for Patrick Kyle and Lisa Hanawalt.

* I enjoyed this article that ran over at The Beat last week about how movie studios plan for Comic-Con International and how they over other options now: focused-property events and single-company conventions. It has very little to do with the show that I attend, but it shapes its business and public profile for sure.

* NYCC would like you to submit panel ideas for this year's show.

* some of that excitement in the air is surely that we're in the middle of the Ting Comic And Graphic Arts Festival for 2016. That's the show that's a month of events in and around London, Ontario. I did my usual spectacularly shitty of providing it coverage, but I have the individual events up now.

* saw this 2013 essay by Jason Latour making some rounds, extolling the virtues of comics conventions as a place to put together sustaining human relationships that will serve you well as you try to work in a long-term sense, and also talking a few strategies to best negotiate that world. I think the crucial nature of personal relationships can be a true thing for a lot of comics people, a lot of comics careers, but we also still see people that are getting work in comics where no one knows what they even look like until they've reached a career-making threshold in terms of building readers for the long haul.

* I'll be at CAKE on June 11. Someone please have breakfast with me before, and someone please have dinner with me after. I'll figure out lunch.

* finally, MICE is accepting exhibitor applications until May 18. I'd like to see that show someday.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sarah McIntyre Sisters Cartoon

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on The Irregular At Magic High School: Enrollment Arc Vol. 1.

* I laughed when I saw this Dan Nadel commentary for Paul Up North in his "substitute Jog" role this week: "Paul Up North: Conundrum Press has continued Michel Rabagliati’s Paul series, once a kind of Quebecois curiosity from D&Q, but always pretty dull. I would read the books (back when I read nearly every comic that came my way) and think, 'This is what French comics are like,' and I was half right. 184 pages, $20.00 -- DN." Oh, Dan.

* Bryan Pierce on why straight men should care about gay superheroes. I care enough about gay superheroes I'm linking to a piece at Huffington Post.

* bundled extra: a nine-page preview of the new Bone story coming out this summer.

* the writer James Moore wrote in to mention that May 4 is the Kent State shooting anniversary, and Katherine Wirick's comic might be an appropriate thing for folks to check out.

* finally, Bruce Chrislip wrote in to drive attention to this absolutely rare, Rick Griffin-covered, Craig Yoe-published fanzine from the early 1970s. The comics collectible market will always be weird for its element of things not rare at all being treated that way, but the honestly rare material tends to fetch a good price.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 4, 2016


Go, Look: Simon Gane's Fallen Tree Sketches

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Book Of Cave Tooth

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

*****

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.

*****

MAR161462 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 25 1999-2000 $29.99
It's a super-solid week at the comics shop, which makes sense given how many people will be in these shops for Free Comic Book Day this weekend. To my mind the key book is the 25th Complete Peanuts volume, with one coming afterwards that collects things that are not the strip itself. This has been a great series, with renewed fun and interest for me at like seven different points along the way. I look forward to reading these at some remove. Also, they got the President Of The United State to write an intro, which means he and I are peers now -- except he gets better comics-writing gigs than me.

imageMAR160030 BEASTS OF BURDEN WHAT CAT DRAGGED IN ONE SHOT $3.99
MAR160028 BALTIMORE EMPTY GRAVES #2 $3.99
MAR160017 HELLBOY IN HELL #9 $2.99
MAR160599 WICKED & DIVINE #19 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.50
MAR160600 WICKED & DIVINE #19 CVR B ANKA (MR) $3.50
MAR160811 HOWARD THE DUCK #7 $3.99
MAR160827 MOON KNIGHT #2 $3.99
MAR161227 GIANT DAYS #14 $3.99
I think the Beasts Of Burden series is a solidly entertaining one, and look forward to the Dorkin/Dyer + Thompson combination any way it crosses my face. This time it's a one-shot. I hope it does well enough to compel everyone involved to do more. That's two from Mignola-verse, including what's been a fun, art-driven series for me, Hellboy In Hell. Wicked & Divine is a solid performer in full batshit crazy action mode right now, which is always appealing. Howard The Duck finds writer Chip Zdarsky 3.5 percent more comfortable with the title every single issue. It's still unclear where this kind of comedic-adventure version reaches its limit. We won't know until after it happens. Moon Knight I haven't seen yet, but it's apparently Jeff Lemire. Talked to a retailer in Indiana who says that Lemire's usual hardcore fanbase hasn't followed him to this one, at least not right away. Giant Days is the project for which writer John Allison received recent attention from the Eisner Awards. I feel bad it's 14 issues in and I haven't caught up to it, either.

DEC150343 GOTHAM CENTRAL OMNIBUS HC $99.99
JAN160354 SCALPED HC BOOK 04 DELUXE EDITION (MR) $29.99
Two different DC book program offerings. I'm contractually obligated to mention I don't know anyone that would prefer an Omnibus edition to a big stack of single issues, but everyone I know is young, dumb and unsophisticated. Scalped I think was under-appreciated while it was an ongoing, and I'm happy to see that it's coming out in different formats, indicating continued commercial interest.

MAR160598 WALKING DEAD #154 (MR) $2.99
FEB160615 WALKING DEAD ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR) $14.99
MAR160778 BLACK WIDOW #3 $3.99
NOV150927 DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID AND CHRIS SAMNEE HC VOL 05 $34.99
Here's a pair of other notable title pairings. I don't know for whom that Walking Dead coloring book is intended, but it wasn't for me! All those heavy blacks would seem to make it hard to color the way I colored stuff when I was a wee lad. Black Widow and the Daredevil trade feature the same creative team, one of comics' most solid. I'm confused by most of the recent post-event comics put out by Marvel, but this one seems pretty straight forward by solid creators so I'm likely to buy it whenever I see it.

JAN160451 JOHNNY BOO BIG BOO BOX SLIPCASE ED HC $39.99
"Johnny Boo Big Boo Box" is fun as hell to say out loud. I'm all for as much James Kochalka as can possibly be published, and IDW strikes me as a good home for him.

FEB160680 DESCENDER TP VOL 02 (MR) $14.99
There's not a whole lot this week I'd buy in trade form, so I'd go and take a look at this Jeff Lemire/Dustin Nguyen collaboration, which I believe is concerned with artificial life forms and issues surrounding their sentience. Action issues.

MAR161479 JESSICA FARM GN VOL 01 (MR) $16.99
MAR161480 JESSICA FARM GN VOL 02 (MR) $16.99
Josh Simmons is one of our most potent cartoonists, and everything he does is worth reading. That includes this book, which won't end until 2050 so I have no chance to ever see the ending.

MAR161065 PEARLS BEFORE SWINE TP IM ONLY IN THIS FOR ME $14.99
I didn't see any other strips this week, so I thought I'd toss this one. Mr. Pastis is a current Reuben Award nominees.

FEB161505 WALT DISNEY DONALD DUCK HC VOL 08 TERROR BEAGLE BOYS $29.99
Love the Beagle Boys. Great last-minute Halloween costume, too.

JAN161718 AL PLASTINO LAST SUPERMAN STANDING SC $17.95
MAR162007 NEIL GAIMAN CHUS DAY AT BEACH BOARD BOOK $7.99
MAR161980 SUPERMAN CLASSIC PRANKING NEWS SC $3.99
MAR161954 TOM ADAMS UNCOVERED ART OF AGATHA CHRISTIE & BEYOND HC $34.99
I have nothing to say about any of these books, but I love that all of them are together one or top of the other.

MAR161306 PAUL UP NORTH GN $20.00
Michel Rabagliati's signature series made its shift from Drawn and Quarterly to Conundrum without a lot of fanfare, but the books themselves continue their fun visuals and genteel pacing.

*****

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.

*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Targets

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Very Early Mort Meskin Art

image
some deeply unfortunate racial stereotyping present here
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Caty Simon and Tina Horn discuss Mary Wept Over The Feet Of Jesus.

* here's a snippet from what I suppose is a rolling conversation about Frank Miller's art. Here's another one. I think ugly art with a lot of abstraction can be fun, but a significant number of people disagree with me and assign value to aspects of a comic book very differently than I do.

* Jason remembers Prince.

* Joe Gross suggests that the rise of the mega-profitable superhero film has led to an increasingly stuffy mainstream comics scene. I think there's probably some truth there; Marvel went through a period in the late '90s and early '00s that was a lot like their last fallow period in the late '70s, a period that drove genre-defining hits. You also had a third player during that time in terms of prestige-project creation with WildStorm. I'm not engaged enough with that material to make any firm endorsements, but it's an opinion worth considering.

* looks like qualified individuals can apply for the 10th International Manga Award here.

* I missed this sad conclusion to the sad case of Homer Marciniak's death. It's hard to feel sorry for people that meticulously plan to do something harmful, as opposed to just head down the wrong path, though.

* finally, a cartoon from George Feyer. I can relate.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 3, 2016


Go, Read: The Complete Agent 10

image
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
AP: Atena Farghadani Freed From Evin Prison In Iran

The Associated Press is quoting lawyer Mohammad Moghimi that cartoonist Atena Farghadani was freed from prison earlier today. That's excellent news.

Farghadani was imprisoned -- at Iran's notorious Evin facility -- and reunited with her parents. Her 12-year prison sentence was reduced to 18 months, which she had served.

The imprisonment stems from the young artist's depiction of lawmakers as animals, a criticism of their role in drafting contraception law. The result was an extremely poisonous piece of PR that drove international attention to the hardline nature of certain conservative legal fiefdoms within the larger Iranian political system.

The article notes that President Hassan Rouhani also called for more freedom of speech earlier today, explicitly citing critics of the government.
 
posted 9:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Tyson Hesse

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Billy Ireland Announces Summer/Fall Exhibits

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announced earlier today that their June-October exhibits will be "Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream" and "Good Grief! Children And Comics." They will run June 4 to October 23, which makes these the exhibitions that will run during Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), the festival with which I'm involved.

imageThe "Little Nemo" is tied into the Locust Moon homage book and will feature art from the artists paying tribute such as Farel Dalrymple and Carla Speed McNeil. In addition to the tribute art, part of a traveling exhibit, the Billy Ireland iteration will feature art from and about McCay's great creation as pulled from their collection.

"Good Grief" concentrates on the depiction of children in comic strips and should thus feature some heavy-hitting art from the collection, like Bushmiller's Ms. Ritz there.

The exhibition space is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 5 PM.

June 10th the Billy will host a reception in the galleries from 5:30 to 7:00 PM followed by a presentation by Gene Luen Yang in conjunction with the Wexner Center For The Arts over in their film/video theater.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Adam Egyptian

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Brad Mackay's Profile Of George Feyer Nominated For National Magazine Award

image

Congratulations to the Doug Wright Awards administrator Brad Mackay on his national magazine award nomination for a profile of George Feyer. A hugely successful magazine cartoonist turned television celebrity, Feyer was inducted into the DWA hall of fame program The Giants Of The North in 2006.

Mackay mentions here that what became "The Twisted Genius Of George Feyer" came from meeting the cartoonist's son and asking for more information about the cartoonist, who died in the late 1960s. The articled appeared in Canada's History.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: War Wind

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Robert Boyd On What Is Obscenity?

imageI was very happy to see that Robert Boyd chose to write about the new Koyama Press-published effort What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy. I'm happy when industry veteran Boyd chooses to write about anything -- alt/indy comics isn't a world with a lot of writers that offer the immediate perspective of multiple decades paying attention to them -- and I'm triply happy because Rokudenashiko's story is a fascinating, and might be a rough sell due to its mixed media nature.

I think Boyd's perspective that there's an issue of literary legitimacy involved in cases like this one is a necessary one to engage as the translated book starts to show up at shows and in stores.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Blindsprings

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* for some reason I have a bunch of mainstream comics news this time out. Apologies in advance. I love to talk about forthcoming work of all kinds, so if anyone would like to give me information on comics a higher percentage of which don't make me want to die, Seriously, if you're working on a mini-comic or a future comic and and do a post about it, send me a link. We don't do that much anymore as a culture. I can't always guarantee tons of traffic, but I think I might still be worth an e-mail.

* you know, I think that was the saddest bullet-point text in CR history. Jesus. "Remember your old pal Tom." My fifties are going to suck.

image* speaking of things likely to suck, the Beat has a preview of a DC revamp of the Scooby-Doo characters, I guess because the idea that you can always grind someone's affection for some fictional something into profit of some sort is too effective a way of doing business to only apply it to superhero stuff. Fandral the Dashing there is actually Shaggy. This Shaggy apparently smokes the dope that makes you bigger and stronger, while physically reshaping the bones in your head. Zoinks. That's Scooby, foregrounded, looking slightly Duncan the Wonder Dog-ish. I don't know what to do with this. I suppose if you squint you can pretend they're relaunching Dalgoda. If I know the playbook here, we're either supposed to take this kind of thing on its face or be delighted by how misguided it is, but mostly it bores the shit out of me. I'm sorry we don't have anything better for the talented creators to do, and hope they're at least having fun and being paid well. I smell a hit.

* there's been a bunch of on-line chatter about the artist Frank Cho being hired to do Wonder Woman variant covers, mostly people rolling their eyes at an artist best known for a kind of 1960s-style nudge-nudge wink-wink cheesecake drawing and a frat-bro advocacy of that approach on-line being asked to do covers featuring a feminist icon and young girl fan-favorite. DC has always had this split personality about many of their major female characters, shifting back and forth between positioning a lot these properties as openly accessible to younger female readers and playing up a kind of R-rated sexuality that, well, I guess attracts people that look like me except maybe sporting a ponytail. Perhaps the only sign of progress when it comes to this mode of split-personality publishing is that people tend to notice the shifts now instead of it being all teenage-boy-without-a-computer masturbation material all the time. One weird thing is that these shifts often set the publisher up for praise when the cycle is such they push back against it.

* Vaneta Rogers' talk with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo gives you an idea of what both sides of the Batman creative team are going to be up to now that their time on that title has concluded. That was the most successful run of all the New52 books, deservedly so, and made stop-and-notice mainstream stars of both creators.

* Todd Klein writes about the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Come. I never liked that comic very much, but smarter people than I am about the superhero genre sure did and it featured one of the top three mainstream creators of the decade (Mark Waid, not Alex Ross). It also sold gobs of copies. Klein clearly remains fond of working on it, as well he should. Twenty years! Klein also notes a surprise reprinting of Miss Finch.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald pulls from her PW interview with Grant Morrison last week the news that he'll be working on two more stand-alone Wonder Woman books, and that Yanick Pacquette will join him. I guess those books do okay for them to keep doing them.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Turok, Son Of Stone #4

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I can't believe I quit Twitter this month and have no place to casually brag about having found a Solano Lopez drawing in my collection I didn't know I had. Sometimes I'm reminded I have a great life in a lot of ways.

image* Zainab Akhtar on Koyama Press.

* Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #5. Sean Gaffney on Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Vol. 5. Sean Kleefeld on Andy Capp. Paul O'Brien on All New X-Men #8. Martin Dupuis on Hard Boiled.

* Philippe LeBlanc talks to Michael Comeau. The interviewer pointed out in his e-mail to CR that Comeau talks about drastically reordering material for his latest collection, which is something that tends to fascinate me.

* totally forgot this book existed.

* I don't know who did the "I'll Never Get To Be A Celebrity Cartoonist" panel in the Ting Festival's banner, but someone please make a t-shirt out of it for me.

* I totally missed this major profile of Jeff Lemire, one of comics' nicest, most interesting and hardest working comics-makers. Diana Tamblyn pointed it out to me.

* finally, Brian Hibbs on licensed comics.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 2, 2016


Go, Look: Conversion On The Road To Malha

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1000 Jokes #79

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Just Look At This Beautiful Moebius Splash Page

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I have yet to post on Marguerite Dabaie's ambitious crowd-funding project A Voyage To Panjikant. Somehow the latest Mark Andrew Smith-related project failed to catch my attention until now as well. Smith is a crowd-funding veteran. We definitely have veterans of that now.

* the GoFundMe campaign to provide assistance to Caanan Grall and his family seems to still be attracting donors.

* artist and writer-about-comics Jesse Hamm has a Patreon going. And we know that Graham Annable making cartoon videos is fun, albeit not-comics.

* a pair of Kickstarter campaigns we've been tracking: a new Jess Fink book and a Rozi Hathaway project.

* finally, the Kickstarter campaign for She Changed Comics ended in the stratosphere it seemed to be headed towards from the about day two.
 
posted 7:55 am PST |
Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Greg Capullo Images Gallery

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: These Are The Ways In Which I Have Tried To Tell You

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Submissions For Creators For Creators Grant Now Open

Here. I hope every single person for whom this program applies will submit, and I hope that every single institution in comics takes this as a gauntlet thrown to develop programs that directly support creators.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Billville Birds

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Wayne Howard Inking Over Gil Kane's Pencils

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I spent a bit of time this morning going through ComicsAlliance's slideshow of Prince tribute art.

image* Todd Klein on The Last Companion.

* Dave Miller talks to Jack Ohman. Noha Medhat profiles Khalil Al-Baih. Greg Hunter talks to Anya Davidson.

* Matthew White suggests top animal comics.

* not comics: superhero.

* here's the latest staggering amount earned by Tintin art at auction. It's weird to think of a world where lines on paper have that kind of value and it's not a world in which I'd feel comfortable operating. At the same time, original art is an object of value and a single object of value, meaning it's not something on whose behalf multiple sellers might against claim value so that more can be sold, so it has that going for it.

* not comics: it's official: Twitter really is a news channel now more than it is a social media tool.

* I once left my cell phone at my lawyer's place, and he told me to come back and get it the hell out of their reception area.

* this single-shop sales analysis and predictive article is fun to read, but comparing the first issue of relaunched series to the last issue of previous series better yield a significant bump up in sales. It's maintaining a profitable level of sales beyond the stunts that has vexed these companies for a decade now, and that's an area a lot of people suspect this "Rebirth" initiative doesn't seem particularly likely to distinguish itself.

* the mainstream companies should make exceptions in cases like this, and should then fight each other to be the first to write a giant check. If ceding control weakens the claim, they should work to find alternatives and work out what that might be in advance. It just seems like that better serves their interests here. It's super-dumb for company to own these broadly descriptive words, for sure.

* finally, here's video of Paul Karasik teaching over in Italy.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 1, 2016


Go, Look: On Making A Retro-Marvel Calendar

image
 
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Your 2016 Glyph Awards Nominees

image

Brigid Alverson has a nice write-up here on the nominees for this year's Glyph Awards, the winners of which are given out in conjunction with the East Coast Black Age Of Comics Convention, held each year in Philadelphia. This year the winners will be named May 20.

Alverson notes write-in nominations are encouraged in the "Fan Favorite" category.

The nominees are as follows:

*****

Story of the Year

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton, Writer; Denis Medri, Artist
* Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker -- Julian Voloj, Writer; Claudia Ahlering, Artist
* Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline -- Guy A. Sims, Writer; Dawud Anyabwile, Artist

*****

Best Cover

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton, Writer; Denis Medri, Artist
* Blue Hand Mojo: Dust to Dust -- John Jennings, Writer and Artist
* Tephlon Funk! -- Stephane Metayer, Writer; David Tako & Nicolas Safe, Artists

*****

Best Writer

* Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, Concrete Park Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
* (H)Afrocentric">Juliana "Jewels" Smith, (H)Afrocentric
* David F. Walker, Cyborg

*****

Best Artist

* Dawud Anyabwile, Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline
* Keef Cross, Dayblack #4 -- Shot in the Ass
* John Jennings, Blue Hand Mojo: Dust to Dust

*****

Best Male Character

* Arron Day (Blackjack), Blackjack: There Came a Dark Hunter -- Alex Simmons, Writer; Tim Fielder, Artist
* Antonio Valor (Brotherman), Revelation: Brotherman -- Dictator of Discipline -- Guy A. Sims, Writer; Dawud Anyabwile, Artist

*****

Best Female Character

* Moon Girl, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur -- Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, Writers; Natacha Bustos and Amy Reeder, Artists
* Lily, Malice in Ovenland -- Micheline Hess, Writer and Artist
* Naima Pepper, (H)Afrocentric -- Juliana "Jewels" Smith, Writer; Ronald R. Nelson, Artist

*****

Rising Star Award

* Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist -- Bounce!
* Stephane Metayer, Writer; David Tako & Nicolas Safe, Artists -- Tephlon Funk!
* D.C. Walker, Writer; Bruno Oliveira, Artist -- When the River Rises

*****

Best Comic Strip or Webcomic

* Blackwax Boulevard -- Dmitri Jackson, Writer and Artist
* Bounce! -- Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist
* Detective Boogaloo: Hip Hop Cop -- Jamar Nicholas, Writer and Artist

*****

Best Reprint Publication

* Ajala: A Series of Adventures, Book Two (XMoor Studios)
* Concrete Park, Volume One: You Send Me (Dark Horse Comics)
* Concrete Park, Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Dark Horse Comics)

*****

Fan Award for Best Work

* Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven -- Brandon Easton , Writer; Denis Medri , Artist
* Bounce! -- Chuck Collins, Writer and Artist
* Concrete Park, Volume Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T -- Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, Writers; Tony Puryear, Artist
* Shaft, Volume One: A Complicated Man -- David Walker, Writer; Sanford Greene, Artist

*****
*****
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: My Pitch Philosophy

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Elijah Brubaker Loves Richard Corben

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Daily Blog Archives
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
 
Full Archives