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
















June 30, 2016


Go, Read Or Download: The Iron Duchess

image
The great Roger Langridge's serial comic begun last year is now completed, available to for downloading, reading and I think maybe being signed to a print publishing contract. You'd have to check with Roger.
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Whitney Allen

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Hellbound Lifestyle

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Life In The Suburbs

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* the big one this weekend is Anime Expo. That's in a hotbed for manga/anime (LA) and with the holiday weekend has the ability to attract an old-school crowd of people on vacation/able to construct their vacation around the show. I'll be keeping an eye on Deb Aoki's feed over the weekend.

* HeroesCon has announced its dates for 2017; it will be their 35th year. I wish that all shows would take up the old tradition of announcing next year's show at the conclusion of this year's show. I know Comic-Con International still does this, and that SPX and CXC are blocked out through 2019 in the latter's case; 2020 the former's. It makes it easier to plan to attend, if you have that impulse -- maybe not a year in advance, but certainly not too long after that.

* Heidi MacDonald previews Comic-Con International as a comics show. The basic thesis of the show is fine, I think: that is a very good comics show with a ton of comics-related guests and a number of publishers on-hand that are happy to take meetings with some of us that are happy to have those meetings. You can spend an entire show bouncing back and forth between all the comics-related panels -- most of which are better attended than they were 20 years ago, type to type -- and have a really satisfying time. I also like shopping for original art and cheaper Silver Age comics there, and that can still be done. Some of the things MacDonald reports on seem like areas of weakness, just spun as positives, and it would seem to me okay to report on those things as potentially negative changes, too. I'm sad NBM is gone. DC doing an entertainment booth doesn't seem like an automatically great thing for their publishing arm, despite Dan DiDio's claim to the contrary. Drawn and Quarterly or Fantagraphics making any year their last year wouldn't surprise anyone. Heck, the comics part of the show still feels different in a not-great way since the days when Rory Root was an anchor as a new-books retailer. I guess we'll see who covers those huge pieces of real estate left to the show by Top Shelf (moving) and Slave Labor (leaving). It's the positives and the negatives that make San Diego the most interesting comics show year to year, and one I will continue to attend every year I'm able.

* major Derf exhibit at Oberlin in 2017.

* one story I was surprised wasn't in the PW round-up as a comics positive: New Bone.

* finally, here's a story at The Beat about expansions at the big Marriott property right up on the show proper. There's something very, very San Diego Con about that article, the idea of this facility as a kind of pleasure resource for potential attendees of that show. Along with the North Bethesda Marriott into which the near-entirety of SPX settles, and the dependable Charlotte Westin, and maybe that big Marriott in Toronto, San Diego's hotels dominate the list of top 20 hotel property that are also a part of a North American show festival's culture. Seriously, places like the Hilton Gaslamp and the Omni and the US Grant are like giant floor booths in a way.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Christopher Sebela Interviewed At The Beat

image
not a lot of major-site interviews with this writer yet, at least not many that I've seen
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Haunt Of Fear Cover Images Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* by request extra: the Sotos update on their crowd-funder concerning their youngest member.

image* Rob Clough on a bunch of different mini-comics. Robert Boyd on some different comics, created by friends. Alan Sepinwall talks to Brian Michael Bendis.

* Maddie Crum talks to Rich Tommaso. Michael Cavna talks to Lucy Knisley. Greg Hunter talks to Dean Haspiel.

* I found this superhero-comic close examination interesting in that I'm not a fan of those works and yet I found this dissection unconvincing. No idea what that means, if it means anything at all.

* not comics: I can't stop watching this slow-ass action scene Alex Getchell linked-to on Facebook.

* here's a passionate essay springing out of a Marvel comic book plot point. I don't have that level of interest in anything along the lines of the Marvel comic book universe or a specific movie franchise, so it's always sort of awesome to experience the rage of someone that does.

* it looks like Fearless Fosdick is appearing in the Dick Tracy strip, and that there's still a Dick Tracy strip.

* as expected, Dave's Comics will close after a final sale on Saturday. A store like that will have been a part of a bunch of different folks' lives. That's a lot of great Wednesdays.

* finally, that's cute.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Shawn McManus!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 55th Birthday, Christopher Priest!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 29, 2016


Go, Look: Alejandro Bruzzese

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Ann Telnaes On Social Media And Editorial Cartooning

The Ann Telnaes has a new article up at Columbia Journalism Review on the impact that social media can have on editorial cartooning. She veers away from the subject of most analyses that focus on promotion and dissemination and goes right into pushback. This article I believe also serves as the Pulitzer Prize winner's longest commentary on her own social media blowback encounter: where she summoned the ire of the Ted Cruz campaign and its highly developed social media arm over a cartoon that attacked the candidate's use of children as campaign props.

Telnaes makes a couple of strong points about how the economic uncertainty of opinion-makers including cartoonists makes them extremely vulnerable to social media-driven campaigns. She also talks about coverage of such controversies being covered in partial terms dictated by those who use social media tools most effectively, which I agree is a dangerous routine concession media reporters make.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Summer 1976 DC Direct Currents Listings

image
 
posted 8:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Comic Art Tokyo To Walk In Same General Footsteps As TCAF, With Their Assistance

image

That's my takeaway from this site. This whole thing looks amazing. Kudos to everyone involved. I want to go, and I bet yuo do, too.
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Agent 73, Part 2

image

the whole thing is here
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: John Porcellino Won't Be Traveling Again To Any Shows, At Least Not Any Time Soon

image

John Porcellino is an American art hero, both as a cartoonist for his always remarkable and soulful King-Cat Comics & Stories (I thought last year's #75 was one of the best comics of the year) and for his work as a tastemaker through his Spit-And-A-Half distribution company. I will never get tired of saying that, both because it's true and because I could use the reminder of how great it is to have a John Porcellino in comics. You should buy everything you can from him that he's done personally, and anything you're looking for that you can't find local from his company. I hope you'll consider it, anyway.

In this typically engaging blog post, Porcellino writes about the resurfacing of health concerns after some stressful recent show trip. They'll ground him for the time being. I will never second guess John Porcellino when it comes to taking care of John Porcellino; but as a fan of the work he does and the work he champions I'll miss his presence at some of the shows he'd been doing on the East Coast like SPX and the Gabe Fowler shows. Please stay healthy as best you can, John.
 
posted 7:55 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.

*****

NOV150334 BEST OF DC WAR ARTISTS ED HC PI
The listing for IDW books this week is bigger than I've ever seen, or at least that's what my memory tells me. I don't do the job I should listing their best books, so I thought I'd use imagery only from that company's offerings this week. Up top is maybe the first anthology-style artist's edition book I've really wanted to own, as it features stories from DC's various war comics. War is comics most under-appreciated home for quality genre work, and a lot of the artists involved in the stories collected here were at the height or near-height of their powers. The format should be very flattering to them.

imageAPR160508 TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE #13 $7.99
APR160073 LOBSTER JOHNSON METAL MONSTERS OF MIDTOWN #2 $3.50
APR160755 EAST OF WEST #27 $3.99
APR160648 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR A QUITELY (MR) $3.99
APR160649 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR B LEE (MR) $3.99
APR160650 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR C MAYHEW (MR) $3.99
APR160651 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR D BLANK COVER (MR) $3.99
APR160775 SEX #29 (MR) $3.99
APR160932 HYPERION #4 $3.99
APR161197 HILLBILLY #1 $3.99
APR162173 SWEETNESS #1 (MR) $3.99
APR161562 BADGER #5 (MR) $3.99
Tom Scioli has created something strange and beautiful and very, very comics with his work on this series, partnered with John Barber. Scioli is one of the best artists in terms of finding texture in concepts and theories used by other artists: he's created significant works singing in the key of Jack Kirby and working from the songbook of 1970s psychedelia. Here it's 1980s junk culture that becomes the medium, to intriguing result. The Lobster Johnson is this week's Mignola-verse comic and gives us Tonci Zonjic. A lot happens in East of West this time out, months and years of anticipatory placing of piece erupting into a big violent setpiece. The Jupiter's Legacy comic is more high-concept, movie-ready superheroing from writer Mark Millar only this time working with that great creator of fleshy superhero figures Frank Quitely. Sex #29 made me laugh a lot. That comic boasts a 1980s indy-comics setting and a mid-2000s disdain for the people that inhabit those places; it's a fun combination. Hyperion is I believe recently canceled; I liked that character when I was a kid and I love abortive attempts at getting second-run superheroes over, like the Paul Di Filippo Doc Samson series from more than a decade ago. Hillbilly is the new series from Eric Powell, and thus worth our attention. Sweetness is Miss Lasko-Gross working with art by Kevin Colden, so ditto that attention from the previous sentence. Finally, Badger #5 because I told my friend Larry it'd be included. I like that character, though, and hope someone films some iteration of it so my brother and I can go.

MAR160684 SAGA TP VOL 06 (MR) $14.99
Gotta be a happy day in the comics shop when one of these trades shows up. Talking to a lot of the newer creators with hit series on their hands, they all seem to feel that a significant part of their overall readership are buying the trades like intermittent serial comics that just cost a lot. I imagine with all the material out there that this could be true.

MAY161627 SOUNDS OF YOUR NAME TP (MR) $18.00
This is early Nate Powell and I believe has been published a few times; it's now at Conundrum Press, where it will remain in print forever.

MAY161654 EINSTEIN HC $19.95
A straight up biography translated from the French by Nobrow. The pages from Corinne Maier and Anne Simon run here look like a lot of fun.

APR161691 GARYS GARDEN TP $7.99
This I assume is a collection or a reprint of a collection featuring the Gary Northfield comics from The Phoenix. That stuff looked terrific, and I hope this version settles into enough comic shops I can run across it and buy a copy.

MAY161628 THREADBARE TP (MR) $13.95
Politically-charged comics from Anne Elizabeth Moore and a formidable line-up of cartoonists, many of whom are not exactly known for politically-informed comics of this kind.

APR162087 ATTACK ON TITAN LOST GIRLS NOVEL $12.95
MAR161182 MOUSE GUARD ART OF BRICKS HC $34.99
I have no idea what these will be like, even if they're good or not, but I'm dying to know if Attack On Titan in other media has the same careening, up eight days in a row high as a kite demented sections that are sprinkled throughout the manga. The Mouse Guard book I'm going to assume is well-crafted and under-appreciate, like nearly everything the franchise has produced.

APR160643 FUN FAMILY GN $24.99
I love the fact that a fully-formed graphic novel can come out without a lot of fanfare or hype, although I imagine the PR people at the various publishing houses are less impressed by work that follows this basic model. Digging into Family Circus wins the cartoonist no prizes in terms of idiosyncratic target hunting, but it's still rich territory for all sorts of culturally relevant commentary.

*****

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 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Few Mike Mignola Black & White Images

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Writer Warns Against Signing Away Rights

Here. I don't understand the world of supported-writing and on-line TV shows that are discussed in the article, but as a longtime observer of comics and a writer who owns almost everything I write these days (such as it is) there are multiple entry points for me and might be for you.

Read your contracts, get a lawyer to read your contracts, get your most skeptical friend that loves you to read your contracts. Run through every scenario. Be careful. And if you're not at the point in your career where this stuff comes up a whole lot, or have another entry point into the discussion entirely, seek out and honor and support avenues for the creation of art that as their primary virtue reward the creator.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Roger Langridge On Brexit

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Ryan North Holds Forth On Fan Fiction

Here. I think that all makes sense. I like how people will bring very specific value systems to things that they do. I think most writers have written in some way with other characters -- even if those stories haven't been typed out. I like the idea that an advantage to that kind of writing is to see if you can figure out a character in a way that you can make that convinces other fans of the authenticity they require to read and enjoy the story. That would have to be really useful.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Monster Jar

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Well Of Course He Can

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1. Bob Temuka on Aama and DK3. Jerry Smith on Captain America Epic Collection Vol. 1.

* IDW is looking for an experienced comic book editor. That'll be a good job for someone and might be a source of frustration for a lot of people who would like such a job and think they'd be good at it but don't have the asked-for experience. I hope they interview widely, and trust they will.

* Chip Zdarsky has powerful friends.

* this is a fun comics page. I prefer both action-oriented pages and gigantic panorama-style vista to this kind of posed shot, and comics that rely on posed images tend to be some of the worst in world history. That's still a fine character design, surrounded by a number of very comics-y visual flourishes.

* I guess people are still debating plot points in comics with Captain America in them and how comics work and such? I picked a good summer to skip Twitter.

* this is how you create 1000 gags in a year. I love old books about gag cartooning. There's never been revival for that kind of comics-making that's gone very deep, and I don't expect one any time soon. This is fine with me until I have all the Chon Day paperbacks.

* Abraham Riesman picks the best comics of the year to date. That's a really broad list in terms of genre and approach, and there are a lot of good comics on it.

* Zack Smith talks to Tom Scioli. Someone at the Creators Of Written Sins site talks to Victor Dandridge, Jr. Derek Colanduno talks to Darryl Cunningham.

* here is a run of cartoons about Brexit. Here is another. Here is something related that I can't see because WaPo wants subscription money now.

* finally, here are Matt Kindt's 10 rules for drawing comics.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Bobby London!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Bo Hampton!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Mike Richardson!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Don Rosa!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 28, 2016


Go, Look: The Phoenixes

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Michel Renaud's Widow Files Charges Against Charlie Hebdo

This is just awful-sounding. It's hard for me to believe that millions of dollars are necessary to stabilize the publication of a magazine, if I'm even understanding what that means, even one in Hebdo's unique situation. I also believe that something firm and clear of major, dangling questions -- the kind of questions that are suggested here to be unresolved in some way -- should have been worked out as immediately and with as much clarity as possible after the 2015 shooting.

The lawsuits and some of the public complaints surrounding Hebdo brought to bear by those with a connection to the magazine interest me not just for the hangover of the drama involved but because a lot of the questions are limited to the event and the crime and the direct aftermath in terms of things like monies raised -- and they're still deeply messed up. It's something familiar to people I know who have been in close proximity to life-changing violence: shifting contexts can only exacerbate or provide some small tonic in the face of core wounds; the wounds themselves remain.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Shock SuspenStories Cover Images Gallery

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: HeroesCon 2016

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

 
Go, Look: Chris Samnee Superhero Pin-Ups

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Tim Hensley Interview By Roman Muradov

imageThat's a really interesting pairing.

Hensley's Sir Alfred No. 3 has a fascinating story in that the book that started with Buenaventura Press and ended up with Fantagraphics Books upon the passing of publisher Buenaventura Press. Championing unique talents with a special attention to the way the work is presented, that's what Alvin Buenaventura did best when he was operating on all cylinders. For its part, Fantagraphics never gets historical credit for some of the things they've done for smaller-press counterparts or books that are placed with such publishers when something horrible like this comes up.

I hope you'll read the comic. Despite its twin publishing partners, that is going to be one of the most obscure titles with which to grapple when it comes time to naming the best books of 2016.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
I Never Get Tired Of Looking At Franklin Booth Illustrations

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Soto Family GoFundMe On Behalf Of Youngest Member Pressing Towards 10X Initial Ask

Here. Good on the comics community for stepping up on behalf of one of its most well-liked members, alt-arts division. I have to imagine any additional money will be put to good use.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Short Excerpt From Jeremy Sorese's Curveball

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* if you missed another round of Benign Kingdom artbooks, walk don't run to their crowd-funder.

* Alexander Lu talks to Ulisses Fariñas about his work with Storme Smith on the new Magnetic Press Buño.

* Mike Sterling notes that Marvel's new initiative with the Star Wars characters and setting is just now encompassing the movie released last holiday season. Sterling points out that with the ubiquity of personal copies of the movie, there's no real reason to ruch an adaptation to market.

* finally, Joe Ollmann shoes off the cover to next year's The Abominable Mr. Seabrook.

image
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Orlando, 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
 

 
Go, Look: Underwater

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on a bunch of mini-comics. And a bunch more. And an additional bunch. Bob Temuka on DKIII. Todd Klein on Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 and Gay-Neck: The Story Of A Pigeon.

* if you qualify, consider contacting MariNaomi about being included in her databases.

* well, he seems to think our solution is to murder him.

* what person 30 to 60 hasn't gone though this stage?

* this Derf take on a famous painting made me laugh -- I recognized the painting before I read the contextual explanation.

* here is Bob Temuka's lifetime in comics. I was going to do something similar over a longer period of time with TCJ, but my relationship deteriorated with that publication before we could get that one done.

* Carrie McClain talks to Hybrie and Faybra.

* finally, this has to be one of comics' most benign alternate universes.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Ian Brill!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 72nd Birthday, Philippe Druillet!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 75th Birthday, Mike Royer!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 27, 2016


Go, Donate: Help Zack And Krista Soto With Expenses Incurred In Helping Their Son See

image
I don't know Krista Soto very well, or young Caspian, but I'm fond of Zack Soto as a cartoonist, convention organizer, publisher, distributor and person -- not in that order. I hope you'll consider a donation. I have to imagine that every bit can help.
photo ganked from the SG site; all apologies
 
posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ehren English

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* this Joyce Brabner-helmed combination podcast and stream of editorial cartoons in tight proximity to Cleveland's forthcoming Republication National Convention looks like it could be up to no good -- in the best way.

* the latest Dirty Diamonds project looks well on its way. Worthy-looking projects by Sequential Crush and Dare2Draw seem much less certain at this point, but in no way are these unachievable. I'm not sure there is a crowd-funder you can count out before the last day these days.

* I wrote a post last Friday focused on Linda Medley's situation; she could use some support.

* Joey Peters wrote in to remind us of his Stardust-related crowd-funder.

* finally, we're nearly a month into the fundraiser for Geneviève Elverum, with over 4100 people participating.
 
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: The Brave And The Bold Covers

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on 5000 KM Per Second. David Press with some initial thoughts on the staggering achievement of the Showa series.

* not comics: here's some advice for PR people out there on a proper response when someone asks to be taken off a mailing list where you're bombarding them with material that doesn't fit their coverage profile in any way: there isn't one. Don't respond at all. Just remove the name from the mailing list. Certainly don't respond with an angry explanation of how you thought this was justified. Nobody cares except in that you are now wasting more of their time. You are totally wrong not to do a cursory, professional exploration of the sites whose time you're wasting with your press releases. We in the press tend to understand how hard your job is, and wish you well -- we just wish you well in a way where we're not doing your work for you, even if it's only 20 seconds of it.

* also: get out of my yard.

* Chase Magnett discusses comics-makers that make racist comics, and how we view them. Not changing your opinion on older works is probably the easiest construction to face here; more problematic is engaging with things of value in a racist, bigoted and maybe even just plain awful work, and perhaps even more problematic is the career summary, like a Hall Of Fame nomination. None of it is easy.

* don't really know what's going on here but I don't promote people on the site. I wish we could dump that particular reductive, consumerist phrasing as to how media coverage works. I will continue to write about all sorts of people that I in some cases and other people in other cases believe have done awful things or have been shown to believe something repellent or shit-stupid. My guess is that if all the information were on the table, this would be the case in over 98 percent of the things and people I cover. It's just not something that registers for me in doing that part of my job. You get covered because you're newsworthy, not because you're worthy.

* not comics: this is awful.

* finally, Gordon Jackson seeks to explain the current presidential election through the use of pop-culture items. Sounds good to me.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 88th Birthday, Joe Giella!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Debbie Huey!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 55th Birthday, Butch Guice!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 55th Birthday, Bernie Mireault!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Dan Jurgens!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 26, 2016


Go, Look: Brian Cook

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Morgaine Faye

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Laura Harte

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Witches Get Stitches

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Pity Party Studios

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Konrad Werks

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brendan Kiefer

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Marlowe Dobbe

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Rodney Alan Greenblat

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: PMurphy

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Holly Cappello

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 82nd Birthday, Bob Weber Sr.!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Tom DeFalco!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 39th Birthday, Tite Kubo!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 31st Birthday, Frank Candiloro!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 25, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


The Ghosts We Know Trailer


2016 HeroesCon Drink And Draw With OOSA


Bill Mauldin Speaks To National Press Club
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from June 18 to June 24, 2016:

1. HeroesCon quietly adds attendance to what was otherwise by most appearance a standard edition of the long-running, comics-focused show, suggesting a reality for convention in this Age Of Conventions.

2. Second Dwayne McDuffie award to Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward.

3. The new Howard The Duck comic book series was announced as canceled, another sign of the times whereby smaller mainstream efforts see the bottom fall out pretty quickly. The Chip Zdarsky/Joe Quinones effort ran 16 issues but ended on an issue #11 because of reboot-happy publishing strategies.

Winner Of The Week
Chmakova. That's a nice award, with a strong legacy and a focused mission.

Losers Of The Week
The idea of offbeat comics at the big, mainstream companies.

Quote Of The Week
"Hip Hop and comics were my genesis." -- Ed Piskor

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

 
Go, Look: Boozle

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 87th Birthday, Eric Carle!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 24, 2016


By Request Extra: Linda Medley Could Use Some Support

image

There is a patreon for the illustrator and comics-maker here. Paypal-able at medleylinda2@gmail.com. I'm not sure exactly what's going on beyond the fact there's some need there, and that the person who brought it to my attention has never advocated for that kind of mention on this site before now. I hope you'll consider joining me.
 
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: David Alegre

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

Tom Spurgeon

image* aw, nice: work from Megan Kelso is newly available.

* go, read: webcomics providers as big business.

* Korean-style webtoons: the content of the future.

* go, read: Viz Media's new partnership.

* finally, here's a Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock blog tour in support of Compass South.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Portland, 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
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Calvin Reid profiles First Second upon their 10th anniversary.

* last night in my dream my brother said to me: "the next school devoted to making comics should specialize in turning out graduates that can routinely afford original art." This is the rare thing not slapstick-oriented from a dream that made me laugh upon recalling it the next morning.

* not comics: so depressing.

* this can't be the first time someone has suggested this plotline. Analysis of superheroes by race tends to be interesting because as a story construct almost no one even tries to process those issues in serious, sober fashion.

* Gary Tyrrell goes deep on the new Comic-Con badges. I hope his journalistic questions were only ever in doubt because of structural issues...

* finally, readers of io9 ask questions of Ryan North.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Russ Maheras!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 68th Birthday, Michael Dooley!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 23, 2016


Go, Look: Douglas Pollard

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Marvel Classic Comics

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* the festival organizer, retail veteran and writer Christopher Butcher profiles Shintaro Kago.

* bundled extra: the Kick-Ass concept is returning; new character as lead. I suppose that makes sense; it's a good costume and the concept is popular, but at the same time you can't do a lot with an individual character in that role before it gets silly.

* the great Moritat draws John Constantine.

* I guess there's another death-as-pr-event going on in the Marvel comic books right now. Those are always fascinating for the various levels at which fans of those books regard the books: there's sort of a gaming aspect to it, but also it's a dead-on straight-ahead view of what Marvel's doing line-wide.

* Andrew Weiss writes about punk rock and Jack Of Hearts.

* JP Vallafollita on Wonder Woman #1. David Betancourt on Dark Night.

* finally: some days it's like Bully is posting just for me.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 53rd Birthday, Zoran Janjetov!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 36th Birthday, Becky Cloonan!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 41st Birthday, Sacha Mardou!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 22, 2016


Go, Look: Molly Mendoza

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
2016 Dwayne McDuffie Award To Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward

imageThere's an announcement here about this year's McDuffie Award going to Awkward, by cartoonist Svetlana Chmakova. The award was announced during last weekend's Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF).

This was the award's second year. Judges were Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Eva Volin, Edith Donnell and Marv Wolfman.

Chmakova accepted with a video, which you may find published on the page through that initial link.

Dwayne McDuffie was a talented, award-winning comics and animation writer who supported diverse expression at every stage of his impressive career. His work won the Humanitas Prize and he was the co-creator of the popular character Static. He died in 2011.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Warrior's Song

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jason Sturgill

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the writer and artist Chip Zdarsky has announced that his and artist Joe Quinones' version of the Howard The Duck character will see a last issue with #11. Apparently that's a sixteenth issue due to the fundamental manipulative stupidity of the comics industry with these issues numbers, but it's not like that's the createors' fault. Congratulations to them on their run. Apparently the book could continue at current sales number but the story for which the creators launched the title has come to a conclusion and they're leaving the series. I liked that comic just fine when I read it; I thought its creators did well enough with the tough job of executing a comic with that character in the age of line-wide narratives and tell-me-why-to-buy-this consumer choice. It was also instructive how essentially conservative this latest Howard series seemed compared to the 1970s version helmed by co-creator Steve Gerber. At times reading the new Howard was like watching a reboot of All In The Family where Archie chooses his words carefully and there are very few moments of conflict.

* Brigid Alverson has some word as to what we might expect from new Tokyopop comics. Here's an interview with Stu Levy at the comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com.

* speaking of Alverson, her interview with Drew Ford should give you an idea of what's up with his new company moving forward.

* I'm sure I pulled this for a different reason, but here is a bunch of newly-released small press work.

* PW has a survey of material out this Fall. Scroll down to the Drawn and Quarterly/Fantagraphics section in particular and it's just one nice-sounding comic after another. I think I'm most looking forward to Mooncop, but that's only right at this moment. I'll be anticipating a different comic tomorrow.

* finally, here's a new character at Marvel. They don't do a lot of new characters with this kind of public launch, so it struck me was worth noting.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Michael Dooley Talks To Tosh Berman

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Locust Moon's Chris Stevens Needs Some Help To Bring Home His Beloved Inky The Cat

Explained here.

I know that some people dismiss pet-related requests outright, but others pay more attention to them than any other kind of request and I hope I will never have the desire to judge people at their point of need.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Samantha Maldonado profiles Andrea Tsurumi. Sarah Mirk talks to Lisa Hanawalt. Jeffrey Renaud talks to Cecil Castellucci. Jessica Voelker talks to Gary Groth. Susan Karlin talks to Paul Dini.

* not comics: I'm not the biggest fan of Star Trek, but this is a fun picture.

* Steve Lieber: either one of the classiest people in comics or one of those with the most extra time on their hands. Or both, maybe. I don't know. You decide.

* Rob Kirby on Talk Dirty To Me.

* the drawing here looks like a lot of fun, although I have something close to zero interest in the subject matter and suspect the lives as lived are ultimately more fascinating that fanciful extrapolation.

* go, look: rare Al Columbia art on eBay.

* finally, I'm terrible at linking to strings of conversation from Twitter, but somewhere in here scrolled up or down Darryl Ayo digs into Cartoon Utopia.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Armando Gill!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 79th Birthday, RC Harvey!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 60th Birthday, Kevin Fagan!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 45th Birthday, Eric Reynolds!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 56th Birthday, Phil Elliott!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Ali Farzat!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 21, 2016


Go, Look: Pork Belly Comics

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Why Toxic Air Is Every Family's Problem

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Columbus Dispatch On Spitball Anthology

imageSpitball is the student anthology from Columbus College Of Art & Design, and might be the most focused, most professional-looking student anthology I've ever seen: illustration students with an interest in comics paired with professional writers on short stories.

Here's the Columbus Dispatch reporting on the project in their midst.

That whole space should be interesting in next few years: not just comics programs, like CCAD is developing, but schools with illustration programs that confront head-on the reality of students working in comics.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Pencil Drawings By Walt Simonson

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Buz Sawyer Character Portraits

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rachel Davies talks to Lisa Hanawalt. Paul Gravett talks to Laurence Grove. Brigid Alverson talks to Drew Ford. Sean T. Collins talks to Lisa Hanawalt.

* not comics: fuck pretty much everything in here.

* I wanted to pull out this TCJ interview with Jason Shiga into its own bullet point because Shiga's a really entertaining cartoonist whom I'm not certain has found his natural audience, even now.

* the "implied handjob" scene reprinted in this article is pretty amazing.

* jealous.

* finally, every one of these panels is fascinating-looking.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Steve Niles!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Berke Breathed!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 60th Birthday, Daryl Cagle!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 20, 2016


Go, Look: Ally Shwed

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* crowd-funders we've been tracking and/or that simply pop when we skim the listings on the site: The SEA-WOLF, the latest from Sequential Crush and the Dare2Draw mentoring project.

image* the crowd-funder for Genevieve Elverum has pushed past the $170,000 mark. This is still short of the $250K asked for, but the original ask was much more modest and this feels like a good thing all-around given the grim necessities. The musician-cartoonist has sought help for her family in dealing with her cancer, diagnosed a few short months after she gave birth. I hope it provides some relief, and I'm grateful to be a member of one of the several artistic communities that has contributed to this cause.

* allow me the latest semi-regular reminder that this site's friend and occasional contributor Gil Roth has a patreon.

* congratulations to Drew Ford on meeting the initial goal set for his Joe R. Lansdale/Sam Glanzman project. It's tough to launch a creative venture that's dependent on crowd-funding (as opposed to letting a creative venture that follows from displayed skill in that area) so that's an impressive thing.

* finally, here's the latest round of crowd-funding for the Dirty Diamonds series.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Various Ronald Searle Theater-World Caricatures

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #6. Mark Dickson on Plants Vs. Zombies Lawnmageddon. Matt Brady on One Piece Vol. 78.

* my goodness, the number of words here.

* here's an article on the next Spider-Man within-his-titles "event" saga. I think Spider-Man is a fine character. The original run of his first comic is one of the few arguments out there for a consistent storyline shared by several creators and shepherded by a big company. Still, I can't help but think that doing multiple comics with that character is just too much, especially that we're now some fifty years in. That sure isn't going to change as long as there's a hardcore fandom that can add significantly to a market share and keep the company profitable quarter to quarter, but I can dream.

* Dustin Nguyen draws Howard The Duck.

* finally: by request, Andrew Weiss discusses his favorite Swamp Thing story.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Justin Norman!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 82nd Birthday, Rius!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, John Workman Jr.!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Nix!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 40th Birthday, Theo Ellsworth!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 19, 2016


Happy Father's Day To All The Dads That Love Their Kids Without Fully Understanding Them

image
 
posted 2:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Rob Dunsmuir

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Vegas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 43rd Birthday, Dan Fraga!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy Stupid 33rd Birthday, Lisa Hanawalt And Her Terrible Comics!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #457 -- Smile

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Provide Links For Five Photos You Like That Feature Cartoonists Or Other Comics Makers. Name The Photo Subject Or Subjects." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Michael Borelli

1. Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie (wedding) by Neil Gaiman
2. Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis with Playboy Bunny.
3. Wally Wood with crossbow by Mike Zeck
4. Elder, Davis, Kurtzman, Jaffee, Roth etc. from Trump #1
5. Frank and Ellie Frazetta from 1953

*****

image

Michael Dooley

1. Rose O'Neill (Gertrude Käsebier)
2. Jill Thompson (Greg Preston)
3. Lily Renee and Trina Robbins (Marc Greenberg)
4. Nell Brinkley (San Francisco Call)
5. Stephane Charbonnier, Charb (Michel Euler/AP)

*****

image

Michael Buntag

1. Will Eisner and Jack Kirby (and wife) (Alan Light)
2. Pizza Island (Julia Wertz)
3. Brad Anderson (Shel Dorf)
4. Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
5. Julius Schwartz (Michael Buntag)

*****

image

* Al Jaffee and Will Elder
* Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Diane Noomin, and Carol Tyler
* Jaime, Mario, and Gilbert Hernandez (Carol Kovinick-Hernandez)
* Spain Rodriguez
* Claire Bretecher

*****

image

Tom Spurgeon

1. Saul Steinberg (Irving Penn)
2. Eric Reynolds And Al Columbia
3. Carol Tyler (Gil Roth)
4. Peter Arno (Stanley Kubrick)
5. Matt Fraction (Whit Spurgeon)

*****

image

Sean Kleefeld

1. Gil Kane, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Jim Steranko, Will Eisner & Jerry Siegel
2. Steve Ellis & David Gallaher (Gavin Dillinger)
3. Marie Severin (Scott Edelman)
4. Wendy Pini & Frank Thorne
5. Winsor McCay

*****

image

Des Devlin

1. Al Jaffee, and Will Elder (1939, unknown)
2. Standing: Nick Meglin, Tom Richmond, Don Edwing, Sam Viviano; Seated: Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee (Sampsel Preston)
3. Joe Raiola (Irving Schild)
4. Bill Gaines (stuck inside the Statue of Liberty’s arm) (Annie Gaines)
5. Blonde Frank Jacobs, and Frank Jacobs (Doug Gilford)

*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. Jack Kirby (photographer unknown)
2. Vaughn Bod! (photographer unknown)
3. Wally Wood (Gilbert Ortiz)
4. Alex Raymond (photographer unknown)
5. Jim Woodring (photographer unknown)

*****

image

Evan Cass

1. Mike Sekowsky and model Joyce Miller (DC Comics)
2. Eastman & Laird
3. Craig Thompson and Violet (Joshin Yamada)
4. American Splendor's Toby Radloff (New Line Productions)
5. Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones

*****

image

Oliver Ristau

1. Jackie Ormes (photograph courtesy of Tim Jackson)
2. Howard Chaykin (Derek Bremner)
3. Guy Peellaert (Harry Shunk)
4. Joe McCulloch (Tom Spurgeon)
5. Kiriko Nananan

*****

all photos owned by their respective copyright holders and nothing in the above constitutes any claim whatsoever. I think I'm okay with the photo use in the context of an article about those photos rather than using them to illustrate an article, but if any of the photographers disagree, I'll happily change things around

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

 
June 18, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Comix Experience Graphic Novel Club One-Year Anniversary


Jim Toomey On Ocean Conservation


Guy Rants About Captain America Plotline While Playing Video Games


People Saying "Hail Hydra" In Marvel Movies And TV Shows


Roy Crane History Lesson
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Vegas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Ann Arbor, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In St. Louis, 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
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Dean Mullaney!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 30th Birthday, Caitlin McGurk!

image
swiped from her facebook feed
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Ryan Alexander-Tanner!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, François Vigneault!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 53rd Birthday, Wataru Yoshizumi!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 17, 2016


Go, Look: Fumio Obata

image
fine article here you might read before going to the site about the work Obata has been doing with issues in and surrounding massive earthquake damage in Japan.
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: CAKE 2016

image
this article has been archived
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Alice In Wonderland

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Heidi MacDonald On HeroesCon And Non-Compliance

There's a nicely done, old-fashioned link-heavy survey post over at The Beat, posted yesterday, about HeroesCon 2016 taking place under the shadow of that state's noxious anti-LGBT legislation. Other than Joe Harris' statements a few months back I don't recall any professional deciding not to go in protest of that legislation -- my apologies if I'm excluding someone or not fully up to date on that.

This kind of thing is tough for comics. Comics isn't fueled by commerce as much as the aspirations and desires of its core communities with commercial goals kind of folded into the general package. It's really easy for that self-direction of various desires, their management and facilitation, to lurch into self-absorption and self-justification and for stands to be avoided or explained away in the face of challenges to that personal progression no matter how the individual views an issue in abstract. I fully respect anyone that doesn't want to participate in a fucked-up system, or a system that's acting fucked up, even as much as I believe from personal experience that a boycott is best understood as a focused strategy with set goals and not a perpetual framework that affords a personal buy-in on one's own time. That's me, though. Others disagree. I respect a variety of engaged choices in matters like this, and believe, perhaps naively, that if enough folks are making informed decisions with force and clarity change tends to follow even if they're not all the same informed decision. Some social constructs are dragons to be slain, while others are an imposition of order that ordinary people can stare down and wear out as fearful, medieval bullshit with little relation to life as it should be lived in the 21st century.

I'm pulling two things out of this article. One is that Equality NC seems to be the group that is the focus of related t-shirt sales and special editions, and benefited from last night's opening party. I would hope people in attendance might look into direct support as well, perhaps a donation matching some element of their trip (the state sales tax, for instance, is just under five percent). Two is that I hope anyone visiting who alters anything about their HeroesCon weekend because of this -- by not going, by reducing expenditures, by doing Charlotte-only expenditures, by making payment or doing work on behalf of any group -- will communicate these actions and their reasons to that state's governor's office, and/or an advocacy group and/or a newspaper, even, as you are a valued customer of that state and what you say should have some pull.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Gillian Blekkenhorst

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: A Pair Of Articles At NYMag.com

* occasional cartoonist K. Thor Jensen has a nice article up here about twitter-bots employed to both reinforce a political candidate and kind of surf the wave created by the size of the audience for each individual tweet.

* in case you had any doubts that the kind of exploitation you've seen throughout comics history is the same kind of exploitation that goes on with other media, check out the sweet deal BuzzFeed creates for itself by dangling the carrot of making its young content creators stars with access to Hollywood leverage. Comics-makers don't have a union, either, but they also for now have enough publishers not working from a deep history of exploiting talent for creators to have a choice: some choosing not to work for those companies, others secure that the other options keep the traditional companies from getting too crazy.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Rilla Alexander

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

Tom Spurgeon

image* hard for me to imagine a bigger story in the world of digital comics than Robert Khoo resigning from his position with the Penny Arcade gaming comics and convention juggernaut. That's a top story of the year, all comics, period. Khoo is credited with taking the popular webcomic into broader areas of profit through what is essentially an old-fashioned marketing idea: positioning the creators of a work about something as experts in that thing, with business enterprises that capitalize on their reputation and prestige. It's not that much different an idea at its heart than getting an author to write an op-ed piece about the subject of her book. It worked incredibly well for the PA creators, as they carved out a space as gaming convention organizers just as conventions in general began to take off.

I agree with everything that Gary Tyrrell says and intimates about the story here. The embedded quality of his coverage of that sub-culture pays off with a little personal insight, too.

* Callum Waterhouse on Broodhollow.

* Gary Tyrrell again: on a potential Internet Creators Guild.

* finally, I haven't tried it out myself yet, but apparently this link takes you to free Cerebus-related material.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
I I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Vegas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Detective Comics Cover Images Mini-Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco on the first burst of comics related to DC Comics' Rebirth initiative. Scott Cederlund on Hellboy In Hell #10.

* here's a piece on the Muhammad Ali/Superman comic book that gets a bit into its history as a publishing project. That's a fun comic.

* not comics: Bruce Canwell writes about Steve Canyon on the small screen.

* ten years later, both the interview subject and the interview are among the most important women in comics.

* foundational blogger and self-made retailer Mike Sterling writes about DC's stewardship of the Charlton superhero characters.

* Michael Cavna points out some of the more politically charged editorial cartoon to erupt in the hours the story broke.

* I always liked the original Adrian Chase/Vigilante costume: it looked like an adults version of a costume a 1980s teen might wear. As for the article itself, I guess there's a Green Arrow TV show.

* finally, here's a summary of DC's current "Rebirth" line initiative in terms of how it is having an effect on linewide storytelling and character elements. That might make a nice contrast with the Mozzocco article in terms of how that material is developing. Just skimming the article it doesn't seem a lot has changed on the artistic front with those comics. Of course, that's an idiotic point, even for me: it's not like people are going to learn to draw differently.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 35th Birthday, James Andre!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 41st Birthday, Pauline Martin!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Hilary Barta!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 68th Birthday, Chance Browne!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Bart Beaty!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Bill Sherman!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 16, 2016


Go, Look: Kinoko Evans

image
 
posted 2:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Ed Brubaker On The Very Specific Sadness Of DC's Current Use Of Watchmen Characters

imageNear the end of the second edition of his new newsletter, the writer Ed Brubaker launches into several paragraphs on the DC's current use of Watchmen characters and concepts within their "Rebirth" editorial initiative. Although god only knows how the use of the characters will progress, right now it seems like characters like Dr. Manhattan are being set up as possible direct antagonists within the series and their general narrative thrust as the thematic opposite of a proposed more hopeful and upbeat line-wide narrative.

Brubaker was a critic of Before Watchmen as well, and his point of view remains the same with this even more direct assumption of full control over the characters and concepts created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Brubaker points out that the original series was once held up as a paragon of creators' rights and it's the fact that it is so far from that now that is specifically galling. He goes into some detail.

I agree with everything Ed says, including his disdain to the point of being unable to directly engage with those who angrily assert the rights and duties of corporations even when no one is talking about that. I might go a bit further than Brubaker to point out that DC's last decade of managing the property has been arguably shitty, too, starting with a movie that is definitely not considered a one-of-a-kind classic the way the book is and didn't seem to have any possible chance of being such a film such was its blunt and rudimentary take. The Before Watchmen material doesn't seem well-remembered at all a scant few years after it was announced. And now there's this. Under the old regime we might at least have taken in the work's 30th birthday with some of the reverence people once held for that work. Not so much now.

As always, particularly for those of you that don't remember the status Alan Moore enjoyed at that time or weren't there to see it: if big media corporations are going to screw people like Jack Kirby and Alan Moore, it's hard to imagine they'd pass up a shot at screwing you.
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Asher Craw

image
 
posted 2:12 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Steve Lafler Painting Book

Here. At the time I'm typing this there are no backers for what is a modestly-conceived project: I bet Lafler has more than enough fans out there to make this happen if they can learn about it between now and the deadline. Even if you can't buy or aren't interested the video is entertaining.
 
posted 2:11 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ronald Searle Draws English Clubs

image
 
posted 2:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Interview With Stephen Floyd

I enjoyed this interview with Stephen Floyd of One Percent Press. He's opening a comics shop in Buffalo -- a hidden growth city for alt-culture for about a decade now. I think a lot of good store are going to be opened over the next decade by people like Floyd, folks already involved with comics that are looking for a specific expression for what they want to do with the medium and/or within the industry. Sounds like a fun shop to visit and do a reading for those of you putting together tours that involve Toronto moving east or west from there.
 
posted 2:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A One-Page Hopey Comic

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Jacque Nodell Launches A New Sequential Crush Kickstarter Project

It's called How To Go Steady and it's explained here. Nodell comes from Golden Age industry royalty and her blog has long been one of the best focused sources for its chosen subject matter. I can't imagine this won't be funded fairly quickly.
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dave Cockrum Original Art

image
 
posted 1:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brett Carville

image
 
posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Dare2Draw Launches First Anthology

The principal players behind Dare2Draw have combined with Brendan Wright for an anthology project they're crowdfunding. You can read about it here. I'm not familiar with all of the players or the project to the point I can suggest much more than reading what they're offering, but it seems like a potentially interesting project and Wright seems to have his thumb in a lot of them.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Fred Noland

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* Kiel Phegley talks to Dan Mishkin about all things Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival. I regret not being able to attend that fun-sounding show.

* Matt Solberg of Phoenix Comicon has released attendance numbers, both unique and daily, that seem significant -- as in top five shows of this type significance. I have no reason to disbelieve them, and the photos I've seen suggest anecdotal support.

* this weekend is Heroes Con in Charlotte, the cool older brother of June's current avalanche of shows. I'm looking forward to attending a day of it late in the weekend. That's a very feel-good show for the professionals in attendance, and Charlotte's downtown -- compact, filled with good but not overly expensive restaurants -- is ideally suited for an old-fashioned convention social experience. If the line is too long at the rightly-beloved Mert's, I had quite the decent, affordable southern meal and beers two years ago at the non-profit King's Kitchen, five minutes' walk away.

* of the four or five other cons out there, Denver is the one with the most juice based on recent performance -- it's the Jurassic World of cons, killing it without anyone interested in why able to point to a factor more complicated than "they put on a show of the kind that a lot of people like in a place where a lot of people could respond by going." See also recent shows in Salt Lake and Calgary.

* it occurs to me that someone smart could do a killer small press show somewhere July 1 to August 31, but it would have to be very intelligently conceived for people in that world to like it more than they value having a big chunk of the calendar year to rest between outings.

* finally, you can order a Comic-Con International t-shirt here.
 
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 Indianapolis, I'd Go To This

image
this strikes me as a new place for indy/alt readings and I'm not sure these come to Indiana that frequently; if you live there maybe make the extra effort to come out -- it's a good reading
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Amy Kuttab

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs of the arts-duo Metaphrog for their nomination as Best Visual Artist in the The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016. Winners will be announced on July 7.

image* Tobias Carroll talks to Cullen Bunn. Some nice person at Blu Bento talks to Francois Vigneault. Jake Shapiro talks to Emma Ríos.

* voting for the Eisners ends tomorrow.

* not sure why this ended up in my general folder as opposed to my go, look folder but I enjoyed looking at some of the posts.

* the call for proposals for 2017's Queers And Comics is open until July 1. The conference itself is next April.

* finally, Oliver Ristau played last week's Five For Friday long-distance. Sorry to put a hard time limit on that one, but I was away from the computer.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 36th Birthday, Sarah Glidden!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 86th Birthday, Frank Thorne!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Arnold Pander

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Austin Kleon!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 37th Birthday, Arne Bellstorf!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 43rd Birthday, Vito Delsante!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Killoffer!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 15, 2016


Go, Look: Jenn Woodall

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
A Pair Of Notes Tangentially Relating Comics Issues To Matters Of Potential Concern Post-Orlando

* the right-lurching politician Newt Gingrich calls for a Islam-focused House Unamerican Activities Committee revival, which is Orwellian feat of political rhetoric if only that at one point anti-communist committees like that one were seemingly completely discredited in all eyes that didn't also have easy access to a John Birch Society card. The HUAC was a model for the kind of Washington-based parsing and purging impulse that also fueled comics censorship, although except for an investigation into Lev Gleason that may have led him to divest himself of operational duties with his publishing house, they never really had a comics-related mandate or outcome.

* Zak Sally's Facebook post here and a few others like it from different folks remind that the Center on Halsted, which hosted CAKE, saw a surge of security following the shooting in Florida. I would imagine -- without wanting to pressure anyone into a public statement on policy that's likely still being formulated -- that most shows and festivals are giving extra thought to security issues and doubly so for those with a significant and public LGBT element. I wish them intelligence, insight and clarity.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Old Chris Pitzer Letters

image
 
posted 8:30 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.

*****

APR161576 HOT DOG TASTE TEST HC $22.95
This is a light week at the comics shop for me, so I guess I'll be forced to buy Lisa Hanawalt's stupid new book. I'll be moderating her spotlight panel at Comic-Con International next month and like all the interviews I do with the LA-based cartoonist and illustrator I will be pressuring her to retire.

imageAPR161330 ELF CAT IN LOVE GN $15.00
The always-prolific James Kochalka has a new offering this week, with 100 pages wrapped in hardcover from Retrofit, who rarely -- if ever -- do hardcovers. Actually, checking that out on the Internet just now I see it's their first. Kochalka is always interesting to me, and Retrofit's books have been compelling more often than not over the last two years.

MAR161467 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #10 $3.99
FEB160044 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #142 $3.50
APR160413 ASTRO CITY #36 $3.99
APR160760 INVINCIBLE #129 $2.99
APR160712 LAZARUS #22 (MR) $3.99
It's a small group of comic-book comics this week led by the first double-digit issue of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, which is an amazing thing, really. There's a Mike Mignola created universe book after that one, continue what seems in past issues to a be a slow build-up to the next anniversary peak. I'm always glad to see the solid Astro City on the stands; ditto Robert Kirkman's under-appreciated hit-the-landing accomplishment Invincible. I enjoy Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's Lazarus series the same way I used to enjoy serials in Epic Illustrated when I was a kid. There's enough material there you can invest yourself in the world-building and outsized political commentary, but nothing is too far into the kind of gritty details and emotional turmoil that comes from a lot of non-genre material. You're engaged, just not consumed, which makes it really diverting.

FEB160019 NEIL GAIMANS HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES HC $17.99
FEB160250 DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC (MR) $22.99
These are two projects of kinds that rarely work for me: the first being an adaptation from a short prose story by the famous writer in question, the second being a true story that touches on our relationship to corporate owned icons. There are some interesting artists involved with these particular takes: Eduardo Risso working with Paul Dini's story of recovery from violence; Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon on the Gaiman short. That means they're both worth a look.

OCT150608 SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 03 THREE THE HARD WAY (MR) $14.99
That's gotta be a happy day in certain comics shops when a new trade of this series come out -- not Saga trade day happy, but pretty happy. I enjoyed the re-read that I got when the first two trades landed in my lap, so I expect a similar experience here. I like that there seems to be a undercurrent of just what a comic like this means and what it does informing a narrative far removed from that kind of noodling.

MAR160939 PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT TP VOL 01 HOOKED ON FELINE $17.99
FEB160043 SAPIEN TP VOL 07 SECRET FIRE $19.99
Here's two solid-looking trade featuring characters that would seem to have greater potential as the kinds of characters that could hold our attention for a series or several. The Patsy Walker character has always sort of seemed that way to me, going all the way back to her being processed into a superhero in the Avengers comics I read as a kid.

APR161701 ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY SCREAMING PLANET GN (MR) $19.95
JAN161697 SHOWMAN KILLER HC VOL 02 GOLDEN CHILD (MR) $15.99
Since we're doing pairs today, here's a pair of works involving Alexandro Jodorowsky. I'm not a fervent reader of his work in any medium, but I think the Screaming Planet book as short stories with some primetime collaborator might be one to help me change my mind.

APR161657 COMPASS SOUTH GN $17.99
This is a nautically themed straight-up all-ages book from the FSG part of MacMillan, by writer Hope Larson and artist Rebecca Mock. At least one sequel of a hopeful series is planned. This is the kind of book that tends to be subsumed in the fury and crush of weekly comics-shop buying, so I hope people make the effort with this one.

AUG151899 GREAT SHOWDOWNS THE REVENGE HC $14.95
I'm not sure why the latest book in this series is showing up in comics shops about a year after I remember it being advertised for purchase in general retail, but whether it's a re-release or a delayed release or a specialty-market late-coming, I enjoy the books enough to note it here. I have a pair of friends not interested in comics but are movie fans that like these books a lot.

APR160539 GODZILLA TREASURY ED $9.99
This is a collection of James Stokoe's work with the Godzilla character, and that work has been really fun and a really nice showcase for the kind of art Stokoe pursues. I want it, for sure.

*****

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 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Cartoonist Self-Portraits Gallery

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Opal Pence

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Nix Comics T-Shirt Fundraiser

Nix Comics is one of my local comics publishers here in Columbus, so feel free to consider this corrupted, glad-handing nonsense, but I was struck by its publisher Ken Eppstein selling t-shirts as a fundraiser -- for both the publisher and the artist.

One side element to fundraising culture that we're likely to see moving forward is a lot more sales with targeted outcomes. It just makes sense as a way to apply values developed via that aspect of comics, and my guess is that in some cases it will be a way organizations or artists charge for material that might, if left untethered, result in raised eyebrows more than enthusiastic responses.

None of that is the case here, though. This is very straight-forward!
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Greg Irons Image Gallery Re-Post

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alexander Jones on Scooby Apocalypse #1. Oliver Sava on Howard The Duck #8. Rob Clough on the comics of Meghan Turbitt. Mark Frauenfelder on Creeping Death From Neptune.

* Derf shows off his copies of RAW #1 and Weirdo #1 and tells a story.

* not comics: here is the artist, one-time devoted young boxer and somewhat unintentional comics-maker Tony Fitzpatrick on Muhammad Ali... and then Donald Trump.

* Greg Hatcher celebrates Mark Evanier Day. Every day is Mark Evanier Day at my house.

* speaking of days, they're bringing back the day for all of us bad at our jobs.

* hard not to love Gary Panter.

* finally, Keith Knight has an Etsy store.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 71st Birthday, Don McGregor!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Christopher Downes!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Brent Anderson!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Brian Hibbs!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 14, 2016


Anatol Kavarsky, RIP

image
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Lillie Craw

image
 
posted 10:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Eisner Awards Voting Ends Friday

image

Those eligible may go here to vote. Current information about the process here. I know awards program aren't for everyone, but unless your ethics suggest otherwise I recommend you vote.
 
posted 10:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Johann J. Tebrake

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* news on the Mark Millar/Greg Capullo project. Capullo's professional reputation as I've encountered it is that of a workhorse with old-school do-the-job values, so it's difficult to imagine complaints similar to the last few Millar projects that the work seems less like a fully realized comics and more like a cursory outline for a motion picture. Although don't get me wrong, the intent is to make the project into a motion picture.

image* been a while since I ran around the Amazon.com listings to look at books coming out. You can't really trust the Amazon.com listings, particularly for exact dates of release, but they're a generally good indication you're likely to get the book in question within a framework a couple of months in advance of the listing to six months afterwards. Usually. If you're lucky. This is what popped for me: Sailor And Pekka, What Parsifal Saw, The Crumb Compendium, Eartha, Nightlights, Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story, The Best We Could Do, The Interview and Starseeds. That Eartha is a new one by Cathy Malkasian, so I'm very excited for that!

* three books of Milo Manara's still coming in 2016 from Humanoids.

* finally, someone asked me if there's been any news on works coming out in 2018 yet, or if it's all 2017 focused, and I remembered this article about a 2018 graphic novel to be called Shadow Life. 2018! I have seen the future of comics and it is closer than you think.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Rebecca Artemisa

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on Nod Away. RJ Casey on Night Air. Greg Hunter on Don't Come In Here. Todd Klein on Jacked #6, Doctor Fate #11 and Survivors' Club #6. Graham Johnstone on In A Glass Grotesquely.

* festivals extra: Heidi MacDonald writes at greater length about exhibitors at cons that sell Xeroxes and print-outs and sell them as if they were work created on their own. She folds in one man's attempt to make a hashtag-worthy conversation of this, and people that use giant tower banners. The idea of people selling print-outs or filtered print-outs as created art is ludicrous, and should be shut down immediately by any con or festival organizer that sees it at their show. You can't have people out there just ripping people off. As for giant banners, I prefer shows that don't feel desperate and cheap, and all the fancy and giant displays kind of feel that way to me. Always have. If it's in a show's rules not to have them, everyone has the right to expect they'll enforce the rules. This seems like really basic stuff, but sometimes we all have problems with the basics. As I said last time, if we can get this stuff out of the way, we eventually need to talk about the concept of drawing copyrighted characters, whether that's an overall good -- a much more difficult conversation.

* speaking of Heidi, I sort of disagree with this premise. Money's important but so is basic orientation. Most of the sites I see -- very much including my own right now -- fail spectacularly to do the job they're given and able to do. There's little reason to think if they had more money that that money would go to rigorous, sourced, contrarian journalism.

* finally, Keino Kammies talks to Zapiro.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Cosey!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 44th Birthday, Jamie Cosley!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Paul Kupperberg!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 72nd Birthday, Jordi Bernet!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Ryan Sands!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 13, 2016


Go, Look: Night Pong

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Mark Gruenwald Week At Marvel.com

image

There is a suite of interviews here at Marvel.com celebrating the life of the editor, writer and very occasional artist Mark Gruenwald, who died almost two decades ago. Mark was the first of that key generation of comics figures from the fanzine-creations and letter-writing circle communities to pass away; the achievements of his peers as they pour years into their careers that Gruenwald didn't have only enhances his reputation and what he accomplished in a comparably short time.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Crawdads Welcome

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Bill Finger Awards To Hughes, Maggin

This rolled out on Friday afternoon after I closed shop for the weekend: Richard E. Hughes and Elliot S! Maggin will be the recipients of this year's Bill Finger Awards, given out during the Eisner Awards ceremony the Friday of Comic-Con International.

imageHughes is probably best known for his work with Ogden Whitney on the amazing Herbie character, although I note that he also wrote The Black Terror, the Golden Age superhero whose costume and general demeanor most suggested don't-fuck-with-me derangement. Hughes passed away in 1974.

Maggin I believe is best known for lengthy runs on multiple Superman titles mostly in but not limited to the 1970s.

Both men strike me as choices firmly within the award's chosen rubric of honoring comic book writers, one living and one no longer with us, that contributed significantly to that field while not receiving the recognition they deserved. I am delighted by awards with a political element almost as much as I'm delighted by awards that give cash or come with impossibly complicated-looking trophies. To be clear, this only does the first, but it does it very well. It is one of the best parts of the Eisner evenings, particularly hearing from the families of the deceased writer.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Erin Rei

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* you should bookmark this page for when these cool pins that benefit S. Clay Wilson come back into stock.

* these nice people requested to be run in this column. That is a very slick-looking single image.

* a couple of crowd-funders pop from that site. The Pow Pow Press one is heading into its final couple of days in good shape. The Lansdale/Glanzman team-up still has a ways to go, but seems like a possibility.

* finally, I mentioned this in the digital-comics post last Friday, but it's worth repeating here: Gary Tyrrell on a Patreon-type site focusing on French-language creators.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kat Verhoeven

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1001 Black Men

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to David Harper for his run at Sketchd, now concluded. I look forward to what he does next. Wait, here's the full piece.

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Giant Days. Lauren Weinstein and Mike Dawson on 5000 KM Per Second. Rachel Davies on After Nothing Comes. Rob Clough on Mox Nox.

* a new Han Solo comic previewed.

* someday someone will do an entire book of Roger Langridge drawing Animal. I will buy three copies.

* Roman Muradov talks to Tim Hensley. That's a great pairing.

* a rare Jillian Tamaki print.

* even a sketch by Jason makes me happy. I think he could draw a straight line and it would feel like his.

* festivals extra: Ben Towle winds down on his final tour stops in support of Oyster War.

* Peter Bagge talks to Chester Brown.

* finally, I've been reading RC Harvey for more than 20 years, and I always pick up a little something from his essays -- particularly those on strip history. Here he is on the early-early days of comics in the newspapers.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Kris Dresen!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 60th Birthday, Frank Cirocco!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Damien Jay!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 12, 2016


Go, Listen: Dan Clowes On WTF Podcast

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sage Howard

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Chicago, 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
 

 
Happy 75th Birthday, Neal Adams!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 68th Birthday, Len Wein!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 37th Birthday, Ian Harker!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Christopher Brayshaw!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Phil Jimenez!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #456 -- Panel Presentation 2

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Send Me A Panel With No Superheroes In It That's 600 Pixels Wide. Tell Me Four Things You Like About The Panel, One Thing You Dislike." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Greg McElhatton

1. I love trying to imagine what a mint/tangerine/library book combination smell would be.
2. The deep blue of the sky through the window entrances me.
3. The casual body language of Mrs. Palinki as she talks to young Lynda is inviting.
4. The way that Lynda Barry sums up a child's yearning for someone else's home/life is spot-on.
5. The freckles on Barry's younger self always remind me of chicken pox and make me want to scratch myself uncontrollably.

panel is from Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons

*****

image

Ali T. Kokmen

1. I like the lettering in Fone Bone's exclamation, especially the ever-so-slightly-heavily-handed "A" in "creatures," which really sells the gag.
2. I like the wavy border to the word bubble and how it dominates the upper portion of the panel.
3. I like how at this moment, Fone is indignant -- not scared -- at this turn of events.
4. I like the expression on the rat creatures' faces, conveying in just a few simple lines "Oh, we just messed up big time."
5. I don't like that I can't also include the previous panel ("Those rat creatures would have to be pretty stupid to follow me on this frail, little branch!") too. Because as great as this one panel is, it's best appreciated as part of one of the greatest two-panel sequences in all comics ever.

panel is from Jeff Smith's Bone

*****

image

Jake Kujava

1. Like the smoke weave into the frame work.
2. Like the star patterns in sphere.
3. Like the circles moment.
4. Like how Ditko can fit this all in without making it crowded.
5. Like the abstraction of the unit. Don't know what story this is, don't care. Just like this panel.

panel from a Steve Ditko issue of Captain Atom

*****

image

Tom Spurgeon

1. I like that song lyric gag. That's still funny as shit to me.
2. I like the bad hairdos on the band. Bagge's shorthand for shitty, long-hair hairdos has always been the best.
3. I like "Grind! Grind! Grind! / Smash! Bash! Crash!"
4. I like the line "Holy Moses." Buddy Bradley was a great everyman, just weird enough to be distinctive but consistent within the parameters established for him.
5. I have to say, I never really cared for the Stinky hair shorthand. Sorry, Stinky! Sorry, Pete!

panel from Peter Bagge's Hate

*****

image

Will Pfeifer

1. I like the way Hopey's head is tilted forward, just like a person's head really is when someone's cutting your hair.
2. I like the barber's wavy hair.
3. I like the pattern on the wall.
4. I like the detail of the stray hairs on the floor and the smock.
5. I don't like the way the two footrests are exactly parallel. Seems too perfect somehow.

Jaime Hernandez panel from Love & Rockets

*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. When you mention Betty Cooper most people think of a nice, sweet, wholesome girl-next-door who pines away with unrequited love, but true Archie fans know she is bat-shit insane.
2. Seriously, on a scale of 1-to-10 this is Betty at only a 7, at best perhaps an 8; it's a toned down 1970s re-do of a 1950s story that ends far far WORSE!
3. Betty's dialog / expression / pose sell the punchline perfectly, and you know Veronica is exploding with rage on the other end of the line.
4. Nice rope work.
5. There aren't enough panels like this in Archie Comics.

don't know the panel, but it's a 1970s Archie comic, says Buzz

*****

image

Marty Yohn

1. It evokes a great mood of the beginning school year.
2. The one-point perspective just draws you into the scene.
3. No word balloons are necessary
4. Black and white with gray washes -- more comics need to do this!
5. I wish the protagonist (Maggie) was a little more defined in the scene - she's somewhat hidden left center.

from Faith Erin Hicks' Friends With Boys

*****

image

Michael May

1. I like the cape, particularly the side flaring out to the right of the panel.
2. I like the silhouettes of the soldiers against the blank sky.
3. I like the gun blasts; especially one little line suggesting the path of the bullet
4. I like how Zorro looks like he's in mid-boogie.
5. I don't care for the multiple lines used as tails for the word balloons.

you got me, although I'd imagine that's Toth's Zorro

*****

image

Marc Arsenault

1. Early use of sound effect as the action it is the sound of
2. Toth makes every line count and it all looks so effortless
3. Steve Skeates expresses the same rage at mid-70s excess that fueled punk rock
4. Best lettering in comics
5. caption at top kind of kills the flow.

from Plop! #11

*****

thanks to all that participated

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

 
June 11, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Zunar On Malaysian TV


Profile Of Nina Allender


Jack Ohman Interviewed


Bill Gallo On Drawing Ali


I Think This Is Either About Shankar Or A Cartoon By Shankar


Fired Hallmark Cartoonist Seeks Out New Gigs
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from June 4 to June 10, 2016:

1. Russ Manning nominees announced.

2. Evidence sifts to the surface that DC is making some progress with its internal sexual harassment review.

3. Tape of Dave Gibbons made at a recent convention emerges; it indicates he was not consulted on use of Watchmen characters and concepts in the new Rebirth line-wide initiative. My understanding is that he had been brought into the loop on Before Watchmen, and thus the contrast in editorial approach on that point is the story.

Winner Of The Week
Françoise Mouly.

Loser Of The Week
Scott Adams. That's just not a good look.

Quote Of The Week
"No one has ever ordered a latte in Sin City." -- Katie Skelly

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

 
Go, Look: Graham Kahler

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Andrei Molotiu!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Laurent Lolmède!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 54th Birthday, Jayr Pulga!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Joe Keatinge!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 36th Birthday, Paul Cauuet!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 10, 2016


Go, Look: Maddie Loftesnes

image
 
posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Françoise Mouly Awarded The Ordre National De La Légion D'Honneur

Photo and text here. Congratulations to Mouly and to the organization and/or process smart enough to give her this honor.

One of the five key figures in all of comics publishing over the last half-century, Françoise Mouly deserves any and all of the cultural honors available. Get on that, awards people.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Nicole Gustafsson

image
 
posted 8:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: A Cursory Legal Explanation On Selling Copyrighted Material With A License To Do So

It's a conversation we're bound to have one day, although I think it's going to come in steps. Here's a legal summary of the issue: when can you sell copyrighted material? Basically it's when you own the copyright or are licensed by the copyright holder to sell specifically agreed-upon things.

It's an interesting issue because the legal part of it is so clear and the cultural part of it has so, so, so ignored the legal part of it. I think we have to dismantle these giant print-out factory booths first, and then go on to an issue that if technically enforced would next weekend literally keep hundreds of dollars out of the pockets of each one of dozens and dozens of artists at Heroes Con, say.

In the meantime, I'll mention every article I can that engages with this issue because it's one that needs to be in the front of our brains for a while, waiting for progress.
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kuba Woynarowski

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Tommy Donbavand Takes Turn For Worse

Joe Gordon at FPI blog details how Tommy Donbavand has taken a turn for the worse, and asks for consideration of direct support for the writer. I guess a fall was involved, and a general weakness that keeps Donbavand from the kind of public activity that made up part of his income. It was really easy to donate; if you're a fan or someone with sympathy for that particular struggle I hope you'll consider it.

Here's the first interview they did with him.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Tandy Kunkle

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2016 Russ Manning Award Nominees

imageThe Eisner Awards program on Friday night at Comic-Con International in San Diego folds a number of other awards programs into its presentation. One such is the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which actually precedes the Eisners by several years, having been given away since 1982. They announced their 2016 nominees slate a couple of days ago.

* Daniel Bayliss
* Leila del Duca
* Dan Mora
* Marguerite Sauvage
* Tillie Walden

That's a high-profile slate for this particular awards program, by which I mean the majority of these comics-makers are well into a first act of a potential lengthy comics career rather than standing at the doorway of one. A couple of things pop. One is that this is a majority-female slate, which represents a trend throughout comics in terms of who is getting work and how good they are. Given what I see out there, an all-female slate wouldn't surprise. The art form is richer for it. The other thing I noticed right away is that del Duca was also nominated in 2015.

Past winners include Eleanor Davis, Tyler Crook and Steve Rude.

Congratulations and good luck to all of the nominees.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ansis Purins

image
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Five For Friday #456 -- Panel Presentation 2

image

Five For Friday #456 -- Send Me A Panel With No Superheroes In It That's 600 Pixels Wide. Tell Me Four Things You Like About The Panel, One Thing You Dislike

1. I like that song lyric gag. That's still funny as shit to me.
2. I like the bad hairdos on the band. Bagge's shorthand for shitty, long-hair hairdos has always been the best.
3. I like "Grind! Grind! Grind! / Smash! Bash! Crash!"
4. I like the line "Holy Moses." Buddy Bradley was a great everyman, just weird enough to be distinctive but consistent within the parameters established for him.
5. I have to say, I never really cared for the Stinky hair shorthand. Sorry, Stinky! Sorry, Pete!

*****



*****

anything received after 4 PM ET will be automatically deleted


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

 
Go, Look: Ping Zhu

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* very little more exciting to me than the launch of a Ganges serial. Go forth and bookmark.

* Hervé St. Louis will be serializing a comic called Johnny Bullet through his long-standing web site Comic Book Bin.

* Jason Kornwitz on Lucas Landherr, a chemical engineering professor with a sideline as a comics-maker.

* Gary Tyrrell looks at a growing crowd-funding mechanism used by French webcomics creators.

* finally, Matt Kim on why certain kinds of comics may be the future.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:22 am PST | Permalink
 

 
... And Then I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:21 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Simon Gane Draws In Málaga

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Dream Tube. Andy Oliver on Njálla.

* festivals extra: Joe Gordon has done us all a big favor and combed over the Edinburgh International Book Festival program information and culled the comics-related stuff. It's a pretty good showing, I would go, if I were there.

* festivals extra: Robbins out, Campbell in at CAKE.

* I am fond of all the untaken roads in comics, even comics about which I don't know a thing.

* festivals extra: Comic-Con is discussing a museum. A comics museum is a tough thing unless done just right, so I trust they'll be careful.

* Justin McIntosh profiles Noah Van Sciver, upon his move to Columbus. Send us your inkers, your poor, your former CCS fellows...

* finally: now that is how you make use of a several-thousand deep character library.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 56th Birthday, Scott McCloud!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Alberto Ponticelli!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Thomas Ott!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Charles Vess!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 9, 2016


Go, Look: Wishcandy

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Never Forget The Pain Felt By So Many Creators

* someone e-mailed this Norma Haimes Martin piece on the joys and struggles she shared with her late husband, the great gag cartoonist Don Martin. As rights situations improve in many ways, it feels ungenerous to remind ourselves of the real pain and dismay felt by creators who had to deal with restrictive contracts or aggressively inhumane policies, many right into the grave. But remind ourselves we must, even and maybe especially with a heroic figure like William Gaines.

* another thing to remember is that at times basic economic circumstance, industry infrastructure and the collective taste of current comics' customers can be as dismaying as outright fuckery when it's your career that seems to find itself on the outside looking in. At least that's how I read this statement from Ted McKeever about his moving on from comics, if not forever than for the immediate future. McKeever has been doing a lot of personally-informed, very idiosyncratic comics for the last several, and it's always a shame when that kind of personal expressions seems unable to find its best audience.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Tom Van Deusen

image
a lot of folks know Tom without my introduction, but I was surprised I never linked to his work before
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: A Bit Of Insight Into The Progression Of DC's Sexual Harassment Self-Examination

Katie Jones -- the freelancer who wrote a harrowing narrative about a distressing harassment incident involving a prominent DC staffer as yet unnamed -- checked in with Bleeding Cool about taking a meeting with that company's president, Diane Nelson. Everyone with any interest in tracking how the wider industry processes its history of harassment and abuse in search of a new and better standard should note this happened. The long-range key for DC will be the execution of policy and standards, just as the long-range key for comics culture will be improvement across the board, but inviting complainants into the discussion seems more positive than not inviting someone and acting on received information. I hope this is a sign that more direct testimony will be sought.

I would still feel more comfortable if someone in DC leadership made a firm, public and personal stand in terms of improving the company's position on the matter. As long as there isn't a face on the company's improvement on this issue, the face that people are likely to see is that of a harasser.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Colin Laurel

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* the writer and artist Michael Cavna draws portraits of people attending the recent Awesome Con DC. The people selected look like they're having a good time, anyway.

image* mighty Genghis Con in Cleveland has announced its 2016 date: November 27. They're offering exhibitor applications through that link until July 31. I hope to go.

* there really needs to be zero tolerance for any show that allows print-out artists to sell alongside artists that are making their own work. As this article I think aptly points out, the companies are no longer cracking down on any of this, so you don't have that big brother cleaning up for little brother to make their convention bank. It just sort of has to come from the shows and the people and pros attending them. There's an argument to be made against any artist selling images of copyrighted characters now matter how they're made real, but I think we can fight that much more complicated battle after this pretty simple one.

* over at The Beat, Torsten Adair went to Wizard World Philly and liked it. My take on those shows is that this is the second strongest of the WW shows, but I have no idea if I'm still right about. My memory is that the proximity of Wizard World Philly to Heroes Con was a worry for a couple of years because a few key exhibitor would have to choose to do one or the other. The most interesting part to me is that there may be some structural impediments to growing the show.

* it's CAKE this weekend. See you there Saturday.

* finally, Greg Hatcher reports in from last weekend's event in Olympia.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jesus Blasco Original Art

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Early Barry Windsor-Smith Images Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Baccano!: The Rolling Bootlegs and Overlord: The Undead King. Alex Hoffman on Twin Bed. Ng Suat Tong on Peplum. John Seven on Gorgeous.

* don't know if I remember to post this, but that is an appropriately ridiculous portrait of Vince McMahon that Box Brown did there.

* not comics: I quite liked Heidi MacDonald's gentle review of the World of Warcraft movie, which looks awful. Writing about movies seems like a shit show right now, so for all I know she's closer to the truth than the bulk of our nation's movie critics and my own cynical eyballs. I'm not close to that world anymore, but writing about movies from a range of people like Manny Farber, Pauline Kael, Jay Carr, John Simon and Jonathan Rosenbaum was a big deal for me growing up.

* the writer Sean Kleefeld digs deep for information about The Connoisseur.

* finally, Todd Klein writes about a series of Wonder Woman comics designs.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 68th Birthday, André Juillard!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 88th Birthday, Bob Bolling!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, George Pérez!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 8, 2016


Go, Look: Anuj Shrestha

image
 
posted 8:00 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.

*****

FEB161065 SECRET VOICE #1 $8.00
FEB161071 SECRET VOICE #2 (MR) $8.00
FEB161066 SECRET VOICE #3 (MR) $8.00
Zack Soto doesn't get the credit he should for his pioneering role in this latest surge of alt-genre comics, where artists bring personal, idiosyncratic sensibilities to kinds of comics where the modes of expression are usually ossified. I enjoyed the first two of these I read, and I'm sure #3 is more of the same. You can buy them all.

imageAPR160655 MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL #1 (MR) $3.50
APR160066 ABE SAPIEN #34 $3.50
APR160308 WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1 $2.99
MAR169188 FIX #1 3RD PTG (MR) $3.99
MAR169083 FIX #2 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
APR160758 FIX #3 (MR) $3.99
APR160761 ISLAND #8 $7.99
APR160786 WICKED & DIVINE #20 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.50
APR160787 WICKED & DIVINE #20 CVR B FRISON (MR) $3.50
APR160952 HOWARD THE DUCK #8 $3.99
APR160923 VISION #8 $3.99
APR161420 ADVENTURE TIME #53 $3.99
APR161820 KAIJUMAX SEASON 2 #2 $3.99
APR161351 LUMBERJANES GOTHAM ACADEMY #1 MAIN CVR $3.99
That is a lot of funnybooks, only half of which I'd like even consider buying, but certainly all of which I'd like to see. Midnight Of The Soul is Howard Chaykin's latest, about a post-War novelist working through career misfortune and PTSD. There are more Rebirth comics out this month, and they all need to be strong to give that line an initial push on the stands, not just in feature articles and tweets from people that would read DC's output no matter what. All three issues of The Fix being available is a good sign for that comic as it grows an audience. The latest issue of Island runs a ton of pages from one of its best-looking features and is on my reading table as a result. Wicked & Divine's plot progression fairly re-aligns itself after a few false leads as to where this series was going. Howard The Duck and Vision are two of the three books I follow from Marvel, to get a sense of what they're up to. That is a lot of issues of Adventure Time, holey moley. I enjoy Zander Cannon's work in nearly everything he does, and like this oddball series combining giant monsters and prison drama quite a bit. Finally, that's an interesting crossover pairing: one of the not top-selling books with a roughly-same-audience peer from a much smaller company.

MAR160681 OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 03 LITTLE LIGHT (MR) $14.99
OCT150608 SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 03 THREE THE HARD WAY (MR) $14.99

FEB160416 RUSS HEATH YELLOW HEAT ARTIST ED PORTFOLIO $40.00
This is a print-worthy reprinting of the pages from "Yellow Heat" one of the most terrifying good-looking stories I believe created in one of comics more fallow creative periods. It's always worth a stop and stare when it shows up on-line, so I have to imagine this treat of it is gorgeous. This version of the Artist Editions concept is maybe my favorite relative to how much use I have for non-bound comics even exquisitely printed.

FEB160028 AW YEAH COMICS TP VOL 03 MAKE WAY FOR AWESOME $12.99
I know plenty of parents that are happy when these make their way into the stores. I don't know that I've ever read this particular series, although I'm familiar with the approach and the creators.

FEB161213 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #22 (MR) $5.99
As always, I respect this outfit's devotion to print. Twenty-two issues is no joke.

APR162225 OTTO BINDER LIFE & WORK OF COMIC BOOK & SF VISIONARY SC $19.95
I enjoyed Billy Schelly's thorough Harvey Kurtzman biography quite a bit, although I think he has a passion unique to writers of his skill-set for makers and favorites of fan culture.

APR161627 LOVF GN ILLUSTRATED VISION QUEST MAN LOSING MIND (MR) $16.99
One of the objections a close friend made to me in regards to the industry-wide battle over issues triggered by a plot point in a Captain America comic book is that the work itself wasn't a worthy trigger for such discussions. I received an advanced copy of this Jesse Reklaw book during that first week of arguing, and it occurred to me looking at it on my coffee table that here was a work that was attempting to communicate personal issues way closer to everyday human existence than superhero Nazi stand-in affiliation -- in this case mental illness. It's a lush, unique reading experience.

*****

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 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Jim Ottaviani

image
those are both smart guys...
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Cartoonists With Shiny New Gigs: Jessica Abel, Jason Shiga

* Jessica Abel announced yesterday she'll be the chair of a brand-new illustration project at the Philadelphia Academy Of Fine Arts. It is difficult to think of anyone in comics more capable to taking on an enormous task, and I wish her all the success on the high-reward end of things. That comics community is lucky to have her and her family, as well.

* one of our smartest and most creative cartoonists, Jason Shiga, soon to be known as the creator behind the best two-page spread First Second has ever published, has accepted a one-year residency in France. They are lucky to have him, and I look forward to any and all work that's created.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mac Beth

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Richard Bruton on Doctor Strange: The Way Of The Weird.

* thank god for Steve Bissette: I didn't know Richard Powers ever did a comics cover.

* Julia Wertz, Californian.

* a lot of the movie stuff that sites cover loses me, but this is still an amazing reminder, every now and then, of how important certain comics-related properties are to the wider entertainment industry. No insight there, sorry about that.

* finally, four CR readers sent me a link to this cartoon. I like this one as well.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Scott Adams!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Ian Boothby!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Bart King!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 7, 2016


Go, Look: Marnie Galloway

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bid: Joe Sacco Original Artwork Up For Auction In Support Of Chloe Eudaly's PDX City Council Bid

image

Chloe Eudaly of the hallowed 'zine and alt-literature focused shop Reading Frenzy has made a run-off for Portland City Council. She needs to raise more money than her campaign managed for the initial vote, and something that she hopes will get them there is a pair of auctions featuring artwork by longtime Portland resident Joe Sacco. Start here.

I don't know anything about the race, but I sure loved Reading Frenzy when I lived in the Pacific Northwest and I almost never see Sacco work up for sale. I approve of this auction.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: That Teletubbies Thing Going Around

image
via
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Dilbert's Scott Adams Fears He'll Be Assassinated In A Hillary Clinton-Triggered Race War

Here.

Adams has been in the news this year as an early backer of the legitimacy of Donald Trump's bid for the presidency, citing the likely Republican candidate's ability to use speech to persuade which he describes not like effective political speech but more like the way characters use magic and hypnosis in those Now You See Me movies. The probable Democratic nominee's recent pushback speech contains many of the same kind of persuasive trigger words, apparently, and Adams believes that means he could be in trouble. It may remind some folks of connections that Dave Sim has made in the past: using elements of speech to define the past and predict the future.

I don't really have much to say about this, but certainly we're learning that grand-theater politics combined with the churn of social media poisons the holy shit out of people's minds. I hope that Mr. Adams is not assassinated, and I hope that if he's spared this fate he will take a long look at the train of thought that got him to this place. Then again, I wish the same thing for the people that have been predicting every president since Wilson as the Anti-Christ, and I don't recall any periods of heavy post-election recanting.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Paid For It

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Ann Telnaes Profiles Pat Oliphant

image

Ann Telnaes' profile of Pat Oliphant in this Spring's CJR is on-line now. Maybe it has been for a while, I'm not certain.

The profile focuses on Oliphant's 1960s gigantic fuck you to the Pulitzer board for the way it selected cartoons, one of the biggest middle-finger raising episodes every perpetrated by a cartoonist. That's always worth revisiting for its audacity. I agree with Telnaes that Oliphant is a great cartoonist, which rarely means a perfect one -- there other articles out there that dig into his moments of excess and some of the metaphors selected. I will always be a sucker for a cartoonist with that much passion and that much skill brought to each idea's execution, even though at times I won't agree with either.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Tina Lugo

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* the cartoonist Kate Beaton announces official Fall arrival for her forthcoming King Baby. It has been an excellent last couple of years to be a fan of the artist.

image* count Laura Park in as one of those creators likely to have new comics out for CAKE this weekend. I think one of the great, fun things about comics is creators that try to have new material out for major shows or hometown shows. I think that's really healthy.

* what's the best news in mini-comics? New King-Cat imminent is the best news in mini-comics.

* this sale at Fantagraphics' non-traditionally distributed FU Press reminds what's been on sale through that imprint, and a little bit of what's to come. That Greg Stump book may be the weirdest book Fantagraphics has ever published, by the way, to their credit and Mr. Stump's.

* Tom Gauld has a pre-order page up for his Mooncop. Greatly looking forward to that one; that was an excellent FCBD offering and Gauld's track record is impeccable.

* it looks like we get two more volumes in the Amulet series, and that they're both being worked on at the same time.

* finally, I don't always look at Paul Gravett's curation of the months ahead the way I should, but I was grateful to do so this time for this look at the handsome cover of the next Dave McKean project.

image
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Sketchbook Exhibits Vol. 11

image
via
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Superman: American Alien #7.

* don't think I've ever seen this Charles Burns art before. Warning: nekkidness.

* not comics: I don't watch the Supergirl TV show, but I beg its producers to pay Jon Hamm 18 million dollars no matter how old he is and let him do the part full dickhead.

* over at Comic Riffs, Michael Cavna looks at a few of the editorial cartooning and related artistic tributes to the late Muhammad Ali.

* hey, John Martz has an Etsy Shop.

* the longtime retailer and occasional industry advocate Brian Hibbs makes the case that everyone, not just the big companies, should decide on a schedule for serial comics releases and stick to what they choose.

* that is another nice-looking cover by David Aja, particularly in terms of it popping amid a wall of standard mainstream covers.

* retailer and foundational blogger Mike Sterling walks through some common choices for Best Single Comic Book and makes with the commentary.

* Daryl Cagle throws a spotlight on the anti-Trump cartoons of Marian Kamensky.

* finally, this made me laugh.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Tucker Stone!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Tyler Crook!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Mark Schultz!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 56th Birthday, Hirohiko Araki!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 92nd Birthday, Frank Bolle!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 67th Birthday, Larry Hama!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 6, 2016


Go, Look: Agent 73

image
not safe for life
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: CALA Announces 2016 Dates

Looks like Comic Arts Los Angeles (CALA) will present its third show on December 3rd and 4th, 2016. This is one of the last 2016 shows to fall into place. Their previous two shows were on comparable dates in their respective years. The show will once again be at Think Tank Gallery.

I enjoyed the first one; I was not able to to attend the second. I remember the first one being the youngest-looking show I ever attended.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Erik Hermansson Image Gallery

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dave Gibbons Not Consulted On DC's Present Use Of Watchmen Characters In Rebirth

You can look at the video here. It's too ugly for me to want to post it.

It was a big deal back in 2012 that Dave Gibbons was on board in some undefined capacity to some undefined extent in a way that involved any number of qualifications and/or caveats with the Before Watchmen project.

According to the above video, Gibbons' wasn't a voice they consulted before the use of those characters and that setting in this new line-wide Rebirth initiative, whose first dedicated comic book issue suggests that the last DC reboot was the in-continuity work of that meddling, god-like scientist Dr. Manhattan, perhaps because he saw the future and learned his cock wouldn't be welcome in the pages of a standard DC book. There's an argument to be had for the speed required to turn this new comic around and thus not opening the project up to the risk of complaint, and an argument to be had that this isn't about that story and thus consulting isn't necessarym and there's an argument to be had for "We just own the goddman thing. Deal with it." I doubt we'll ever know which one's at the front of the line here.

There have been few creators working in any medium with the combination of track record and potential that Alan Moore enjoyed in the late 1980s. I mention that only because hey, imagine what an entertainment company could justify doing to you. Lawyer up, kids. Barring that? Maybe keep walking.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Impolite Gentleman

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Carol Tyler Calls Out The Vote

image

I've never seen this before.

I can't vote for the Eisners anymore, but if I did I would be voting for Carol Tyler and A Soldier's Heart. I thought A Soldier's Heart was the best book released last year, and it was a pretty strong year across the board.

Update: I'm told by Jackie Estrada that I can vote, as a past winner. I regret the error. For what it's worth, I voted for Carol and in every other category I wrote in that issue of Convergence where Deathstroke, The Terminator is afflicted with tiny hands.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Tom Humberstone On The Potential Outcome That The UK Could Leave The European Union

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Geneviève Castrée Elverum GoFundMe Poised To Soar Past $150K Point

image

The fundraiser for cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée Elverum created by her husband as a way of seeking to alleviate some of the financial pressure facing the family because of the artist's pancreatic cancer has likely surged past the $150K mark by the time you read this. At 9 PM Sunday night it was poised to do so. A quarter million in money is sought, so if you have the time and weren't aware of this crowd-funder until now, please take a look. The family's update is very touching.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1976 Marvel Annuals Image Gallery

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Russ Heath In Menace

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on Lou.

* here's an interesting article that somehow ties into the rolling, Captain America inspired re-argument of primary creative culture principles. It's an interesting idea to consider, the underlying thought that there's a hostility towards genre work that appeals to women, including fan fiction that corrects and/or builds upon what is sometimes rigidly conceived material. I love fan fiction; somehow that particular kind of pushback escaped me.

* not comics: Box Brown draws Vince McMahon. Now there's a biographical subject.

* nice crowd for a Zunar-related event in Australia. I have to admit, the notion that Malaysian authorities might use Zunar's popularity overseas because of his status as a free speech cause to push a point that his work is politically disruptive in a seditious way makes me nervous as hell. Pissed, too.

* Kazu Kibuishi: we will get an eighth and ninth volume of Amulet, and then no more. They're both in production.

* not comics: it's pretty standard show business news when prospective TV shows add writers as they head into production, but I've always thought the idea that certain properties like that become viable because a bunch of writers want to write scripts for it a concept that will eventually define a chunk of commercial comic book production. In other words, imagine if a superhero line revamp were driven by the built-up pressure of creators wanting to do one rather than an editorial edict.

* finally, Bill Griffith participates over at the 10 rules site.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Charles Brownstein!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Arlen Schumer!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 90th Birthday, TK Ryan!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 5, 2016


CR Sunday Interview: Rich Tommaso

image

*****

imageRich Tommaso was one of the cartoonists that came out of the second great wave of alternative cartoonists, and for a few years joined people like Jeremy Eaton, Al Columbia, Jess Johnson, Ellen Forney, Jim Woodring, Jim Blanchard, JR Williams and a cast of hundreds in the then-comics town of the period, Seattle. Tommaso did an Eros title (Cannibal Porn), a stand-alone graphic novel when that was a choice worth noting (Clover Honey) and a Fantagraphics series (Rollercoaster) in those initial years, series like The Horror Of Collier County and various stand-alone books including one of the Hyperion/CCS series to close out that period and to fill the years since. He has been everything from an ambitious self-publisher to a colorist for hire.

Tommaso has recently been most closely affiliated with Image Comics. His Dark Corridor series just concluded and hot on its heels comes the next: She-Wolf. I always like talking with Rich about comics and life. I greatly enjoy several things about the way this new series looks, and hope that it finds an audience appropriate to Tommaso's talent. -- Tom Spurgeon

*****

imageTOM SPURGEON: Rich, there's always been an element of horror in your work, or at least it's one of the many genres in which you've shown a consistent interest.. Can you talk about the media through which you've experienced horror? Am I right in thinking you're a cinematic horror fan first and foremost? What are some of the works that made you stand up and pay attention?

RICH TOMMASO: Rosemary's Baby would have to be my number one inspiration for doing horror material. It has sparked story ideas in me for many years. The concept behind my 1998 series, The Horror Of Collier County came directly from re watching that movie and flipping it around so that Christians were the threat to the main character. A lot of She Wolf's early ideas were also inspired by that film.

There are two points that hit home with me in Rosemary's Baby: 1) The Catholic guilt angle--the indelible mark Catholicism has left on Rosemary's psyche from childhood -- I can relate to that. Although I am not a religious person, I still have fears, guilt, and doubts over things that were instilled in me through my family's Roman Catholic beliefs -- from childhood. 2) Rosemary's belief that she has been ostracized by every single person around her -- or -- her paranoia that this is what's happening I also relate to on a high level. I don't have a lot of friends that I see in person very often, but the ones I do hang out with, I sometimes feel are pulling something over on me. I have many arguments with folks that I fabricate in my mind. This is a common thing to do, I've heard a lot of people say the same thing and It most likely comes from working alone for many hours a day, week in, week out. But it's those personal little fears and hangups that spawn these story ideas for me.

My crime story ideas come from the same place. I've read a few horror novels, but yeah, it's mostly movies like Carnival Of Souls, Spider Baby, The Exorcist, Don't Look Now, Halloween, Alien, Phantasm, The Hunger, Near Dark, An American Werewolf In London, Let The Right One In... that truly inspire my horror comics work. Those and the comics of Charles Burns.

imageSPURGEON: One thing that connects past straight-up horror you've done with this new project is that it seems like your more stylized work gets done in this genre. Your character designs are more out there, your page structures are a bit more loose, and with this one it seems like you're going with a very specific coloring strategy? Is that a fair assessment? What feels different to you in terms of the nuts and bolts of making a comic like this new one?

TOMMASO: I was looking through some old sketchbooks and I would occasionally run into these odd, "elongated" figure drawings. They reminded me a little of Gustav Klimt's figure drawings. I thought, "These tall and lanky characters would be perfect for a werewolf comic." In every werewolf flick, there's always a lot of stretching of body parts going on, you know? American Werewolf is the perfect example-- his hands are stretching, his torso, his snout. So, I bought a few Klimt books and just sat around copying his paintings in pencil form. After sketching out some character ideas for about a week or so, I eventually came up with Gabrielle and her family. Even the chubbier members of her family looked interesting propped onto very long legs.

I was tired of the classic, '50s-style comic art I had been using for Dark Corridor and I thought since Dark Corridor was received so poorly with Image readers, it couldn't hurt to completely shift gears with my next series. I also get very bored drawing in the same style from comic to comic. The six different titles I was doing under my Recoil comics label just before working at Image were also very close to the drawing style of those seven issues of Dark Corridor.

I also decided that since I was going for as natural a watercolor look as possible, I would delete some of the black line art that wasn't necessary -- where the light was caught -- and that would be where the color could fill in. I tend to favor the Creepy and Eerie artwork of folks like Steve Ditko -- who constructed their comics pages wholly as a painting, as opposed to those who inked their comics like they normally would and then filled-in their line art with gray colors afterwards.

SPURGEON: That's the first time I've talked to you about developing a project. Tell me more. Do you do designs? Do you sketch things out? Is there writing beforehand? How much material related to a projects exists before you start working on an issue #1? If I asked you to turn over your notes for #1, what would I get?

TOMMASO: You'd get a mess. [Spurgeon laughs] This thing started out as a werewolf story set in a medieval time period. I simply wanted to do a werewolf comic of some kind, I'd always wanted to do something significant with werewolves. The script for that first version was typed-out and then I did sketches of characters and scenes of the story.

Then, I worried about whether or not that kind of stuff sells in comics anymore. You see, I never thought about that stuff in the past, but working with Image, I figure, if I don't ever think about sales, why the hell even work for a publisher like Image? In the past, I was always just doing whatever the hell I wanted and screw everybody out there if they don't like it. But, working with certain publishers became a "one and done" situation, leaving my newer works in progress homeless. If I don't [think] about this stuff, worry about decent sales in order for it to be practical to keep working at Image, then I might as well just go back to self-publishing and forget about making any money whatsoever for my efforts. Anyway, I still do what I want, but I try to keep in mind what's selling and what isn't out there.

So, a week later, I scrapped that version and then wrote a demonic possession horror script about a girl who became evil on her 18th birthday, as witnessed by her younger sister. That led to the idea of the girl being a werewolf who instead becomes cognizant of this evil change on her 18th birthday and is haunted by it. At that point, the "chubby" girl from the medieval version didn't seem right for the part, so I redesigned the character.

About a week later, after I had written all four issues and thumb nailed issue one for the first "season" of the story, a surreal film played in my head of a different story. It was a jumbling of some elements from that original issue #1 script, but it was more a totally different take on the story altogether. I had experimented with this kind of writing many times over the past 25 years or so, but had always failed at it. Something always seemed forced about the intention to write in a surrealist vein -- either that -- or it would just read like a poor version of a David Lynch movie. But this time, I just let these strange images flow and guide my writing without worrying about whether or not they would make a coherent story in the end.

The next morning I was surprised to find that it actually made sense (to me, anyway) so I decided to toss out those four scripts and move into a different direction once again. At that point, I again, thumb nailed the issue out entirely, to make sure it would all fit in the pages it need to. Hopefully it all works out well. I feel like Image is the perfect place to do a comic like this because many of their comics are strange and mystifying from issue to issue. I'm often reading titles and asking myself, " What the fuck is going on in this comic?"

image

SPURGEON: [laughs] Is there anything about your enjoyment of horror that you think breaks with what's being done right now? Are there conceptual differences, do you think, in the way you approach such material and the way most people do? I think this is Image's third or fourth Werewolf book of the last 12 months: how does your break with others?

TOMMASO: I'm not sure. I imagine my story is set apart from the others by its lack of a heavy plot. As always, my story is more character-based and conceptual than directed by the plot of the story alone. I do worry that there's too much going on conceptually and not enough of monsters ripping people apart in it. There's some action--and a lot of werewolf transformation, but those scenes are abrupt and jarring -- they happen in unexpected places and don't last long enough for her to do any damage to anyone.

I also worry about competing with the more detail driven artwork of those other comics. My art -- no matter how much I change it up -- always remains pretty simplistic in nature. I started out thinking I should draw this one like Bryan Hitch or someone like that, but for one thing, I'm not very good at drawing in a realistic style and two, I'd need a ton of lead time for something like that to be released on a monthly basis. I had to pitch this series immediately after wrapping up Dark Corridor to avoid a major income gap.

I hope this slightly new style appeals to people outside of the usual indie crowd. Some artists can do that and I don't know how. There are very simplistic cartoonists who are embraced by a large audience. Maybe I needed to have drawn a favorable run on Batman years ago.

imageSPURGEON: Are there connections, do you think, in your enjoyment of horror and your enjoyment of crime? They both tend towards the conflicted execution of a heroic narrative, and tend to comment on alienation due to the outsider nature of their casts. Is there something to which you personally respond in one or the other? Are you a monster or a criminal, Rich?

TOMMASO: It's easier for me to come up with crime story ideas. Maybe that's due to the fact that I've read a ton of crime novels and have probably seen many more crime films than horror films. If I can't pin point a way to talk about some deep dark fear I have, a horror concept will linger in my mind for many years before it develops into a fully-formed story. But, with the crime stuff, I'm always coming up with fully formed ideas, so yeah, maybe my financial crises haunt me more than my personal demons.

Crime comics don't seem to have a big audience right now. I mean, Sin City will always sell, but I believe that's based on the fame of Frank Miller and not so much on people's interest in the genre. I'm waiting here with piles of notebooks for the day crime comics to come back into style.

SPURGEON: Rich, can you go back and contextualize the publishing decisions you're making right now, as a creator? You wrapped up Dark Corridor, and now you're starting this one. Talk to me about how you got to this new series, how you decide what series to do at any one time.

TOMMASO: Dark Corridor took a sharp nose dive in sales from one issue to the next. It got great reviews, Image did a great job promoting it, so I figured it must be that crime comics -- or at least, my crime comics -- were not selling at the moment. I realized the comics that did sell well over at Image were of the Sci-Fi and Horror variety. Since I'd worked on horror concepts before, it seemed like the next logical step for me.

My goal was to make it look, feel, read as though it was not produced by the person who made Dark Corridor. In fact, after I had prepared all of my imagery and story concepts for She Wolf, I pitched it to Eric Stephenson who liked the idea, but asked, "How can we make this as unique as possible? I really want this to look different, so people don't think of it as just being Dark Corridor part two or anything like that." That was the best thing I could've heard, since I had already accomplished just that.

I hope this one does well enough for me to continue working with Image, because I now have a fully-formed Science Fiction story that I desperately want to get to next.

SPURGEON: I know that you've influenced some cartoonists, which might be a weird position in which to find yourself if you feel like you're still seeking out your audience. Do you see yourself in others' work? Do you think your fellow cartoonists get your work on a level that maybe a broader audience doesn't? Do they like different things?

TOMMASO: Huh. I don't see my influence in other people's work. I do continue to see other cartoonists influence in my work, often times to an embarrassing, irritating degree, but not so much the other way around. Most of the younger generation seems to be heavily influenced by obscure Marvel and DC artists of the '70s, '80s, and even '90s era.

I have found that even though I've made this shift from semi-autobiographical to mainstream genre comics, my audience has remained the same. It's really grown as well, just being published with Image, but people who've read my Fantagraphics and Alternative Comics material still like what I'm doing over at Image. I think audiences today have a broader acceptance of comics across the board. In the early '90s it seemed like there was such a divided crowd, you either read art comics -- for lack of a better term; "alternative" was the buzz word back then -- or you read mainstream action/fantasy comics. That's what my experience was like, anyway.

I like that that line or separation is disappearing. It makes it much easier for me, that's for sure. If there are people out there who are going to analyze, critique and argue for the artistic merits of Rob Liefeld's work, then there's hope for me. I don't even mean that as a slam on Liefeld, It truly gives me hope to see that the tide can turn on how people view an artist's body of work. My comic art isn't as hated on as his -- just Google "Rob Liefeld" and you'll get more trash talking about his artwork than anyone's. But, after feeling totally obscured, irrelevant, and practically "invisible" working within the confines of the indie comics world, it's inspiring to me that I can break out of that obscurity because of publishers like Image and the fact that there are intelligent people out there who value comics beyond the ones that are trying to be the next great American novel. Because I'm never going to write that novel. I tried for a long time to be that cartoonist and I'm just not any good at it. For the longest time I felt that giving up writing reality-based comics was to give up on the comics form entirely. But, most people chill the fuck out when they get older. I still love what I do and I've discovered I enjoy doing genre comics much more than I ever enjoyed doing comics about real life experiences.

image

SPURGEON: I really enjoy the physicality that you put on display in this first issue. Your wolves are lanky to a ridiculous degree, almost like old medieval dragons or worm-like lizards. Can you talk about those designs, what you wanted to communicate there?

TOMMASO: The super-gummy, elongated werewolves were designed to set my wolves apart from others. Drawing them traditionally looked so boring to me, so I just worked on finding something different. I think the furry dragon in Spirited Away was lurking in my mind somewhere. When I come to these horror themes, I'm aware that they've all been done to death, so I'm always trying to come up with some way to do them just a little bit differently.

SPURGEON: Your protagonist is also a fascinating design: she's oversized relative to her classmates, with an extended quality that matches the wolves. Can you talk a little bit about that teenaged physicality you're going for there? Can you talk about the idea of werewolves as a kind of avatar for physical grace more generally?

TOMMASO: I knew that Gabrielle would be a girl shunned by her classmates -- either shunned or just plain invisible to them. Making her very tall and wolf-like in her human form was a decent trade-off for the chubby girl I had designed previously. I know that tall girls -- like the friends I had back when I was in high school -- can have a tough time in that social sphere -- just as tough as dorky little guys who read comic books.

image

SPURGEON: I found the Mr. Cullen scene unexpected, because it's a second kind of supernatural permutation introduced very early on in your story. Why did you add that element; how was that scene kind of designed on the page, with the split visual?

TOMMASO: That scene was visually depicted very close to how I had imagined it when I wrote the script. It took a lot of passes to get there, though. I tried to think of drawing the split character in different drawing styles, or maybe drawing one of them on an overlay which I could later turn into an all-color line drawing. I ripped up a lot of pages before I came to the "negative" form idea for that character.

That's also an important scene for me personally. There's a big difference in what a teacher or principal is supposed to say to a student who's become a problem and what they'd LIKE to say to that student. I wasn't a very good student, not particularly smart or excelled in any specific academic field, but -- even as a child -- I could always read when an adult was feeding me a line of bullshit. Maybe my Italian family lineage doesn't really stem from Calabria, but Sicily.

SPURGEON: [laughs] There are a lot of visual flourishes in this first issue, but the most striking is your approach to color, I think. You talked a bit about this, but can you basically identify for me what you're doing here, because like a lot of readers I can be super-unsophisticated about techniques. It's sort of like you have the vibrancy of washes but the sharp distinctions of flat comic-book color. Is this something you developed on your own?

TOMMASO: I've always wanted to do a watercolored comic book, but doing it with actual wet media on paper seemed crazy -- especially for a monthly series. Once I acquired some great Photoshop brushes that could mimic the look of paint brushes fairly well, I knew I could finally try it out. But, yeah, the Warren stuff -- I love the gray wash work of Steve Ditko, Gray Morrow, Russ Heath and Gene Colan in those old publications.

I feel like that look in She Wolf turned into something else along the way, as I stopped staring at those Eerie comics while working on my pages. I think I shifted away from that look because I was afraid to do it strictly in one color or tone. So it becomes more of a full-color comic about halfway through. Part of that decision was again, me worrying about how a one or two-tone comic book would sell. I love old horror comics -- I adore the work of Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Graham Ingels and Wally Wood. If I could draw and paint like those old EC and Creepy artists I would, but I'm not sure how many people out there want to see that kind of comic book these days. So, I tried to branch out the look of the color art along the way.

image

SPURGEON: Is the town you've depicted, are the people you're depicting, drawn from a particular setting or group of folks? There's something specifically odd about the setting that makes me think it may have a real-life counterpart.

TOMMASO: It's based on my hometown of Sparta, New Jersey. Which was a very boring, suburban small town to grow up in. Parts of it look like Anytown, USA, but then there are other neighborhoods where the architecture was designed in a faux-traditional Swiss style. I haven't really exploited those parts yet, but maybe in later issues. Seems like it would fit perfectly with the story's themes.

Sparta High School was where I attended school in 1985-1989. There was a killing that occurred in my senior year that was very brutal. A classmate of mine was stabbed repeatedly at a party one night. The guy was from another town but was dating this girl who went to Sparta High. He'd stabbed her in the leg and my friend ran over to help her. After killing him, he hauled his girlfriend into his car, tried to make a run for the Mexican border, and -- don't ask me how -- but this kid nearly made it there before the police finally captured him. He was tried and convicted of manslaughter. The incident lingered over the school for the rest of that year and I do remember that most of us had a bad feeling towards that girl from then on. She was involved, but innocent in the whole event.

Without my realizing it at first, her situation and how people somehow partially blamed her for it, myself included, I have to admit, made it into the story with Gabrielle and the incident her ex-boyfriend. I lived in Sparta from age 5 to 21, and over that time, a lot of creepy things have happened. Many in the form of urban legends (or suburban legends), but all of which have lingered with me nonetheless. Anyway, these personal experiences and real-life character inspirations really help to flesh-out a story that would otherwise be just a simplistic, merely imagination-fueled concept.

image

SPURGEON: This is a year with a lot of death in it, and your comics tend towards a high body count, usually in a way where the killing is a violation of social order while retaining a kind of high-energy cinematic quality to them. Is there an element at all in your work that's processing through your own feelings of violence as a break with social norms? Is that something that's haunted your life.
?

TOMMASO: The violence going on -- not only in this country, but around the world -- has definitely had a big effect on me, just as I imagine it has on everyone else in the world. How it finds itself in my work is not so easy to say. I don't consciously think about what's going on in the country when I'm writing a story, but subconsciously I'm sure I'm working something out by putting it in there.

Violence is something I've always written around with past works, but I'd decided I was going to throw myself into it directly when I began work on Dark Corridor. I wanted to see how a high-level of violence would play itself out in my unconventional style of comics stories. While working on pages that had a lot of violence going on, it made me feel like I was working on a dumb '80s action movie. But, when I go back and read an issue of DC through, there still seems to be a lot more going on with the characters internally than someone you'd find running around in a Rambo movie. I can't help but put more in there -- but I do start out with a dumb, simplistic idea of what that comic should be. This is because, in the past, I would have these multi-layered, grandiose plans for what my stories should aspire to and those big themes would never be met. There would be too many high goals to achieve and the comic book, in total, would end up reading as a collection of unfinished, undefined, and incongruous ideas. The more I pen myself in creatively, the more I'll try to expand beyond those simple barriers.

imageSPURGEON: You were close to Jess Johnson, the very talented and relatively little-known cartoonist who passed away earlier this year. What is it like to have a friendship that comes at a time when you're both trying to develop as artists? It doesn't seem like Jess' work is a direct influence, but all those discussions, that close proximity -- what do you pick up as an artist from a friendship like that?

TOMMASO: Jess always helped me strive to do better: to think more deeply, to read more extensively, to look for more answers in life. I'm not sure if he knew that he did that, but after talking with him about projects he was working on, new artistic heights he was shooting for, I felt like I needed to do more.

I always felt like a fake-artist in his presence -- here I am, doing these comic book trifles and worrying about money all of the time, where he was purely following his dreams and nightmares, turning them into whatever art he felt best communicated those ideas. A painting, a piece of written text, a sculpture, you know? He didn't need to define the medium or make art to appeal to a specified "market" or audience. He was operating on a much higher plane as an artist -- I know this is going to make me sound like a pompous ass, but I'm sorry, I just felt that to be true. A true artist is only concerned with making art, nothing else. And Jess has left behind a massive amount of incredible work in the form of writings, paintings, sculptures, all kinds of art, comics, essay self-published material, sketchbooks, comics, illustrations... it's staggering. But it's also a shame that most people haven't seen this stuff. But -- we have mutual friends that know folks in the art community, around the country, who are going to help get some of this work shown in the near future.

I miss him everyday and I wish I could still talk about our projects together and what's great to watch on TV lately, what movies we need to both see, we had a lot in common -- which is why we were friends for over 20 years. My hope now is to get more people to see all of the work he's done these past 15 years, many of which, hasn't been seen before.

SPURGEON: What would be ideal for you, Rich? Say you write down in a notebook what you want your life to look like, and it happens. What would you have written?

TOMMASO: I'm living in California or Miami -- somewhere near a beach. I'm making a good living writing and drawing crime comics. There's no want or need for me to do anything else, apart from the occasional high-profile freelance piece. That's about it.

*****

She Wolf, monthly series, Rich Tommaso, Image Comics, $3.99.

*****

* cover to #1.
* photo of Rich Tommaso by Tom Spurgeon; 2014 HeroesCon
* horror-influenced panel from the Recoil comic King Blood
* two panels of one of the featured wolves in She Wolf #1
* from Dark Corridor #21
* the heroine and the wolf, both creatures of length
* Mr. Cullen is of two minds
* one of the evocative depictions of place in the series
* violence in She Wolf
* 2015 drawing by the late Jess Johnson
* panel showing the tall heroine of She Wolf (below)

*****

image

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

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Albany, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 41st Birthday, David Gallaher!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 60th Birthday, Mark Marek!

image
warning: marek's site is noisy
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 40th Birthday, Fábio Moon!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 40th Birthday, Gabriel Bá!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #455 -- Panel Presentation

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Send In A Superhero Comic Book Panel That's 600 Pixels Wide And Tell Me Four Things You Like About It, One Thing You Don't." This is how they responded.

*****

image

Justin J. Major

1. The green foreshadows Hulk's eventual color.
2. I know Banner is screaming but there are no sound effects or word balloons.
3. The existential terror in Banner's eyes.
4. The world really does seem to stand still in this panel -- the flash is an eternity.
5. Shouldn't Banner's glasses be askew?

*****

image

Stergios Botzakis

1. I like Black Panther’s striped gloves and boots.
2. I like the use of multiple editorial footnotes. I miss those.
3. I like the complicated arrangement of bodies in combat.
4. I like that Swordsman is calling Drax a son-of-a-bitch in French, slipping one by the Comics Code.
5. I dislike the Swordsman’s impossibly bent left leg. No one in editorial noticed that?

*****

image

Michael Dooley

1. the panel's tenderness-to-super-pow ratio
2. woman via “Golden Age” artist Gustav Klimt
3. text requires page rotation (not available on iPod)
4. Barron Storey triangulation
5. fishnet shoes

*****

image

Tom Spurgeon

1. I like the coloring.
2. I like the swirly background as it communicates the power the character has but also looks great design-wise.
3. I am delighted by Slack-Jawed Colossus.
4. I like the lettering effects, both the creepy letters and the announcement of her name as a kind of logo.
5. I don't like the prose -- both its absurdly purple content and the unlikely notion that communicating what gets communicated here would be important to any creature in this circumstance.

Please note: To be considered for inclusion, you must send me or direct me to a 600 pixel-wide panel.

*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. Phizgink was one of several characters created by various artists (Alan Weiss in this case) for the March 1972 issue of Esquire in an attempt to find a new hero for the 1970s, and as my number was up (literally as I was going to be drafted immediately upon graduation from high school) his battle cry appealed to me and became words to live by.
2. Actually not a bad costume design tho you can't tell it from this panel.
3. In a multitude of parallel universes populated by Gimmick-Man and Captain This and Lady That and other repetitive unimaginative names, Phizgink rises above all the rest.
4. Gawd, lookit dat face. TRY forgetting that...
5. This was Phizgink's only appearance.

*****

image

Ryan Sands

I love:
1. The way Venom's tongue shape and spit convey his anguish and stuttering shock.
2. The shape of Carnage's knuckles indicating his upper-level edginess and intensity vis-a-vis Venom's brawler stability.
3. The idea of Carnage symbiote ripping around in Venom's symbiote like Tremors trying to kill Kevin Bacon.
4. The choice to add a second "T" to "APAAARRTT!"

I don't love:
5. The random Carnage blobs flying off his hand, wrongly conveys Cletus Kasady's as without singular purpose.

*****

image

John Vest

1. I like the colors.
2. I like Sal Buscema's inking, particularly of the Surfer's face.
3. I like the Silver Surfer's litheness, rendered by John Buscema.
4. I like the Silver Surfer's dialogue.
5. I wish the credits were more comprehensive, and listed the colorist.

*****

image

Sean Kleefeld

1. Reed Richard's five o'clock shadow has not been used nearly enough since Jack Kirby left the book.
2. Uatu's pose kind of has this parental "What were you thinking? You're giving me another headache" vibe to it.
3. Galactus is talking about himself in the third person and nobody seems to think this is odd.
4. Sam Rosen did some really nice lettering, and is vastly under-appreciated.
5. But, man, Galactus in a skirt with bare legs? Bad call on colorist Stan Goldberg's part!

*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




*****




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

 
June 4, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Chester Brown In His Own Words


Matt Madden Teaching From His Exercises In Style


Watching Zunar Draw


Sam Hepburn Interviewed


2014 Studio Visit With Theo Ellsworth


Montreal Gazette Speaks To Chester Brown
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
An Ignatz-Related Reminder From Mr. Ryan Sands



 
posted 10:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 28 to June 3, 2016:

1. Cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée Elverum becomes the subject of a GoFundMe campaign.

2. Screenwriter and occasional comics-maker Blake Leibel indicted for the murder and torture of his estranged girlfriend. The death penalty may be on the table.

3. Portland show Linework NW announces they'll be skipping 2017.

Winner Of The Week
Mike Mignola

Loser Of The Week
Leibel

Quote Of The Week
"The mortality rate was worse than for babies in 1910 Egypt." -- Frank Modell

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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

 
You Will See A Lot Of These Pages In The Days Ahead

image
image

Superman Vs Muhammad Ali is the entry point into the late, great boxer's larger-than-life existence for a lot of comics fans, and in many cases represents the entirety of those fans' engagement with him outside the public recognition he demanded of everyone.

It is still remarkable that this story exists, that Ali at this moment in his career, its late afternoon, had a public persona so grand and certain it didn't seem ludicrous to anyone involved that he beat the living shit out of Superman in the boxing ring or that he would play a key role in an overall drama of galactic proportions, that he would win over the space crowd. This is a clever comic in that they do all of this without having to inflate Ali the way a new band might get inflated on a teen-oriented drama to Beatles-level inciters of craziness. He's just Muhammad Ali. But that's enough. The comic wouldn't have been possible, would never be remembered, without the penetration into pop culture that Ali made all on his own, against colossal odds. The vision of Ali beating on the staid icon has its own, significant power, too, one that's good for any number of people to experience.

RIP.
 
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Leslie's Favorite Customer

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:21 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In West Virginia, I Would Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Maine, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Josef Rubenstein!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Wendy Pini!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 87th Birthday, Dick Locher!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 48th Birthday, Steve Weissman!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Keiler Roberts!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 3, 2016


By Request Extra: Rich Tommaso Selling Pages

image
I don't know if there's a specific need, but he's put the word out. I own a couple of Tommaso's pages; they're very sharp-looking.
 
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Geneviève Castrée Elverum GoFundMe Re-Orients Towards $250K Goal

imageThe GoFundMe campaign designed to alleviate personal expenses accrued by her family while cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée Elverum fights pancreatic cancer went over $100K around mid-evening Thursday night. After moving the goal from $50K to $100K mid-afternoon they are now shooting for $250,000. I hope they get it. I hope they get as much as might be useful to them.

I followed that campaign yesterday with some interest, reloading the page a number of times to check the totals. While that family has a deep connection with their regional arts community and a felt presence in various music camps all over the world, and while most people donate anonymously, I was happy to see a lot of comics names pop up in the donor feed. It's not a natural thing for the comics community to straight-up donate, or at least it hasn't always been natural. The comics community is usually cash-strapped and in cases not this one some people can be less than generous about circumstances that may put one person into need that another person might be able to avoid. I hope that's changing.

One thing at a time, though. Please read the specific GoFundMe in question and consider giving. I know they'll put it to good use.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Al Columbia On Comic Art Fans

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* over at Paste, Caitlin Rosberg makes a case for why the Eisners need to show webcomics more love. I haven't read the piece yet, but I'm happy to link to it so I can return to it.

* student (I think) Callum Waterhouse reviews The Guilded Age Vol. 1.

* Gary Tyrrell notes that Karl Kerschl has returned to the successful web venture The Abominable Charles Christopher.

* I think Tyrrell is where I bookmarked this: that's great news, and a continuing terrific story for comics. I would imagine there's every chance for many more to come.

* in case you're trying to remember if it happened, it did: the Reubens named Dave Kellett and Drew Weing the Silver Division Awards winners in their on-line categories.

* finally, it's still the biggest news story around: I missed this interview with David Steinberger when comiXology offered the first deep-end-of-the-pool curated subscription service.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Fifty Exciting War Covers By Joe Kubert

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Carol Tilley is looking for work. Hell, I'd offer her a job if I had the money and a position worthy of her time.

image* Tom Murphy on Blackbird. Priscilla Frank on Wimmen's Comix. Various writers at The Beat explore the first burst of comics in DC's Rebirth initiative. Rob Clough on Between The Billboards. Todd Klein on Future Quest #1. Sean Gaffney on Strike The Blood Vol. 3.

* not comics: I have about as much use for a Pokemon podcast as I have for an extra asscheek, but look at these presentable young people. When I was a wee nerd, we had one guy that talked to us about stuff we liked, he lived in the back room of the bookstore, and he smelled like circus peanuts.

* Zach Budgor profiles Katie Skelly.

* never seen these before: Yves Chaland draws Spider-Man and the Hulk.

* festivals extra: I enjoyed reading the Exhibitor/Artist Alley exhibitor application offered by ECCC. That's a very successful show. I'd like to go back, and with no Linework NW in 2017, I bet I go back next year.

* finally, what a great-looking page.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 45th Birthday, Mark Anderson!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Sam Hiti!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Gavin Wilson!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Paul Maybury!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 2, 2016


By Request Extra: A GoFundMe Has Been Established For Geneviève Castrée Elverum

image

Here. Please read it.

I don't know Geneviève, but we interviewed in 2013 and I thought her book that year, Susceptible, was powerful and affecting -- one of the really fine comics of the decade thus far, the kind of book that gives you an evocative snapshot of someone else's life. I had not heard until this notice that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

My sense at the time we talked was that she and her husband Phil Elverum were living a quiet and private life oriented towards family and making art. A public plea indicates to me a real need. I hope you'll consider it, and I hope you'll tell everyone you know.

Update: As of 12:30 PM June 2 they have blown past the initial $50K ask and are moving towards $100K, which indicates to me the need was extremely critical. I hope you'll consider giving to this comics-maker and artist, respected and admired by her peers.
 
posted 5:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: More Japan

image
 
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Frank Modell, RIP

image

There's a lengthy and amusing obituary at New York Times.

It occurs to me we are in the midst and maybe moving to the end of losing that whole generation of super-solid gag cartoonists that worked for The New Yorker in the 1960s through the 1980s, the end of the Shawn era. That's always extra-sad, like that period when there seemed to be so many Golden Age comic book creators passing away. Like MAD, the early days with New Yorker cartooning were so bright that we forget to see the consistent quality of the publication in later periods.
 
posted 4:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Hopey Glass Gallery

image
 
posted 4:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Praise For Mike Mignola's Run With Hellboy

imageThis is nice. It looks like there was a PR push for articles about Mike Mignola and his coming to an ending point with original work on the Hellboy character he created, marked by the publication of Hellboy In Hell #10 -- that series' final issue. That character and its universe will support many more comics for years to come, but not by Mignola, so not in the same way.

The artist is taking a year for light supervisory duties on some of the comics and making his focus painting. While there's an impulse in fandom assisted by companies who want maximum profit to claim ownership over characters, many of whom aren't tied into a specific artist, Mignola's always been clearly in charge of Hellboy and I think even the most fervent fans of his work are thus happy for his making choices like this one.

Here's an article in Paste. Here's LA Times. Here's The Guardian.
 
posted 4:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Moebius' Illustrations For The Alchemist

image
 
posted 4:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Linework NW To Skip 2017 Show

According to the announcement, the decision by Linework NW to cancel its 2017 show and aim towards 2018 was nearly a cancellation of 2017 and we may come back at some point in the future. I really like that show, and I think it's a model local show in a ton of ways that I hope its 2018 run forward is supported by the community and every single person they need to make it go more smoothly.

There will be significant tweaks and alterations for all of the shows over the next few years, I think, and taking years off is going to be a part of that.
 
posted 3:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Primahood: Magenta

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* the art-alts festival Fumetto has announced for April 1-9, 2017. I'd really like to go to that show.

* we are creeping up on that Ignatz submissions deadline. Make those judges read your work.

* Short Run has announced Vanessa Davis and Trevor Alixopulos as guests. Those are good-looking people.

* this weekend -- this month really -- is dominated by regional and smaller shows: Philly, Phoenix, DC, Dallas and Albany. I know there are some comics-makers at Albany, and assume there are a few at each of the others.

* trouble at Space City. I can't even imagine the money flow issues for a show that relies on Hollywood talent the way many of these shows do. I was sad to read that some blame was apportioned by the fans onto the celebrities who got ripped off. I know there's probably a mindset where celebrities show up for free because they love their fans, but I don't know anything about the whole slightly sad business of media stars at conventions that would lead anyone to believe that mindset is going to be facilitated in sudden fashion on one of those weekends.

* CAKE is rapidly bearing down on us. They should have a ton of information on their site between now and next Saturday; I hope if you're within a few hours you'll consider going to that one.

* a Mega-Con near disaster, and a sad but beautiful Mega-Con memory for those in attendance.

* finally, here's a cool-sounding show in my former home state of New Mexico. Love the term "indigenerds."

 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Paul Hey Gallery Curated By Charles Vess

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Megg & Mogg In Amsterdam. Tom Murphy on Carpet Sweeper Tales. Svetlana Fedotov on She-Wolf #1. Jannon Calloway on She-Wolf #1. James Whitbrook on Hellboy In Hell #10. James Kaplan on The Revisionist #1.

* Mike Sterling at length on Legion Of Super-Heroes. The conventional wisdom on that title is that its most fervent fans have hugged it to death, but I always wondered if that title suffered the same way that Fantastic Four, by just maybe exhausting its appeal after 50 years or so. That's not a bad run, you know.

* here's a shot of Dean Mullaney's work station.

* the writer Ed Brubaker's newsletter has a preview of his forthcoming next work with Sean Phillips and a long, thoughtful response to being dragged into the Internet brouhaha about Captain America, a corporate-owned characters with which he's had nothing to do for a half-decade or more. I'm sure for some people this is the wrong way to reply; that's where we are right now.

* Anthony Spataro talks to Steve Lieber. Brian Cronin writes in praise of Javier Garron's artwork.

* David Betancourt provides a fan-friendly preview of Marvel's summer event, if that's something you track.

* Scott Cederlund digs into the first Superman comic of the post-Rebirth editorial initiative. Whenever DC makes their comics about telling you how great their characters are, they tend to be in trouble. A superhero-loving friend of mine and I were chatting via text about the last Superman story that got people talking, the last moment, and except for some stuff in All Star Superman, they were all plot points from years and years ago. Even that title wis a full decade in the rearview mirror now.

* comics superstar Ed Piskor draws various teams of Marvel's X-Men franchise. Bless his heart for drawing the Werner Roth-era mutant team, the one that I remember buying up in the late 1970s at an astonishing-to-my-friends $2 a pop.

* finally, you really don't need any twitter icons except for the icons supplied here.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 35th Birthday, Loris Z!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Mark Siegel!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 30th Birthday, Lane Milburn!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 48th Birthday, Brian Doherty!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 1, 2016


Go, Look: Cobbled-Together Brecht Vandenbroucke Gallery

image
 
posted 10:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics-Maker Blake Leibel Arrested For Murder Of Girlfriend

A 35-year-old comics maker and scion of wealthy Toronto families named Blake Leibel, who apparently published work through Archaia and Devil's Due among others, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Iana Kasian, the mother of his newborn child. The crime occurred last week; the arrested sometimes-screenwriter was initially processed by the courts yesterday. Kasian had apparently moved out of the comics maker's West Hollywood home after Leibel was arrested on sexual assault charges May 20 regarding an unnamed party. She had returned to the apartment to meet with Leibel. Police claim in the linked-to article above and through a variety of sources that the victim was tortured, which may mean this case ends up in a potentially high-profile death penalty trial.

Leibel strikes me through the cursory profiles thus far as one of those self-financed entertainment figures which this generation's perceived-to-real connection between comics and movies has made a bigger part of the overall comics landscape in recent years. Comics has a lower barrier of entry than most art forms, with potential career-making outcomes, and it's useful for someone who wants to pursue that path to have enough in the way of resources that the lack of significant return common to most comics projects can be mitigated. It's not an unfamiliar professional profile, even if Leibel himself likely rings few bells for members of comics' orthodoxy. I would expect some general cultural scrutiny about that type, or potentially something linked to content: it's the ugliest use of "graphic novelist" yet. With the grisly nature of the murder and the preceding sexual assault charges, it's safe to expect that comics' recent processing of issues regarding male to female harassment and violence will be revisited with some force, which I feel is always welcome.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Fun House Sketches By Simini Blocker

image
via
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
WCPO Announces Expansion Of Kevin Necessary's Role

I've written about this specific arrangement before now: cartoonist Kevin Necessary has been doing cartoons and a few more comics-related things for the Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO. Unless this is one of those re-runs that occasionally pops up in one's feed, vexing the shit out of all 19 of us remaining link-bloggers, they're expanding that role to a full-time gig.

Any cartoonist/comics-maker with a full-time editorial driven job is news because of the dwindling ability of newspapers to hold onto such staff positions. Working as a supplementary contributor to a television station -- many of whom have aggressive new media departments -- seems like a potential landing spot for a few people. I would imagine that a cartoonist that can do animation could be folded into several operations, too, but the seemingly static nature of the work created this gig really interests me. I've seen a few of the cartoonist's efforts "in the wild" and had no idea they weren't done for a newspaper.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Epic Comics Advertisements From 1987

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tim O'Neil On DC's Rebirth Initiative

Tim O'Neil at Trouble With Comics provides a longer-than-usual, thoughtful-as-usual answer to the question of how much success we might expect of DC's latest line-wide editorial initiative "Rebirth." It focuses on the use of the Watchmen characters as narrative elements in the story designed to introduce the initiative into the rolling plotline in which the entire company -- save for a few stand-alone projects -- participates.

I wanted to wait a while and read a few more issues of that series before I commented; I'm not immersed enough in that world to know what they're doing and which plot points are serious statements about the state of superheroes and which ones are feints in some other direction. I'll write that piece, but maybe I can slap together some thoughts before comics' summer becomes road trips and extended twitter fights.

The idea asserted that somehow DC superhero comics got discombobulated or knocked off-message by exposure to Watchmen and comics like it strikes me as insanely silly, a Twinkie defense for shared-universe mismanagement. It's certainly not to my mind even an accurate historical reflection of how some of the approaches in question developed, although I'll grant that making that kind of pop-culture hunch isn't exactly the work of Henry Steele Commager. Moreover, there's a very good argument to be made, and people are going to make it, that it's the treatment of creators like Alan Moore in a general creative-exchange sense -- holding valuable creators to the letter of the law for the benefit of less-interesting creators and editorial managers, the reduction of everything into malleable properties and the notion that you just sort of have to position these creations into new stories by whomever -- that is what is most deeply harmful to the grand acts of creation that are these extended soap operas.

Me, I think we're well past the day where sales are automatic to the point where the bulk of a line can be ordinary yet sustainable. Comics need to be pretty good on an individual basis right now, at least until a much bigger audience is built that just wants to buy random, ordinary books at mid-'70s numbers. Good luck with that. Batman Vs. Rorshach, if that's where they're going, needs be to a good comic book story -- not just good solicitation copy. It needs to be a thrilling comic doubly so for the gag reflex of its manipulative and gimmicky nature, and triply so because it comes at a cost of making your company a less attractive place for many of the creators that have the juice to decide where they're going to set up shop. As far as the end result of a more positive, happier line, I also have my doubts that things like that work as editorial edicts. Comics that are forgettable and hopeful tend to limit their effect to making the people that were buying this stuff anyway a little happier than they were buying the comics that were forgettable and miserable. I also wonder if the math is there for any of these top-heavy company infrastructures to continue making sense. In that way, efforts like these are a scramble for survival: not of comics, not of the DC Universe, but of a way of conducting business that employs that many executive-level decision-makers.

In the end, if you're an editor with a mission to publish an entire line, every problem probably looks like it needs a line-wide revamp.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Nina Bunjevac And Chester Brown On Virtual Memories

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.

*****

APR161577 BIRTH OF KITARO GN $12.95
This is a fantastic week for quality, translated manga -- a lot of weeks are, but this is a week that even appeals directly to someone as poorly read in that area of the comics shop as I am. This is the most interesting book to me of those offered, a reader-friendly presentation of material from the late Shigeru Mizuki most prominent creation. This material has a quality that if you're not immersed in the story you can sort of lean back and enjoy the lovely cartooning on-hand. But the whole package is worth it.

imageAPR160061 HELLBOY IN HELL #10 $2.99
APR160074 BALTIMORE EMPTY GRAVES #3 $3.99
APR160276 SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1 $2.99
APR160284 BATMAN REBIRTH #1 $2.99
APR160677 CASANOVA ACEDIA #5 (MR) $3.99
MAR168905 CASANOVA ACEDIA #5 CVR B BA (MR) $3.99
APR160785 WALKING DEAD #155 (MR) $2.99
MAR160703 CIVIL WAR II #1 $5.99
APR161414 GIANT DAYS #15 $3.99
APR161356 STRANGE ATTRACTORS #1 (MR) $3.99
A reasonable amount of comic-book comics crash onto the stands this week, as the mainstream publishers kind of lead off with the big summer strategies. The first book you should buy of this type, though, is Mike Mignola's concluding issue of Hellboy In Hell. He's off to paint, and whatever that guy wants to do is okay with me. There's nothing quite like the ten issues of this series, as idiosyncratic and odd in its own way as something you'd find that's handmade in the oddest corner of the Fumetto festival. There's another effort right below in the bigger Mignola-oriented umbrella. Two of the DC property heavy-hitters launch their "Rebirth"-era series, if only that evil creation of Alan Moore's doesn't screw things up. I'm a great fan of the various Casanova series, which are odd and arch and curiously emotional in a way that triggers the 12-year-old reader in me even if he needs the older version of me to understand a few things presented to him. The best gift that success has given Walking Dead fans is a wonderful instability when it comes to tone, direction and even length of major storylines. I'm not sure any modern series is as free to lurch off in any direction and nearly any time. Civil War II is I think about fan-bros complaining that Captain Marvel doesn't deserve to be one of the major character, but screw them, I like that character. That dumb joke is my way of saying that none of the advertising and advance PR work got to me: no idea what they're fight about. Then you have some John Allison, which is excellent. And then you have a series I thought was the return of a hardcore indy favorite but is instead a series repackaged due to the higher profile enjoyed by its creators.

MAR160274 PREZ THE FIRST TEENAGE PRESIDENT TP $24.99
After my initial misapprehension that this was the recent series; Steve Flanagan and a few others wrote in to say that this is the old material, with a few add-ons. I like those comics. I think they're distressingly weird in the way that all the comics from 1970-on by older creators not Jack Kirby or Gil Kane were. They were almost always a bit off-putting, lounge singers singing rock songs. I'd want to look at this to get a peek at what they're adding to the originals to take this volume to that price point: I see the original comics themselves all the time at a fraction of this collective price. The new Prez stuff is available, too, and even though Steve says the subtitle of the first volume is "Corndog In Chief" I want to see what they've done with the character at some point: people liked those comics, and Ben Caldwell won a Silver Division Reuben for it.

FEB160447 INCREDIBLE HULK HERB TRIMPE MARVEL ARTIST SELECT HC PI
I will buy everything related to Herb Trimpe that comes out from now until the day I can no longer buy anything. He's the most fascinating of the second wave of Marvel Superhero Universe creators, with art that looks more like the kind of thing someone might do now than immediately after Jack Kirby left the company.

APR160583 WILD BLUE YONDER TP $19.99
APR160711 I HATE FAIRYLAND COLORING BOOK TP $12.99
These are a couple of books not for me, but I'd look at them if I saw them on the stands. Wild Blue Yonder is one of IDW's stable of high-concept adventure comics, and I almost never spend any time poring over those even though it's certainly something I adored as a kid. The coloring book stuff baffles me, but Skottie Young seems a good choice, as someone who draws in a way that invites color being added later. I mean, everyone does that, but some of these books I have no idea how the hell I'd color them and I'm betting Young's work suggest a variety of approaches.

DEC150876 SHANG-CHI MASTER OF KUNG FU OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $125.00
Hello, gorgeous. I have all of Marvel's work with this character in beat up old-comic form, but it's nice that what needed to be cleared up has been cleared up so these fun and kind of modern-seeming (in a way) comics can have access to the shelves kept by grown-ups who can drop $125 on a comics volume.

APR161787 ANDRE THE GIANT GN CLOSER TO HEAVEN (MR) $12.99
I was familiar with Box Brown's treatment of the wrestler's life, but this one has also had its fair share of attention and praise.

MAR161077 JAMES JOYCE PORTRAIT OF DUBLINER GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY $22.99
This was, I believe, an award winner in one of the regional European comics scenes. It's a subject of great interest, certainly sizable enough (and thus a bargain at the asking price) and something that would be interesting in comics form.

APR162115 MASTER KEATON GN VOL 07 URASAWA $19.99
APR162111 GOODNIGHT PUNPUN GN VOL 02 (MR) $24.99
APR162157 YOTSUBA & ! GN VOL 13 $13.00
APR162167 YOTSUBA & ! GN VOL 01 NEWER PTG $13.00
Urusawa, Asano and Azuma: all super-fun cartoonists, all working on projects close to the heart... or at least the successful path their careers have enjoyed. I'll soon own all of these except the Azuma reprint.

APR162222 HELLBOYS WORLD COMICS & MONSTERS ON MARGINS SC $26.95
Stanford's Scott Bukatman is kind of a writer's writer for those whose work on comics leans more into the academic side of things. It'd be a blast to read him at length on Mike Mignola's work, for sure.

MAR160970 TALK DIRTY TO ME GN $14.95
This is Luke Howard's book with AdHouse Books, a volume that enjoyed a sneak-launch at TCAF, I think. It's the story of one woman's employment at a sex line -- that's what they're called, right? The Internet and all of its porn has blasted this form of pornography right from my head. I like the visual approach, though; it looks like something that could have come from a pal of Herb Gardner's or something.

*****

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: Flemmish Building Fund Illustration

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Al Feldstein Teen Comic Cover Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alenka Figa talks to Meredith Gran.

* a few CR readers have asked me why I haven't made any further commentary on Internet argumentation regarding plot points in the latest Captain America series. In case that doesn't answer the question by itself just reading it typed out like that, it's the usual reason: I have nothing to say I didn't say already. Sorry! Hail Wizard.

* John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs on Rosalie Lightning. The second wave of press on that title has been strong.

* not sure exactly the provenance of this R. Crumb process post or how old it is, but Crumb is nearly always of interest.

* missed this year-old article about Will Eisner's work for the military. It's nicely illustrated.

* not comics: Amid Amidi uses the 75th anniversary to take a look back at the infamous Disney animators strike, a pop-culture moment of great import. While you get cartooning, you don't really get comics, although the use of Disney as a gold standard for everything that comics ever hoped to achieve makes all of Disney history important to comics.

* here's a dark, short comic by Beto.

* they need your 'zines.

* finally, one of those Facebook for-sale links led me to this profile of Jackie Ormes -- so good on you, Facebook.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Frederik Hautain!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Graham Annable!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 80th Birthday, Gerald Scarfe!

image>
 
posted 1:00 am PST |
Permalink
 

 
Happy 36th Birthday, Mikhaela Reid!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Daily Blog Archives
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
 
Full Archives