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



















September 30, 2016


Go, Look: On A Sunbeam

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* the return of Thien Pham's I Like Food. I don't know if that's in print locally; I'm just happy to read it.

* Lauren Davis on Beauty And The Beast and Never Satisfied.

* Erna Mahyuni profiles a selection of webcomics from Malaysia. I'm surprised there isn't a John Lent of webcomics out there tracking this stuff down. Someone get to work on that.

* finally, Gary Tyrrell breaks down the recent Dave Kellett crowdfunder.
 
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If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This

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Go, Read: Diary Of A Middle Aged White Lady

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Ariel and I were born on the same day, and I look forward to catching up with this this weekend.
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* AJ Frost on Captain America: Steve Rogers #4. Sean Kleefeld on Your Favorite Superhero Sucks.

* here's Paul Gravett on the worldwide manga movement.

* a case for Head Lopper. I liked that comic, and I'm not usually fan of comics that have those kinds of narrative limitations.

* Erin O'Brien talks to Derf Backderf. Angela Boyle profiles KL Ricks.

* look at this Rick Griffin. Whoa.

* the descriptions of these "clues" about where the Watchmen characters created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons fit into present DC Universe licensed property land are just agonizing for me to read. It's just so not anything I enjoy about creativity or art.

* the reason we've all had such a weird 2016 is because Superman is having the weirdest one.

* finally, Anthony Acri wrote in twice suggesting this article might be of service to CR readers. I will have to come back to it, but don't let me stop you.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Kieron Gillen!

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Happy 39th Birthday, David Baillie!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Deni Loubert!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Chris Eliopoulos!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Mahendra Singh!

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September 29, 2016


Go, Look: Dykes In Print

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Go, Read: Matt Furie On Becoming A Name-Along-With-Image Rabidly Popular Internet Meme

Here's the first interview I've read with cartoonist Matt Furie talking about the experience of having his Pepe The Frog character become a hugely popular visual element in alt-right and pro-Trump visual presentations, on-line and in the physical world. Pepe was recently identified as a hate symbol in the context of specific uses by the Anti-Defamation League, which is an extraordinary thing, both the naming and the qualifications used in the naming.

So this has to be super-weird for the creator, doubly so because as he points out this use is rare in that the artist's name has been brandished at various times throughout.

Without my knowing him personally, Furie comes across to me in that piece like a nice enough guy a little disengaged with certain elements of the world and how art works within it right now. He also seems incredibly eager to maintain that distance between what he creates and how it might be used. Is he too eager to keep out of it? I've heard from three different people I like and respect wishing that Furie would respond more forcefully. This interview is, ironically, a reasonably forceful response in a way: declaring you're voting for Hillary Clinton is a nice soundbite to release into the wider world when your work is supporting the other guy. It's a counter-idea designed to make the users look a bit foolish.

I imagine there is a lot more Furie could do beyond make a few statements and wait it out, even when obnoxious, hateful super-shits like the image's users are involved. I'm also pretty sure it's not up to me to decide that for him -- I wouldn't suffer the blowback. But imagine the possibilities. Billing sites for use would be a funny way to take another shot at the candidate in question as a person that does not pay their contractors. If there's a bit of annoyance but no money raised, these are maybe people that should be annoyed. I also don't think this is a natural thing to have happen as Furie seems to assert. I think it's generally inexplicable which visuals will pick up that kind of attention, but I don't think it's a process we should allow to remain inviolable due to its assumed inevitability. We could perhaps help by constructing a broad counter-idea that can be presented whenever anyway absconds with an artist's work to reconfigure it in pursuit of a noxious idea or belief system. Let me know.
 
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Go, Look: Festival De Résistance

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By Request Extra: Connor Willumsen Wants To Go To The Lakes Festival By Selling You Books

Here. I'm not allowed to spend any money on comics until after October 16, but I want those books. Do Frank and company -- and yourself -- a favor.
 
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Go, Look: Coll

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By Request Extra: Sam Costello Relaunches For Split Lip

The well-liked comics-maker Sam Costello (well-liked enough to have friends advocating for e-mail on his behalf, anyway) has a second crowd-funder going for his massive, latest Split Lip anthology. Two differences. Looks like the ask is smaller -- I'm told a new printer or related service was found -- and the campaign seems much further along even accounting for that change. We tend to think of crowd-funder as arbiters passing judgment rather than tools seeking refinement; this may be a case of the latter.
 
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Go, Look: Mike Mignola New Gods Development Sketches

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from a movie never made; apologies to the many people that I imagine had this first
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events

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By Tom Spurgeon

* The Beat covers some sort of rejected display art controversy at NYCC. NYCC articles are always interesting to me because they always make the con seem more horrible, without really trying to. It almost seems quaint to even hint that something like this could 1 percent be seen as having a free-speech element, when the whole thing is crafted around maximizing a specific commercial atmosphere. Also, the thought that any model in a limited-sales environment like comics could involve giveaways makes me uncomfortable, although I know these things can be about buzz for whatever intellectual property is involved. Comics is worlds within worlds and none of us understand all of them.

* CXC -- the show with which I'm involved -- has posted a list for its Saturday-Sunday exhibitors. That show is mid-October. Please come. Please.

* the Los Angeles show with Stan Lee's name on it is changing its name to include the words "Comic Con." The old name was a mouthful so this seems like a smart idea. This article suggests that this might aid the Salt Lake Comic Con in their legal tussle with Comic-Con International. I would imagine that with this one we'll just see what the law says. In terms of the dormitory-hallway justice of this, I do sort of feel that most shows benefit from Comic-Con International establishing an approach, tone, cultural profile and style for these kinds of shows. If the term has become generic, that generic baseline was crystallized in San Diego. I just don't have any idea what's actionable and what isn't.

* I would love it if one panel at every convention from now on was called "The Future Of Mankind."

* finally, Eli Schiff walks through the history of Eli Schiff at comic shows.
 
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If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: #100Days100Women

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* I am bookmarking J. Caleb Mozzocco writing about the DC Rebirth titles for myself, as I sort out what might be of interest in their relaunch from an industry perspective and for me as a reader. Mozzocco is one of our most reliable writers-about-comics, and doesn't get that credit frequently enough. If you want to make use of that link as well, I won't stop you.

* this is a very good, short review by the cartoonist Katie Skelly on Someone Please Have Sex With Me.

* Abraham Riesman talks to Karen Berger for a lengthy, sober profile. I like that they go over Berger's willingness to criticize some of the goofy moves made by her former employer once she left. If you push someone out in part for philosophical reasons, it should be totally fair game for them to press a point when a different philosophy would have engendered a different result. Berger is back with an cover-editor credit on a new book; she was contacted via LinkedIn! Alex Dueben talks to Teri S. Wood and to Stephen Murphy.

* Riesman again with comics to read before you watch the new Luke Cage Netflix series launching this Friday. There are a lot of entertaining on his list, although I hop to god you really don't need to read them before watching the TV show. People are so rattled by the election if that's any good folks are going to be so grateful. Plus who doesn't love Alfre Woodard?

* finally, writer Greg Rucka discusses the sexuality of the Wonder Woman character as he understands it in the course of his current work in collaboration on the comic book title. Makes sense to me. I hadn't thought about the leaves-for-love construction as problematic. I'm the wrong guy to tell you how interesting this article is if you're immersed in that world, but it held my attention.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, Nicolas De Crécy!

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Happy 90th Birthday, Russ Heath!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Jennifer Daydreamer!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Tim Vigil!

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September 28, 2016


Go, Look: Walter Reed & The Mysterious Malaria Of Buzzard Point

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Go, Read: Profile Of Hergé Retrospective At The Grand Palais

This article barely hints at some of the issues flying about when it comes to reconsidering Hergé as an artist in the wider sense of the word. When Hergé talks about comics being judged as their own thing that sounds more like the rise of the recognition of comics than it does anything having to do with original art sales. On the other hand, it's the qualities one can perceive within the late cartoonist's art that make Hergé a formidable cartoonist. It isn't the stories, although the stories are fun when they stay on the positive side of the Problematic Gap. It's the art, or how the art works in those panels and pages. Maybe the secret is on those walls in France.
 
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If I Were In Naperville, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Wolverton's Plop! Back Cover Images

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on The Flash #1. Kim O'Connor on the New Yorker covers created by Chris Ware, curated by Francoise Mouly.

* this doesn't sound all that crazy.

* still The Man. Speaking of which, yesterday was Stan Lee Day in Los Angeles. It's nice to see Lee out there picking up the accolades and (one would assume) enjoying himself.

* on Kevin O'Neill and the act of sneaking credits into 2000AD.

* I don't know why I keep forgetting to post about this, but Randy Bish retired way back at the other end of the month. His retirement was typical to the editorial cartooning profession of the last 15 years in that his position will not be held open for another cartoonist. The idea of a staff editorial cartoonist at a print-first newspaper is a really extravagant one right now.

* finally, Will Meugniot has a giant e-book out.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Flavio Hoffe!

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September 27, 2016


Go, Look: Matt Harrison

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I guess there's an unpublished Mats!? book out there? Our publishing coverage for comics is pretty rough -- there are ton of reasons and not all of them are indolence -- but I'd kill to have a list of unpublished projects of significant size and heft, even if it's just ten pages done.

* Marc Sobel cradles an advance copy of his forthcoming Alan Moore-related book.

* Drew Friedman gives us a look at his recent cover for the comics-friendly American Bystander. That's a comics-friendly publication generally.

* finally, Charles Vess checks the proofs on his new book, Walking Through The Landscape Of Faerie.

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Thrown Together Hiroshi Hirata Images Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Hilda And The Stone Forest.

* Jill Pantozzi pens a piece on entertainment writing as it stands today. Entertainment writing is the proper parent group for a lot of writing that gets done about comics.

* don't know that I've ever seen this particular Moebius image. Or this one.

* go, read: Milt Gross book reviews in (mostly) comics form.

* Mike Steyels talks to MariNaomi about the Cartoonists Of Color project. That has a chance to be a mind-changing, life-affirming, significant resource for a very long time.

* here's a list of the best non-fiction comics.

* not comics: there's a lot of talk about this kind of thing recently. I figure everyone has the right to create whatever they art and everyone has the right to criticize the art they want.

* finally, that last panel always makes me laugh.
 
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Happy 89th Birthday, Jack Katz!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Jim Shooter!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Mattt Konture!

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September 26, 2016


OTBP: The Plunge

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Go, Read: KC Green On Appropriation Of Imagery

Here. I think that's reasonably telling and a pretty good outcome all around. Shit happens, so it's good to remember principles that favor creators even if you don't think they apply. It's okay to express yourself to someone if you think they're doing something in a non-optimal way. It's gracious of the creator to say not worry about it and that everyone in the "room" knows that it's the choice of the creator to be gracious, if they want to be.
 
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Go, Look: Russ Heath Sea Devils Covers

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Go, Read: Owner Of A Seattle Venue For Cartoonists Shaken Up By Reminder Of 2012 Gun Violence

Here. That's a central location of the Seattle cartooning community, version 2.0. The idea that places that represent ideas that people don't like, that these places will be subject to bullying and violence, that is a horrible idea for comics makers to have to deal with moving forward.
 
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Go, Look: Olle Forsslof

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* Tara O'Connor could use some Patreon-related help as she faces medical expenses.

image* the Rotland Press crowd-funder for Black Eye #3 is ongoing.

* I'm still interested in this Amiculus fundraiser from an industry perspective, as I think it's the kind of comic that will only ever make around its minimum and will have a hard time raising traditional capital.

* I couldn't get to the article past the advertising screens, but somewhere starting here is an article about some of the psychological triggers involved in crowd-funding campaigns.

* familiar names (to me) with crowd-funders: Kyle Starks, Joamette Gil, Ryan K. Lindsay, Brian Pulido.

* finally, I didn't want to totally miss this Danielle Corsetto crowd-funder, even though I came close. She's well past her initial goals, but you might want to participate.
 
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If I Were In Glasgow, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Riley Rossmo Mainstream Comics Imagery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Tobias Carroll talks to Marguerite Bennett. Steve Morris talks to Joamette Gil.

* go, watch: Farel Dalrymple workspace video.

* Sean Kennedy profiles Katherine Keller. Keller's great; I haven't seen her in years, but we've always traveled in different circles.

* not only is the specific cartoon great, but it's fantastic that the Billy Ireland contributes stuff to The Nib. There's a sensibility to different periods of comics -- different than this one -- that relate really well to issues of our day.

* good gravy, look at this beautiful Jack Kirby page.

* Jason Latour announces something he's doing in response to protests in Charlotte last week.

* finally, Steve Lieber presents the latest greatest story ever told.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, Tom Veitch!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Stephen Weiner!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Louise Simonson!

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September 25, 2016


Koyama Press Announces Spring Season '17: Their Tenth Birthday

imageIn an announcement sent out today, Annie Koyama and her crack team of comics-loving facilitators at Koyama Press announced their Spring 2017. They remind us that 2017 will see the celebration of Koyama Press' 10th Anniversary. They promise "surprises," and more importantly for this site, "an incredible slate of comics."

The featured artists and works for the season are Jesse Jacobs with Crawl Space, Ben Sears with Volcano Trash, Eleanor Davis with You & A Bike & A Road, Keiler Roberts with Sunburning, Jane Mai and An Nguyen and Novala Takemoto (as an interview subject) in a book on Lolita subculture, and Erik Kostiuk Williams with Condo Heartbreak Disco.

That is as solid a group of artists as the company has ever published in a single season, and may be the best in the company's short, distinguished existence-to-date. I'd have to check.

Cover images and titles and descriptions and publishing breakdowns are:

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Crawl Space
ISBN: 978-1-927668-41-2
Specs: $19.95, 6.5 x 9, 96 pages, color, paper over board
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "A washer and dryer provide gateways to higher levels of reality and psychedelic weirdness for a group of neighborhood children.

"In the basement, through the appliances and past the veil that separates realities, lies a rainbow-hued world where a group of kids have found retreat from their suburban mundanity with a coterie of iridescent creatures. But in the fraught realm of adolescence, can friendship survive the appeal of the surreal?"

Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Jesse Jacobs was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, and now draws comics and things from his home in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2009, his books Small Victories and Blue Winter were shortlisted at the Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning. He received the Gene Day Award for Canadian Comic Book Self-Publisher of 2008. Even the Giants (AdHouse, 2011) marked his major publishing debut after several award-winning, self-published titles, and his work has appeared in the acclaimed Latvian comics anthology š!, as well as the 2012 edition of The Best American Comics edited by Francoise Mouly and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He made his debut with Koyama Press in 2012 with the psychedelic creation myth By This Shall You Know Him, which was followed by the trippy take on nature versus nurture Safari Honeymoon in 2014."

*****

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Volcano Trash
ISBN: 978-1-927668-42-9
Specs: $12.00, 6.5 x 9, 120 pages, color, trade paper
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "The boys are back to their temple raidin' ways, but has the long, crooked arm of the law caught them?

"Corrupt cops, hive-like henchmen, be-goggled boy heroes, labyrinthine HQs, unlikely team-ups, heartbreaking best friend breakups, and a liberal dose of super science, zingers and explosive action. Sound like a Double+ adventure? It is."

Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Ben Sears is a cartoonist, illustrator and musician born and raised in Louisville, KY where he continues to live and work. His Double+ character has appeared in a number of zines, online anthologies and the all-ages adventure comic Night Air, where he has been perpetually in over his head."

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You & A Bike & A Road
ISBN: 978-1-927668-40-5
Specs: $12.00, 6 x 8.5, 160 pages, b&w, trade paper
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "Collecting a raw, immediate and moving journal that chronicles a two-month long bike tour from Tuscon, AZ to Athens, GA.

"In 2016, acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator Eleanor Davis documented her cross-country bike tour as it happened. The immediacy of Davis' comics journal makes for an incredible chronicle of human experience on the most efficient and humane form of human transportation.

Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator. She lives in Athens, GA. She was born in Tucson, Arizona. In 2009, Davis won the Eisner's Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award and was named one of Print magazine's New Visual Artists. In 2013, her short story "In Our Eden" received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. In 2015, her book How To Be Happy won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection."

*****

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Sunburning
ISBN: 978-1-927668-44-3
Specs: $12.00, 7 x 9, 120 pages, b&w, trade paper
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "Collecting the moments that make up the days of a bipolar artist and mother. They are messy, funny and real.

"In an era where personal lives are meticulously curated and presented, Keiler Roberts' unflinching and intimate comics reveal real life to be as absurd as it is profound. In a sequence of vignettes, Roberts delineates the complicated life of a mother and artist that can be comical, melancholic and delightful."

Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Keiler Roberts' autobiographical comic series, Powdered Milk, has received four Ignatz Award nominations and one win, and was included in the Notables List of The Best American Comics 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her work has been published in The Chicago Reader, Mutha Magazine, Nat. Brut, Darling Sleeper,New City, and several anthologies. She was a Special Guest at CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Festival) in 2015 and Chicago Zine Fest in 2013."

"Miseryland, Roberts' third book, has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, The Comics Journal, BMu, Sequential State, and more. New City named Roberts one of the Top Five Comics Artists in Chicago in 2015. She was a panelist in The Chicago Architectural Biennial, and has performed readings of her comics at Brain Frame, Sector 2337 Gallery, Quimby's, and Two Cookie Minimum. In 2016, she had a solo show at The Naughton Gallery at Queen's University in Belfast. Keiler teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University."

*****

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So Pretty/Very Rotten: Comics And Essays On Lolita Fashion And Cute Culture
ISBN: 978-1-927668-43-6
Specs: $18.00, 5 x 7, 300 pages, b&w, trade paper
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "A short story and essay collection exploring the Japanese fashion subculture, Lolita, by two cartoonists who go beyond the clothes.

"In a series of essays and comics that are at once academic and intimate, cartoonists Jane Mai and An Nguyen delve into Lolita subculture and their relationship with it. Empowering and beautiful, but also inescapably linked to consumerism, the Rococo-inspired fashion is indulgent and sublime, pretty and rotten."

Publisher's Biographies Of Creative Talent: "An Nguyen is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Ottawa, ON best known for her romantic comic series Open Spaces and Closed Places. She has drawn comics for Spera: Ascension of the Starless, Electric Ant zine, and various Love Love Hill anthologies. In addition to So Pretty/Very Rotten, she and Jane Mai also released a zine titled Don't Talk to Me or I'll Set Myself on Fire."

"Jane Mai is a freelance illustrator and comic artist from Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and self-published zines. Koyama Press published her first book, Sunday In The Park With Boys, which was followed by the zine Sorry I Can't Come In On Monday I'm Really Really Sick, and See You Next Tuesday. "

"Novala Takemoto is a Japanese author, fashion designer and prominent promoter of the Lolita lifestyle. Soleinuit (Kokushokankai), his first collection of essays, was published in 1998. He debuted as a novelist in 2000 with Missin' (Shogakukan). He achieved wide recognition when his 2002 novel Shimotsuma Monogatari (Shogakukan) was adapted into the movie, Kamikaze Girls, in 2004. His most recent work is Rakkusei (Cyzo, Inc.)."

*****

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Condo Heartbreak Disco
ISBN: 978-1-927668-45-0
Specs: $10.00, 7 x 10, 52 pages, b&w, trade paper
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher's Description: "The condopocalypse is engulfing Toronto and a dynamic duo of gender fluid superheroes is all that's left to stop it.

"Towers of steel and glass are decimating Toronto's neighborhoods; replacing communities with condos. Can the city's primary purveyors of socially motivated revenge and personal guidance, Komio and The Willendorf Braid, save the city from condo hell, or are they too late to save this Hogtown from the twisted CEO?"

Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Eric Kostiuk Williams is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Toronto, ON. His debut autobiographical work Hungry Bottom Comics was nominated for the 2013 Doug Wright Spotlight Award, and each issue of the series was selected for The Best American Comics' Notable Books of 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. Recent commercial clients include Joe Fresh, the Drake Hotel, Xtra!, and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention."

*****
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A Brief Note Or Two On The Late Kim Thompson Being Born 60 Years Ago Today

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The great translator, underrated critic and legendary publishing figure Kim Thompson, who died in 2013, would have been 60 today. I suspect Kim would have rolled his eyes at prolonged public sadness over his passing, so I won't mention anything like that here other than to state it's still slightly impossible for me to believe that I could go to that office right this very second and not find him working in that little office of his, or stepping into the kitchen to greet me.

The thing that stuck in my head, though, throughout today, was how many people texted and e-mailed that they thought Kim was older than 60 when he passed away. I think that's because Kim and Gary Groth and their roughly same-age peers were either the first generation of alt-comics publishers or the first generation since the first generation to enter mainstream comics in a significant way. So you have a lot of people 55-65 with trackable careers two, three, four decades long in an established arts industry, which is rare outside of a few precocious creative talents.

Alt-comics is older now in a lot of ways, despite the flood of younger cartoonists driving down the average age overall. When I went to work at Fantagraphics in 1994 I was likely in the top half of older people in the office. I was 26. Kim and Gary, who seemed decades older in my mind, were in their late 30s. By then they had settled into a crucial if not stable industry role and had already held down that position for a dozen to 15 years. We just don't have a lot of people like that these days, people younger than 40 in key positions that we know will play as big or bigger roles 20 years from now. We are lucky to have them when and where we can, and for however long it lasts.
 
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Assembled Extra: Chris Ware Makes Touch Sensitive Available As Stand-Alone For iPads

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Click through the image. This was an iPad exclusive and thus remains one, but it's available outside of its presence nestled within a no-longer-exists McSweeney's app. Also, Chris Ware has a Facebook page.
 
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CAPA-alpha, RIP

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Link through the image, one of the great Bill Schelly's covers for the publication.

Except for the nice people involved in fandom back then who are still with us, this fan publication was kind of the last surviving entity of the golden age of fandom. It will end in December, and have a digital-only afterlife.
 
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OTBP: How To Be Perfect

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

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

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

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

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Massimo Mattioli!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Paul Pope!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Bob Layton!

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September 24, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


TruthDig On Political Cartooning



A Pair Of Keith Knight-Related Videos


Rod Emmerson On Eaten Fish


Storia Di Mu
 
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Go, Read: Los Bros Profiled, Interviewed

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One thing that's slightly different about this piece is that they engage a bit with Jaime and Beto's fans, like the young woman above, and how important it is in general for people to be able to see themselves in meaningful works of fiction. Also shining through is the underlying good sense of their punk outlook: to do work for a smaller audience that's meaningful and personal to you. That never stops being wise, even in a world where some would assert the only value is maximum profit and be celebrated for saying so.

Bonus: Jaime is funny in this one, and his sense of humor doesn't always come out in interviews. Go, read.
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from September 17 to September 23, 2016:

1. Gene Luen Yang wins a MacArthur Fellowship.

2. SPX wraps up another hugely successful year in Bethesda and announces dates through 2019.

3. Female cartoonists and young cartoonists dominated the Ignatz Awards, with young female cartoonist Tillie Walden winning two. Noah Van Sciver broke what I think may be the longest stretch of nominations without a win by taking one home.

Winner Of The Week
Yang.

Losers Of The Week
Those of us that can't remember our comiXology passwords. Okay, I know I promised to never make jokes like that, but I couldn't think of anyone that really stuck out as a loser other than Scott Adams' latest presidential election look-at-me antics, and I don't want to link to those. That's a resonably interesting announcement, too, Koyama going in wit the Amazon digital program like that. I thought she might drift around on the edges of that kind of commitment for a while yet.

Quote Of The Week
"We weren't raised to go grab the gold ring. We were raised to get along and survive." -- Jaime Hernandez

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Be Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 49th Birthday, Shinobu Kaitani!

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Happy 9th Anniversary, Secret Acres!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Sophia Wiedeman!

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September 23, 2016


Go, Look: Dustin Harbin In Riot-Torn Charlotte

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* love the new Spaniel Rage cover from Vanessa Davis; that book is due in Febuary, and is a reprint of her first. That looks like an Arno cover or something of that general era.

* I think I reported that the First Second iteration of Jason Shiga's Demon was going to be two volumes. Make that multiple volumes. I'd say three, because that's a third there, but I want to protect myself. I think that one will eventually do its best as a single-volume. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

* finally, there will be bunch of mainstream announcements at NYCC, and the show with which I'm involved, CXC, hopes to have one or two. We seem to be moving rapidly towards a time where these kind of announcements don't matter. I'm not sure why that is. Certainly anticipation culture is a big part of most media. I think it may be that there's just so much pretty good stuff right now; it's so hard to keep up with the present, there's no mental room to process books that aren't here yet as a result.
 
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OTBP: Kuti #41

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* the new reality, succinctly stated.

* sort of but not really an on-line question: why is it that few people prepare statements for awards shows, and why don't we see more of these few on-line in conjunction with the presentation? That wider, Internet-based reality is the one in which most creators exist now, and suddenly they limit themselves to some dumb cracks on a stage in the direction of a Hollywood voice actor.

* Sean Kleefeld digs into some issues he has with the way the Ignatzes approach webcomics.

* finally, catch writer Ed Brubaker's newsletter in this early form, because six months from now everyone's going to be copying it. They've started already.
 
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If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Lauren Tamaki

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I pointed out this Liza Donnelly image for Gil Roth talking to Peter Arno biographer Michael Maslin several days ago. The interview has since been put up.

image* Rob Clough on Fantasy Sports No. 2.

* when I was a kid, these prints were everywhere: the American Midwest had an orientalist fetish from the mid-1950s into the mid-1970s for sure.

* by request extra: an angel or two would seem necessary here.

* not exactly sure why the link is still in my active bookmarking section, but these four summer comics by Vanessa Davis were pretty great and I recommend you read them.

* also not sure why I re-bookmarked this photo of a Linework NW dinner from 2015. That was a good dinner. I'm not taking the photo -- the waitress is -- but I was in attendance until my flight time encroached and I had to cab away. A lot of people at SPX talked about and told stories featuring Alvin Buenaventura, I though, to a surprising degree. That's Souther Salazar on the right, foregrounded.

* finally, this article on drawings being added to non-artistic realistic settings seems poised to take a place next to the Local Cartoonist Profile as a time-honored trope-driven general piece about comics.
 
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Happy 34th Birthday, Michael Peterson!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Jean-Claude Meziérès!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Peter David!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Dan Day!

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September 22, 2016


Go, Look: Tom Gauld In The New Yorker

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Go, Read: Dominic Wells' Piece On Alan Moore

Here. It's lengthy, but I've liked it so far and if I post about it I can come back and finish it later on with more ease than just making a bookmark.

Moore's a difficult creator to parse sometimes and there are big chunks of his career that are problematic for me so I can't even imagine how others figure him out. I think he's formidable, though, and I think what pains me about his up and down reputation of recent vintage is that I believe weightier than that kind of broad engagement based on fashion and commercial expectations. I also think that DC lately has been a bad witness to what they had in Moore, reducing him to an IP generator as opposed to a skilled executor of significant work, and the resulting friction between Moore and corporation has resulted in statements that are harmful to people that love and are thus sensitive about certain things. It's a dumb, deeply unfortunate way to engage with a forceful talent.
 
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Go, Look: A Princess Of Mars

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Go, Look: Sajan Rai

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the Wonder Woman Symposium begins today. Here's the ambitious-looking schedule, ambition being a good thing here.

* bunch of shows left on the calendar: CXC, Short Run, CAB, NYCC, APE, Paris. Update: Ryan Sands appeared in my room in a puff of smoke, shouted out "CALA!" and disappeared.

* finally, I looked up NYCC in the news to see if there was an article, and this was the only one I could find that was sort of about comics. I want to spend some time figuring out that show at some point. I would have spent some time on this before now but I'm deathly afraid starting down the road of inquiry will lead me to attending again. I have never had a worse experience at a show than any of the three times I attended NYCC, and I was almost beat up at San Diego 1999. I don't think that's on purpose, they all seem like nice people, but man. On the other hand, clearly tons of people get use out of this show and not just in a restricted band of mainstream comics expression.
 
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If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: Dirtnap

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* AJ Frost on Amazing Spider-Man #17.

* oh, hey, I forgot this "Random." My apologies. Let's put some stuff here.

* always like looking at the Shuster Award nominees. Something about a label like "Canada" that makes a group of books and creators interesting: Kathryn Immonen! Colville! I'm happy that Darwyn Cooke will enter this Hall Of Fame, although the heart still breaks as to the circumstance that made him eligible.

* I keep meaning to pass along a link to this video that made my Facebook like four or five times, but I wanted to watch it first. As that is apparently never going to happen, please enjoy.

* finally, I'm not sorry.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Peter Kuper!

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September 21, 2016


Go, Look: Oswestry Heritage Comics

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By Request Extra: Amiculus Volume 3

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Travis Horseman lives either in Columbus or close enough by he's here at comics events. His Amiculus trilogy looks like it comes out of the future where all the big companies published was gladiator comics and this is one of the ones from like a Valiant.

I wanted to do this post, though, because I'm interested in what projects crowd-fund, and this seems like the kind that needs the crowd-funding the most. That's different than benefits. There are books that have an audience that crowd-fund and books that find an audience through crowd-funding. There are book like this one, though, that likely have an audience but it's just enough to make this work. At that point, crowd-funding becomes a way to reach the threshold of publishing rather than its higher ends.

It's hard for me to tell which projects are which, but this seems like one of those described. I thought it worth mentioning, anyway. Best of luck to Horseman and his creative partners in getting their campaign rolling again.
 
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If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on three mini-comics including Alien Beings. Rob Clough on Houses Of The Holy.

* not comics: Andrew Sullivan writes about his Internet habits and how they began to damage his life and what he did in response. Sullivan's a good writer, but I'm a little confused in that I never thought of his Internet presence -- supported by a staff, relatively little content compared to many blogs, content that could have run in magazines when there was content, magazine and book gigs throughout -- as a really Internet-forward one. I certainly wouldn't think of him as someone in dire need of this particular life-correction, at least not before hundreds of other people I know and read.

* Herr Seele draws Laura Park.

* this looks fantastic.

* finally, what a swell watercolor illustration Gregory Benton made of the Spanish cartoonists that were at SPX on tour.
 
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Happy 36th Birthday, David Malki!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Craig Thompson!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Drew Friedman!

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September 20, 2016


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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Kleefeld gets into the publishing oddity that was The Human Fly.

* by request extra: James Romberger makes the case for Seth Tobocman's winding-down crowdfunder.

* congratulations to the happy couple.

* that's a heck of a lot of good cartoonists.

* here's the latest from the great Timely-Atlas-Comics site, this time on Allen Bellman in the late 1930s publication The Brooklyn Eagle.

* finally, Nick Gazin presents a five-best-manga list.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Coop!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Steve Ringgenberg!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Bill Amend!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Tom Williams!

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September 19, 2016


OTBP: Brian Fukushima's Sketchbook PDFs

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Bundled Extra: Koyama Press And comiXology Announce Deal Over Small Press Expo (SPX) Weekend

Koyama Press announced a multiple-title entry into the comiXology platform over Small Press Expo weekend. The well-regarded alt-comics publisher would seem a key partnership acquisition for the digital comics arm of the Amazon empire, whose market emphasis has been more varied than the average DM profile but is still a work in progress. For Koyama it gives fans of that group's work to sample and buy in digital form.

Quote work provided to the press:

David Steinberger, comiXology CEO: "ComiXology's mission is to make everyone on the planet a comics fan and that means making sure we have the most diverse selection of sequential art content anywhere -- which is why is so important to be adding the great titles from Koyama Press to the mix today. From Julia Wertz to John Martz, Koyama Press' catalog is a goldmine of cutting edge comic content that has few peers. Annie Koyama is one of the leading lights in the small press movement and we are such big fans of what she's doing, we couldn't be happier to expand the audience for Koyama Press across comiXology and Kindle."

Annie Koyama, founder and Publisher of Koyama Press: "As our mandate at Koyama Press is to promote and support a wide range of emerging to established artists, this is a natural next step to having the books be available in the widest manner possible. We look forward to introducing our artists to new readers via comiXology and Kindle."

The initial run of titles offered will be:

* The Big Team Society League Book of Answers, Team Society League
* Blobby Boys Vol. 1-2, Alex Schubert
* Cat Dad, King of the Goblins, Britt Wilson
* A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories, John Martz
* Comics Class, Matthew Forsythe
* Drinking at the Movies, Julia Wertz
* Fata Morgana, Jon Vermilyea
* The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, Julia Wertz
* Monster Party, Chris 'Elio" Eliopoulos
* S.F. #3, Ryan Cecil Smith
* Turtle Needs Work, Steve Wolfhard

I liked most of these comics, and it's interesting to see the Ryan Cecil Smith work offered.
 
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Go, Look: Joe Kubert Hawkman/Hawkgirl Designs

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Go, Look: Sarah Glidden's Little Painting Of Seattle

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon
 
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Go, Look: The Devil's Day Off

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Go, Look: Frankenstein #8

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on The Osamu Tezuka Story.

* I nearly missed this article by Magdalene Visaggio on the problem with cix creators writing trans narratives, focused on Alters, to which Paul Jenkins is contributing the writing. I hadn't heard of Alters because it's an Aftershock comic and for whatever reason I don't hear about those. The article is smart and funny and insightful. It also, while stressing it is not a review of the work, ends up being a pretty devastating review of the work. My basic views on how art works are shaped by the theatre, so the Visaggio's perspectives on some of the underlying issues in terms of how art functions tend to be different than my own. That makes me that much more greatly appreciative that I got to read it, and will think about the objections raised for a long while.

* in contrast, I totally missed this piece about the fumbling of PR on behalf of Star Trek in its 50th year, which is kind of inexplicable when you stop and think about it. I wondered after this thinking that maybe the movie was a total turd, but the movie was fine. PR and marketing get tossed as a magic bullet to goose sales, but it is really its own set of practices to give something the best chance to fulfill its mission. That can be a comic book making money but it can also be a hospital filling beds. I hope that we do better with the 100 year anniversaries of Kirby and Eisner in 2017 than CBS and Paramount did with Star Trek this year.

* finally, early Namor is the best.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, Cynthia Martin!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Chris Wright!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Sarah Oleksyk!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Garry Leach!

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September 18, 2016


CR Sunday Interview: Jessica Campbell

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****

I thought Jessica Campbell was very funny before I knew she did comics. Once I read the comics, though, I was done. I really like the sense of humor on display, made even better as she's refined how to use herself as a comedic stand in. I spoke to Campbell in 2012 when she left Drawn & Quarterly to attend school in America. She's since been all the way through grad school and been married, which I guess means she's stuck here for good.

Campbell's latest book Hot Or Not: 20th Century Male Artists is a stand-alone about judging the hotness of artists and comparing it to some element of their work or creative reputation. I like its send-up of museum culture and the general dumbing down of cultural interaction. I'm also grateful to learn who was hot and who was not. I hope that we continue to get work from Campbell however she choose to provide it. -- Tom Spurgeon

****

imageTOM SPURGEON: I always like talking to people about comics they've done that are funny, because now we can ruin it. Can you talk a little bit about what and who you think is funny, first in comics and then more broadly?

JESSICA CAMPBELL: Lisa Hanawalt7, Gina Wynbrandt, Jillian Tamaki, Amy Lockhart, Tom Gauld, Joan Cornella... There are so many extremely funny cartoonists. My day job is in the fine art world and humour there feels a lot rarer. I think this is partly due to Western comics' origin in newspapers, the funnies, and also to the fact that there is a kind of liberty in being viewed as a low art form. The alleviation of the pressure to make "serious art" allows cartoonists to have a sense of humour about themselves, the world... Perhaps this is just due to cartoonists' unhealthy self image.

Outside of comics, an example of something that I find really funny is this: there is a "corgi meet up" group in Chicago on facebook, and they keep trying to organize a corgi meet-up at one of the dog beaches in the city. All of the events have disclaimers on them like "this is only open to corgi owners and please do not click 'attending' unless you actually plan on coming" but then the word will get out and like 12,000 people will click "attending." So the whole group devolves in to this frantic discussion about how the beach can't actually accommodate 12,000 people and did we, the "attendees" even know that there is a kennel cough pandemic right now?? [Spurgeon laughs] And then it inevitably gets cancelled. I love the whole thing: the idea of corgis "meeting up," the unheeded disclaimers, the frantic misguided use of social media, and the final realization that the corgi owners can't have "nice things" because we -- non corgi owning social media users -- keep ruining their digital event.

SPURGEON: How much of the performance that you've done would be recognizable to those who seen both in your comics? Is there a difference between the two forms that you like the most, something about comics that works for you in a way performance might not?

CAMPBELL: Most of my performance work is intertwined with comics. I'll have a slideshow of drawn images and will narrate them. I did a piece a few years ago where I narrated a police report in the future that itemized all of the things in a derelict apartment owned by someone named "Jessica Campbell." I like performance art because of its ephemerality, that you have to be present in a space to really experience it and then it's over. However, that can also be frustrating. For instance, I now have a few performances that I've done and I'd love to make something more concrete/longevous out of them but am uncertain of how to do that since they were really designed to only function in a time-based way.

There's so much that I love about comics, but firstly, it's amazing to be able to create a physical object that exists in multiple so that everyone can own/experience it equally, as opposed to performance that exists only for a specific, short time period or painting/drawing/fine art in which there is a singular object that has to be seen in person.

SPURGEON: How have you adjusted to being a name-company comics alum? That wasn't an easy transition for me. How hard was it to try to shift your identity away from D+Q and was there a moment you became comfortable kind of seeing that as a complete chapter?

CAMPBELL: Oh, it's weird! While I was at D+Q, I wanted to make comics but was surrounded by the work of many of the (in my opinion) greatest living cartoonists, so I was too intimidated. Working there had become so much of my identity -- for instance, my family still sends me links every time a D+Q cartoonist is interviewed on the CBC or something -- so leaving was something I had mixed emotions about. However, my goal was and is always to be a full time artist, so stepping away was the right decision, though I miss all of my old coworkers on basically a daily basis.

Grad school and moving to Chicago was a pretty huge break in my life, and a clear demarcation of D+Q/post D+Q. Around the time that I left, however, I was super fortunate to have been asked by Chuck Forsman to contribute to Oily Comics, and I made a few of those, which allowed me to get my feet wet with making comics. The other people who have been helpful in re-imaging myself as just an artist and not a worker in comics are Frank Santoro, who let me post work on Comics Workbook; Trubble Club, the collective I'm a part of here; and, of course, Annie Koyama, who is publishing my book and who, before that, was very encouraging.

SPURGEON: How do you look at that period in your life now? Do you have perspective on it? How different are you yourself for this succession of major life changes since 2012?

CAMPBELL: 2016 has been the best and worst year of my life. A number of friends died in the past year, there has been some family illness and we had to put down our beloved dog, Tanuki. At the same time, I started teaching at DePaul and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I got married, I recently opened an exhibition at the Sub-Mission in Chicago and now my book is coming out. Life's a g-d rollercoaster.

Other than that, my life since 2012 has changed in other ways. I think that going to grad school made my work a lot better. I don't exactly know how to explain it, but I'm able to think in a way that I couldn't before, like the world has opened up more. Also, Canadian friends tell me that I'm getting an American accent, though I don't think I am.

SPURGEON: There's a definite art-school feel to this one, including our narrator, Docent Jessica Campbell. I know that heading back to school can be terrifying; was it good for you? Did any of that experience make it into here beyond it being roughly in the same neighborhood? Is this a take on art and artists that you used to riff on at school, for instance?

CAMPBELL: Well, I wasn't out of school for that long between my BFA and MFA since I took forever to finish my undergraduate degree (first I flunked out of community college and then went to school part time while I worked at D+Q). I had just turned 26 when I finished undergrad and I was 27 when I started grad school, which I thought was young, perhaps partly due to my living in Canada where school is a lot cheaper and most of the grad students I knew were at least that old. However, when I got to school, many of my compatriots had just come straight out of undergrad so I felt kind of old? The weirdest part was feeling like I had been an adult with a studio and a day job then all of a sudden I was having critiques where people where like "Why are you talking about humour? You're not funny. You don't know what you're doing." My pride was definitely bruised a lot in the first year of grad school.

One of the things that I took note of in school in the US was this emphasis on the American Abstract Expressionists. Like, there is this whole other history of Abstract Expressionism in Quebec that actually started in the early 1940s, earlier than the American movement that was more post WWII. However, in the schools here, even though it's kind of common knowledge that there was collusion between the US government and art writers like Clement Greenberg to falsely promote Ab Ex as a native American art form, distinct from other cultures, it was still kind of the standard against which everything else was gauged.

Anyway, the idea for the book really came from two experiences. The first was that, when Cy Twombly died, I was still working at D+Q and Lynda Barry sent me an email that just said (facetiously) "Cy Twombly when he was my boyfriend" and included a picture of a handsome young Twombly. The second was that my former coworker in Chicago, a painter named Katherine Harvath, and I would gchat at work and at some point started asking each other to guess if certain male painters were hot and then would find images to prove/disprove each other's theory. There's a really nice nude pic of Frank Stella with one of his paintings that sort of kicked the whole thing off.

imageSPURGEON: Chicago has a great reputation as an arts town and as a comics town? Which one does it deserve less and why? If the gotcha formulation of that is as annoying to you as it looks to me, can you talk about making art in Chicago, making comics with what looks like a growing scene? Is it like JC Menu suggested, a cartoonist on every corner?

CAMPBELL: [laughs] Yeah, cartoonists are stationed around the city on each block, greeting tourists and attempting to promote comics. Hm, this is a tough question!!! I guess one indicator might be that I know a lot more fine artists who leave Chicago for LA or New York than cartoonists. Perhaps this is because comics are more mobile than art is. Like, if you're a painter, your goal is probably to exhibit your work somehow. In order to get opportunities to exhibit your work, you will probably need studio visits, which means, most likely, being in a city where there are galleries or institutions that can come to your studio. While there are a few phenomenal museums in Chicago, and a healthy number of galleries, your chances of getting a gallery exhibition are probably higher in New York or Los Angeles where there are just more places to show. However, Chicago's cheaper than other big cities so it's more feasible to work part-time or to have a studio here.

Cartoonists, however, can kind of live wherever. Aaron (Renier, to whom I am married) and I talk about this a lot, like, where do we want to be? And basically it comes down to somewhere that is affordable and where there are other cartoonists to hang out with. If we ever leave Chicago, it'll likely be because I need to be able to get in to the forest or to the ocean before I go insane.

SPURGEON: This might fold back into my questions about the performance stuff you've done, but I really like the way the Jessica character has developed. She has a real presence on the page she didn't. Was it hard for you to find a way to depict yourself, to facilitate your humor? Was there any difficult in developing how you were going to draw and so on?

CAMPBELL: Many years ago I read Paul Auster's City of Glass and his use of his own name in the book was fascinating and really stuck with me. So I guess in using my name in this book, or in my previous performances, I was kind of thinking of the character as sharing my name and characteristics but not being me, necessarily.

SPURGEON: Comedy can be about feel and it can also be about precision. How much attention do you pay to the mechanics of what appears on the page? Do you work through the timing of things, how many words you use, and so on? Were there any difficulties with that here?

CAMPBELL: Oh, I write and re-write the same sentence over and over again until it feels "right" to me. I think my dedication to writing, to rewriting the same thing until it sounds as funny as possible is why stand-up comedy is really challenging and my accidental dabblings in improv were complete nightmare. (One time a friend and I went for a drink in Chicago and it turned out the bar was an improv bar and, as the only "audience" members, we got dragged onstage so that it was just us and the improv-ers, performing a scene, for no one.)

The difficulties are really now, when I read the book and realize that I could have phrased things differently. Also, I couldn't decide whether calling Gauguin a "child fucker" was going too far so I cut it. But that's what he straight-up was, so maybe I should have left it in. I don't know.

SPURGEON: To broaden that question, tell me a little bit about how you work. Like how did this go from idea to the choices you made to unpack that idea in a certain way. Why make the choice with the full pages, and the introductory narrative?

CAMPBELL: Originally, I just had the full pages and was going to release this as a mini. Then I sent the files to Annie, and she pointed out, rightly, that it felt too abrupt and wanted to expand it. So I added a bunch of new pages and the intro/post script, as a way of easing the abruptness. Adding the introductory narrative was a way for me to create a context for the meat of the jokes, like, we're going through the museum, that's the connection between all these artists; they're all next to each other on the wall.

imageSPURGEON: Where the hell did that great bit of business where you say the answer and then call on someone in the audience to say yes? I don't know that I've seen that before, and that strikes me as really straight-forward and funny.

CAMPBELL: Going to school at the Art Institute, and teaching there now, I have spent/spend a lot of time in the museum, so I see tour groups going through, and watch the docents. I also will bring my own classes there, and there's this performative element to teaching where I'm like "OK! Who can tell me what they think is significant about this Daumier drawing?" or whatever, so having myself, the character, do that was intuitive.

The difference between this and actually giving tours or teaching is what I'm saying and how the audience is reacting. For instance, it's completely true that a huge bulk of the artists in the museum are men, and white men, and straight men, but no docent would say, "OK, the significant thing about this room is that these paintings were all made by white european dudes." However, while race, gender, class, appearance are clearly not irrelevant to who ends up in the museum, we generally discuss the work as though it's distinct from that. Unless the work is made by someone poor, queer, female, black, asian, etc, then all of a sudden biography is super-important.

SPURGEON: What do you have the most trouble with as a cartoonist just getting work down on the page?

CAMPBELL: Crippling self doubt and anxiety? Depression? Day jobs? Netflix? In the past month, I got married and finished/installed an exhibition, so I haven't made comics, but am going to get back in the saddle this week, I swear. Ugh, this question is stressing me out!

SPURGEON: Sorry! So which artist was the toughest call? Did you flip flop on any of them? Who was the biggest slam dunk?

CAMPBELL: There is one artist in the book who I deemed I could not determine the hotness of. I mean, the great thing about this book is that it's completely up to my subjective taste, so it generally was fairly easy to just make a decision.

The book was previewed on the Onion AV Club the other day, and one of the comments was just like "Let me explain to you why Mondrian wasn't hot." and then this person listed a bunch of reasons? Which was amazing. [Spurgeon laughs] I am praying that all of the criticism I get is exactly like that. "This book gets one star because obviously Sol LeWitt was really handsome and I'm offended that you said otherwise." If I can drag literary criticism down to my debased level, I will die happy.

SPURGEON: Please, please, please tell me you're doing with this comics artists next. Or sometime in the future. I don't even care if you end up doing it or not, just tell me you are.

CAMPBELL: I'm working on an autobiography that's just a definitive ranking of all male cartoonists' looks that Koyama can publish 100 years after I'm dead. The book is 1400 pages long.

*****

Hot Or Not: 20th Century Male Artists, Jessica Campbell, Koyama Press, softcover, 64 pages, 9781927668337, September 2016, $10.

*****

* cover to the book
* page from the book
* another page from the book
* the direct sequence cited
* art work by Campbell (below)

*****

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Your 2016 Ignatz Award Winners

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The 2016 Ignatz Award Nominees were held at SPX last night. The awards are jury-nominated and then voted on by those attending the Expo.

Winners in bold.

*****

OUTSTANDING ARTIST

* Daniel Clowes for Patience
* Ryan Heshka for Mean Girls Club
* Kevin Huizenga for Ganges
* Noah Van Sciver for Disquiet
* Tillie Walden for The End of Summer

*****

OUTSTANDING ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION

* Beverly by Nick Drnaso
* Beyond: The Queer Sci Fi and Fantasy Anthology edited by Sfé R. Monster and Taneka Stotts
* The Complete Wimmen's Comix edited by Trina Robbins
* Killing And Dying by Adrian Tomine
* Step Aside, Pops! by Kate Beaton

*****

OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC NOVEL

* Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt
* Nod Away by Josh Cotter
* Sick by Gabby Schulz
* Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler
* Trashed by Derf Backderf

*****

OUTSTANDING STORY

* The Hunter by Joe Sparrow
* Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
* Megg & Mogg In Amsterdam from Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam and Other Stories by Simon Hanselmann
* My Hot Date by Noah Van Sciver
* Shrine of the Monkey God by Kim Deitch from Kramers Ergot 9

*****

PROMISING NEW TALENT

* Kevin Budnik for Handbook
* Maia Kobabe for Tom O'Bedlam
* Sara Lautman for The Ultimate Laugh, Grape Nuts
* Carolyn Nowak for Radishes
* Tillie Walden for I Love This Part

*****

OUTSTANDING SERIES

* Cartozia Tales edited by Isaac Cates
* Demon by Jason Shiga
* Ganges by Kevin Huizenga
* Megg & Mogg & Owl by Simon Hanselmann
* Powdered Milk by Keiler Roberts

*****

OUTSTANDING COMIC

* As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
* Be Good by John Martz
* Fantasy Sports No. 1 by Sam Bosma
* Patience by Daniel Clowes
* Shrine of the Monkey God by Kim Deitch from Kramers Ergot 9

*****

OUTSTANDING MINICOMIC

* The Experts by Sophie Franz
* Laffy Meal by Pranas T. Naujokaitis
* Maps to the Suns by Sloane Leong
* Radishes by Carolyn Nowak
* The Unofficial Cuckoo's Nest by Luke Healy

*****

Outstanding Online Comic

* A Cartoonist's Diary by Rina Ayuyang
* Just Doing My Job by Gynnis Fawkes
* Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran
* A Small Revolution by Samantha Leriche-Gionet (AKA Boum)
* Vattu by Evan Dahm

*****

Congratulations to all of the winners and to all of the nominees.

The awards are sponsored by the Submit program at comiXology.

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Go, Look: "... Rears Its Ugly Green Head"

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

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

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Happy 39th Birthday, Robin Brenner!

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Happy 67th Birthday, William Stout!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Brian Ralph!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Chris Radtke!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Gary Groth!

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Happy 48th Birthday, John Porcellino!

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September 17, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade






SPXes: 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

 
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Go, Watch: That Chris Ware PBS Segment From Last Night

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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from September 10 to September 16, 2016:

1. FIBD begins to announce the changes they've made in order to rebound from last year's disaster of an Angouleme Festival.

2. March Book 3 is a National Book Award finalist in the Young People's Literature category.

3. John Kelly named new executive director of the Toonseum.

Winner Of The Week
Fantagraphics. Happy 40th to my alma mater.

Losers Of The Week
Barnes & Noble

Quote Of The Week
"It looked like shit. The preview pages I saw, at least? Seemed all shitty-looking. And people would take that the wrong way if someone tweeted that. Because the artist doesn't draw like shit -- the drawings are fine. It's just I've seen that dude on other things, and he draws like fun shit. But there, like, they took a guy who draws fun shit and put him on a scowly-beat-'em-up thing." -- Abhay Khosla

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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Go, Look: My Little Margie's Boy Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 34th Birthday, Hope Larson!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Roger Stern!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Carlos Sampayo!

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September 16, 2016


Go, Look: Gasoline Alley Sunday Strip From 1924

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By Request Extra: Consider Buying Stuff From Steve Rude

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The great comic book illustrator Steve Rude is facing some medical bills rung up by his teenage son. He's a proud guy and there are certain ways I'm sure he feels most comfortable raising this money, so I hope you'll try to meet him at this point of need according to his instructions.
 
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OTBP: Alien Beings

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Go, Read: Abhay Khosla On Industry Armageddon

Someone sent me two links from occasional industry commentator and critic Abhay Khosla about the notion that one important comics market, the Direct Market of hobby and comics shops that so strongly serves superhero comics, is broken. I always read Khosla, because he's not invested in the same way that most generally interested people writing about comics are invested. The second linked-to piece, where he challenges the notion that the cancelled Nighthawk comic was worth gaming the system to save, is a point of view very few have offered up in their rush to make sweeping judgments about the general nature of a certain kind of comics sales. (This implied criticism excludes the original commentator, Jude Terror, and definitely includes me.)

The notion that still sticks out to me is the idea whether or not Marvel and DC in particular can be counted on as market leaders shaping consumer behavior when they have a system in place that protects and supports them to the point there's advantage in at least briefly selling comics that likely have no chance for long-time market survival, direct-order goosing or not. If most businesses and most readers of all types and most of where the art is, if that's all better served by a different model, the current model should be supplemented immediately in a way that facilitates the best overall outcome. It could be a system worth working against, not supporting to the brink of irrationality.
 
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Go, Look: Scurry

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* I like pretty much all of Gary Tyrrell's services that he provides the comics community, but I'm most grateful for his convention breakdowns for webcomics creators. Here is his breakdown for SPX 2016.

* I really do want to interview Chris Onstad and will try to make this happen before the year is out.

* always enjoy these articles where people just process Randall Munroe comics.

* finally, Scary Cleve talks to Niina Salmelin.
 
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If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: Crime Does Not Pay #26

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Bumperhead.

* this is a nice-looking Al Columbia drawing I hadn't seen before.

* this t-shirt looks like a good one to buy tomorrow at SPX. There hasn't been a Fantagraphics t-shirt like that one in a while.

* I would assume the answer to question posed is no, no one will really care if Hawkman dies again in a DC comic book. That character is pretty simple but was jacked around backstory-wise for so many times that it sort of made the character unreliable and less permanent than characters that stayed in one basic groove. The weird thing is you can kind of combine them all: space cops for a warrior race + an earlier version came to earth + reincarnation. I mean, most role-playing games carry more dissonance than that.

* back in the 1990s there was endless talk of Gordian Knot splitting-type marketing moves the industry could make to become a mainstream medium again, beloved by all. Roughly 30 percent of them involved celebrities reading comics.

* finally, John Romita Sr. draws the Incredible Hulk with a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. I bet there's a great art book to be had from JR SR's commercial art on behalf of the varous Marvel characters.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Tom Kaczynski!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Mike Mignola!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Amanda Emmert!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Seth!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Kurt Busiek!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Kip Manley!

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September 15, 2016


Go, Look: Moon Critters

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Not Comics: NC Wyeth's Mysterious Island Illustrations

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On Tonight's Episode, Augie De Blieck Jr. Attempts To Solve A Jack Kirby Original Art Mystery

Here. That's at any rate a nice idea for a program that provides for stolen original art. Absence of original art can be a bunch of things, including a motivated buyer (such as the family) buying back art for a specific purpose or just as a general thing to do. I didn't even publicly list the most expensive piece of comics art I owned before it was purchased back by the family.
 
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Go, Look: Simon Gane In Skopelos

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Long Beach Comic Expo shares some numbers.

* it's SPX all the time right now, with the show leaning into independent comics expression and younger comics-makers for years and years now settling into its North Bethesda Marriott location over the week. Hugging and squeeing and things that "are everything" to follow. I'll be down there being fat and dyspeptic, as well as enjoying the excellent array of guests. Hope to see you there.

* here's a preview article from before last weekend's show that serves as a snapshot into the Rose City show's culture. Seeing as being a part of Rose City was a reason why the city's initial independents-focused show fractured with Linework NW being the primary destination of the more hardcore arts crowd, it's worth checking in on how RCCC perceives itself. A family-friendly show with Stan Lee as guest is a really specific goal to have, and bless them for reaching those goals with 10X growth in five years.

* Luc Boyce makes suggestions on artists not to miss at SPX.

* finally, Comic-Con International is buying buildings. There's an update on the Desmond and Rogers salaries in the that article as well.
 
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If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Jim Starlin Original Page Images

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on The Fun Family.

* I don't usually like "hey, a plot point in a comic book" articles, but these are some pretty fun Superman images that 11-year-old me would have liked. I have zero interest in reading the comic book so why not enjoy?

* if you're in Sacramento, and you're between the ages of 10-15, and you have a bit of cash, you can go to after-school comics camp in October. I imagine that's way better than piano lessons.

* Hope Larson uploaded a script for Goldie Vance #1. That's always a nice resource.

* Rob McMonigal profiles Lucy Bellwood in advance of SPX. Paul Gravett profiles François Boucq.

* I have yet to read the article, but those panels up top are ugly and kind of great in their own way. I do miss that a bit about the fictional Marvel Universe of my youth: it was a bit de-powered. How to get places was a thing, and everyone wasn't gunned and powered and immortal like an RPG character trying to beat the game. It never occurred to little-kid me that anyone could come back from something like this, and I think I would have liked it less if I thought it possible.

* Bruce Canwell gets into the discussion that Hugh Hefner and Milton Caniff had once upon a time.

* finally, David Press praises specific elements of the Black Panther comic.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Salgood Sam!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Scott Dunbier!

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Happy 47th Birthday, John Ira Thomas!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Lance Tooks!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Isaac Cates!

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September 14, 2016


Go, Look: Jessi Sheron

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Your 2016 Comics Workbook Composition Winners

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The four Comics Workbook Composition contest announced its winners late last week. This is one of the best places to find new, interesting cartoonists -- cartoonists that may or may not work according to the principles taught in Comics Workbook sessions, but all of whom has a significant amount of sympathy to the approach favored by Frank Santoro and the other teachers.

First Place ($500 cash prize)
* Cameron Nicholson -- For a Lack of Better Words

Second Place ($250 credit at Copacetic Comics)
* Shee Phon -- I Know It's Not About Me, But I Don't Want To Die

Third Place ($100 credit at Copacetic Comics)
* Cameron Arthur -- Oasis

Honorable Mention ($50 credit at Big Planet Comics)
* Lisa Wilkinson -- The Last Time I Saw Tate
* Janne Marie Dauer -- Blame It On the Night Moves
* Luke Howard -- Extragalactic
* Niall Breen -- Śūnyatā

Special Prize ($25 credit at Copacetic Comics)
* Lina Madöry -- Reflection

No Prize Shout Out!
* Jillian Fleck -- I Got A Job
* Phillip Dokes -- Falling

You can find links to a huge number of submitted comics, all of which will also appear here in the weeks ahead. Congratulations to everyone who won a prize and everyone that completed work and submitted it to the contest. That takes industry and bravery.

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of MW Kaluta Cover Images

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Go, Read: Heidi MacDonald's Reminder On FIBD 2017

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I don't know that I agree with every supposition, but it was smart of Heidi MacDonald to remind us that the Angouleme Festival took it right in the chops last year, primarily but not solely because of its terrible reaction to its director's boneheaded decision to basically declare that worthy candidates for grand prix winner that happened to be women had, combining past winners and then-current nominees, 85 or so men in front of them more worthy of the honor. It does look like that will be addressed because of the show's crucial role in presenting French-language comics to the world -- something they're desperate to see more of in a positive sense.

This also marks the time in the calendar year where a bunch of us do math and realize we can't afford to go to the January show.
 
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Go, Look: How Was School Today?

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

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*****

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

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

*****

JUN161552 RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS GN (C: 0-1-0) $10.99
JUN161553 RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS HC GN (C: 0-1-0) $24.99
I'm greatly looking forward to reading Raina Telgemeier's latest; she's a really interesting cartoonist both for what's on the page and the enormous, fervent reaction the works receive. I'm told this one reveals a skill in texture and atmosphere, so I'll look forward to it that much more. I guess there's an argument that I should put something else up top because this book will be everywhere and unavoidable but I think that's an intriguing element, too. This is what comics looks like.

imageJUL161547 NICOLAS HC (C: 0-0-1) $14.95
I was lucky to read this a long time ago, in a form that I think might have been a very limited edition. I remember it being quite good, and using comics' strength at straddling the grand and the quotidian by exploring grief played out across that tension. I'm glad it's back in print, and hope it hits wider.

JUL160288 ALL STAR BATMAN #2 $4.99
JUN160369 ASTRO CITY #38 $3.99
JUL160263 DOOM PATROL #1 (MR) $3.99
JUL160363 GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #1 $2.99
JUL168168 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #1 2ND PTG $4.99
JUL160739 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #2 (MR) $4.99
JUL161001 BLACK PANTHER #6 $3.99
JUL161100 DOCTOR STRANGE AND SORCERERS SUPREME #1 ALBUQUERQUE POSTER $8.99
JUL161400 ADVENTURE TIME #56 (C: 1-0-0) $3.99
JUL161791 KAIJUMAX SEASON 2 #4 $3.99
Interesting week for comic-book comics, if not particularly noteworthy in terms of comics as a literary form; I like all the comics, and those comics, too, so I don't mind. This seems like it might be the Batman comic to watch if you're looking for how the character exists in the newest iteration of the DC superhero universe. I'm happy to see Astro City a whopping 38 issues in. That's a comic that's had some production issues over the years, so it's just nice to see the work come out. Doom Patrol is I'm guessing the jewel in the crown that is the Gerard Way mini-line within the Vertigo imprint -- a rehabilitation of those initial DC crossover properties by some who owes a great deal to their group aesthetic. The Gotham Academy book is one of the newer DC concepts that I suppose can now be said to have survived its first full death/revival. The Black Monday murders getting a second printing of #1 with its second issue is always a good sign of some expansion that can happen with the initial sales figures. Black Panther works familiar territory in a slightly different -- for Marvel -- way, and I've enjoyed reading it so far. I don't know if that Dr. Strange comic has a poster as a cover or if it's an actual poster, but it looks like they're re-doing the title to get a little mid-run boost. I could be wrong. I'm impressed by 56 issues of Adventure Time. Zander Cannon's Kaijumax is well-crafted and decidedly odd, the kind of gloriously messy overlapping influences and tones that only comics can do and pretty much how things were all the time in a whole room of comics back in the '80s.

JUL160614 3 DEVILS TP $19.99
I will look at anything with a Hampton's name on it. Finding that elegant style that's both painterly and figure-oriented enough to take on most genre stories has to have a high degree a difficulty.

JUN160569 SADISTIC MAGICIAN SC VOL 01 JIM MAHFOOD SKETCHBOOK $29.99
IDW has their artists, and one of those artists is certainly Jim Mahfood. I'd look at this for sure.

JUL161311 LATE BLOOMER GN (MR) $10.00
This is the Maré Odomo book of poetry-type comics rather than a re-issue of the Carol Tyler one-person anthology. You should own both.

JUL162246 ALAN MOORE JERUSALEM 3 VOL SLIPCASE SC NOVEL (MR) $35.00
JUL162245 ALAN MOORE JERUSALEM HC NOVEL (MR) $35.00
I'm interested to know how it is. I'm not sure I'd want to live in that prose style for as long as it would take me to finish such a book, but I respect Moore's talent and determination to make a certain kind of work. I hope this round of PR doesn't end up with Moore insulting everyone and everyone shitting on Moore.

JUN162112 KING BABY YR HC (C: 1-1-0) $17.99
Another gimme, and another potential jumping-on point. It's a concept that's been done a bunch, the way the family warps itself around one of its members that exhibits a certain charisma or pull, but I trust in Beaton as a drawer of fun-looking figures and stretched-out energy to get me through a kids book. That's terrible, right? I should just enjoy the darn thing.

*****

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

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

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

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

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If I Were Near Santa Clara, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: The Marvel Family #54

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* check out Chester Brown drawing the Archie characters.

image* Toussaint Egan directs Rick Remender into a remembrance of Fear Agent.

* Gary Tyrrell on Ghosts. Todd Klein on Wonder Woman #3. Gabrielle Bell on a comic by Gabrielle Bell. She also runs the comic.

* I like Jack Kirby's Inhumans concept a lot, and there were probably ways to drag them out on stage a little more in the comics, but I can't be alone in thinking this whole thing the last half-decade where they're taking over the some of the thematic territory of the power-onset traumatized X-Men -- because of the movies or not -- is just sort of an uninteresting, forced narrative development. What's wrong with being superhuman weapons stored on planet Earth during a far, far away intergalactic war? That used to be enough for me to give up the quarters when i was a kid, let me tell you.

* I missed this little Dorkin Family one-pager in front of a comics show. It's very charming. I also missed this Richard Sala post that made me laugh.

* here are a couple of fun drawings by Darryl Cunningham.

* Chris Schweizer's design work is a lot of fun. I have no fears of a robot uprising, but I can enjoy Schweizer's work.

* finally, Ben Towle digs into a Rob Liefeld comic.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, Mary Fleener!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Tom Dougherty!

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September 13, 2016


CR Review: Knickerbocker Monthly #2

imageCreator: Sean Knickerbocker
Publishing Information: Self-Published, Mini-Comic, eight pages, free.
Ordering: As far as I know, this is not something for order.

I'm enamored of the few things in comics I run across that ape commercial forms but aren't for sale. There are a lot of Christmas cards of various elaborate presentation styles that qualify in this camp, as well as the occasional business-card comic or those few webcomics that seem entirely untethered from a branding or promotional element. Sean Knickerbocker says he's putting out issues of Knickerbocker Monthly, of which the one I just read was a second series issue, to a few friends in order to get the creative juices flowing and perhaps encourage others to follow his lead.

The issue's story is a repeat from an issue of Irene, which means the compulsion to get work out there and seen is as much at work here as any compunction to create more comics. It's not something talk about as much as we did in the 1990s, at the apex of photocopy culture and before on-line publishing options discombobulated the processing of this impulse. The comic itself is fine. Like many younger cartoonists still developing their talent Knickerbocker provides a streamlined picture of a world that's most interesting with every detail exposed, and the narrative itself is no great shakes: there is nothing in the observation of the reality being depicted that distinguishes this work. I liked reading it for free, though. I liked holding it in my hands as I did so. Would that we lived in a world when extra comics like this one could serve as grace notes in and around our direct consumption: cultural marginalia.
 
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Go, Look: Barbara Geoghegan

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John Kelly Named New Executive Director At The ToonSeum

Congratulations to John Kelly, the once-upon-a-time TCJ writer and general comics historian who used to work for the NBA, new executive director at the ToonSeum. Kelly is fully conversant with comics history and the artistic end of comics' development, which along with his business background makes him a sublimely qualified candidate.

The Toonseum was founded and run for what seems like forever by Joe Wos. He left the executive director position in 2014. Tammy Aupperle has more recently served as interim director.

Kelly has been involved with the local cartooning community since his move to Pittsburgh from New York, including I believe some involvement with Pittsburgh Indie Expo (PIX). Our congratulations and all support to him as he settles in with this new challenge.
 
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Go, Look: Ken Dallison At Today's Inspiration

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That Rare Comics-Related Job Offering

Someone I don't know e-mailed me this, so I'm guessing that someone out there had it first. My apologies to that person. There are a lot of promising graduate students out there with an interest in comics and more job competition across academia than ever before. I have no idea what kind of paperwork it might take to work overseas, but I'm sure the paperwork is bad with academic jobs generally.
 
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Go, Look: The Albatross

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* Marc Arsenault has a list of November's Alternative Comics offerings up, including the new Kinoko Evans. Remember that Alternative represents more than its own micro-publishing efforts in the Direct Market of comics and hobby shops. Remember also that they have picked up some of the back catalog for Sparkplug, which ended its publishing run earlier this year.

* Derf Backderf has some information on, and a picture from, the forthcoming French-language market project Kirby & Me project due next year. I can't remember if I mentioned that one before now. I sure can't find that mention anywhere.

* finally, new work from the extraordinary Inés Estrada.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: House Of Mystery #6

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I made a poor choice of images in presenting Ryan Cecil Smith on Queen Emeraldas yesterday. That was my error. I apologize to all involved. You should listen to the interview, so let me drive traffic to it one more time.

* hey, look: it's Gil Roth interviewing Michael Maslin, as depicted by Liza Donnelly.

image* Barry Thompson talks to James Kochalka. Byron Brewer talks to Jeff Parker. Annie Mok talks to Tillie Walden. Hillary Brown talks to Steffen Kverneland.

* John Kelly talks a long look at the early works of Peter Bagge. Robert Boyd on Cometbus #57. Kristen Lawson on Camp Midnight. Matt Morrison on Daredevil: Black In Black Volume One: Chinatown. Sean Gaffney on Fruits Basket Collector's Edition Vol. 4 and Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun Vol. 4. Paul O'Brien on All-New Wolverine Annual #1. Rob Clough on Palefire and Space. Andy Oliver on Minor Leagues #1.

* Kelly Sue DeConnick and Margaret Atwood converse.

* I like how this post from Deb Aoki about Tsutomu Nihei has a description and multiple links and a video extra. That is more what an encounter over a convention weekend with a creator is usually like. I'm only familiar with Knights Of Sidonia but Nihei is an impressively skilled artist.

* this review over at The Beat engages with something I've thought on since the New 52: is Cyborg really an interesting enough character to promote him into the DC core heroes group?

* finally, Chris Pitzer writes about some of the advance work a publisher like himself might do for a show like SPX.
 
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Happy 33rd Birthday, Matt Bors!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Gary Kwapisz!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Kent Worcester!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Drew Weing!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Chuck Forsman!

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September 12, 2016


CR Review: Happy Trails

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Creator: Scott Roberts
Publishing Information: Self-Published (Ubutopia), softcover, 112 pages, 2016, $20.
Ordering: You Can Buy It Here

Happy Trails is a mini-comic that can be as such but with which one can also engage as a flip book -- it's small, handheld, thick and with a spine. There are three colors employed in a variety of ways for a bright, motivational poster feel. It costs a bit ahead of what you might think if you've read the story and used the flip books. It seems an undersell for the complexity involved here with the reasponable place for full-color self-published work.

It's hard not to see Happy Trails as more of a collection of effects than a unified work. The chosen subject matter, civil servants chirpily planning on trails of jet exhaust mixed with chemicals having a mass effect on both citizens and environment, is both scary and absurd in its banality. This allows Roberts to dance into the reader's initial perceptions with this very specific, almost lurid visual approach, letting the reader luxuriate in his figure drawing, the developing patterns and the way he occasionally disrupts them. The point I took away is that the dire things we suspect are fears both ridiculous and well-earned; it's that kind of world now.

Don't get me wrong, however. This is a visually playful work, and I think most of the joy readers will take is that cascade of lovely image, this break between a potential poisoning and more salutary effects within the work. The end of the world for this cartoonist and this work is a pastel armageddon, lurid yet somehow still lighter than air.
 
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Go, Look: Simon Gane In Amorgos

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Go, Look: Clifford

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ICv2.com: Barnes & Noble Takes It On The Chops Last Quarter

imageI enjoyed this article over at the comics business analysis and news site ICv2.com, and not just because I wouldn't have thought to go over the financial statements and resulting spin from the last of the grand big-box bookstore chains. The reasons given by management for the slip are kind of entertainingly odd: potential book-buyers are at home glued to election coverage? If you say so.

My primary interest here is that this reminds me of the grocery store wars of the previous quarter-century -- let's say 1990-2015 -- at least a bit, in that the culture involved with the primary activity drives retail models. The way people desire to buy food has a slow and subtle effect as those options open themselves to persistent consumer interest. I just don't know as many people for whom browsing giant bookstores is a part of their media consumption the same way it was several years in the rearview mirror now, let alone if things like hyper-local racking or art supplies would keep them coming in. My hunch is that all media consumption models are taking it in the kidneys from social media use, both as an option for spent time and as a substitute for the fact-finding efforts of standing in a store staring at shelves. If I were to continue wildly guessing having done no research I also suspect the shared inability with film to create the kind of monster single-voice hits that maximize profits in those places might be a factor.

I'd write more, but I need to go study the latest district polls.
 
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Go, Look: David Slonim

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Alan Moore Announces The Retirement After The Announcement Where I Lost Track Of How Many He's Done

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The writer Alan Moore is doing some PR for his massive Jerusalem prose novel, and in doing a profile with the New Yorker and perhaps some of the other press opportunities let slip that he doesn't plan on a future involving a lot more comics. Moore has announced his retirement with at least as much seriousness as this latest declaration three times, to my recollection. It's not a bad thing. I do it, too.

The thing is, a 62-year-old saying there's only about 250 pages of comics left in him to do? That sounds more like a comfortable guesstimate than taking one's ball and going home. Hey, as a great fan of the medium I'd more take that on average, especially self-directed, carefully-crafted work like Moore makes. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy to see Moore doing 4500 more pages, just that I want him to choose what to do with his time and whatever we work we get, we get. Moore's had an admirable and interesting career if it ends 2.5 pages from now.
 
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Go, Look: Grim Grids

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March Book Three National Book Award Finalist In Young People's Literature Category

Here. Congratulations to Powell, Aydin and Representative Lewis. I think they stand a good chance to win. The full nominees list:

* Kate DiCamillo, Raymie Nightingale, (Candlewick Press)
* John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, March: Book Three, (Top Shelf)
* Grace Lin, When the Sea Turned to Silver, (Little, Brown)
* Anna-Marie McLemore, When the Moon Was Ours, (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press
* Meg Medina, Burn Baby Burn, (Candlewick Press)
* Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen (Illustrator), Pax, (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)
* Jason Reynolds, Ghost, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
* Caren Stelson, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story, (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)
* Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also a Star, (Random House/Delacorte Press)

These awards I believe are juried.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Gag Cartoons

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* the Matthew Swift GoFundMe for funeral and family support has surged past the halfway point of its initial ask. If you were a fan of the artist/colorist or worked with him, I hope you'll consider a donation.

* ten days left for this Seth Tobocman project to double its previous intake and meet that initial goal.

* congratulations to Steve Ditko and Robin Synder on another successful crowd-funder.

* Kyle Starks' latest is in the bonus round.

* comics educator Brian Buniak could still use your help.

* finally, Nina Bunjevac could use your support.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Red Blazer In Pocket Comics

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Laid Waste. Nick Smith on The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life In Manga And Anime. Rob Clough on The Nincompoop #1.

* Alex Jones profiles Sally Jane Thompson. Rob McMonigal profiles Kevin Budnik. Emma Lawson pays tribute to the great Alison Bechdel. Ron Goulart profiles Oskar Lebeck.

* Tim Hensley writes about the last remaining copies of his glorious Sir Alfred No. 3, which is bound to get a significant cool-kids push for best comic of 2016. It's not that only cool kids liked it, but maybe only cool kids were on top of the comic's publication in a way they could snag a copy. It's really funny, really good.

* did I mention anywhere that Fantagraphics is hiring? They've had some really good designers through there the last dozen year, kind of the last thing to fall into place for that company the way the flying red skull head was the last thing for that sleeper robot that fought Captain America that one time. Oh, shut up, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, please get that job and then e-mail me as to who those people in the ad are.

* great get for Box Brown and First Second in the Boston area. The book is either out five minutes from now or was out five minutes ago. I think it'll do well.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald reports back from the Diamond Retailer Summit. A lot of an event like that is getting the company's primary spin on their overall sales profile, but that can be a fascinating thing, too.
 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Chip Kidd!

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September 11, 2016


Go, Read: A Party In A Lunatic Asylum

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Go, Look: Al Hirschfeld Tagged At The Bristol Board

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

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

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

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Happy 39th Birthday, David King!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Rod Whigham!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Ben Towle!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Adam Grano!

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FFF Results Post #461 -- Not A Costume

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Not-Costume Looks You Like For A Superhero Character That Has A Traditional Spandex-Looking Costume." This is how they responded.

*****

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John Vest

1. Reed Richards in dress slacks and shoes, pursuing the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four #72
2. Mike Sekowsky's Wonder Woman
3. Late 1960's Metal Men in human identities
4. Thor in new life on earth wearing street clothes after disagreement with Odin in Thor #145
5. Amnesiac Black Bolt wearing a suit, illustrated by Neal Adams in Amazing Adventures # 5-8

*****

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Chris Duffy

1. Spider-Man/Peter Parker undercover as "Kid" Parker in Amazing Spider Man Annual #13.
2. Batman in parka and winter hat in Batman: Year One.
3. The Thing in a suit and tie.
4. Hobo Sub-Mariner in Fantastic Four #4.
5. Banshee as sideshow barker in X-Men #111

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. The Fantastic Four's purple flight suits they wore to Monster Island in FF #1
2. She-Hulk in a black business suit
3. Any of the all white outfits from the "New Wonder Woman" era
4. Medusa of the Inhumans in a long, flowy dress
5. When Captain America dressed as an old woman in Captain America Comics #2

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Wonder Man's safari jacket look
2. Paper-bag-on-his-head Spider-Man
3. Hulk's Mr. Fixit suit
4. She-Hulk in a business suit
5. Amish Superman from The Nail

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Wolverine's "Colonel Logan" Look From X-Men #141.
2. Thing In A Trenchcoat And Sunglasses.
3. Superman In Overalls In Kingdom Come.
4. Spider-Man's Webhead Outfit When He Wrestles Against Crusher Hogan.
5. Batman Disguised As Matches Malone.

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Wonder Man red safari jacket
2. Dark Knight Batman as bag lady
3. The Roach as Sergeant Preston of the Northern Iestan Mounted Police in Cerebus 44-49
4. The Jungle Batman in Batman #72 (Aug. 1952)
5. She-Hulk clad in "Censored" stickers (The Sensational She-Hulk #23; full disclosure: Steve Gerber and I worked on this issue together)

*****

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Des Devlin

1. Ma Hunkel, the one true Red Tornado.
2. Batgirl's "whatever she's wearing that day" Oracle costume.
3. The Guardian of Oa's street clothes, as he helps Green Lantern and Green Arrow "find America."
4. Wonder Woman goes Carnaby Street Emma Peel.
5. Dr. Manhattan trying to fit in on talk shows or at funerals, by wearing a suit.

*****

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Tim Hayes

1. She Hulk in a business suit for lawyering
2. Selina Kyle's long bob and bangs glamor in New Frontier
3. Wonder Man's safari jacket and shades era
4. Black Widow's leather jacket in Harras/Epting Avengers
5. Dan Dare's fur lined jacket in 2000AD

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Namor as a bum
2. The (grey) Hulk as Mr. Fixit
3. Storm's punk look
4. Wonder Woman's mod style
5. Superman as a working class hero

*****

thanks to those that participated

*****
*****
 
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September 10, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Cartozia Tales Profiled


Mooncop Promotional Video


Happy 50th Anniversary, The Born Loser


Todd DePastino Talking About Bill Mauldin In 2013


Can He Make Pete Toms Cry?
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from September 3 to September 9, 2016:

1. Veteran writer-about-comics Tim O'Shea enters hospice; he's been struggling with brain cancer for a while. For a chance to reach out, read here.

2. Valiant shut out of Harvey Awards after nominations rounds saw them snag about 50 or so nominations. Otherwise, a pretty typical night for that show, as I recall.

3. Tasteless Charlie Hebdo cartoon brings charges of tastelessness, with dollops of political narrative served up as side dishes.

Winner Of The Week
Tim O'Shea. Class guy, family man, has always been passionate in fair, proportional terms about comics.

Losers Of The Week
Valiant. Let's just say Valiant. They're a decent company, doing well, providing relatively high-paying work to a stratum of creator that might not get such gigs otherwise. They didn't need to go after nominations that way even though with the way the Harveys are constructed, nominations are just sitting there to be had.

Quote Of The Week
"With his long, graying hair and extravagant beard, [Alan] Moore resembles Blake's mythical creation Urizen, who, in 'The Ancient of Days,' crouches outside space-time to measure the universe with a pair of celestial compasses. I had first met him a few weeks earlier, at the Odditorium, and had remarked on his Dalmatian-print winkle-picker shoes. (Moore likes to dress up; on the occasion of Britain voting to leave the E.U., he performed a rap about demagoguery in a 'three-quarter-length white-satin frock coat,' with his face painted to resemble a mandrill, 'the best-looking creature in the world.') Today, apart from a knuckleful of sorcerer's rings and a walking stick made to resemble a snake god, on the handle, he looked relatively ordinary, as we made our way past W. H. Smith, the newsagent shop, down the street." -- Nat Segnit

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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*****
 
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Go, Look: Tarzan Tagged At Browse The Stacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 56th Birthday, Alison Bechdel!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Gerry Conway!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Steven Gilbert!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Jackie Estrada!

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September 9, 2016


Go, Look: Tim Sparvero

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Go, Apply: The Cornish CCS Residency Fellowship Announced

Here. You get a place to live -- a once-upon-a-time home of the late writer JD Salinger -- and in exchange for some slight upkeep and guaranteeing you won't be a complete drain on resources by, for example, owning a car, you get a place to make comics and access to CCS resources to aid that task. You'll also get a small stipend. Those pictures look great.

I'm all for fellowships and residencies and I hope there can be a solid 25 within comics a decade from now.
 
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Go, Look: Rune Ryberg

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran will pair up again for a comic called Finality, aimed at a comics-provider with I believe more of a phone-oriented target audience. Both are veterans of making comics for digital consumption and have worked together in the past. That effort will debut in 2017.

* Steve Sunu leaves Stela.

* Maggie Vicknair on Strong Female Protagonist.

* the comics-maker and fake-name haver Chip Zdarsky has a new on-line presence. God knows what the hell is going on there.

* Eric Stimson presents and digs into a fan-oriented autobio comic distributed on Twitter.

* finally, Shannon Smith has returned to file under other.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Gag Cartoons From Man Junior

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Beverly. Matt Brady on Gorgeous and Jeremiah, One Piece Vol. 79, Night Air and Lou.

* Julia Gfrörer tweets what I'm certain is a recommendation of the artist Trina Schart Hyman.

* this is a nice tweet-rant from the artist Jeremy Sorese about how the limited number of examples of artists enjoying fully self-directed artistic and financial success warps the way we treat the first part of artistic careers. I agree wholeheartedly, and it's not until we find about twice as many models for success and sustain them through four or five artistic generations that comics will be comfortable with those issues.

* I thought this the best of a very good mini-suite of comics for Paris Review by Vanessa Davis.

* hey, look at all the Nick Offerman comics you can buy.

* finally, Marco Torres talks to Richard Corben, always an astounding get.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Kevin Maguire!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Dan Vado!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Ted Adams!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Paul Grist!

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September 8, 2016


Go, Look: Nicole Goux

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Bundled Extra: Last Call For Best American Comics

Bill Kartalopoulos has put out word. I've kind of lost track of those books, but whatever Bill does tends to be interesting.
 
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Go, Look: Alec Valerius

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By Request Extra: Matthew Swift Funeral & Family Fund

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Matthew Swift was a colorist and artist -- primarily a painter, I believe -- whose wide array of clients included Image, DC, Marvel and Disney. He recently lost his life in an auto accident. A fund has been established for his family: a widow and a two-year-old daughter. Please consider giving.
 
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Go, Look: Turner Hilliker

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* a show in Belgium is claiming 90,000 attendees.

* I was briefly listed on SPX's web site as moderating the Fantagraphics at 40 panel they're doing. I agreed to be on the panel but not to moderate. I let them know they had me listed incorrectly and they apologized and changed the listing. I won't appear on the panel, either, because at that point it's just too big. I'm not a good moderator when paid and given time (I donate the fee) but I'm a horrible volunteer moderator and even worse when I don't have time to prepare. They're better off without me and I wish them the best of luck with their panels and their show this year. This note is just to let anyone that thought they'd go so me mumble through another panel that I won't be on stage. I'll be in the audience!

* that nice man the writer Rob Clough lists the activities at this year's election-year AAEC meeting, which is sure to be a blast. It's on Duke's campus, and he'll be covering a bunch of it.

* always a bummer. It's dangerous, too. Don't do that.

* here is Chip Zdarsky's Harvey Awards thank-you. Here is Dean Haspiel's keynote address.

* speaking of Zdarsky, here are some photos from his one-man convention in Toronto last weekend. I want an entire convention center full of people lounging around on beds in bathrobes.

* finally, here's a report from a show in Dublin.
 
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If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: The Wizard And The Shield

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Zach Blumenfeld argues for Watchmen's undercurrent of optimism.

* decent not-comics piece on ageism in the workplace, over at NYT. There aren't really a lot of industry jobs for this to become a factor in comics the way it is in other industries, but it's there, and the way we treat age within the community and art form can be interesting as well. I think comics does a pretty good job in some of its worlds with allowing its best practitioners a lifetime's platform. There are a lot of older alt-comics, art-comics and newspaper strip artists. Comics does less well in other areas, like commercial genre comics. A lot of comics creators become industry members as creative opportunities dry up. There is, of course, a lot of disdain directed from people under 35 at the moral failings of previous generations just as many older people castigate the work ethic and ability of younger comics people. It's always something to keep in mind. Comics is richer for participation of people in every age group.

* Christian Hoffer looks at the recent on-line arguments about the conflicting aspects of the Direct Market and unpacks things in a rational matter. Hoffer makes an argument for working the system with pre-orders, at least to a certain extent, that is a thousand miles away from anything I'd pay attention to as a consumer. Hoffer is about 30, so his experience is going to be way different than those whose habits were shaped in the '80s and '90s.

* finally, I like Ed Brubaker's newsletter. There's a bunch of preview stuff from this week's Kill Or Be Killed, too. That is an exceedingly handsome comic.
 
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Happy 33rd Birthday, Kate Beaton!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Jordan Crane!

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September 7, 2016


CR Review: Cometbus #57

imageCreators: Aaron Cometbus, Nate Powell, Charles Brownstein
Publishing Information: Self-Published, 'Zine With Spine, 2016, 100 pages $5.
Ordering: You Can Order It Here.

I greatly enjoyed this latest issue of Cometbus devoted to New York City cartoonists, which standing back and looking at it as a whole seems to be a paean to that group of comics-makers as productive, established, working artists. No one here gets interviewed from a place of their potential. Aaron Cometbus is a fine writer and a really good interviewer, good enough to use his ignorance of a scene or process as a springboard for a fresh approach to any subject for which he has a displayed curiosity. The interviews tend to start off in disarming fashion, but Cometbus has a killer instinct for snapshots of a part as they relate to the hole. In more than half of the pieces presented here, he quickly seizes on an idea or two that might be at the core of understanding the artist a bit better than we could have hoped for going in. There's a lot of "I didn't know XXXXX was that kind of person, but I guess they're that kind of person" which is an excellent thing to be thinking with a bunch of short interviews. Charles Brownstein contributed pieces with Paul Levitz and Karen Green, and those seem different in that Brownstein seems to pursue specific developmental moments rather than core orientations. It's a nice mix.

The New York focus turns out to be both hindrance and help, but mostly help. Cometbus #57 -- a quarter-century removed from its all-comics issues -- provides a perception of New York comics rather than its reality: there are people involved that don't live here anymore or had moved away a while earlier that one still might perceive of as a New York City person. Yet that's about as far as that idea is developed. The interviews read consecutively describe a scene in repose, or even just out of reach -- there's almost no community element beyond the fact that the struggle to find meaning and purpose and housing and time to spare inform nearly every artistic journey presented. I could not even speculate based on this text about the nature of a New York comics scene identity greater than the sum of its parts. I suspect this is a New York and a comics thing. I really got the sense that comics lives in Portland now, which is a curious reaction to a book of strong interviews about a completely different city.

Mostly, though, it's nice to check in with so many cartoonists who are finding ways to produce work or work the job presented to them above and beyond that initial burst of clueless, twenty-something energy that can push a comics-maker through the initial five, six, seven years of creation. In that they find common cause with Cometbus. In the same ways there's no doubt that the people inside the book are creating work of value, a book of their interviews at this price point this well be done seems a self-contained, assured acknowledgement that comics belongs wherever it wants to hang its hat.
 
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Go, Look: Abby Howard

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By Request Extra: Please Consider Sending A Letter Or Note To Veteran Writer-About-Comics Tim O'Shea

Craig Fischer passed along the following.
Tim O'Shea, a writer about comics for both Robot 6 and Smash Pages, has struggled with brain cancer for over a year. Recently, Tim has been moved to hospice.

Tim is a friend of mine from multiple HeroesCons, so when I heard this sad news, I wrote him a letter and e-mailed it to his wife, Ellen Vance O'Shea. Ellen replied that my letter boosted Tim's spirit, so I suggested that Tim might also like to hear from other comics folk.

Ellen has given me permission to make a public announcement about Tim's condition, and to ask Tim's friends -- and fans of Tim's interviews and criticism that never met the man -- to write their own messages. All letters and good wishes for Tim can be sent directly to Ellen at
Thanks, Craig.

Tim O'Shea is a really nice man, and a fervent believer in the value of comics as art and in those who felt the same way he did. Anything we can do to ease his passing I think we should do. If you've been a fan of Tim's writing, or a subject of his interest in comics, I hope you'll consider joining me in sending something along.

My kindest thoughts are with O'Shea and his family during what must be an extremely difficult time.
 
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Go, Look: Things That Go Bump In The Night

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Bundled Extra: Travis Horseman Launches Kickstarter For Third Volume Of Amiculus Series

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Here. With so many people using crowd-funders as advance order campaigns or even as a publicity platform, it's nice to see the occasional project that would only be possible via this kind of direct outreach, and which has its sights set on space in your local comics shop. That's a crucial role for crowd-funding sites to play, and probably also the hardest one to encourage.
 
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Go, Look: Theora Kvitka

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

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*****

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

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

*****

JUL161611 DISILLUSIONED ILLUSIONS GN (NOTE PRICE) $30.00
I don't know if this is another printing of the FU Press version of the previously self-published comic from the terrifyingly ageless Greg Stump or what, but it's one weird, special comic, more of a Samuel Beckett experience than a Samuel Glanzman one. I liked it quite a bit, but man is it an odd one. The fact that anyone wants to read this book, like 200 people even, is a sign of hope for the entire field.

imageMAY160020 ANGEL CATBIRD HC VOL 01 $14.99
This is the project with which the writer Margaret Atwood is involved, and she's done her part by being delightful in the press appearances on its behalf. My hunch is that this is an affectionate look at how oddball and contra-reality late Golden Age and early Silver Age comics could be, that fundamental break with reality comics like that enjoyed that came before people took those kinds of things seriously as acts of creation. I look forward to reading it.

JUN160706 CRIMINAL TP VOL 07 WRONG TIME WRONG PLACE (MR) $14.99
Another Brubaker/Phillips trade in their new-dress style, the one I remember most is the one about a little boy being standoffish for the best reason a little boy has been standoffish in a comic book. If I were a teenager again, Ed Brubaker comics is all I'd read in a hammock near the lake where my Dad had an old house.

JUL160757 KILL OR BE KILLED #2 (MR) $3.99
JUL161384 GIANT DAYS #18 $3.99
JUN160652 REVIVAL #42 (MR) $3.99
JUL161370 STRANGE ATTRACTORS #4 (MR) $3.99
JUN160656 SEX #31 (MR) $3.99
JUL160790 WALKING DEAD #158 CONNECTING CVR PART 2 (MR) $2.99
JUL160789 WALKING DEAD #158 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $2.99
Hey, it's comic-book comics. There's Brubaker-Phillips comic again, their latest collaboration and the writer's only serial comic of the moment, I think. It's revenge-fantasy work, and while I've only powered through it the one time I do remember it being about as good-looking as any of the comics they've done together has ever been. Giant Days is John Allison and I have yet to take a full-dive there. I'm thinking my strategy may be dollar bins in non-major markets, but I haven't decided yet. Allison is always interesting to me. Revival is heading towards its conclusion and I think it's a good time for that comic to be doing it: solid performer, though, I always liked seeing it. Haven't caught up with Strange Attractors yet, but I will and this helps remind me. Sex I love, but that's one daffy reading experience; it's like all the off-hand pages from a half-dozen 1980s indy-alt comics stitched together -- as far as narrative sex goes, it's mostly frottage. Walking Dead I enjoy, too, but it no longer forces me to be engaged with it like issues about half the run ago.

MAR160920 THOR BY JASON AARON AND RUSSELL DAUTERMAN HC VOL 01 $34.99
I like that these comics are available in fancy versions because I can imagine an alternate universe where the bulk of my comics shopping would be monthly step-ins to comics book to buy the superhero comics of my youth and a few old favorites in new forms. I liked the couple issues of this I read, too, although I didn't continue.

JUL161213 BIG NATE REVENGE OF CREAM PUFFS TP $9.99
Just the usual note that this could be the best-selling book on the list over $4.99. I do wonder how well they do in the DM, but it's not like it could do so well or so poorly for it not to be worth having it listed

JUL161737 CAT RACKHAM HC GN $19.95
I quite like the way these Steve Wolfhard comics look, and the presentation by Koyama Press is nice; I would certainly look at it in a store to see if it's something appealed to me visually like I suspect it might.

APR160638 EDDIE CAMPBELL OMNIBOX GN $99.99
Eddie Campbell and Peter Bagge and MK Brown trade the under-appreciated cartoonist crown back and forth on nearly a monthly basis. I would imagine after whatever this is gets marked down for sale through certain kind of booksellers that a good deal becomes an amazing one.

imageJUL161747 LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER GN $24.99
All work by Will Eisner is interesting, and never more so when there's work no one has looked at since it was originally published, if my memory of the story behind this Locust Moon book is sound. A must-look for sure. I always got the sense that one reason Eisner moved into various forms of production is that he had a really early grasp of what comics could do, making his early work more accomplished as comics even when he had yet to develop as an illustrator.

JUL162091 ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 08 $9.99
This is the best popular manga series volume to my taste on the list this week, although I'm nowhere near as widely read in this category as I hope to be 12-18 months from now.

JUL161415 RAVENING #3 (MR) $5.99
JUL161418 RAVENING #3 GOTH DECO CVR (MR) $5.99
JUL161422 RAVENING #3 NUDE CVR (MR) $7.99
JUL161421 RAVENING #3 SUCCUBI CVR (MR) $5.99
JUL161425 RAVENING #3 SUCCUBI NUDE CVR (MR) $7.99
JUL161417 RAVENING #3 TEMPTATION CVR (MR) $5.99
JUL161423 RAVENING #3 TEMPTATION NUDE CVR (MR) $7.99
JUL161416 RAVENING #3 WRAP CVR (MR) $5.99
JUL161424 RAVENING #3 WRAP NUDE CVR (MR) $7.99
The '90s never left, they just moved down the list a bit.

MAY161831 BACK ISSUE #91 $8.95
Ninety-one issues! That's like a 1/3 TCJ lifespan.

JUL161754 ARAB OF THE FUTURE GRAPHIC MEMOIR SC VOL 02 1984-1985 $26.00
This week's prestige offering, the kind of book that wins tons of awards in the French-language market and thus should at least be considered primetime book-club reading material in English-speaking countries. You can tell by how many press photos there are of the author. I love the way the character designs look; the character designs feel like the end of a conversation.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Penina Gal

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Go, Look: Space Adventures #33

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Dr. Fate #14. Kim Deitch on Folrath Part One. Richmond Clements on Solstice Chapter One: Winter. Bill Boichel on MOME Vol. 1, The Love Bunglers and Black Is The Color. Katie Skelly on Queen Emeraldas.

* there are some interesting short interviews with artists contributing to the latest effort from kuš!: Aesyn, GG, Ben Marcus, Hetamoé. Chris Mautner on The Greatest Of Marlys. Annie Mok on The Greatest Of Marlys.

* this Ken Parille article looks great, an this is a reminder from me to go read it!

* I still don't think the DC characters as currently constituted have the sort of heft and depth of relationship to make plotlines like these work. You'd think that readers would notice they're trying to goose those relationships with the memories of a previous status quo. Plots like that must be effective on some level, though, or they'd stop doing them.

* more Papa Hemingway in the comics.

* not comics: no one on planet earth after 2007 suggested an advertising model would take care of major publications, but I'm sure it makes people in a dying industry feel good to justify the massive stone around the neck of their businesses their paychecks have become by pointing at imaginary left-behinds.

* finally, I don't understand what this is format-wise or explanation-wise, but there's a lot of interesting material to be read.
 
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Happy 82nd Birthday, Warren Sattler!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Richard Barker!

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September 6, 2016


CR Review: Ape And Armadillo Take Over The World

imageCreators: James Sturm
Publishing Information: TOON Books, hardcover, 40 pages, 2016, $12.95.
Ordering: 1943145091 (ISBN10), 9781943145096 (ISBN13)

Even before the author himself cites Mo Willems' kid-books juggernaut pairing Elephant and Piggie in his afterword, it's hard not to see his latest from TOON as an exploration of those books and what they do very well. There's a big creature and a little creature, they are truly at odds and truly emotionally invested in the stakes as presented, and the conclusions are more accommodation than changed-reality. I don't know if Sturm is using these TOON books as a way to explore different effects that are prominent in children's literature, but even the most cursory read of this and the previous, Kamishibai-influenced Birdsong reveals a contrast so sharp it makes a loud, cracking noise.

It's a fun book, and as much as I can squint and regress a bit and read it through kids' eyes, I think it's a book I would have liked a lot as a kid. Sturm's character-design strengths transfer well to this kind of work. He makes the smart choice of stuffing a lot of comics in here: main storylines, marginalia and add-ons. Perceived value was a big deal for me as a kid -- not the in the price-point way, but that there enough elements in a book for me to want to pick it up more than once. The main thrust of the books is the two pals negotiating hurt feelings over the break between Armadillo's insecurity-driven plans to take over the world and Ape's reluctance to sign up both in part and overall.

Where the book struggles a bit is in making these repeat encounters interesting to the reader. A reason Ape becomes more memorable than his friend across the course of the book is because he has a wider range of reactions to various outside stimuli. Armadillo, in contrast, starts and mostly stays a stimulant. I ended up liking Ape enough I was able to take at face value his acceptance of Aramadillo's quirks, but just barely. I imagine it's good for kids to see relationships portrayed between different kinds of beings, I'm just not sure that many of their equivalents will have the narrative immediacy of a short story to make things less complicated.
 
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Go, Look: Aimée De Jongh

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Go, Look: Natalie Riess

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Charlie Hebdo Publishes Cartoon To Upset People; People Respond By Being Upset At Charlie Hebdo

Here. You can find an article, too, but there's something about someone trolling for attention where the social media compilation seems like the appropriate link.

I am certain without looking this latest cartoon will play into a narrative of "NOW you get upset?" and perhaps even a "We supported you and you do this?" narrative, but mostly this strikes me as Charlie Hebdo publishing a tasteless cartoon and people reacting to a tasteless cartoon: aka "Tuesday." What's different now is that Hebdo has a profile where that's news in our fallen world and its endless parade of celebrities giving journalism the finger.

At least as far as I know there was no horribly idiotic war-of-civilizations editorial about random Italian townspeople that preceded the publication of this cartoon.
 
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Your 2016 Dragon Awards Comics-Category Winners

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The two comics-related categories and their shortlisted works are below. The winners are in bold. I believe this is the first year for the awards program, connected to the pop culture convention in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend. Congratulations to the winners and nominees.

*****

BEST COMIC BOOK

* Astro City
* Civil War II
* Daredevil
* DC Universe: Rebirth
* Ms. Marvel
* Providence
* Saga

*****

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL

* The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
* Chicago, Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)
* March: Book Two, John Lewis & Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)
* Virgil, Steve Orlando & JD Faith & Chris Beckett & Tom Mauer (Image)
* Sacred Heart, Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Nick McIvor

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Hic & Hoc will have a new Pete Toms book out next year: Dad's Weekend.

* Kyle Pinion has the word on the first post-latest relaunch DC comics "event" comic.

* I suppose I knew that Fantagraphics was working with CF to reissue Powr Mastrs, but it's different to see it on a screen, even with the notoriously unreliable future Amazon.com listing strategy.

* the imminent Scotland Yardie previewed.

* finally, just a reminder now that we're into Snotgirl of work to come.
 
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Go, Look: Alex Kostiw

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Go, Look: Alexander Lozano

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Rough Age. Todd Klein on Unfollow #9. Monica Johnson on Gorgeous. I might have already mentioned that one, but it's not like it's a bad thing to be directed there twice. Nick Gazin writes about a pretty strong slate of comics.

* Todd Klein has a fun look at the lettering of Ira Schnapp, and pulls some work on logos for the Two-Face character from his files.

* Shea Hennum writes about the idea of making new characters bear the mantle of old superheroes. I have almost no opinion on this, except to roll my eyes when old white guys push back against this kind of thing. This is an element of shared creativity through corporate ownership just the same as all of those narratives where those characters' original identities and cultural profiles were supported and reinforced. I agree with Hennum's suggestion -- as I understand it -- that talking about it in blunt fashion is a rhetorical ploy meant to reinforce a political narrative about modern culture, and that it doesn't even begin to engage with any of the interesting things about the practice.

* Mark Peters focuses on the use of the Batwoman character in Detective Comics.

* not comics: I'm sure a lot of people will like this review of Stranger Things Season One. The notion of play as discussed here is something that a lot of comics get into, the idea that at a certain point every iteration of everything is its own thing.

* here are the best Jonathan Hickman comics as selected by Team Paste. Hickman is an interesting comics-maker, and I believe he's only a little over a decade into what I hope will be a long and prolific career.

* finally, this is a nice look at an unfinished Al Columbia piece in terms of how the work might get layered in by the talented artist.
 
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Happy 71st Birthday, Go Nagai!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Dustin Harbin!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Brendan Leach!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Jason T. Miles!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Sergio Aragones!

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September 5, 2016


Go, Read: Gathering Of The Tribes

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Go, Look: My Heart Broke In Hollywood!

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's a plan to re-publish Seth Tobocman's War In The Neighborhood.

* the wholly admirable artist and comics-maker Nina Bunjevac has a Patreon.

* I am grateful to see the Kerschbaum Family Fund push past its initial ask.

* artist, caricaturist and longtime Kubert School faculty member Brian Buniak is still a way off from his initial request.

* here's another curated/crate project that's seeking a crowd-funding boost. That kind of thing is so far away from my kind of consumption of any kind of art or products related to art that I have a difficult time finding a headspace where I'd be open to doing such a thing. This just means I'm old, the idea seems viable in several circumstances.

* several publishing crowd-funders jumped out at me this week: Francesca Da Sacco, Nix Comics, Michael Fehskens and Kyle Starks.

* finally, here's the latest from Steve Ditko through Robin Snyder. That one could use some work.
 
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If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Karen Yossman talks to Angel Catbird. Brigid Alverson talks to John Allison.

* Monica Johnson on Gorgeous and a few abortion-related comics. Daniel Elkin on various small-press comics.

* Kent Worcester's list from last year of forgotten cartoonists is still excellent.

* Abhay Khosla underlines some of the depressing elements of Brian Hibbs' last report, which sees DC doing okay in a few ways with their Rebirth titles, and Marvel kind of taking it on the chin with their latest round of books. He's right in that they don't have a ton of big names working on their big books. The books I hear about -- Doctor Strange, Vision, Black Widow -- are modestly charming books that can't sell a great number of books month to month. It's not a very exciting line.

* this is apparently a Jason Aaron Star Wars script.

* Evan Dorkin on Attack On Titan, in gag form. Scott Cederlund on March Book Three.

* finally, Sara Ryan extols the virtues of writing comics.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Cathy Guisewite!

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September 4, 2016


Your 2016 Harvey Award Winners

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*****

This year's Harvey Awards celebration was held last night. There were many winners. They are listed in bold below. Congratulations to those winners and all of the nominees.

The late Carl Barks and the still right-on-time Al Jaffee were put into the Hall of Fame. The Dick Giordano Humanitarian Of The Year award went to Megacon founder Beth Widera. Joe Giella received a lifetime achievement award.

Unless I goofed something up, I'm not recording anything won by Valiant despite their overwhelming presence on the ballot.

A fun time was apparently had by all.

*****

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

* Bloodshot Reborn #1, Valiant Entertainment
* Book Of Death #1, Valiant Entertainment
* Peanuts: A Tribute To Charles M. Schulz, BOOM! Studios
* Silver Surfer #11, Marvel Comics
* The Valiant #4, Valiant Entertainment
* Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST CARTOONIST

* Asaf Hanuka, The Realist
* Matt Kindt, Unity #25
* Michael Kupperman, Unity #25
* Terry Moore, Rachel Rising
* Rafer Roberts, X-O Manowar #38
* Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo

*****

BEST ARTIST

* Greg Capullo, Batman, DC Comics
* Jason Latour, Southern Bastards, Image Comics
* Chris Samnee, Daredevil, Marvel Comics
* Fiona Staples, Saga, Image Comics
* Mico Suayan, Bloodshot Reborn, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST WRITER

* Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards, Image Comics
* Jeff Lemire, Bloodshot Reborn, Valiant Entertainment
* Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Image Comics
* Mark Waid, Archie, Archie Comics
* G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics

*****

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

* Bitch Planet, Image Comics
* Bloodshot Reborn, Valiant Entertainment
* Book Of Death, Valiant Entertainment
* Divinity, Valiant Entertainment
* Giant Days, BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box
* Ninjak, Valiant Entertainment
* Saga, Image Comics
* Southern Bastards, Image Comics
* The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM ORIGINAL

* Captive Of Friendly Cove, Fulcrum Publishing
* Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Top Shelf/IDW Publishing
* Long Walk To Valhalla, Archaia/BOOM! Studios
* March: Book Two, Top Shelf Productions
* Nanjing: The Burning City, Dark Horse Comics
* The New Deal, Dark Horse Books
* Two Brothers, Dark Horse Books

*****

BEST ANTHOLOGY

* Dark Horse Presents, Dark Horse Comics
* Fresh Romance, Rosy Press
* Island, Image Comics
* Peanuts: A Tribute To Charles M. Schulz, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
* The 27 Club, A Comic Anthology, Red Stylo Media

*****

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION

* The Art Of Mouse Guard: 2005-2015, Archaia/BOOM! Studios
* The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing Comics, Random House/Watson Guptill
* March: Book Two, Top Shelf Productions
* Peanuts: A Tribute To Charles M. Schulz, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
* The Realist, Archaia/BOOM! Studios

*****

BEST COVER ARTIST

* David Aja, Hawkeye, Marvel Comics
* Raul Allen, Ivar, Timewalker, Valiant Entertainment
* Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, Marvel Comics
* Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, Divinity, Valiant Entertainment
* David Lafuente, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, Valiant Entertainment
* Lewis LaRosa, Ninjak, Valiant Entertainment
* Paolo Rivera, The Valiant, Valiant Entertainment
* Fiona Staples, Saga, Image Comics
* Matt Taylor, Arcadia, BOOM! Studios

*****

BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT

* Archer & Armstrong: The Complete Classic Omnibus HC, Valiant Entertainment
* Crimson Vol. 1, BOOM! Studios
* Quantum and Woody By Priest & Bright Volume One: Klang TP, Valiant Entertainment
* Quantum and Woody By Priest & Bright Volume Two: Switch TP, Valiant Entertainment
* Quantum and Woody By Priest & Bright Volume Three: And So... TP, Valiant Entertainment

*****

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION

* Bloodshot Reborn, Rian Hughes, Jeff Lemire, Warren Simons, and Kyle Andrukiewicz, Valiant Entertainment
* Book Of Death, Tom Muller, Dylan Todd, Warren Simons, and Travis Escarfullery, Valiant Entertainment
* Divinity, Tom Muller, Warren Simons, Dylan Todd, and Matt Kindt, Valiant Entertainment
* Ninjak, Rian Hughes, Tom Muller, Matt Kindt, Warren Simons, and Tom Brennan, Valiant Entertainment
* Peanuts: A Tribute To Charles M. Schulz, Scott Newman, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
* The Valiant, Rian Hughes, Paolo Rivera, Dylan Todd, Warren Simons, and Kyle Andrukiewicz, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED

* Bloodshot Reborn Volume One: Colorado TP, Valiant Entertainment
* Divinity Deluxe Edition HC, Valiant Entertainment
* Ivar, Timewalker Volume One: Making HIstory TP, Valiant Entertainment
* The Less Than Epic Adventures Of TJ and Amal, Iron Circus Comics
* Ninjak Volume One: Weaponeer TP, Valiant Entertainment
* The Valiant Deluxe Edition HC, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS

* Giant Days, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
* Lumberjanes, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
* The Only Living Boy, Bottled Lightning
* Over The Garden Wall, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
* Space Dumplins, Scholastic Graphix

*****

SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS

* James Asmus, Quantum And Woody Must Die!, Valiant Entertainment
* Elliott Kalan, Unity #25, Valiant Entertainment
* Michael Kupperman, Unity #25, Valiant Entertainment
* Rafer Roberts, X-O Manowar #38, Valiant Entertainment
* Fred Van Lente, Ivar, Timewalker, Valiant Entertainment
* Chip Zdarsky, Howard The Duck, Marvel Comics

*****

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT

* Raul Allen, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, Valiant Entertainment
* Robert Gill, Book Of Death, Valiant Entertainment
* Tom King, The Vision, Marvel Comics
* Dan Mora, Klaus BOOM! Studios
* Lissa Treiman, Giant Days, BOOM! Studios

*****

BEST NEW SERIES

* Archie, Archie Comics
* Bloodshot Reborn, Valiant Entertainment
* Giant Days, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
* Paper Girls, Image Comics
* The Vision, Marvel Comics

*****

BEST INKER

* Klaus Janson, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, DC Comics
* Seth Mann, Ninjak, Valiant Entertainment
* Danny Miki, Batrman, DC Comics
* Tom Palmer, Bloodshot Reborn, Valiant Entertainment
* Joe Rivera, The Valiant, Valiant Entertainment
* Ryan Winn, Divinity, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL

* Corto Maltese: Beyond The Windy Isles, IDW Publishing (TIE)
* One Punch Man, Viz
* The Realist, Archaia/BOOM! Studios
* Showa 1953-1989: A History Of Japan, Drawn & Quarterly
* Two Brothers, Dark Horse Books (TIE)

*****

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK

* Albert The Alien, Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista
* Battlepug, Mike Norton
* Bloom County 2015, Berkeley Breathed
* Oh Joy Sex Toy, Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
* Zombie Boy, Mark Stokes

*****

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL

* Bizarro, Dan Piraro, King Features Syndicate
* Bloom County, Berkeley Breathed, Universal Uclick
* Dick Tracy, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Content Agency
* Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
* Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis, Universal Uclick
* Phoebe And Her Unicorn, Dana Simpson, Universal Uclick
* Zippy The Pinhead, Bill Griffith, King Features Syndicate

*****

BEST COLORIST

* Laura Allred, Silver Surfer, Marvel Comics
* Ulises Arreola, Ninjak, Valiant Entertainment
* David Baron, Divinity, Valiant Entertainment
* Jordie Bellaire, Injection, Image Comics
* Laura Martin, Ragnarok, IDW Publishing
* Brian Reber, X-O Manowar, Valiant Entertainment

*****

BEST LETTERER

* Aubrey Aiese, Lumberjanes, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
* Dave Lanphear, Divinity, Valiant Entertainment
* Patricia Martin, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, Valiant Entertainment
* Dave Sharpe, Ninjak, Valiant Entertainment
* John Workman, Ragnarok, IDW Publishing

*****

The Harvey Awards are presented each year during the Baltimore Comic-Con. This year's host was Vivek J. Tiwary. This year's keynote was given by Dean Haspiel.

*****
*****
 
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Go, Read: Evan Narcisse Talks To Grant Morrison

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Go, Look: Betty And Veronica Spectacular #138

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Go, Look: Even More Mort Walker Gag Cartoons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 65th Birthday, Scott Shaw!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Paul Smith!

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September 3, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Dan Raeburn Talks To Daniel Clowes


Seth Talks To Daniel Clowes


Marc Maron Talks To Daniel Clowes


Ivory Madison Talks To Daniel Clowes


Nicole Rudick Talks To Daniel Clowes
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from August 27 to September 2, 2016:
1. Image Comics makes official their intention to move to Portland, which now becomes along with the Los Angeles area and New York City an official major metropolis of the North American comics industry.

2. Iranian-born political refugee Eaten Fish wins the CRNI Courage In Editorial Cartooning Award.

3. The 99th anniversary of Jack Kirby's birthday passed, with the hint of some trenchant discussion of how we should celebrate the King. As a creator in his own right? As a creator of intellectual property into which other people might plug? As a paragon of creativity itself? And now that the lawsuits are over, how do we process the years where Marvel and the Kirby Family were adversaries?

Winner Of The Week
Eaten Fish. That's an extraordinarily difficult circumstance under which to create compelling, necessary art.

Losers Of The Week
The comics industry, specifically in our ability to talk to one another. We can do smart commentary, but once we get into rejoinders and replies things get so ugly and as a result quickly grind to a halt. I get wanting to win arguments. Jordan Raphael and I co-created the TCJ Messageboard, which was a place where dozens of comics people tried to do just that at the cost of many things -- including sanity -- for more than a decade. We should be past the bulk of that kind of bad-faith rhetoric now if only for the multiple examples of its futility. People's language is so aggressive and so unrelenting in giving up any sort of territory whatsoever. It keeps the interactions we have on-line from being a place of change.

Quote Of The Week
"Godspeed, Richard Thompson. Peace be with you. You did all that you could do. Your family who were like friends and friends who were like family, your colleagues and many supporters did all that they could do. Thank you for all you did for all of us. We will miss you but we will celebrate your life for the gift it was in ours." -- Dr. Anita Auerbach

*****

this year's comics images are from Fawcett

*****
*****
 
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Go, Read: Jason Concepcion Talks To John Ostrander

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Go, Look: King Of The Mountain, Man

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all comics used to be like this
 
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Go, Look: Claw The Unconquered Splash Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 59th Birthday, Paul Chadwick!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Victor Cayro!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Ethan Van Sciver!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Joe Matt!

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Happy 93rd Birthday, Mort Walker!

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September 2, 2016


Go, Look: Sub-Mariner #33

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

Retailer Brian Hibbs owns and operates two different Direct Market stores, and rightly keeps himself from making too many sweeping statements about DC Comics' Rebirth initiative. However, he's more than happy to share what's going on in those two stores, and the details are compelling if you close-follow how the comics industry works in different circumstances and at different times.
 
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Go, Look: Liberté

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's Gary Tyrrell on Achewood, a potential comic-of-the-'00s and still the one I go to when I think of high-quality work that would likely not have been anywhere else even given a confluence of opportunities.

* Christopher Butcher weighs in on the transformation of CBR and Augie De Blieck Jr.'s commentary on same. Butcher's take on things is always passionately argued and well-presented, and this is no exception.

* finally, the Mutha Facebook page has been more active recently, with a focus on driving attention to their wellspring of fine comics.
 
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If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: The Hollywood Murders

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Dueben talks to Leslie Stein. Heidi MacDonald profiles Alan Moore.

* this is a nice primer on the Jack Kirby creative ownership battles, the settlement of which does not mean its smart to forget they happened. There's some nice work kind of streaming in other creator battles into that article. It doesn't really add to the body of literature on the matter, but not every article need to.

* Jude Terror revisits the subject of the industry dying to stop from dying.

* not comics: holy crap, this is a quietly severe blow to the American arts. Any number of rich scene exist just out New York City, and they benefited from regional coverage. An inattentive press really does change things.

* finally, that doesn't sound very interesting. I'm sure the creators will work very hard to make good comics and all, but snooze.
 
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Happy 70th Birthday, Walt Simonson!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Eric Knisley!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Colleen Frakes!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Brett Warnock!

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September 1, 2016


Go, Look: Kenchreai & Hydra

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Cartoonist Unapologetic For Using Blackface In Cartoon

Ugh. Ugh again. These cartoons are so awful and so ruthlessly stupid it's hard to believe anyone would employ them in service of any point whatsoever, let alone use them and apologize, let alone cover this specific incident as news.

Why link to it? Because I'll admit to being quite intrigued by marginal cartoonists working the extremes of political messaging, and those with a bit more legitimacy that bump up against that crowd, as a general phenomenon. Further, I think it's something of which people knowledgeable about cartooning should remain aware given the equivalencies that people make being more established cartoonists and people who are just participating in the latest talking-point beatdown in a way they hope will bring them attention.
 
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Go, Look: Thirteen Going On Eighteen #22

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Fall Employment For Hunter Gorinson And Josh Neufeld

image* Hunter Gorinson has been promoted to VP Marketing & Communication at Valiant Entertainment. You can read the press releases in various places like here. Valiant's an interesting company, and it seems like they've found a way to be at leat viable. It also seems they pay their freelancers well for a company of its size and market position. It further seems to me there will always be a place for people that do action-adventure superhero and superhero-adjacent comics that reflect older approaches or are simply more manageable as a linewide narrative than DC and Marvel will allow.

* the comics-maker Josh Neufeld will be teaching at SVA this year, in their cartooning department. I think that's a new gig, although I know that Neufeld has taught in the past via residency and in the short term. I would imagine that Josh might be a very good teacher: smart and patient.
 
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Go, Look: Paul Karasik Tool Talk

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* writer, SDCC veteran and comics + culture historian Mark Evanier suggests that one thing that might disrupt Comic-Con International's relationship with San Diego is the city moving in a direction with taxes and policy that favor other aspects of development, like a plan that favors the San Diego Charges.

* I hadn't had APE in my calendar until reminded. That's the week of NYCC -- October 8-9. I think that's a good place on the calendar for that one.

* that Stan Lee/Steve Wozniak name-bearing show is off to Tokyo in December. I like the idea of December shows.

* the great Rich Tommaso is doing pre-convention sketches for pick up at Dragon Con, this weekend. Rich's originals look great, and that way you'll be guaranteed to get something you like at the show.

* finally, Chip Zdarsky's one-man convention has a better guest list than most conventions.

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

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

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Go, Look: Time Encounter

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver on Dead Singers Society Vol. 2. Shawn Starr on Regarding Quicksand. Amy Estersohn on Ghosts. Heather Dickson on Out There Vol. 1. Sean Gaffney on A Certain Magical Index Vol. 8. Thomas Maluck on Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring.

* the writer Matt Fraction wonders after the Nausicaa manga, and a specific formal choice made by Hayao Miyazaki.

* Daryl Cagle adds a couple of cartoonists to his extensive roster.

* go, read: Dave Press on why non-fiction writers can be good comics writers.

* go, look: Steve Ditko inked by Bernie Wrightson.

* Katy Faulkner writes about highlights from the Jay Kennedy Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. I'm really glad that material found a home there, and knowing Jay a little bit I think he'll be glad for people being able to access comics from a period and sub-culture very dear to his heart.

* I guess John Ostrander is writing a Suicide Squad comic. The story to me is why John Ostrander isn't writing Suicide Squad comics all of the time. It's not like people have been killing it on that title in the various stabs at it since. It's not like he's an actor and has aged out of a role; he's a writer.

* finally, Bully speaks truth.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Landry Walker!

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