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



















January 16, 2017


Go, Look: Sara Lautman At TCJ.com

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5
 
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Congressman John Lewis Wages Public Opinion Fight With President-Elect Donald Trump; March Benefits

imageIn case you missed the latest pieces of building falling off the American experiment, Eisner-winning Congressman John Lewis has in the last few days become the focal point for Democratic party reaction to the forthcoming inauguration of Donald Trump. Lewis objects to the nature of the election and feels that foreign interference delegitimizes the election. He won't be attending the inaugural activities. This has led to the usual weird public reaction from Trump via social media and a slew of articles as to what it all means in a deeper sense and what the proper responses on both sides should be. The US political landscape is basically the Comics Journal message board circa 1997 now, although people second-guessing how Lewis should conduct himself or the nature of his career is way more depressing than Dirty Danny throwing a diaper at Ted Rall or Domingos Isabelinho pounding through comics foot soldiers like Darth Vader in that 15 seconds near the end of Rogue One.

There is a bit of comics news to this in that the accompanying surge of interest in Lewis has driven sales on the biography of his years in the 1960s Civil Rights movement: the three-volume, award-winning March. I am happy for people that get to read that book as a way of seeking out information that is alive to them at this moment. That whole book covers things that have become alive to us in a way I'm not sure anyone thought likely when the project was announced.
 
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Go, Look: Lessons From Memphis

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Go, Look: Those Steranko Outland Pages

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through February 2017

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January 21
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

January 22
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (Vancouver Comicon)

January 25
* If I Were In Hamilton, I'd Go To This

January 26
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

January 27
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

January 28
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In North Texas, I'd Go To This (North Texas Comic Book Show)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

January 29
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In North Texas, I'd Go To This (North Texas Comic Book Show)

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February 1
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

February 17
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 18
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (LBCE)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 19
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (LBCE)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 20
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 21
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

February 25
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

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Events For March 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

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Go, Look: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Portfolio

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* David Nieves on The Visitor #1. Joe Gordon on Hook Jaw #1 and Felix Leiter #1. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Nelson George on Krazy. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics books from the comic book shop.

* Andy Oliver talks to Karrie Fransman. Juan Fernandez profiles Rachel Masilamani.

* instead of doing a best-of list, Alex Hoffman wrote about the comics he found most challenging in 2016. This is the full list.

* Cynthia Rose on the big Tintin exhibit in Paris.

* people just like hating on Marvel. There are worse things to hate on, for sure.

* finally, I loved reading this post from Todd Klein about moving onto a new computer for the new year. Casual workplace talk from freelancers brings me pleasure.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Al Davison!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Eleanor Davis!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Jamie Coville!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Frédéric Boilet!

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January 15, 2017


Go, Look: Pen America's State Of Emergency Comics Suite

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Go, Read: The Latest Google-Able Story On Lat's Hospitalization

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Here. Tests Monday. He was admitted and then readmitted, and the family stresses the ICU placement was due to the wards being full. All thoughts with the great cartoonists and his family.
 
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Happy 32nd Birthday, Jacq Cohen!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Scott Snyder!

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FFF Results Post #468 -- Things To Come

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics Projects You're Looking Forward To Seeing This Year." This is how they responded.

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four: Artist's Edition, Jack Kirby And Stan Lee (IDW)
2. The Only Living Boy Vol. 4, David Gallaher And Steve Ellis (Papercutz)
3. Blue Hand Mojo: Hard Times Road, John Jennings (Rosarium)
4. Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse, Chris Roberson And Georges Jeanty (Dark Horse)
5. Spell on Wheels, Kate Leth And Megan Levens (Dark Horse) (pictured)

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Mike Pfefferkorn

1. Grandville Force Majeure, Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
2. Artemis: Wild Goddess of the Hunt, George O'Connor (First Second)
3. Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art Of Gary Frank, Gary Frank (DC Comics)
4. Frostlings, Patrick Block (Self-Published; Kickstarter)
5. John Stanley: Giving Life to Little Lulu, Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics)

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Steve Harrick

* Afar by Leila Del Duca and Kit Seaton (Image)
* California Dreamin' by Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
* The Great McGonagall by Roger Langridge (ZCO.MX)
* Her Bark And Her Bite by James Albon (Top Shelf)
* Star Hawks Vol. 1 by Gil Kane and Ron Goulart (IDW)

Have a great weekend.

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RJ Casey

1. Mirror Mirror 2, edited by Julia Gfrorer and Sean T. Collins (2dcloud)
2. You & a Bike & a Road, Eleanor Davis (Koyama)
3. Eartha, Cathy Malkasian (Fantagraphics)
4. The Best of Shoe, Jeff MacNelly (Titan)
5. Wordplay, Ivan Brunetti (Toon Books)

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Tom Spurgeon

1. It Don't Come Easy, Philippe Dupuy And Charles Berberian (D+Q)
2. Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four: Artist's Edition, Jack Kirby And Stan Lee (IDW)
3. Johnny Hazard Sundays Archive 1944-1946, Frank Robbins And Daniel Herman (Hermes Press)
4. What's A Paintoonist?, Jerry Moriarty (Fantagraphics)
5. My Pretty Vampire, Katie Skelly (Fantagraphics)

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Mário Filipe

1. Gouffre, edited by Alexis Beauclair, Bettina Henni, Séverine Bascouert, Sammy Stein & Jean-Philippe Breton (Lagon Revue)
2. Bruma, Amanda Baeza (Chili Com Carne)
3. The Excavation, Max Andersson (Fantagraphics)
4. Powr Mastrs: Book 4, C.F. (Fantagraphics)
5. Mirror Mirror 2, edited by Julia Gfrörer and Sean T. Collins (2dcloud)

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John Vest

1. Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 21, Chester Gould (IDW)
2. Border Worlds, Don Simpson (Dover)
3. Street Fighting Man: Spain Vol. 1, Spain Rodriguez (Fantagraphics)
4. Mineshaft #35, Everett Rand and Gioia Palmieri editors (Everett Rand and Gioia Palmieri)
5. Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four Artist's Edition, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee (IDW)

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Philippe Leblanc

Here's my 5 entries.

1. Sunburning, Keiler Roberts (Koyama Press)
2. Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero, Michael Deforge (Drawn & Quarterly)
3. The Ley Line issue by Shreyas R Krishnan (Czap & Grindstone)
4. Un Norvegien vers Compostelle, Jason (Delcourt)
5. Ivanhoe Bachus, Nicolas Andre (La Pasteque)

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

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Diana Tamblyn

* Crawl Space, Jesse Jacobs (Koyama Press)
* You & a Bike & a Road, Eleanor Davis (Koyama Press)
* Boundless, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn and Quarterly)
* Royal City, Jeff Lemire (Image)
* Bullseye, Ed Brisson And Guillermo Sanna (Marvel)

I have a real soft spot for Bullseye -- what can I say?

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thanks to all that participated

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January 14, 2017


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Vermont PBS Profiles James Kochalka


Korean SNL's Doctor Strange


Dame Darcy 4-Ever


Rafael Medoff And Craig Yoe In Brooklyn

I removed a video a couple of readers complained had nothing to do with cartooning nor directly features a comics-maker nor has obvious interest on its own terms that I'm able to express. That happens sometimes; I'm going from labeling rather than having watched the videos on about a quarter of them. My apologies for the time suck that hit anyone.
 
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Go, Look: Matt Lesniewski

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Go, Look: Bill Holman Gag Cartoons

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Go, Look: Mister Miracle Vol. 2 Splash Pages

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Nomi Kane!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Gabe Fowler!

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Happy 5th Anniversary, Study Group Comic Books!

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January 13, 2017


Go, Look: Holiday Month Covers

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Milt Gross, HG Peter, Antonio Prohias And Dori Seda To Eisner HOF; Public Nominations Have '80s Feel

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This year's class of Will Eisner Comic Awards judges has selected four comics-makers for its Hall Of Fame: Milt Gross, HG Peter, Antonio Prohias and Dori Seda. This is a break from the usual two cartoonists being named because of this being the 100th year since Will Eisner's birth. It's hard to imagine that opportunity being better spent in terms of an intriguing, compelling class.

Dori Seda I imagine is likely the big surprise for a lot of people. Seda was an autobiographical comics pioneer and may be unequaled in terms of confessional ground seized for the genre over the course of her too-brief career. She died in 1988 not having yet turned 40, and may also be remembered for a potentially unclear path to publication that briefly developed after her passing. I like all four nominees including Seda. It's surprising to me that HG Peter only goes in now, but I think Peter's potent art on Wonder Woman has never been fully appreciated.

The nominees being offered for four slots in the traditional public vote seems an equally strong group, and bodes well for the next several years of inductions. With the Hernandez Brothers and Peter Bagge up for consideration it would seem that the we're firmly in the 1980s in terms of who might be considered now.

The 17 nominees which will become four HOF entries after the public voting are:

* Peter Bagge
* Howard Cruse
* Steve Englehart
* Justin Green
* Roberta Gregory
* Bill Griffith
* Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez
* Françoise Mouly
* Jackie Ormes
* George Perez
* P. Craig Russell
* Posy Simmonds
* Walt Simonson
* Jim Starlin
* Rumiko Takahashi
* Garry Trudeau

More information available from the awards program itself here.

This year's judges are Alan Campbell, Rob Clough, Jamie Newbold, Robert Moses Peaslee, Dawn Rutherford and Martha Thomases.

The deadline for voting is March 24. The awards program is July 21, the Friday night of Comic-Con International.

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Go, Read: How I Learned To Love Being Aromantic

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

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By Tom Spurgeon

image* our best wishes to Mark Johnson, who will be stepping away from his on-line column on behalf of King Features that focused on material from their deep, rich archives. I hope someone will step up and take that on. (Link from the great Andy Mansell.)

* Robert Boyd has begun on-line serialization of Scott Gilbert's Mysterioso.

* Maggie Vicknair on Knights Errant -- Imperfect Strangers and Sakana.

* in addition to Vicknair's articles, it looks like The Beat will be doing profiles of comics available for free on-line. A solid survey series could be really useful right now for traditional comics fans of the kind that tend to lose touch with what people are reading webcomics-wise right now.

* Jen Contino talks to Steve Conley.

* finally, I will hopefully have had a "go, look" up before this column rolls out, but longtime comics-Internet presence Nick Mullins has revamped his Nijomu site to better show off comics work done on-line.
 
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Go, Look: Beyond The Tin-Foil Hat

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Go, Look: Edwin Lepper Originals

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* all thoughts with Lat and his family this morning, after the cartoonist was admitted to the hospital with health issues. Lat is 65, and one of the great cartoonists of the world. It's not as bad as all that, says a family member.

* Todd Klein on Wonder Woman #8. Paul O'Brien on Old Man Logan #14-15. Joe Gordon on Rocket Raccoon #1. Andy Oliver on The Wormgler.

* the number of places for cartoonists to participate in political dialogue have increased and should continue to do so.

* whenever Scott Dunbier makes a public request for art to be used in an Artist's Edition, I pay attention.

* finally, I don't remember if I made an official link to this Gilbert Hernandez cartoon. Beto knew what 2017 was going to be like a long time ago, by the way.
 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Anina Bennett!

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Happy 84th Birthday, Ron Goulart!

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January 12, 2017


Go, Look: Anne Szabla

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Hebdo Columnist Zineb el Razhoui Provides Reasons For Departure From The Magazine

This was sent to me by a few people this morning. I haven't looked at much of the Hebdo murders anniversary coverage, although I have time allotted for that this weekend.

Laurent Leger makes the most sense to me, that the magazine should have been shut down after the tributes issue. Although the magazine gets treated as a monolithic entity a lot of the time, it seems like there are definite differences in what people believe about Hebdo's role which would make it hard for that publication to survive and thrive given the tremendous add-on pressure of its legacy.

One of the things I find interesting about free-speech advocacy right now is a desire to project virtue onto the exercising of a right. My own thinking isn't exactly clear on this element, because in other cases I think we too easily abandon the virtues that certain speech may bring, and end up using the speech we have in front of us as a proxy for some sort of ideal speech that we'd like to feel is the actual speech whose existence we're defending. I couldn't tell you if those two conflicting-on-the-surface thoughts represent a log jam or an opening. It strikes me that there must be a difference between a principle in place and a slogan in use, between a core truth and virtue as capital, but many people closer to this than I am seem pretty calcified in their thinking right now and satisfied in being so.
 
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Go, Look: I Wore... The Mask Of Drothar!

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* behold the official PIX 2017 poster!

* Heidi MacDonald has a nice piece up here about a train wreck of a con in Dallas. I'm sorry for all of the people that had a terrible weekend. I am personally so far removed from that model of show that I can't wrap my brain around how a successful version of it appeals, let alone a desultory one. It makes sense that there are standards applied to every kind of show whether or not I'm quick to pick up on them, though, and that a packed marketplace will make these stricter as time passes. It is also clear through this article that there's a lot of money involved on the film and television actor/personality end of things, which kind of works against the idea that these are low-threshold participation businesses.

* this sounds awful, although I'm sympathetic to the problems of keeping shows profitable and how you use free, volunteered labor given comics' horrendous history with exploitation.

* another good piece from Heidi assembling statements from con officials that have massive volunteer staffs, are for-profit, and have gone so far as to set up paid clubs or bring in non-profits as partners in not paying those staffers. I run a show now, and I get that people love to volunteer and the inducements are usually more than worth it, but with comics' history of exploitation we should be running the other direction to do everything to try and get everyone money, especially if you're set up to profit.

* Spectrum has its call for entries up.

* finally, I'm continuing to work on this year's event calendars... I've added the Calgary and Salt Lake events among others forthcoming.
 
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Go, Look: Hah! Noon!

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Go, Look: Adventure Comics #73

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CR Review: Vampires, Vampires, Vampires II

imageCreator: Madeline McGrane
Publishing Information: Self-Published Mini-Comic, 24 pages, 2016.
Ordering: You might start here.

This was recommended to me by one Mr. Jaime Hernandez, who liked the art when he picked up a copy at Comic Arts Los Angeles. It was a repeat purchase for Hernandez, who picked up the the first issue at the 2015 show. It's easy to see what Jaime's responding to art-wise. This is visually accomplished material: loosely drawn figures that stay on models, and backgrounds that say "this person can draw anything -- or at least their version of it." The figures are particularly appealing; they have a bounce that one tends to see in modern animation, and while these are attractive people being depicted they feel well within the realm of the kind of body types one might see every day.

There are three features in this issue. The first is a tale-told-by, old-world short that ends in fizzy fashion even as the temperature drops several degrees in the room depicted. The second is a longer vampires-at-the-beach story which turns out to be a vampires-expand-their-social-circle-to-include-werewolves tale, to the cartoonist's credit. McGrane gets a lot out of depicting the contrasts between high-concept and quotidian reality. The pages have a nice rhythm, too, full of attractive blacks and characters that physically react to others without lurching into pantomime. The final story McGrane provides is an Ed Gorey-like series of images featuring vampire children from three different traditions of the undead. It is perfectly adorable.

I believe you can get a peek at most of these stories in the tumblr linked-to above, they're well-suited to that reading experience as well, due to their breezy nature. If the refinement between issues continues, these should be routinely formidable comics and a fine excuse to head to downtown LA every early December.

 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Andrew Wales!

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Happy 49th Birthday, John Jackson Miller!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Joe Quesada!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Damian Duffy!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Takehiko Inoue!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Hans Rickheit!

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January 11, 2017


Gil Roth Is 46 Today; His Excellent Podcasts At Virtual Memories Are Only A Few Years Old

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The literary and culture podcaster Gil Roth, 46 today, talks to a lot of cartoonists and comics-makers as part of his recording mission. Those interviews are really well done, and I bet there's at least one or two that would interest you in this long list of comics podcasts to date. Thanks, Gil, and everyone else have fun digging in!

(that is the equally lovely Dylan Horrocks on the left above; Dylan and Gil are set up at CXC 2015, in Columbus' cool-ass Cultural Arts Center, a building we are between using but that we hope we might use again someday)
 
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Go, Look: Matteo Berton

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Go, Read: Profile Of Mike Marland

Here. Note the loss of an editorial cartooning position. Such is the way of things over the last decade-plus now. My dad was a little over the top about these things, but he used to say a local cartoonist was the best thing a newspaper could have next to timely high school sports scores.
 
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Go, Look: A Temple In Time

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

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

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

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NOV161206 LIBBYS DAD GN (MR) $8.00
There's not a lot hitting comics stores this week, so I'll pull this Eleanor Davis comic away from the comic-book format book where it might go given Wednesday where more books of interest dropped. This is literally the last comic I have on my pile of 2016 comics to read (I feel it was widely enough available to be a 2016 book), which means that year was bookended, basically by two Davis efforts, this one and last winter's issue of Frontier. That's a sign we're very lucky to have another cartoonist that good that basically prolific.

imageMAY160697 PROPHET TP VOL 05 EARTH WAR (MR) $17.99
I would assume this is the last of the trades of the Brandon Graham-supervised Prophet stuff, which overall was a good time in the funnybook pages. If it's not, I apologize. There were a lot of comics, and that should make a pretty nice little section on smart fans of genre material.

AUG160032 GROO FRAY OF THE GODS #4 $3.99
NOV160042 LOBSTER JOHNSON GARDEN OF BONES ONE SHOT $3.99
NOV160623 GREEN VALLEY #4 (OF 9) $2.99
OCT160616 INVISIBLE REPUBLIC #14 (MR) $3.99
NOV160627 MOONSHINE #4 CVR A RISSO (MR) $2.99
OCT160626 OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #24 (MR) $2.99
OCT160639 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #16 CVR A LATOUR (MR) $3.50
Hey, it's comics! Lots of comics. I will buy a Groo. comic every time one is presented to me: Sergio Aragones is a master of the art form. There's a Mignola. Green Valley is the latest acerbic fantasy comic of the moment. I have a feeling those nine issues will read like three. Invisible Republic and Moonshine are series with lovely looking art. Outcast is up to issue #24, which took me by surprise. Southern Bastards is up to #16, and is the Preacher of our times. I've liked that series much more after its initial arc.

OCT160265 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #7 (OF 8) COLLECTORS ED (RES) $12.99
I had no idea this was still being published and have no idea what a collectors' edition is except just a fancy comic book they can sell for $13 because some comic book fans are a little obsessive about this stuff. I haven't heard a lick about this series since the first issue, which makes me think it's both not good enough to call attention to itself and not bad enough to make the average reader laugh.

NOV161721 SMURFS GN VOL 22 SMURF MENACE $7.99
NOV161722 SMURFS HC VOL 22 SMURF MENACE $12.99
I've lost track of the Smurfs reprint volumes and don't know enough about the series to tell you what's being published just as a glance. Very fun series when it was going full-bore, though.

NOV160997 OCTAVIA BUTLER KINDRED GN $24.95
Octavia Butler's career-making work has to be like three decades or more old now; I remember I was in elementary school when it came out. A graphic novel version would seem both a creative opportunity and a chance to pay tribute to the category-spanning novel. It was very affecting for a slightly older version of me in the early 1980s.

OCT161560 EC ELDER FELDSTEIN BRADBURY MILLION YEAR PICNIC HC $29.99
This would be Elder, mostly, and likely as much "serious" material as the humor work for which the great artist was best known. I like these volumes of author-by-author EC work a lot because it makes me focus on the authors as they come to me. With the anthology publications I skip around to favorites. Elder wasn't anyone I ever skipped, but a number of the serious works back to back might lead me to a different interpretation than I already have in my noggin.

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

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

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

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

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Go, Listen: Brian Heater Talks To Al Jaffee

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congrats to Heater on a 200th episode
 
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Go, Read: Interview With Political Cartoonist Ako Eyong

Eyong is a political cartoonist who fled persecution in his native country of Cameroon. If you get to the end of the piece, it sounds like the artist's American experience has been just a tumultuous and fascinating as the career he built for himself in his home country. What strikes me, again, hearing his work described, is how mildly strident the work seems and how strongly political forces objected to it as if it were wildly radical. I know that most people believe at the heart of these disputes is a group of people grasping for power, but examining the work seems to me to really confirm that element of it in most known cases.
 
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Go, Look: Mystery Town

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Go, Look: Portland

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* I don't necessarily agree with all of the values staked out in this article, but I agree that all of us that make money from writing or art related to comics or from comics themselves should be more honest about what we make when asked. I really think in about 73 percent of cases it's still pride that keeps us quiet. It would help me to know why you're asking so I can direct my answer. I also understand not wanting that information in print because there's another party involved.

* Maus via roundtable.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco on "Night Of The Monster Men." John Seven on Lake Jehovah. Rob Clough on comics from Leela Corman and Anya Davidson. Todd Klein on Green Lanterns #5.

* festivals extra: it's like 50-51 days until Emerald City Comicon. and the winter break period between major shows seems shorter all of the time. I'm sure it's the constant noise and approximation of physical proximity that social media brings, but that doesn't make it any less restful. In my ideal world there are no shows in the bulk of December, January and February, light shows in late May into June. One show in July, one show or no shows in August, and a light month in November. That's just me, though. I'd love a bunch of author tours in the light months.

* on becoming a comics writer.

* finally, here's how to turn some of that comic art into sweet, sweet, money-making gallery work.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Bob Harras!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Clint Hollingsworth!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 37th Birthday, Neil Cohn!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 54th Birthday, Sam Kieth!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Terry Beatty!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 32nd Birthday, Lucy Knisley!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Gil Roth!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 10, 2017


Go, Look: Gregory Benton

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turns out I've never linked to Greg before straight-up like this
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your SPACE 2016 Awards Finalists

image

SPACE, one of the grand old persons of the alt-comics festival awards circuit, has released its 2016 finalists lists, as well as the lists that make up the finalists lists. As I recall, basically the festival-goers from a given year submit comics to graphic novel, general and short-story/mini categories, there's a finalists list about now, and you have the winners named at the next year's show. So these will be given out in late March.

A bunch of material on multiple pages for reading if you so desire: the general announcement, the fundraiser for the show and its awards more generally, and then the finalists: graphic novel, general, short-story/mini. You can look at the full list from links provided on the general announcement page.

The finalists are:

Graphic Novel
* Amiculus Volume Two: Flagellum Dei, Travis Horseman And Giancarlo Caracuzzo, Amiculus Books, $15. (image pictured above)
* Binary Gray Vol. 2, Chris Charlton and Rowel Rogue, Assailant Comics, $22.99.
* Love & Monsters, Cynthia Lee (Editor) $27.
* Persia Blues Volume Two: Love & War, Dara Naraghi And Brent Bowman, NBM, $15.
* Vision Quest, Josh White, $18.

General
* Prizefighter, MS Harkness, $10.
* R-Complex, Michael Fehskens, $12.
* Ruffians #10-11, Brian Canini, Drunken Cat Comics, $2.99.
* Vagabond Comics #1-2, Amalia DeGirolamo And Sequoia Bostick (Editors), Vagabond Comic Collective, $12.
* Vorpal, Jason Tudor And Keith Houin, Headshrinker's Press, $7.
* Woodstalk #6, Bruce Worden, $5.

Short-Story/Mini
* After We Shot the Grizzly, Jason Young, Buyer Beware Comics, $3.
* Ant and the Zombie Spiders Parts 1-2, Harrison Warden, $1.
* Ask Bud!, Pam Bliss, $2.
* Day of the Brontosaurus, Pam Bliss, $2.
* Dive, Sean Dempsey, $3.
* Dutchy Digest 10, Steven Hager And Bruce Rosenberger, Dutchy Digest, $2.
* Far Tune, Brent Bowman And Terry Eisele, $3.
* Genius Junkies, Nate McDonough And Brian John Mitchell, Silber Mini-Comics, $2.
* Glenn Reaper from Headshrinker's Press Presents #3, Landon Faulkner And Rowel Rogue, $7.
* People of Pachamama from Landslide Roots, Nichi Hawkins And AC Rillo, Headshrinkers Press, $7.
* Sammy Spiffy: Super Robot and Calculator Chicken: Mothman Mystery, Lee Smith, Ohio Comics, $5.
* Satan Cat #1, Steve Steiner, Mullet Turtle Comics, $3.50.
* Sinaloa Cowboys, Robert Hendricks, $5.
* Starcatcher's Quest, Allthea Seilhan, $5.
* Soulcial Anxiety, Cailey Tervo, $10.
* Teen Girl Killed, Lauren McCallister, $6.

*****

SPACE will be held March 25-27 at Northland Performance Arts Center in Columbus, Ohio. I'll be there.

*****
*****
 
posted 1:29 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Mooncup Made Of Bakelite

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posted 1:28 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Slate Cartoonist Prize Accepting Submissions; Karen Green This Year's Guest Judge

imageThe headline has pretty much all you need to know; you can get that submission information and a little background on Green in the article.

I'm fond of the Slate prize for a few reasons. One is that it involves cash, and in doing so five years ago sparked a bit of a mini-trend in comics prizes doing just that. The other is that they tend to be a good mix: they were early on Noelle Stevenson, I think, and were certainly first in recognizing the titanic achievement of Carol Tyler's Soldier's Heart book. They're not forward-thinking for the sake of forward-thinking, though.
 
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Go, Look: Conan In Black And White

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posted 1:26 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* Gabrielle Bell has announced her Spring 2017 book, Everything Is Flammable, with a cover image.

image* the artist Greg Capullo announced via Twitter that he's signed a new contract with DC Comics. His last run with them, either mostly or entirely on comics written by Scott Snyder, was very fruitful, and I have to imagine they're happy to have him back on board. No idea what they plan to put him on, but I would imagine a reunion with Snyder is likely.

* Joey Weiser and Ghost Hog to Oni.

* this is the full list for participating writer and artists in the Kamandi Challenge comic that DC is doing, where all-star teams of creators rotate on 12 issues of the title and try to throw the next creative team with a unique cliffhanger. I'm glad for any recognition of Jack Kirby. It's a sturdy group of talented creators, but not a lot of thrilling choices unless you're very much all in on the creative direction of the last several years of DC Comics.

* finally, Corey Lewis' one-cartoonist Sun Bakery anthology is going to Image, with existing issues to be reprinted. I've only read the fourth self-published issue, but Image would seem to be a good home for the title.

image
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Dueling Romance Stories

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posted 1:24 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tegan O'Neil's Review Of Marvel's Civil War 2 Comics

imageHere. It's the top feature in a mini-roundtable of interviews. There are a few brutal sentences in there from Tegan O'Neil, just door-shutting word bombs: "A few strong new concepts are hopelessly adrift in a sea of 55- and 75-year-olds acting out the motions of their attenuated senescence" is one of them.

The reason I'm pulling this out is that the review encapsulates what I feel as an occasional Marvel Comics watcher, that that group of titles is really adrift right now -- in the broad creative sense -- in a way that setes the sales landscape for the near-future. I'm not an expert on these kinds of comics, but the last urgency I detected was reading the Jonathan Hickman-directed cosmic superhero armageddon comics, and even then maybe just the ones that used the end-of-everything as a scary, oncoming train rather than actually showed you the train punching through a series of traffic stops. Bringing the Inhumans to the foreground sounded like a power move, and now it looks like a broad mis-step. Marvel's best comics feel like small-scale rejections of successful formula without any sort of reinvigoration in accompaniment. Their flagship action-adventure titles feel less like an ER or Hill Street Blues or a Law & Order than one of those drama programs with "Chicago" in the title.

I assume the solution is finding that next round of good comics and that bringing talented creators into the fold gets you there. They still seem to be doing that. It just feels pretty disengaged right this moment, and I have to assume that makes a difference on retail culture.
 
posted 1:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Boss-Looking Frank Robbins Invaders Splash Pages

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Chad Grothkopf's Alice In Wonderland

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* the Process Party podcast has their 2016 year-in-review episode and their 2017 looking-forward episode up.

* I can't stop watching this video of an SUV plowing through a comics and gaming store.

* well... yeah.

* it's only the second week in January, and this may be my favorite subject-posting series ever done by Bully.

* twenty-plus years in, people being mean on the Internet, deserved or not, retains a significant element of humor. (It tends to go sour when it gets personal or cruel.)

* Scott Mills makes with the ghosts.

* finally, here's a nice review of the current Death Row cartoons exhibit up at the Billy Ireland. I think they've done a great job in that new facility of providing a range of shows in the galleries. This one isn't 100 percent about prisoner art, but it does feature such art in significant fashion.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 95th Birthday, Bob Lubbers!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 40th Birthday, Rob Jackson!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 9, 2017


Go, Look: Woe Is Me!

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Steve Ditko is such an admirable figure for continuing to make comics his way. I feel 47 percent better every time I see a kickstarter from him slip over its initial ask.

* Christy Blanch I believe owns and she certainly runs my hometown comics shop (I can recommend the Olive Burger at Savage's Ale House, next door). She notes in her latest column that there's a lot of fear and discouragement in her corner of the retailing world about the state of retail 2017, the fundamental ability of stores to remain open for the calendar year ahead. She encourages you to visit your local store, buy things from them, and don't abuse them with orders you never pick up. I concur. I'm going to be a weekly comics shopper this winter for sure.

* speaking of shops, Perry Plush's gofundme on behalf of his Pacific NW iconic retail establishment Zanadu has only reached about 1/6 of its goal a month since it launched. If you're a Seattle person that has benefited from that shop I hope you'll contribute something. If you're in a financial position to do more, it might be a time to reach out.

* as I know nothing about any comics that exist between Toronto and Vancouver, this 'zine offering caught my eye.

* Ben Dunn continues to make solid use of his back catalog and crowd-funding's reach to core fans.

* finally, it's nice to see the Universal Fan Con fully funded. I hope they do well.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Simon Hanselmann On Process Party

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Schweizercraft Santas

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these paper mantel-decorations were the nicest thing waiting for me when I got home from holiday travel
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* figures it would be Drew Friedman that would finally nail a caricature of the notoriously difficult-to-draw Gary Groth.

* this looks like it would be fun. Laura Park is a heck of a talent.

* it's always problematic to recommend an entire story one can be certain is not owned by the person presenting it, but as these are original pages, that's another way to access this material that's a little more fair-use.

* there's an interesting discussion beginning here about the usefulness of working with a publisher over time with a work. I think there's a lot more room than there used to be for cartoonists to be the primary sellers of a book from about three months to twenty-four months after publication. I still think that means there's plenty for publishers to do.

* finally: this material shows up on-line a lot, and it's awfully pretty.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Frank Margerin!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Sean Azzopardi!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 27th Birthday, Minna Sundberg!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Booksteve!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Art Baxter!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 8, 2017


Go, Join: The Mini-Comics Club

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brisbane is the new brooklyn
 
posted 4:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Hey, Look At Birdcage Bottom Books All Fancy With Their Web Site Revamped

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Go, Look: Farlaine The Goblin

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Go, Look: Mar Julia

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ashley M. Almeida-Souza

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 76th Birthday, Boris Vallejo!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Ken Steacy!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Domingos Isabelinho!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 7, 2017


Go, Look: Dragoom!

image
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Writer Gerard Jones Arrested On Suspicion Of Child Pornography

imageThis apparently broke Thursday, one week after the December 29 arrest. At issue are the ownership of images said to involved children performing sexual acts and uploading some of those images on YouTube: possession and distribution. The San Francisco district attorney's office issued the warrant for the search that led to the arrest.

The 59-year-old Jones is probably best known for his comic book history Men Of Tomorrow, which won an Eisner Award in 2005 and considerable praise for its linking of early comic book publishing to organized crime. Jones was at one point a prolific writer of comics for clients on a range of titles from Marvel to DC to Dark Horse to Malibu. His best-known work during this period was probably his own (with writing partner Will Jacobs and various artists) The Trouble With Girls, a spy satire that enjoyed multiple publishers in the mid-1980s including Comico and Epic.

Jones has entered a plea of not guilty through lawyer Seth Chazin; the regional newspaper coverage has him denying all allegations.

Jones made a brief, public statement on Facebook this morning.
 
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Allie Kleber

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CBLDF Receives A Bit Of Public Blowback For Signing Recent Right To Publish Statement Re: S&S

Their release about signing on is here. I certainly didn't catch it but Rich Johnston did and published an article here.

You can detect the nature of protest by searching "CBLDF" on Twitter. It's hard to tell if that's just people reacting or if that's a sign that there could be a potential deep shove-away. It's hard for me to imagine this snowballing into a boycott of the Fund or CBLDF events like the San Diego Con fundraiser or SPX, but I've been super-wrong about judging this kind of thing in the past.

I think it's a dopey statement, and the fact that it might be defended through 1000 "it doesn't really say that" maneuvers makes it a less-compelling sign-on. I think principled boycotts are a valuable tool of free speech. Simon and Schuster has a right to publish whatever they want to publish and that's a great virtue of our system; people have the right to push Simon and Schuster away and I think that's also a virtue of our system. I support principled boycotts even when they're of me.

I further suspect the work in question is far more of a political operation that resembles free speech as opposed to free speech itself, and I personally think that's important in ascribing potential compensating virtues. That's a personal belief, though, that I know a lot of people don't share. In this case, it's more of a prescriptive to how we talk about these things as opposed to whether or not we publish and/or boycott. I mention it here as I don't think this case calls for the CBLDF to weigh in except on the principles, which I disagree are at risk.

(PS -- Just a reminder that all speech directed to me is considered for-publication unless we work out agreement to the contrary before that discussion begins.)
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Almondette

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Seattle, 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: Michael Rapa

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 72nd Birthday, Jay Lynch!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Bob Wiacek!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Karl Kesel!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Kevin Dooley!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 53rd Birthday, Aaron Lopresti!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 6, 2017


Go, Look: Did You Notice?

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled Extra: Marvel Tips Digital Strategy Towards Free Comics Related But Not Same As Paper Ones

Rob Salkowitz describes here.

imageIt looks like the new strategy will be to provide contextual comics or possible expanded-buys to the paper comic consumer as opposed to enhancing value by offering same-comic digital copies. I suppose at issue is a strategy where you might get something you didn't necessarily want versus a strategy where you might get something you wanted but maybe not twice.

Digital is an ongoing thing for these companies that wish as a part of their overall strategy to protect the very lucrative paper market through specialty stores. Marvel wants to maximize profit across the board either every or just about every quarter and it seems like their desire to tweak their system of digital so that it helps this happen is a long way from being a settled practice.

The announcement -- the program begins next month -- comes at a time when the company is facing some fan pushback in terms of their editorial strategies featuring perpetual line-wide revamping and event series that don't always capture the imagination of fans. Me, I'm old, and not in any way the target audience, but I'm confused by what to buy and how on those half-dozen times a year I go into a store hoping to catch up on Marvel.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Wren McDonald

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The CR Year-End Business Post, Week Two

image

* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the beginning of the year, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

* if you're not in contact with this site, or if you are but still mostly count on getting out the word via social media as to what you're up to, I hope you'll consider adding whenever you have something you want to share. I'm reducing my exposure to social media for my mental health and to be more efficient at my job. I hope to hear from you. I promise in return to be more professionally reliable in terms of answering missives and overtures I receive through that account.

* we should have a few more holiday interviews this week after five fun ones last week. We hope this is the last year we short you on quality holiday-period interviews. It's a different world now. There's a lot more news and news-churn during this period than 20 years ago, when Marvel firing people was the only holiday-period news. I appreciate your kindness here.

* further apologies are due in that I'm returning to a lot of interview subjects that one-by-one I failed to get up on the site in 2016, and it looks like I was particularly bad in terms of opting out of completing interviews with white people and dudes. The overall selection thus does not meet general standards as to inclusion and the range of work this site desires to cover over the long-term. That's on me; I apologize. I hope the site itself better seizes on the opportunity of representing the entirety of comics in every way throughout 2017, including a much free-wheeling 2017 holiday series. I appreciate and deserve the criticism.

* comics-makers!

* I hope you'll consider writing a physical letter to a comics-industry person or comics-creative that you admire. This year's loss of great swathes of cartooning talent tells us that all time is short. If you need help finding an address, drop me a line.

* finally, my best wishes to you and yours as we start a new year together. I'm hopeful. Not sure why, but let's go with it.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Coin-Op Books

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Hannah Gaucher

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to that great friend of comics, Carlton Hargro, on his new gig at Creative Loafing Atlanta. Beer mugs at The Chug raised high.

image* Sean Gaffney on Cells At Work! Vol. 1. Scott Cederlund on Archie Vol. 2.

* that is indeed a very good comic.

* I've always been tired that Bully would do this joke post before I could come up with an Affordable Floors joke, and lo that day has come.

* Angela Boyle profiles AK Summers.

* I did not know this exists and I would like to watch it.

* finally, Hulk bore. I like the original Hulk concept but that's about it with that character. All the psychological layering, all the variations, even the gun years... I just don't have much of an appetite for them.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 31st Birthday, Keren Katz!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 5, 2017


Go, Look: Jordan Jeffries

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Steve Bissette Marshaling Help For Loren Coleman

In order to do something positive in the midst of inveighing against policymakers that have paid insurance and are unwilling to provide assistance to those who are not provided with same, the artist and advocate Steve Bissette is driving attention to a crowd-funding campaign on behalf of Loren Coleman.

Bissette used Coleman's research on Swamp Thing and other projects. As far as I can tell, there is art still involved with the fundraising; all of Bissette's art is really fun to look at, so I hope you'll look into this. I am just going to give straight-up.

In general, please send word of any campaigns -- heck, any news -- you'd like to see covered to I will not necessarily see something just because it's on your Facebook feed, your twitter feed or even your blog scroll. I know that was the promise of social media, to get the word out completely and fully, but that was a lie. In return, I will endeavor to engage with every e-mail that comes in.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Boxplot

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The CR Year-End Business Post, Week Two

image

* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the beginning of the year, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

* if you're not in contact with this site, or if you are but still mostly count on getting out the word via social media as to what you're up to, I hope you'll consider adding whenever you have something you want to share. I'm reducing my exposure to social media for my mental health and to be more efficient at my job. I hope to hear from you. I promise in return to be more professionally reliable in terms of answering missives and overtures I receive through that account.

* we should have a few more holiday interviews this week after five fun ones last week. We hope this is the last year we short you on quality holiday-period interviews. It's a different world now. There's a lot more news and news-churn during this period than 20 years ago, when Marvel firing people was the only holiday-period news. I appreciate your kindness here.

* further apologies are due in that I'm returning to a lot of interview subjects that one-by-one I failed to get up on the site in 2016, and it looks like I was particularly bad in terms of opting out of completing interviews with white people and dudes. The overall selection thus does not meet general standards as to inclusion and the range of work this site desires to cover over the long-term. That's on me; I apologize. I hope the site itself better seizes on the opportunity of representing the entirety of comics in every way throughout 2017, including a much free-wheeling 2017 holiday series. I appreciate and deserve the criticism.

* comics-makers!

* I hope you'll consider writing a physical letter to a comics-industry person or comics-creative that you admire. This year's loss of great swathes of cartooning talent tells us that all time is short. If you need help finding an address, drop me a line.

* finally, my best wishes to you and yours as we start a new year together. I'm hopeful. Not sure why, but let's go with it.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Alyssa Maynard

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Holly Foltz

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on In Fox's Forest. John Seven on Birthmark. Johanna Draper Carlson on Awkward. Jerry Smith on various comics.

* Tyler Chin-Tanner talks to John Arcudi.

* I agree with most of the complaints registered here. CR is as bad as any of them right now, although I'm still fond of me and if you are, too, god bless you. We could all do way better and I expect in 2017 we will. I think structurally a lot of our hands are tied, but we've all been at this long enough to chew through the ropes if we really wanted to.

* you likely caught word yesterday about Eisner submissions being open.

* I always get nervous when giant corporations make claim to their material in a way that stifles fan efforts, but I've never been all that sure that elaborate video/film/etc. versions of something already in that form can ever truly qualify as an example of fair use.

* finally, the second Angel Catbird book is previewed.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 76th Birthday, Hayao Miyazaki!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 41st Birthday, Alexis E. Fajardo!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Eric Haven!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 4, 2017


Go, Look: TCJ Contributors Pick Top Comics Of 2016

image
 
posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Eisner Awards Sends Out Call For Submissions

Here. It's not impossible to get an awards nomination from the judges if you don't send something in, but they'll have to have heard of you and find your work worth advocating on its behalf without being reminded who you are and what that is. That strikes me as tough, and unnecessary if you want a nomination. Submit!
 
posted 9:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: My Dream Comic

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: John Wilcock Could Use Help

image

Explained here. Wilcock created a large part of the infrastructure on which the mighty, multi-wheeled engines of counter-culture rolled.

Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall have been doing a comics biography of him.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Shiprock & Anchordog

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The CR Year-End Business Post, Week Two

image

* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the beginning of the year, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

* if you're not in contact with this site, or if you are but still mostly count on getting out the word via social media as to what you're up to, I hope you'll consider adding whenever you have something you want to share. I'm reducing my exposure to social media for my mental health and to be more efficient at my job. I hope to hear from you. I promise in return to be more professionally reliable in terms of answering missives and overtures I receive through that account.

* we should have a few more holiday interviews this week after five fun ones last week. We hope this is the last year we short you on quality holiday-period interviews. It's a different world now. There's a lot more news and news-churn during this period than 20 years ago, when Marvel firing people was the only holiday-period news. I appreciate your kindness here.

* further apologies are due in that I'm returning to a lot of interview subjects that one-by-one I failed to get up on the site in 2016, and it looks like I was particularly bad in terms of opting out of completing interviews with white people and dudes. The overall selection thus does not meet general standards as to inclusion and the range of work this site desires to cover over the long-term. That's on me; I apologize. I hope the site itself better seizes on the opportunity of representing the entirety of comics in every way throughout 2017, including a much free-wheeling 2017 holiday series. I appreciate and deserve the criticism.

* comics-makers!

* I hope you'll consider writing a physical letter to a comics-industry person or comics-creative that you admire. This year's loss of great swathes of cartooning talent tells us that all time is short. If you need help finding an address, drop me a line.

* finally, my best wishes to you and yours as we start a new year together. I'm hopeful. Not sure why, but let's go with it.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Geoffrey Hewer-Candee

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Megan Rose Gedris

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image * J. Caleb Mozzocco on Superman And The Justice League Of America Vol. 2. Rob Clough on a handful of CCS students and/or alumni. Johanna Draper Carlson on Nightlights. Todd Klein on Wonder Woman #8.

* Jason remembers the late Carrie Fisher.

* bundled extra: I don't think I passed along this announcement of Old Souls.

* OTBP: Conditions On The Ground.

* this might be my favorite Jessica Campbell cartoon yet, and I am collecting them all.

* Ben Towle selects a few personal favorites from 2015.

* checking in on Kevin Huizenga.

* I hope things get better for Roger Langridge in the new year! Roger is one of those special cartoonists on whose relative success and failure we will all be judged.

* finally, Xan Rice profiles -- at length -- the great Ralph Steadman.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, JP Trostle!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 47th Birthday, Douglas Wolk!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Andy Warner!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 3, 2017


It's January 3 And Here's The First Excellent Book Of 2017

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we didn't have to wait very long, did we?
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Michael Tisserand At Virtual Memories

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Rx Comics In Vancouver Announces Physical Store Closure

Here. They'll retain an on-line presence and exhibit at shows. Robin McConnell assures me this is a big blow to the Vancouver comics community, especially the alt-/art- leaning denizens.

All comic shops are important because of the culture and context they provide the act of reading comics, and because of the regular commerce they encourage. A lot of what I've heard anecdotally over the years, including information gleaned from the relative purge of stores in the Phoenix area over a decade, suggests that a lot of buyers that lose their comics shop simply stop buying.

In addition, there are fewer outlets that carry alt-/art- comics at all (I'm guessing without knowing that Rx did some of that), which makes every loss more keenly felt. There are also fewer incentives for those comics to be carried long-term via a national on-line delivery system, although digital versions should be a regular thing with comiXology. All of this I think is driving us towards a future where comics has to more fully encompass a range of purely commercial and advocacy/supportive options for the art form to thrive as it has over the last 15 years if not grow more potent. That's a tough road.
 
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Go, Look: Alissa Harris

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The CR Year-End Business Post, Week Two

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* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the beginning of the year, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

* if you're not in contact with this site, or if you are but still mostly count on getting out the word via social media as to what you're up to, I hope you'll consider adding whenever you have something you want to share. I'm reducing my exposure to social media for my mental health and to be more efficient at my job. I hope to hear from you. I promise in return to be more professionally reliable in terms of answering missives and overtures I receive through that account.
* we should have a few more holiday interviews this week after five fun ones last week. We hope this is the last year we short you on quality holiday-period interviews. It's a different world now. There's a lot more news and news-churn during this period than 20 years ago, when Marvel firing people was the only holiday-period news. I appreciate your kindness here.

* further apologies are due in that I'm returning to a lot of interview subjects that one-by-one I failed to get up on the site in 2016, and it looks like I was particularly bad in terms of opting out of completing interviews with white people and dudes. The overall selection thus does not meet general standards as to inclusion and the range of work this site desires to cover over the long-term. That's on me; I apologize. I hope the site itself better seizes on the opportunity of representing the entirety of comics in every way throughout 2017, including a much free-wheeling 2017 holiday series. I appreciate and deserve the criticism.

* comics-makers!

* I hope you'll consider writing a physical letter to a comics-industry person or comics-creative that you admire. This year's loss of great swathes of cartooning talent tells us that all time is short. If you need help finding an address, drop me a line.

* finally, my best wishes to you and yours as we start a new year together. I'm hopeful. Not sure why, but let's go with it.
 
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Go, Look: Amanda Clarke

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Go, Look: Hailey Thurrott

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on The Electric Sublime #1. Rob Clough on the comics of Melissa Mendes. Henry Chamberlain on Dead Inside #1. James Kaplan on 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #3.

* this post about Mell Lazarus writing a joke in advance of his death for publication after he passed away is pretty funny. A Mensa member and advocate, Lazarus was always a smart one.

* some nice person whose name I can't find talks to Josh Neufeld. Alex Dueben talks to Tom Gauld. Sean Kleefeld profiles Chip Sansom. Casey Gilly profiles/talks to the talented members of Team Supergirl.

* not comics: there's probably a line of analysis that could springboard from here about the likelihood of the younger generation engaging with comic shops, but mostly the institutional millennial hate continues to be weird and sort of funny.

* finally, MIchael Cavna looks at the treatment of Aleppo by editorial cartoonists given movement on that story in the last few days of 2016.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, RL Crabb!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Richard Bruton!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Hellen Jo!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 2, 2017


Go, Look: Nick Mullins Revamps Nijomu Site

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posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Please Consider Sending Tim O'Shea A Card

You can direct message Declan Shalvey on twitter -- @declanshalvey -- to get the current address of Tim O'Shea, the well-known and well-liked writer about comics who is now in hospice.

Please consider joining me in sending a supportive word or two Tim's way.
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Test Of Loyalty

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posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: E Jackson

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The CR Year-End Business Post, Week Two

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* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the beginning of the year, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

* if you're not in contact with this site, or if you are but still mostly count on getting out the word via social media as to what you're up to, I hope you'll consider adding whenever you have something you want to share. I'm reducing my exposure to social media for my mental health and to be more efficient at my job. I hope to hear from you. I promise in return to be more professionally reliable in terms of answering missives and overtures I receive through that account.

* we should have a few more holiday interviews this week after five fun ones last week. We hope this is the last year we short you on quality holiday-period interviews. It's a different world now. There's a lot more news and news-churn during this period than 20 years ago, when Marvel firing people was the only holiday-period news. I appreciate your kindness here.

* further apologies are due in that I'm returning to a lot of interview subjects that one-by-one I failed to get up on the site in 2016, and it looks like I was particularly bad in terms of opting out of completing interviews with white people and dudes. The overall selection thus does not meet general standards as to inclusion and the range of work this site desires to cover over the long-term. That's on me; I apologize. I hope the site itself better seizes on the opportunity of representing the entirety of comics in every way throughout 2017, including a much free-wheeling 2017 holiday series. I appreciate and deserve the criticism.

* comics-makers!

* I hope you'll consider writing a physical letter to a comics-industry person or comics-creative that you admire. This year's loss of great swathes of cartooning talent tells us that all time is short. If you need help finding an address, drop me a line.

* finally, my best wishes to you and yours as we start a new year together. I'm hopeful. Not sure why, but let's go with it.
 
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Go, Look: JR Zuckerberg

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posted 1:24 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Raymond Burki, RIP

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posted 1:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Julia Alekseyeva

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posted 1:22 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Roger Leiner, RIP

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posted 1:21 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Matt Emmons

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Anastasia Ricoy

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the great thing about this new comics reviewer is that he can write the review himself or get a younger writer about comics to do it but you still sort of know it's supposed to be him.

image* Joe Gordon on Star Trek: Boldly Go #1. Rob Clough on the comics of Romey Petite. Philippe Leblanc on some Pow Pow comics and I Thought YOU Hated ME.

* not comics: my favorite scene in Fellowship Of The Ring is when Frodo is at Rivendell and sits down with a bunch of YouTube videos on how to destroy the One Ring and then volunteers for the job. "I'm good, yeah. It's pretty straight-forward."

* Kieran Shiach talks to Jon Rivera.

* Heidi MacDonald notes that Geoff Johns hinted in a PR thing that he could be writing more comics starring characters from Watchmen. I thought that was sort of depressing and sad when they did it in Before Watchmen and sort of depressing and sad when they did it in that Rebirth comic. I suppose the last two steps are 1) it becomes darkly humorous in a way and then 2) no one gives a shit about it at all. We might skip #1 there. The lesson remains that even if you mean as much to a big media company as Alan Moore meant in the late 1980s, they will eventually feel perfectly happy making a couple of bucks with derivative exploitation of the property involved. Sausage: made.

* finally, Gary Tyrrell writes about Chris Onstad's announcement that Achewood is ending -- at least for now, but with a possibility of forever. I think that's a happy story, although I know some will disagree.
 
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Happy 61st Birthday, Lynda Barry!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 82nd Birthday, David McKee!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 44th Birthday, Marc Sobel!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 34th Birthday, Ethan Young!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Naoki Urasawa!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 40th Birthday, Andy Burns!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 1, 2017


Go, Download: Francois Vigneault's 2017 Calendar

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posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tony Isabella's Comics Industry Resolutions

Here. Tony Isabella is a longtime mainstream comics industry veteran and a vigorous advocate for causes important to him and others during the on-line option-making age.
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Ponder: Just A Sampling Of The Great Comics-Makers Lost To Us In 2016

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this is my first ten from memory; I'm sure a list of 25-30 is easily achievable; RIP all you glorious souls and thank you
 
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Raúl The Third

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Comics Reporter End Of The Year Business Post

* here are a few thoughts concerning on-site business for the end of the year/beginning of the next, to be repeated until the site slips back into normal service.

image* one thing I suggest every holiday season is that those of you inclined to have a little bit of downtime, and those of you who may put together a list of things to do in the next calendar year, consider adding "write a letter to a comics person you admire and tell them why you do so" to the things you might some spend time doing in the days or months ahead. Putting something down on paper, finding an address (most publishers will forward mail to freelance talent; I'll help if I can), and getting that out the door is fun: I've been doing it a couple of times a year for several years now (Marie was first!) and it's usually the best part of the week. I've been told directly it can mean the world to someone getting a letter. I hope you'll consider it.

* this post should come "below" a Holiday Interview on the scroll of the site. I hope there will be somewhere between eight to twelve interviews total. This is far below the glory years where we could do 20-28, but those are muscles slowly built. Since I'm focusing on people I screwed out of interviews earlier in the year, the series won't meet my own standards applicable to an assembled group. I seemed to screw over more men than women, for example. I hope you'll forgive me. My deepest thanks to all the interview subjects.

* an aspect of the site on which I could use your help is our birthdays section. By wishing you a happy birthday, we take note of your place and the place of others like you in the history of comics. We also introduce work and comics-makers to people not familiar with everyone out there. It's a nice nudge for your friend and peers, too, who can then wish you a more personal happy day. If you'd like to participate, Thanks in advance.

* my best wishes to you and yours as we start a New Year together. May it bring every joy possible, and every comfort necessary.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Amelia Onorato

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Steve Hamaker!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Nick Abadzis!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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