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
















May 31, 2017


Go, Look: Ruby Xia

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Go, Look: Russell Inking Ditko On ROM

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Go, Look: Four By August Roeseler

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Go, Look: Even More Cartoons Of The Month

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on The Chronicles Of Fortune. Sean Gaffney on Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun Vol. 7. Alex Hoffman on Dreamin' Sun Vol. 1. Paul O'Brien on X-Men: Blue #1-3. Michael Buntag on Flash #22.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, David Anthony Kraft!

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May 30, 2017


Go, Read: Getting Divorced In Comics

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Go, Look: Jim Rugg's Archie/L&R Tribute Art

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By Request Extra: Comics For Choice Needs Attention

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Here. Described further here. I'm not familiar with this particular aspect of IndieGoGo, but it makes sense that they would be trying different angles using the flexibility that dispensing funds that don't meet a set goal might give them.
 
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Go, Look: Dan DeCarlo Good Girl Cartoons

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Another Weekend, Another Thinkpiece On Marvel's General Woes

This time it's the Atlantic and the writer Asher Elbein. I might be reading some of these multiple times as they progress from personal site to professional site, or it may be that they all cover roughly the same points. Basically, the article indicts either excessive flourishes of modern superhero comics publishing or the core of it, and where you see the core ending and the excesses beginning probably says a lot about your point of view. I generally agree with this article and others that for its sales Marvel publishes too many comics for the market, has maybe their thinnest talent base since the early 1990s, made some general narrative decisions hastily and clumsily, backed away from some of the positives of their basic digital/print strategy without engaging a compensating alternative, should probably have a company policy or at least guidelines about public statements on social media from contracted talent, smothers promising titles by adding spin-offs, has a relaunch problem of debilitating proportions and seems unwilling to consider some of the tools that might turn things around for them.

imageI'm also sympathetic in that running a comics company has to be freaking horribly difficult, a hundred times more so today with historical shifts in audience makeup and delivery systems, 20X that in an era where media rights are crucial to the best creators, and 10X even that if what one hears about the necessity of Marvel Publishing making a profit quarter to quarter run true.

I think there's a way to restore greater health to the Marvel publishing line that is a mix of policies big and small, and that will take time that I bet the company still has (they probably don't have much more than that). We'll see if they happen. Usually they don't and something is found that alleviates the need for incremental change. Those sorts of "hand calmly on the shoulder, new solution stepping in" episodes probably won't last forever. The things that scare people about underperforming big companies is that 1) actual jobs are in the balance for a field that has a lot of talent operating in a financial danger zone, 2) at some point there could be a drastic, earth-shaking move at one of the companies that isn't just moving a highly-paid managerial team to expensive offices on the other coast but more along the lines of firing everybody and licensing two dozen comics titles to Ross Richie, and 3) the Direct Market so useful to a lot of comics publishers really only comes alive under the soft caress of three or four of them.

I hope everyone holds it together. I don't care if comics continue to be successful as they have been recently if all of the money being flushed upstairs from the body of the industry means things rot from the bottom up. I want sustainable careers and a vehicle for art that matters on every scale with which it engages. I still think that's possible. The key is reinvesting in talent. It's 1976 all over again but this time it's how creators benefit that's the issue, not comics' literary and cultural value.
 
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Go, Look: John Vestevich Images Gallery

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Go, Read: Saul Steinberg's View Of The World, By Chris Ware

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Here. I love it when Ware writes about comics, or art in that general realm. I generally like it whenever an artist takes on that task. Steinberg's a favorite of mine, too, a giant of the previous century big enough to have helped define it.
 
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Go, Look: Robot Woman

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I don't know that I ever commented on Drawn and Quarterly's Fall 2017 season. I look forward to the Tom Gauld and Leslie Stein -- two creators about as reliable as currently live on planet Earth -- and I'm very curious about the Trondheim/Findakly collaboration. I'll want them all, I'm sure.

* that's a cute concept for a series.

* a bunch of high-end Leiji Matsumoto books is great news. I've always wanted as much of him as I can buy. I hope they're as nice in my hands as they are made to sound here.

* the existence of this Facebook page would have seem to have implications for both the Bundled and By Request columns, so I will put a link in both.

* finally, I hadn't heard of this book about Gary Gygax so I thought it might be further away, but I guess it's already out. I think that whole D&D phenomenon is a fascinating story and the original crew including Gygax were all very iconic types in their own way. I know there are lot of claims and counter-claims about that history, too, so I hope this history is a rigorous one: a previous prose version indicates it was probably vetted pretty seriously before the graphic novel became a thing.
 
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Go, Look: A Blutch Page, Before Color And After

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Go, Look: Super-Mystery Comics Vol. 3 #4

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* good luck and godspeed to Benjamin Ismaïl of Reporters Without Borders, leaving the Asia-Pacific desk after several years of supportive duty.

image* Rob Clough on Days. Todd Klein on Shade The Changing Girl #6. Alex Hoffman on T. Joe Gordon on The Ether #1. Michael Buntag on Libby's Dad.

* not comics: I liked this piece on how to be a writer by Jacques Nyemb because it's pretty honest about the absolutely non-existent for entry, but still recognize the various stages you might go through in order to present yourself as hire-able by others.

* I like fan debates like this. A cool thing about the Thanos character is that he's an old-fashioned brawler in addition to being a cosmic threat. He's more like Attuma and Blastarr and other swollen thumbs of characters Marvel used a lot in its first 20 years, characters that like to smash things and bellow. That's an underrated part of the Marvel Universe, the giant creatures and men punching each other part. The original stories for which Darkseid was conceived seem much more interesting to me than anything Thanos has ever been featured in. And of course, one is derivative of the other, which still probably counts for something.

* that is indeed a fun, striking cover.

* finally, this Matti Hagelberg video is cool. I couldn't figure out how to embed it.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, Dean Haspiel!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Kevin Eastman!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Mike W. Barr!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Mark Price!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Tom Galambos!

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May 29, 2017


Less Is More: Twelve Tips For A Really Good Or Maybe Just Slightly Easier Comic-Con International

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By Tom Spurgeon

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Comic-Con International in San Diego is less than two months away. For all of the festivals and conventions springing up all over North America and around the world, San Diego Con is still The Big One for a big chunk of the American comics industry. It's the place to see mainstream genre-driven companies, book imprints and high-end alt-comics publishers all in one place. It's a wonderful place to take meetings. Even a minor player like this site by sitting down and talking to various publishers and businessmen has been able to do groundwork that has a positive impact for the next ten months. SDCC has a regal quality to it -- well, okay, as much as comics people can muster one -- for being an elder statesperson of such shows. They are very highly-skilled at solving logistical problems over time, and that's impressive to see up close. Comic-Con also allows comics a chance to see itself in the context of a wider entertainment industry. That can be a sobering or revelatory moment, depending on the witness, but it's a view I encourage everyone to take in at least once.

I've been doing a guide for a better experience in San Diego for over ten years now. It was one of the site's first hits. I hope to do a bigger, more comprehensive guide in the next few weeks if only because I love recycling old jokes and putting them in front of new audiences. For now, let's talk as if you've read one of these on here or elsewhere before now, and focus a bit on newer bits and pieces that have come up over the last few years.

This is a post for those going that have secured basic travel arrangements. Comic-Con has shut every door and window that I know of to score passes or snag a hotel room this late in the process, and I used to know them all.

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1. Consider First Class Tickets.

This is going to sound weird in an article directed at an industry that tries to do things as cheaply as possible, but it's worth a reminder that a lot of airlines offer discounted first class seats when they are unable to fill them. You might take a peek a month or so out. One of the advantages of a first-class ticket on a segment, say going home, is that it makes a nice end of your trip after a weekend of pushing and shoving and sore feet. If you're taking a red-eye, like I do, that upgrade can be the difference between starting a new day when you get home or going right back to bed and wrecking the first half of your work week.

Another advantage is that if you have luggage you need to bring or take home -- or both -- to facilitate your trip, you frequently get free bag check-ins with a first-class ticket. If you have two bags that you stuff to the ascribed weight limit, or plan on doing so, this might make up the difference between economy and first-class all by itself.

Delta in particular offers a steep discount close to flight time. I've had trips from one coast to the middle of the country where I live now come in at $49 for an upgrade.

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2. Maybe Park At The Airport.

I can't imagine this is welcome, and it might not even be totally legal, but this is the tip for which I've received the most thank-yous in recent memory. For about five years I was driving down to San Diego from Los Angeles. Rather than pay the $45 parking fee at my excellent hotel, I would drop my brother off or he me at the hotel and the driver would then park at the Airport. From there it was a shuttle ride to the airport itself and you could catch a bus, or you could walk to a train stop. When the time came to leave San Diego, the driver would do this in reverse, or sometimes even take a cab over to the airport. With four days at the show and $7 parking per day in one of those big lots, this cleared enough money for the hassle to be worthwhile.

There is some time spent, though, and you should look at the maps before you try it. It's possible this was only available to us because of the temporary parking situation, and that with regimented parking there's some sort of ticket-necessary step that would scotch this. Be careful.

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3. Consider Casual Clothes On Their Last Legs To Make Suitcase Room.

People made fun of this when I made it an underwear thing on last year's tips list, but it's really all about clothes in general and it's another tip for which I've received many thank-yous. Unless you're in that rare strata of working pro also hand-carrying to the convention, you may end up with more stuff going home than you had on arrival. Look at all those books! They're heavy and you need to find them room!

One way to ensure room in a suitcase is to to make your casual clothes -- your sleeping outfit, your underwear, maybe shorts or even gym shoes -- the worst ones you have at home, and thus disposable. Then, at the end of the weekend, just toss them in the trash (and double bag your underwear doing so). Look at it like they were going to be tossed eventually, so why not in a way that helps you out? Workout shoes in particular make a lot of room, and you can get in the habit of buying new ones after San Diego.

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4. Maybe Don't Do The Business Class Seats On Amtrak For The LAX To SAN Run.

This is a new one. I always recommend the business class ticket for Amtrak from San Diego to Los Angeles (or nearby) because the lines are funneled and the crowds are huge in a way that it might make it hard to find a seat on the train itself with the Economy option. I am going to reverse myself on this for trips Los Angeles to San Diego. Think about maybe skipping the business class upgrade on that segment unless 1) you're coming down at a mid-morning prime time, 2) if you're going solo and don't care with whom you sit.

According to my experience last year and talking to Amtrak's help line, you will not get an assigned seat just for being in business class. I swear you used to! Not anymore. Thus some of the comfort of that extra money spent is gone before you started, the part where you don't have to rush on and try to grab a seat for yourself or for two or more people together. Certainly the likelihood you'll get to sit next to a travel companion is pretty much ripped away 30 seconds in. People like nothing better than surging forward in a line and nerds are good at it.

All you're really buying is the ability to have a seat, to be able to sit down. That may still be worth it for you, but on most trips down it's always seemed to me the only overflow I ever saw was well south of Union Station, usually people going to the track at Del Mar.

I will skip it this year and tell you how it goes.

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5. Break Out Of The "Hollywood Ring" To Eat.

Here's a thing about the Hollywood presence in San Diego. These big entertainment companies, organized around film and TV, have not only over taken over parts of the hall and a substantial chunk of the programming schedules but in recent years they've settled into the first few blocks north of the convention center. Nearly every bit of empty commercial space has a big attraction of some kind, or has become a pop-up attraction. The crowds have responded -- both people with tickets to the show and large number that don't have them. This stuffed neighborhood feeling extends to places to eat and places to socialize on other folks' dimes. It may be even worse than just natural expansion. There were rumors last year that restaurants right next to the show that had open tables were keeping them open for celebrities and media types rather than well, you and me. I checked this out once and was turned away from a 2/3 full restaurant, but that could have been just regular rezzo issues. Plus, I'm kind of a mess.

My suggestion is to punch out of the first few blocks surrounding the show. There are a lot of locally-owned ethnic restaurants outside of the immediate ring that have seemed empty as heck the last few years. Good Italian; good Persian. If I don't have a reservation. that's where I head. Bandar, Sadaf, de'Medici, Rei Do Gado, Cafe Chloe and the Grant Grill are a few places I've eaten that are moderately to more expensively priced.

I've also walked in at cheaper places -- not that much cheaper, really, it's a big-city downtown -- that were quite good but they have a shorter lifespan so I'm not sure which ones have remained. Pretty sure Mint Downtown Thai was one. A friend of mine last year really liked Crab Hut. Pokez endures.

Eating in other San Diego neighborhoods is great, too, and easy to arrange in this age of Uber and Lyft. Since it is a summer weekend in San Diego more generally, I'd suggest finding something that lets you make a reservation. It strikes me as a great eating town.

With the show programming events into the evening and the comics industry proper no longer throwing as many primetime parties as they tried to manage once upon a time, spending a little more care with dinner and your core group of pals or workmates is a nice way to fill your off-duty hours.

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6. Take Meetings.

If you are an industry professional of any type that could use some face time with comics industry luminaries, San Diego is the best place to do it. Very few executives are so involved at the retail/on-floor level that they don't have time to meet with journalists or other interested potential business partners, except maybe hopeful creators. Further, a lot of the writers-about on hand are more interested in round-tabling a discussion with the cast of Supernatural -- Supernatural is this huge specific to Comic-Con success story someone should write about someday; just try getting that giveaway bag -- than they are at picking an Editor-In-Chief's brain about forthcoming publishing strategies or discussing with comic-shop owners what works or doesn't work in their store. That shouldn't stop anyone with an industry interest in terms of coverage or participation from reaching out; the opposite should be true, in fact. People have slots -- SLOTS -- to fill, and you can fill them.

Even if it's just an informal meeting of your people over drinks, Comic-Con's a great time to step back and take stock of the second half of any publishing or working year spent in one of these industries. I sometimes feel we survive Comic-Con rather than making use of it. Use that time to reflect, to communicate and prepare to finish the calendar year strong. If you can't think of a meeting to have,

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7. You Can Maybe See Some Big Panels Again?

I don't want to promise anything, but I use outside writers and support people from LA for CR at the show, and each of the last two years the person in this role talked about walking into Hall H mid-day with a minimum line wait. We're certainly to all eyes past the bonkers era of those deliciously fevered Twilight fans, and studios approach the big halls differently now. I also suspect there are more fans there for the general experience or a variety of favorites as opposed to soulful devotion to 1-2 franchise juggernauts, but just the possibility of this is quite the testament to how well Comic-Con International is organized.

Now, just because I wrote this it will probably be out-of-this-world again for a couple of years, but I thought it worth mentioning. No harm in checking out a line before you stand in it, and some might be worth checking out for the first time in a decade or more.

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8. The Bartender Outside The Eisner Ballroom Has A Shorter Line.

I see this every year. There's a bartender -- sometimes two, maybe? -- inside the Hilton ballroom where the Eisner Awards take place, and one in the hallway outside the ballroom. The one in the hallway almost never has a line.

In the past you've also been able to carry in. There's a deli place to buy beer right across from the other Hilton near the Omni/Hard Rock nexus you can google and then use to shove a few cheap drinks into a backpack. Or 30. It's a long night.

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9. Do Panels Half-Way Through To Minimize Time Lost In A Waiting Line.

I do panel drop-ins enough anymore that it might constitute a tip. In general, I suggest an "every half-day" strategy to planning your time at conventions. Find those events you have to do and if possible make your entire AM or PM devoted to doing that event. That way you get done what you need to get done and everything else is a bonus. So if you're dying to see your childhood hero Tom Palmer talk about inking Big John Buscema, or Los Bros reminisce, or whatever: you get in line for that one a bit early and drink in the whole event.

I do something different with the majority of the panels I see, in that I drop in about a third to half way through. You can't do this with the mega-panels, and you can only rarely do this with some of the more intimate offerings featuring bigger stars of the mainstream comics world (aka anything David Brothers moderates). There are also panels like the live-drawing panels and with con favorites like Stan Sakai that are always a tough seat. Most panels do have seats open, though, and if you just want a taste of what they're like, you can usually walk right in between ten to forty minutes in and save yourself some line time. Be respectful and stay near the back if you can, and walk deliberately in and out so as to minimize the anxiety you're causing the panelists.

As to the picture illustrating this point, I used it because it's a well-attended panel, but you can certainly see plenty of seats in there.

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10. The Big Rules Of Networking: Sideways To Go Up; Be Your Own Agent.

It's amazing to me year after year how fundamentally bereft of basic networking skills comics professionals and creators seem to be, and this isn't a group held to a lofty standard in that area. If you're going to meet people and get work done via the meeting of people, do take advantage of all official opportunities to do so. Comics can be quite good at spotting overpowering work in a way that prose and film and TV aren't, I think. I'd much rather cast Hamlet from unknown actors than start a shared-universe comics line from unpublished comics people. If you're ready to go, that will almost always be spotted so any chance to do so that's convenient to someone else should be seized. But the more conversational stuff? Getting your name and face out there? A little trickier.

First, check in with anyone you already know beforehand, if only on-line, about the chance to say hi and explicitly about anyone you might want to meet so they can help you do this. It's peers on either side that almost always get you access to someone "higher up." And it's those same peers of yours that will be the higher-ups in a half-decade's time.

I think people worry too much about not being cool, but really the only faux pas is to break into someone's social interaction or focused business time in a rude or brusque way. If you can avoid doing that, you're gold. If you want to meet someone talking with someone you know, sometimes just standing in your pal's line of sight for several seconds will give you an idea how you'll be treated stepping forward. In general, people want to introduce people they know to other people they know, to get credit for the meet and just to be friendly. I think we all can tell when that isn't going to happen. No one minds friendly conversation. The second skill is to be able to tell when you're just going to get a hi how are you and when you can actually push the conversation in a utilitarian-for-you direction. The first time is often just a meet and greet, a conversation setting up another conversation down the line.

A key for those conversations, as well? Be your own agent. Your friend is exhausted and might be hung over or just baffled by the light display on the Krull relaunch exhibit across the way. Introduce yourself when you have the space to do so. Be able to handle your part of the chat. Remember no one specifically wants to see you fail -- not until you're famous, anyway. If nothing else works, screw up your courage and imagine you're the cheesy salesman of you.

In general? Don't worry about this stuff too much. I know very few people who have wormed their way into any job or gig in comics solely based on their social abilities, and know ten times that number for whom conversation is and remains something akin to death on toast. It can be useful, though, for many people. Just be nice and read the room, even if by room it's three people facing each other as an island on a sea of costumed, exhausted madness.

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11. Follow-Up Immediately... Or Sort-Of Immediately.

It's always disconcerting how many people you talk to at San Diego that mention the same plans for this year that they had last year. I think part of this is that helpful follow-up just doesn't take place during the just-after period of collapse/recovery. Don't let things slide. The collective memory for all conventions is way shorter than it used to be, so if you don't follow up soon it may feel like you put it off for too long a while. I suggest Wednesday for brief catch-ups, just saying hi, or thanks, and the next week's Tuesday for anything that requires action -- that delay out of respect for the other person's recovery time. If you actually talked about dates to get things in, or to touch base, follow those explicitly.

One great thing is if you're hitting the circuit at more than this show, and if you do your part in prompt, professional fashion, the Fall shows serve as a reasonable place to bring up the summer connection and ask after it if nothing has yet moved on that front. I know that I get dinged a lot at the September/October weekends about promises made in July, and I think rightly so. No one wants to come back from an intense working weekend with more work, but that's the nature of the gig. Do your part.

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12. It's Not The Distances, It's What's In Your Way

It seems weird to suggest limiting your walking at a place where walking is everything, but here we are. The spread of Hollywood-related activities across the street has made getting to and from the convention center extremely difficult. I'd suggest doing what you can to limit the amount of walking you have to do. For instance, just a few years ago Jeff Smith and I moved a morning meeting from the hotel where we were both staying to a hotel with a great breakfast spread and a mostly quiet room. It took us each about 40 minutes to get there and back (a 15-minute roundtrip without people in the way), and I can't imagine any sane people walking a half-hour plus bonus period for the sake of a few more muffins now.

This mass of people has also put a great crimp on leaving for lunch (I carry in a small lunch and eat it on the back porch), and the time you spent getting to happy-hour parties or to the Eisners. It's also much more tiring. Inside the convention center you should familiarize yourself with the back of the convention center in terms of getting upstairs, with the outer hallways more generally, and maybe not take a trip to the showbiz end of the expo floor during the prime times of Friday or Saturday. Many of the comics panels are at the far end of the show now, too, so work in extra time to make it all the way to those.

If you're headed up more than a few blocks away from the Convention Center, maybe take a look at the bus schedules for a shuttle that gets you close. No shame there; that's what they're for.

My Mom was sweet enough to ask after what San Diego was like and so I took her last year. She's an old comics fan and just wanted to see the thing that kept popping up in her newspaper and in conversations with her friends. She's in her 70s, and had a great time, and was blown away by crowds and fascinated by the panels, and bought some comics. Still, the single thing she remembers more than any other is the wear and tear on her feet, and how hard it could be to get from one place to another even if you could see it from where you started. So comfortable shoes, everyone, more than ever, and think like a super-lazy person.

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photos not ganked from historical sites are by Whit Spurgeon, including the one below

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Go, Look: Murilo Martins

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Your 2017 Reuben Award + NCS Divisional Award Winners

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Ann Telnaes is your winner of the Reuben Award, given out by the National Cartoonists Society as their "Outstanding Cartoonist Of The Year." The Reuben is one of the handful of great awards in all of comics, and the NCS awards is a strong awards program more generally. It also hits a lot of areas of cartooning other awards programs don't.

Telnaes had an extremely strong 2016 working in various ways within the traditional editorial cartoon format, including well-received live-reaction sketches and clever animated work. In a year when so many cartoonists distinguished themselves with lively Trump caricatures, Telnaes' was as strong as anyone's and she did the best Hillary Clinton.

In a strong night for women at the event, the great Lynda Barry won the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. It was presented to her by her close friend Matt Groening. Ruby Xia won the $5000 Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship. She's an animation major at Sheridan College.

This marks the second year in a row the strip-dominated Reuben went to an editorial cartoonist, with Michael Ramirez winning in 2016. Past winners include everyone you could possibly think of as a major name in North American cartooning, including Roz Chast, Charles Schulz and Milton Caniff.

This year's black-tie awards program and NCS weekend for which it is a highlight was held in the great cartooning bastion of Portland, Oregon. The ceremony was Saturday night.

What follows is the NCS divisional nominations list, with the winners from the weekend in bold.

EDITORIAL CARTOONS
* Ruben Bolling
* Michael Luckovich
* Jen Sorensen

NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION
* Anton Emdin
* Glen Le Lievre
* David Rowe

FEATURE ANIMATION
* Moana -- Eric Goldberg (Character Animation)
* Zootopia -- Cory Loftis (Character Design)
* Finding Dory -- Erick Oh (Character Animation)

TELEVISION ANIMATION
* The Simpsons -- Eric Goldberg
* Atomic Puppet -- Steve Lambe & Alan Stewart
* The Loud House -- Chris Savino

NEWSPAPER PANELS
* Loose Parts -- Dave Blazek
* Nick and Zuzu -- Nick Galifianakis
* Off The Mark -- Mark Parisi

GAG CARTOONS
* Pat Byrnes
* Joe Dator
* Will McPhail

ADVERTISING / PRODUCT ILLUSTRATION
* Anton Emdin
* Luke McGarry
* Dave Whamond

GREETING CARDS
* Dave Blazek
* Maria Scrivan
* Debbie Tomassi

COMIC BOOKS
* Giant Days -- Max Sarin & Liz Fleming
* Locke & Key -- Gabriel Rodriguez
* Usagi Yojimbo -- Stan Sakai

GRAPHIC NOVELS
* Cousin Joseph -- Jules Feiffer
* Black Dahlia -- Rick Geary
* The Red Virgin And The Vision Of Utopia -- Bryan Talbot

MAGAZINE FEATURE / ILLUSTRATION
* Jon Adams
* Teresa Burns Parkhurst
* Peter Kuper

ONLINE COMICS -- LONG FORM
* Octopus Pie -- Meredith Gran
* Band By Band -- Kathleen Jacques
* Check, Please! -- Ngozi Ukazu

ONLINE COMICS -- SHORT FORM
* "Sarah's Scribbles" -- Sarah Anderson
* "Donald And John" -- Ruben Bolling
* "Sheldon" -- Dave Kellett

BOOK ILLUSTRATION
* Mike Lester
* Mark Tatulli
* Dave Whamond

NEWSPAPER STRIPS
* Pickles -- Brian Crane
* Dustin -- Steve Kelley & Jeff Parker
* Pajama Diaries -- Terri Libenson

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Congratulations to all winners and all nominees.

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Go, Look: Hellen Jo As A Search Term On Pinterest

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* there's still enough time for the Jess Nevins/Shaenon Garrity collaboration to make its initial goal, although I'll repeat I'm surprised it hasn't already given those creators' general pedigree.

* Peter Cline's site indicates a Kickstarter on its front page; don't know anything other than that as it was difficult for me to get to specific pages.

* no joke, I sort of wonder how someone with anxiety disorder even makes it through a crowd-funder, but this one looked pretty safe from the start.

* this Karl Kesel project looks like to make it, too.

* the existence of this Facebook page would have seem to have implications for both the Bundled and By Request columns, so I will put a link in both.

* this bears watching. As far as I can it's using an element of one of the crowd-funder platforms in a way to facilitate the connection to the material that such sites afford without it being dependent on a certain kind of fundraising to move forward. I could be wrong, in which I case I need to watch it more to figure out what it is.

* I was to see this Christopher Sebela-related crowd-funder make its initial goals. He strikes me as an underutilized resource in the overall creative landscape. Plus dude's car got totaled. I think they had to get quite a bit beyond their initial goal for that situation to be addressed, but I have to imagine every bit of success helps right now, too.

* congrats to Kilgore Books surging past its initial ask with double-digit days left. That's a good line-up.

* finally, I like the look of this Dunce comic.
 
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Go, Look: Paste's Best Ten Artists Of The Year So Far

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Go, Look: Rich Buckler Images Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on The Interview. Todd Klein on Hal Jordan And The GL Corps #12. Alex Hoffman on The Fever Closing. Henry Chamberlain on Not My Small Diary #9. Ginnis Tonik on What Parsifal Saw. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Injustice 2 #1.

* Sean Edgar talks to Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Kim Jooha talks to Chris Butcher.

* here's a nicely-conceived article on women working in mainstream comics to great effect stretching back to the 1950s. This is a needed corrective to a floated notion that comics was woman-free until relatively recently, instead of women just being vastly underrepresented.

* North American editorial cartoonists tend to take Memorial Day as seriously as they do any major holiday not Christmas. Traditionally that's been because of the chance to do something non-partisan, but I think it's more generally just a chance to do a cartoon on something about which people feel strongly. Here's the growing Cagle directory of affiliated cartoons for this year on the holiday, and it's always interesting to see how much or how little cartoonists do with a single subject.

* finally, Bob Temuka shares his state of comics 2017.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Aaron McGruder!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Ryoichi Ikegami!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Max Ink!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Larry Marder!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Jim Salicrup!

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May 28, 2017


CR Sunday Interview: Eric Reynolds

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One of the worst-kept secrets from TCAF became wider news this weekend as Fantagraphics Associate Publisher and longtime award-winning editor Eric Reynolds has announced his return to alt-comics anthology-making, with the three-times-a-year Now creeping into its book catalog listings. The first issue is touted as 128 pages with a $9.99 price tag. It will have an ISBN and thus be moved through book retail as well as Fanta's own store, its festival presence and through the Direct Market. It's full-color.

imageThe volumes will feature stand-alone stories from what Fantagraphics PR calls "a diverse mix of emerging and established talent."

First issue line-up includes:

* Gabrielle Bell
* Sara Corbett
* Antoine Cossé
* Eleanor Davis
* Kaela Graham
* Sammy Harkham
* Conxita Herrero
* JC Menu
* Rebecca Morgan (cover image above)
* Tommi Parrish
* Tobias Schalken
* Dash Shaw
* Daria Tessler
* Noah Van Sciver
* Malachi Ward

That's a heck of a first issue. Reynolds is an interesting editor for this anthology landscape as most of what's being done with a group release in mind is by young to very young cartoonists. Reynolds isn't of that world and I think as a result might be more rigorous in terms of which new cartoonists he finds specifically interesting. His work on MOME was pretty great, and some of those cartoonists are here -- in a different place in their career, perhaps thanks in part to the opportunities created by their appearances in that anthology.

Now #1 is scheduled for September 2017.

*****

TOM SPURGEON: What made you decide to get back in? What about the comics world makes you want to take another shot at it?

ERIC REYNOLDS: It had been nagging at me for the past year. When MOME ended, I felt like the landscape had changed and that there were more platforms than ever for cartoonists to get their work out there, and I felt good about ending it when I did. But somehow, over the past few years, I felt like the pendulum had swung back.

The idea really coalesced after last year's Short Run festival. I went to that show with a plan to really canvas the show and see what was there. I don't get to actually shop extensively at shows very often, and I ended up dropping close to a couple of hundred bucks, buying anything that looked even remotely interesting. There was a lot of good work that I felt was probably being overlooked because of either the signal to noise ratio or even just the harsh realities of distribution. If you don't live in a region that has a show like Short Run, you're likely to never be exposed to a lot the work that's there. And I came away from that show realizing that Fantagraphics can provide a platform to get the work out there. Not in huge numbers, necessarily, but in a way that not everyone has access to, whether it's Diamond distribution to comic book stores, general trade bookstores, Amazon, as well as digital platforms like Kindle, Comixology, Google Play, etc.

Once I finally decided I had to do this, I just started sending out emails to cartoonists I admire, and the enthusiastic response -- my call for entries for the first issue yielded enough material for three issues -- has really buoyed me and made me think that this was very much a necessary thing right now.

Another reason was that there are just more good cartoonists out there right now than we could possibly offer book deals to. And, frankly, a lot of good cartoonists who might not be ready for a book deal yet, and just need some room to grow.

I guess I should also add that the election absolutely motivated me, too. I think I sent out my first "call for entries" within a day or two of the inauguration. I have no desire to make Now overtly a political thing, but art is political, and it felt like something that I actually could do that would contribute to the greater good.

imageSPURGEON: What made you decide to do this one solo? You did MOME with Gary [Groth], although I'm sure his schedule meant only intermittent involvement. Did you consider a partner? What can you do as a solo act you maybe couldn't with a partner?

REYNOLDS: Oh, I don't know. I didn't decide to not have a partner, per se. I just decided that this was what I wanted to do.

I'm really not flying solo. Folks in the office, like Jacq Cohen, Jason Miles, Anna Pederson, and RJ Casey have all been enthusiastically putting work under my nose. Several cartoonists have been great advocates for work that they think I should be paying closer attention to. Jacob Covey is art directing and helping me create the best possible package. It's a team effort. When we started MOME, the reason that Gary and I co-edited initially was because at the time, he and I were talking one day and I was telling him that I had an idea for an anthology, and in the course of doing so, it became clear that he had been ruminating on a very similar idea, so we just decided to do it together.

SPURGEON: What does right now in comics publishing demand from an anthology? What function does an anthology serve?

REYNOLDS: It depends on who it's serving; whether you're talking about the contributors, the booksellers, or the reader. I'm trying to serve all three of those bases.

A long of its function has to do with boosting that signal-to-noise ratio. It's routinely thrown out there that we live in a new golden age of comics, and I think that's really true. There's also this conventional wisdom that the entry point for a young cartoonist is easier than ever thanks to the internet, self-publishing, what have you, but I think that's only true up to a point, because bookselling in general continues to be consolidated into the hands of fewer entities, and I think we're in a better position to navigate that world than a lot of folks can on their own or with a micro-publisher -- no disrespect to the many excellent micro-publishers out there right now.

More to the point, I see the function of this anthology as being a outlet for cartoonists to experiment in a healthy way, and to gain experience in working for print in particular. It's also meant as an outlet for shorter work, specifically, which is something that I think has sometimes gone by the wayside in this whole graphic novel revolution of the past 15 or more years. For readers, it's intended to be an easy way to get exposed to as wide a variety of work out there without having to spend a fortune at a show like SPX or Short Run, and to turn them on to an author's work.

I'm also making a concerted push to be as inclusive as possible and, frankly, broaden my own scope by pushing myself to seek out underrepresented voices. As you well know, we still operate in a field that is predominantly white and male. I feel a real responsibility to try to be a force for good on that front, in terms of diversity. Early on in this process, I had a conversation with Eleanor Davis that really cemented that for me. I'm aware that, to put it bluntly, I'm not getting any younger, and as you age it's all too easy to kind of settle into a comfortable groove in terms of the kind of art or entertainment you engage. So there's a little bit of me wanting to push myself and make sure I'm not getting too comfortable over here, and to try and be a force for good on that front by showcasing how much diversity is out there.

I also see this as an opportunity to publish more international cartoonists. There is so much good work going on internationally that I sometimes feel like I'm swimming in great looking foreign submissions. But translated books require so much more work and have a much higher overhead than books written in English, not just in terms of translation, but in terms of production and editing, as well, and we can only do a finite amount of these projects per year. This gives me the opportunity to take a chance on some cartoonists that I otherwise may not have a chance to work with.

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SPURGEON: Can you clarify your aspirations for this anthology in terms of what it does for the talent participating in it? I know last time you felt it important people have a place to publish that kept them working in an industry down-period.

REYNOLDS: I hope it not only gives them a place to publish work that otherwise might not easily fit elsewhere, but also inspire them to do that kind of work, if that makes sense, and to expose their work to fresh eyes.

SPURGEON: The great anthology question: serials/no serials?

REYNOLDS: No serials.

SPURGEON: Whoa. [laughs] How'd you make that decision?

REYNOLDS: Serials wore me down in MOME. Schedules get blown, and a three-chapter series ends up either being spread out over more than three issues, or balloons into more chapters than originally envisioned, or even gets abandoned before completion. I'm not pointing a finger at anyone -- it happens, and I just want to avoid it this time around. I suppose I could change my mind. More than anything, though, on a quarterly schedule, it just seems like a disservice to the reader. Serialization works better on at least a monthly or bimonthly schedule. I feel very strongly that I want each issue of Now to satisfy on its own, with zero additional context or whatever.

*****

* cover by Rebecca Morgan for Now #1
* photo of Eric Reynolds by Whit Spurgeon, early/mid 2010s
* images from #1 from Kaela Graham, Conxita Herrero and Noah Van Sciver [below]

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Don't Forget The Drawn And Quarterly Sale Going All Weekend; Buying Comics Is A Great Thing

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I like a good summer book sale, and several publishers will have them over the next few months to get some cash flow moving and to better manage inventory. I'm not sure the link I was provided -- and which I put on the picture above as a click-through -- goes directly to where it's intended, but you can figure it out on the page I'm sure. The prices are cut right in the catalog entries for the individual books, so make sure that's going on.

There's a ton of great material. I really like the Ware sketchbooks at that price, and I thought Hospital Suite and Susceptible were vastly under-appreciated when they were initially out. Hard to go wrong with the D+Q line-up.
 
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One Thing I Forgot To Say We Did TCAF Weekend Is Visit The New Beguiling Location

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It was fun. I bought a Joe Decie Retrofit comic book and the latest issue of Berlin. My brother bought two Saga trades.
 
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OTBP: Ask A Cat

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 47th Birthday, Tony Consiglio!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Lynn Johnston!

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FFF Results Post #477 -- Summertime

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Recommend Five Comics To Read This Summer. Every Comic Has To Be From This Year, Published Or Unpublished." This is how they responded.

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Sous les Bombes Sans la Guerre, L. L. de Mars (Editions Tanibis)
2. Mirror Mirror II, Julia Gfrörer/Sean T. Collins (2dcloud)
3. 2001, Blaise Larmee (2dcloud)
4. There's Nothing There, Patrick Kindlon/Maria Llovet (Black Mask Studios)
5. Groenland Vertigo, Hervé Tanquerelle/Isabelle Merlet (Casterman)

*****

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Dave Knott

* Crickets #6 -- Sammy Harkham
* Pope Hats #5 -- Ethan Rilly
* Slasher #1 -- Charles Forsman
* Ganges #6 -- Kevin Huizenga
* Titan #5 -- François Vigneault

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Uncomfortably Happily, Yeon-sik Hong (D+Q)
2. On The Camino, Jason (Fantagraphics)
3. Fante Bukowski Two, Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
4. You & a Bike & a Road, Eleanor Davis (Koyama)
5. Crawl Space, Jesse Jacobs (Koyama)

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Last Girl Standing, Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
2. Monograph by Chris Ware, Chris Ware (Rizzoli)
3. Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art, David Roach (Dynamite Entertainment)
4. Behaving Madly: Zany, Loco, Cockeyed, Rip-off, Satire Magazines, Craig Yoe and Ger Apeldoorn (IDW)
5. Dirty Duck, Bobby London (IDW)

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Volcano Trash, Ben Sears (Koyama)
2. Tarantula, Alexis Ziritt & Fabian Rangel Jr. & Evelyn Range (Adhouse)
3. My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
4. California Dreamin', Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
5. Rock Candy Mountain, Kyle Starks (Image)

*****

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Mario Filipe

1. Le collectionneur de briques, Pedro Burgos (6 pieds sous terre) [F]
2. Nagual, Diniz Conefrey (Quarto de Jade) [P]
3. Deserto/Nuvem, Francisco Sousa Lobo (Chili Com Carne) [P]
4. They Live in Me, Jesse Jacobs (Hollow Press) [E]
5. Mirror Mirror II, edited by Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins (2dcloud) [E]

*****
*****
 
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May 27, 2017


Not Comics: Tokuriki Tomikichiro

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OTBP: You're The One That I Want

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Go, Look: Alberto Breccia Original Mort Cinder Art Page

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Mark Wheatley!

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May 26, 2017


Go, Look: Krish Raghav

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Go, Look: More Wordless Mid-Century Gag Cartoons

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Go, Look: Ronald Searle's Coloring Process

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Man With Weapons, Body Armor And An Apparent Hatred For Cops Arrested At Phoenix Comics Show

Here. This is terrifying in every way, and I'm grateful for the person that alerted the police about their acquaintance. It sounds on a first read/watch that the show, the people there, and the police themselves handled it in an affirmative way.

As to the thinking about, well... shit. I don't know if people dressing up at shows makes it harder to detect someone with bad intentions or whatever, going by the logic that someone in body armor would stand out at a collectible ceramics show more than they might at a comic show. I actually think not, given how aberrative behavior functions and the factors involved in what actually sets people off. The thought of it is not an indictment in even the tiniest way of those fun-loving communities, nor is it one if that does play any sort of practical role with how big shows do their security. I know people are sensitive enough it will be taken that way by someone, so my apologies. It's an outcome of the violence-as-solution culture of comics and western pop-culture more generally, I think.

No matter how this one came together and then came apart, there's certainly ample opportunity for tragedy at every assemblage of people everywhere now. I sometimes have the same feeling on Monday mornings after big shows that I used to have escaping injury as a young person playing sports. All shows need to think about these issues, in brisk, positive and open ways.
 
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Go, Look: Beautiful Bodyguard Sundays

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* the PAX events are going global. Those convention are still the gold standard for webcomics leveraging themselves into the space that is the subject of the comic strip.

* this article talks about Melanie Gillman's crowd-funder for a first volume of As The Crow Flies. That's an admirable comic. It seems poised to make its initial goals. It has the Spike Trotman stamp of approval, which I would guess to be a very good thing.

* finally, a relaunched web site by Eric Haven. Eric Haven is a very funny man.
 
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If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Gang Busters #6

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* it makes perfect sense to me that the current use of Captain America by Marvel is based in part on the clever work Ed Brubaker and his collaborators did with the character several years ago now.

* here's an intriguing list of comics reviewers and writers-about-comics, mostly from the younger generation, compiled by a member of that generation (I hope I have that right). What might be interesting is how scattered they might feel in terms of choice of on-line representation.

* Joe Gordon on World War Tank Girl #1.

* finally, it's been a rough year for comics thus far and the closing of the satirical magazine Penguen one of the worst stories.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Marc Arsenault!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Dave Roman!

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Happy 50th Birthday, James Kochalka!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Nick Bertozzi!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Raina Telgemeier!

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May 25, 2017


Pierre Seron, RIP

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OTBP: Japanese Notebooks

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Go, Read: Hannah Berry On Her Probably Last-Ever Graphic Novel And Being Priced Out Of Making Comics

imageHere. You have to scroll down a bit. This is as bracing an examination of a specific but very relatable across-the-board issue in comics: most people can't make them at a pace that allows for a living, even people with a lot of skill. Some people are trying to do so by being as productive as possible all the time every day forever, but that doesn't usually end up working, either. The result is a poorer art form.

This isn't a new issue. There are strip and comic-book artists of the past that produced work at a pace where making a living involved a brutal amount of time spent on the work. I think it's relevant again because you have a few new paths to this sort-of place and more people willing to make an attempt.

I'm not sure what there is to do, either. Certainly every funding and support mechanism imaginable needs to be formed and reinforced and so on. I think comics is a uniquely sparse profession that way. I think being honest about what's out there and what's possible for most people helps. I think creators need to have the best contracts right now, including and maybe primarily when it comes to media right. I also think we should rigorously question every avenue of getting books to readers in terms of their maximizing reward to the creator, make any system with middlemen really justify their existence. Even then, making art is super tough.
 
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Go, Look: Art From FOOM Magazine #9

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Bundled Extra: Anders Nilsen Gives Comics A Hello Again Wave, Pre-Selling His Tongues

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Anders Nilsen popped up in my inbox a couple of days ago touting the first issues of his serialized Tongues, a book he's self-publishing ahead of its already-arranged book deal once collected. Self-serialization is something more than a few cartoonists are exploring, perhaps most notably Sammy Harkham and Kevin Huizenga with their series Crickets and Ganges respectively. I think it's a wonderful thing to try, although I dream even more of a specialty publisher making this model work for a lot of cartoonists including a few that just don't have the skills or mindset to pursue doing it on their own.

Looks like pre-orders are going on right now. I hope he sells a million. Anders is a very admirable cartoonist.
 
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Go, Look: Travis Charest Pages

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DHX Media Acquires Iconix' 80 Percent Stake In Peanuts

imageThe Canadian company DHX Media -- best known for its ownership of the Teletubbies brand -- has acquired the 80 percent of all that is Peanuts from Iconix in a move designed to stabilize the latter company's shaky financial standing. I don't have any clue as to what this means, but my hunch is that this is DHX is a more stable home and that the size of the purchase would make the property something the company would want to put to use. You could probably build a pretty good cable channel just from its higher-end, well-scrubbed kids properties, and Peanuts is not only a solid performer there's a lot of it.

Another bit of interesting news is that the Peanuts movie from 2015 did well enough internationally to be called an overall success. I'd always heard 3X the costs make a movie a success -- and it didn't make that -- but I also know that with a property like Peanuts even a modest performance can infuse a staid set of narratives and characters with modern relevancy.

Such a move has been floated for a while although I guess the final trigger-pulling was a surprise. When Iconix was known to be looking for a buyer about six months ago I asked Eric Reynolds, Associate Publisher at Fantagraphics -- which of course has a long relationship with that material in the publishing world -- if there would likely be any changes and he said he didn't think so. Fantagraphics of course has finished its run of black-and-white hardcovers but continues with paperbacks, a color Sunday series and the occasional themed book.
 
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Go, Look: Dinosaurs

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* here's a twitter-thread about making things more effective for retailers by shortening hours, or at least offering a counter-notion to an assertions that more hours = more better.

* hey, there are summer workshops to take at CCS. That would be fun to do one day.

* speaking of our fine institutions of cartoon-making learning, SAW is offering up an on-line course with Emily Flake. That sounds neat.

* MegaCon Orlando this weekend; a bunch of folks are fond of that show, although there's not much for my old, withered self to do at a straight-up old-school convention like that one other than stare at the spectacle of it and catch up with old friends.

* finally, Gary Tyrrell has a fine piece up on Portland as a suitable setting for the forthcoming NCS weekend. Good luck to all potential awards winners.
 
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If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This

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

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

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official opening tonight
 
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Go, Look: Gangster Doodles

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Bob Temuka muses on the later-career mastery of Jaime Hernandez.

* it's worth a reminder now and then that a lot of big-tent genre franchise fans are very conservative, and it's a streak you can find in almost all the corporate fandoms. It's amazing to me now how few gay people are even hinted at on many of these properties, and of course all the big connected superhero universes have spent time in similarly uncomfortable places trying to figure out how they want to reflect that obvious aspect of modern life. The broader the narrative net, the more uncomfortable the absences.

* James Kochalka is turning 50 and he's going to play a concert -- perhaps his last one -- to mark the occasion. If your lingering memory of James is that of a young man fighting with older cartoonists about the importance of craft, this whole bullet-point may be weird.

* Gary Tyrrell on We Have No Idea.

* I assume the symbolism of the rough shapes on this cover is intentional, or I'm just really tired. I like it if it's the former. I apologize if it's the latter.

* finally, some not comics: I love specific fetishes finding their way to a series of artistic expressions. Not safe for most places of work.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Terry Nantier!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Marc Hempel!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Barry Windsor-Smith!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Ken Avidor!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Sal Velluto!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Stan Sakai!

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May 24, 2017


Go, Look: Núria Tamarit

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Not Comics: Mitchell Hooks Pulp Art Covers

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Festivals Extra: CXC Logo And Special Guest List PR

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I hope you won't mind if I spend one post talking about the special guest and logo announcements for CXC 2017. That's the show I serve as Executive Director. A few years ago I probably wouldn't have bothered cringing my way through a self-serving post like this one, but we lack basic-information PR avenues on-line right now to an astonishing degree.

imageAnyway, this year's show special guest list is announced here.

That's Derf Backderf, Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Darrin Bell, Howard Cruse, Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kat Fajardo, Emil Ferris, Ann Marie Fleming, Matt Fraction, Jennifer Holm, Kevin Huizenga, Nilah Magruder, Ann Nocenti, Laura Park, Dav Pilkey, Mimi Pond, Dana Simpson, Chris Sprouse, Leslie Stein, Tillie Walden, Connor Willumsen and Judd Winick.

I'm very happy with this line-up. It's a mix of superstars and superstars-to-be, great books of the moment and great entire libraries of past, formidable work. A significant number of major disciplines/forms of comics have representation. I worked with a programming committee that did a great job building a list according to our ambitions and standards: Jenny Robb, Laurenn McCubbin, Caitlin McGurk, Jared Gardner and Jeff Smith.

People have asked if we're adding more. We don't have plans to do any more searching, but in 2015 and 2016 we did add some folks (Mark Osborne, Lalo Alcaraz) late in the year and after our initial announcements. When that works out -- and it doesn't always, we've turned down some people, too -- it's great because there's a unique energy to added guests. We have yet to lose a special guest post-announcement, but that's bound to happen, too, hopefully for benign reasons.

We will certainly have things to say about the show more generally in a heavy way through August 1 and in a focused way up to the show itself, some of which we hope surprises. Write cxcfestival@gmail.com to join our mailing list.

Graphic designer Sonia Harris and illustrator/writer/comics-maker Katie Skelly (also a great designer, Harris points out) came up with our logo and are hard at work on the poster. I really like it, so I put it up top of this post and I'm going to put it up top of everything I can. Those two are great at what they do, and what they did together I think looks fun. Please hire either or both for your making-stuff needs.

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Go, Look: A Gnawing Obsession

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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.

*****

MAR171778 JASON ON THE CAMINO HC $24.99
The great Jason launches his version of this year's "comics dealing with a lot of quiet time" theme with a book about a pilgrimage taken at 50 years old that involves a lot of walking and a lot of front-of-one's-face activity. I liked it a lot.

imageMAR171234 PLEASE DESTROY MY ENEMIES GN (MR) $6.99
MAR171235 YOUR BLACK FRIEND GN $5.00
JAN170729 EAST OF WEST #33 $3.99
MAR178501 SEVEN TO ETERNITY #5 2ND PTG $3.99
MAR170780 SEVEN TO ETERNITY #6 CVR A OPENA & HOLLINGSWORTH $3.99
MAR171034 BLACK PANTHER #14 $3.99
The first two are works from Silver Sprocket going into comic shops by virtue of AdHouse Books' distribution function. They're billed as books but Your Black Friend was a comic book. I enjoyed that one quite a bit. The Please Destroy Your Enemies was a bunch of folks' favorite at TCAF in t-shirt form, that's for sure. East Of West continues to power through its narrative with a lot of dire consequences for various characters; a shift from its portentous, slower-moving beginning. Seven To Eternity getting a second printing at #5 is a good sign for that series. I like the designs and the atmospherics, although I wish the narrative had more force page to page. Some of the plot developments in #6 should help. I'm interested to see if the first storyline's conclusion in Black Panther will be a jumpin-on or jumping-off point for readers of the series. I'll stick around to the bitter end, and I hope it's years away.

JAN170141 GROO FRIENDS AND FOES HC $49.99
Sergio Aragones is one of the give great cartoonists of the world and I will buy everything he does.

FEB170380 MICRONAUTS TP VOL 02 EARTHBOUND $19.99
Always wanted to try one of these new Micronauts comics. It was the last toy line with which I was deeply involved and I do remember bits of the Marvel series. Probably wouldn't be this week with all the other work out.

MAR170702 DYING AND THE DEAD SPEC ED TP $9.99
A $9.99 first volume indicates to me a potential longer run for the overall series. I'm sympathetic to books like this one, which is sort of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Space Cowboys. I enjoy reading that kind of book far ahead of my desire to make a case for others to read that kind of book.

MAR171920 BILLIE HOLIDAY HC $19.99
MAR171734 GOLEMS MIGHTY SWING GN $16.95
FEB170306 DC UNIVERSE BY MIKE MIGNOLA HC $39.99
Reprints, all of which I read in an earlier form. I'm glad for these books to be made available. One thing longtime readers don't think about is how much of the work they've enjoyed in the '90s and '00s is out of print, so a new edition helps a work continue to be added to libraries and curricula. The Mike Mignola isn't complete but it has a lot of stuff, and Mignola's early run with those characters tends to be completely ignored.

AR172009 MY LESBIAN EXPERIENCE WITH LONELINESS GN (MR) $13.99
I like the subject matter of turning to a sex worker to deal with anxiety, and I believe this had a captive on-line audience when it was originally serialized.

FEB171656 JASON I KILLED ADOLF HITLER HC $16.99
FEB171655 JASON LOST CAT HC $19.99
Two by Jason if the new one wasn't enough. Again: love work to be in print; these are all fun comics.

MAR171769 ONE MORE YEAR HC MEGG & MOGG (MR) $24.99
Another staggering Simon Hanselmann volume about 25 minutes following the last one's drop. I find his comics funny, and weirdly admirable for their unsparing nature. Also Owl is a really good Mel Cooley, and it's been a while since comics had one of those.

APR172262 SUPERMAN PERSISTENCE OF AN AMERICAN ICON SC $27.95
Yeah, I really don't get it, either.

FEB172079 EVERYTHING IS FLAMMABLE GN $25.95
Gabrielle Bell and Uncivilized seems a perfect marriage on paper, so I hope this volume hits. Since she's gone deeply into her own Patreon I don't see as much of her work as I used to.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Mainstream Comic Book Covers From 1972

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Ramon Gil talks to Elliott S. Maggin. Dany Roth talks to Matthew Rosenberg.

* Bully reviews glowing-ball imagery from comics history. Doesn't make that recent weird photo with the president in it any less stupid- and creepy-looking -- a rare combination -- but it's interesting how we process this kind of visual.

* James Kaplan on American Barbarian.

* not sure I totally understand the premise of this exercise over at the LOAC site, but I sure like looking at obscure dailies like Morty Meekle.

* to be honest, I don't think much of either company's celebrations.

* finally: man, look at the thing Paul Gravett's working on for -- I think -- later this year.
 
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Happy 69th Birthday, Alan Zelenetz!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Wimbledon Green!

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May 23, 2017


Go, Look: amika

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By Request Extra: Short Order Crooks Boost

Here. Mr. Sebela just suffered an auto accident not of his making this week. No injuries, but the loss of the car and its ability to be replaced might go poorly for him. I boosted my pledge a bit, and I'll ask you to consider the same or something similar. Most of us in comics live in this fragile network where disruptions can send us spiraling out of control to a greater degree than the actual numbers involved might indicate. Sebela is at a point in his career progression that is tricky for a lot of comics pros, and I think he's a good bet to make good on an extra hand right now. Plus the comic looks fun.
 
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Go, Look: Marvel Heroes By Steve Rude

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By Request Extra: Kilgore Books Has A Crowd-Funder Going On Right This Very Moment

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I almost missed this entirely, so please write in directly if you have one of these you want to see coverage. This features a couple of key Noah Van Sciver reprints, Summer Pierre (that's her work above), Glynnis Fawkes, Leslie Stein and Tim Lane. I'm sure I'm missing one or two people. One of the incentives is that nice sitting-in-nature print Van Sciver did a while back.

Dan Stafford of Kilgore Books is forthright in terms of why he's doing a crowd-funder and how the money will be spent. I get the sense that the various titles will get more publicity in this initial funding campaign than they might get down the road when released.
 
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OTBP: King-Cat #77

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the sadness of this photo scan should not dissuade you from buying this crisp, beautiful mini-comic
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* a second issue of Resist! is on the way.

image* looks like the great Gilbert Shelton may be interested in other creators working with his Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, in a way that sounds a bit different than past collaborations. Those are fun, utilitarian characters that I think could do well with artists other than Shelton. Although I'm more fond of creations remaining linked to creators, I'm most fond of the creator making whatever call they desire about that.

* here's a Henson Studio/Boom! deal that makes some sense, particularly in that past licensor Archaia is now a division of Ross Richie's comic book fiefdom. They have properties that have enough of a second life that doing comics with them can be fun. Whether or not they end up being good comics depends on the talent involved, but they've certainly made adaptation that I've bought in the past.

* finally, Marvel will do a series of cross-generational team-ups as its last event series in a while. One thing they have done pretty well this year and last is have events that offer an easy elevator-pitch hook. Whether or not that's enough to engage people for whom narrative is everything with those characters, I imagine we'll see. "Superheroes fight the Atlas Monsters" was a big no, and the jury is still out on "Everyone fights a Captain America turned fascist."
 
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If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Bud Sagendorf-Era Popeye Sunday Strips

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* this is a good question. I'm not in retail, so I rarely think this way. My hunch is that Black Hole is the best comic in this general neighborhood, followed by A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, but I'm probably missing something.

* speaking of missing things, I missed this comic from late last year that Dustin Harbin has left top of blog for a very long time. It's good.

* not comics: the director Zack Snyder will take a break from finishing the Justice League movie because of a tragic death in the family. Joss Whedon will work on the film in his absence. All sympathy and support to the Snyder family."

* Megan Volpert talks with Eleanor Davis.

* mainstream-focused coverage has picked up on the fact that the ballyhooed Superman/Wonder Woman romance has now been written out of the narrative of those characters' lives. I always found that plot-line icky, and not just because the Superman of that era was really unformed and uninteresting. It should give writers pause to step away from narratives that work as well as the top superheroes' work the same way you wouldn't want to mess with the Santa Claus story in a similar way. Lois Lane really works for Superman.

* finally, some not comics: Humberto Abdo on the documentary Laert-se.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Mike Deodato!

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Happy 66th Birthday, John Bolton!

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May 22, 2017


Go, Look: Sunburning Preview At Illustrated PEN

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I'm very much a fan
 
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OTBP: The Would-Be Bridegrooms

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The Article That Would Have Been The Talk Of Comics Ten Years Ago And Now... Meh

imageIt strikes me that this piece on comics in college curricula by Shannon Watkins would have enraged comics for maybe a couple of weeks back in 2008 or so, and stands very little chance of doing so today. I assume teaching prose has all of the benefits asserted. Teaching comics I imagine is developing and will develop virtues of its own. Some will overlap. There's no proof they're in serious competition. Everything in the article is a broad argument, built from delicate threads and sweeping generalization. I do like the notion that teaching comics is a way to promote progressive politics because I don't really get that out of comics as a whole at all.

I'm generally fascinated by the idea of being taught comics because I feel for certain I would have hated it and avoided such classes like a champ were they offered when I was a student. I'm not all the way sure why. I mean I would have avoided being taught in an English way, not a history way, although the latter doesn't appeal to me either. I'd be the worst comics teacher ever, too. That's mostly because I spend half my time sitting asleep, which I assume would be a bad thing for class discipline. The only class I've ever heard of in comics that I'd like to take is John Ronan's SAW history of comics class, because I bet John could teach that subject for eight semesters and not reach the 20th Century. Also, you don't fall asleep on John Ronan. Even then I'd take it pass/fail.
 
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Go, Look: Tom Grindberg Tarzan Pages

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Collective Memory: TCAF 2017

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2017 edition of TCAF, held May 13-14 in and around the Toronto Reference Library in Toronto.

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

*****

imageInstitutional
* Con Site
* Physical Location
* Host City

Audio
* Four Women In A Hotel Room

Blogs And Personal Journals
* Secret Acres
* The Beat 01
* The Beat 02
* The Beat's TCAF Interview Series
* Ziechnun Illustration Comic

Facebook
* Festival Page

* Annie Koyama
* Gabrielle Bell
* Matthew Brown
* The Center For Cartoon Studies

Miscellaneous
* Profile Of Ngozi Ukazu
* Profile Of The Beguiling's Move

News Stories And Columns
* Anne Ishii Stopped At Border -- Brigid Alverson at Smash Pages

* Bleeding Cool

* CBC
* CBC Books

* Fansided

* Newsarama
* Now Toronto

* PW 01
* PW 02

* Quill And Quire 01
* Quill And Quire 02

* Smash Pages 01
* Smash Pages 02
* Smash Pages 03
* Smash Pages 04
* The Globe And Mail

Photos
* Annie Koyama
* Chris Pitzer
* PW

Twitter
* Festival Account
* #tcaf2017

* Angeline Mauri
* Brigid Alverson
* C. Dsa

Video
* Alexander Finbow
* Comics.Tagesspiegel.de
* Deconstructing Comics 01
* Deconstructing Comics 02
* Deconstructing Comics 03
* Deconstructing Comics 04
* InnerSpace
* Jennifer Mitchell: Calvin Reid Interviewing Ngozi Ukazu 01
* Jennifer Mitchell: Calvin Reid Interviewing Ngozi Ukazu 02
* Jennifer Mitchell: Calvin Reid Interviewing Ngozi Ukazu 03
* Jennifer Mitchell: Calvin Reid Interviewing Ngozi Ukazu 04
* S3w Not Perfect
* The Frog Queen

*****



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Not Comics: Series Of Images From Jeremy Eaton

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By Request Extra: Rich Buckler's Scholarship Fund

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Clifford Meth wrote in to CR on the occasion of the passing of his friend Rich Buckler. He noted the tough last several years through which Buckler struggled despite at one point being a significant freelancer in the US mainstream.

This gofundme has some of those words from Meth, but more importantly I think gives Buckler's fans and peers a nice way to remember the artist. That's an achievable dollar amount, extra money is always useful to scholarship drives, and the end result would help someone in the here and now in a way that would keep the late comics-maker's name alive in the field where he made his name.
 
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If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Kay McKay, Air Hostess

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Simon Hanselmann comics of recent vintage.

* Cristian Rossel profiles Rosemary Valero O'Connell. I thought the piece was going to be slippery about how much money we're talking about with the artist, but that actually become refreshingly clear by story's end.

* I tweeted this yesterday, and some of you have probably figured that for the next several months at the very least I'm going to push the line that perhaps comics should pursue fair and equitable reward to its creators as it primary community goal over the legitimacy and value of reading the comics, a battle I think mostly won (see the cover of the Fanta history). This is a minefield, of course, not the least of which is I think being honest and communicating to younger artists about the extent and nature of reward that awaits them might end up being more important than praising everyone equally to the moon at all stages of their career. We'll talk more, plenty of chances to call me a dick.

* Mr. Roth will be appearing at Giggles in Hicksville all Memorial Day weekend.

* here's a list of classic comic book stories that would be read differently today, and with obvious dismay. Tintin in the Congo remains to my mind the most directly dismaying example, though this list doesn't extend out of the US. I find most superhero stories dismaying because so many support violence as a solution in an unrealistic way.

* finally: some general freelance advice I haven't heard stated quite like that before.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Mimi Rosenheim!


 
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Happy 33rd Birthday, Whit Taylor!

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May 21, 2017


All Support To The Cartoonist Sophie Labelle, Harassed By Shitheads And Morons

Any one of these three articles -- or all of them together -- and cartoonist Sophie Labelle's Facebook post here should give you the parameters of the story.

There's such a matter of fact processing of what happened on Labelle's end, such as why the police haven't been brought in, that I hope everyone will read up and consider the issues involved very seriously. That anyone wastes their time working through their fears and hatred this way and the fact that no matter how admirable the response someone else still has to pay for this harassment in measurements of discomfort, worry and having life events disrupted, that shouldn't make anyone happy. The notion that this kind of thing continues to be an issue, that people will spend their time to actively punish someone just trying to do their thing, that's something no one can deny. It will likely be with us, in some form or another, always.

I hope the specific Canadian legal protections come, and I hope that this sort of aggression will one day feel as ridiculous and pathetic in the doing as it reads in the reporting. Until then, I hope anyone similarly afflicted will be supported as much as I'm sure most rationally thinking people will want to.
 
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If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 37th Birthday, Sammy Harkham!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Mark Crilley!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Kim Deitch!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Neil Kleid!

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May 20, 2017


Rich Buckler, RIP

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

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

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

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Happy 44th Birthday, Mike Norton!

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May 19, 2017


Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* MK Brown has a smart, spiffy-looking new web site.

* good work by Jude Terror in sorting out some of what's being said about a right of first refusal being worked into the webcomics-hosting site Tapastic standard contract. I don't like those kinds of clauses, and I certainly don't like them when it's not something for which there's negotiation, including reward. George Rohac has advice.

* finally, a review of Melanie Gillman's As The Crow Flies Vol. 1.
 
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If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Andy Oliver on A Thousand Coloured Castles.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Armand Villavert, Jr.!

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Happy 75th Birthday, Shirrel Rhoades!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Anne Ishii!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Steve Lieber!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Tom Gammill!

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May 18, 2017


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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* TCAF is still on the mind, even though in comics terms that was 100 years ago. That's such a powerful show. I was impressed this year with how many first-rate exhibitions they have, but within and without show walls. That's an element of shows that has become more important to me the older I get.

* next up for me is CAKE, and then maybe Heroes Con or the Ann Arbor show depending on resources and so on. I'd like to do Heroes because of its 35th anniversary but that is an expensive show to do this year and while there are some work-arounds, that's not how I usually approach shows. It's like with TCAF I used to try to work around just taking a car service to the big airport. It's hard to have that kind of energy when you get older.

* finally, a preview of Motor City.
 
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Go, Look: Crazy #6

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Princess Jellyfish Vol. 4.

* more on that sprawling Secret Empire thing and its Captain America as Nazi plot twists. It could rally clarity-wise later on, but it sounds like a mess.

* how to manage a long-delayed kickstarter.

* everything from the Mort Walker museum is in the Billy now, ready to be used by scholars. That's great news. Next:

* two of these people are awfully happy while being shot at.

* finally: Drew Friedman draws La Poison.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Arthur Suydam!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Gabrielle Gamboa!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, David Hyde!

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May 17, 2017


Edmund Bagwell, RIP

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

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Go, Look: More Asshole Superman Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on RASL.

* I imagine a compromise can be worked out here. I have sympathy for people being asked to do paperwork by a new law, especially those not at the heart of a specific problem. On the other hand, while I understand weakness and bad decision-making to the point I can see myself running afoul of a lot of laws in the course of 20 lifetimes, setting out to defraud people seems to me a nasty, exploitative and willing act. If this had been fixed or even engaged in a meaningful way, I bet the original law would have been a better one.

* here's a nice report from the CCS graduation.

* finally, I'm jealous that Seattle got to listen to Mohammed Sabaaneh about his time in an Israeli prison for making cartoons. Many elements of his career are heartbreaking.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Dan Zettwoch!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Dave Sim!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Jake Parker!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Michel Fiffe!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Brandon J. Carr!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Brigid Alverson!

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May 16, 2017


Go, Look: Duh-Lay-Bick

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Go, Look: Mady G.

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Go, Look: Mary Verhoeven

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Go, Look: Olly Blake

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Go, Look: Rachel Ordway

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Michael Buntag on a pair of superhero comics.

* I'd love to think this might have any effect at all on the use of the imagery in question, but I sort of doubt it. At some point, it bleeds out or is so far transformed it just isn't the same thing.

* Carol Hills talks to Guy Delisle.

* Maren Williams has a thorough write-up on progression in the Fahmi Reza case, which is horrifying in its details and a mix of horrifying encouraging in the broader issues coming to a head. The thing I hope we all begin to see about the assault on free speech is that there little to no "violation" felt in these actions, no upsetting of the status quo. It's all on the table now, including the direct suppression of people when they voice a political view not in line with the view held by folks with access to guns and control of the legal system.

* finally, a bit of not comics: Todd Klein on Cold Shoulder Road.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Rick Altergott!

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Happy 16th Birthday, Savage Critics!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Daniel Goossens!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Chester Brown!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Chris Browne!

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Happy 28th Birthday, Kevin Budnik!

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May 15, 2017


Go, Look: Liz Enright

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A Few Quick Observations About TCAF 2017, Made This Morning After It Ended From A Courtyard Marriott

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* I work with Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) now. That makes my festival experience a lot different, and should encourage to spend extra time considering whether my opinion about another show is worth noting at all.

* I had a really good time at TCAF 2017. It's the model show of its kind.

* it's humongous. Since the last time I went they added a gigantic second exhibition space at the Masonic Temple, increased the exhibitor coverage on the Toronto Reference Library's second floor and added the third. They have nighttime events in like six different spaces. I would have to imagine as well as it all ran that just by virtue of that size you're going to have people push back against it -- I imagine it would be easy for some to feel less important than many comics-makers have come to expect they'll feel at shows -- but I don't think it will be significant relative to the show's size and effectiveness. But man, that show is big. There were events about Alt-Comics where I had no idea who was in there or what they were doing. I recognize without thinking about it maybe 1 of 10 people featured in my photos. A bunch of people I didn't see at all, and another bunch I only saw briefly in hallways and in the row of a festival.

* no real flying notes although I thought about leaving my laptop at home out of fear that Trump-era border agents will take it away or something? That's not a reasonable position, but it did cross my mind. I did not fly Porter Air, having canceled a planned stopover in New York City.

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* one thing about the weekend in general is that I seem to see fewer people at these events all of the time. Never saw Box, for instance. It makes you have instant, deep conversations with the few you happen to bump into at any time.

* I went to a couple of the Friday Word Balloon professional events. There was a practical-advice on managing travel as an element of one's comics effort that was slow-building but got to everything on my mental checklist of things you talk about on such a panel. I was by far the oldest person in the room, and was in the top 3 for the bulk of events I attended that weekend.

* Kevin Huizenga and Sammy Harkham presented on the distributions system as it has an effect on their recent attempts to self-publish. Kevin Huizenga provided a history of distributors -- including his own USS Catastrophe effort -- that may not have been aces in terms of getting books out there but were deeply personally meaningful for him at the time. Harkham went on an interesting mini-rant about how crowd-funders interfere with his conception of how the artist/audience relationship best works. I like both of those guys a lot and appreciate their seriousness about the comics they made, and thus enjoyed every second of that panel. In an after-panel conversation, Huizenga noted to me how one problem with doing things to help the small-press end things is that there are SO MANY cartoonists that they often bury any such attempts without meaning to. That helped me clarify some thinking I had on industry reform. Huizenga is a smart man and scrambles to points of perspective as well as anyone I've ever known, so it's always great to talk to him.

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* that panel set the tone for a lot of that weekend's industry talk and late-night bull sessions, which was very focused on practical matters: how to face middled age still trying to do comics, and what are the realistic chances of getting where you want to go. It's good that these quests are being asked, although it's depressing to hear we great cartoonists say matter of factly, as one did, "simply doing comics and getting them published and waiting for the royalties. That just doesn't work."

* the great podcaster Gil Roth and that podcast's sometimes-photographer his wife Amy Beadle Roth were in attendance. If I remember correctly he did podcasts with Keiler Roberts and Seth, so that's something to look forward to. He gets my highest recommendation, that guy.

* more people in Air BnBs than in the hotels, would be my guess. Staying half the distance away I used to seven years ago seems twice as far, and that doesn't seem one hundred percent just an age thing.

* it was nice to see and talk to Team Metaphrog.

* Deb Aoki, Erica Friedman, Heidi MacDonald and Brigid Alverson did a podcast at 1 AM I bet is or will be pretty easy to find. I'll do so myself when I get home. Brigid in particularly seemed to be working a bunch of different clients.

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* my understanding is that Simon Hanselmann sold out of his latest. I'm not sure there was a book of the show; a lot of people my age were excited to see the new Pope Hats.

* Gary Panter was a popular figure for other cartoonists. He seemed well.

* they spaced the first floor differently a bit -- more islands than rows, and Drawn And Quarterly in the middle rather than towards the front. I liked it, and most of the people I spoke to seemed to like it as well.

* the back room area was used as a kids' reading room, with four or five tables and a reading space. I thought that was smart use of that space.

* I didn't buy a whole lot, but I could have spent $20,000. I'm not even lying. Lots of art supplementing books but not as much "stuff" as I thought there might be. I got the usual range of responses in terms of how people did. Two exhibitors that seemed to have performed ahead of expectations were Silver Sprocket and Nobrow. In no way should any of this represent a summary statement about the show because my queries were very random and only covered about 20 tables.

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* I liked the little art exhibits on the floor, although I didn't notice them myself and had to have my map tell me. I think there were at least three, although I could be wrong. Those Tagame pages were about as crisp and attractive-looking as you'd guess.

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* I saw RJ Casey pop his moderator cherry at the Pilot, a panel about sports in comics. Ngozi Ukazu feels like a superstar in the making.

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* I did two panels myself that day. I did a webcomics-right-now panel with Matt Lubchanski, Michael DeForge, Blue Delliquanti and Priya Huq (her work above), which is about as well-selected a small panel as I've ever been given in terms of range and perspective. The one observation I'll remember longest from that panel was DeForge's. He said he had taken notice recently that what was once a pretty straight forward and direct communication between himself and a few of his readers has now become a much more complicated enterprise that involves middle-men all of which seem to be giant corporations. I can't even suss the implications of that without more thought, but that seems super-important to note.

* the basic mood of that panel was hopeful and practical: you do what you feel you need to do to get your work out there and hopefully receive maximum reward for the effort put in. What that looks like always changes.

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* it was great to see Dave Cooper for the first time in years at my other panel and ask a few questions about his short movie The Absence Of Eddy Table, which was beautiful and enormously well-crafted. He still plans on a graphic novel accompaniment to that piece: the absence spoken of in the short film's title is felt in the comic's narrative.

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* the above sequence is an amazing TCAF volunteer getting Cooper's film ready as the usual waves of frustration, near-panic and triumph roll across her face. This person whose name I can't remember because I'm old and dumb was awesome, as were the vast majority of volunteers.

* the pictures in this article are courtesy of my older brother, Whit, who wanted to see Toronto. Thanks to everyone out there that was nice to him.

* had Saturday dinner with my brother and TCAF super-veteran Chris Pitzer at a Pakistani restaurant nestled right behind the library that I didn't even know existed. It tasted great. We walked our way through the venue changes for the show over the year before they moved into the library, and the changing nature of what people buy. He had Pope Hats out for the show, an oversized issue. I read it this morning and like it a lot.

* saw and spoke to David Brothers briefly, and then spied him throughout the weekend. He's made himself a real asset at Image, it seems.

* I think I broke a heater at the Marriott with my ass.

* the Doug Wrights were nice. All the winners were new to the awards program. It was great to see Henriette Valium stomping around in that hat. Katherine Collins' speech was funny and self-deprecating, and included a promise to return to cartooning to make good on what she felt was part of her Hall Of Fame honor: her work's promise as much as its accomplishment. I got a chance to talk to Collins for 35 minutes after the show, and it was a thrill. She was great. That collected Neil The Horse looks at least 30 percent bigger than you'd expect, but those comics were always packed. That will come out in September in the US, and looks affordably priced. Those comics read extremely well in what may be a more forgiving modern context for genre and tone.

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* there were two memorable tributes: a humorous one to Annie Koyama on her press' 10th year, and a heartbreaking one by Julia Pohl-Miranda to the late Genevieve Castree. Emcee Dustin Harbin told me that when he got back to the podium it was covered in Pohl-Miranda's tears.

* David Collier had a new book out at the show, which I never saw, but he stopped by to say hi at the Awards. If I live to be 85 I will remember about three things concerning a life spent near the comics world, and one of them will be Collier at the Doug Wright Awards. Graham Chaffee had a new book out, too!

* best conversation that evening was about Chester Brown never having won a Doug Wright Award and how much the sex worker focus of recent vintage had to do with that or not at all.

* I enjoyed Sunday. I went and saw the German contingent present at The Pilot, and enjoyed that survey-style panel a lot. All of the projects covered look at least marginally interesting, and it's good to hear that Ulli Lust will have another major work that one hopes will be translated a year or two from now. About a dozen in attendance, which is pretty great. Nina Bunjevac was there.

* I was glad to say hi to Jesse Jacobs and thank him for his recent work.

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* Tucker Stone seemed on top of the world, but he was an actor once so I'm always a little suspicious. I got to meet Nick Maandag.

* that was my first time in the Masonic Temple space about a quarter mile further north from the Reference Library. Compelling smaller space, interestingly lit. The fifth floor room for panels was hilarious, with thrones in the front of the room, a giant wooden table in the middle of the room fit for the Justice League and a snooker table apparently owned by Mick Jagger (the building's previous occupant was MTV). That panel was a post-mortem for Island, and I think went pretty well (we all sat around the table). A lot of discussion about how hard the break was for a lot of the creators from the expectations people presently have for production quality, direction, aim and pay, and what that says about comics' current place in the overall arts-market firmament.

* the other big star of TCAF weekend is the city itself. I spent my Sunday night in the city far removed from the semi-private after-party, about which I lost track.

* congratulations to Chris Butcher and the rest of Team TCAF for another exemplary show.

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Go, Look: Scott Stripling

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Go, Look: All The New Yorker Cartoonists You Could Ever Hope To Look Upon, Gathered Into One Space

Here. That's a nice thing when people gather together like that, and especially poignant in the case of that magazine's history having lost so many veterans of the Shawn era over the last 30 months. Thank you, Paul Karasik, for pointing it out.
 
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Go, Look: Sage Coffey

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Collective Memory: TCAF 2017

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2017 edition of TCAF, held May 13-14 in and around the Toronto Reference Library in Toronto.

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

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imageInstitutional
* Con Site
* Physical Location
* Host City

Audio

Blogs And Personal Journals

Facebook
* Festival Page

News Stories And Columns

Photos

Twitter
* Festival Account

Video

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

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Go, Look: Nero Wolfe Sundays

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Steve Foxe talks to Brian Wood and Andrea Mutti. Pete Chianca talks to Mark Parisi. That was run as a feature story and is now presented as a feature interview, something I'm not sure why every newspaper fails to do on a regular basis. Alex Dueben talks to Gabrielle Bell.

* congratulations to the newly-graduated class of CCS'ers, and all of the comics-hopeful art school graduates this Spring. I bet Paul Karasik gave a pretty good commencement speech.

* Tim Hensley muses on the Eisner Award history of Buenaventura Press after the recent nomination of his formidable Sir Alfred No. 3. He has a little bit of a problem I think because Alvin Buenaventura's company existed in a space between a distributor and a publisher. The end result indicates no Eisner wins. Hensley's comic was my favorite of 2016, and is of a high-enough quality BP still has a chance.

* finally, Langridge inks Kirby.
 
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Happy 81st Birthday, Ralph Steadman!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Stéphane Blanquet!

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May 14, 2017


Your 2017 Doug Wright Awards Winners

imageFirst-time winners dominated at last night's Doug Wright Awards for Canadian cartooning, as Rebecca Roher, Steve Wolfhard and Henriette Valium took home the top honors.

Rebecca Roher won the Doug Wright Best Book Award for her Bird In A Cage from Conundrum Press. Steve Wolfhard won the Doug Wright Spotlight Award, which the PR tells me is called "The Nipper" by some folks, for the Koyama Press effort Cat Rackham. The great Henriette Valium took home the Pigskin Peters Award -- given to experimental or avant-garde comic -- for the Conundrum-published The Palace Of Champions.

Katherine Collins was this year's inductee into the Giants Of The North Hall of Fame, celebrating Canadian creators that have made a "life-long contribution to the field." Collins was recognized for her cartooning with the Neil The Horse character and her pioneering journalism for the CBC.

This year's jury was Sue Carter, editor of Quill & Quire and the books columnist for Metro; Alison Lang, editor at Broken Pencil; and cartoonist Dakota McFadzean, a 2016 Doug Wright winner.

More information, including word of newly crafted awards, here.
 
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Go, Look: Kat Fajardo

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Go, Look: Sofie Louise Dam

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

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If I Were In Houston, 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: Kerry Gammill Power Man & Iron Fist Splashes

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Happy 56th Birthday, Francois Avril!

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Happy 58th Birthday, David Chelsea!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Bob Wayne!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Joe Field!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Jonny Negron!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Sarah Morean!

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May 13, 2017


By Request Extra: DWA Launches Art Auction

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They didn't give me an exact link, but I imagine that somewhere on the Doug Wright Awards site is a direct link to their fundraising art auction, full of desirable objects you might want in your home. The DWAs do this every so often to help with costs.

By the time you're reading this I will likely have tweeted the results to that awards. The site wilI have a short report rolling out early-morning Sunday.
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade




A Gilbert Hernandez CBR Interview From A While Back


Bob Andelman's Interview With Jeff Keane


Bill Morrison Interviewed At WonderCon


Josh Smart Profiled


The Shary Flenniken Portion Of Comic Book Confidential
 
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Koyama Announces Fall 2017 Titles And Confirms Celebratory Trip To Japan That Publishing Season

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Publisher Annie Koyama of Koyama Press made a pair of key announcements this morning in conjunction with Koyama Press' celebratory 10-year anniversary appearance at TCAF. Koyama made available the titles making up the house's Fall 2017 offerings and announced the publisher's intention to take a trip to Japan this Fall's to revisit the site of the company's first book release.

This season's authors are: Patrick Kyle (Everywhere Disappeared), Connor Willumsen (Anti-Gone), Hannah K. Lee (Language Barrier), Sophia Foster-Dimino (Sex Fantasy), Noel Freibert (Old Ground) and GG (I'm Not Here). Today's press information indicates that this is one returning artist (Kyle) and five newcomers, which they term "a wonderful way to round out our 10th anniversary."

Early solicitation/promotional copy for each book follows.

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* Anti-Gone, Connor Willumsen, Softcover, 9781927668511, 120 pages, September, $15.

Solicitation Copy: "Join an oneiric odyssey through a slacker second life.

"Reality's grip is loosened as Spyda and Lynxa explore a potentially constructed environment that shifts between dystopic future and constructed virtual present. Like a form of multi-stable perceptual phenomena, Anti-Gone exists in ambiguity."

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* Everywhere Disappeared, Patrick Kyle, Softcover, 9781927668528, 208 pages, September, $15.

Solicitation Copy: "Collecting a cornucopia of short comics by one of the medium's most inventive artists.

"A keen observer of the absurd, Patrick Kyle's stories defamiliarize the machinations of life, work and art with droll dialogue and his angular, humanely geometric drawing and sci-fi settings that recall set design more than satellite images. Kyle's figures may be foreign, his settings strange, but his stories resonate deeply."

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* Language Barrier, Hannah K. Lee, Softcover, 9781927668474, 128 pages, September, $20.

Solicitation Copy: "Collecting zines and comics filled with gorgeous illustration and artful design that attempt to translate modern life.

"The real meaning behind emojis, the subtext of sexts, the financial cryptography of flats and pumps, and more are revealed in this witty and wonderfully drawn collection. Hannah K. Lee melds elegant typography, beautiful illustration and trenchant text to make an acerbic art book."

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* Sex Fantasy, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Softcover, 9781927668467, 440 pages, September, $18.

Solicitation Copy: "A salacious title belies a moving look at intimacy and all its delicacies and absurdities.

"Begun as a loose, ephemeral zine that was produced in limited editions, these small comics in both size and length are esoteric and immensely personal. Covering a span of four years, the comics collected here build a relationship that is deeper than their elegantly drawn surfaces."

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* Old Ground, Noel Freibert, Softcover, 9781927668504, 224 pages, September, $18.

Solicitation Copy: "Sam Beckett and Sam Raimi intersect in an outsider art graveyard.

"A cemetery so old that the names on the graves have eroded into nothing and no one remembers the dead is razed to make room for a retirement home for folks who've also been forgotten. Ambience and slapstick combine as an absurd cast of characters inhabit and haunt the once hallowed ground."

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* I'm Not Here, GG, Softcover, 9781927668498, 104 pages, September, $12.

Solicitation Copy: "A woman torn between her family and her independence, unmoored between what is and what could be.

"A young, second-generation woman wanders through her city and memories encountering the world through a camera's lens; her independence pulled by the gravity of familial responsibility. She drifts until she encounters what could possibly be her potential self."

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Koyama also announced that after beginning their 10-year celebration with every author represented on their Spring list attending TCAF 2017, that with the help of a grant they will visit Japan this Fall, where their first book was launched.

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Go, Look: Iguanamouth

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Go, Look: Stephanie Hovden

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

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If I Were In Houston, 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: The Phantom #18

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Happy 70th Birthday, Diane Noomin!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Marv Wolfman!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Frank Santoro!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Lloyd Dangle!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Andrew Pepoy!

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May 12, 2017


Go, Look: Justé

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Go, Look: Shawn Daughhetee

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Go, Look: Shivana Sookdeo

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the cartoonist Jay Disbrow died last week. Although remembered for his illustration work and the fact his science fiction epic The Flames Of Gyro was the first Fantagraphics comics publication, he was also an unlikely webcomics maker, starting an extensive serial in his mid-seventies.

* Maggie Vicknair on Ava's Demon.

* Gary Tyrrell has been powering through extensive posts on his Alaska "Camp Comics" experience like it's 2004: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Blogs 4-Ever.

* Steve Conley would like you to check out his Eisner-nominated digital work.

* Katie Skelly and Sarah Horrocks have called an end to their podcast Trash Twins. I thought that was a useful way for both of those cartoonists to keep their name out in the world between books.

* finally, I'll be moderating a panel at TCAF about the changing nature of webcomics. If you have a question you'd like asked, I'll have plenty but if yours are better than mine I'll use one of yours.
 
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If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Psycho #3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver talks to Ian Williams.

* James Whitbrook on Secret Empire and its central character. I guess Captain America is the central character by default. I certainly didn't get a sense of any main character in the two issues I've read of that series. Beth Elderkin on Noble.

* go, read: recent Eisner nominee Rob McMonigal live-blogs his Free Comic Book Day experience.

* finally, Bully points out an early issue of Fantastic Four and how much a kind of high-spirited goofiness was part of the tone in a really appealing way.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, Moto Hagio!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Cat Yronwode!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Andrew Farago!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Tom Armstrong!

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May 11, 2017


Go, Look: 5000 Shinjis Per Second

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Go, Look: Joamette Gil

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Go, Look: Mister Hayden

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* here's a searchable database of conventions and festivals. Haven't checked it out myself yet.

* TCAF kicks off its long, glorious weekend of comics art festivaling with a full day of peer-to-peer programming tomorrow followed by a proper two-day all over the Toronto Reference Library and adjoining panel-ready space. I'll be moderating four panels if you want to come yell at me in person: 21st Century Webcomics, a Dave Cooper film screening, a retrospective of the Island anthology and a panel on comics as political resistance. If you're a cartoonist please let my brother Whit take your picture. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and meeting a few people for the very first time, like the great Katherine Collins. Please don't by shy saying hello. Everyone travel safely.a

* Marc Alan Fishman makes an argument for personal branding as a way to set yourself apart at smaller conventions -- or, I would guess, the small-press sections of bigger shows. I'm not sure how much I agree with that, but I do think there's something to putting your work in the context of what it means to the person making it.

* a man was arrested for soliciting underage girls through the auspices of comic book convention-going. This is bad in and of itself but it's also a traditional sore spot for fan culture.

* finally, does anyone out there know why hotels for Heroes Con cost so much? Is there a swelling of interest in that show or another show/event in Charlotte that weekend? It may keep me from hitting the 35th anniversary celebration, which I'd love to do.
 
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Go, Look: Glitched Puppet

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Go, Look: Erin Hunting

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Godshaper #1. Annie Mok on Garbage Night. Rob Clough on Inaction Comics #1, <i>Plans We Made, Birthmark and Foggy Notions. Greg Hunter on The Necrophilic Landscape. John Seven on Eartha.

* not comics: Andrew Weiss is right that the common US culture dated back to at least 1925. I might argue that a few things, like Napoleon, or The Tramp, or the idea of old-timey baseball, come from an even earlier age and were things that most of my friends were exposed to in some form and would understand today. What fascinates me is that this was accompanied by an amnesia about a lot of things that didn't get to the point of constant re-runs. So I knew who Shirley Temple was to the point of having a fairly refined list of favorite films, but I think I was 35 before I heard word one about Deanna Durbin. The end result is a popular culture that has significance in terms of certain things over several decades, but a lot of material just going away immediately. I think that broad canvas + amnesia was a significant factor in determining how literary comics were shaped.

* In what may be an even nerdier article, James Whitbrook walks through what elements and characters from Marvel "Ultimate" universe are running in the current general-titles one now. I get why Marvel did those comics, but I wasn't fond of many of them and about a half-dozen surviving elements makes sense to me. Also, I can't resist an evil Reed Richards. Reed Richards is the Marvel Universe's Superman, its core figure, and should feature prominently in whatever overall storyline that's going on -- no matter the form.

* finally: someone from KCRW whose name I can't locate talks to Michael Tisserand. Robert Kirby talks to Eric Kostiuk Williams. Greg from Daily Grail talks to Alan Moore. Nicholas Eskey talks to Scott Westerfeld.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Matt Feazell!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Alex Fellows!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Russell Lissau!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Brian Heater!

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May 10, 2017


Go, Look: Constanza Yovaniniz

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Go, Look: Claudia E. Berger

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Go, Look: Christina Mattison Ebert

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Chris Brunner

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Go, Look: Celia Favorite

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image * Sean Gaffney on Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Vol. 8..

* I was reminded by a couple of CR readers that the great MK Brown is working for that American Bystander effort, and that her work remains stand-up-and-take-notice for comics fans. There's a bunch of talented veterans working there.

* I greatly enjoyed reading this interview with Michelle Urry and the contextual material about that interview provided by RC Harvey. Urry's one of the more interesting non-creative figures of the second of the 20th Century in comics and cartooning.

* Gloria Rivera writes about the comics her parents read as 1960s-born kids in Mexico.

* finally, a bit of not comics: Cave Carson-related theme music from a name pop star. We live in the future of my strangest childhood dreams.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Kola Fayemi!

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May 9, 2017


Go, Look: Bis The Box

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Go, Look: Bryan Stone

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By Request Extra: Allan Haverholm Art Sale

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Allan Haverholm's blog says here that an art sale is live, and the sate on the posts indicates that it has been for a while -- an e-mail reminder was sent today. In that e-mail missive, he suggests that you should consider it an informal kickstarter-type thing for the publication of a new book.

I can't figure out how to get to the art sale from that blog post, but I hope posting about it here one of you will tell me or give me the URL separately... that sale looks like a lot of fun, the art should be nice, and it seems as if the money will be put to good use.
 
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Go, Look: B. Mure

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Go, Look: André Valente

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's an interesting forthcoming project previewed: the Image Comics summer offering Moonstruck. That interests as the major sophomore effort from writer Grace Ellis and the major debut of Shae Beagle, one of the wave of comics-makers popping up at Columbus College Of Art & Design. CCAD's Laurenn McCubbin is set to color. Thanks, teach.

* Heidi MacDonald has a nice summary post here on some editorial reorganization of DC Comics with an effect on the comics themselves. The big news, I think also accurately identified, is that they will put more effort into their kids comics through a stand-alone imprint/effort with the same status of a Vertigo or WildStorm. I think that makes perfect sense, given the reach and nature of their strongest characters. I would hope there's always the ability for kids to buy new stuff featuring favorite characters. I know that was a big part of my reading experience. In fact, a big part of my experience was the re-use of older material more directly suited to kids, and maybe something can be done there.

* finally: we won't have to wait as long as usual to see more Street Angel material, with a book due this summer.
 
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Go, Look: Aaron C Snow

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OTBP: Tomatito Press

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver talks to Jade Sarson. JK Parkin talks to Steve Ekstrom and Troy Brownfield. Claire Kirch profiles Kristen Radtke.

* Sam Obiri on Crickets #6.

* start here for Augie De Blieck's current flurry of interest making articles designed to suggest and boost the readership of work from the Franco-Belgian market. The secondary pieces include a suggestion of work to translate, a guide to Franco-Belgian work on a European based digital comics service and a way to find this kind of work for free.

* finally, William Blankenship's essay over at Bleeding Cool shows how comics can be plugged into one's life in a variety of ways, with varying significance placed on their value.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Walt Holcombe!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Ty Templeton!

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May 8, 2017


Go, Look: A Bunch Of Really Nice Will Dinski Illustrations

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Go, Look: Random New Work From Darryl Cunningham

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I thought this Nevins/Garrity collaboration would catch fire by now. Shows you what I know. Looks fun.

* I'm looking at the Retrofit crowd-funder on Saturday night -- because that's how I do things -- and it looks well within striking distance by its planned end. I'm glad they're doing a Warren Craghead book. I love Warren Craghead.

* this modest, focused ask for a JT Yost-directed anthology looks likely to have a positive ending.

* Karl Kesel, Christopher Sebela and Erika Moen are among the big names with asks out. It's hard to believe Sebela isn't hitting clean-up for one of the big companies right this moment in addition to his various personal projects.

* finally, here's one from Molly Ostertag that has surged far ahead of its goal, based I would guess on affection for the first volume and the cartoonist more generally. There's still a lot of time if you want in.
 
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Go, Look: Another Famous Recycled Comics Image

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Toussaint Egan talks to Matt Fraction and Jonathan Coulton.

* Smash Pages remembers their friend and ours, Tim O'Shea. This second piece starts a cycle of remembrances.

* this is the kind of thing that only interests me and hardcore fans, but I always found it intriguing how well the Ninja Turtles have done over the years with a super shallow pool of bad guys. It's basically the two mutated animal creatures and the super-ninja with his crew as far as I can remember. So anything new could be useful to that property as it explores whether it will be multi-generational or fade with that first generation of its fans.

* finally, one editor walks through the options out there for syndicated newspaper offerings.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Kevin Colden!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Matt Madden!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Hiromu Arakawa!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Robert Boyd!

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May 7, 2017


Go, Look: Finch Island Part One

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

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Happy 37th Birthday, Box Brown!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Roberta Gregory!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Kevin Scalzo!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Eraklis Petmezas!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Rick Veitch!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Michael T. Gilbert!

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FFF Results Post #476 -- Podcasts

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Active Comics Podcasts You Enjoy." This is how they responded.

*****

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David Robertson

* Comics Alternative
* Inkstuds
* Justice League International: Bwah-Ha-Ha
* That Comic Smell
* Treehouse

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Virtual Memories
2. Word Balloon
3. Make It Then Tell Everybody
4. Comic Books Are Burning In Hell
5. Deconstructing Comics Podcast

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. The Virtual Memories Show
2. Comic Books Are Burning In Hell
3. Study Group Radio: Process Party Podcast
4. Comic Book Decalogue
5. The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast

*****

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Michael Dooley

* The Virtual Memories Show
* The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund podcast
* RIYL
* Trash Twins
* Fresh Air

*****

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Robert Boyd

1) Comic Books Are Burning in Hell
2) Study Group Radio: Process Party
3) Inkstuds
4) Michigan State University Comics Art and Graphic Novel Podcast Security Check Required
5) Freedom, Books, Flowers & the Moon

(#5's not actually a comics podcast. It's the podcast of the Times Literary Supplement, which has discussed comics once in all the time I've listened to it. I just can't think of any other comics podcast I enjoy listening to.)

*****
*****
 
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May 6, 2017


Have A Great Free Comic Book Day 2017

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All the information you need right here. It's a good way to show support for your local retailer, too. It's a successful day for most retailers, so there are a lot of signings and celebrations built around the basic concept. Have fun. Read something you might not have tried, otherwise. Enjoy comic shops! That's where all the comics are. My life would be poorer without them.
 
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If I Were Near A Comic Shop, 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 NYC, 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 Montreal, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 54th Birthday, Craig Fischer!

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Happy 68th Birthday, David Michelinie!

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May 5, 2017


Jay Disbrow, RIP

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Go, Look: José Muñoz El Vibora Imagery

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Go, Look: Soviet Daughter

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Go, Read: Mike Mantlo On How Rocket Raccoon Transformed Bill Mantlo's Medical Care

imageBased on the information I have this seems to me an undeniably good thing, and I'm happy for the Mantlo family to receive that specific relief due Bill Mantlo for his co-creation of Rocket Raccoon. They still need help, and that information is available in the article as well.

What I hope for whenever these kinds of things happen is that somehow all of this money will cause spontaneous generosity all over the industry along such lines, that maximizing the reward legally due one entity could be a spur for reward across the board -- or at least form an ethos where that's a goal. My drunk high school buddies tip card dealers in Vegas with more confidence that this is money well spent and a just thing. A lot of companies are working with people that aren't merely providing cards in a certain order but creating the form, content and shape of the game itself and all of its component parts. There's a better way, and this is a glimpse of it.
 
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Go, Look: A Very Odd John Buscema Portfolio

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* it's always fun to read Gary Tyrrell's enthusiastic and wholly flattering socio-cultural definitions of webcomics, and I bet it's twice as fun to see him present these ideas in person.

* Emma Lawson talks to Sarah Stern.

* Elliott Dunstan on Les Normaux.

* finally: congratulations to Gordon McAlpin on a 12-year run.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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By Request Extra: Shaenon K. Garrity And Jess Nevins Crowd-Funder

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Steve Foxe on There's Nothing There. Sean Kleefeld on The Strange World Of Mr. Mum.

* not comics: good luck to Mr. Rugg on his marathon.

* that looks like a fun opening.

* Jayme Gordon, the man who said he created Kung Fu Panda by backdating and altering existing material, has been sentenced to two years in jail and will be responsible for the studio's legal fees brought about by his claim.

* Jonathan Curiel profiles Roz Chast.

* finally, here is some survey material from 1970s mainstream comics.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, David Lloyd!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Joseph Remnant!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Éric Ivars!

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May 4, 2017


Go, Look: Essay On Betsy DeVos

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* another week, another micro-show. Here's one that isn't a micro-show but isn't really a lead item of discussion and drew thousands according to their claims. The public perception of comics shows isn't everything, but it's a factor now.

* Chicago Zine Fest this weekend. It's not uncommon among my friends to think that most major comics festivals will pull in an element of 'zine culture over the next few years out of coverage needs.

* everyone I know is tweaking their TCAF plans. I'll be there Friday to Monday, and looking forward to having my soul crushed by how good it is. I'm kidding, all good shows are really aspirational, and that one ten times over. I'll be doing four panels as my moderation game kind of sucks now and I need the reps and they have tons of opportunities to do that with a lot of great cartoonists. I'm doing the Island one, and a webcomics one (talk about needed reps), and a couple of others. Dave Cooper! I'll mention them by name next week in case you want to come yell at me about the binding on some of the copies of We Told You So.

* finally, here's a comics festival I hadn't heard of in a city I'd barely heard of. Welcome to the new world of comics.
 
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If I Were In New York, 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: Asur Misoa Draws The NBA Playoff Match-Ups

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on The Devil Is A Part-Timer! Vol. 7.

* finally, Augie De Blieck Jr. would like your attention so that me extol the virtues of Franco-Belgian comics and why you should be reading BD.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Alé Garza!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Shaenon Garrity!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Geoff Grogan!

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May 3, 2017


Go, Look: Dead Girls Club

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Your 2017 Eisner Award Nominees Listed

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The nominees for this year's Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were named yesterday. Congratulation to all the nominees, with an extra huzzah in the direction of nominations leader Sonny Liew and his The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye from Pantheon.

The awards are voted on by the comics professional community and given out during a program held the weekend of Comic-Con International.

*****

Best Short Story

* "The Comics Wedding of the Century," by Simon Hanselmann, in We Told You So: Comics as Art (Fantagraphics)
* "The Dark Nothing," by Jordan Crane, in Uptight #5 (Fantagraphics)
* "Good Boy," by Tom King and David Finch, in Batman Annual #1 (DC)
* "Monday," by W. Maxwell Prince and John Amor, in One Week In The Library (Image)
* "Mostly Saturn," by Michael DeForge, in Island Magazine #8 (Image)
* "Shrine of the Monkey God!" by Kim Deitch, in Kramers Ergot 9 (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best Single Issue/One-Shot

* Babybel Wax Bodysuit, by Eric Kostiuk Williams (Retrofit/Big Planet)
* Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In, by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
* Blammo #9, by Noah Van Sciver (Kilgore Books)
* Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
* Sir Alfred #3, by Tim Hensley (Pigeon Press)
* Your Black Friend, by Ben Passmore (Silver Sprocket)

*****

Best Continuing Series

* Astro City, by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
* Kill or Be Killed, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
* The Mighty Thor, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman (Marvel)
* Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image)
* Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

*****

Best Limited Series

* Archangel, by William Gibson, Michael St. John Smith, Butch Guice, and Tom Palmer (IDW)
* Briggs Land, by Brian Wood and Mack Chater (Dark Horse)
* Han Solo, by Marjorie Liu and Mark Brooks (Marvel)
* Kim and Kim, by Magdalene Visaggio and Eva Cabrera (Black Mask)
* The Vision, by Tom King and Gabriel Walta (Marvel)

*****

Best New Series

* Black Hammer, by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston (Dark Horse)
* Clean Room, by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt (Vertigo/DC)
* Deathstroke: Rebirth, by Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, et al. (DC)
* Faith, by Jody Houser, Pere Pérez, and Marguerite Sauvage (Valiant)
* Mockingbird, by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk (Marvel)

*****

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

* Ape And Armadillo Take Over the World, by James Sturm (Toon)
* Burt's Way Home, by John Martz (Koyama)
* The Creeps, Book 2: The Trolls Will Feast! by Chris Schweizer (Abrams)
* I'm Grumpy (My First Comics), by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House Books for Young Readers)
* Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea, by Ben Clanton (Tundra)

*****

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

* The Drawing Lesson, by Mark Crilley (Watson-Guptill)
* Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)
* Hilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
* Rikki, adapted by Norm Harper and Matthew Foltz-Gray (Karate Petshop)
* Science Comics: Dinosaurs, by MK Reed and Joe Flood (First Second)

*****

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

* Bad Machinery, Volume Five: The Case of the Fire Inside, by John Allison (Oni)
* Batgirl, by Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque (DC)
* Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm (Archie)
* Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
* Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars, by Jessica Abel (Papercutz/Super Genius)
* The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

*****

Best Humor Publication

* The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp, by Lee Marrs (Marrs Books)
* Hot Dog Taste Test, by Lisa Hanawalt (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm (Archie)
* Man, I Hate Cursive, by Jim Benton (Andrews McMeel)
* Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, by G. B. Trudeau (Andrews McMeel)

*****

Best Anthology

* Baltic Comics Anthology s! #26: dADa, edited by David Schilter and Sanita Muizniece (kus!)
* Island Magazine, edited by Brandon Graham and Emma Rios (Image)
* Kramers Ergot 9, edited by Sammy Harkham (Fantagraphics)
* Spanish Fever: Stories by the New Spanish Cartoonists, edited by Santiago Garcia (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best Reality-Based Work

* Dark Night: A True Batman Story, by Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC)
* Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo, by Sandrine Revel (NBM)
* March (Book Three), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, by Tom Hart (St. Martin's)
* Tetris: The Games People Play, by Box Brown (First Second)

*****

Best Graphic Album -- New

* The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
* Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, by Dave McKean (Dark Horse)
* Exits, by Daryl Seitchik (Koyama)
* Mooncop, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Patience, by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)
* Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson (DC Comics)

*****

Best Graphic Album -- Reprint

* Demon, by Jason Shiga (First Second)
* Incomplete Works, by Dylan Horrocks (Alternative)
* Last Look, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
* Meat Cake Bible, by Dame Darcy (Fantagraphics)
* Megg and Mog in Amsterdam and Other Stories, by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)
* She's Not Into Poetry, by Tom Hart (Alternative)

*****

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

* Equinoxes, by Cyril Pedrosa, translated by Joe Johnson (NBM)
* Irmina, by Barbara Yelin, translated by Michael Waaler (SelfMadeHero)
* Love: The Lion, by Frédéric Brémaud and Federico Bertolucci (Magnetic)
* Moebius Library: The World of Edena, by Jean "Moebius" Giraud et al. (Dark Horse)
* Wrinklesé, by Paco Roca, translated by Erica Mena (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia

* The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
* Goodnight Punpun, Vols. 1–4, by Inio Asano, translated by JN PRoductions (VIZ Media)
* orange: The Complete Collection, Vols. 1–2, by Ichigo Takano, translated by Amber Tamosaitis, adaptation by Shannon Fay (Seven Seas)
* The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime, by Toshio Ban and Tezuka Productions, translated by Frederik L. Schodt (Stone Bridge Press)
* Princess Jellyfish, Vols. 1–3 by Akiko Higashimura, translated by Sarah Alys Lindholm (Kodansha)
* Wandering Island, Vol. 1, by Kenji Tsuruta, translated by Dana Lewis (Dark Horse)

*****

Best Archival Collection/Project -- Strips (at least 20 years old)

* Almost Completely Baxter: New and Selected Blurtings, by Glen Baxter (NYR Comics)
* Barnaby, Vol. 3, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy, Colorful Cases of the 1930s, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
* The Realist Cartoons, edited by Paul Krassner and Ethan Persoff (Fantagraphics)
* Walt & Skeezix 1931–1932, by Frank King, edited by Jeet Heer and Chris Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

Best Archival Collection/Project -- Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

* The Complete Neat Stuff, by Peter Bagge, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* The Complete Wimmen's Comix, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
* Fables and Funnies, by Walt Kelly, compiled by David W. Tosh (Dark Horse)
* Trump: The Complete Collection, by Harvey Kurtzman et al, edited by Denis Kitchen and John Lind (Dark Horse)
* U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, by Sam Glanzman, edited by Drew Ford (Dover)

*****

Best Writer

* Ed Brubaker, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed, Velvet (Image)
* Kurt Busiek, Astro City (Vertigo/DC)
* Chelsea Cain, Mockingbird (Marvel)
* Max Landis, Green Valley (Image/Skybound), Superman: American Alien (DC)
* Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer (Dark Horse); Descender, Plutona (Image); Bloodshot Reborn (Valiant)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Paper Girls, Saga (Image)


*****

Best Writer/Artist

* Jessica Abel, Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars (Papercutz/Super Genius)
* Box Brown, Tetris: The Games People Play (First Second)
* Tom Gauld, Mooncop (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Tom Hart, Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir (St. Martin's)
* Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)

*****

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

* Mark Brooks, Han Solo (Marvel)
* Dan Mora, Klaus (BOOM!)
* Greg Ruth, Indeh (Grand Central Publishing)
* Francois Schuiten, The Theory of the Grain of Sand (IDW)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
* Brian Stelfreeze, Black Panther (Marvel)

*****

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

* Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Lion (Magnetic)
* Brecht Evens, Panther (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Manuele Fior, 5,000 km per Second (Fantagraphics)
* Dave McKean, Black Dog (Dark Horse)
* Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)
* Jill Thompson, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon (DC); Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (Dark Horse)

*****

Best Cover Artist (for multiple covers)

* Mike Del Mundo, Avengers, Carnage, Mosaic, The Vision (Marvel)
* David Mack, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Hellboy and the BPRD 1953 (Dark Horse)
* Sean Phillips, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed (Image)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
* Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)

*****

Best Coloring

* Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Green Valley (Image/Skybound)
* Elizabeth Breitweiser, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed, Velvet (Image); Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta (Image/Skybound)
* Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
* Laura Martin, Wonder Woman (DC); Ragnorak (IDW); Black Panther (Marvel)
* Matt Wilson, Cry Havoc, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Black Widow, The Mighty Thor, Star-Lord (Marvel)

*****

Best Lettering

* Dan Clowes, Patience (Fantagraphics)
* Brecht Evens, Panther (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Tom Gauld, Mooncop (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Nick Hayes, Woody Guthrie (Abrams)
* Todd Klein, Clean Room, Dark Night, Lucifer (Vertigo/DC); Black Hammer (Dark Horse)
* Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)

*****

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* The A.V. Club comics coverage, including Comics Panel, Back Issues, and Big Issues, by Oliver Sava et al.
* Comic Riffs blog, by Michael Cavna and David Betancourt
* Critical Chips, edited by Zainab Akhtar (Comics & Cola)
* PanelPatter.com, edited by Rob McMonigal
* WomenWriteAboutComics.com, edited by Megan Purdy and Claire Napier

*****

Best Comics-Related Book

* blanc et noir: takeshi obata illustrations, by Takeshi Obata (VIZ Media)
* Ditko Unleashed: An American Hero, by Florentino Flórez and Frédéric Manzano (IDW/Editions Déesse)
* Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White, by Michael Tisserand (Harper)
* The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, vol. 1, edited by Bhob Stewart and J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)
* More Heroes of the Comics, by Drew Friedman (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best Academic/Scholarly Work

* Brighter Than You Think: Ten Short Works by Alan Moore, with essays by Marc Sobel (Uncivilized)
* Forging the Past: Set and the Art of Memory, by Daniel Marrone (University Press of Mississippi)
* Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the Ends of Heroism, by Paul Young (Rutgers University Press)
* Pioneering Cartoonists of Color, by Tim Jackson (University Press of Mississippi)
* Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation, by Carolyn Cocca (Bloomsbury)

*****

Best Publication Design

* The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, designed by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
* The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, designed by Keeli McCarthy (Fantagraphics)
* Frank in the Third Dimension, designed by Jacob Covey, 3D conversions by Charles Barnard (Fantagraphics)
* The Realist Cartoons, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
* Si Lewen's Parade: An Artist's Odyssey, designed by Art Spiegelman (Abrams)

*****

Best Webcomic

* Bird Boy,  by Anne Szabla
* Deja Brew,  by Taneka Stotts and Sara DuVall
* Jaeger, by Ibrahim Moustafa
* The Middle Age, by Steve Conley
* On Beauty, by Christina Tran

*****

Best Digital Comic

* Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
* Edison Rex, by Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
* Helm, by Jehanzeb Hasan and Mauricio Caballero
* On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden
* Universe!, by Albert Monteys (Panel Syndicate)

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Listen: James Albon Talks To Dan Berry

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Go, Look: A Matter Of Marriage

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Flash #12.

* not comics: here's an article on what it's like to be underemployed in an industry that's contracting at your position. I think the next contractions in comics have a chance to be apocalyptic -- not just reducing positions but overhauling the entire structure of companies. I hope I'm wrong. It's tough to make art for the years at a time it takes to be good at art of any kind when the economics won't sustain people. It becomes a tragedy when the money was there but due to ingrained exploitation doesn't make it to creators. I have very little to offer any business in comics that's not the gigs I have now: last time I went pitching gigs and applying I did not receive a single response for over 150 mailings over a three-year period, let alone an actual job. This work is precious, and may not always be here.

* Conan Tobias profiles Katherine Collins.

* finally, here's a The Oatmeal comic on the backfire effect. I honestly didn't understand a lot of this one, but the idea that you put these long comics with agreeable messages up for free seems unbeatable in a way I'm not sure why more people don't do it.
 
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Happy 30th Birthday, Zainab Akhtar!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Mark Coale!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Derek Kirk Kim!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Dennis O'Neil!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Bill Sienkiewicz!

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May 2, 2017


Your 2017 Will Eisner Award Nominees

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Full list here.

Congratulations to all the nominees, but particularly my peers in the best-related periodical (in which CR did not participate) and my colleagues in the related-book category (in which I'm told WTYS did participate, but weren't nominated).

I hope that Eric Reynolds won't mind me sharing his observation that between Chelsea Cain and himself, this is the first year in Eisner history "that the University of California at Irvine's newspaper staff circa 1992 received multiple nominations."
 
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Go, Listen: Julia Wertz On Process Party

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Assembled Extra: comiXology Adds Marvel To Unlimited Service

imageThe digital comics service comiXology has announced that Marvel has joined its comiXology Unlimited streaming service with select but substantial offerings. That strikes me as a major get for the company, even though it's not exclusive or even the most comprehensive way to get Marvel Comics in a streaming-service fashion. Marvel's own offering will carry more material at the six months and earlier level for sure.

The thing is, I'm not certain how much that matters. That's not an informed opinion; I'm basically sitting here with a magic 8-ball expertise- and analysis-wise. I have a hunch that consumption patterns for streaming services thwart detailed comparison shopping. So the add to comiXology from Marvel's participation benefits the service more than it triggers figuring out the optimal deal. I also suspect that the mainstream comics companies may be more ideally suited to be streamed in big chunks than offerings from other companies in a bottom-line sense, but that's me with a magic 8-ball and a 12-pack of Mickey's Big Mouth. My theory there, for what it's worth, is that mainstream comics have become less "beautiful objects" than narrative-delivery vehicles. I would probably lose most debates on that.

i think this is one of the comics you can read through the service in question at comiXology, although who the hell knows the way they number and relaunch these days
 
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Go, Look: Selections From Rayma Suprani

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* there's a bunch of fun art here from Darryl Cunningham's Graphic Science.

* former New Yorker cartoon chief Bob Mankoff lands at Esquire, which means a traditional market for cartoons opens back up. I hope the rates are good. They'll be good relative to other markets, because many don't exist, but I worry that this part of the field doesn't afford a living to many of its creators. In a healthy traditional market it would be interesting to see who ends up at Esquire, but in such a client-light market I imagine everyone will be interested.

* this forthcoming collection of The Maxx should make a lot of cartoonists in that 28-35 sweet spot happy. I always think of that as an influential title for that group, as much as anything is.

* finally, Mark Parisi launches a cleverly-named series aimed at young readers: Marty Pants.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Listen/Missed It: Roman Muradov On Inkstuds

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on a pair of new comics.

* I really hate tiny these comics are and how they're all uncredited in the article except for the tiny signatures and an indication of the selector's own.

* I enjoyed this article based on finding a book that's about things. That's what we'll lose in this ongoing shift away from 20th Century news presentation. I love those kinds of books, by the way: Edwardian nostalgia was a powerful genre for prose and for comics.

* editors at Truthdig hold a conversation with busy political cartoonist Mr. Fish.

* finally: Raju Mudhar profiles Jeff Lemire.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Scott Stantis!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Howard Cruse!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Jerry Scott!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Jared Gardner!

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May 1, 2017


Go, Listen: Remembering Jiro Taniguchi

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Missed It: South African Cartoonist Zapiro Mentioned In Terrorism Indictment As Potential Target

This one totally escaped my attention. Two potential terrorists arrested in South African counted the cartoonist Zapiro among their potential target, at least according to initial indictments. The cartoonist, real name Jonathan Shapiro, is Jewish and has addressed the prophet Muhammed in cartoon work. Zapiro is kind of a walking letter to the editor with a number of criticized cartoons, in his past, though, including the rape of justice cartoons aimed at Jacob Zuma, so people might forget he's also addressed the classics.

The brothers in question were arrested in 2016 for activities in the previous 12-month period; they are now working their way through the court system.
 
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Go, Listen: Dan Berry Interviews Kieron Gillen

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i'm using this photo as a contextual link-through rather than an appropriated illustration put to different use, but I'm happy to change it if its owner would like
 
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Fans, Friends, Peers Note The Passing Of Tim O'Shea

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I note with some sadness the passing of Tim O'Shea, a passionate interviewer about pop-culture subjects of which comics was a significant and meaningful sub-section. He was enthusiastic, always did his research and I think felt pride in being a part of a community of writers taking an art form's growth and maturity to readers maybe one, two, five at a time. He was also one of those rare writers specifically interested in creators early in their careers, a time when a reaction from a veteran writer can mean everything. He'll be very much missed. My condolences to his friends and family. He seemed a kind, generous man. I'm grateful I knew him.

There are people posting on Tim's public Facebook wall their memories and appreciations, and I hope you'll join me in checking in there over the next several days.
 
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Go, Read: G. Willow Wilson Profiled In New Yorker

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* I quite like these Patreon extras from Lizz Lunney.

* I am glad the comics community raised money for writer James Hudnall's move, because there were a lot of elements tied into this one that sometimes make fundraising difficult. It was a second fundraiser for the same set of concerns, it was for someone who isn't a major figure, and it was for someone with political view not within the industry mainstream. It could be that this was focused fundraising, but I hope that there's some element of there being times when we help out first and try to reduce the circumstances for similar asks later. So I hope this one will be revisited. There are a lot of creators heading into Hudnall's age group at similar risk.

* I missed this latest update on Peter David's situation a few weeks back, and I hope it's improved even more and that the information he continues to receive is solid and helpful.

* finally, this crowd-funder from people nice enough to write in and ask for a look is headed into its last week-plus. It never hurts to look at a project to see if it's something you might like.
 
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If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: JR JR Drawing DD

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Nicola Streeten makes a forceful case for some of the strongest values of Maus in direct fashion, placing the work in the context of satirical pieces using animals to make their point more effectively, not more flippant or more commercial.

* Alex Cox talks to Katie Skelly.

* festivals extra: I don't know that the Fantagraphics bookstore's participation in this event is enough for me to make a formal listing of it, but neighborhood arts celebrations are a blast and I'm always happy when comics area part of them.

* finally, I had a problem figuring how to represent this comic with an image, but here is the great Warren Craghead's Drunken Boat.
 
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Happy 77th Birthday, Alex Niño!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Tom De Haven!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Chris Pitzer!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Phil Foglio!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Tim Sale!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Mark Robert Bourne!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Matt Silady!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum!

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