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














November 21, 2017


Go, Look: Stealth Mechanic

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* lot of traditional alt-comics check-ins this time around. I love this cover for the forthcoming From Lone Mountain. I buy everything John Porcellino does, and I hope you do, too.

* that great person of comics Shaenon Garrity recommends the forthcoming The Prince And The Dressmaker.

* thrilled to see a Rina Ayuyang book is in the works at D+Q. I'm a great fan of her work. Amazon.com isn't the best place for exact dates of release, but they are really good at identifying books that will be release at some point.

* speaking of D+Q, I'm glad we'll see one more book from the late Genevieve Castr&233;e. Her previous, Susceptible, was a monster book, one of the best of the century so far.

* another set of monster books is that last trilogy of Frank books that Jim Woodring released over the last several years, with the first one be reprinted in 2017. I know for all the years I've read Woodring's amazing work that last group of stories pushed that material into my personal pantheon. Great news we get a brand new work in mid-2018, then.

* finally: Ron Regé Jr. has reprinted material from some of his earliest zines for your non-comics but close to comics pleasure.
 
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Go, Look: PT Bimbo Sundays

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2017

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*****

November 24
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

November 25
* If I Were In Hilliard, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 26
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Osaka, I'd Go To This

November 30
* If I Were In Honolulu, I'd Go To This

*****

December 2
* If I Were In Muncie, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wales, I'd Go To This (Wales Comic Con)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

December 3
* If I Were In Wales, I'd Go To This (Wales Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 9
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Philly Small Press Faire)
* If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For December 2017 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Yankee Comics #1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* here's a re-run of a Darwyn Cooke appreciation thread originally published right after his passing, published again on what would have been the late cartoonist's birthday.

* Humanoids has hired Fabrice Sapolsky as Senior Editor.

* it struck me reading this pretty generic great illustrators list that we're likely to see more and more such lists that treat all the 20th Century artists as legends on the same level.

* a smattering of comics personalities appear on The Ann Taylor Show to talk comic book shops, focusing on Dan Gearino's new book on the subject.

* finally, Mimi Pond talks tools.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Greg Theakston!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Rich Johnston!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Karl Stevens!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Larry Welz!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Rich Tommaso!

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November 20, 2017


Go, Look: How To Escape

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Don't Look Now, But I Think The Comics World's Job-Related Deductions Are At Risk

It's easy to read tweets and quick opinion pieces on the current state of politics as a web of overlapping, competitive horse races. It's more difficult than ever to find cogent policy analysis. Such is the way of for-profit journalism in the Era Of Lies. I apologize for my inability to course-correct.

Still, from what little I've read and been able to seek out, it seems several warnings are in order. I believe that the latest tax policy being pushed through Congress puts at risk deductions for education on which cartoonists who went to school for it depend; I believe that it includes, Trojan Horse-style, another attack at the structure of the Affordable Care Act, a program which has allowed many cartoonists the ability to try and make comics and cartoons professionally without risking a greater chance of death; and I think -- and this is a new idea for me -- it may soon make it really difficult to deduct self-selected expenses like travel that have allowed a thriving festival scene, if nothing else. For some cartoonists, the ability to deduct a business trip leads to necessary income.

As always, I suggest being in regular contact via phone and letter with your elected officials, to double-check tax issues with your preparer, and in reaching out to whomever always make clear the value to you of whatever programs are being threatened.
 
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Go, Look: The Splendor Of Creation

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* it's mostly not comics, but that is one beautiful Arnold Roth cover on the front of the humor magazine American Bystander for their latest crowdfunder. Man oh man.

* great to see the Becky Beaton campaign surge past its initial ask in a few days' time. I'm sure they can still use so much more. Please consider giving. I know some of you had a hard time getting a debit card through on that one -- I did, too. Just try a couple of times, you'll get there.

* longtime friend to CR François Vigneault pointed out to us two crowd-funders with which he's involved, which counts as an endorsement as far as I'm concerned: Furr and Sci-Fi San Francisco.

* all hail Steve Ditko, King of Crowd-Funders. His desire to keep doing comics after so many years in the industry is awe-inspiring and instructive. The desire for personal expression rarely dies.

* this Ronald Wimberly-involved magazine project looks like it could be very cool. It's over 50 percent, which usually means it will be successful, but it'd be nice to see it move into somr stretch goals because I bet they'd be cool.

* finally, it's non-comics, but a lot of folks have mentioned to me this crowd-funder for a cartooning-related game that involves Jason Thompson.
 
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Go, Look: Punisher Pin-Up Gallery

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Go, Listen: Process Party At Short Run 2017

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Hilliard on Daddy Lost His Head And Other Stories. That's the 20th of those black and white EC collections by author. That's a nice run. I enjoy those books quite a bit.

* I'm enjoying the Hal Foster Prince Valiant books that are coming out right now, and every so often I'll be particularly taken with one random panel or another, like this one.

* Michel Fiffe drew some plank-style, elements-of-the-time-period drawings of Spider-Man that are a lot of fun.

* go, listen: Mike Sacks and Rob talk to Drew Friedman.

* John Siuntres talks to Frank Frazetta Jr. and Sarah Gaydos. Amy Carlton talks to Emil Ferris. Carlos Ramirez talks to Kat Fajardo.

* finally: Drew Friedman covers Dr. Demento.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Guy Davis!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Ryan Estrada!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Stephanie Gladden!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Rian Hughes!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Jill Thompson!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Carol Tyler!

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November 19, 2017


Go, Look: Ghost Comics #10

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

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

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

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

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Jesse Fuchs!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Steve Lightle!

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November 18, 2017


Go, Listen: Sarah Horrocks On Process Party

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Go, Look: What White Americans Misunderstand About Mixed-Race Latinx Identity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If I Were In Philadelphia, I Would Go To This

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November 17, 2017


Go, Look: Marvel UK Spider-Man Splash Pages

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CB Cebulski Replaces Axel Alonso As Marvel EiC

You can read a full report here, which in that publication will also give you an idea as to the strategies of the PR involved. Congratulations to Mr. Cebulski. Best wishes to Mr. Alonso in his next professional gig.

imageA change in this position -- one of the traditional Big Comics Jobs and basically the head/lead/point of publishing and creative for the comics company -- has been discussed ad nauseum in comics circles all year. The article cites some unpopular editorial moves (such as a major storyline featuring Captain America as a Nazi), some PR whiffs (a seeming lack of enthusiasm for diversity initiatives from other executives) and some title to title malaise (they're getting smoked by the top DC titles, which isn't their usual position). I would expect all things sales to be spun positively, and there are legit ways to do so. What I don't see in the article is a general talent bleed, some lethargy in the series' overall creative performance and a general dissatisfaction a lot of creators voiced about working for the media behemoth.

All editors-in-chief and their equivalents receive a lot of criticism from a lot of people in comics. It's a big part of the reader culture. A lot of what Alonso had to do was thread-the-needle difficult. I can't even imagine the pressure of working with icons working that well in movies in a medium that is much more difficult to serve commercially. Much as has been the case with Paul Levitz and DC, I imagine that a lot of Alonso's legacy will come from what happens next in terms of the company's performance and what his successor handles things. I would suspect that any accounting of Alonso's term there -- he settled into his current role in 2011 -- will grapple with diversity on the page and in the freelance pool.

I have no predictions for Cebulski's forthcoming time at Marvel other than that as he's a foodie I'm sure that the writers' conferences might see in uptick in where they all go for dinner. It strikes me as the kind of halfway choice DC tends to make -- Cebulski is an insider more broadly but worked most recently for international branding which makes him an outsider, too. He seems comfortable with social media and is tied to the perceived post-bankruptcy creatively fertile period, mostly in conjunction with the Runaways property created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. Marvel has lost some talent, but a lot of that has been business, not just culture. There's certainly room for a different voice and a break from the recent way of doing things. I'm semi-surprised they didn't get someone from another Disney division to come in and crack heads, but maybe that was never in the cards.
 
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Go, Look: Evan Waldinger

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Allen Peng talks to Reza Farazmand on the occasion of a second print collection of Poorly Drawn Lines material.

* good place to remind everyone that one of the two or three great webcomics creators of the 21st Century, Kate Beaton, is raising money to enable her sister to attend various clinical trials for cancer treatment. Please consider giving.

* finally: a belated happy anniversary to John Hambrock.
 
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If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Sean Solomon

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on a bunch of minis. John Seven on Present.

* saw the Justice League movie last night with a bunch of guys; I was super-grateful to be invited. The movie was better than I thought it would be. Although it wasn't ever good, it didn't seem to be trying to give the audiences a miserable experience. I can see fans enjoying it, I can see people actually watching it again on cable, and I think it does the job the studio wants it to. We'll see if a wider audience agrees.

It was interesting to me in a couple of ways. Many of the scenes seemed to be cut internally, I'm guessing to up the pace of the film from the excruciating, ponderous torpor of the last two movies with Superman in them. There was also a hint of Kirby not just in the Fourth World iconography/nomenclature but in its attention to strict power levels. No one wins a fight in this movie because they're morally virtuous: the nature of fighting ignores virtue. If as one would infer the next movie finds the League facing villains played by actors instead of more CGI things, that would be an advantage for them over the Marvel team sequel. Still can't see a Cyborg solo film, though.

* finally: Rossell Contreras profiles Lalo Alcaraz.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Cullen Bunn!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Ed Brubaker!

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Happy 56th Birthday, José Villarrubia!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Alan Moore!

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November 16, 2017


Go, Look: Juli Majer

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By Request Extra: Kate Beaton's Ask On Behalf Of Her Sister Becky Beaton

Start here and work your way through. The direct site is here. The money is intended to support cartoonist Kate Beaton's sister Becky during her participation in clinical trials, including in the US.

I hope that you will consider joining so many other fans, friends and fellow comics community members in contributing what you're able. Every dollar will help.
 
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Go, Look: Leesh Adamerovich

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* so I spent last weekend at the new CAB. Very good show, and very promising in terms of it having another long cycle of shows. No one missed the Church that I spoke to, and comics fans are so ruthlessly nostalgic I thought at least a few people would be. The Pratt campus worked out great -- both the auditorium and the hall in which the exhibitors were found were nice facilities with room to grow. I had a good time talking to Chris Ware, and watching my peers Nicole Rudick and Paul Karasik handle their business with Emil Ferris and a group of Pratt graduates (Kuper, Griffith, Deitch). Pretty good business on the floor. I actually followed Robert Boyd around the show floor for a bit watching him buy art because I can't really afford a lot of it right now.

* the big appeal of a New York show is going to New York, so I hope we always have at least the three current major options and a few oddballs along the way. I will go every year.

* finally, here's a poster for an SPX at that month-long comics festival affiliated with the San Mateo library.

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

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

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Go, Look: Old Fall Vs. New Fall

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on To Your Eternity Vol. 1.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Jim Ottaviani!

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November 15, 2017


Go, Look: Dan Gearino Profiles The Teenaged Fan Photography Of Artist Mike Zeck

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

SEP172185 CARTOON COUNTY MY FATHER FRIENDS GOLDEN AGE MAKE BELIEVE $27.00
In a year of great books about comics comes another candidate for end-of-year lists: Cullen Murphy's memories of the cartooning community in Southern Connecticut in the near middle of the 20th Century. When I'm at work I dream of going home and continuing to read this one; it's like they're making books just for me now.

JUN170396 BATMAN THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS HC VOL 04 $75.00
I have no idea what this series is like but it has to be pretty interesting, right? There's a big chunk of Batman's publishing history we remember only in single images, while focusing on the very early, very '60s, very grim-and-gritty material.

imageSEP170708 BUTCHER BAKER RIGHTEOUS MAKER TP (MR) $17.99
Joe Casey-written comics sweat ideas and sideways observation, and this one is no exception. Mike Huddleston's slightly off-kilter, still grounded action art work make this a more memorable foregrounded experience than many books of its kind. Come for the mayhem, stay for the ahems.

SEP170378 WILD STORM #9 $3.99
JUL170791 EAST OF WEST #35 $3.99
SEP170744 INVINCIBLE #142 (MR) $3.99
SEP170751 MAGE HERO DENIED #4 (OF 15) $3.99
SEP170798 WICKED & DIVINE #33 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99
SEP170799 WICKED & DIVINE #33 CVR B DAUTERMAN (MR) $3.99
SEP170938 BLACK PANTHER PRELUDE #2 (OF 2) $3.99
Odd week for comics of the comic-book format variety. I'm enjoying Warren Ellis' recent round of adventure books as they get their feet underneath them. Jonathan Hickman is an interesting writer and all of his projects and this one is the most arch and majestic of his recent works. Invincible winds down with a conclusion to the hero's series-long conflict with the Robot character, a super-villain who improved things. Wicked & Divine ends an arc in the sense of the comic not the characters in the storyline. I mention the Black Panther because again, I'm not sure why it's smarter for Marvel to try to spread a character that hasn't done that many issue of comics in its current, core run. I guess you need to hit your market percentage somehow, but it's still depressing.

SEP171697 ADRIFT GN (MR) $14.95
This is Gregory Mardon, a family story, and 20th century maritime adventure. Sold. At least for a look-over at the shop.

JUL172036 BAD MACHINERY POCKET ED GN VOL 03 CASE SIMPLE SOUL $12.99
I buy everything John Allison does.

SEP171143 BIG BOX OF BIG NATE BOXED SET $39.00
SEP171154 DILBERT TP DILBERT GETS RE ACCOMMODATED $14.99
Two bookstore regulars in their comics shop offering. I would love to know more about people that continue to read Dilbert. I have a sense there's a billion of them, but it's no longer anyone I know. Except you, Steve. You're probably still reading these books.

SEP171430 VALERIAN GN VOL 19 AT EDGE OF GREAT VOID $11.95
I like these comics. That movie seems like it came out 38 years ago, like the same time as that Doc Savage film with Ron Ely.

SEP172189 HARVEY COMICS COMPANION SC $39.00
I know nothing about this, and wasn't aware one needed a companion for those comics, although I suppose there are people with a refined aesthetic for Hot Stuff just like there are people with refined aesthetics for just about every kind of book.

MAY170524 P CRAIG RUSSELL STRANGE DREAMS ARTIST ED HC $125.00
This is two Russell projects for Marvel, both of which were striking as originally published and should look wonderful in this format. It's amazing there aren't more pages of Russell doing Doctor Strange, but it's fun to stare at the ones we have.

*****

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 NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Char Esme

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on The Flash #20.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Jessica Abel!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Renée French!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Ariel Olivetti!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Gus Mastrapa!

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November 14, 2017


Go, Look: Chris Ware At Adam Baumgold

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lots of cool, early stuff
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* great to be reminded there's a 250+ page book by Carol Tyler on the Beatles coming next Spring.

* finally, there's a board book coming for younger readers of Phoebe And Her Unicorn.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Shan Murphy

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* all of the observer/cape/comica graphic short-story prize winners are interviewed as to what they're up to now; I enjoyed the feature and there are plenty of comics to click through and discover.

* Ashley Velez profiles Ariell Johnson.

* finally: here's a likely Darwyn Cooke forgery from an unreliable eBay seller. I can't even imagine the number of nettlesome instances there are trying to buy original art from anonymous people on the Internet.
 
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Happy 44th Birthday, Anders Nilsen!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Brad Mackay!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Jen Vaughn!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Edd Vick!

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November 13, 2017


Go, Look: Kira Aszman

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Berganza Story Receives National Attention; DC Suspends Longtime Editor; "Prompt Yet Careful Review"

DC sent an e-mail out over the weekend announcing the suspension of Group Editor Eddie Berganza, against whom repeated sexual harassment claims were the subject of a lengthy article at Buzzfeed that dropped last Friday. The story has led to several contextual and mirror stories; Berganza's photo was included in an array of accused harassers appearing on the cover of the New York Daily News.

I think there are multiple issues for DC to explore and because of that I don't mind them taking a bit of time -- a bit! -- to get the best information they can and make proper decisions. This includes Berganza's case for continued employment or immediate firing in and of itself, but should also encompass any additional stories that may come forward outside or inside the company now that a piece has been published, why any new information wasn't known, if Berganza's case was handled as fairly as the course selected by DC management allowed, whether that course was anywhere near adequate to the situation that presented itself to management, and how things must be adjusted moving forward. So in that way I hope we get a modest sprawl of changes and announcements over a few weeks rather than one thing immediately. Still more likely we get one thing immediately, but one can hope.

I also hope that all other companies big enough for a harassment policy are putting those policies under review.

As I shut down the computer typing this (Sunday night, 8:54 PM ET), there are already rumors that Berganza has been fired. I'll jump on and change the headline or write an update or something if that's true when I wake up. I do fervently hope that DC -- and others -- review policy, as that seems to me a completely different sent of issues than this one employee keeping or losing their job. The seeming lack of sensible, tiered reaction could be culture, that could be structural; it's likely both.
 
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Go, Look: Jack Reese

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* Cheryl Eddy throws a spotlight on Sci-Fi San Francisco.

* here's a gofundme for Drew Ford, who lost money doing a make-good on a situation where his money was absconded with by bank officials in China. I know that a lot of people reading have appreciated Ford's contributions to reprinting a lot of classic material.

* finally, I decided to skip a week on surveying the crowd-funding requests culled directly from those sites, but Ronald Wimberly's project is worth a look.
 
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Go, Look: Things To Secretly Love About NYC

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

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Go, Look: Kendra Yee

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Oliver Sava on Jaime Hernandez Studio Edition. Lisa Brown on a bunch of longer comics with female authors.

* a man in a nice suit talks to R Sikoryak.

* here's a background-style feature story on the forthcoming working completing Harvey Kurtzman's unfinished attempt at A Christmas Carol. That's the kind of project I'm sort of not interested in reading as a matter of rule but I recognize others feel different and elements of the process intrigue regardless.

* Rachel Cooke talks to Alison Bechdel.

* how Gabrielle Bell ended up in charge of not one but two older dogs.

* finally: yikes.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Sara Ryan!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Doug Murray!

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November 12, 2017


Go, Look: Big Art By Vanessa Davis

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Go, Look: Girl's Bathroom

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this was the first-place entry in CWCC 2017
 
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If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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Happy 65th Birthday, Carl Potts!

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November 11, 2017


Go, Look: The Nib's Dewey Beats Truman 2016 Election Cartoons

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Go, Look: Living Room

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this was the second-place entry in CWCC 2017
 
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If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 48th Birthday, James Owen!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Will Dinski!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Steve Ekstrom!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Derek M. Ballard!

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November 10, 2017


Go, Look: Vidhya Nagarajan

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Go, Read: Massive Buzzfeed Article About DC Editor Eddie Berganza's Multiple Harassment Incidents

Here. It's a fairly thorough piece of its type, which will always have certain limitations in terms of who chooses to participate and not. I believe every story in here. I support any motivation involved in people telling their own story or corroborating one. It's brave. I hope it leads to greater peace for those that have been wronged.

There's nothing in the story that hasn't been talked about in the past pretty openly in comics circles. There are two story points missing, or at least I'm not seeing (please correct me). One is whether or not DC has promoted or demoted Berganza with these claims as part of their reason for doing so. Two is whether or not there's ever been a company directive that Berganza not work with women directly, which would have some potential right-to-work fallout. (I am pretty certain there's at least one female editor in his office now.) Other than that, it seems all there.

From what I remember talking to DC people the last time Berganza's name came up as an example of open and obvious boys' club comics industry reality, they defer to the fact DC has worked with Time Warner to follow what their parent company does when confronted with reports like that. I believe this also colors elements of their response when confronted with the issues since. I suspect that in some ways, this is genuine, and that they may have been let down by that policy in a broad sense: policies at big companies aren't designed for a just outcome but one that is the least damaging to the big company.

In addition, as far as I know, there have been no reports of further transgressions by Berganza since the last gabbed-about incident in 2012. I can therefore imagine someone working up an argument that this represents a win for that policy, this way of handling things. I disagree. The cost as implemented is much too high in human suffering, in dream deferred. Even if you feel you're stuck with a certain policy, you can't point to such a thing as an optimal outcome. I disagree with the idea that any company is somehow absolved of suspicion, doubt or criticism if they accept the legal minimum response. Any reasonable high standard in place office-wide or in this case when the incidents began seems to me would have triggered a firing after the 2012 incident. I have no real confidence additional incidents from Berganza or a parallel series of incidents would be treated radically differently were they to begin six months from now. I hope I can one day be convinced to change my mind.

I also suspect this is one of those narratives where the sex part of the idea of sexual harassment confuses things. Had Berganza been walking around suddenly sucker punching people, cracking them right across the jaw, and was known as a guy who would make comments in the office about wanting to beat people's ass or put a mark on them, much of this would be way more easily seen as intolerable behavior.

The most interesting part of the article to me is a scenario where Berganza and a victim couldn't work together so the victim was left to opt out. This suggests that Eddie Berganza's skill-set has been valued in a way that prioritized him being able to perform, or that his perspective has been privileged simply because he's a man or a friend of those who had the opportunity to find better solutions. Both possibilities are disheartening.

I will additionally admit to suspicion of claims, even just implied, that this has been seriously dealt with in a house-cleaning way, or an effectively proactive way, within an office that had such an opportunity to do so when it changed coasts. I hope there is something done now, and I will be happy to trumpet those efforts if laid out for me.

In the end, if we as an industry and community are not constantly straining at the maximum way to best protect all people with whom we work, what are we even doing?
 
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Go, Look: Deep Clean

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this was the third place entry in CWCC 2017
 
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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Jason Shiga writes about his Demon; the seven-year project had a significant digital element, although what's being celebrated as the end of a seven-year journey is the final print publication from First Second. Congratulations to him on his completion of that part of his professional life.

* Manny Gomez talks to Dylan Campbell.

* Scholastic annonces digital/print plans for Phoenix. That seems a potentially significant announcement although the work has to hit hard with a base US readership first.

* finally: more John Allison is always a good thing.
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In Rhode Island, 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 Albuquerque, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Rose Metting

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Dueben talks to Kevin Pyle.

* here's a visual history of the Jack Kirby et al take on the mythological Thor character.

* not comics: missed noting that To Kill A Mockingbird returned to a Mississippi school's reading list on a parents-permission basis, which doesn't strike me as actually being returned to a reading list.

* don't know if I remember posting a link to this clever-looking R Sikoryak festival poster, although typing this just now i think I may have. Not like it hurts to see it again.

* I find it semi-remarkable that in 2017 I can find t-shirts with the Badger on them. Nothing dies in comics as long as the need for content in other media remains strong, I suppose.

* finally, John Severin draws the EC gang.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Chris Bolton!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Neil Gaiman!

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Happy 47th Birthday, James Sime!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Bruce Chrislip!

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November 9, 2017


Go, Look: Vance McDermott

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OTBP: Frazer Irving Sketchbook #5

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Go, Look: Push Thru

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this was a runner-up entry in CWCC 2017
 
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Festivals Extra: A Brief Interview With New CAB Co-Curator Matthew James-Wilson

imageThere's a new person involved with Comic Arts Brooklyn this year: writer and curator Matthew James-Wilson, best known for his work with the on-line magazine FORGE. As the other people involved with CAB and its predecessor are all heavy-hitters of their generation, it stands to reason that the much-younger James-Wilson has a similar career ahead of him.

I jumped at the chance to interview him but got my feet tangled and face planted. Luckily, James-Wilson is enough of a pro to have turned around the following from my questions in a little over three hours. As is always the case with e-mailed interviews, I've edited a bit for flow and the visual clarity of having it onscreen. -- Tom Spurgeon

*****

TOM SPURGEON: I'm always interested to know how someone fits into that writer/curator space, one of the tighter spaces in which to find a space in any era and doubly so I think now. Can you trace how you got to where you are from school?

MATTHEW JAMES-WILSON: I think I've always seen the value in people who put their energy into celebrating or validating the work of others around them. As a fan of anything, it feels really exciting to have some part in getting something you care about in front of more people. I think a lot of people get hung up on their own success or audience, but it seems kind of silly to work really hard to carve out a single career for yourself when there's the opportunity to help dozens of people get farther ahead in their practice simultaneously.

The first big part in wanting to become a writer or curator is just having the energy and patience to invest yourself in other artists and what they're making. Then I think your specific value or voice in a community only comes after you've done it long enough to start noticing the voids that need to be filled and the perspectives that aren't being shared.

I'm from Toronto originally but I grew up in upstate New York and went to an art high school there. I initially started the magazine with a couple friend while we were finishing high school as a way to interact with artists who we admired, during a point in our lives where we were unsure about what it would take to pursue making art after school. Initially a big part of the magazine was just having an excuse to talk to artists who we really looked up to, and hearing about their experience becoming a professional artist. But since we were young artists ourselves and knew what it was like to not have a lot of opportunities, we really wanted to make the other half of the magazine about artists who were just getting their start. So the curation for the magazine as a whole was born out of this desire to feature a balance between established artists sharing their stories and young artists sharing their work to a wide audience for the first time.

SPURGEON: Why New York and not Toronto as the center? You cover Toronto equally well, even, in what writing I've seen. What does New York provide or offer that's unique to what you're interested in spotlighting?

JAMES-WILSON: New York City became a much bigger part of the magazine after I moved here to go to college and I started doing the magazine totally by myself. At that point I was so overwhelmed by all of the stuff going on here with the DIY art and music communities that the magazine sort of became an elaborate journal of my experiences interacting with both.

Researching artists and art scenes in New York -- new and old -- is sort of like following a never-ending breadcrumb trail. There's always so much going on here that it's pretty easy to stumble into a scene for whatever you're interested in, with other people that also care a lot about it. It's such a difficult place to live and operate in that the people that actually stick around end up being really committed or passionate about what they're doing. But space and money have a really big impact on everything that gets made here, so lately I've been really conscious to include artists working in other places whose art isn't as impacted by those factors.

Toronto has it's own incredibly unique community, so I try to visiting my friends and family there as much as I can. I try to keep feet in both camps because I think I have a lot to learn from the way both cities breed the types of people and artists that they do.

SPURGEON: Could you talk more specifically about how comics works into your overall view of the art in which you're interested? Do you have a background with that kind of work? Do you think it's uniquely informative in the snapshot of this time to cover comics.

JAMES-WILSON: I've been reading comics for most of my whole life, so I think they've always been a big part of my art education. I think in comparison to a lot of other mediums, comics are really equalizing in that you don't need a lot of resources to make them, consume them, or share them, and there's a really low barrier of entry to become a part of the community around them. It's really important to me that art is available to people no matter what background or situation they're coming from to it, and comics fulfill that really well.

I also think, since there's so little money for the artists and publishers in the industry, there's a level of purity with people's intentions to make comics that's missing from a lot of other art forms. I don't think there are a lot of people who are in it for disingenuous reasons. With comics, if you didn't truly care about doing making them, you probably would have given up by now.

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SPURGEON: Talk to me about FORGE a bit. Is there a story as to its genesis that can be told without overtaking our little talk here? It strikes me as a documentation engine maybe more than something that embodies a certain view of art. It seems very respectfully reactive. What do the best issues do for a reader, in your estimation -- or maybe just what you aspire to.

JAMES-WILSON: Yeah, I've tried not to completely define what FORGE. is in the hopes that it can be whatever I want it to be whenever I'm working on it. Maybe part of that comes from just being indecisive or naive. I think after I moved to New York for college and started doing it by myself the magazine became really personal, and it was an easy format to work through my own insecurities and fears about being an artist by talking to so many people I looked up to about it.

Interacting with all of these young and contemporary artists has been a really humanizing experience for me as the person working on it, so I really want it to come across to readers as a way to realize that they're not all that different from the artists they admire. The creative process is fraught with self-doubt, frustration, and sudden revelation, so I feel some responsibility to make people feel less alone in that.

After I dropped out of college halfway through and started writing professionally for other publications, I think I gained some more autonomy and confidence with what I've been trying to do differently with my magazine. Now I think the magazine is still as personal as it has been for the past few years, but I've tried to apply what I've learned from doing it for five years into how I approach making it. I feel like each issue builds off of the preceding ones, so it's hard to pick out which issues stand out to me. But I think there are certain interviews through out the issues that have definitely felt like turning points for me working on it. The interviews I did with Greta Kline, Michael DeForge, Jillian Tamaki, and Jesse Moynihan were all particularly illuminating for me.

imageSPURGEON: What's your experience with CAB? What stood out for you?

JAMES-WILSON: I've been going to CAB since I first moved to New York, and it's consistently been one of the best festivals for comics and zines that I've ever attended. The first CAB I went to was in 2014, after I saw a poster for it outside of Death By Audio and tore it off the wall to put in my dorm room. Since then the fair has exposed me to so many of my favorite artists and books from the past few years. Desert Island alone has had an enormous impact on me and the way I think about art commerce and print, so it was incredibly flattering when Gabe approached me about helping out with CAB this year.

SPURGEON: Can you talk to me about that, how the co-curation came about?

JAMES-WILSON: Gabe first talked to be about helping to curate the fair in the spring while we were both tabling a different event in Brooklyn. I think Gabe has been really good about always figuring out how to make the next thing he does even better than the thing he just did, so it seemed like he just needed some help executing the vision he had for the fair this year. The two of us started meeting up more regularly and talking about what we thought a giant comic fair should look and feel like in 2017.

I think both of us have a similar work ethic and intention for doing the work that we do, so the fact that each of us approached it from a different background meant we could each bring something different to the table and still have a unified idea of what it should be. I'm so glad to have had the chance to work on it with him, and it's been such an honor to be a part of an event that has meant so much to me.

SPURGEON: Specifically, what do you think you add? Like is there a guest that you can point to, that you can say "that's a person that is going to contribute to this year's show that is here due to my curation." Or even more generally, what do you think you provide?

JAMES-WILSON: I think overall I've tried to bring in a more "youthful" perspective to it -- whether that means inviting new groundbreaking artists or highlighting artists from that past that stand out to someone from my generation. I'm 21 and I've been doing this magazine for the past five years, so I have a totally different experience that informs my attitude about art and comics, and I think the two of us have learn a lot from how each of us approach overcoming the hurdles that arise when organizing any art event. The panel that I'm hosting for CAB this year I think points to a lot of the voices that I'm excited about bringing to the show this year.

SPURGEON: You're an interesting, deliberate interviewer.

JAMES-WILSON: Thanks!

SPURGEON: Do you have a favorite discussion or kind of discussion?

JAMES-WILSON: I think I just really want an interview with an artist to not only give you an impression of how they make their work, but also what they're like as people. It's really easy to divorce a piece of art from the person who made it, so I try really hard to relate the two together. I don't know if a lot of interviewers really investigate why an artists made what they did, and what part of their human experience gives them a perspective that's really idiosyncratic. I don't really feel like I deserve to give my input on someone's work until I know who they are, so I try to start out with that. With most interviews I do I try to create some sort of chronology, but I also really try to stress that the artists are always still evolving, no matter how far along they are.

SPURGEON: Old men like me that count on a CAB for a look into what comics is like right this second, at least within the realm of that great community -- what should we know about the comics-makers you're bringing in? What does the work you're interested to bring to our attention through this show say about where the art form is headed?

JAMES-WILSON: I think comics is attracting people for the same reasons it always has, but today there's a lot more opportunity for anyone to feel like they can participate within the greater discourse. With the internet, there aren't really the same gatekeepers that there were in the past, and it's so much easier to narrow in on the audience that you're looking for rather than compromising your voice to appeal to a more general audience. The art form has such an endless amount of possibilities, so there's absolutely no reason why the content should feel limited to a specific style, narrative, or creator. I hope at least, that this year's festival will bring attention to the vast range of topics, stories, and perspectives that are alive and well in the world of comics, and that we'll allow anyone walking through the aisle to feel like there's nothing keeping them from being a part of it as well!

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* Matthew James-Wilson
* FORGE
* CAB

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* photo of James-Wilson supplied by James-Wilson
* cover to recent issue of FORGE
* image for this year's show
* poster for James-Wilson's same-week show opening [below]

*****

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

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Go, Look: Taylor Dow

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

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OTBP: Unversed

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Spinning.

* festivals extra: the CAKE exhibitor application process began earlier this week for its 2018 show, June 2-3. That's a popular stop on the regional arts-comics shows tour, and one I've attended and enjoyed. The application itself is free and the standard half-table is $65.

* go, look: these two kind of picket-fence triptychs of prominent Spider-Man runs by Michel Fiffe are a lot of fun.

* Mike Rhode talks to Marty Baumann. Killian Fox talks to Hamid Sulaiman. James Figy talks to Sean Knickerbocker. Molly Geoghegan talks to RJ Casey.

* Chris Gavaler's piece I'm noting here so I remember to read it certainly gets the provocative title of the month award.

* finally: Joseph Remnant.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Bill Mantlo!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Peter Birkemoe!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Mort Todd!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Denis St. John!

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November 8, 2017


Go, Look: Anna Vo

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Go, Look: Touristing

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this was a runner-up entry in CWCC 2017
 
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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

SEP171196 BODY MUSIC GN (MR) $26.95
Not a hit-laden week in what should be the start of the final Christmas-giving book rush, so let's go with a completely unknown to me, a new Julie Maroh. Maroh did Blue Is The Warmest Color, which had a well-liked but also criticized movie version. If I remember right, Maroh was one of the critics. Still, this kind of book, this kind of straight-up fiction should be a thing for comics, but it's not as much as I'd like for it to be so I'd be all over this in the store.

JUL170097 ABE SAPIEN DARK & TERRIBLE HC VOL 01 $34.99
JUL170145 BEST WISHES GN $19.99
Two borderline recommendations from Dark Horse. I don't recall any of the Abe Sapien stories being worth a hardcover collection, but I don't own a publishing company so I'd never have to make this decision in real life. Most of the Mignola-verse material is solid. Best Wishes is the latest in the line of "legendary DH creators work with Mike Richardson on what sound like direct-to-movie-pitch comics. Still, might be interesting to see how Paul Chadwick adapts to that role.

imageSEP172186 COMICS OF JOE SACCO JOURNALISM IN VISUAL WORLD SC $30.00
I saw Joe last weekend and his work seems to me to hold up to the examination that 1000 academics might give to it. Nice to hae it put into scholarly language, one supposes.

SEP170036 HELLBOY & BPRD 1955 OCCULT INTELLIGENCE #3 (OF 3) $3.99
SEP170721 DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA #6 (MR) $3.99
MAY170690 INJECTION #15 CVR A SHALVEY & BELLAIRE (MR) $3.99
MAY170691 INJECTION #15 CVR B SHALVEY & BELLAIRE (MR) $3.99
SEP170893 MASTER OF KUNG FU #126 CHRISTOPHER TRADING CARD LEG $3.99
SEP170892 MASTER OF KUNG FU #126 LEG $3.99
Comic-book comics. New Mignola. The next is the latest of the upsetting, weird Howard Chaykin comics series about a post-Trumpian Dirty Dozen. Injection is a fun Warren Ellis-written comic doing the thing most of those comics do. The "legacy" number on Master Of Kung Fu only caught my attention on this one, which represents a continuation of the number suggested to the Day brothers by all of their friends.

SEP171601 PAUL KIRCHNER BUS HC VOL 01 NEW PTG $22.00
I have a copy of this, and it's very attractive. Not sure I can sell Paul Kirchner's virtues with as much convincing alacrity, but to me they're pretty self-evident.

JUL170189 MANARA LIBRARY TP VOL 03 TRIP TO TULUM AND OTHER STORIES (MR $29.99)
Pretty sure this is a reprint from the series of trades, but I always pay attention to Mr. Manara and how they're packaging him to the press.

DEC160594 FICTION HOUSE FROM PULPS TO PANELS HC $49.99
This is a Craig Yoe book, I believe, that encompasses Fiction House's entire history. Sign me up.

APR170632 MIKE MIGNOLA HELLBOY ARTIST ED HC (NEW PTG) $150.00
AUG171699 FANTAGRAPHICS STUDIO ED HC JAIME HERNANDEZ $150.00
A reprint of the Mignola AE, and the publication of Fantagraphics' version of the same sort of thing, for their (nearly) longest-time creative partner, Jaime Hernandez. I'm certain both are beautiful.

SEP171026 X-MEN GRAND DESIGN BY PISKOR POSTER $8.99
Ed Piskor's X-Men has a chance to do very well; this poster could drive comic book store traffic to the series, although just typing that I'm reminded I am deeply unaware of how the market forces around such books work. I'd sure like Ed to have a gigantic hit, though.

AUG171816 AKIRA 35TH ANNIVERSARY HC BOX SET (MR) $199.99
It made sense that someone would do a box set like this and I'm dying to get to a comic book store where I can look at one. I want this in my library, but want a really well-done version.

AUG171802 AS THE CROW FLIES GN $30.00
This is a print version of Melanie Gillman's well-liked on-line comic about a queer girl at Christian camp. I also liked what I saw on my computer screen.

SEP171109 SUGAR TOWN GN (MR) $10.00
This is a Hazel Newlevant story that's a romance comic with a modern sensibility in terms of the kind of relationships it explores. I'd like to see more, and could if I were in a shop. $10 for 56 pages is an interesting price point, too.

SEP172188 EXPANDING ART OF COMICS 10 MODERN MASTERPIECES HC $65.00
ICAF was last weekend, so let's end with this book from Thierry Groensteen, starting with a representative comic book for the decades of comics' great expansion into literary standing.

*****

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 Toronto, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Ben Andersson

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Gilbert Gottfried talks to Drew Friedman.

* Katsuhiro Otomo paints.

* not comics: Laura Park is undeniably fun.

* go, read: accomplished prose writers in various media pick graphic novels they like. No big surprises here.

* Elias Rosner takes a lengthy look at all of the Thor comics written this last half-decade by Jason Aaron. I've liked those I've read, but I haven't gone very deep. It's the only one I'm picking up right now with any regularity, but thats mostly about how very little of that line interests me even in a professional interest sense.

* Richard Sala has assembled a bunch of Leonora Carrington images here.

* finally, not comics/bundled extra: a second prose novel for writer G. Willow Wilson.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Cheese Hasselberger!

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November 7, 2017


Go, Look: Ben Nadler

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Netflix Publishing Mark Millar/Oliver Coipel Comic Book

Abraham Riesman provides the basics. This is potentially a big deal depending on how many comics Netflix ends up doing, although there doing a lot seems to run against a lot of conventional wisdom where it's easier for the company to buy successful sub-groups that already do most of the work in getting this done. Millar was a pretty unique combination of established film adaptation success story and force in the comics world. There just aren't a lot of people like that, those that exist might want to seek their own deals on an individual or collective basis, and developing them from scratch takes skill and investment.

The comic sounds like the very typical Mark Millar broad, movie-pitch idea. Let's hope it's slightly more than just that, as recent, sparsely told comics have been for the longtime writer and his various collaborators.
 
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Go, Look: Slow Theft

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this was a runner-up entry in CWCC 2017
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* there's a significant news story developing this morning in the superhero portion of the comics publishing world: writer Brian Michael Bendis is apparently moving from Marvel to DC. Bendis is a mega-prominent mainstream and genre-indie writer with a proven track record, is able to handle just about any title with a degree of authority (what titles he'll do will each become a news story), and was a key player in terms of the creative resurgence at Marvel that coincided with their initial film success. For Marvel, you can't say there was a lot for the writer left to do there, just in terms of coverage. If you subscribe to the theory -- not everyone does -- that the House Of Ideas a bit creatively thin right now just in terms of bodies on books, well, things just got thinner. Bendis is a creator to whom I always pay attention and he himself is one of the great stories of modern comics. I look forward to reading what he does in his new setting.

* one note as to the significance of that previous story: I have two e-mails in my inbox already speculating that Bendis may be moving in advance of a Marvel publishing line shutdown/revamp, which has been a thread in a lot of discussions of mainstream comics this year. That's when you know you're a core creator, when your change of check-signers is a sign of the apocalypse.

* Lawrence Block's work is coming to the graphic novel format via adaptation and IDW. I like adaptation projects, although on balance I prefer it when cartoonists do wholly original work. I tend to prefer the result of the latter, too, but not always.

* finally: I didn't do a whole lot of talking at last weekend's Short Run festival about future comics plans, but I did stumble across a few gems. Megan Kelso said she's back at work on a major project she's been putting off for a while now. Jim Blanchard put Trucker Fags In Denial back in print on his own and says there will be a posthumous book of Denny Eichhorn collaborations in that late-career run the writer put out, mostly stuff that was in the works when Eichhorn died. Ellen Forney's next book is nearly completed and will have a quick turnaround of May 2018. Emil Ferris swore while onstage that work continues on the second My Favorite Thing Is Monsters volume.
 
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Go, Look: Andrea Lukic

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Brian Nicholson on Anti-Gone.

* Bill Radford takes the temperature of area comics retail in Colorado Springs and reports back that news is mixed.

* I wrote the other day about how Howard Chaykin had made a claim on being a strong influence on modern comics. In this blog post, scholar Brannon Costello makes a case for same with a few cogent examples.

* a short while back Sally Ingraham at Comics Workbook clued us into four profiles by Athena Naylor at Our Comics, Ourselves: Carolyn Nowak, Meredith Gran, Kate Beaton, Sarah Glidden.

* finally, Emily Carroll made a digital art book called Cat & Countess. You probably want it.
 
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Happy 31st Birthday, Lizz Hickey!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Dave Cooper!

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November 6, 2017


Go, Look: Ellice Weaver

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Go, Look: Hangover Haiku

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this was a runner-up entry in CWCC 2017
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Mort Meskin Splashes In Justice Traps The Guilty

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* not comics: Tim Hanley on Professor Marston And The Wonder Women. Comics: Philippe Leblanc on Ghosts, Etc.. About comics: Britt Mann on Drawn Out. About comics: Carol Wright on Superwomen.

* Steve Jordon digs into a specific choice made by Wiley Miller in a recent comic.

* Andrew Ayres profiles Roye Okupe. Kyle Clark profiles Chuck Rozanski.

* it's nice to see as much attention as possible paid to Brian Fies' comics-making in the wake of losing the family home in the fires in and around Santa Rosa.

* finally, Kevin Huizenga supplies notes from a recent lecture he found inspiring.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Gregory Mardon!

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November 5, 2017


Go, Look: Kate Glasheen

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

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

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

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Happy 46th Birthday, Diana Tamblyn!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Robert Loren Fleming!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Mats Stromberg!

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Happy 44th Birthday, George O'Connor!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Steranko!

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November 4, 2017


Go, Look: Hadar Reuven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 50th Birthday, Alex Van Koten!

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November 3, 2017


Go, Look: Kaela Graham

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Go, Look: Ellis Rosen

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* this is a videogame story, but it's interesting to see "slice of life" webcomics ;referenced as its own genre.

* that's an interesting development, that a graphic novel-related promotion involving free material related to a Marvel movie did not move the needle, apparently. I'm sure the numbers were okay, but still. I get a lot of paranoid e-mail about Marvel and/or DC continuing their publishing lines over the long-term if the numbers keep being lousy. I don't think that's likely, but certainly a lack of synergy over a long period of time could be a factor.

* I liked this walk-through of the general posting history for The Abominable Charles Christopher.

* finally: in the future, all elections will be fought through poorly-drawn webcomics.
 
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If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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If I Were In South Bend, I'd Go To This

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

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

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If I Were In Seattle, 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 St Catharines, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Dark Mysteries #18

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Parul Sehgal on Tenements, Towers And Trash. Todd Klein on Wonder Woman #23.

* not conics: never seen this Charles Vess cover for Darby O'Gill before now.

* the writer Tony Isabella will sign his new comic for you.

* it's after Halloween, but there are still plenty of good comics on this team Paste list of scary comics suitable for an all-ages recommendation.

* I've seen plenty of Jason's pen and ink drawings over the years, but I can't remember seeing a whole lot of his actual sketches.

* Jeff Lemire on the late Gord Downie.

* finally: Dan Gearino profiles Ryan Claytor.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Zack Soto!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Tom Grindberg!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Tom Lyle!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Karen Sneider!

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November 2, 2017


Go, Look: Marcelo D'Salete

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Festivals Extra; Appeals Court Reverses Decision Re: Reporting And Posting On SLCC/CCI Case

Here's the PDF.

9th_Cir_comic_con_gag_order_opinion.pdf

As it was explained to me, this is a reversal of the district court's order whereby they made specific prohibitions on how Salt Lake Comic Con could post commentary on and items related to the ongoing litigation between that group and CCI. It looks like from that document that the trial may start later this month, barring settlement beforehand. This is a definite sideshow to the main action, and CCI preventing months of this activity before the reversal seems significant as well if you look at these things as wins and losses.

Like I always write, I'm sympathetic to the notion that all of these prominent mainstream-leaning comics conventions are both basically adopting the Comic-Con model and also are in many ways piggybacking on that entity's work as shorthand for promoting and explaining their own efforts. When a movie star in Salt Lake or New York or Paris says "I've never done comic-con before" or something similar, they're not referencing the generic idea.

I do have some personal doubts how this might be actionable in a legal sense, if at all, and I suppose we'll see pretty soon if this specific legal strategy is successful or not.
 
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Go, Look: Sarah Benkin

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* my Internet connection is such that doing a lot of links will be difficult. No one does a lot of links anymore, but I like them, so please forgive me.

* this weekend has suddenly joined the March/April transitional weekend as one of the most crowded in comics. I'm at ICAF/Short Run in Seattle, but others are gathering at places like Jet City and the AAEC convention and Zine Machine and Lucca. It's nice time of the year to do a show, I think -- it's generally indoor weather and most folks are at the end of their Fall cycle on things like kids sports. Good luck to all those out and about celebrating comics over the next few days.

* one thing I'm starting to experience at more of these shows is wide-ranging philosophical discussions about the purposes they serve and how long this current age of cons will keep going. I think we have some expansion yet. Like syndicated comics, it takes a long time for shows to lose their heat once they gain it, and when we're all in the comics rest home we'll guess certain shows went away five to seven years before they actually did. And with running a show still one of the lower entry points for getting into the field, and still with some modest financial reward if you can manage the time and catch a break on resources, there are models yet to come.

* I always go back to Tom Devlin's statement that this is an overall good, that he would have benefited greatly from all of these shows as an aspiring creator. I just hope that the energy can be pushed back through the community instead of into the show themselves. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to try and do exactly what I think should happen or fail spectacularly, not getting close enough at all.

* finally, this looks like an extremely interesting show and a future excuse to visit France not in January: the fourth edition of the Salon BD &Images LGBT Paris. Tagame-approved.
 
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If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Go, Look: Groovy-Looking Nick Cardy Teen Titans Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Poppies of Iraq.

* Mary Louise Kelly talks to Barry Blitt. Alex Wong talks to Barry Blitt.

* when I was at TCJ we managed to lose a four-hour interview with the late Leo Baxendale, so I'm glad for very conversation that exists.

* Steve Lieber presents maybe the best on-floor convention sketch I've ever seen not done by Ivan Brunetti when he used to sketch for the CBLDF by taking any three-word grouping given to him and making it art in the filthiest way possible. This is by far the best one I can show my Mom, though.

* finally, here are tributes to Naji al-Ali.

 
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Happy 90th Birthday, Steve Ditko!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Bill Schelly!

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November 1, 2017


CR Review: The Wendy Project

imageCreator: Veronica Fish, Melissa Jane Osborne
Publishing Information: Emet Comics/Super Genius, softcover, 96 pages, July 2017, $12.99
Ordering Numbers: 9781629917696 (ISBN13)

I can imagine this attractive book by Veronic Fish and Melissa Jane Osborne being fairly affecting for some of its readers. The Wendy in The Wendy Project is a 16-year-old girl who loses one of her two brothers in an accident that happens while she's driving them in her car. She processes her grief by seizing on a Peter Pan-informed fantasy of the boy escaping to a fairyland, and sticks with this to the point that people in her life start to resemble the various JM Barrie characters. Our Wendy eventually makes it to her Neverland and negotiates directly with the implications of her brother's departure before starting to put together a life that includes therapeutic creativity. The Wendy Project feels professionally executed by its authors; Fish in particular has a loose touch and playful approach to the limited color work that keeps the narrative lively.

I experienced loss at this approximate age and fixated on fantasy characters, but nothing as iconic and rigid as the fantasy presented here. It remains more clever idea than insightful framework, and much of the later narrative is an argument for the metaphor rather than an exploration of insight provided by the metaphor. This reader, at least, can't remember a single insight provided specific to the Peter Pan stage play or movies. One can easily imagine other commercially successful fantasies standing in for the vast majority of what's unpacked in front of us here. There's a reading where the protagonist's age and the trite quality of using a fantasy to deal with something this complicated and devastating seems on the verge of treating us a more sobering picture than the ending we end up seeing.
 
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Go, Look: Stupendous-Looking Primetime Wally Wood

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Your PW Best Books 2017 Comics/GNs Sub-List

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Here. No huge surprises, although the First Second book is a significant one. I might have guessed three of these plus the Gabrielle Bell and the Thi Bui if I had been forced to make a wager. This should be the start of a dominant run on these lists by Emil Ferris' My Favorite Thing Is Monsters and more power to that book and its author.

They are:

* Boundless, Jillian Tamaki (D+Q)
* My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Vol. 1, Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
* My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, Nagata Kabi (Seven Seas)
* Sex Fantasy, Sophia Foster-Domino (Koyama)
* The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry, David Carlson and Landis Blair (First Second)

Expect many more such lists in the days ahead, although maybe not from me. All the books I liked were weird reprints -- even more than usual.
 
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Go, Look/Not Comics: A Maria Kalman Mural, In Parts

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

AUG172272 CHRIS WARE MONOGRAPH HC (C: 1-1-0) $60.00
I'm reading this Chris Ware art book, autobiographical essay collection and treatise on making right this moment, and I think it's pretty great. I don't have any deeper thoughts than that. It might be worth noting that at full price this is a ridiculous bargain and discounted as these things are it's actually physically cheaper than the hardcover edition of most superhero crossovers. Plus there are things with binding that are seriously ambitious.

imageJUN170064 GRANDVILLE FORCE MAJEURE HC (C: 1-1-2) $24.99
This is the last of these books, from Bryan Talbot. I greatly enjoy their tone and texture and look forward whether seeing if there is a narrative there with which I can further fall in love.

JUN170552 BERNIE WRIGHTSON ARTIFACT ED HC CVR A $125.00
JUN170553 BERNIE WRIGHTSON ARTIFACT ED HC CVR B $125.00
MAY171877 BOOK OF BALLADS ORIGINAL ART ED HC $75.00
Anything Wrightson in any of the archival forms available to publishers today is going to be special, and I'm glad it's this family of books that this work appears. Wrightson was one all of the all time great drawers in that there were wide swathes of his career where whatever he drew had quality greater than the sum of the ink moved across the paper. These could be really, really great. Ditto books showing off original work by the great Charles Vess.

SEP170081 USAGI YOJIMBO #163 $3.99
AUG170690 LAZARUS X PLUS 66 #4 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99
SEP170794 WALKING DEAD #173 (MR) $2.99
SEP170958 ASTONISHING X-MEN #5 $3.99
SEP170951 BLACK BOLT #7 $3.99
SEP170802 CAPTAIN AMERICA #695 LEG $3.99
SEP171322 GIANT DAYS #32 $3.99
Comic-book comics, for the fussy nostalgist in us all. I will buy every comics Stan Sakai makes. The Lazarus book is an in-between series of one-shot meant to fill out the world inhabited by the corporate champion lead and other characters in this satirical action-adventure. Walking Dead inches towards its series reinvigoration in the new year and I'm sure is a welcome seller at many comic shops. Astonishing X-Men isn't my speed but it seems to give the reader an X-Men story that is familiar with how other series work. Black Bolt is a favorite character of my brother's and this series features very handsome art. Captain America is Mark Waid working with Chris Samnee, and I think that's Marvel's best combination on a character that could use it. And I will always at the very least look at new John Allison.

JUL170661 MAN FROM THE GREAT NORTH HC $24.99
This is Hugo Pratt and Hugo Pratt can enter the comic shops any time it would like, thank you. I will look at you, Hugo Pratt book. It looks like this is a specific story fleshed out a bit and with some add-ins to make it hardcover length.

JUN161996 ALLEN SON OF HELLCOCK HC (C: 0-1-1) $21.99
This was aggressively hyped -- to me -- at least, by the connection of its creators to various high-end television comedies. I"m about halfway through. It's okay, but it strikes me as overly comfortable with itself and exactly on the cutting edge of humor.

SEP171659 JASON SHIGA DEMON SC GN VOL 04 (C: 1-1-0) $19.99
Jason Shiga is sort of a genius and this book is the best thing to come out of First Second in a couple of years. No reading experience is like this one.

SEP171156 MUTTS TREASURY LOVE MUTTS (C: 0-1-0) $19.99
We're about 14 months away from the extended re-appreciation of Patrick McDonnell's work, if you're attention.

JUL172038 OH JOY SEX TOY GN VOL 04 (MR) $29.99
Another I think self-funded (via crowd services) of this popular web feature.

JUL172226 ALTER EGO #149 (C: 0-1-1) $9.95
All respect for 149.

AUG172286 COMPLETE PEANUTS FAMILY ALBUM ULT GDT CLASSIC CHARACTERS HC $40.00
This is Andrew Farago's work and he's done some nice stuff in the pop-culture corner of about-comics. This doesn't interest me a ton, but i'm willing to go and take a nap.

AUG171698 AND THEN THE WORLD BLEW UP SC ESSAYS DRAWINGS (C: 0-1-2) $29.99
At SPX I asked four editorial cartoon makers who had really started to establish themselves which of their peers has done a great job sticking it to crump, and this was reigning Reuben winner Ann Telnaes' choice.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
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If I Were In Lucca, 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: Bill Holman's Spooky

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Alex Dueben talks to Katharine Collins for TCJ, which I guess they're splitting into two parts. Remember that although the Neil The Horse collection debuted back around TCAF time, the American distribution was set for Fall. So that book will be brand new for many US readers.

image* Caleb Orecchio on looking at color through the prism of Classics Illustrated.

* don't know that I've ever seen this advertisement before extolling the virtues of Marvel's early 1960s sales surge, although I'm aware of the truth they portray.

* all-timer, not an all-timer, whatever: this one made me laugh.

* Howard Chaykin makes a forceful claim for his American Flagg! as one of those influential works that shapes the course of art's development so thoroughly that it erases the unique nature of the original work.

* finally: a few Seattle cartoonists sketch patients' stories at a big, free, public opportunity for many to receive healthcare.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Zander Cannon!

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Happy 75th Birthday, Michael Fleisher!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Whit Spurgeon!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Rich Koslowski!

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