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














December 14, 2017


Go, Look: Maia Kobabe

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Festivals Extra: Rob Salkowitz On The Comic-Con Trademark Decision

Here and here.

Salkowitz does some nice work in pointing out that licensing agreements between SDCC and other entities have already happened, that appeals are restrictive in what they can change and that Reed has significantly more resources at their disposal if SDCC goes after them for their use of the trademarked term.

I'm not done going over this stuff, but one thing that pops into my head is that I wouldn't read too much into the $20K award vs. the $12M asked. I suspect that damages were asked for not because the SDCC team thought they'd happen but to make the trial a jury trial. Now that we've seen what a jury might accept as an act of appropriation, I think most of these shows have vulnerabilities to a similar claim even if they didn't drive a car around San Diego, like the Salt Lake City folks did. I also imagine that SDCC might have a protective interest in guiding what that term means -- they've taken a path that's still comic-centric, that structurally won't allow for 200K in attendance -- and this would afford them some primacy in that market. I would also imagine it would give them a step up in creating one or two more shows if that's what they want to do.

I've said this a ton of times about the possibility of a SDCC win, but I'm still sort of surprised there's a legal path here -- or at least any outcome wouldn't have surprised me; this is maybe the only thing I've learned about legal outcomes covering them the last 25 years. I don't know of another instance of an even doing something so well they took at least their model from generic to specific, but I recognize significant chunks of SDCC in all of these new shows. The model just isn't very different. I wish them luck in stewardship, since it seems that's what they've been granted. I guess I'm glad CXC isn't CCC, although as said other shows have come to agreements.

SDCC was a longtime advertiser here, so what you just read could certainly be compromised nonsense. Trust no one!
 
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Go, Look: Jeffrey Hsueh

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2018

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*****

December 27
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

*****

January 25
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 26
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 27
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

January 28
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

*****

Events For February 2018 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Adam Syzm

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Now #1. Ben Towle on Tristan And Yseult. Todd Klein on Green Lanterns #20.

* bundled extra: prolific writer and cartoonist Jeff Lemire writes about about his 2018.

* the veteran writer Tony Isabella lists a bunch of DC Comics projects he'd like to make. This reminds me of the days when I used to host TCJ contributors when they made their way through Seattle and they all had lists of projects they wanted to do. I don't know if young artists do their current world of comics' equivalent to that kind of hopeful chatter, but I hope they do. Also, they should give Isabella a crack at Metamorpho.

* Evan Dorkin draws George Steele.

* finally: Mark Evanier discusses the westward journey being made by MAD. It's my understanding the first Burbank issue is underway.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Brendan Burford!

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Happy 58th Birthday, David Quinn!

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December 13, 2017


Go, Look: Madeline McGrane

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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.

*****

OCT171588 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY JAIME GN VOL 06 ANGELS MAGPIES $19.99
This is a staggering collection of Jaime's astounding run a few years back. The award-winning Browntown/Love Bunglers pairing is here accompanied by the vastly underrated Ti-Girls work and supplemented by the cartoonist's New York Times serial and, running underneath it, that story about pottry-training age Maggie roaming her neighborhood, done in this elegant style that Jaime rarely uses. Hard to imagine a lot of collections with multiple works in them from the entire history of comics packing that much good work

imageOCT171805 CATBOY GN $20.00
This is a collection of material from the serial at VICE, represented in the direct market by Marc Arsenault and Wow Cool. Cute cover. It's the season to check out newer material.

AUG170036 LOBSTER JOHNSON TP VOL 05 PIRATES GHOST $19.99
SEP170439 ASTRO CITY ORDINARY HEROES HC $24.99
SEP170438 ASTRO CITY REFLECTIONS TP $16.99
These are two sturdy series that I'm mentioning here because there's a dearth of comic-book size comics this week, even by my relatively loose standard for such offerings. One advantage of Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson doing this stage of their career at DC is that they'll certainly do a good job keeping those trades on the stands. My hunch is that a lot of Astro City's natural audience at this point is primarily a trade buyer.

OCT170343 BUG THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #6 (OF 6) (RES) (MR) $3.99
OCT170608 WICKED & DIVINE CHRISTMAS ANNUAL #1 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON $3.99
OCT170609 WICKED & DIVINE CHRISTMAS ANNUAL #1 CVR B ANKA (ONE SHOT) (M) $3.99
Here's that short list of comic-book format comics that jumped out at me. I'm sure I'm missing two or three series that I cover here. That Bug comic is the Mike Allred take on the Fourth World character, and attention might perk up there at the end of the serialization. The W&D material is one of the way that popular series bridges the time between volumes of the main narrative.

SEP171618 A ZOO IN WINTER HC NEW PTG $23.00
This is Jiro Taniguchi and as this stuff seems pretty timeless to me in its appeal, I'm glad to see attention to having that work in print.

APR171907 DENNIS THE MENACE HC VOL 03 HAWAII $24.99
This is I think the best-regarded of the comic-book Dennis team's travelogues; I read the crap out of my version when I was kid. This comic was pretty ubiquitous and I think sold millions of millions of copies over several printings in that initial burst of five to ten years after its initial appearance on the stands.

AUG171662 DF DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #1 DF EXC MILLER HOMAGE $299.99
It's weird as popular as the previous DK iterations were that I don't have any sense of this volume's story, or outcome or publishing status.

SEP171572 MOOMIN AND THE BRIGANDS GN $9.95
An automatic purchase for me and others out there that know who they are.

OCT171705 PORTUGAL HC (MR) $39.99
I despaired of finding a comics for the bottom slot that wouldn't be overwhelmed by that Jaime, but a big Cyril Pedrosa book is certainly worth noting and yes, as one would expect it's glorious looking. I liked the subject matter, too, second-stage adult anxiety mixed in with later-20th Century regional European displacement. I'll write a review at some point, because it's very interesting in terms of its narrative choices as well.

*****

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, Read: Eighty Days

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Caleb Orecchio would like to have a few words with you about the 1970s Marvel Comics coloring work done by Francoise Mouly.

* Frank Santoro on Wet Earth. Tegan O'Neil on Shirtless Bear-Fighter. Tessa Strain on I Am Not Okay With This.

* Martyn Pedler talks to Tim Lane. Greg Hunter talks to Emil Ferris.

* finally: here's an excerpt from Hillary Chute's new book, about punk comics.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Joseph Michael Linsner!

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Ed Koren!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Carl Antonowicz!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Philippe Francq!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Kyle Baker!

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December 12, 2017


Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Cullen Murphy

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Go, Read: A Brief Reconsideration Of Local Arts Connections

This profile of Guelph art dealer Renann Isaacs makes a big deal -- and should -- of her gallery's recurring partnership with the great cartoonist and illustrator Seth. I'm putting a spotlight on it with its own post because I think it encapsulate an underutilized strength available to comics-makers.

In the past, some local art scenes have been reluctant to include comics-makers in their efforts to spotlight what's being made around a specific city or in a particular region. That's less and less of the case now. You also have found cartoonists that have been reluctant to partner with local institutions because they want to avoid being strait-jacketed with a "local artist" reputation. In the era of social, local is international in a lot of ways, and there are changing attitudes about where good work can be found. I encourage all comics-makers settled into a community or region to make these contacts and enjoy these working relationships as part of what they do.
 
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Go, Look: Comics Available Over Christmas Break 1971

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Your 2018 Eisner Award Judges

Comic-Con has posted this year's slate of Eisner Awards judges and program administrator has sent out a piece of publicity in support of the announcement.

They are:

* Candice Mack, manager of system-wide Young Adult Services at the LA Public Library.
* Greame McMillan, international cat thief and longtime writer about comics.
* Tate Ottatti, Florida retailer of 25 years standing.
* Nhora Serrano, a visiting assistant professor of comparative literatures at Hamilton College.
* Alexander Simmons, a freelance writer and educator.
* Bill Wilson, longtime fixture in the southern California fan community.

Fuller biographies are available at the link.

Submission will be accepted until the deadline March 16. The Eisners are juried at the nominations level and then opened up to working professionals and past winners. The ceremony is held the Friday evening of Comic-Con International.
 
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Go, Look: Martian Press

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* with Spy Seal having finished up its first volume, fans of Rich Tommaso -- of which I'm one -- might hope for a higher profile for collections of his recent work like Dry County.

* this PW preview of the Spring comics and graphic novels category has some great tidbits about a number of what look like quality works. I had not known that Michael Kupperman's book on his quiz-kid father has gained the title All The Answers. That Kupperman book is probably one of the two or three curiosity pieces next year, as his obvious smarts and skills are being put to use for what I assume is an entirely different kind of book. Although, then again, if the sex blimps show up, I'm not going to complain. It's also the first time I've seen public recognition that the cartoonist known as Ethan Rilly will collect Pope Hats' major storyline Young Frances under his real name, Hartley Lin!

* finally: Bleeding Cool notes that Fantagraphics is reprinting Cannon in the new year. The success of Wally Wood publishing projects the last quarter-century is an intriguing story: I would imagine it's one winding down as the generation most taken with Wood is slowly shuffling off this mortal coil. Nothing like a really crackling Wood comics effort, though, still.
 
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Go, Look: Jean Wei

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Go, Look: 5 Worlds

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Bloom Into You Vols. 1-2. Garry Trudeau writes an article for the Times about Cullen Murphy's remembrance of the 20th Century southern Connecticut cartooning scene, Cartoon County. That's a nice get for that fine book. Rachel Cooke on Spinning.

* not comics: I know nothing about the context here, but it seems pretty self-explanatory and important enough to share. Our deepest sympathies go out to family and loved ones, as well as hope for the best possible outcome with every remaining, unresolved issue.

* Brandon Reynolds talks about his life in cartooning.

* this best of travel books list includes the new Roz Chast, a book I think has been under-discussed in the comics world.

* finally: Caroline Donahue talks to Fran Krause.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Pat Lewis!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Mark Landman!

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December 11, 2017


Go, Look: An Equal Opportunity Lie

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Comic-Con International Wins Suit Against Salt Lake Comic Con Over Comic Con Trademark

Late Friday afternoon brought news that Comic-Con International won its trademark infringement case against Salt Lake Comic Con over use of the phrase Comic Con. CCI claimed that use of the term by the Salt Lake group violated their trademark; the Salt Lake group held that the term was generic.

CCI was awarded only $20,000 -- far shy of its $12 million ask -- because the court determined the violation wasn't a "willful infringement."

I've long been of two minds about the case. I actually doubted that CCI could find legal standing for their claim because of the ubiquity and historical nature of the phrase but I have always been 100 percent certain that newer shows like the one in Salt Lake use "comic-con" or a near-derivative to indicate the exact experience created by CCI if not the actual show itself, at least way more than they use the term to mean a generic comics show of some sort.

Where this continues is if Salt Lake appeals, which might itself depend on whether or not CCI uses the decision to seek an injunction against Salt Lake and other shows that use the term. It is also unknown if Salt Lake will continue to seek formal cancellation of CCI's claim at the trademark office level.
 
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Go, Look: Will 2018 Be The Year Of The Woman?

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Brian Bendis Recovering From Infection Episode

On Friday, mainstream North American comics icon the writer Brian Bendis revealed that a infection flare-up on Monday, December 4, had put him in the hospital for care and endangered his life. Apparently a recent attempt to become more generally healthy helped in response, and Bendis was home by week's end. CR wishes Bendis the best in his continued recovery and return to work.

Bendis' appreciation for friends in the Portland creative community and their support for him during the alarming period of this recent bout of infection are nice to read after a long and sometimes distressing industry year.

Best known for his revival of Marvel's "street-level" characters in the early '00s and his co-creation of Jessica Jones, Bendis recently made news by signing an exclusive contract with DC Comics believed to round into full effect schedule-wise in 2018.
 
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Go, Look: Comic Cavalcade #10

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I hope that in the spirit of giving which remains one of the best parts of this hopelessly over-commercialized season that people will pay attention to charitable efforts like the campaign for cartoonist Kate Beaton's sister Becky, an effort to expand the family's ability to find appropriate clinical trials worldwide.

* this is a good time to put some money into traditional comics charities, most of whom have a specific holiday-related campaign going if you look around a bit, or ask. Those non-profits include the traditional comics charities CBLDF and Hero Initiative, many of our educational institutions and related enterprises like Center For Cartoon Studies and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Look around. Comics has a culture of maximizing consumption. Taking a step back and aiming your money in a different direction, in a considered, thoughtful way, there is really no more enlightening way to participate in comics, to be a part of things. I recommend it to everyone.

* if you're one of the wonderful people that donates to your favorite cartoonists and makers on Patreon and can afford to do so, you might wish to temporarily boost one or two of those recipients that's particularly important to you. Until alternatives are found and/or the policy change in question that has added a fee to small donations as well as large is reconsidered, some of your favorites, particularly younger artists, may be taking a hit in terms of money that's very important to their ability to continue making work. This was not up to the donors to correct, nor is it up to you to fix, but it's a definite structural shift that some of you may have missed and I figure worth mentioning here.

* finally, I'm so happy that there will be a round two of Creators For Creators, and the sizable grant they supply a working cartoonist towards completion and support of a project. I'm encouraged every day by comics' moves towards a more generous assistance and aid landscape, and this is about as high-profile and substantial a development as we've seen in the last 36 months. You have until the end of March.
 
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Go, Look: A Few EC Segar Charlie Chaplin Strips

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Go, Look: Sal Buscema Drawing The Avengers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Glenn Walker, RIP. Walker was a talented and well-liked writer about comics and pop culture more widely. Our condolences to family, friends, fans and peers.

image* Alex Hoffman on Stages Of Rot.

* here's an analysis on where the Matt Furie Vs Alt-Right over Pepe the Frog stuff stands. I don't think Pepe is known enough and the changes radical enough for a satirical defense to make a lot of sense. The alt-right's use is overwhelmingly transformative when it comes to that kind of use of the character. Even Pissing Calvin exists in a way where Watterson's use of the character isn't transformed and harmed to this extent.

* the writer Hannah Means-Shannon digs into what makes Elfquest a creation important to comics. I agree with not a lot of this mostly in that excessive declaration makes puffy some matter-of-fact points. For instance, a lot of comics properties of that era ended up moving from publisher to publisher over the years. Still, I like Elfquest as an historical effort, and believe its creators told stories in a way that entertained many and shaped the comics readership. It was the Saga of its day and Wendy Pini doesn't get enough credit as a storyteller breaking with several traditions of her era, particularly in the emotive character work.

* finally: best incidental band name in a while.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Peter Bagge!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Lewis Trondheim!

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December 10, 2017


Go, Look: Fun Silver-Age Spectre Cover Images

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

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2017

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*****

December 13
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 27
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For December 2017 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Jason Leivian!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Chas Truog!

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December 9, 2017


Go, Look: One Dollar

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 59th Birthday, Jack Ruttan!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Nate Neal!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Kelly Alder!

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December 8, 2017


Go, Look: Roundvision

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

There's no story going on right now in all of comics that matches the Patreon fee-adjustment story, summarized and explained pretty well here. Basically, the subscription service is taking a bigger chunk of what they're charging by shifting the fee for processing payments onto users and raising the price accordingly. The end result is a lot of supporters dumping accounts that suddenly cost them a bunch more -- or, what is more likely, adjust the number of projects/etc. they support at a flat amount to fit that flat amount.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of people in comics -- where a lot of projects depend on low per-patronage amount of money -- are already feeling the effect. I'm against any switch in policy that costs artists money and will note that Michael DeForge has long pointed out the weakness of strategies dependent on so many middlemen and their desire to maximize profit.
 
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If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

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Go, Listen: Process Party On Comics Journalism

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Go, Look: Paul Rivoche Draws Star Trek-Related Stuff

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Gabriele Di Fazio talks to Conor Stechschulte.

* even with a goofy purpose fueling the art, watching a Jack Kirby piece come together is a lot of fun.

* buy some comics on eBay.

* finally, Mike Mignola draws Wolverine and Cable.
 
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Happy 74th Birthday, Kenneth Smith!

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Happy 50th Birthday, David Lasky!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Erik Larsen!

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December 7, 2017


Go, Look: Young And Dumb Inside

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Your 2017 SPACE Prize Finalists

imageThe awards program aligned with the longtime indie show SPACE, in Columbus, Ohio, has released its finalists lists. These are books submitted in 2017, meaning the 2017 winners will be named and honored at the 2018 show next spring.

They break it down into three categories: Graphic Novel Finalists, General Finalists and Mini-Comics/Short Story Finalists.

Your finalists are:

SPACE Prize Graphic Novel Finalists
* Black of Heart (Narrier), Chris Charleton And David Hollenbach, $34.
* Disposable Fiction Vol. II (Disposable Fiction Comics), Edited By Jack Wallace And Chris Allen, $15.
* The Dog Head: Book One (Project Sleeve LLC), Isaac Keppler, $20.
* Vagabond Comics Issue 5: The Ick (Vagabond Comics), Edited By Sequoia Bostick And Amalia DeGirolamo, $12.

SPACE Prize General Finalists
* Cosmo-Simian #2-3 (Mystery City Comics), Craig Bogart, $9 for both.
* The Electric Team #4 (Zimberwack Comics), Abi Connor And Leighton Connor And Sam Albert, $6.50.
* Fat Girl Love Club Vol. 1, Gabby Metzler, $9.
* Glimpses of Life #1-2 (Drunken Cat Comics), Brian Canini, $2.99.
* Landslide Cursed Ground (Head Shrinkers Press), Nichi Hawkins And AC Rillo, 1271 Brookstone Dr. Walton KY 41094, $8.
* Little Girl in Blue, Mandie Brasington, $8.
* MeSseD Chapters 1-5 (Creative Mussal), Jay B. Kalagayan And Dylan Speeg.
* Miserable Americans #4, Eva Derian, $5.
* The Not So Golden Age (Ugli Studios), Joseph Freistuhler And Phil Buck, $7.
* Radio Ga Ga (Old School Comics), Chad Lambert And Apri Kusbiantoro, 2982 Calusa Dr Hamilton OH 45011, $8.
* Ramble, Patrick Lay, 23 E Perry St Apt 3 Tiffin OH 44883, $6.
* Refugee Road (Prince Delight), Stu Rase And Tara Rase And Will Jones, $5.
* Right on Time (Head Shrinker Press), Landon Faulkner And Paul Spenser, 2191 East Ohio Pike #213 Amelia OH 45102, $8.
* Staunch Ambition #1 (BlauArts), Brian E. Lau And John McNichol And Tyler Thull And Edwin J Arroza And Neal Anderson, 4418 Ravinewood Commerce MI 48382, $7.
* Turning #1, Carl Antonowicz, 1506 Beechwood Blvd Pittsburgh PA 15217, $6.
* William Purrburger -- Bad Cat Burglar!, Michael Fehskens, 1728 E Long St Apt C Columbus OH 43203. $15.
* Woodstalk #7, Bruce Worden, $5.

SPACE Prize Minicomics/Short Story Finalists
* Brain Weather (Anxious Ink LLC), Alexis Cooke, 2108 24th Ave S Minneapolis MN 55406, $12.
* Charge of the Light Ladybug Brigade (Mullet Turtle Comics), Steve Steiner, 221 Walnut St Groveport OH 43125, $4.
* Conjuring Day, Michael Fehskens, 1728 E Long St Apt C, Columbus OH 43203, $12.
* Dance, Patrick Lay, 23 E Perry St Apt 3 Tiffin OH 44883, $4.
* Daughter of Brothers & Daughters (Silber), Brian John Mitchell And JM Hunter And Aubrey Hunter, 403 Edgewood Ct Washington IL 61571, $2.
* Dutchy Digest, Steven Hagar And Bruce Rosenberger, $2.
* The Electric Team Food Adventure, Abigail Connor, $3.
* Emancipation Day in ReDistricted, Chad Lambert And Mark McMurray, 2982 Calusa Dr Hamilton OH 45011.
* Far Tune #3-4, Terry Eisele and Brent Bowman, 906 Copeland Rd Columbus OH 43212, $3.
* The Mule Man Collection, Max Wolf And Amelia Sealy.
* My Saturday Night (Old School Comics), Chad Lambert And Jeremy Massie, 2982 Calusa Dr Hamilton OH 45011, $3.
* Origins / Remix aka the Flip Book, Pam Bliss, PO Box 304 Valparaiso IN 46384, $5.
* Parables of Gilgamoid, Corey Bechelli, $4.
* REH -- Me & Bob (Silber), Brian John Mitchell, PO Box 883 Sanford NC 27331, $2.
* Satan Cat #3 (Mullet Turtle Comics), Steve Steiner, 221 Walnut St Groveport OH 43125, $4.
* The Seeker (Two Tone Comix), Scott Bufis And Matthew Salazar, $8.
* The Seminal Importance Of Sperm (Ruminera Comix), Canada Keck, $4.25.
* Traitor Chapter 2, Sean Dempsey, $10.
* Trina & Aphra's Amazing Adventure (Element of Art), Dan Luster, 96 N Main St Mansfield OH 44902, $3.50.
* Yesterday’s Muse in Dark Horse Presents #35 (Dark Horse Comics), Chad Lambert And Kevin Czap, 2982 Calusa Dr Hamilton OH 45011, $8.

As with most things small press related, the above information is the best I have and I encourage anyone trying to track down individual works to keep at it if it first you don't succeed.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and to all of those participating.
 
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Go, Look: Hide And Sick

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By Request Extra: NCS Hurricane Relief Effort Raises $53K+

The press release has all the information I think one would need: this year's effort by NCS cartoonists on behalf of a selected cause -- this year, hurricane relief -- raised over $53K through the auction of 130 art-related lots.

I'm grateful for that community's commitment to charity and also note that some of these prices ain't bad and I should pay more attention to future auctions.
 
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Go, Look: Trump's Tax Bill To Crush Puerto Rico

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I missed telling you about the opening, but who wouldn't want to go to a new Seth exhibit during this holiday month.

* barring fire, a fire-sympathetic change in their schedule or, well, fire, Comic Arts LA will take place this weekend and I'll be there. That's a really interesting room so while I probably won't do the whole weekend I will do one of the days and work the exhibitors. Great stuff on that floor.

* there's a pop culture-driven show in New York this weekend as well, the kind where I bet reading this blog might be the first several New York cartoonists hear about said show.

* The Beat always finds crazy-ass stories from the periphery of festival-dom. Those stories taken together indicate a limit to the market, for sure; that always seems an element.

* finally: because I haven't done a stand-alone post on it, here's a reminder of this year's official selection at Angouleme. My first glance indicated a lot of English-language cartoonists but maybe no female English-language cartoonists, which is weird given that most of the good books over the last decade in English have been by women. As weird as FIBD can get, though, about some things, maybe it's not such an odd outcome. I'd love to see a chart of who is getting translated by French publishers from the English-language markets for the French-language markets.
 
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Go, Look: Spotlight Comics #2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Don MacPherson on Void Trip #1.

* I'll never be able to afford pages from Los Bros or complete stories from Julie Doucet, but I know Todd Hignite is an honorable businessman and these new sales are being down with care and respect.

* Brian Heater talks to Simon Hanselmann.

* the comic in question in this article made its way to me yesterday. I have zero familiarity with Zootopia, so it was just sort of a weird intense comic; that it like many fan comics gains some power and needed clarity from its reference points makes total sense to me. I have no opinion about this particular comic, and what usually gets brought up is all the regular point-and-look reactions: like in addition to the regular worries expressed in relation to abortion, the child brought to term being a two-species mega-monster comes up, which is a concern one didn't see expressed in the equivalent episode of Family. People should do art about whatever they want, and as there are some logical barriers to profiting from other folks' work, I don't worry where that takes them. At the same time, I was disgusted by the recent highjacking of Matt Furie's work for political reasons, so I still have some thinking to do here.

* finally, in case we don't get to a stand-alone article, our hearts remain with those feeling the impact of various Southern California fires.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Katsuya Terada!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Jason Lutes!

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December 6, 2017


Go, Look: Keep Christ In Christmas

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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.

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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: Sunday Gordos Are The Best

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OTBP: Fight Fascism!

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Megan Fabbri on Mis(h)adra.

* Adrian Tomine draws a cityscape. Russ Manning draws a fanzine cover. Charles Burns draws ET. Ron Wilson and Joe Sinnott draw an intergalactic bar scene.

* it's hard to find a Crumb article that doesn't activate the ongoing discussion about the cartoonist's work and legacy, but here's a piece from 2012 that is very, very focused on quotidian detail of an artist's life and productivity issues.

* finally, John Siuntres talks to Ed Piskor. Marcin Waincetel talks to Jeff Smith.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Leonard Kirk!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Claire Wendling!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Paul Jenkins!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Robin Riggs!

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December 5, 2017


Go, Look: Where College Is Free

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* this import from France looks promising.

* this seems like a story from another time, but it's still possible for a strip cartoonist to make up a newspaper client on the basis of a fan ask. Dana Simpson has some passionate young fans, that's for sure.

* here's Katie Skelly making it look -- well, not easy, because that's an insane production schedule for anyone keeping a full-time non-comics job like Skelly does.

* finally: new Graham Annable -- in comics, not animation -- on the way!
 
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Go, Look: Sergio Toppi's Samurai Images

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Go, Look: Bruce Zeines

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Sukibito Diary.

* Austin Kleon discusses an article on the artistic recluse, pointing out that the two things that Virginia Woolf said were needed were a room on one's own (frequently cited) and money (almost never cited) and how the inability for folks to disappear and make art is becoming more and more of a pandemic. This was discussed almost 30 years ago in comics in Gary Groth's interview with Jules Feiffer, and has been a subject of discussion. I think if you value a lot of art being made, then the idea that certain desirable communities are slowly taking themselves off the table as places to get work done will be important to you. My thoughts flit all over the place on this kind of thing, so don't look at me for any guidance.

* I will say that the whole idea of cultural and political realities creating the infrastructure for art to be made is a bigger issue than we realize -- that, for instance, Obamacare allowed a lot of people to try art as a major time concern that wouldn't have otherwise. The latest tax bill may put a big strain on conferences and festivals if as believe a major change on paying for things to support one's work -- travel, supplies -- will end up taking a significant hit. Let's keep fighting for better law and hope for the best in the meantime.

* finally: a slow walk through Frank Miller's Sin City work blown up from the original art. I like looking at elements of that work, even though I find most of what it does unbearable.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Chris Mautner!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Ron Regé Jr.!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Bill Mudron!

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December 4, 2017


OTBP: Small Stories

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

image* One of traditional fundraisers for cartoonists this part of the year involves the newspaper strip industry raising money through a combination of new and old works, strips and preparatory material, being offered. I believe this year's agreed-upon target for donation is relief for Puerto Rico. There are some fun names in there; the image at left is part of the Mo Willems donation.

* there have been updates and a more ambitious goal provided for the campaign enabling Kate Beaton's sister to explore clinical trials in and out of Canada.

* just a heads-up I focus on charitable giving and giving-towards-need in December rather than project crowdfunding. I love hearing from all of you, but it's a really crowded month and even a standard non-profit has pressures in the end of the year that project-to-project asks generally don't.

* finally, it doesn't seem tied into any particular need, but all cartoonists can use some extra support: Darryl Cunningham has put together a store.

 
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Go, Read: Steven Brower On Magazine Covers By Famous Artists

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Go, Look: Early Keith Giffen Comic Book Splash Pages

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Kyle Pinion on a pair of recent DC superhero comics. Frank Santoro on How Comics Work.

* go, read: what it's like being a blue activist in a red state.

* Kevin Huizenga takes notes.

* Scott Edelman talks to Marv Wolfman. Camilo Garzon talks to Liniers. Team Comics Alternative talks to Tim Lane.

* go, look: here's a lovely Moebius-drawn picture of the Superman character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, from the odd but occasionally affecting Superman #400.

* finally: Barry Blitt at home.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Régis Loisel!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, R Sikoryak!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Michael Neno!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Geof Isherwood!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Joel Priddy!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Scott Morse!

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December 3, 2017


Go, Look: Melania's Demonic Holiday Decorations Explained

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Go, Read: Dominic Umile On Street Fighting Men Vol. 1

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Go, Watch: James Kochalka's 2016 Christmas Song I Forgot To Post Last Year


 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 41st Birthday, Brandon Graham!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Don Simpson!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Mike Saenz!

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Happy 65th Birthday, John Warner!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Grant Goggans!

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December 2, 2017


OTBP: Kreegah.net

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

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If I Were In Muncie, 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 Edinburgh, I'd Go To This

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Happy 31st Birthday, RJ Casey!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Andy Mangels!

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Happy 46th Birthday, John Hankiewicz!

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December 1, 2017


Go, Look: An Education In Fear

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Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Martin Rowson

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital


 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* by request extra: you have until later today to get in on the ground floor with Ronald Wimber's LAAB project.

image* Alex Hoffman on Sound Of Snow Falling. Jerry Beck on various books, including How To Read Nancy.

* Sam Thielman looks at the CB Cebulski/Akira Yoshida controversy from the perspective of one of comics pulp hangovers: pervasive orientalism.

* here's Jim Fischer on the new immigration-related exhibit at the Billy Ireland.

* Hillary Brown talks to Leslie Stein. Sean Edgar talks to Gary Frank. Edgar also talks to Rick Remender and Matthew Rosenberg.

* the news is so weird now that no one really noticed the UK cartoonist that set a hotel on fire after problems with the escort he paid for.

* finally, this article on "fixing" the DC superhero movies has a specific focus that kind of moves past my ability to care about such things. I have little patience for superhero film or fixing movies. It might be right up your alley, though: crime alley, that is.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Frank Tieri!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Gary Panter!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Matt Fraction!

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