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















February 25, 2018


Go, Look: Eddie's Week

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Go, Look: A Foolproof Guide To Achieving Literary Success

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2018

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February 28
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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March 1
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 2
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

March 3
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 4
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Buckey Comic Con)

March 16
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 17
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This

March 23
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)

March 24
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Philly Comics And Cosplay)

March 25
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)

March 30
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)

March 31
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Bellingham, I'd Go To This (BellCAF)

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Events For April 2018 Onward Listed Here

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Tom Neely!

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Happy 89th Birthday, Arnold Roth!

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Happy 18th Anniversary, NeilAlien!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Tim Kreider!

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Rick Geary!

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FFF Results Post #497 -- Teachers

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics Teachers That Have Taught At An Institution And An Institution At Which They Taught." This is how they responded.

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Oliver Ristau

1. George Pratt (Pratt Institute)
2. Thierry Smolderen (L'école des Beaux-Arts d'Angoulême)
3. Anke Feuchtenberger (Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Hamburg) (work pictured)
4. Jessica Abel (School of Visual Arts, New York)
5. Hendrik Dorgathen (Kunsthochschule Kassel)

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John Vest

1. Art Spiegelman (School Of Visual Arts)
2. Don Simpson (University Of Pittsburgh) (work pictured)
3. Jay Lynch (Chicago Art Institute)
4. Bernard Krigstein (High School Of Art And Design)
5. Brian Michael Bendis (Portland State University)

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Scott Dunbier

* Harvey Kurtzman (SVA)
* Will Eisner (SVA)
* Walter Simonson (SVA) (work pictured)
* Joey Cavalieri (SVA)
* George Pratt (Pratt, among several others)

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Jason Lutes (CCS)
2. Steve Bissette (CCS)
3. Brian Ralph (SCAD) (work pictured)
4. Laurenn McCubbin (CCAD)
5. Joe Kubert (Kubert School)

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Michael Dooley

1. Ed Luce, California College of the Arts (work pictured)
2. Kevin Huizenga, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
3. Tom Hart, Sequential Artists Workshop
4. Ivan Brunetti, Columbia College Chicago
5. Rube Goldberg, Famous Artists School

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Mário Filipe

1. Nuno Saraiva (Ar.Co) (work pictured)
2. Filipe Abranches (Ar.Co)
3. Ben Katchor (Parsons School of Design)
4. Lynda Barry (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
5. Tom Hart (Sequential Artists

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thanks to all that participated

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February 24, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Sean Phillips Interviewed


Marie Zhivago Presents From Her Studio


Politicians Talk About Frank Boyle (2008)


David Rowe From His Studio


Lengthy Interview Profile From Todd McFarlane's Studio I Missed
 
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Go, Read: Dr. Michael Vassallo On Closer Than We Think! And The New York Daily News

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OTBP: Self-Published, Digital Version Of Dumped

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

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

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Happy 66th Birthday, Bryan Talbot!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Jim Borgman!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Greg LaRocque!

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February 23, 2018


Go, Look: Marcello Quintanilha

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Go, Look: 2014 Post On The Comic Art Of Billy Graham

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Go, Listen: Gina Wynbrandt On RIYL

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Carl Nelson wrote in to inform me that Handa has a new site up. I would have made a "go, look" of this but the images were too small for me to steal.

* I missed this initially, but it looks like Hans Rickheit is adjusting the structure of his webcomics output.

* finally, bookmark Andi Watson's store for digital versions of his great, recent-year comics work.
 
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If I Were Near Valencia, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: The Good Guys

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on A Thousand Coloured Castles. Philippe Leblanc on Found. Leonard Pierce on The Battle Of Churubusco. Cory Doctorow on The Prince And The Dressmaker.

* I want to buy this.

* I haven't seen a whole lot of Parkland shooting cartoons, but one by Pia Guerra has received positive news coverage. Here are some very good cartoonists talking about doing such cartoons.

* festivals extra: the small show that programs like a big show is an interesting thing to me.

* not comics: there is apparently a one-man stageplay about the life and times of Jay Darling. Sounds good to me.

* finally: I love Prince William's practiced, focused attention on the book in his hands. It's a good one, though: Bryan Talbot! That's the comics-maker at right.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Craig Yoe!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Doug Moench!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Shawn Cheng!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Tom Peyer!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Rick Bradford!

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February 22, 2018


Go, Look: Paula Bulling

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OTBP: The Sweeper & The Bad Eggs

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I don't personally endorse all of the OTBP comics I mention; they are for you to discover, but I've yet to be disappointed by a Ben Sears effort
 
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Go, Listen: Lauren Weinstein On Virtual Memories

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Emerald City Comic Con is like that late April/early May movie blockbuster that dominates the news for about three to four weeks ahead of time. It's not a bad place for a show to be in.

* the exhibitor application for the show with which I'm involved, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, is up on our site's exhibitors page. Please consider joining us in 2018.

* finally, the Minneapolis=based indy/alt show Autoptic is coming back. That's good news, I've been wanting to go to that one and it's never been possible and with it going every two years you have to wait a bit. Exhibitor applications are live if you scroll down the site's front page a bit.

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Go, Look: C'Mon, America! Lay Down Your Arms!

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Go, Look: Various Black Panther Cover Images

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* best single line of publishing news I've read in months: Chuck Forsman to Faber & Faber.

* if I'm reading this twitter thread correctly, some of those involve with the kids comics store Little Island Comics are re-opening store. That is a good thing and hopeful in all the ways Chris describes.

* I'm sort of fascinated by the Wet Hot American Summer comic book project because it seems like there's 3X the amount of film in existence for the project than really needs to exist. Put another way, there's not exactly unexplored territory compared to other shows and concepts that get this done for them. Graeme McMillan names the creative team.

* let's all open graphic novel libraries.

* finally: it didn't enjoy much of a life here despite its cast and the return of Gus Van Sant to higher profile narrative filmmaking, but perhaps the John Callahan biopic will find its audience in Europe.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Andy Diggle!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Eamon Espey!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Doug Allen!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Clifford Meth!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Alec Stevens!

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February 21, 2018


Go, Look: Bastien Vives On Instagram

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OTBP: Bird Comics

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Go, Listen: Emil Ferris On RIYL

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Bundled Extra: Marvel Re-Shuffles Deckchairs On The Helicarrier

I'm kidding. Come on! If this winter is going to last 37,000 days, I have to make jokes. Here's Graeme McMillan on Marvel's first line-shuffle of the CB Cebulski era.

imageHere's the thing, though. It's difficult not to kid the entertainment giant at least a little bit when 1) they call their new publishing shuffle a "fresh start" and the characters being used average about 45 years of publishing life, and 2) all the catchphrases and promises touting this new initiative sound exactly the same as the last half-dozen once-new initiatives. I'm not the worst with Marvel's characters and I'm not sure beyond a few obvious new characters narrowing the window I could tell you what year the accompanying art was made.

That doesn't mean I think failure is around the corner. Marvel's recent decisions, which I would call more conservative than progressive by a significant margin, should give them the kind of modest boost in the marketplace that comes when things are run with a steady hand, and might even get that extra boost that comes when talent plays to company strengths like the comic-book audience's general fondness for the Marvel characters. If the talent can execute, a new and improved same-old same-old could even buy Marvel enough time to find a special project or two that really works and allows a foundation around which the next few years of overall branding in publishing could be built: the next Marvel Knights, the next Marvels.

We'll see how damaged the system has become by June or July, I think.
 
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If I Were In Columbus, 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: Zongo-Era Mary Fleener One-Pager

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rachel Davies on Red Winter, while here's Austin English on formative 'zines.

* not comics: every teacher leaves an impression. RIP, Mr. Cline.

* stolen right from Frank Santoro's Comics Workbook site is this survey article about female cartoonists hard at work in Colombia. Man, there are so many cartoonists out there it's not even funny.

* here are four cartoonists on their favorite unsung black history heroes.

* finally: Noah Van Sciver, what kind of pens do you use?
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Jason Das!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Congressman John Lewis!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Bryan Lee O'Malley!

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Happy 10th Birthday, Desert Island!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Kurt Ankeny!

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February 20, 2018


Go, Look: Kim Murton

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OTBP: Big Bonerz

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Rare Remote-Location Comics Editing Job Opens Up

Here. Lion Forge again, but a remote-location job is rare in comics period and perhaps doubly so in editorial.
 
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Go, Listen: Michel Fiffe On Process Party

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Katriona Chapman will have a big book in color out from Avery Hill this Fall: Follow Me In.

* veteran mainstream industry figure Danny Fingeroth is finishing up a Stan Lee biography to be published next year or late this year by St. Martin's Press. That should be interesting, if for no other reason than I think Danny has access to some written material nobody else has had.

* Kate Gavino will debut a graphic novel with Archaia later this year.

* I rarely laugh at a high concept, but I laughed at this one.

* finally: a new mini-comic from the great Oliver East is fantastic news even with almost no details beyond that.
 
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OTBP: I've Got 7 Solid Rules To Live By (So Far)

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Good-Looking Dylan Dog Pin-Ups

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Katie Skelly on specific elements within Belladonna Of Sadness. Sarah Horrocks on VS #1.

* I don't have anything to say about this artist or their art, but I wanted to experience the novelty of posting a story about cartooning in Turkey that didn't make me want to kill myself.

* Steve Foxe talks to Tee Franklin and Gail Simone.

* Paul Conny profiles the great Art Spiegelman on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

* finally, David Williams on a Mike Luckovich cartoon tackling the subject of Parkland.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Sarah Becan!

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February 19, 2018


Go, Bookmark: Limited Run The Empty Nesters Launches

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Festivals Extra: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) Soft Launches 2018 Exhibitor Registration

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Here's a public service message from the show with which I'm involved: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus.

CXC 2018 is soft-launching its 2018 exhibitor registration with links directly to the Google Form made available on this site, through direct e-mailing and on social media. Those forms can be tricky, but over 80 people thus far have been able to use:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPEFaZ_-47saRC3_uDaACrLobKgWR36nQb4Vb-ptbwEnWEVA/viewform

so try it as a scoop-up-and-replace if clicking through doesn't work.

This is for the Expo and Marketplace on September 29-30, our Saturday and Sunday of a show that begins Thursday morning, September 27. That's an 11-6 Saturday, 1-5 Sunday show. CXC Expo and Marketplace is curated and competitively so. We are working hard to focus on improving the exhibitor experience in 2018 by any and all means, and anticipate our best year yet.

Table costs and information through the docs link.

sneak of this year's logo provided by Kevin Czap, CXC 2018's featured illustrator and CXC 2016's Emerging Talent Award winner
 
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Go, Look: Borja González

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Go, Read: Two Lengthy Articles On Panther's Rage

imageAbraham Riesman at Vulture; David Brothers and Tucker Stone at TCJ. The thing that connects all three writers is none of them were old enough to read that serial on the stands.

I've never read anyone make the "first graphic novel" claim for Panther's Rage until Riesman, although that gets claimed for everything more than 20 pages that came out before 1980 so it makes sense that someone would. My memory is that it wasn't much different than the standard long serials of its day except unlike the Steve Englehart model there was no overt foreshadowing of future plot lines. Another thing that has in common with its time is how Killmonger's spiked straps represented a keener and more aggressive take on violence, a raising of the stakes that nearly every Marvel noodled with back then (Wolverine, ninjas, Punisher).

I still like how talky and weird Panther's Rage reads, especially today after a decade and a half of Mamet-style dialogue, and I like those ornate formal art flourishes that everyone else digs. I like that there were comic relief characters, and I like that the whole plot came out of people thinking through the narrative consequences in place. I also think it had dinosaurs, and I like dinosaurs, too.
 
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OTBP: Today Will Be Better

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Word Made Official: Toonseum Closing Its Physical Space, Hoping To Regroup And Re-Energize

Pittsburgh's ToonSeum will close its physical space on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh at end of business on Friday. The building has been there for nearly a decade, according to that local report, one of many specialty museums in a crowded, local market. Pittsburgh has long been a general space for museums due to its tradition of rich regional patronage. ToonSeum was started in 2007 by Joe Wos, who left in 2014. John F. Kelly was named executive director in 2016.

The museum pledges a turnaround period focused on education meant to ignite and reinforce the local cartooning community, and plans to get into a more affordable space on year from now.

It's unclear until the rest of the story unfolds a year and more from now what this means in general. Comics has enjoyed such smashing victories in its culture's goals of become relevant as pop creation and legitimate as a source for literary work that stories like these are often seen as unique incidents working against the flow of history. However, the specific narrative for comics museums has a much rockier 21st Century. Pittsburgh is a curious comics town, festooned with comics-makers and supported by solid to great retail but without much of an impact at the city's arts and entertainment core. Kelly's real-world executive background is surely to be tested in the months ahead. All luck to him and his board.
 
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Go, Look: Keep Politics In Music!

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I had the wrong link up for Steve Hamaker's second PLOX volume. Here's the right one. It's been corrected in the previous post. I hope Steve will forgive me and you will consider planting yourself somewhere in that rare Venn diagram for comics about gaming culture and comics about Columbus, Ohio.

* a fundraiser to print the late Mark Campos' last, semi-abortive at the printing and distribution phase work, Casino Sono and get it back out there is nearing its initial goal.

* does anyone else get the feeling that a recent adjustment in how content is presented at Kickstarter favors successful projects on the immediately searchable pages? I hope that's not the case. I mean, I would get the impulse, it's college graduation rates and how those are used, but it makes it hard for old-timey search and link people to get projects in need unless they come over the social media transom.

* here are some names I recognize with crowd-funding projects: Ally Shwed, Greg Baisden, Vera Greentea, Birdcage Bottom Books, Ron Marz and NYC Queer Comic Fair.

* finally: looks like the sale is still on at Spit And A Half.
 
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If I Were In Pasadena, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Jim Rugg Drawing The Black Panther

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* DW on Iceland. Todd Klein on The Flash #27.

* I am happy to read this super-broad essay about comics sales and approaches by the writer Chuck Dixon. I think it's great when any artist tries to understand the basic historical forces at work in their field. I think I would disagree with about 40 percent of it both in specifics and generalities, but 40 percent spread out all over the piece with no specific organization.

* George Elkind talks to Antoine Cossé.

* finally: this is a very nice story and reminder.
 
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Happy 69th Birthday, William Messner-Loebs!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Jim Lawson!

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Happy 75th Birthday, Don Glut!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Gerry Shamray!

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February 18, 2018


Go, Look/Play: Dehors

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Not Comics: The Story Of Gidra

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

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Happy 55th Birthday, Mark Bodé!

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Happy 88th Birthday, Gahan Wilson!

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FFF Results Post #496 -- Publishers

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Publishers From Comics History You Have Enjoyed On Some Level. Name At Least One Person No Longer With Us And One Person Currently Working."

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Patrick O Watson

1. William Gaines (EC Comics) (pictured)
2. Georges Dargaud (Dargaud)
3. Mike Gold (First Comics)
4. Chris Staros (Top Shelf)
5. Seiji Horibuchi (Viz Media)

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Chris Arrant

1. Jeanette Kahn (DC Comics) (pictured)
2. Tony Lobito (Image Comics)
3. William Gaines (EC Comics)
4. Leyla Aker (VIZ Media)
5. Spike Trotman (Iron Circus)

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Rob Salkowitz

1. Denis Kitchen, KSP (pictured, with respondent)
2. Paul Levitz, DC Comics
3. Jim Warren, Warren Publications
4. Mike Friedrich, Star*Reach
5. Wally Wood (RIP), Witzend

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Oliver Ristau

1. Annie Koyama (Koyama Press)
2. Zainab Akhtar (Short Box)
3. Rita Fürstenau (Rotopol Press) (pictured, from site)
4. David Schilter (kuš!)
5. Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press)

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Gary Groth (Fantagraphics) (pictured)
2. Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press)
3. Peggy Burns (Drawn And Quarterly)
4. Martin Goodman (Timely/Atlas/Marvel)
5. Dylan Williams (Sparkplug)

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Marc-Oliver Frisch

1. Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press)
2. Bill Jemas (Marvel)
3. Annie Koyama (Koyama Press) (pictured)
4. Dan Nadel (Picturebox)
5. Klaus Recht (Williams Verlag)

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Buzz Dixon

1. William F. Gaines (EC Comics)
2. Cat Yronwode (Eclipse)
3. Deni Loubert (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
4. James Warren (Warren Publications)
5. Peggy Burns (Drawn And Quarterly) (pictured)

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Jeffrey A. Goodman

1. Richard Corben (Fantagor Press)
2. Gary Arlington (San Francisco Comic Book Company)
3. Pakito Bolino (Le Dernier Cri)
4. Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press + Pigeon Press) (pictured)
5. Don Donahue (Apex Novelties)

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Stephen Harrick

1. Deni Loubert (Renegade Press)
2. Gary Reed (Caliber Comics)
3. Zack Soto (Study Group) (pictured)
4. Andrew DelQuadro (215 Ink)
5. Dean Mullaney (Eclipse Comics)

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Mário Filipe

1. Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
2. Marcos Farrajota (Chili Com Carne / MMMNNNRRRG)
3. Georges Bernier, "Professeur Choron" (Éditions du Square)
4. Jean-Christophe Menu (L'Association/L'Apocalypse)
5. Dan Nadel (PictureBox) (pictured)

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Dave Knott

* William Randolph Hearst (King Features Syndicate)
* Annie Koyama (Koyama Press)
* Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics) (pictured)
* Tom Devlin (Highwater Books)
* Andy Brown (Conundrum Press)

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Spike Trotman (Iron Circus)
2. Jim Ottaviani (GT Labs) (pictured)
3. Joe Nozemack (Oni)
4. Bill Gaines (EC)
5. Mike Gold (First)

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Sterg Botzakis

1. Chris Pitzer (Adhouse Books) (pictured)
2. Annie Koyama (Koyama Press)
3. Craig Yoe (Yoe Books)
4. Hope Nicholson (Bedside Press)
5. William Gaines (EC Comics and MAD Magazine)

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thanks to those that participated; all art to its respective makers; all apologies for any unflattering photo from the CR archives

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February 17, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Mr. Fish Movie Trailer


The Late Mark Campos Profiled


Robert Crumb Playing Guitar


Riad Sattouf On The Arab Of The Futuref


Never Saw This 2017 Al Roker Interview Of Stan Lee
 
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OTBP: Normel Person Mini-Comic

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

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

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

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Happy 48th Birthday, Hiroaki Samura!

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February 16, 2018


OTBP: Dark Age

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Molly Hayden profiles Reza Farazmand.

* Daniele Dacco on webcomic turned successful print work Chester 5000.

* here's a comic used as a presentational/informational tool, a variation of comics-as-journalism that has a huge upside.

* finally: new issue of Panel X Panel available with sweet Katie Skelly cover.
 
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Go, Look: Helena Covell

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

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Go, Look: Novæ

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Robin Enrico on Ink Toby.

* not comics: this article on managing energy levels may be useful for some of you trying to carve creative time out of a day that may or may not rely on traditional structures. Here's a slightly related conversation.

* look at these adorable thank-you cards from House Of Fun.

* hadn't seen Jason's tribute to Mort Walker.

* I quite enjoyed this Mark Evanier story about jumping through hoops to make sure that veteran DC Comics artists had the scripts called for by their different contracts.

* not comics: I didn't get at all any of the controversy surround Barack and Michelle Obama's portraits, but I did laugh at Drew Friedman turning it back into a discussion of Shemp Howard.

* finally: Jack Cummins, RIP.
 
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Happy 35th Birthday, James Moore!

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Happy 60th Birthday, John Totleben!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Tim Bradstreet!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Warren Ellis!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Len Strazewski!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Bill Williams!

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February 15, 2018


Go, Look: Magic Forest: Hold On

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Go, Look: Black And Red

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OTBP: Mirenda #4

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I think festivals can be a place where guests have the chance to meet with those offering business opportunities, and that is can be supported by the festivals. There are issues, but I think it can be done. I don't think that this is the way you do it, and the idea that Wizard gets a cut makes me barf in my mouth. I sometimes think they serve a purpose in comics, but other times I think we should just shut them off as best we can. This is one of the latter times.
 
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Go, Look: More Beautiful Moebius-Made Imagery

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Go, Look: 1962 Bud Sagendorf Popeye Sundays

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #26. John Seven on The Smell Of Starving Boys. Ally Russell on Hungry Ghosts #1. Matt Seneca on Blue Teeth. Oliver Sava on Inside Moebius.

* the folks at SYFYWire discuss comics with which they fell in love. There are a couple of quirkier-than-usual choices here.

* I hadn't heard about this aspect of the Don McGregor-written Black Panther comics before now. I'm certain there were other characters that were presented in roughly the same way, though I don't have an example top of mind.

* finally: some mornings you get up and you just want to stare at all the Richie Pope art Google will bring you.
 
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Happy 79th Birthday, William Van Horn!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Jim Blanchard!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Art Spiegelman!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Matt Groening!

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February 14, 2018


Happy Valentine's Day

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By Request Extra: Casino Son

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Here's one that will likely have met its initial goal by next week's "By Request" column: a campaign to print the late Mark Campos' last comic, Casino Son. I recall that Mark tried to crowd-fund it himself, but that didn't seem like a natural thing for him and perhaps the writing about his work since his passing will cause people to take a look.
 
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Go, Look: Carole Maurel

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By Request Extra: PLOX Volume Two: Hell Is Other Players

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I enjoy famous colorist and fine comics-maker Steve Hamaker's Columbus gaming-culture saga PLOX and I didn't want to wait until next week's column to take note of his crowd-funder for its second volume.
 
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Go, Look: Ben Willliams

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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.

*****

DEC171585 TOTAL JAZZ HC (MR) (C: 0-1-2) $19.99
This is one of these weeks where I might not be seeing everything that's out, a general problem for me post 2014 or so that I have yet to solve. I'm working on it, though. A big book of Blutch's comics from Fantagraphics fits the bill in terms of the kind of thing I might go to the comics shop to see. Just look at the thing. Beautiful.

DEC170648 BINGO LOVE OGN $9.99
This mini-publishing phenomenon is quite the sweet, crowd-pleasing book and I think wants to work on that level, perhaps first and foremost.

imageNOV170577 INVINCIBLE #144 CVR A OTTLEY & FAIRBAIRN (MR) $5.99
NOV170578 INVINCIBLE #144 CVR B WALKER & FAIRBAIRN (MR) $5.99
MAY170659 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #8 (MR) $3.99
DEC170714 KILL OR BE KILLED #16 (MR) $3.99
DEC170726 MAGE HERO DENIED #6 (OF 15) $3.99
DEC178007 X-MEN GRAND DESIGN #1 (OF 2) 2ND PTG PISKOR VAR $5.99
DEC178008 X-MEN GRAND DESIGN #2 (OF 2) 2ND PTG PISKOR VAR $5.99
Single issues feel strong this week to me. The last issue of Invincible has to be given its due. I can't imagine a comic that has surged past its initial life expectancy like this one. Here's how much narrative we're talking about: the original, hook-worth twist isn't even mentioned in the opening summary, although it gets a callback in a late scene. It's affecting to see a superhero story because so few do. Black Monday Murders is told in a compelling way I enjoy and wish I saw more of. Kill Or Be Killed has become a better series the more it goes on, which is an accomplishment given how some of the genres tossed into the mix here limit extended storytelling. The third iteration of Mage still has a long way ago; I look forward to seeing how this turns out given how leisurely the first issues have seemed. And then there's Ed with a second printing. Yay, Ed.

OCT171728 YOU HAVE KILLED ME GN $15.99
This is a Jamie Rich/Joelle Jones effort from several years back or a brand new book sharing its name. I remember the earlier book being effect, unadorned genre work, solid in the context of like offerings and in the contest of those creators' careers.

OCT171888 JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #73 (C: 0-1-1) $10.95
All hail serial magazine publication that reaches 70+ issue. God bless Jacob Kurtzberg.

AUG178400 FULL BLEED COMICS & CULTURE QUARTERLY HC VOL 01 $25.00
This is the ambitious IDW effort to make a comics magazine for right now, a thrown gauntlet that includes not only the Ted Adams crew but at least a half-dozen new and old players. This is the commercial phase following the crowd-funded stage; those that got theirs at the Kickstarter level seem happy with their purchase.

*****

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 Chicago, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: L'Ordre De La Mouche

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alexander Jones on X-Men: Red #1. Imad Pasha on Ancient Astronauts.

* not comics: my brother's short-short film THUMP is up on YouTube now. I think it automatically plays so watch it with that link.

* here's an update on the effort by some comics-makers to bring back the NYT bestsellers list covering graphic novels. I wasn't a fan of the list, but don't really care if it's there or not.

* finally: Hillary Brown talks to Jen Wang.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Gordon Purcell!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Roger Langridge!

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February 13, 2018


Go, Look: Kasia Babis

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the Toon Books front page has some information about their April release of Jaime Hernandez's The Dragonslayer, a collection of folk tales. I've seen it, it's gorgeous, and all Jaime fans will want one version of its cover/language formats in their home. There are very few non-Locas comics in Jaime's formidable career, so even if these weren't smart and fun they'd be worthy of study.

* over at Slate, Aymann Ismail profiles Ganzeer's The Solar Grid, which if I'm reading the profile correctly we might see in complete, collected form in 2019.

* finally: prolific Paste contributor Steve Foxe previews Femme Magnifique and Speak: The Graphic Novel with the help of Robin Furth and Emily Carroll, respectively.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Mad Max: Fury Road Pin-Ups

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Missed It: Talent Relations Department At DC Sends Out Social Media Guidelines

imageA friend sent me the content of an e-mail purported to be a social media guidelines document shot out by DC's talent relations department last week. I'm not 100 percent great on how that particular company works internally, but I believe this is the office at DC they hired Ben Abernathy to run that took over things like pay sheets, art returns and how talent was taken care of at conventions -- it was one of their Burbank-era improvements.

Here's the text I was sent:
Dear DC Talent Community --

The comic book industry is a very special creative community dedicated to telling epic and legendary stories of action, heroism and intrigue with a rich and diverse portfolio of character. Both DC's employees, as well as its extended family of freelance talent, contribute to our success and are a direct reflection of our company, characters and comics. As such, DC expects that its employees and freelance talent community maintain a high level of professionalism as well as reasonable and respectful behavior when engaging in online activities. Comments that may be considered defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or that incite violence are unacceptable and may result in civil or criminal action. In addition, comments that may be considered insulting, cruel, rude, crass and mean spirited are against company policy and guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.

Below you will find the most current version of the company's social media guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.

DC Entertainment Social Media Guidelines for Talent
This policy has been developed to empower DC Talent to participate in social media activities, represent their creative endeavors well and share their passion for DC's characters, stories and brands. We recognize the vital importance of online social communities and this policy reflects our commitment to the best possible use of social media. Below are DC's recommended guidelines when partaking in social media.
* Stay positive when you post and we also recommend that you avoid negative comments in this very public forum. You may want to refrain from engaging with individuals who may be speaking negatively about you, other talent, DC, our fans and the comics industry as this is a no-win situation. If there has been a personal threat to you or those around you then in addition to alerting DC, please involve the proper law enforcement authorities.
* Use good judgment when posting, reposting and liking comments, photos and videos as these may have unintended consequences. Talent should take special care when using social media to ensure that comments and postings made by you are not associated with DC. Under all circumstances, please indicate that you do work for DC, but that your comments are your own and do not reflect those of the company.
* The internet is permanent regardless of "privacy settings" or other limits you may try to place on your posting. Think before you post, comment, retweet or like something.
* Do not reveal plot points, storylines or launch timing -- including photos or video of in-progress assets, artwork, story outlines, scripts, panels, announcement details, etc. without coordinating with DC Publicity. Members of the press may follow you on social media, and your posts can -- and probably will -- become news.
* Don't break news on social media. If you have any questions on what you can or can't post on any platform, DC Publicity or Talent Relations departments are available to assist. If you'd like to share DC news on your social pages, we recommend sharing news from DCComics.com, DCE-sanctioned social media pages and other news widely reported on credible news outlets.
* If you are contacted by members of the press or asked to participate in an interview about your work for DC, please coordinate this with the DC Publicity department so that news can be rolled out in an orchestrated fashion and elevated on DC digital and social channels as well.

And finally, we recognize that there can be a dark side to social media and to that end if you feel that you are being harassed or bullied through social media channels because of your work for DC or your association with us, please feel free to contact the DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.
There seem to be a few things going on here.

Whether due to causality or proximity, it's reasonable I think that this be seen as a first step to curtail abusive behavior by DC talent on the Internet. A corporation likes to have standards in place and recognized as such before they seek to hold people to those standards, and this strikes me as useful to them that way. I know when I have signed contracts they usually include the possibility of punishment for behavior that embarrasses or puts that employer in a bad light, so it's not surprising for me to hear that employers of contracted creative talent want something like that, too.

It's timely. Comics culture suffers in this moment from an advanced version of dog whistling where you just kind of openly complain about someone and then people that like you or have common-cause with you will step into that person's on-line space to extend that complaint. This may involved simply making their presence known or to directly argue against a specific this or that, or to ask a question, but the implication is clear: "I and others like me see you."

This is one of those activities that's clearly hostile in real-world terms but on-line gets the benefit of a kind of strident, ding-donged assertion that there's a definition of harassment out there carved into the back of the throne of the Kingdom Of Nerdania that means harassment occurs only by those a half-step removed of physically assaulting someone while shouting their motivations into an emotional lie detector as faultless as Wonder Woman's lasso that they are hateful and intend harassment. I suspect that for most of us, harassment occurs when someone is feeling harassed and a reasonability standard is applied as to the how and why. Directed group actions of any sort, even the invisible-lever kind, usually pass that reasonability standard. The recent comics-culture versions more than do so.

If nothing else, it seems that those involved in the culture now know the place at DC Comics interested in these matters, to add a direct e-mail to openly tweeted commentary about why this action or that action is allowed and/or tolerated: (I encourage DC to accept related complaints there even if that was not their attention; and if not, I hope they provide another devoted e-mail address.) In a time when mentioning specific names in public on-line in terms of their potential abuse adds to a narrative of persecution that justifies and advertises aberrant behavior and its practitioners, this is a good thing to know.

All of this strikes me as tricky territory, for sure. There is something profoundly distasteful about any employer dictating your conduct or having a vote in how you speak on your own time. This distaste multiplies in an era where many people are paid far short of a living wage and are asked to mind such rules as if they were. Avoiding limits to one's behavior of this type is something that many feel they should be able to enjoy for what they give up by not being an employee -- or to reverse that, if one is to be treated like an employee, please provide health insurance.

In that way and others there may be potential slippery-slopes worth talking through. It seems likely any policy will be lawyered so that there are complaints from both sides of the political spectrum based on that political spectrum rather than the action on hand -- complaints that even when absurd may gum up the works. In an era when so much of the bulk of what's published is borderline profitable, more creators than usual may have what they say scrutinized in a "why bother?" fashion rather than what's just or fair to that person and all creators more generally.

In the end, every policy is judged by its execution. This one will be, too. A smart, sensible, outcome-and-implication minded approach will be needed to make any such policy work. I hope for the most beneficial, least-damaging result. We are far from there.
 
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If I Were In Denver, 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: Rich Buckler 1970s Splash Pages

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I personally don't find many of these to be effective, but they certainly illustrate a house approach from that era...
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Edwin Turner on Awaiting The Collapse: Selected Works 1974-2014. Sam Ombiri on Beverly.

* a goodbye to popular cartooning subject Jacob Zuma.

* Jeannie Vanasco talks to Daniel Raeburn. Brian Heater talks to Joseph Remnant. I can't get this Adrian Tomine profile at the Washington Post to load, but I assume you'll have better luck and I assume it's by their alt-/arts- guy Michael Cavna.

* Sophie Labelle has bounced back from an onslaught of threats to retrench with a multiple-country tour. It's astonishing to me that people want to get up in someone's personal business with the assumption they get a vote.

* it's a brand new world.

* finally: Jonathan Rosenbaum on the late, great Donald Phelps.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Dan Christensen!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Chris Duffy!

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February 12, 2018


Go, Listen: Brian Bendis On Word Balloon Podcast

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There's a lot to cover here.
 
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Go, Read: Steve

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By Request Extra: Spit And A Half Sale

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It's not explicitly a sale driven by need, but an outfit as specialized as Spit And A Half could always always use and benefit from our attention. I myself bought one of the damaged Valium books and happy to pick a dinged copy of that on sale.
 
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Go, Look: New, Giant Uno Moralez Comic

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If I Were In Denver, 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 Pasadena, I'd Go To This

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Go, Buy: House Of Fun Studio Shop

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* never saw this illustration by Jaime Hernandez before finding it here.

* Hillary Brown talks to Box Brown.

* not comics: here's a story about sexual harassment in the children's book industry. I suspect we will wee one element of this article a lot more moving forward, linking the despicable horrors of sexual harassment to the more general shitty practice of holding back female creators and industry members.

*Tegan O'Neil On Is This Guy For Real?

* finally, I'm kind of fond of these many enthusiastic Black Panther hero histories coming out right now. That's a fine character, with multiple quality runs.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Judd Winick!

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Happy 48th Birthday, T. Edward Bak!

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February 11, 2018


Go, Vote: Eisner Hall Of Fame 2018 May Be Voted Upon Right This Second If You're Eligible

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Not Comics: Off-Brand Star Wars Posters

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I see a lot of similar posts, but I liked this one
 
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If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Happy 48th Birthday, Reinhard Kleist!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Mo Willems!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Drew Sheneman!

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FFF Results Post #495 -- One In A Run

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Serial Comic-Book Runs You Enjoy And What Is For You A Stand-Out Single Issue Within That Run." This is how they responded.

*****

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Matthew Guest

1. Defenders #50 from Defenders #46-50.
2. Flaming Carrot #14 from Flaming Carrot #1-17.
3. Mad Magazine # 180 from Mad Magazine # 1-549.
4. Beer Nutz #3 from Beer Nutz #1-3.
5. Dennis the Menace Pocket Full of Fun! #48 from Dennis the Menace Pocket Full of Fun! #1-50.

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. Eightball #2 from Eightball #1-23
2. From Hell #7 from From Hell #1-11
3. Daredevil #181 from Daredevil #168-190
4. Swamp Thing #60 from Swamp Thing #21-64
5. The Uncanny X-Men #143 from The Uncanny X-Men #108-#143

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Uncle Scrooge #29 from Uncle Scrooge #4-39.
2. The Adventures Of Little Archie #20 from The Adventures Of Little Archie #19-46.
3. Kona, Monarch Of Monster Isle #17 from Kona, Monarch Of Monster Isle #1-21.
4. Adventure Comics #294 from Adventure Comics #285-299.
5. Weird Science #22 from Weird Science #1-22.

*****

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John Vest

1. Conan The Barbarian #24 from Conan The Barbarian #1-24.
2. Silver Surfer #5 from Silver Surfer #1-18.
3. Howard The Duck #16 from Howard The Duck #1-27.
4. Swamp Thing #34 from Swamp Thing #20-64.
5. Doctor Strange #181 from Doctor Strange #169-183

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Doom Patrol #42 from Doom Patrol #19-63.
2. Fantastic Four #51 from Fantastic Four #1-102.
3. X-Men #141 from X-Men #108-#143.
4. Cerebus #43 from Cerebus #26-50.
5. Love And Rockets #28 from Love And Rockets #1-50.

*****

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Philippe Leblanc

1. Uncanny X-Men #121 from Uncanny -Men #94-150
2. Copra #21 from Copra #1-25
3. Immortal Iron Fist #16 from Immortal Iron Fist #1-16
4. The Wicked and The Divine #11 from The Wicked and The Divine #6-21
5. Lose #4 from Lose #2-7

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Jonah Hex #39 from Jonah Hex #3-53
2. Swamp Thing #21 from Swamp Thing #11-22
3. Night Force #7 from Night Force #1-9
4. The Shadow #6 from The Shadow #1-12
5. Star Spangled War Stories #197 from SSWS #168-204

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Avengers #28 from Avengers #1-44.
2. The Spirit #553 from The Spirit #291-585.
3. Master of Kung Fu #71 from Master of Kung Fu #20-120.
4. 2000 AD #669 from 2000 AD #583-710.
5. Amazing Spider-Man #605 from Amazing Spider-Man #546-647.

*****

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Sterg Botzakis

1. Eightball #3 from Eightball #1-18
2. The Mighty Thor #362 from The Mighty Thor #337-382
3. Sin #3 from Sin #1-5
4. Daredevil #191 from Daredevil #158-191
5. Detective Comics #571 from Detective Comics #569-575

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Steve Canyon #19 from Steve Canyon #1-21.
2. Fantastic Four #112 from Fantastic Four #103-125
3. Nexus #50 from Nexus #45-50.
4. Hellblazer #23 from Hellblazer #1-40.
5. Love And Rockets #4 from Love And Rockets New Stories #1-8

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Fantastic Four #254 from Fantastic Four #220-294
2. Fantastic Four #352 from Fantastic Four #334-354
3. Fantastic Four #371 from Fantastic Four #356-416
4. Fantastic Four #500 from Fantastic Four #500-524
5. Fantastic Four #5 from Fantastic Four #1-102

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Challengers of the Unknown #9 from Challengers of The Unknown #1-18.
2. Sandman #23 from Sandman #21-28
3. Fantastic Four #120 from Fantastic Four #107-141
4. The Punisher War Zone #13 from Punisher War Zone #12-16
5. Captain America #13 from Captain America #10-16

*****

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Tim Hayes

1. Avengers #129 from Avengers #105-152
2. Avengers #162 from Avengers #158-177
3. Doctor Strange #18 from Doctor Strange #1-18
4. 2000AD #77 from 2000AD #61-85
5. Kane #14 from Kane #1-31

*****

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Mike Borelli

1. The Saga Of Swamp Thing #56 from The Saga of Swamp Thing #20-64
2. Daredevil #231 from Daredevil #227-233
3. American Flagg! #7 from American Flagg #1-12
4. Animal Man #19 from Animal Man #1-26
5. Animal Man #8 from Watchmen #1-12

*****

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Dan Morris

1. Doom Patrol #34 from Doom Patrol #19-63
2. Fantastic Four #352 from Fantastic Four #337-352
3. Captain America #193 from Captain America #193-214
4. Swamp Thing #34 from Swamp Thing #21-64
5. Uncanny X-Men #141 from Uncanny X-Men #108-#143

*****
*****
 
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February 10, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Liam Sharp At Derby Museum


Boris Profiled


Latuff Vs. Erdogan


Hey, It's That Delightful Human Being KAL


Marshall Ramsey Draws The 2018 SOTU Address
 
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Go, Look: Cynthia Yuan Cheng

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Go, Look: Comics That Challenged Alex Hoffman In 2017

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this is a very good list of general recommendations for work out there a big chunk of which has to be sought out, if only 1-2 steps outside of older-people shopping patterns
 
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If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 48th Birthday, Frédéric Pontarolo!

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February 9, 2018


Go, Listen: Ink Panthers Reunion On Process Party

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

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

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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Shade The Changing Girl #9.

* not comics: Forrest Ackerman probably isn't someone who registers with younger comics fans for reasons of categorical sorting. When comics was considered part of Nostalgia Culture, there was a lot more overlap between comics fans and fans of science fiction movie and old-timey radio shows. He died in 2008 and is not remembered fondly by some people speaking up.

* not comics: I find TV critic Alan Sepinwall almost ruthlessly devoid of specific insight, but I like the broad subject of how older material relates to newer material presented here, particularly at a point in comics where the great comics of this moment don't seem markedly better than the comics of 15, 20, 25 years ago as those comics seemed to the bulk of what was being produced 15-25 years before than that.

* finally: this is an absolutely bad thing, all of it.


 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Tim Truman!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Sarah Byam!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Jo Duffy!

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Happy 59th Birthday, David B!

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February 8, 2018


Go, Look: Seth T. Hahne's Nostalgia

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New Sean "Obama As Murdered Chimp" Delonas Cartoon In Albuquerque Newspaper Aggravates New Mexicans

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Here's a write-up from the paper that chose to print Sean Delonas' latest cartoon, which equated those that fall under the "Dreamers" designation with a) thuggish criminals, b) future Democrat Party voters, kind of a cynicism and racist-through-extreme-example cartoon lasagna. Pushback has already come from elected officials. One might remember Delonas from his appalling cartoon equating President Obama with a chimpanzee murdered by police, which I'll note to Delonas' benefit at least sucked in a different way.

The cartoon in question seems cloddish and unimaginative in its straight-up 1970s-style depiction of its political position that it's hard to imagine anyone thought it achieved an effect worthy of running it in a newspaper. I'm sure now that politics are sports there are all sorts of defenses people have if that cartoon represents their home team. I look forward to a day when all of our editorial cartoonists add to a discussion through their work, in whatever way they wish, rather than replicate an abstracted stance within that discussion in as dull a way as possible.
 
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OTBP: Goro #1-4

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* a lot of people I know are oriented on ECCC. I won't be going this year, but that's become that very important comics region's biggest show. Seattle is an amazing city and an amazing city for comics -- although the times I've attended people didn't venture too far out of the HQ hotel's shadow.

* I don't know that I'd caught up with TCAF's initial special guest list for their 2018 show: sheesh, what a line-up.

* nice to see Brian Fies a Comic-Con guest the year of those horrible fires that took his home. Nice to see Jason Lutes any old time. Third wave of guests for CCI 2018 here.

* SPX lottery registration soon.

* finally: Box Brown is currently out on tour in support of his First Second Book Is This Guy For Real?. Brown is as nice as they come in the world of professional cartooners, and I hope packed rooms meet him wherever he goes.

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If I Were In Huntington NY, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: The Doll House

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Takane & Hana Vol. 1. Chris Ware on Philip Guston's Poor Richard cartoons.

* the only thing I shower with nostalgic envy more than my actual convention experiences before the age of 16 are the convention experiences that I never had because I wasn't quite old enough. Give me the Tardis and every adventure for an entire series is at a 1970s comics convention.

* I bet these Christian Ward prints are awfully nice.

* for some reason I decided I wanted to read Noah Van Sciver's comic about time-traveling to 1990s Seattle and see if I could figure out which day he visited the way some people did figuring out what day Ice Cube was rapping about in Today Was A Good Day. My hunch is June 24-25, 1993.

* Kylie Orba Lobell talks to Miriam Libicki.

* finally: there are some early CCI hotel rooms opened up for those with a badge already. Those tend to be hotel room outside the downtown core, but I've stayed in plenty of those and had a good time. I will water taxi to that show before I die.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Marc Chalvin!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Virginia Paine!

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February 7, 2018


Go, Look: Mort Walker Work On Boner's Ark

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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.

*****

NOV170679 GET NAKED OGN (MR) $24.99
Here's a comic that I've been looking forward to reading and almost certainly should have by now: Steven T. Seagle's and a bunch of artists fashioning comics essays all built around the subject of nudity. Seagle's has used a lot of his earned comics capital (time and money wise) exploring what I would imagine are artistically satisfying directions, and meeting him at those points of expression tends to be rewarding. It would be a better comics world if there were a book like this out every week.

OCT170056 GROO PLAY OF THE GODS TP $17.99
I will always buy comics made by the great Sergio Aragones. I know some of my friends reading this in serial form were delighted at the quality of the work, so I'm looking forward to getting into this one with some degree of anticipation.

imageDEC171240 GIANT DAYS #35 $3.99
DEC170757 SAVAGE DRAGON #231 (MR) $3.99
NOV170834 SNOTGIRL #9 $2.99
DEC170770 WALKING DEAD #176 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $3.99
OCT178652 WALKING DEAD #176 CVR B SIENKIEWICZ (MR) $3.99
DEC170620 WICKED & DIVINE 1923 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (ONE-SHOT) (MR) $4.99
DEC170621 WICKED & DIVINE 1923 CVR B KOCH (ONE-SHOT) (MR) $4.99
DEC170878 BLACK BOLT #10 LEG $3.99
I enjoy John Allison's comics, and this one promises a special guest-star appearance, so hey, gotta buy. Savage Dragon has an explicit sexual element now, which is weird only if a mainstream show like Blue Blood went explicit for its 17th season. Neither the old status quo nor the old one makes this a comic for me. Solid performer Walking Dead is getting close to its usual first-act twist for the latest plotline. Those are always fun. Wicked & Divine: 1923 puts on display another strategy common to right now: bridging stories between major, prime storylines. And Black Bolt continues to chug along; I didn't know it was going to be published past its space prison storyline, so I need to catch up.

OCT170018 INCOGNEGRO A GRAPHIC MYSTERY HC $19.99
DEC170048 INCOGNEGRO RENAISSANCE #1 $3.99
DEC170758 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS #6 $3.99
NOV170682 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS TP VOL 01 INTO THE DRAGONS MAW $9.99
Here are two standard Direct Market sales techniques: the first is relaunching an edition of a graphic novel the same week as the first issue of a sequel series comes out. The second is having a serial trade collection come out the same week as the first issue of the next trade. Both are designed, I think, to maximize the exposure a work might get in a market and to make sure that everything is available to new readers. I have never read the Incognegro books, but that's fascinating subject matter. I did read the fantasy book. It's sort of a contest to hit as many of the gaming-type fantasy cliches as possible, but it has a genial tone an the art is loose and expressive -- definitely one of the best of that frequent kind of book I've read.

OCT170050 MOEBIUS LIBRARY INSIDE MOEBIUS HC VOL 01 $39.99
It's a sign of our rich times in comics art that I would ideally check this one out in my store but then maybe wait to buy until we're a few volumes along. That sounds awful, because it's Moebius, but I feel there's a danger in committing to these kinds of projects.

NOV178638 MISTER MIRACLE #1 (OF 12) 4TH PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178639 MISTER MIRACLE #2 (OF 12) 3RD PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178640 MISTER MIRACLE #3 (OF 12) 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
NOV178641 MISTER MIRACLE #4 (OF 12) 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
That's a ringing endorsement for your publisher, that many printings, even if some people feel that any additional printing is a failure on a publisher's part in terms of gauging interest.

DEC171682 BLACK COMIX RETURNS HC $29.99
NOV171663 LIFE & LEGEND WALLACE WOOD HC VOL 02 $39.99
Two quality-book sequels. The Black Comix book I think is a sequel to one of the early smash-hit crowd-funders, in that the book itself sold out and became super hard to find. The first volume of the Wally Wood was up for an Eisner Award last year.

DEC171531 KILLING & DYING GN TOMINE (MR) $19.95
NOV171613 RED WINTER GN (MR) $21.95
Solid alternative-comics offerings. One is the latest edition of a super-solid recent Adrian Tomine work. I want every page he does on my bookshelves somewhere. The other is a D+Q offering about the domestic fallout from a love affair informed by age, class and political differences. I really enjoyed that one's deliberate pacing.

DEC172083 GRACE FOR GUS HC $17.99
This is a Harry Bliss comic for kids and I did not know it even existed until 30 seconds ago. Should be solid with that pedigree, though.

DEC172058 NEON VISIONS COMICS OF HOWARD CHAYKIN SC $29.95
Your Book About Comics for the week, continuing Brannon Costello's solid and lively exploration of the key indy-comic creator.

NOV171890 PLEASE DESTROY THE INTERNET GN $10.00
Matthew Sweater comes up in my mind as the guy who do that great t-shirt about someone asking their enemies be destroyed, bu the strip work I've seen is really funny. This should be, too. Another Silver Sprocket release.

*****

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 Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Al Milgrom Space Adventure Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Aug Stone on Mister Morgen.

* just going on twitter and randomly reading folks' delighted tweets about the Black Panther movie makes me smile these days. Of the many nice outcomes here if this holds or grows in projected scope, I hope one of them is more opportunities for work for creators of color, including comics creators.

* in the 2/2 episode listed here, Julian Lytle talks to Whit Taylor.

* I like the idea of super-expensive artisanal comics, although being confronted with the reality of one is sort of depressing.

* finally: haven't linked to an Anthony Acri story in a while. I have to catch up with this one but the characters look familiar.
 
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Happy 89th Birthday, Alexandro Jodorowsky!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Richard Bruning!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Mark Haven Britt!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Alan Grant!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Seth Tobocman!

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February 6, 2018


Go, Look: Something Huge

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D+Q Inaugurates Twice-A-Year Paid Fellowship Program

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All the details and program parameters are here. This sounds like a fine opportunity to work with a first-rate publisher for all the reasons that such a gig with these attributes -- limited run, 32 hours a week, paid -- might be attractive to someone out there. I look forward to the result.
 
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Go, Read: A Fine Ben Katchor Interview

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Go, Read: Brian Hibbs On Comics Released Weekly

imageHere. I appreciate Hibbs being upfront that his sample size is limited to his two stores, but I think this feels right in a way that I'm glad to have him speak up. If there's any evidence to the contrary, that weekly comics provide a sales boost unique to itself and worth disrupting that specific market's flow, now's the time to see it.

One thing Brian doesn't underline as much as I might is that even people that buy weekly might prefer to consume monthly title to title. That certainly describes me. I'd also be interested in how much easier it is for people to switch to a trade paperback purchase if they know one is coming in 45 days or so.

I'm worried that the market drivers are going to try and stunt their way out of the current downturn in sales by basically employing all the stunts. It could work, but if there's an opportunity to actually find a long-range tenable solution that drives markets away from self-damage, I'd prefer to see that.
 
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Go, Look: Guillermo Mordillo Cartoons

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* looks like we've headed into the pre-orders phase on Michael Kupperman's highly anticipated All The Answers. There's a huge curiosity about this one given the general, obvious skill with which Kupperman has always made his comics but the very specific and very out-there sense of humor on display.

* congratulations to the prodigious comics-maker Nate Powell on finishing his Come Again.

* Jeff Lemire is doing more than the usual amount of pre-publication PR for Gideon Falls.

* here's a peek at the latest Ben Katchor at the beginning of its serialization stage. It looks gorgeous.

* Bill Schelly doing Jim Warren is as interesting an idea as I've heard today. I know a lot of people were surprised when he did a Harvey Kurtzman book given his history working with some old-time fan favorites and fandom directly, and that ended up being really good. Warren is still with us, too, unless I somehow missed his passing.

* finally: Betty's Boob coming soon from BOOM!
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Leonardo Romero

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Berserker #1. Leonard Pierce on The Lie And How We Told It.

* I quite like these Roger Langridge pages.

* of all the cartoonists and all the blogs that all those cartoonists have sprung onto the world, Kevin Huizenga's has to be one of the top five most interesting on a consistent basis.

* go, read: a comparison of minimalistic approaches used by Gilbert Hernandez and the late Charles Schulz.

* here's what we used to call a Hero History, basically, although in the form of a list of virtues, this time for the Kirby/Lee Black Panther character. That character has done pretty well in terms of creative line-ups and place in the overall Marvel narrative.

* finally: Evan Dorkin draws the only Captain America that makes sense right now.
 
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February 5, 2018


Go, Look: Lorina Mapa

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DC Adds Young Adult And Middle Grade Graphic Novel Lines

imageThe Hollywood Reporter piece announcing DC's intention to launch two graphic novel lines aimed at younger reader is likely as good as any out there unpacking the basic facts. They're working within book-selling categories, both lines will be run by Bobbie Chase, both will feature stand-alone reading experience of the kind that are popular right now and the younger readers' reading space in general is a good one. A lot of their animation in particular seems to exist in these spaces already.

There is a rich vein of creators comfortable with these characters and looking for commercial work that finding names to announce should not be a problem for years to come.

I'm happy for everyone to get jobs and I'm happy for sensible decisions being made. Personally, I'm also just alt-indy not to hold out a lot of creative hopes for the books. I'm sure they will of a certain high quality but I will be surprised if anything made according to a set of standards like these will be inspired. I'll be happy to be proven wrong, of course, because who doesn't like more inspired work in the world? In the meantime, I hope for fair, lucrative contracts and that Gene Luen Yang's Superman Smashes The Klan is as fun as it potentially sounds.
 
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Go, Look: A Few, Crisp Mort Walker Sundays In B&W

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By Request Extra: Creators For Creators Submissions Are Live

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Here.

I know there are convoluted ways to criticize activist/charity work in comics. It usually ends up being a complaint that the money or effort doesn't get spent in exactly the way you as a critical voice would prefer it. Me, I can't see a giant grant going to a creator to make work in a negative light without a significant attempt to be cynical that's beyond me these days. In fact, I think we have about three or four of these nice things, and if we can get to around 30 comics will be transformed forever. I'm not sure that industry itself solves anything without these kinds of efforts.
 
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Go, Read: Dmitry Samarov On Monograph

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Birdcage Bottom Books has reached the important 50 percent goal well ahead of its last week, which makes it funding likely. I'm sure there are stretch goals to be had with a publisher like this one.

* Charlton Neo has been up and running since 2014 and needs some help four years in to keep up their publication schedule.

* here's a brand-new crowd-funder for what seems like a project worth one's consideration: CORPUS.

* if I'm reading this correctly, a man with cancer wants to fund some of his treatment through his underground comix collection. This was a bit confusing for me to take in, and seems like a horrible thing for anyone to have to do.

* the Go Fund Me for St. Mark's Comics went very poorly. I wonder if this means a risk of closure, as turned out to be the case for Zanadu Comics.

* finally: a project about womens' hockey has nearly reached its initial goal.
 
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If I Were In Colorado Springs, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Two Editorial Cartoons By Bill Watterson

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Juana And The Dragonewts' Seven Kingdoms Vol. 1.

* not comics: one of the tough things about ownership discussions and dialogue about the use of copyrighted material is that even a well-meaning thread like this one conflates a bit the difficulty in keeping one's material out of others' hands with the issue of whether or not it should be used. It is amazing how many people who function in the world still think not getting to do whatever you want with things created on-line is some sort of violation of their freedoms.

* here's a 100 best comics list that I ran into while being a nerd while the Super Bowl was on.

* Randy Tischler wrote in to report that Bill O'Connor has passed way.

* finally: anyone have word about an Autoptic Festival this year? I never could figure out who's running that fine, indy show.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, Megan Kelso!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, JT Dockery!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Matteo Piana!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Yuko Tsuno!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Katie Skelly!

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February 4, 2018


Go, Read: The NFL's White Supremacy Problem

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yeah, yeah, probably not the best chase for link image; sorry, mike
 
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Not Comics: Drew Friedman's Boyhood Bedroom

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Go, Listen: Whit Taylor On Process Party

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Go, Look: Cosmic Driftwood

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Happy 40th Birthday, Souther Salazar!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Dez Skinn!

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Happy 56h Birthday, Tom Sniegoski!

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FFF Results Post #494 -- Inch By Inch

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Characters You Enjoy You Believe May Be Shorter Than Average Human Height." This is how they responded.

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. Astérix
2. Joe Dalton
3. Pip the Troll
4. Young Tim
5. Wesley Winston, The True-Man

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. The King of Id (The Wizard of Id)
2. Knives Chau (Scott Pilgrim)
3. Harvey Elder (aka Mole Man)
4. Police Inspector Belgique (Bandette)
5. Franky (The Goon)

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Honest Crocus (Nexus)
2. The Snoid
3. Caster Oyl
4. Wash Tubbs
5. Joel (Gasoline Alley)

******

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Al Pratt
2. Oberon
3. Mini Rivero
4. Eugene Judd
5. Hot Stuff The Little Devil

*****

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Mark Brodersen

1. Mr Mxyzptlk
2. Tweedledee & Tweedledum
3. Howard the Duck
4. Puck
5. Bug (Micronauts)

*****

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Des Devlin

1. Captain Klutz
2. Mr. Mxyzptlk
3. Etta Candy
4. Castor Oyl
5. Mammy Yokum

*****

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Tom Cherry

1. Etta Candy
2. Herbie Popnecker
3. Mr. Jackeen J. O' Malley
4. Milk
5. Cheese

*****

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Michael G. Pfefferkorn

1. Mister Mind
2. Ranma Saotome (female-type)
3. Gladstone Gander
4. Proty I
5. Bat-Mite

*****

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William Burns

* Violet (Rat Queens)
* Howard the Duck
* Little Green Boy
* The Gray Mouser (Mignola version)
* Mr. Natural

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Moritaka Mashiro
2. Phineas Horton
3. Alfred E. Neuman
4. Phoncible P. Bone
5. God (from Fantastic Four #511)

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Carmen
2. Archbishop Posey
3. Barney Google
4. Mr. Natural
5. The Eyeball Kid

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Jeff
2. Ace Hole
3. Evil Eye Fleagle
4. Chop-Chop
5. Francis’s Momma

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. The tiny people in Beautiful Darkness
2. Judge Fish
3. Shrinking Violet
4. Gullivera
5. Les Krotons

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Mammy Yokum
2. Cerebus
3. Cheech Wizard
4. Kayo Mullins (boy, I'm sure showing my age here, huh?)
5. Nancy

*****
*****
 
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February 3, 2018


Go, Read: RJ Casey Talks To Zach Kanin

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If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This

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Happy 69th Birthday, Richard Marschall!

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February 2, 2018


Go, Look: Dmitry Samarov

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Things I Learned On Twitter About Comics Industry Stuff

* congratulations to the bulk of the First Second core team on their promotions. All well-deserved.

* Lion Forge is looking for an editor to head up their children's comics efforts. Given how well-capitalized and organized that company seems to be and the importance of kids work in the overall marketplace I would guess this is going to be a significant job.

* here's a scholarship focused on typography in design.
 
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Go, Look: Shan Murphy

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Collective Memory: Mort Walker (1923-2018)

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this article has been archived
 
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Go, Listen: Jason T Miles On Process Party

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Sloane Leong working wide within the world of webcomics is a really great editorial move on TCJ's part. I'll be reading every column closely.

* Steve Morris writes about the Tillie Walden webcomic On A Sunbeam as a best comic of 2017 and as a sign of the times.

* finally, Graeme McMillan talks to Tee Franklin about Bingo Love in an interview that really underlines how powerfully a successful on-line crowd-funding campaign can be a focal point for publicity and advance word on a book above and beyond the money raised.
 
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Go, Look: Chris Samnee Has A Store

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Abraham Riesman on Vertigo's influence. I usually enjoy Riesman's essays, which I find thoughtfully crafted. This one lost me several times, I think due to shifting contexts and a few incredibly broad claims made on the line's behalf. Still, I enjoy many of Vertigo's best works, and happy anniversary to its architects and artists.

image* Alex Hoffman on Unmagical Girl Vol. 1 and Berserker #1. Joe McCulloch on Monograph. Robert Kirby on The Big Book Of Bisexual Trials And Errors. Todd Klein on Raven #1.

* not comics: I've never made much money as an on-line person, so articles like this one baffle me. The thing is, I just can't figure out how you can have a site that's any more effective than you could have paying for an entire magazine (two support people plus an every weekday freelance outlay) the money they're paying the dude in question.

* by request extra: an artist that could use some work.

* hourly comic day was yesterday and while I haven't stopped to go through the results artist by artist, I know that Summer Pierre will have done a great job making comics under that constraint.

* this is an amazing ramble through all sorts of information about Wonder Woman and a dozen or so of the contexts through which one might seek to understand the concept and character.

* finally: Dmitry Samarov talks to Chris Ware.
 
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Happy 63rd Birthday, Bob Schreck!

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February 1, 2018


Go, Look: Angela Chen

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ReedPOP: DBD's Longtime Executive Kuo-Yu Liang Joins Team As Global Director Of Business Development

Kuo-Yu Liang, the longtime Diamond Comic Distributors working on the books end of the business most recently as Vice President International Sales and Business Development at Diamond Comic Distributors, has joined ReedPOP as their Global Director of Business Development according to an announcement made by Lance Fensterman, the company's Global Head. Liang will headquarter in Seattle and work on growing the ReedPOP business model with a focus on Asia. The group currently has nine shows in "China, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea and India."

Liang I believe started with Random House but was a hugely important hire for Diamond to settle and legitimize their ability to serve as a book distributor when a number of traditional prose distributors were starting to snap up comics publishers. He is credited with finding significant growth for Diamond in international markets.

The announcement is here:

Kuo-Yu_Liang_Press_Release.pdf

A letter sent out by DBD this morning indicated no concrete replacement strategy while bidding farewell to Liang and underlining the continued importance of the international marketplace for Diamond.
 
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Go, Look: Fostering Isn't Perfect, But It's For Us

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Go, Look: Arlington Is More Than A Cemetery

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* exhibitor applications for BellCAF are open. That show is March 31.

* FIBD has carved out its traditional place on the January 2019 calendar.

* the artist Tom Williams sent word that PIX has canceled for 2018 but plans to do 2019. I think there's room for a Toonseum-oriented comics show in Pittsburgh; they just haven't found exactly the right formula yet. The 2017 show seemed like a sturdy model on which to build, so I hope they're back next year.

* many of my friends are oriented towards ECCC at this point, which is still some ways off.

* here's a report from DC's event in Washington, DC over MLK Jr. weekend. I think it's a potentially important variation on the festival/convention event, one that could serve a variety of purposes for these companies.

* finally, the great John Porcellino has announced 2018 tour dates for his new book, From Lone Mountain.

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

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Go, Look: A Few Dan Dunn Sunday Pages

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on RWBY. Meredith Harris and Kyle Thompson on various comics.

* not comics: this is a super-adorable story about Garry Trudeau that I don't think I was aware existed.

* Debkumar Mitra profiles Chandi Lahiri.

* here's a brief profile of Charles Johnson in advance of a speaking date. He's one of my favorite cartoon-makers not primarily a cartoon-maker.

* saw Nate Beeler, Ann Telnaes and Mr. Fish speak at a luncheon in Columbus yesterday and had a great time. if you get to see either out in support of their new books, make some time to go. I'd never seen Mr. Fish before, and he was super-enagaging and articulate. Both Telnaes and Mr. Fish are cartoonists of the moment for their work on Trump; I think they're both doing the work right now for which they'll be most remembered. I know Telnaes is working her way through signings on the west coast south to north soon.

* finally: Brian Walker remembers his father.
 
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Happy 63rd Birthday, Diana Schutz!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Gilbert Hernandez!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Jim Rugg!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Ron Frenz!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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