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















May 31, 2018


Go, Look: Yukai Du

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Steve Geppi Donates 3000 Items To Library Of Congress

Here. It looks like that could be a steady relationship, too. Geppi's credibility as a collector is unquestioned given his own efforts in building a museum around what the successful distributor owns. He is, as the article notes, an old-fashioned "comics=childhood" guy, a set of beliefs that has always seemed to influence his approach to collection, but it's not like there isn't a tidal wave of material in that general area.

I urge all creators to give some thought about the final outcome of their collections. In a way there are both more and fewer opportunities for placement than one might think.

Update: I'm a dummy. Of course the flip side of this is Geppi shutting down his private museum. That's something to see, if you've never been. Free admission on Sunday!
 
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Go, Look: José Domingo

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Jamie Coville has checked in with his TCAF 2018 bounty: TCAF audio, DWAs audio, TCAF photos, DWA photos. I always appreciate Jamie doing those.

* SDCC is an advertiser here, so this may be biased nonsense, but I'm always curious when people so easily equate NYCC and SDCC. Those seem like two very different shows to me still.

* your 2018 Joe Shuster Awards nominees.

* here's an interview with Benjamin Woo about the research Woo is leading into the ideas of convention functionality.

* finally: now would be the time to star searching twitter and personal sites for pre-commissions from artists that attend that great drawing show, Heroes Con.
 
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If I Were Near Erlangen, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Kristina Stipetic

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* there are more comics up in Daniel Clowes original art shop than there were this time two weeks ago.

* I enjoyed listening to Gil Roth's non-comics Memorial Day Weekend podcast. That memorial service for the great poet Sandy McClachy was attended by a lot of comics royalty as well.

* I have always loved the look of Jack Cole's Betsy And Me. If that one would have been around a while and enjoyed some success I think the newspaper page would have been so much better off for this version of the '50s/'60s thin-line style.

* finally: John Siuntres talks to Michael Kupperman.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Dean Haspiel!

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Happy 66th Birthday, David Anthony Kraft!

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May 30, 2018


Go, Look: Joey Chou

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Go, Look: Joe Todd-Stanton

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

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*****

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

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

*****

MAR181077 ART OF JIM STARLIN LIFE IN WORDS & PICTURES HC $49.99
I couldn't for the life of me find a proper prestige book -- I have yet to miss my once every couple of months dive into Jog's old column as much as I do today -- and if I'm right that there isn't one I would wander around the shop and look at everything else, including this volume. Starlin was a favorite when I was a kid, and I liked in particular his morose, death-obsessed work at Marvel because, well, that's the kind of kid I was. I still don't know how we've avoided seeing a movie version of his Epic Magazine serial Metamorphosis Odyssey, with its two meaty parts for over-40 male stars, an Earth-shattering first act and a great end-of-second act twist. Anyway, I'd look at this book although I already have the comics. It's probably not for me.

MAR180600 WHERE WE LIVE LAS VEGAS SHOOTING BENEFIT ANTHOLOGY TP $19.99
The latest wider-industry charitable cause comic, as admirable as it sounds. I would be curious if there's any dissonance between this book and the industry's proclivity for gun-based solution making in its narratives.

imageMAR180708 KILL OR BE KILLED #19 (MR) $3.99
MAR180709 LAZARUS #28 (MR) $3.99
MAR180752 SAGA #52 (MR) $2.99
MAR180233 DOOMSDAY CLOCK #5 (OF 12) $4.99
FEB188851 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 BAGLEY VAR LEG $9.99
MAR181017 UNDATEABLE CEREBUS #1 (OF 1) $4.00
Those first two are two of the most handsome serial comics I've read in a long while, and stand out even in the context of their individual series. Sagar remains incredibly popular even as for me it's started to feel like science fiction of the 15 people in the same room variety. I remain appalled by and thus incredibly interested in Doomsday Clock, where it seems not knowing the source work that well is considered a valid artistic choice. That's a lot of numbers next to Amazing Spider-Man there, even though the number of variants in this unhealthy an overall sales environment is ludicrous. No idea what's up with Cerebus, there. It doesn't sound super-promising.

MAR181254 ADVENTURE TIME 100 PROJECT TP $14.99
I'm all for projects and enterprises.

FEB180313 SUPERMAN BY MARK MILLAR TP $29.99
There are some creative elements to Mark Millar's rise to streaming service content provider mega-millionaire, and I don't just mean the way he would occasionally work the press. Millar always paid attention to creative, decently choreographed fight scenes during the people running at each other era, and he was quick to pick up on approaches to narrative that resonated with fans. My memory is many of his best-written comics featured Superman.

FEB180474 LITTLE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE HC SHARKS $14.99
Don't look like these would be for me, but I was caught by the PR trying to place it within the shark freak market and the educational market. It's not unlike what comic strips have to do, balance the speicfic and the general in terms of appeal.

MAR181698 VIETNAMESE MEMORIES VOL 01 LEAVING SAIGON (MR) $19.95
This is a handsome-lookng volume following the effects of the various conflicts in Vietnam on different groups, starting with those that made their subsequent home somewhere in France. Comics has an advantage with this kind of sweeping narrative because you make your first set out of a pencil and your next eight sets from that same pencil.

NOV170026 WILL EISNER CONTRACT WITH GOD CURATORS COLL HC $195.00
NOV170027 WILL EISNER CONTRACT WITH GOD CURATORS COLL HC LTD ED $295.00
The irony of a fancy version of Contract With God is that the early graphic novel conceived all by itself had implications for upgrading the presentation of such works. This looks like it incorporates the more recent idea of shooting from pencils and/or separating the inks on seminal works. No idea if Eisner would work that way, but I have to imagine that it would look great.

MAR181903 PINKY & PEPPER FOREVER GN $12.00
Don't know the work, don't know the artist, and comedy is hard. Still, Silver Sprocket has had a pretty good eye the last 18 months and finding new works is what the comic book shop is for! Well, it's one of the things a comics store is for, but one of the main ones for sure.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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Go, Look: Mrs. Fitz' Flats

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

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Go, Look: The Big Wheels

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Noah Van Sciver pays tribute to Gasoline Alley.

* hopefully this and anything like this has been fixed by now.

* it makes sense that people would notice this. I don't know why people aren't more matter-of-fact about the way the world is by depicting the range and beauty of how people live. Well, I do sort of know. A big part of the conservative storyline is non 1950s White America narratives are aberrations rather than branches of the same, bigger tree.

* I'll endorse this warning from Melanie Gillman.

* finally: we should pay attention to every cartooning prize that includes cash.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Mike W. Barr!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Tom Galambos!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Kevin Eastman!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Mark Price!

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May 29, 2018


Go, Look: Jim Stoten

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Missed It: Your 2018 Doug Wright Awards Winners

imageThe Doug Wright Awards for the best in Canadian English-Language comics had their yearly ceremony the Saturday evening of TCAF at the Marriott Bloor/Yorkville. Winners were Jess Jacobs, Jenn Woodall and Sami Alwani, while Duncan MacPherson was inducted into the Giants Of The North Hall Of Fame.

One distinguishing factor for this year's show was a move to a smaller ballroom for the ceremony, causing a few latecomers to join the bar crowd downstairs earlier than usual. A much more important way this show will be remembered is for its attention to beloved Canadian comics Annie Koyama and her anniversary-having Koyama Press.

Winners in bold.

*****

THE 2018 DOUG WRIGHT BEST BOOK AWARD (BEST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE GN PUBLISHED IN CANADA)

* Hostage (Drawn & Quarterly) Guy Delisle
* I'm Not Here (Koyama Press) GG
* Crawl Space (Koyama Press) Jesse Jacobs
* The Abominable Mr. Seabrook (Drawn & Quarterly) Joe Ollmann
* Anti-Gone (Koyama Press) Connor Willumsen

*****

THE 2018 DOUG WRIGHT SPOTLIGHT AWARD/"THE NIPPER" (COMICS-MAKER OR TEAM DESERVING OF WIDER RECOGNITION

* Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes, The Case of the Missing Men (Conundrum Press)
* Gillian Blekkenhorst, All-Inclusive Fully Automated Vacation and House of Strays
* Eric Kostiuk Williams, Condo Heartbreak Disco (Koyama Press)
* Jason Loo, The Pitiful Human-Lizard Nos. 12, 13 and 14 (Chapterhouse Comics)
* Jenn Woodall, Magical Beatdown Volume Two and Marie and Worrywart

****

THE PIGSKIN PETERS AWARD (EXPERIMENTAL, UNCONVENTIONAL, AVANT-GARDE)

* The Dead Father, Sami Alwani
* The Death of the Master, Patrick Kyle
* Crohl's House Nos. 1 & 2, Alexander Laird, Jamiel Rahi and Robert Laird
* Creation: The First Three Chapters, Sylvia Nickerson
* Potluck, Wavering Line Collective

*****

Duncan Macpherson (1924-1993) was an editorial cartoonist at various publications during the bulk of the second half of the 20th Century. He died in 1993, after having won multiple awards and receiving nearly every honor available to a Canadian cartoonist. His award was accepted by his son.

This year's jury was Bo Doodley, Jim Munroe, Marc Ngui and Pamela Marie Pierce. Nominating committee was Adrian Doran, Alexander Hoffman, Betty Liang, and Conan Tobias -- they also chose the Pigskin Peters winner, apparently.

Dustin Harbin was the host and R Sikoryak drew there ceremony live and in the room.

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Go, Look: Roger Langridge Sketches At Portsmouth

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Go, Buy: Fantagraphics Having Post Memorial Day Sale That Will Benefit ICAN

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Here. I try to run the publisher sales when I can because I know that's about the only way they have to finesse inventory and right now we are highly publisher-dependent in terms of industry institutional make-up.
 
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Go, Look: Uninhabitable

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied, Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here are a few future images from Austin English.

* totally missed this catch by Bleeding Cool and then Multiversity about a new, stand-alone OGN from the prolific team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

* writer Gerry Duggan's lengthy run of Deadpool comics should not pass without comment. That's one of the better and more rewarding mainstream runs in an industry that sort of thwarts both long runs and their being beneficial for the company longterm.

* Noah Van Sciver has finished the third volume of his Fante Bukowski comics earlier in May. He's making quality comics at a good clip right now. I don't think we've seen the English-language version of his autobiographical One Dirty Tree yet, for instance.

* looks like through Image we'll get a collection of Pia Guerra's recent political work.

* this was still in my bookmarks, although I'm certain I reported it. Good news bears repeating, though.

* finally: Kate Gavino's Sanpaku is due this August from Archaia.
 
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Go, Look: Joe Staton E-Man Splash Pages

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Go, Look: A Very Early Moebius Comic Translated

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Louis Skye on Haytham: A Childhood In Syria.

* here's a sprawling but informative twitter discussion among working pros about the mental pressures of working in comics, including dealing with panic attacks at comics shows. There is a lot of pressure to overwork in comics, and not always for justifiable reasons.

* take that, Al Capp!

* finally: pretty sure I chatted about it over on Twitter, but I'm not certain I mentioned here the new AAEC logo. I'm sure there will be some comments about Nero fiddling, but part of an organization being and remaining active is to keep up with these kinds of changes.
 
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Happy 74th Birthday, Ryoichi Ikegami!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Max Ink!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Larry Marder!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Jim Salicrup!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Aaron McGruder!

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May 28, 2018


Julio Ribera, RIP

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Go, Look: May 1968: The Revolution That Almost Was

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Go, Look: Tiffanie Vande Ghinste

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* totally missed this: a Market Day animation with music project by Lainie Fefferman. The original is an evocative coimcs work by James Sturm that would work well in multiple, cross-media iterations, I bet.

image* I know just pointing at Patreon campaigns like some sort of on-line comics tourist visiting ComicsLand for the first time is about the least cool thing I can do, but I hope in pay more explicit attention to individual offerings I'll end with a more systematic approach to the entirety of them. This week I stumbled across an old link to Chuck Forsman's which promised a very specific direct offering. I also got a nice note from Dave Kellett reminding me that the podcast he does with Brad Gugar, ComicLab, is patreon-supported as well. I think the historical framework with which to understand this is late '80s/early '90s self-publishing but with revolving bank credit rendered completely unnecessary.

* I haven't checked in on it for a while, but the crowd-funder to help get Sloane Leong to Angouleme for a residency seems to have slowed down short of its initial goals and could use some attention.

* this person looks like they could use some consideration.

* finally: speaking of gofundme efforts, the one for Bill and Nadine Messner-Loebs is currently a little over $17k made on a $25k goal. This is for money to help stabilize their housing situation. While there are some long-term challenges there, that initial chunk of money to help clear a couple or an individual of immediate danger is always crucial.
 
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Go, Look: A Few Select Marvel-Era Star Wars Images

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OTBP: Decrypting Rita

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Chris Coplan on Now #3.

* I greatly sympathize with this point of view although I probably see a lot of exploitative activities in a slightly different context and I'm generally less worried about people in comics that support the wrong people and the bad judgment one may infer from those actions with the people that are more directly doing horrible things in comics. Enabling networks need to be examined, too, of course. I do think comics like to talk things through rather than take things from one point to another and examining our processes needs to be part of general reform.

* Joe Gordon talks to Peter Hogan.

* finally: always fun to look at whatever Naoki Urasawa wants to draw.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Tony Consiglio!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Lynn Johnston!

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May 27, 2018


OTBP: Gumroad Comics By Artyom Trakhanov

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Go, Read: Whit Taylor Talks To Ellen Forney

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Go, Look: A Mormon Romance

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

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

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

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

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Happy 64th Birthday, Mark Wheatley!

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FFF Results Post #505 -- First Dates

On Friday, CR asked its readers to "Name Five Comics You've Read And Enjoyed But Never Owned Yourself In Any Form." This is how they responded.

*****

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M‘rio Filipe

1. New School, Dash Shaw [pictured]
2. Zil Zelub, Guido Buzzelli
3. A Lenda de Kamui, Sanpei Shirato
4. Weapon X, Barry Windsor-Smith
5. Hic Sunt Leones #1, AA.VV.

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist, by Michael O'Donoghue and Frank Springer [pictured]
2. Devilman, by Go Nagai
3. Dream Of The Rarebit Fiend, by Windsor McCay
4. Spy Smasher, by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker
5. Frankenstein, by Dick Briefer

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Abortion Eve, Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli.
2. Conan #10, Roy Thomas And Barry Windsor-Smith And Sam Rosen And Sal Buscema And Mimi Gold And Others.
3. Space Usagi, Stan Sakai.
4. I Am Blind And My Dog Is Dead, Sam Gross.
5. Miracleman #15, Alan Moore And John Totleben And Sam Parsons And Wayne Truman. [pictured]

*****

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Pete Beaudoin

1. Elementals 1
2. Godzilla 1 (Marvel) [pictured]
3. New Mutants 1
4. Shogun Warriors 2
5. Insect Man 4 (Entertainment Comics)

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. T Minus: The Race to the Moon by Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon, and Kevin Cannon
2. Daredevil #254 by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr.
3. How and Why to Bale Hay by Nick Bertozzi [pictured]
4. Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson
5. Odds Off by Matt Madden

*****

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Terry Eisele

* Stitches: A Memoir, David Small [pictured]
* Freddie and Me: A Coming-Of-Age Memoir, Mike Dawson
* Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One, Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben
* My Friend Dahmer, Derf
* Alan's War, Emmanuel Guibert

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Bodyworld, Dash Shaw
2. Dick Tracy, Vol. 1 (IDW), Chester Gould
3. Monster Of The Week, Shaenon Garrity
4. The Doonesbury Chronicles, Garry Trudeau
5. Air Pirates Funnies, Dan O'Neill, Bobby London, Shary Flenniken, Gary Hallgren, and Ted Richards. [pictured]

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John Vest

1. Avengers #7, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Chic Stone and Stan Goldberg and Artie Simek
2. Whack Your Porcupine And Other Drawings, B. Kliban [pictured]
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey #1, Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia and Marie Severin and John Costanza (the Marvel Treasury comic)
4. The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom, Katherine Arnoldi
5. The Puma Blues #24½, Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli and Rob Caswell

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Die Fantastischen Vier #237, Stan Lee, John Buscema, Joe Sinnot, Artie Rosen
2. Heilmann, Alain Voss
3. Pip International Vol. 3, #6, Various contributors
4. Classicomics #6: Der letzte Mohikaner, James Fenimore Cooper and Jaime Brocal Remohi
5. Action Comic Album #104: Hölle von Utgard, Jaime Brocal Remohi [pictured]

*****

thanks to all that participated; the joke one someone sent in made me laugh but I can't encourage that kind of thing

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May 26, 2018


Go, Look: Slightly Plural

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

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

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If I Were In Stoke-On-Trent, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 41st Birthday, Dave Roman!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Marc Arsenault!

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Happy 51st Birthday, James Kochalka!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Nick Bertozzi!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Raina Telgemeier!

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May 25, 2018


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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Crime Machine

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Robin Enrico on My Dead Mother. Irene Velentzas on The Winner. John Seven on Kingdom/Order. Todd Klein on The Flash #46. Alex Hoffman on A Cat On The Chair. Oliver Sava on Dalston Monsterzz.

* James Moore writes in very broad terms about the crowd-funding elements of graphic novel creation.

* Third Eye Comics is up over at TCJ's super-necessary retail column.

* the editorial staff at the Seattle Times would like you to meet via video their long-time cartoonist David Horsey. Why wouldn't you?

* finally: here's an awful story about straight-up misogyny celebrated in Indian political cartooning.
 
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Happy 61st Birthday, Terry Nantier!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Marc Hempel!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Barry Windsor-Smith!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Ken Avidor!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Sal Velluto!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Stan Sakai!

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May 24, 2018


Go, Read: Douglas Noble Thread On Forgotten Anthologies

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* a lot of the anticipatory chatter I hear is for Heroes Con, with some joy expressed over an appearance by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. One of the all-time great drawers at the premier drawing-culture show makes a lot of sense.

* VanCAF sounds like it was a good time. A lot of creators take the extra time to tell me they like that show, which is a blessing for the communities in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver itself. That was a hell of a special guest list.

* lots of cosplay at veteran show Motor City. The article claims tens of thousands in attendance.

* finally: Comic Con Palm Springs has bought a young, regional animation festival. I can personally attest that's a model that can work. Palm Springs' relative isolation might work against it, although it would definitely have the hotel infrastructure necessary to grow.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: An Oil Pipeline in Louisiana is Making a Bad Situation Much Worse

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Charles Hatfield on Be Prepared.

* otbp: I think this link takes you to a limited edition catalog for an imminent Jesse Jacobs exhibit. Jacobs is right there.

* either I forgot to post this link to Steve Lieber's advice on providing critiques to younger comics-makers, or you're getting it again. Either way is just fine with me.

* finally: Dean Haspiel tells the secret origin of Thorgood, his co-creation with Wyatt Cenac.
 
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Happy 70th Birthday, Alan Zelenetz!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Wimbledon Green!

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May 23, 2018


Go, Look: A Visit To The Only Cafe Around

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

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*****

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

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

*****

MAR181872 COMMUNIST MANIFESTO SC GN $19.99
I have a significant level of curiosity about this book, which friends of mine have seen in various stages of production. It's certainly an interesting match of cartoonist and subject matter, an there's an underlying no-fucks quality to all the top UK newspaper cartoonists that might be intriguing to see in play.

imageFEB180483 COIN OP COMICS ANTHOLOGY HC 1997-2017 $29.99
This is the book of this week that feels absolutely out of left field, a collection of Peter and Maria Hoey, stretching back to the BLAB! days. I'm game, and am grateful for its existence beyond my personal interest.

JAN181333 MOUSE GUARD HC VOL 03 BLACK AXE B&W ED $99.99
I'm not sure where this fits in with the various printings of Mouse Guard out there, but I'm happy to see different variations of the work put out into the market. I will always think that these comics are a bit undervalued in their marketplace and one path out of that position is working in as many formats as can be sold..

MAR181255 LUMBERJANES #50 $4.99
MAR180843 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 BLANK VAR LEG $5.99
MAR180042 INCOGNEGRO RENAISSANCE #4 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
MAR188485 TERRIFICS #1 2ND PTG $2.99
MAR180641 BEEF #4 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
MAR180786 BLACK PANTHER #1 $4.99
Weird comic book week, at least from my perspective. The first two I included because the issue numbers were relatively high. The third I've listed because I forgot about the serialization of this series am pretty sure I'm not the only one. Haven't seen a lot of the artist-focuse series that DC announced recently get additional printing attention, although I'll admit that's the first think I look for. I'm enjoying this new Shaky Kane book although probably a little bit less than some of these. Black Panther I assume will be a cornerstone of Marvel's soft reboot, but I'm hearing so little about those efforts I wonder to what effect.

imageMAR181862 WINNER GN $18.00
This is Karl Stevens' effort from the Retrofit crowd-funder, and probably the most affecting thing he's done. There's a slight scatter of narratives here, as befits a book about making choices between media: the media used often make Stevens' choice for him, and that may become as he gets older and factors other than a desire to do a certain kind of work may weigh in with a vote. It's perhaps the best book on third-step ennui from any modern cartoonist, with so much of what Stevens feels coming out in the drawings themselves.

FEB180484 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 08 $9.99
Volume eight! James Kochalka is almost too prolific for the bookstore-market era.

NOV178660 MIKE ALLRED ARTIST SELECT HC $125.00
I don't know that I've looked at a lot of Mike Allred separate from more direct narrative demands, and it might be an excellent way to enjoy that work.

MAR181861 TROUBLEMAKERS (MR) $20.00
I don't know much about Baron Yoshimoto but the quality of the drawing makes me feel that I've missed out.

JAN181661 LOVE & ROCKETS MAGAZINE #5 $4.99
Here's the one that will actually get me into the store this week. Jaime stepped back from his issues #1-3 narrative for an issue, so I'm stuck wondering what's next. That's a great place to be 30-plus years in with an author.

*****

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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Go, Look: Evan Matthew Cohen Comics

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Go, Look: Collaboration

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Kirby on XTC69. Scott Vanderploeg on The Art Of The Simon And Kirby Studio.

* the "Who's Alan Moore?" part of this open letter is hilarious in a punch yourself into unconsciousness at the way art is treated kind of way. Which I guess is its intention, after a second read. Hm. If they had just waited another ten years people would have split with the material more fully and an adaptation wouldn't have seemed such a gold mine -- let alone multiple adaptations. I'm just going to be shitty and weird about this particular thing for the rest of my life, so apologies in advance. We've reached the point where I'm pretty sure people think they're improving on what for all its faults is a wholly realized expression of personal belief about art and politics. The idea of fixing art is always worthy of contempt. A potential Stoppardian take, even projected as good, doesn't seem to change the original, unnecessary treatment of the writer.

* Glenn McCoy is leaving the political cartooning part of his cartooning career.

* Carrie Wise profiles Terri Libensen.

* finally: Chris Schweizer extols the virtues of being nice in comics.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, Mike Deodato!

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Happy 67th Birthday, John Bolton!

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May 22, 2018


The Results Post From Last Friday's Five For Friday On Con Purchases Is Up Now (Sorry)

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Art Spiegelman Named Winner Of MacDowell Medal

Congratulations to Art Spiegelman on news that he will receive the Edward MacDowell Medal during a ceremony in mid-August at the MacDowell Colony. The award is named by an assembled committee of same-discipline and related-interest peers: Alison Bechdel chaired a group that included Gene Yang, Hillary Chute and James Sturm.

An impressive list of past winners include Aaron Copland, Robert Frost, Georgia O'Keefe and David Lynch. All are awarded for an outstanding contribution to American culture. Spiegelman will be the 59th recipient. More information as available here.
 
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Go, Look: Dustin Weaver At Process Party

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Missed It: Box Brown Started A Patreon

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Here. The interesting things about Brown having one are 1) he's in the middle of a strong run with published work, 2) he hasn't had the same success with this platform despite that high profile -- at least not yet -- and 3) he's serializing his first graphic novel as an incentive.

There was a point at which I wondered if Patreons would become ubiquitous and while we're not there yet and there have been periods where they seem to have fallen out of favor we seem to be getting closer.
 
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Go, Look: Capitalism 101

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied, Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* no better news possible than that from Katie Skelly and Fantagraphics late last week, that there's a date and format and all the publishing stuff in place for a real-world version of an occasionally whispered collection of the artist's erotic comics, with the excellent name The Agency. That is some of the best material from a very talented and vital cartoonist. That the material is going to be in color is a dream come true for Skelly fans, of which I am one.

* missed it: Ebony Flowers and Hot Comb to Drawn and Quarterly for 2019 release.

* Eddie Campbell talked so casually at his TCAF panel about coloring From Hell, I didn't realize it was a news story.

* in case I haven't listed it here and you missed it: this is what 2019 at First Second looks like.

* Nintendo + Dark Horse = delay.

* finally: here comes another stab at the Supergirl concept. The costume breaks further away from other iterations I've seen.

 
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Go, Look: Kickily Paints Star Wars

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Go, Look: Mystic #26

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on All The Answers.

* does anyone want my Beguiling $10 gift certificate?

* not comics: I don't agree with a lot of specifics argued in this article, but very few writers attempt to explain the broad connections between the modern Hollywood eras '70s to '90s to now.

* industry veteran Rob Liefeld notes his particular manifestation of can't-draw-feet disease quickly spread to his peers.

* here is sensible-sounding advice from Steve Lieber on how to do portfolio reviews and art critiques. This may be especially helpful for dopes like me who get dragged into doing this and are completely unqualified to build a structure around which to do so.
 
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Happy 34th Birthday, Whit Taylor!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Mimi Rosenheim!


 
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May 21, 2018


Go, Look: Anabel Colazo

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Go, Look: Ann Ryan

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* folks are still giving to Milton Knight.

* can't say I'm dying to read a bunch of stories about folks' relationship to hair of all kinds, but an anthology like this is a good way to learn about way more Australian cartoonists that I recognize in that book's creators list.

* looks like the Secret Voice crowd-funder will be a go with one or two stretch goals hit.

* Julia Wertz's patreon is still in that growing stage. Last time I mention it, though. I'll plug a patreon, you know, if it's not already on my very short and inadequate patreon list.

* finally: I'm all for group efforts and seeing more Italian cartooning.
 
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Not Comics: Charles Tunnicliffe

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Go, Look: The Smog Emperor In The Woods

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Dueben talks to Tim Truman.

* not comics: if we're really going to play blockbuster jenga, the piece I'm avoiding is "Jack Kirby."

* not comics: this interview with longtime comics writer Mike Baron's prose publisher depresses the crap out of me with nearly every other word. Subjecting art to the political back and forth of the day diminishes art and politics. That book description where horrible tragedy is visited upon liberal celebrities so that conservatives can enjoy... I guess winning arguments with them? That just seems so sad to me. But as we may have a comics version sooner rather than later, it's worth our attention.

* I'm bookmarking this article to come back and read later so I can draw like Saul Steinberg.

* not comics: this article with obvious parallels to comics work-for-hire practices also depresses. Hard to believe that in the millions of dollars made there wasn't room for more money or a better outcome in some other way.

* finally: this story about Tom Beland doing a Black Panther comic-book cover strikes me as a little bit odd, as I haven't seen it at all and it's basically my job to see such things, but I like Beland and it's a sweet and important sentiment.
 
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Happy 38th Birthday, Sammy Harkham!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Mark Crilley!

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Happy 74th Birthday, Kim Deitch!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Neil Kleid!

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May 20, 2018


Go, Look: Lois Lane Always Had Compelling Covers

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Missed It: Graeme McMillan's 2016 Heat Vision Piece About Stan Lee As A Marvel Universe Character

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

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

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If I Were In San Juan, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near Ontario CA, I'd Go To This

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Happy 45th Birthday, Mike Norton!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #504 -- Take Home

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics You Distinctly Remember Buying At A Comics Show." This is how they responded.

*****

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Philippe Leblanc

1. Hellberta #3, by Michael Comeau
2. Rub, by Brie Moreno
3. Safari Honeymoon, by Jesse Jacobs [pictured]
4. Mana, by Priya Huq
5. Tycho, by Anya Davidson

*****

imageEvan Dorkin

1. Buster Brown Comic Book #32, Hobart Donavan, Reed Crandall and Ray Wilner (no one seems to know who drew the Froggy the Gremlin comics, which is what I bought it for)
2. 1st Issue Special #6: Dingbats of Danger Street, Jack Kirby, Mike Royer and Tatjana Wood (cover colors) [pictured]
3. Doctor Carnacki #1, Maarten Vande Wiele and Stefan Nieuwenhuis
4. World's Finest #113, Jerry Coleman, Dick Sprang, Shelly Moldoff, Dave Wood, Lee Elias, Jack Miller, Jim Mooney, cover by Curt Swan, Stan Kaye and Ira Schnapp
5. Love & Rockets #1, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez and Mario Hernandez (traded for a commission drawing)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Chiggers, Hope Larson.
2. Jungle Action #6, Don McGregor And Rich Buckler And Glynis Wein And Tom Orzechowski And Klaus Janson.
3. Coober Skeber Number Two: Marvel Benefit Issue, Edited By Tom Devlin.
4. American Splendor #10, Harvey Pekar and Friends.
5. Fantastic Four #68, Jack Kirby And Joe Sinnott And Stan Lee And Stan Goldberg And Artie Simek. [Pictured]

*****

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Mário Filipe

Here's my list of five comics I remember buying at comics festivals here in Portugal:

1. Eternus 9: Um filho do cosmos, Victor Mesquita (Meribérica).
2. Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay, Ben Katchor (Penguin Books).
3. Journal (I): février 1992 - septembre 1993, Fabrice Neaud (Ego comme X).
4. Anita, Stefano Ricci and Gabriella Giandelli (Fréon).
5. Lá fora com os fofinhos / Outside with the cuties, Mariana Pita (Chili Com Carne / O Panda Gordo)

*****

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Mark Brodersen

* Superman vs Mohammed Ali
* Superman vs Spider-Man II
* Marvel Premiere 47 [pictured]
* Justice League of America 115
* X-Men 102

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Batman #223 80-Page Giant (Around the World)
2. Nexus #27 Mike Baron, Steve Rude, John Nyberg
3. Master of Kung Fu #100 Doug Moench, Mike Zeck, Gene Day Tom Devlin.
4. 2001 A Space Odyssey Treasury, Jack Kirby, Frank Giacoia
5. Hup #1, R. Crumb [pictured]

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Tempora Mutantur, Kuti Kuti, Comicfestival Hamburg 2016
2. Someone Please Have Sex with Me, Gina Wynbrandt, Millionaires Club Leipzig 2017
3. Maximo Problemo, Ralph Niese, Comic-Salon Erlangen 2016
4. I Wished I Was Married To The Sea, Julia Scheele, Thought Bubble Leeds 2015
5. C'est Bon Vol. 16, CBK, Baltic Comic Kiel 2013 [pictured]

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. Rambo 3.5 by Jim Rugg
2. The Flash #112 by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella
3. House of Women #2 by Sophie Goldstein
4. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham [pictured]
5. Sucker Street: Prologue by Suzanne Baumann

*****
*****

thanks to all that participated

*****
*****
*****
 
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May 19, 2018


Go, Look: Dave Calver

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

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

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

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

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

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If I Were In San Juan, I'd Go To This

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

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were Near Ontario CA, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Steve Lieber!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Armand Villavert, Jr.!

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Happy 76th Birthday, Shirrel Rhoades!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Anne Ishii!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Tom Gammill!

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May 18, 2018


Go, Look: An Interview With Chandro Tomar

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Not Comics: Another Friday, Another School Shooting

Here and a billion other places. Comics has certainly contributed to a culture where violence in general and gun violence specifically sits within narratives as a solution and a tool for solutions. I don't believe that art is ever indictable for that relationship, but neither do I think it isn't there.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In San Juan, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Chris Mautner on all things Macanudo. Nathan Chazan on Die Laughing. Martyn Pedler on Rock Steady.

* Dieter Hanitzsch's Netanyahu cartoon is the latest participant in the "Antisemitic or not?" game show that periodically settles on an editorial effort. This one seems to be falling within the "broad definition" camp.

* this is the first time I can recall being informed about a cartoonist visiting a senior citizens' community. We are going to so crush that programming hole for such places moving forward.

* finally: John Siuntres talks to Charles Soule. If I've somehow forgotten to mention it here, Gil Roth talks to Michael Kupperman.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, Arthur Suydam!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Gabrielle Gamboa!

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Happy 44th Birthday, David Hyde!

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May 17, 2018


Go, Listen: Michael Kupperman On Virtual Memories

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Not Comics: Puss In Boots Illustrations

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Go, Listen: Alex Degen On Process Party

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Go, Look: Life During Interesting Times

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alenka Figa on XTC69. Shea Hennum on Land Of The Sons and Blackbird Days. Caitlin Rosberg on Batman: White Knight. Charles Pulliam-Moore on The Communist Manifesto.

* there's a ton to enjoy in these Bob Brown original pages.

* finally: congratulations to Zack Soto on signing with Fuse Literary Agency.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Dave Sim!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Jake Parker!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Michel Fiffe!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Brandon J. Carr!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Dan Zettwoch!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Brigid Alverson!

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May 16, 2018


Go, Look: The Searle Archive Comes On-Line

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Go, Look: Don Quixote Imagery From Albert Dubout

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

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*****

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

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

*****

MAR181672 ALL THE ANSWERS GN (C: 0-1-0) $25.00
This isn't the biggest week for comics I can remember, so none of you have any excuse not to buy Michael Kupperman's memoir/biography revolving around his father -- the Quiz Kid Joel Kupperman. Do it for the fascinating subject matter, do it for one of our greatly under-appreciated cartoonists and humor figures working on an ambitious, prestige project.

imageMAR180068 USAGI YOJIMBO #3 (OF 7) THE HIDDEN $3.99
FEB180262 WILD STORM #13 $3.99
FEB180446 ASSASSINISTAS #5 CVR A HERNANDEZ (MR) $3.99
MAR180574 BARRIER #3 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
MAR180706 KICK-ASS #4 CVR A ROMITA JR (MR) $3.99
MAR180769 WICKED & DIVINE #36 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99
MAR180858 CAPTAIN AMERICA #702 $3.99
MAR180930 X-MEN WEDDING SPECIAL #1 $4.99
MAR181866 JAZZ LEGEND #1 $3.99
MAR181228 MIGHTY MOE SZYSLAK #1 (ONE SHOT) $3.99
Lot to talk about here, even though I'd likely on buy 1-2 things even flush with cash. One of them would be the Usagi because I always buy Stan Sakai. It's one of the great pleasures of the comic life. I miss the serial numbering, to be honest. I like Warren Ellis' mainstream work even though I'm not sure I could make a lengthy argument on its behalf. The comics he writes are generally nasty and have a sense of consequences in play. Haven't checked out the Gilbert Hernandez-draw Assassinistas yet but will; this might be the week. The Barrier comic pops for me for its length and format. Kick-Ass reads like a cynical mess; John Romita doing explicit fight scenes shoul be more fun. Wicked & Divine gives retailer a solid Image performer for the week. Captain America gets the current run's lights dimmed by Mark Waid and a number of artistic contributors; he's always at least pretty good with that character. X-Men Wedding Special puts me in mind of an Eight Is Enough reunion show or something like that. That kind of move feels really creaky. Don't know anything about Jazz Legend but I'm interested in these sort-of mainstream, sort-of not book making up a lot of the market's bulk right now. Finally, a Simpsons one-shot. Sure, I'd like at it. Why not?

MAR188202 GIDEON FALLS #1 3RD PTG (MR) $3.99
MAR188168 GIDEON FALLS #2 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
MAR180678 GIDEON FALLS #3 CVR A SORRENTINO (MR) $3.99
MAR180679 GIDEON FALLS #3 CVR B SMALLWOOD (MR) $3.99
I pulled this out because this is fairly common for when an Image comic does well, I suspect because the self-publishing concept they use lead to conservative publishing runs. I like the first two issues I read okay.

JAN181332 PERSEPHONE ORIGINAL GN HC (MR) (C: 0-1-2) $19.99
MAR181752 BIG EMPTY LIFE ALPHONSE TABOURET HC $24.99
MAR181858 ENOUGH SPACE FOR EVERYONE ELSE GN $15.99
A run of stand-alones. The first looks like a standard, competently crafted mainstream fantasy work translated for the English-language market, although who knows anymore? The second has a high concept due to the simplicity of some of the art used in contrast with the more developed other art employe. That'd be my first choice. The second is one of those themed anthologies all the kid are wild about now.

MAR182143 BEAUTIFUL SCENES FROM A FANTASY WORLD SC (MR) (C: 1-1-1) $39.95
If I have this right, this not-comics work is basically anime fantasy backgrounds. I would have loved something like this when I was a kid, an we forget that a big chunk of comics for a big chunk of people is access to these visual head spaces.

JAN181838 THE ARTIST BEHIND SUPERMAN THE JOE SHUSTER STORY GN $19.99
JAN181839 THE ARTIST BEHIND SUPERMAN THE JOE SHUSTER STORY HC (C: 0-0- $24.99
I like Joe Shuster. Joe Shuster is one of the all-time great industry artists, and his story is endlessly fascinating. A solid examination in hand for sure. Nice-looking cover, too.

*****

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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Go, Look: Unused Covers Gallery

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Go, Look: The Mother Of Mother's Day

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on XTC69.

* Sammy Harkham draws mayhem.

* finally: here's Wim Lockefeer remembering the late William Vance, best known for the popular XIII series.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Rick Altergott!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Daniel Goossens!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Chester Brown!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Chris Browne!

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Happy 29th Birthday, Kevin Budnik!

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May 15, 2018


Go, Look: The Golden Age Of Television

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the latest e-mailer from NBM says they're publishing David B and anyone publishing David B is great news: "NBM Graphic Novels is proud to announce the release schedule through Winter 2019, including A Tale of a Thousand and One Nights: Hasib & the Queen of Serpents, a new graphic novel by one of France's finest cartoonists, Ignatz and Angoulême International Comics Festival winner, David B."

* Lewis Trondheim let drop at his panel at TCAF that he just finished a duck comic to go along with his Mickey Mouse comic on which he partnered with Keramidas. That should be fun.

* no reboot at DC.

* finally: Lucy Bellwood's latest book previewed.
 
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Go, Look: What Biased Policing Can Do

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Go, Look: The New Kids Of 1968

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posted 1:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Jael Richardson talks to Aline Kominsky-Crumb. Ian McGillis talks to Aline Kominsky-Crumb. Marc Myers profiles George Booth.

* hey, here's some great news: the travel ban suffered by Zunar has been lifted. The brave Malaysian cartoonist still faces more serious charges but international support has been key to Zunar's ability to fight back and this makes it easier for him to bring the message of his situation to others.

* finally: Cliff Wirth, RIP.
 
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Happy 82nd Birthday, Ralph Steadman!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Stéphane Blanquet!

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May 14, 2018


CR Guest Interview: Alex Dueben Talks To Justin Hall And Vivian Kleiman On The No Straight Lines Doc

imageThe 2012 anthology No Straight Lines was intended to cover four decades of queer comics, and editor Justin Hall admitted that the collection was incomplete but it was a snapshot of comics culture and it provided a valuable historical and aesthetic context.

For the past few years Hall has been working with the Peabody Award winning filmmaker Vivian Kleiman to make a documentary of the same title. The film, they noted in our conversation, is a different beast from the book, and looks at the personal lives and work of a handful of artists who were instrumental to this movement and trying to explore what that's meant.

Hall and Kleiman are currently running a kickstarter to raise finishing funds for the film. I asked the duo a few questions about the project. -- Alex Dueben

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ALEX DUEBEN: First of all, for people who don't know, what is the book No Straight Lines?

JUSTIN HALL: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics is a book that I edited and compiled for Fantagraphics that shines a spotlight on the history and artistry of LGBTQ comics. It was a pretty massive undertaking, containing work from over 100 queer comics luminaries, an essay by me detailing the historical and cultural context of the work, and an introduction from Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Sense8). It won a Lambda Literary Award and received an Eisner nomination in 2013.

imageDUEBEN: So why a film?

HALL: The film can do something that the book couldn't: namely, show the comics creators themselves and chronicle their personal and creative journeys. We're lucky that so many of these artists not only made amazing work but are also fascinating people as well! It's been such a joy and an honor to get closer to some of my friends and artistic heroes by filming them.

We got to shoot Alison Bechdel ink her pages as she talked about the origins of Fun Home and fought with her temperamental cat, Donald; we filmed Howard Cruse and Denis Kitchen sitting around a table drinking coffee and chatting about the origins of the seminal Gay Comix series that they launched back in 1980; we shot Mary Wings describing the creation of the first lesbian comics book back in 1973, Come Out Comix, and then smoking a joint made from the pot she grows in her backyard, whipping out her accordion and playing a song with her terrier singing along! Of course, we're also using the film to talk about the history and cultural context of queer comics, using archival footage, b-roll of conventions and events, the art itself, and more, but there's something really special about how film as a medium can create dynamic portraits of people.

VIVIAN KLEIMAN: As a documentary filmmaker, I strive to take viewers on a unique emotional journey. My theory: if I first succeed in grabbing the viewer in their hearts, then their minds will open to new ways of thinking.

For this project, the film version of Justin's anthology No Straight Lines covers the same story of the emergence of queer cartoonists from the margins of society to mainstream acceptance. But the film is narrower in scope. Rather than a survey of queer comics populated by innumerable artists, the film takes a focused approach, profiling five key artists and their personal stories to offer a more intimate perspective. Because the artists are great storytellers, the film will not need narration. The artists' stories are rich in detail, pithy, and replete with insight and astute observations. As needed, text on screen will fill in gaps to anchor the narrative.

The volume of visual material and the compelling nature of the images are a fresh vehicle to tell queer history to a new generation. But the artwork itself is flat and two-dimensional. A motion graphics artist will be added during post-production to infuse the graphic panels with eye-grabbing movement and dynamic storytelling that will appeal to all, but most especially to youth. A well-made documentary film has the potential to reach a huge audience far beyond Justin's book through film festival theatrical screenings, classrooms, broadcast, and streaming.

DUEBEN:The book was a collection of stories from different artists over the decades, Vivian, how does one take that and find a narrative within that or around that?

KLEIMAN: Justin's book presents the work of cartoonists in chronological order. A simple film would be a series of self-contained profiles of several artists. But these artists are part of a community. And many of them were doing work for decades. So we are taking on the challenge -- and garnering the rewards -- of interweaving the stories and constructing an emotional narrative that has a variety of triumphs and frustrations. Alison Bechdel, for example, tells the story of the pivotal year 2000 when the ascendance of Amazon and internet digital reproduction threatened her livelihood as a working artist and almost forced her to change careers. Ultimately, it's a journey of an art form from the margins of the underground scene to mainstream acceptance.

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DUEBEN:Who are the people you've talked to and wanted to talk with who you saw as the key figures in this film?

KLEIMAN: Each of the artists we profile is of major significance in the history of queer comics. Among those who are profiled in the film are: Mary Wings, creator of the first published out lesbian comics; Howard Cruse, aka the Godfather of Queer Comics; Rupert Kinnard, creator of the first African-American gay comics; and Alison Bechdel, winner of a MacArthur Award for Fun Home.

imageHALL: We started with the obvious choices of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For) and Howard Cruse (Wendel, Stuck Rubber Baby), as they've had the greatest impact both within queer comics and beyond. After that, we're having to make some very hard choices, as the film only has room for a very limited number of actual portraits. Definitely on the roster, though, is Rupert Kinnard, who created the first black queer characters in comics and is a gem of a man, and Scout Tran, a dynamic trans web cartoonist and multi-media artist who lives in a wonderful artist studio warehouse with its own slingshot firing range!

We also filmed a bunch of short interviews with creators who gathered for the Queers & Comics Conference that was held in San Francisco last year (we hosted it at the MFA in Comics program in which I teach at the California College of the Arts). These short pieces will act as a sort of Greek chorus throughout the film, putting the rest of the narratives in context, and include luminaries such as Sina Grace, Nicole J. Georges, MariNaomi.

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DUEBEN: As you started working on this and planning, how has the film changed? Or has it changed much from how you initially conceived of it?

HALL: I've been working on and off on this project for a number of years now. It was suggested to me by my friend Dan Zeitman, but it was when I collaborated with Greg Sirota that we managed to do a bunch of filming and create the first trailer for the film. Unfortunately, Greg moved down to LA to pursue his own career and pulled back from the project, but he introduced me to Vivian, which has been wonderful! She's the real deal as a documentary film maker, so it's been rewarding and illuminating working with her and our incredible cinematographer Andy Black over the last two years gathering more interviews and footage.

KLEIMAN: After filming three of the five artists, we began editing selected scenes to show to potential funders. It soon became apparent that the film was missing the dynamic edge of the contemporary queer comics scene, which makes sense since the film's scope was limited from the early 1970's to the mid-2000's.

To address that problem, I did an experiment and filmed mini "speed interviews" with young, edgy queer comics creators. At the Queers & Comics Conference held at CCA last year, I filmed a dozen up-and-coming artists who spoke about the significance of their work and the work of those who paved the way for them. I tested out the notion of using these comments as a sort of "Greek Chorus" that punctuate the narrative at various points in the film. And to everyone's delight -- and some surprise -- it worked! The film now is infused with a vitality and contemporaneous voice that was missing had we just stuck with the original plan.

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DUEBEN: Why are you using kickstarter and what are you trying to do to finish the film?

KLEIMAN: The purpose of the crowd funding campaign is to raise funds to complete the production phase -- filming -- and begin post-production -- editing.

HALL: We've already raised quite a good deal of money through grants from the California Humanities, the S.F. Foundation, and the Berkeley Film Foundation, as well as some substantial private donations, but we need to raise a final chunk of change to finish up our last interviews and b-roll and launch into post-production. The good news is that we have funding lined up for that final phase, and already have interest from Frameline, the world's largest LGBTQ film festival, to debut it! So, we just need to get this final bit of funding and we will be on our way.

The other great thing about launching a Kickstarter is the great publicity and engagement you get from it. Even though it's a nerve wracking process to do a funding campaign like this, the outpouring of love and support has been incredibly validating and inspiring.

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DUEBEN: Do you have any favorite moments from shooting that really stand out for you? Moments that really captured what you hoped to do, why you wanted to make this film?

KLEIMAN: Alison Bechdel has been interviewed and filmed countless times. She also has given innumerable lectures and keynote speeches. So she's told the story of her career and work over and over, to the point that one would assume no new stories -- and certainly no fresh storytelling could be captured for our film. But at one point while I was interviewing her, I asked a particular follow up question that caught her off guard -- it was a link between two prior stories. At that moment, I could visibly see in her eyes that Alison was getting very emotional. And instead of pursuing the line of inquiry further, I allowed for some silence, for the heaviness in the air to lift, and then continue further in the filming.

HALL: She was describing an emotional moment about her relationship with her closeted father that ultimately helped lead to the creation of her memoir Fun Home; it was beautiful, profound, and it took the air out of the room. It was at that moment in particular that I realized how important this film was, to put her work, along with the work of other artists, in a personal and emotional context that will speak to every sort of person who sees it. LGBTQ comics have always been about taking personal truths usually ignored by the mainstream culture and turning those into powerful and creative calls for empathy and connection; this film will carry that mantle forward in a dynamic and profound way.

KLEIMAN: It was exactly the moment of intimacy with the artist that I had aspired to achieve but didn't know if it would be possible. At the same time, I had no need to exert any further emotional stress. The film didn't need that.

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DUEBEN: Justin you pulled together this book of four decades of comics and cartoonists and since then we've had books like Anything That Loves and QU33R and others I think I could make an anthology of creators not included or who have just emerged since No Straight Lines came out. How do you see this film in relation to you and the work you do, to your students, and to these young artists who may not know the people being interviewed?

HALL: That's such a great question! There really has been an explosion of work since the book came out, which has been incredibly inspiring. I was just chatting with Jennifer Camper, who created the Queers & Comics Conference, about this and we were remembering when most working queer cartoonists knew each other because it was a fairly small, insular world. Now, there's no way to know everyone! The work now is international, intergenerational, and incorporates every possible sort of genre, identity, and aesthetic. I'm glad my book came out when it did, because I think it was the last moment when it was possible to actually create an overview in one book.

Of course, as you pointed out, there were plenty of people I had to leave out due to space and other constraints; I realized in compiling the book how incredibly deep the history goes and how impossible it really was to create anything like a "definitive" collection. I only hope that the book began a conversation about the history of queer comics that can continue and grow. The material presented in books like QU33R and Anything That Loves represents the future, bringing veterans that have come up through the queer and feminist underground together with new voices emerging from the webcomics and indie queer comics scenes.

There's been also a greater acceptance and awareness of the work beyond the comics world. The year after my book won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Anthology, for instance, I presented a Mid-Career Achievement Award to Alison Bechdel and they launched a Graphic Novel category; comics had finally been fully accepted among the queer literary world as an important medium! Now you even see major publishers clamoring for well-made, queer-themed graphic novels.

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DUEBEN: Just to close, what is it that you're hoping to do with this film? What is it you hope it will be?

KLEIMAN: From the tragic events of Charlie Hebdo, to Garry Trudeau's George Polk Award in Journalism (the first cartoonist in the program's history to receive a career award for editorial cartoons), to Alison Bechdel winning the Time Book of the Year Award for Fun Home, we are coming to a new understanding of the power of comics and the use of humor to make social commentary. LGBTQ artists have been using comics to explore the changing lives and experiences of queer people for over four decades, but only now are these stories entering into the broader cultural landscape. This is the moment to take stock of the history of this underground artistic community and its accomplishments, which parallels the remarkable societal shift both towards acceptance for queer people and recognition of the power of comics as an artistic medium.

But as we witness today's triumphs of LGBTQ rights, we also see a vitriolic backlash against queer people. By using comics to chart the historical trajectory and diversity of queer life -- the dilemmas, the celebrations, the conflicts, that which is unique to the LGBT experience and that which cuts across most lives -- the film will generate new understandings of -- and hopefully comfort with -- what it means to be queer today in the U.S. Moreover, today the statistics on LGBTQ teen suicide are deeply disturbing. The attempted suicide rates among queer teens are disproportionate to the general population. For LGBTQ youth, this film will not only capture the optimism and passion of the times, but will also give voice to the dark feelings not easily expressed. Graphic novels and comics are the vernacular of young people. This film will place engaging visuals and poignant humor in service of connecting these viewers with shared experiences.

The power of these stories -- of artists overcoming their own demons through artistic expression, connection, and perseverance -- may be very impactful.

HALL: I urge people to help support this film! Check out the Kickstarter and donate what you can and spread the word. There are some great rewards available as well, such as digital and print editions of No Straight Lines, QU33R, and Anything That Loves, as well as some more unusual offerings, such as a ringtone from Donald, Alison Bechdel's female, queer cat named after pioneering psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott.

Queer people are often unaware of their own history, as it is usually not passed down within families and is kept out of the textbooks; similarly, cartoonists are often ignorant of the history of their own medium, which has been looked down upon by academics for too long. I feel passionately about helping to try and change that in whatever way I can, and this film is a big part of that. This documentary will pay homage to the pioneers who broke so many boundaries and paved the way for us, and it will help us to imagine a future that's bright, queer, and full of comics.

I remember the absolute last copy of the first print run of the No Straight Lines book, which I sold at Comic-Con in 2013; it was to a middle-aged, straight woman buying it for her teenage, gay son. She told me that she was getting the book for him because she wanted him to know his history and lineage, and she couldn't tell that story to him herself. She thanked me for creating the book for both of them and I promptly burst into tears. Then we hugged it out. It was an incredible moment. I want that mother and son to go to this film together as well when it comes out, to share some popcorn, laughter, and tears as that same history hits the big screen.

*****

* Crowdfunder for No Straight Lines
* Alex Dueben
* Justin Hall
* Vivian Kleiman

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* filming Alison Bechdel
* from that Kitchen/Cruse scene
* Rupert Kinnard
* Howard Cruse
* three from the greek chorus: Ivan Velez, Nicole Georges, Ed Luce
* instant vitality from MariNaomi
* filmmakers' favorite Alison Bechdel
* Jennifer Camper
* Howard Cruse at his drawing table
* scene from filming [below]

*****

* all photos supplied by Justin Hall courtesy Compadre Media Group

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Go, Look: Alfonso De Anda

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* now that TCAF is over, let's get to some of the stretch goals for Zack Soto's project Secret Voice. I like those comics.

* we featured this Kickstarter last week at the artist's request. It's about halfway home.

* had three different conversations about Milton Knight over TCAF weekend. His recent crowd-funder is still going, although it not moving its goal back as more funds have been raised makes it seem like -- seem like -- the initial sweep of demand is over.

* Eleanor Davis sold a political print this week, although I can't tell if it's still available.

* finally: Julia Wertz is on Patreon. I'm not sure I knew that.
 
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Go, Look: Amanda Castillo

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Go, Look: In Water

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* every possible condolence to Kate Beaton on the loss of her beloved sister.

image* Ben Yakas talks to Roz Chast.

* nearly forgot to recommend this Matt Seneca piece on several older comics of the kind you're likely to find in a long-time diminishing bookstore. It's intriguing to read someone from the alt-/art comics side of things with a measured view of the Darwyn Cooke Parker books. Dan Nadel's referred-to dick-punching of the series was fun to read in the way of all strongly-worded, opinionated pieces, but I thought it missed the point that the prose books are strong enough to encompass different approaches that veer away from the originals in drastic fashion. Certainly that's a leeway granted the best-liked movie version. It's a tough road for any comic, having to compete against imaginary versions by Mort Meskin (Nadel) and Eddie Campbell (Seneca).

* finally: Oliver Kamm on the genius of Asterix, spurred on by a major new art-show opening.
 
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Happy 35th Birthday, Sarah Morean!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Francois Avril!

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Happy 59th Birthday, David Chelsea!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Bob Wayne!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Joe Field!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Jonny Negron!

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May 13, 2018


Reminder: Koyama Press Fall 2018 Lineup Announced

Here. It's been a big month for Koyama Press with the opening of the Billy Ireland exhibit and the attention paid publisher Annie Koyama at last night's DWAs. It should continue all year, including this strong-looking fall line-up.

Perhaps most crucially, Ed Kanerva has made himself a personalized Koyama Press jumpsuit to wear at shows that everyone should ask to see. It's the first major jumpsuit-related move in comics since 1997.

Here's the cover to the forthcoming Mickey Z. All covers through the link.

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Go, Look: Michele Rosenthal

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Go, Look: Mattéa Guldy

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

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

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Marv Wolfman!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Frank Santoro!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Lloyd Dangle!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Diane Noomin!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Andrew Pepoy!

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FFF Results Post #503 -- 40 Years Ago Today

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics That Were At The Time Pretty Recent That You Might Have Bought At A Comics Shop Forty Years Ago Today." This how they responded.

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Marc Arsenault

1. Silver Surfer The Ultimate Cosmic Experience by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
2. A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner
3. Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, by Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy
4. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
5. À Suivre #1

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Fantasy Quarterly #1
2. Cerebus #2
3. Wimmen's Comix #7
4. The X-Men #109
5. Star*Reach #12

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Des Devlin

1. Bernie Wrightson: Apparitions
2. MAD's Don Martin Forges Ahead
3. Detective Comics #476
4. Spirit Magazine #18
5. The Beagle Has Landed: A Peanuts Parade Book

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Buzz Dixon

1. Powerman And Iron Fist #50
2. Star*Reach #12
3. Howard The Duck #23
4. Kull The Destroyer #26
5. Devil Dinosaur #1

*****

thanks to all that participated

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*****
 
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May 12, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Martin Rowson Interviewed


Carlos Latuff Interviewed


Film Adaptation Of BOOM! Story One Of Those Days


Jeff Lemire Interviewed


Joost Swarte Draws
 
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Koyama Press Announces Fall 2018 Line

imageKoyama Press' Annie Koyama released information on the line's Fall 2018 season this morning, as fans gather in Toronto for the Toronto Comics Arts Festival, a longtime release event for the iconic alt-publisher.

Highlights include a mix of anticipated work from Koyama regulars like Michael DeForge, Patrick Kyle and Keiler Roberts, in addition to stand-alones from talent like the always-great Mickey Zacchilli, Nathan Gelgud, John Martz and Britt Wilson. The last two artists have books from the press that are designated as "All-Ages."

Here's this Fall's Koyama line-up, with every release hitting in September.

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Vitals: Brat, Michael DeForge, 160 pages, board cover, 9781927668603, $19.95, September.

Publisher's Description:
Ms. D. is THE JD, but she's losing her edge. Will her next act of delinquency restore her legacy?

A major star of minor crime struggles for delinquency relevancy as she ages out of the delinquent scene she pioneered. Michael DeForge presents the mid-career crisis of a merry prankster in his singular style that blurs the banal with the absurd.
Bio:
Michael Deforge lives and works in Toronto, ON as a cartoonist and commercial illustrator. His one-person anthology series Lose has received great critical and commercial success, having been nominated for every major comics award including the Ignatz and Eisner Awards.
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Vitals: Space Academy 123, Mickey Zacchilli, 216 pages, softcover, 9781927668634, $18, September.

Publisher's Description:
Classroom crushes, school plays, gym class, all-knowing Grandfather Computer, maintenance guy scouring planets for resources, you know, typical school stuff.

Surviving school is tough; now imagine peer pressure and midterms while hurtling through the vacuum of space. Mickey Zacchilli blends Starfleet with Degrassi to make a classroom saga that recalls manga, Sunday funnies and composition book epics scrawled while ignoring the periodic table.
Bio:
Mickey Zacchilli was born in 1983 and lives in Providence, RI. She is a massage therapist and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Zacchilli's sprawling, wild and woolly, romance, adventure epic RAV was published in two collections by Youth in Decline.
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Vitals: House In The Jungle, Nathan Gelgud, 288 pages, softcover, 9781927668627, $24.95, September.

Publisher's Description:
A potent pineapple dealing hermit's transcendental quest is disrupted by the encroaching townspeople he supplies. Then things get weird.

They had an agreement: He would provide them with his strange fruit and they would leave him to his jungle home. But the townsfolk are welching on their deal and their expanding border is infringing his mind expansion making things come to a head in this magical realist noir.
Bio:
Nathan Gelgud is a cartoonist and illustrator based in South Pasadena, CA whose clients include: The Paris Review, Nike, Penguin Random House, ESPN, New York Review of Books (NYRB Classics), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Ford Foundation, and The Believer.
*****

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Vitals: Roaming Foliage, Patrick Kyle, 144 pages, softcover, 9781927668641, $15, September.

Publisher's Description:
The inhabitants of a garden grown from a robot's imagination are thrust into turmoil due to its creator's crisis.

Flora, fauna, fantasy, and fine art combine in Patrick Kyle's ramble through a bramble that is as art brut as it is Tolkien. Mythopoetic and punk, Kyle builds worlds, and in this case gardens, that are uniquely his own.
Bio:
Patrick Kyle lives and works in Toronto, ON. He is the author of the graphic novels Black Mass (2012), Distance Mover (2014), Don't Come In Here (2016), and Everywhere Disappeared (2017). At the 2016 Doug Wright Awards, he won the Pigskin Peters Award for New Comics #6 and 7.
*****

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Vitals: Chlorine Gardens, Keiler Roberts, 128 pages, softcover, 9781927668580, $12, September.

Publisher's Description:
Keiler Roberts doesn't do slice of life; she gives you the whole pie.

Dealing with pregnancy, child-rearing, art-making, mental illness, and an MS diagnosis, the parts of Chlorine Gardens' sum sound heavy, but Keiler Roberts' gift is the deft drollness in which she presents life's darker moments. She doesn't whistle past graveyards, but rather finds the punch line in the pitiful.
Bio:
Keiler Roberts is a Chicago-based artist whose autobiographical comic series Powdered Milk has received an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series and was included in The Best American Comics 2016. Her first book with Koyama Press, Sunburning, was published in 2017.
*****

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Vitals: Evie And The Truth About Witches, John Martz, 56 pages, paper over board, 9781927668597, $19.95, September (ALL-AGES).

Publisher's Description:
Witches have a bad rap, and Evie's ready to learn the truth, but remember some spells are better left unsaid!

We've all read about witches, those pointy hat wearin', broom ridin', spell castin', superlative olfactory organ sportin', child nappin' creepies. But Evie wants to be scared, and Evie has found out the truth about witches, and she didn't find it in a book.
Bio:
John Martz is a cartoonist and illustrator in Toronto, ON. His book, A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories, was shortlisted for The Governor General's Literary Awards, and it and his book Burt's Way Home were nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Early Readers.
*****

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Vitals: Ghost Queen, Britt Wilson, 112 pages, softcover, 9781927668610, $15, September (ALL-AGES).

Publisher's Description:
The good news: the house is parent free. The bad news: it's lousy with ghosts.

Luey, Miri and Phil don't need a babysitter, but they might need an exorcist. With dad out of town and mom hosting an emergency yoga retreat everything was junk food and scary movies until the ghosts popped up. Now it's up to the kids to banish the banshees. Britt Wilson presents another rollicking romp in this fun-filled phantasmagorical fantasy.
Bio:
Britt Wilson is an illustrator, cartoonist and letterer, living in Toronto, ON with her husband, toddler and two cats. Her lettering on the miniseries Fionna and Cake (Boom! Studios) was nominated for a Harvey and Eisner award. Her first book from Elsewhere, Cat Dad, King of the Goblins was published in 2014.
*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Madeline Zuluaga

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Go, Look: Megan Brennan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 69th Birthday, Moto Hagio!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Cat Yronwode!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Andrew Farago!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Tom Armstrong!

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May 11, 2018


Go, Look: A.E. Kieren

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Kate Gavino

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Robert Kirby on Love That Bunch.

* not comics: for some reason I always enjoy when Mark Evanier writes about the specifics of health care experiences he's had.

* there are a bunch of fun sketches and drawings by Evan Dorkin near the top of his blog. I assume from the dates that they are FCBD related.

* my favorite comics-related podcast is Virtual Memories. Gil Roth has his MoCCA panel with Roz Chast up right now.

* speaking of podcasters I enjoy, happy belated anniversary to John Siuntres and Word Balloon.

* finally: more logos from the files of Todd Klein.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Alex Fellows!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Matt Feazell!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Russell Lissau!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Brian Heater!

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May 10, 2018


Go, Look: Ghost Glitter

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the other exhibit at the Billy Ireland opening last weekend -- and thus the second exhibit that will be open during CXC -- is one featuring original pages from Annie Koyama's donated art collection. Here's curator Caitlin McGurk standing amidst her well-conceived show!

* it's all TCAF all the time, and will be through Monday -- maybe through Tuesday as there's a lot of regional summitry for a lot of cartoonists and their publishers early next week. I run a small, growing show of which I'm very proud in terms of the efforts of those with whom I'm involved, but I kind of lose my mind just looking at that sleek beast of a festival and its one-dozen awesome parties and its A-list guest list that goes 12-24 deep and its quality exhibitor line-up that goes about 350. Just amazing. What a gift TCAF is. Everyone party safely.

* finally: those smarties at MSU already have nice material out in support of their Comics Forum, February 22-23. That is delightful to see Seth draw the great Qiana Whitted. I'm dying to go.

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

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Go, Look: Grayson Bear

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* I think it was Comics Workbook that uncovered this 2003 Jennifer Camper comic: "Saturday With My Sister." I'm glad they did.

* Joe McCulloch on Savage Dragon #233. There's some really good analysis in there, although I find the kind of 1980s titillation/indulgence factor a bit more interesting than I think Joe does (particularly the less overtly explicit issues), and the rolling, playful, formal constraints less. I'm not sure those comics present a worldview as much as the logical endpoint of rejecting the idea of worldview.

* finally: Brian Heater talks to Adrian Tomine. Rachel Shteir profiles Aline Kominsky-Crumb.
 
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Happy 61st Birthday, Kola Fayemi!

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May 9, 2018


Go, Look: Savanna Judd

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Go, Look: Hope Darby

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

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*****

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

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

*****

MAR181650 ROCK STEADY GN BRILLIANT ADVICE MY BIPOLAR LIFE FORNEY $19.99
This is an interesting week, particularly in terms of volume. Let's put Ellen Forney up top with her latest mental health-related memoir/short essays book. This should be an active seller all summer and into the Fall. Forney is great on her feet and should wow the various comics shows. No one works harder.

JAN180121 BEASTS OF BURDEN ANIMAL RITES TP $19.99
JAN180104 HELLBOY OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 SEED OF DESTRUCTION $24.99
Here are two trades from ongoing series that generally bring me pleasure. I read individual comics of both, but I don't think that's true of most people. That does mean I can't help you in terms of where these series stand, etc., if these are old or new or a different track altogether.

imageJAN181664 REAL DEAL #8 (MR) $8.00
MAR180089 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #6 $3.99
MAR180090 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #6 VAR MIGNOLA CVR $3.99
MAR180067 RESIDENT ALIEN #2 (OF 4) ALIEN IN NEW YORK $3.99
MAR180317 WILDSTORM MICHAEL CRAY #7 $3.99
MAR180318 WILDSTORM MICHAEL CRAY #7 VAR ED $3.99
MAR180571 BARRIER #1 (OF 5) COLLECTORS ED (MR) $4.99
MAR180573 BARRIER #2 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
FEB180655 MONSTRESS #16 (MR) $3.99
MAR170783 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #20 CVR A LATOUR (MR) $3.99
MAR170784 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #20 CVR B HENDERSON (MR) $3.99
FEB180955 LOVE AND AARDVARKS #1 (OF 1) $4.00
A range of interesting comics present themselves at the comic-book level. I don't know if that's a Fantagraphics debut for the Real Deal comics, but it's the first time I've noticed that relationship has shifted to newer work. I'm not as versed in that material as I should be, which means a nice entry point like a comic book might do the job. There's the Mignola-verse book of the week. I like the Resident Alien cycle of series; I like its tone and pace so it's nice to hear I have two new ones to buy in the store. Haven't made it over to buy the Michael Cray Wildstorm stuff that Warren Ellis is supervising, but I'll likely try one out sooner or later. Barrier is a big, pretty comic so far. I mean big in the physical sense along with the pretty -- it's oversized. Monstress and Southern Bastards are two solid citizens of the Image Universe with world-building challenges unique to each. That last one is the newest Dave Sim, which might be cut-and-paste comics, still? I have to catch up with those, too.

FEB180468 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 24 $44.99
JAN180563 SUPERMAN THE GOLDEN AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES HC 1944-1947 $49.99
These both have their charms, and the Gould material is highly regarded even this late in the run.

MAR181010 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 BY ALEX ROSS POSTER $8.99
MAR180836 DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300 BLANK VAR $5.99
Those are really big numbers. I feel like Spider-Man is a bit exhausted, and it doesn't help matter in wanting to use both characters that Miles Morales would logically always feel less exhausted than Peter Parker and they can't share a teenaged space without some real work.

MAR181843 5 WORLDS GN VOL 02 COBALT PRINCE $12.99
MAR181844 5 WORLDS HC GN VOL 02 COBALT PRINCE $20.99
MAR181782 AKISSI TALES OF MISCHIEF GN $14.95
MAR181572 MUSHROOM FAN CLUB HC $17.95
MAR181966 COMIC BOOK STORY OF BASEBALL GN $18.99
MAR181753 ENCHANTED CHEST HC $17.99
DEC171719 MY BOYFRIEND IS A BEAR GN $19.99
MAR181781 MEAN GIRLS CLUB PINK DAWN HC GN $20.95
DEC171706 OUT OF NOTHING GN $22.99
That is a staggering number of stand-alones this week: the newest sc/hc combo from the group of creators that includes Mark Siegel. Two books aimed I think at kids, a more common thing every half-year with alt-press publishers. The baseball one is on my desk, I just haven't looked at it. Enchanted Chest is a Lion Forge book with a pretty cover. The bear book has been well-publicized enough you've likely heard of it, too. It's a cute idea. The last two or Nobrow and the Mean Girls one I've read -- it's interesting, and a little bit retro not for its iconography but for the employment of that iconography.

MAR181635 DISNEY MASTERS HC VOL 01 SCARPA MICKEY MOUSE DELTA DIMENSION $29.99
I like the idea of Fantagraphics dipping into other renowned Disney masters for volumes, and I've always thought Romano Scarpa's work lively. I've not much experience with it, which makes me a perfect customer.

MAR182190 PHOEBE & HER UNICORN BOARD BOOK TODAY ILL BE A UNICORN $7.99
Dana Simpson's work is well-designed and the characters are appealing, which are really the two things to have an effective board book.

*****

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 NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Julie Pugmire

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Greg Hunter on All The Answers.

* not comics: this Ta-Nehisi Coates piece is going to get around a lot because of its focus on Kanye West, but the undercurrent of it being about localized fame and the role that mystery has in fame should be interesting to a lot of comics folk.

* Rob Clough interviews John Porcellino.

* not comics: The Ringer engages with the best superhero movies. It's a pretty standard list. Two things worth noting: not a lot of surprises, and a methodology that includes box office and general critical reception. I think a lot more lists will try to use formulas that way, including comics-focused ones.

* finally: I like this cover's insistence on the alter-ego being the co-star. When I was a kid many of the other kids referred to comic book characters from Marvel by their alter-ego names. I don't know if that's significant or not. Probably not.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Walt Holcombe!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Ty Templeton!

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May 8, 2018


Go, Look: Maria Frantz

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Go, Watch: Musa Kart's Video Presentation Related To International Cartooning For Peace Prize



Hard to imagine a better winner for any cartooning prize, given how long Musa Kart has been fighting for the right for expression in Turkey, through lawsuits, being held in prison ahead of trial, being sentenced to prison at trial. The conviction with which Kart talks about the honorable elements of his chosen career are heartbreaking in the light of what the world offers in return.
 
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Go, Look: Some Beautiful Joe Kubert Comics Covers

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Drawn & Quarterly announced a bunch of books for early 2019 through Twitter, I think, or at least that's how I've encountered it. I hope I got them all. New or collected books are coming from, in the order of my finding the tweet: James Sturm, Frank King, Brecht Evens, Lisa Wool-Rim Sjolblom, Michael DeForge, Julie Delporte and Peter Bagge.

* I don't know where it is (or if it is) on-line, but the physical postcard sent out by Nobrow/Flying Eye notes that they switched to Penguin Random House Publisher Services as of April 1.

* our friends and advertisers at Cartoon Books have announced they are going to re-release the RASL series in a nicer format this year. I think there's a lot of readership out there for that series, so I'm glad they're doing that. All details in their release: RASL_Series.pdf

* finally: Heidi MacDonald catches us up with the latest gossip and moves surrounding Barnes & Noble's middle-distance longevity. I would like for there to be a chain store like that, but I don't know enough about the bookstore business to know if it's a good idea I would like that.
 
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Go, Look: Sea Marie Illustrations

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Go, Look: Anke Gladnick

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Takano Shinzō talks to Tsuge Tadao in 1969, as presented by Ryan Holmberg at TCJ.

* Todd Klein on Green Lanterns #45. Elena Goukassian on The Shape Of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration Of Creativity.

* I did not know or had forgotten there was a Mr. Fish film, but I bet it's pretty good. He's among the better cartoonists on his feet I've ever seen, and his work post-Trump election has been on fire.

* finally, the University of Virginia has acquired the papers of Pat Oliphant, including over 6000 drawings. Adjust your road trips to come list.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Kevin Colden!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Matt Madden!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Hiromu Arakawa!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Robert Boyd!

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May 7, 2018


Go, Look: Skylar Kardon

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Go, Read: AAEC Statement On Musa Kart's Imprisonment

The AAEC's statement is here. It is indeed worth noting that we in the USA are closer to following the same path than we were ten years ago, although there's plenty of outrage to be had just on this specific case: it's wrong because it's wrong, not because of what it portends.

Another thing that's changed is the kind of international pressure that can be brought to bear. That changes with the political realities in other countries not Turkey. There was a long moment a long time ago when people thought Turkey's desire to interact with the west could lead to change; I don't know anyone who thinks that any longer. This is a horror-show for Kart, his friends and his family; any way this might go away is welcome.
 
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Go, Look: Tandy Kunkle

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By Request Extra: $30 Eleanor Davis Print For Political Campaign

It's here.
 
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Go, Look: Clive Hawken

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Zack Soto's project was still right around three-fourths there right before the weekend. I assume he's progressed since. I enjoy the Secret Voice material and Soto is a well-liked, well-connected comics person.

* here's a kickstarter featuring work from an eager, younger cartoonist who was nice enough to write into the site. I wish every crowd-funder like that well.

* GoFundMe efforts continue for Bill and Nadine Messner-Loebs, Milton Knight.

* finally: here's a themed anthology whose first issue I supported now moved onto a second.
 
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Go, Look: Edel Rodriguez

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Go, Look: Sarah Warrington Hickey

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Hillary Brown talks to Vera Brosgol.

* Todd Allen has a write-up at The Beat on editorial changes at BOOM!, including new gigs for Bryce Carlson, Sierra Hahn and Shannon Watters, all "name" non-creatives.

* Tegan O'Neil on Carnet De Voyage. Rich Barrett on All Summer Long. Matt Seneca on Street Angel Goes To Juvie.

* finally, Fiona Smyth did TCJ's five-day diary in advance of her new collection.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, Roberta Gregory!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Kevin Scalzo!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Eraklis Petmezas!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Rick Veitch!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Michael T. Gilbert!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Box Brown!

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May 6, 2018


This Thing Students And Peers Did For Jason Lutes Is A Really, Really Nice Thing

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Go, Look: Ira Sluyterman Van Langeweyde

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Go, Look: José Luis Ágreda

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

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

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

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Happy 55th Birthday, Craig Fischer!

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Happy 69th Birthday, David Michelinie!

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FFF Results Post #502: Stepping Up

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Editorial Cartoonists You Feel Have Done A Particularly Good Job Since The 2016 Election." This is how one man responded.

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Bill Sienkiewicz
2. Gerard Scarfe
3. Peter Kuper
4. Aaron Lange (pictured)
5. Edel Rodriguez

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Ann Telnaes
2. Mr. Fish (pictured)
3. Warren Craghead
4. Jim Morin
5. Darrin Bell

*****

Thanks to Michael Dooley for participating. The rest of you suck.

*****
*****
 
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May 5, 2018


Go, Look: Grace Helmer

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Go, Look: Emmanuelle Walker

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

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

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

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If I Were Anywhere Near A Comic Shop, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 68th Birthday, David Lloyd!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Joseph Remnant!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Éric Ivars!

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May 4, 2018


Go, Look: Drew Millward

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Go, Look: Daniel Locke

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

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

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Go, Look: Extraordinary Aliens

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Douglas Wolk, a comics critic and historian with a special interest in the 1970s Marvel comics important to the new Avengers movie, is answering questions on a Facebook thread here. That's not Douglas, but he also has nice hair.

* I'm confused as to why I wrote this and what point I was trying to make. I checked out of any direct concern for superhero characters of the corporate kind when I was about 19. I don't really care about characters in any genre. I probably need to get off of social media entirely.

* not comics: here's an overview-type article on what will eventually be George Lucas' narrative museum, turned out by Chicago and settled into Los Angeles. There will be comics art there.

* finally, here's a comics residency aimed at European cartoonists working in other European countries, if I have it right. If you're a cartoonist, I hope "residencies" is a folder on your desktop.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Alé Garza!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Shaenon Garrity!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Geoff Grogan!

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Happy 22nd Birthday, Tillie Walden!

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May 3, 2018


Go, Look: Jarom Vogel

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Go, Look: David Doran

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* another con cancels very close to its launch date, saying they're reorganizing for next year. This is a really bottom-feeding sounding con, and won't have the impact on fans that the DC-area show's cancellation did. Maybe you don't get to run a show if you fail to run a show.

* finally: this Jim Steranko explanation is an interesting look.

 
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If I Were In London ON, 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: Hamilton Vs. Burr: What Really Happened?

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* saw the new Avengers movie yesterday. Thought it was mostly limp and disjointed, which surprised me as I mostly enjoy those movies. I thought the acting in particular was clunkier than usual, actors doing things with lines that struck me as counter-intuitive if not outright randomly selected. The computer effects seemed better than I remembered. I liked the visuals of what seemed to be a faithful representation of those new bad guy characters, Thanos' gang. I liked Brolin as Thanos. I would have loved it without reservation as a kid, I think.

* David Travis Bland surveys the comic shops of Columbia, South Carolina in a largely hopeful article.

* not comics: there will soon be a streaming service available focusing on DC Comics stuff, including one would imagine the recent run of popular, overlapping TV series. I guess this could have an effect on strategies regarding their comics.

* finally: congratulations to Jeanine Schaefer on her appointment to Executive Editor at BOOM!
 
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Happy 79th Birthday, Dennis O'Neil!

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Happy 31st Birthday, Zainab Akhtar!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Mark Coale!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Derek Kirk Kim!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Bill Sienkiewicz!

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May 2, 2018


Go, Look: Gizem Vural

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By Request Extra: Zack Soto Kickstarts Secret Voice

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I don't suppose there's anything super-special about cartoonist Zack Soto seeking support for his Secret Voice that it had to go up right away, but I wanted to mention it before I forgot. Like most cartoonists, Soto displayed the ability to send me material for the "By Request" column 164 hours before one is supposed to go up.

I like this project, and enjoyed the comics I've read that are to be included. Soto is a popular, active member of the Portland comics community.
 
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Go, Look: Icinori

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

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*****

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

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

*****

MAR181571 LOVE THAT BUNCH HC (MR) $29.95
One of the great living cartoonists in a collection that is likely to show off her work better than some of the past iterations. I great enjoy these comics and they're sort of casually awesome in terms of breaking new ground. A year-end attention-getting event.

imageMAR181080 YOUNG FRANCES HC VOL 01 POPE HATS $19.95
This is a collection of the main fictional narrative from the first several issue of Pope Hats, by Hartley Lin -- here retiring the name he used in the serial version, Ethan Rilly. It's that rare thing of a sharply drawn fictional narrative about the lives of young adults. I've read it several times recently. I think it's very good and it's great company, pleasurable on dip-ins and re-reads, suggesting a long period of time when readers get to discover it for their own.

JAN180118 MILK & CHEESE DAIRY PRODUCTS GONE BAD TP $19.99
FEB180306 LOEG THE BLACK DOSSIER TP NEW ED $19.99
FEB181485 CARNET DE VOYAGE HC (MR) $21.95
Three completely different books that seem to me would have a place in the library of a slightly broader-than-usual reader of independent and arts comics of the 1990-2010 period. My understanding is that that Dorkin comic is one of the period's stronger sellers as well.

MAR180625 STREET ANGEL GOES TO JUVIE HC $19.99
More from Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's finest creation, in a good year for the character and the artist more generally it seems.

AUG171507 WALTER SIMONSON BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ART ED HC $150.00
Walter Simonson's original art printed version of his Thor work is what sold me on these giant-size books having viability rather than novelty. I don't remember this being great comics, but it's handsome, and if executed properly this volume should at least be a nice add-on to our appreciation for Simonson's consistent, prolific career.

MAR181298 GIANT DAYS #38 $3.99
MAR180536 RICK VEITCH THE ONE #4 (OF 6) $4.99
DEC170690 EAST OF WEST #37 $3.99
MAR180754 SCALES & SCOUNDRELS #9 $3.99
FEB180700 SEX CRIMINALS #24 (MR) $3.99
MAR180767 WALKING DEAD #179 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $3.99
MAR180776 AVENGERS #1 $4.99
Comic-cook format comics. I always buy John Allison, and I'm grateful that Rick Veitch is back putting comics out there -- he got an Eisner nomination. East of West is up to issue #37 and I enjoy the way the story is structured and its lanky figure designs. S&S is the rare all-ages comics from a serial comics publisher that has enough of a consistent style and kind of genial outlook that it wears well for those of us where this kind of work isn't even a major interest facilitated by comics anymore. I am so going to enjoy reading the next trade of Sex Criminals, because I know the storytelling strategies are forcing me to miss some of the nuances here. Walking Dead is one of those stages where an unexpected plot shit hasn't yet all the way revealed how it will fuck with our core group, although there are major hints. That kind of narrative is admirable when it sustains interest for 180 issues. Finally, I think that Avengers comic may be the first issue in the latest linewide soft-relaunch, which I think I might do okay but can't imagine doing super-well in a sustained way. We'll see. Happy to be wrong.

JAN181069 AGENTS OF ATLAS TP COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL 01 $39.99
NOV171043 PUNISHER MAX BY GARTH ENNIS OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 (MR) $100.00
Marvel's book program could be the subject of its own Sherlock Holmes movie so many mysteries are involved on basic issues of what's in print and why, but these are two well-regarded runs that I'm many readers will be happy to stick onto their bookshelves.

MAR181659 ALL SUMMER LONG GN $12.99
MAR181660 ALL SUMMER LONG HC GN $21.99
MAR181225 POSITIVELY IZZY GN $10.99
MAR181226 POSITIVELY IZZY HC GN $22.99
Two stand-alone all-ages work with series potential, a strength of the current market, from two effective cartoonists familiar with the territory: Hope Larson, too pleasurable an artist not to be welcome when she adds those duties on a project, and Teri Libenson, a well-regarded cartoonist working multiple formats. Is this the only category that makes sense?

JAN181460 CASEY RUGGLES HC VOL 01 $59.95
No relationship to this comic, but I've always thought it damned handsome. If my life turns out okay that will be an impulse buy for me at some point in my life when I'm free to do a lot more comics reading.

MAR181863 HOOKAH GIRL & OTHER TRUE STORIES GN $6.95
This is a graphic novel in the Eisnerian sense, in that it's a series of thematically interconnected short stories. I think audiences have seen the title story in some form.

MAR181153 JAMES JOYCE PORTRAIT OF DUBLINER GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY $16.99
I've not heard of this book, but it has a home-country "respectable graphic novel" legacy and of course the subject matter is always interesting.

JAN181459 VALERIAN GN VOL 22 MEMORIES FROM FUTURES $13.95
I'm always happy to see these and while I can't imagine owning 22 volumes I bet I'd be entertained by Jean-Claude Mezieres' work in every one of them.

JAN181989 JACK KIRBY CHECKLIST CENTENNIAL LTD ED HC $34.95
I suspect this is a fancier version of a small book we had in the Journal offices that provided the service promised in the title. I love all sorts of bibliography and checklist so even if my assumed connection is erroneous, I'm sure I'd like the result if it's well-done.

FEB181488 DANGEROUS JOURNEY HC (MR) $16.95
Tove Jansson's last illustrated work. This looks handsome as hell, and Jannson's involvement makes anything a must-buy.

*****

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 London ON, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: The Government Is Empty

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there are a bunch of write-ups like this one noting the hiring of John Barber as Editor-In-Chief at IDW. Chris Ryall had held the position for well over a decade before leaving earlier this year. Barber was previously a Senior Editor with the company and wrote licensed titles for them. Anita Frazier has taken a SVP position with the company, over Sales & Marketing. She worked with similar media company/publishers in the past.

* festivals extra: here's the preliminary schedule for this August's CSS conference.

* finally, a go read: "The Art School Critique Is A Two-Way Street."
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Scott Stantis!

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Happy 74th Birthday, Howard Cruse!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Jerry Scott!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Jared Gardner!

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May 1, 2018


OTBP: Criminy

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Go, Look: Andrea Kalfas

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* from that comics-friendly publication -- I think they're still a publication -- Entertainment Weekly comes a bunch of early cover and content reveals from First Second. Graham Annable!

* congratulations to Faith Erin Hicks, whose personal project The Nameless City has sold out its advance. That is a big deal for any author.

* I've been reminded by people that the "Fresh Start" era at Marvel begins this month. You can read what Marvel will be publishing in any of the solicitation analyses that came out in February. They are putting their best foot forward, but they did with most of the previous soft relaunches; it's issue #21 not issue #1 that's been a recent problem at Marvel. I suspect this more conservative approach will stabilize things and give them a small bump, even; how much structural harm has been done in comics by all of these short-term publishing choices should become evident by Fall.

* finally: here is an excerpt from Jessica Campbell's imminent XTC69.
 
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If I Were In London ON, I'd Go To This

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OTBP: Humans In Peril

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Mike Dawson and Zack Soto talk to Josh Simmons. John Siuntres talks to Ryan Browne and Howard Chaykin. Alex Dueben talks to Craig Thompson.

* not comics/by request extra: Todd Klein has pledge information up for his involvement with the world series of birding.

* forgot to slip this into the Bundled article above, but here's a preview piece on the return of Beasts Of Burden, this time with Benjamin Dewey assuming art duties and working with writer Evan Dorkin.

* finally: Mark Evanier notes Comic-Con is closer than we think.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Mark Robert Bourne!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Alex Niño!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Tom De Haven!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Chris Pitzer!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Phil Foglio!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Tim Sale!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Matt Silady!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum!

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