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















November 30, 2018


Not Comics: Illustrations By Heinrich Kley

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Go, Look: Francesco Guarnaccia

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* good news in that the great Charles Vess plans on updating his on-line presence in the new year.

* it's not my area so it's difficult for me to evince immediate authority, but this seems like at least a semi-reasonable list of influential webcomics. I rattled off four in my head I wanted to be in there and three of them were (the one left out was Get Your War On).

* David Shiffman talks to Christian Talbot and Sophie Hodge.

* finally: Joe Grunenwald talks to Stephen McCrainey.
 
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Go, Look: Travel Anxieties Flow Chart

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Go, Look: Amazing-Looking Brenda Starr Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Martin Brown on The Cranklet's Chronicle.

* not comics: I think I may spend a lot of time at this Sidney Sime gallery very soon. The holidays are great like that.

* I think I wrote this already but I don't mind saying so twice: it's always a good thing when Chris Samnee is drawing his character exercises, routinely flattering to the original design.

* bundled extra: Graeme McMillan profiles Andrew Wheeler and Shout Out.

* here's the first review I've seen for A Fire Story, which will be a big release next year.

* I totally missed that Nancy Ohanian won the 2018 Berryman Award. That work is under-seen and accomplished. So is the Berryman. So is Berryman, an early 20th Century Post cartoonist.

* finally: here's another New Yorker profile, this time for Ronald Wimberly and LAAB.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Brian Pulido!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Johnny Ryan!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Chris Claremont!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Ruben Bolling!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Brian Basset!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Keith Giffen!

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November 29, 2018


Go, Look: Images From Tradd Moore And Heather Moore

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Go, Look: LRNZ

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* industry-oriented from PW on two key comics-related festivals: Anime NYC and Comic Arts Brooklyn.

* Heidi MacDonald smartly points out that Marriot's database exposure has an effect on convention goers that use those hotels in places like San Diego and Bethesda.

* finally, I know a bunch of people here in the midwest for which Genghis Con is the year-ender. I had a good time and it was fun to meet so many attendees of CXC. I think it's good to shut it down as far into next year as your commitments allow. It's hard for me to imagine doing one of these late-period in November and then heading off to Angeloume, but of course many people do it. Also, would a warm-weather show aggressively marketed do well in early December? I go back and forth on this.
 
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If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Gay Comics #27

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* TyRuben Ellingson talks to MIke Mignola. Patrick Dunn talks to Ellen Forney. Alex Dueben talks to David Small. Rachel Ward profiles Mr. Fish.

* Frank Young on Thimble Theatre: The Pre-Popeye Comics Of E.C. Segar. Tegan O'Neil on McCay. Ed Park on Berlin. Dan Brown on The Vagabond Valise. Soma Das on Raising Rihaan. Brian Truitt on a selection of comics.

* you could do far worse in life than copy behavior by that force of nature, Ed Koren.

* finally, a go, read: Student Assisstant Sarah Clawson at the Billly Ireland has written a nice piece here about gethering togther a collection of portrayals of disability available at the institution.
 
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Happy 76th Birthday, Maggie Thompson!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Greg Rucka!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Oli Smith!

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November 28, 2018


Go, Look: Rock City

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Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Mark Dery

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

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

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

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JUN180312 YOSHITAKA AMANO THE ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY HC BEYOND THE FANT $49.99
This looks like a light week in terms of comics I like. Am I missing anything obvious? As for this one, it's a Christmas gift-type choice of the adjacent to comics variety, but I won't complain.

imageJUN180743 SUPERMAN SILVER AGE SUNDAYS HC VOL 01 $49.99
SEP181889 BEATLES IN COMICS HC $29.99
JUL180492 THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN TP $17.99
Three books, three 20th century icons. That Beatles book might be paired presents-wise with Carol Tyler's offering. I'd have to see for sure, and thus we have comic book shops. I could just find out by previewing the cover image, but the Tarzan book is I think Tom Yeates, which is a great thing. I'm not as familiar with post-Kubert Tarzan in comics. Like most people, Tarzan is the pulp regular who has diminished most in my eyes over my lifetime: he's the Woodrow Wilson of pulp greats.

SEP180265 HELLBOY AND BPRD 1956 #1 (OF 5) $3.99
SEP180445 ACTION COMICS #1005 $3.99
I love all things Hellboy so I'm always happy to see a new series out. Hellboy is the series that comes out so frequently that I might actually just switch over to trades at some point. I think most people already have, but I am severely addicted to the comic book format so for me to go primary on trades, or ever consider it, is a big deal. I've enjoyed the Brian Michael Bendis-written Superman book so far, enough I'm still reading both of them. They have some flagship weight to them.

JUN182035 CHARLES VESS BOOK OF BALLADS & SAGAS HC $29.99
This is a solid collection of primetime Vess and is probably the book I'd suggest to anyone looking for survey-style collection of his work.

OCT181775 COMPLETE CARL BARKS INDEX 2ND ED (CBL 5-19) LARGE PRINT SC $17.95
OCT181774 COMPLETE CARL BARKS INDEX 2ND ED (CBL 5-19) SC $11.95
OCT181778 RESTORING CARL BARKS SC $17.95
OCT181779 UNAVAILABLE CARL BARKS IN COLOR SC $34.95
I'm not the kind of collector that keeps up with all sorts of trade ephemera, but if you're going to follow one guy all the way out to every book of related interest it might as well be Carl Barks.

MAY180758 ATOMIC EMPIRE HC $24.99
I have no idea what this is, but it looks nice as all hell and the concept is a cute one. l'd surely study it once I got my hands on it, which is the great thing about comics stores.

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

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Don Martin Original Art

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Abraham Riesman talks to Olivia Jaimes. Alex Dueben talks to Ali Fitzgerald.

* the Chicago Tribune remembers Wayne Stayskal, a very prominent regional cartoonist of his day. My memory is that while Stayskal was mostly known for editorial cartoon work, he also took at least a couple of shots at strip syndication. He had a ragged style. Stayskal was also one of that generation's well-liked conservative political cartoonists, back when that didn't automatically mean semi-deranged rhetoric. He was I believe an evangelical Christian. Every condolence to his fans, family and friends. Stayskal is remembered by longtime conservative political columnist Cal Thomas here.

* Josefin Dolsten profiles Liana Finck. I'm sort of surprised her book hasn't made more best-of lists given its positioning as a prose publisher book and Finck's role as a frequent New Yorker contributor. It's a really good book, too.

* finally: Emi Gennis, American Hero.
 
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Happy 63rd Birthday, Francois Boucq!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Dale Crain!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Mark A. Nelson!

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Happy 87th Birthday, Tomi Ungerer!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Jerry Ordway!

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November 27, 2018


Stephen Hillenburg, RIP

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By Request Extra: Today Is An Organized Giving Day

imageThere are thousands of worthy non-profits and causes seeking attention today via one of those informal organized giving days. You can go a lot of directions in comics with that impulse in mind. Those sued for calling into question publisher and cartoonist Cody Pickrodt's behavior around women could still use some attention. I'm rooting for Jim Wheelock. The legendary Milton Knight launched a Patreon and Linda Medley informally relaunched hers at a recent tough point. There are a lot of people in communities-at-risk that are raising money as current political times get darker. There are any number of services local to you that could use the support. Even some iconic comics retailers could use an assist.

The comics show with which I'm involved, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) isn't as worthy as several other organizations, but I fumbled our direct ask campaign this summer. As as result I've been e-mailing out reminders this fall to much wider database than usual, probably to some groans. I don't see us as competing with organizations that meet more directly actual need, but I know some people like giving to the show the same way I'm in the habit of giving to Center For Cartoon Studies, say. We're not all the way to where I'd hoped we'd be, but I'm happy with how far we've come since Fall 2015, I believe in our creators-first goals and I'm confident that we can return more value to the community with every show we do.

We have something set up on Facebook here and something set up with Columbus Foundation here. Easiest here, perhaps.

No matter where you put your dollars, I hope everyone is generous this year and gives as freely and thoughtfully as possible.
 
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Go, Look: What Happened In Venezuela Isn't So Simple

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By Request Extra: Dustin Harbin Is Drawing Dogs

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Offered here. A protected Facebook post indicates that it's related to a vet's bill for Harbin's own dog.

Dustin does a nice job with these little pen-and-ink jobs and you should avail yourself of one.
 
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Go, Look: A Cat Lies In Wait

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By Request Extra: Brett Warnock Is Crowdfunding For Kichen Table, A Visual-Soaked Quarterly Magazine

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Here. It's a good idea and already has a some non-comics distribution set-up. This is news for Warnock's history as founder and later co-publisher at Top Shelf, and for some of the artists involved doing illustration or comics. How food is sourced and food more generally I seem to remember being a set of subjects of interest for the one-time key indy publisher.

Warnock hopes for three issues in 2019 and quarterly publication after that. I have wondered if we aren't going to get illustration- and comics-driven cross-platform single-subject magazines as a result of the success of political and journalistic uses of comics in that format. It would make some sense.

It would also be fun to have Brett around a bit more frequently than he has been since cutting ties with the independent publisher.
 
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Go, Look: My Girl Pearl

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's a nice article on how Matt Wagner plans to end his Mage series at the conclusion of this third cycle -- at least in a publishing sense. I'm very happy for Wagner to get this work completed, not everyone is lucky enough or determined to see this happen. Thirty-five years! My god. The first cycle was an important series for me as a mid-teen because of the vibrant, non-traditional art driving an action-adventure story. That may not seem like much, but comics readers that came of age in the 1970s and 1980s had to deal with some absolutely rigid presuppositions.

* here's 2019 for Avery Hill Publishing. Here is Rebellion's 2019.

* Craig Thompson moving into serial comics to spearhead a new line from Uncivilized is great news times two.

* finally: I enjoyed this article about a social encounter with Stan and Joan Lee.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Some Chuck Hardy Comics By Frank Thomas

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* here is a nice run of the recent Ariel Bordeaux comics. I like them. They're sort of a throwback in a way to a time when autobio work was bereft of a journalism-style voice in the reporting of the everyday.

* here's Kurt Busiek on the balance of intent that collaborative comics necessitate.

* I love randomly running across weird internet content, like this post featuring a 1978 line of Marvel bubblegum card comics.

* the editors over at TCJ.com talk with PNW counter-culture icon Larry Reid about the work he does with Fantagraphics' brick and mortar retail wing.

* not comics: I hope she makes a million.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco on Bastard. Annie Mok on Crimes.

* finally: Paul Constant is thankful for Kelly Froh.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Karen Green!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Paul Guinan!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Jonathan Rosenberg!

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November 26, 2018


Go, Bookmark: Jen Sorensen's Weekly Cartoon

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Go, Look: The Lint Fairy

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OTBP: Snowbird

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Go, Read: Ellen Forney On Insomnia In Rock Steady

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* always super-happy to see these occasional short comics from Mardou.

* Connie Nelson talks to Kevin Cannon.

* here is a longish article about Stan Lee's writing in the 1950s, with a ton of examples. That's an important period for paying attention to what Lee was doing, and for the best overall appraisal of his writing.

* not comics: I love it when Chris Schweizer makes stuff.

* finally: Nick Caputo provides some e-mail exchanges he had with Stan Lee approximately ten years ago.
 
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Happy 65th Birthday, Pat Broderick!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Brian Cremins!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Max Clotfelter!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Doug Rice!

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November 25, 2018


Go, Look: The Vortex

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Missed It: Mason Rubella And The Werewolf

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

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

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

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Happy 71st Birthday, Jean-Pierre Dionnet!

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FFF Results Post #511: Spokesperson

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four People That Could Be Comics' Primary Industry Spokesperson Now, And One That Might In The Near Future.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Neil Gaiman (pictured)
2. Scott McCloud
3. Francoise Mouly
4. Art Spiegelman
5. Raina Telgemeier

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Jamie Coville

1. Kevin Smith
2. Scott McCloud (pictured)
3. David Brothers
4. Mark Waid
5. Spike C. Trotman

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Chuck Dixon

1. Stephen Bissette
2. Raina Telgemeier
3. Gary Groth (pictured)
4. Larry Hama
5. Noelle Stevenson

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Oliver Ristau

1. Karen Berger
2. G. Willow Wilson
3. Annie Koyama (pictured)
4. Trina Robbins
5. Cheryl Lynn Eaton

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Andrew Mansell

1. Tom Spurgeon
2. Ta-Nehisi Coates
3. Garry Trudeau
4. Eric Reynolds (pictured)
5. Caitlin McGurk

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November 24, 2018


eToday Is The 100th Anniversary Of An Outside Contender For Greatest Comic Ever: Gasoline Alley!

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Here's everything I think of when I think of Gasoline Alley, which first appeared in newspaper 100 years ago today. Thanks to Peter Maresca for sending along the scan of the first strip.

1. It's an amazing comic from multiple angles. At it's best it's a day to day treatise of life as lived by a 20th century father and son, as touching and subtle a relationship as ever played across the comics page. It was formally audacious, particular the use of color and the in several staged single illustration across which panel progression takes place. It's an incredibly well-crafted strip -- don't sleep on the dialogue, which is layered and assured, particularly noticeable in the pre-Skeezix strips. I think it's underappreciated for its original conception of a depiction of life as changed by the automobile, and the various nuances and gradations of that sub-culture. Gasoline Alley is one of the great strips where you're carried along by the appealing nature of the characters, and the growing emotional investment that comes with that. This is one of the reasons why older work matters, and it's a notion presented with greater clarity in comics than any other medium.

2. As a legacy strip it's always had good to excellent cartoonists working on it, even though I prefer the King work by miles.

3. When I was a kid, I knew it as the strip where the characters aged along with the feature. I think this added a great deal of pathos to the initial strips, and some unintentional humor to the later offerings. That's still a super-interesting concept, making GA maybe the first strip where its appeal was mistakenly assigned to a boiled-down concept rather than the quality of the work itself.

4. The collections of the early work by Drawn + Quarterly and Sunday Press Books are of an extremely high standard and were the reason for the work's reappraisal. I still have nightmares about the number of camping photos in one of the volumes, but nearly every volume are among the best single publications of any type any years they've come out, and they've done a great job driving attention and admiration to the work itself. They are among my more cherished comics reading experiences.

As an added bonus, Chris Oliveros sent along the photo below of Frank King and his son Robert from about a year before the strip began to publish. It's a portrait of father and son not unfamiliar to Gasoline Alley readers. Gasoline Alley is one of our best strips to read in order to connect with its author, a rewarding way to engage with that kind of work.

If you have the ability to buy one of these volumes or get to a library and borrow, let me suggest that might be a fine way to fill some hours during holiday-season downtime. It might become a lifetime experience.

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Lecture By James Sturm


Maria Grasmick On Cartoons About Donald Trump


Kayfabe Commentary #3


Ron Campbell Profiled


Drawing A Ninja Turtle To Music
 
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Missed It: Summer Pierre's Recent TCJ Diary

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

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Happy 60th Birthday, Tony Fitzpatrick!

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November 23, 2018


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

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Happy 47th Birthday, Jonah Weiland!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Masamune Shirow!

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November 22, 2018


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

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Happy 48th Birthday, Jason Turner!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Roy Thomas!

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Happy 68th Birthday, David Wenzel!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Ron Randall!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Terry Gilliam!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Jai Granofsky!

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November 21, 2018


Go, Listen: Me On Deconstructing Comics Talking Stan Lee

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my special tribute to Stan The Man in that I will NOT shut up
 
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Go, Look: Luigi Cavenago

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OTBP: Adventures In Drawing

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OTBP: Non-Comics Stuff From What Things Do

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Happy 46th Birthday, Rich Johnston!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Karl Stevens!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Larry Welz!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Rich Tommaso!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Greg Theakston!

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November 20, 2018


Go, Look: Heat Relief

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Go, Look: Why Your Trump And Putin Gay Jokes Aren't Funny

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

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

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OTBP: Emotional Data

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Dan Brown on Blame This On The Boogie.

* Marc Maron talks to Tony Millionaire.

* there are some beautiful images in this Gray Morrow police-type story, as good as anything you might see in that 1965-1975 period -- and as clichéd.

* check out Trina Robbins ruling the entire world in her Wonder Woman outfit, among other Wondrous Women.

* the rich don't live like you and me, by which I mean they can be assholes with little thought of serious damage being done to their lives.

* finally: here's a piece on coverage of a 1968 Bill Gallo "Sports Night" event. I'd say that was years ago but that really was a half-century ago.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, Rian Hughes!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Guy Davis!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Ryan Estrada!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Stephanie Gladden!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Jill Thompson!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Carol Tyler!

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November 19, 2018


Go, Look: Eric Drooker Art Images Gallery

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Go, Look: Paused

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a lot out there in terms of giving choice even by the standards of right now with its constant attention to hundreds of asks. This extra juice will probably be there at least until the end of the year: with giving driven by recent election news, with a general buttressing of at-risk communities a giant concern and with another round of artists of all types suffering through alterations of recent healthcare insurance games as the fight against some sort of minimal insurance for everyone is joined. And we're in the primary range of end-of-year holiday giving. Give generously and with benign intent. It's a great thing you're doing, engaging with the world that way.

* still slightly dismayed that the monies raised for defense against defamation suits filed by publisher and cartoonist Cody Pickrodt has stalled a bit, albeit at an impressive 2/3 raised thus far. I think the ability for members of the cartooning communities to be able to speak freely about their experiences regarding other members of the community should not be constrained by the hassle of a lawsuit, and I wish this was seen more widely as a concern by comics in general.

* anyone out there want to become a Christmas angel?

* finally: I've been bad with this Fall's request for book-publishing funding, but here's a cute-looking project with a modest overall ask.
 
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Go, Look: A Delicious History Of Meatless Meat

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Go, Look: Drew Friedman On Drawing Stan Lee

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* here's an historical profile of Peter Newell, republished.

* looks like the photographer that snapped the 1989 photo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby has made himself known. That's a nice photo, and also shows that Kirby was able manage an outwardly friendly tone with his one-time editor and collaborator even as his case against Marvel and his disappoint in Lee for simply not telling the full story of their partnership remained in place. I've had some friends say that our ability at the specifics of the Lee/Kirby truth died with Lee, but I think they really died with Martin Goodman back in 1992.

* not comics: this Paint By Monster episode by the cartoonist and puppeteer Dan Wright is the best he's done to date judging by the few minutes I'm in.

* Alicia Dorn profiles Byron Vaughns.

* finally: Jeff Danziger writes about potential low-level harassment of a political nature, which I'm certain doesn't feel low-level when it's happening to you.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Steve Lightle!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Jesse Fuchs!

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November 18, 2018


Go, Look: Blind Faith

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Go, Look: Bill Woggon Images Mini-Gallery

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

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

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

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

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November 17, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Mike Judge On Stan Lee's Passing


MariNaomi Speaks At XOXO Festival


Matt Golding Profiled


Jesse Thorn Talks To Michael Kupperman


Cartoonist Kayfabe Episode Two
 
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Go, Look: The Three Escapes Of Hannah Arendt

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Go, Look: A Million More Voters In Florida

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If I Were In Las Vegas, 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 Nashville, 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 White River Junction, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Ed Brubaker!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Cullen Bunn!

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Happy 57th Birthday, José Villarrubia!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Alan Moore!

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November 16, 2018


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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Niki De Saint Phalle: The Garden Of Secrets.

* Gerry Conway is one of the ten people we needed to hear from after Stan Lee's passing.

* finally, a not-comics link: comics culture is cited a bunch in this article about the non-ending endings of today's wider popular culture.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, Jim Ottaviani!

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November 15, 2018


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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Lucca Comics & Games claims over a quarter of a million in attendance at this year's show.

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

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

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If I Am On-Line, I Will Likely Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Mother's Walk.

* count Team Black Hammer as the latest creators to receive a cross-media deal for their work.

* finally: this made me laugh.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Gus Mastrapa!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Jessica Abel!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Renée French!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Ariel Olivetti!

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November 14, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Matt Seneca on Amnesia: The Lost Films of Francis D. Longfellow #1.

* I saw Al this weekend; he looked well. We were roommates briefly 1000 years ago, friends before and after. As I was explaining to a friend how intense Al's fans were on the stairs of CAB someone stopped, yelled in my direction "Al Columbia is here!?!" And then ran back inside. "Like that," I said to my friend.

* not comics: this is just awful. I know she did some comics coverage as part of her feature writing.

* here's an exploration of the paper shortage's impact on comics publishing. I already saw this happen with a few books that were supposed to be at CXC not making it here. Also, the local paper increased its price. As much

* finally: "No, no, Aquaman."
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Edd Vick!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Brad Mackay!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Jen Vaughn!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Anders Nilsen!

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November 13, 2018


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* above is from a Facebook post by Larry Gonick. I'm not sure I knew about the forthcoming Cartoon Biology book.

* I keep intending to make a stand-alone post about Conundrum's press announcement for Spring 2019, but since it still isn't done, I'll place a link in this column. That looks like it has a chance to be a strong group of books. Among those listed, I'm most interested in the Joan Steacy.

* finally: Damian Alexander's Other Boys is going to First Second via Robyn Chapman.
 
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If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Incision.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Sara Ryan!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Doug Murray!

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November 12, 2018


Stan Lee, RIP

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An Initial Thought Or Two On Stan Lee's Passing

I don't have any personal anecdotes to share about the late Stan Lee. I know he didn't like the book I co-wrote about him, though it did come from a place of great affection.

imageLee's DNA is all over modern comics, to the extent that the way comics and comics creators approach things can frequently be traced back to something Stan wanted, or an ambition he had. The fact that comics are frequently boiled down to concepts -- where Fantastic Four is a "comic about family" instead of a a stupendously drawn science fantasy with endearing characters -- I might argue comes mostly from Stan and his desire to be a Hollywood ideas man.

I think Lee also perfected a way for fans to extend their relationships with a certain kind of comics story by presenting a second story marking their creation, with the comics' creators replacing the characters on the page as the heroes of the narrative. Eight-year-old Marvel readers wanted to be Spider-Man. 16-year-old Marvel readers wanted to be the guy drawing Spider-Man. Lee found a way to wink at readers that never felt like he was making fun of any potential serious devotion to the narratives.

It's also noteworthy that Lee had a hosting function with the work that unlike Walt Disney's similar efforts had to push against dismissive and disdainful attitudes about the material itself. As a kid in the 1970s with no comics-reading friends, it felt like Stan Lee was sticking up for me.

I could go on forever, and probably will. Lee's reluctance to advocate for his artists as co-creators isn't comics' original sin but is perhaps its most unnecessary and therefore extra-troubling. His not-unique orientation towards film and TV as a legitimizing force has had a unique ripple effect, not all of it good. His last years had significant elements of personal tragedy. There are lessons in those last three decades for every creator of anything.

As is the case for many comics creators and comics industry professionals, I owe Stan Lee. He is certainly one of those public figures that if he were absent from my life things would have turned out very differently. I appreciate his accomplishment and in ways both good and bad his example. Excelsior and RIP.
 
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Go, Look: Thomas Perrodin

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Go, Look: Johanna Schaible

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

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OTBP: Tongues 2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rich Barrett on The Provocative Colette.

* this Tim Blake Nelson interview gets briefly into Watchmen, the difficulty of reading comics, and Joanie Caucus-era Doonesbury.

* here's one of those New Yorker profiles, this time on Olivier Schrauwen.

* the way the site is set up I don't have a good way to make note of ongoing art exhibits, but since I didn't list the opening of San Francisco's Ralph Steadman exhibit, I thought I'd at least mention it here.

* Tom Tomorrow notes that Twitter was engaged with Matt Bors' account late last week. I don't see how this stuff ends with no real threat of any sort of ban harming the company.

* Karama Horne talks to Keith Knight.

* finally: a reminder that CAKE exhibitor applications are open. That is one of comics' strongest exhibition rooms.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Carl Potts!

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November 11, 2018


Go, Look: Tami Hopfgartner

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Go, Look: Vera Brosgol On Catherine, Called Birdy

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OTBP: Belonging

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

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

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

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Happy 38th Birthday, Will Dinski!

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Happy 49th Birthday, James Owen!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Steve Ekstrom!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Derek M. Ballard!

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November 10, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Hedy Lamar Book Trailer
 
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You Should Go To CAB Tomorrow And Do These Things

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* I am going to Comic Arts Brooklyn (CAB) tomorrow the 11th for about six hours and you should, too if you're anywhere in the region.

* You should buy as much stuff as you can stand. There's a year's worth of books out there on that floor, plus about a same-size entire group of books from cartoonists who are new or with whom most of us even close readers are as yet unfamiliar. CAB has my favorite expo floor in comics, and I think it's the strongest show we have for buying things booth to booth, top to bottom. I will be doing a lot of bending over and squinting at books.

* If you don't have a ton of time for a voyage of discovery like this and only a few other shows provide, there are some cheats. Olivier Schrauwen's Parallel Lives is the buzz book going in; you could do worse than walking out with only that book. Lauren Weinstein's September issue of Frontieir is still new and is one of the two or three strongest books of this year if not #1. She'll be there, so you can have it signed. I am interested the new Roman Muradov; Muradov is a really talented cartoonist that hasn't had a signature hit as of yet, and one hopes Vanishing Act might be the one that enters into enough imaginations that he has a strong book to book presence from here on out. And I guarantee you: even with certain books from established publishers from Drawn and Quarterly to Silver Sprocket to Conundrum to Secret Acres, there are going to be 17 more books just as interesting on that floor waiting for you find them. Dive in!

* although I think the show has taken on a more aggressive sales identity: this is New York. There is going to be worthy programming. Three spotlights jump out at me, and I'm going to try and see all three: Schrauwen's, Jim Woodring (Woodring has been great in interviews this year, and Poochytown is so, so good), and Ariel Schrag interviewed by Hillary Chute, which is a great pairing.

* enjoy yourselves, enjoy New York and I hope to see you in Brooklyn.
 
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Go, Look: B Carré

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Go, Look: DRT

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If I Were In Santa Rosa, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 64th Birthday, Bruce Chrislip!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Chris Bolton!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Neil Gaiman!

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Happy 48th Birthday, James Sime!

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November 9, 2018


Go, Look: The Dungeon

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Go, Look: Ban Ban 1194

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See You In Brooklyn: CAB 2018 Is Sunday, November 11

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SPX, Baltimore, CXC, Short Run, SAM and now CAB... it's been a fascinating run of small shows. Hope to see you this Sunday at CAB!
 
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OTBP: From The World Of First Thought

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Assembled Extra: Tegan O'Neil Collections Available

Tegan O'Neil wrote in to point out changes in the way older work at The Hurting is to be distributed and collected, in an attempt to jumpstart interest in a related Patreon. There's a lot of intriguing writing there.
 
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If I Were In Durham, 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 Asheville, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Giant Spider & Me Vols. 1-2.

* using the Chuck Wendig firing as a springboard, Asher Elbein looks at the vulnerability of working comics professionals: passionate about their jobs, poorly paid, facing tons of competition. I think we could in five years see massive effects from this as a generation that didn't have a period of middle-age existence begin to move past comics and into retirement.

* no idea why this particular blog posting from a few years baked flashed back into my twitter feed, but it's nice to see so much of the Big Apple Comix comics stories.

* bundled extra: DC is moving some of its older standalone-story graphic novels into its standalone-story book imprint. They're usually pretty smart about how they arrange these things and I think a lot of us are trusting that they're being smart with this ongoing reorganization initiative.

* finally: Gabe Pereira talks to Tom Hart.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Bill Mantlo!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Peter Birkemoe!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Mort Todd!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Denis St. John!

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November 8, 2018


Go, Look: Out There

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OTBP: Fielder 1

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the first round of Comic-Con International badge sales begins this weekend. It's an amazing thing that people still want to go to this particular show given how many alternatives there are out there and CCI rarely gets enough credit for this. Like right now it feels like the energy is more in toys than maybe the big fantasy movie series of 10 years ago, but the general appetite on display feels about the same.

* CAKE exhibitor applications are open now until December 9. That's a good show with a really strong exhibitor base

* finally, check out this excellent CALA 2018 poster designed and drawn by the great Hellen Jo.

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

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

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Go, Look: Various Batman Characters Drawn By Dan Hipp

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J Caleb Mozzocco on The Ghost Script.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Cheese Hasselberger!

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November 7, 2018


Go, Look: DW

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OTBP: Little Teeth

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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.

*****

JUL181775 DIRTY PLOTTE GN BOX SET COMPLETE JULIE DOUCET (MR) $119.95
AUG182099 PIERO GN (MR) $17.95
Two extremely worthwhile books from two comics masters -- one a complete run of Julie Doucet's Dirty Plotte, and one I think the first by-itself book from a North American publisher featuring the influential Edmond Baudoin. The Doucet book is a clear book of the year candidate and a crucially important collection. If it's not on your Christmas list for someone, you need to get new friends.

JUL180926 COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE HC VOL 15 $49.99
More from the great Harold Gray and the always-underrated Annie, which had more good years than many people realize, certainly visually. I don't like every classic comic strip as much as I did when I was a kid, but Little Orphan Annie may be the only one I like significantly more.

imageSEP181819 ART OF THE GRAPHIC MEMOIR SC $25.99
This is an intriguing to get instructional material out of Tom Hart, one of his comics-generation's great teachers and memoir writers. I almost like the idea of a focused work over a bigger, general one.

SEP181327 GIANT DAYS #44 $3.99
SEP180939 DOCTOR STRANGE #7 $3.99
SEP180430 GREEN LANTERN #1 $4.99
AUG182105 KAIJUMAX SEASON 4 #3 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99
Not a lot in the comic-book format material that spoke to me. I will always look at any book to which John Allison contributed. The Doctor Strange is writer Mark Waid, and I'd lost track of Waid after he stopped working with Chris Samnee. Marvel's line reads miserable to me right now, so I'm happy to see Waid working on something so I can read something from the publisher. Grant Morrison will be writing for this new Space Cop Anthology take on DC's foundational character. Morrison is always worth noting. The Kaijumax is Zander Cannon, and is an old-school oddball indy comic of the kind I wish there were a lot more of. Four seasons!

JUL182063 DRAWN TO SEX GN SEX BASICS OH JOY SEX TOY (MR) $19.99
A lot of folks are fond of these comics and I have to image they'd do well in bookstores, via store visits and even in comic book shops if hand-sold.

JUL189280 ERIC GN $29.95
I don't remember anything about this comics except that while looking at an example I realize I've read some parts of it. It was very weird, like a random Epic serial being collected.

AUG181671 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 (MR) $6.99
AUG181679 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 BLOODY MARY (MR) $6.99
AUG181680 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 BLOODY MARY NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181682 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 DEADLY (MR) $6.99
AUG181683 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 DEADLY NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181676 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 KILLER BODIES (MR) $6.99
AUG181677 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 KILLER BODIES NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181685 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 LUSCIOUS (MR) $6.99
AUG181686 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 LUSCIOUS NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181672 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181700 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 SEXY NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181691[ PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 SIRENS (MR) $6.99
AUG181692 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 SIRENS NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181674 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 STUNNERS (MR) $6.99
AUG181675 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 STUNNERS NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181696 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 SULTRY NUDE (MR) $8.99
AUG181688 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 WRAP (MR) $6.99
AUG181689 PANDORA SHOTGUN MARY #0 WRAP NUDE (MR) $8.99
Do these kinds of comics still sell in a way that justifies all this effort and relative space? You can see actual people do sex things on video for free now, and this doesn't seem like the kind of effort where the artistic treatment of it would elevate the material. Although who knows?

SEP181885 PART OF IT COMICS AND CONFESSIONS (MR) $17.99
Hey, it's Ariel Schrag. Everything Schrag does is of interest.

JUL181779 BLAME THIS ON THE BOOGIE GN (MR) $22.95
MAY181610 ART COMIC HC (MR) $29.95
Finally, two strong efforts from really good veteran cartoonists. Rina Ayuyang is a delight, her comics are very sweet and funny and she has a unique approach to color that would make her worth buying all by itself. Matthew Thurber's collection of Art Comic is funny as hell even if you don't get half the jokes. I get about 10 percent of them. Still: it's very appealing work.

*****

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: Jose Quintanar

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

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Go, Look: It's Time To Put More Trans People In Power

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Peg Cheng talks to Jonathan Hill.

* comics life in Columbus is good: Joe Sacco appears at OSU tomorrow night; Nicole Hollander next week. Hollander is here via the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum; don't know the exact host for Joe. It's all good to me.

* Paul Constant on Blame This On The Boogie.

* here's another list trying to summarize the beauty of an expansive art form through a list that is mostly higher-end action-adventure comics with a heavy writerly element. There's three or four comics on there that might make a top 100 for me, and at least that many that I think aren't even good. So it goes. List-making is always an interesting exercise, though, and I have fun reading them.

* finally: Eric Drooker writes a bit about his Fall-themed New Yorker cover.
 
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Happy 32nd Birthday, Lizz Hickey!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Dave Cooper!

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November 6, 2018


Go, Read: Memorial To The Mothers

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Comics By Request Extra: Worn Tuff Elbow #2

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Marc Bell is a great cartoonist and the comic book format is an outmoded one for many publishers, so crowd-funding a self-published effort makes a lot sense. Don't leave him hanging.
 
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Go, Look: Ana Galvañ

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Bill Schelly describes the expanded Sense Of Wonder edition and the audio version. That book gets a lot of points with me for being on a subject both obscure and vital, from someone who was there. I wish we had as good of books from people about mid-century mainstream comics publishing made when a lot of the first-generation industry people were still alive.

* Joey Weiser gives us a look at the cover of next summer's Ghost Hog, from Oni Press.

* two of alt-indy icon Rick Veitch's better-received works are getting the hardcover treatment from IDW. It's nice for the market to have easy access to those works again.

* Drew Ford writes of new, forthcoming Bozz Chronicles work. Ford reprinted the six-issue series as one of his publishing efforts and will be involved with raising money for these new efforts. I'll be interested in seeing it, particularly how much if anything might change in a different publishing era.

* finally: as described by Charles Vess, this illustrated book sounds like something of interest to young readers and the comics fans that know them.

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

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

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Go, Look: Marvel 1970s Horror Book Ads

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Matt Sussman on works by Austin English and Sam Spano. Robert Boyd continues reviewing bunches of comics at a time.

* tweeted wisdome from Karen K. Ho, Victory Comics and Phil Jimenez.

* Noah Van Sciver recommends works at Shelf Awareness.

* OTBP: Let's Print A Comic.

* I made a joke tweet about the Son Of Satan, but it always did make me laugh how ridiculously over the top his entrances were.

* Scott Edelman tells a choice anecdote about listening to recent 80th birthday boy Jim Steranko when he but a lad.

* finally: I'm always a fan of practical-advice columns, and the idea of content used by social media needs its own set of understandings and protections makes perfect sense to me.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Gregory Mardon!

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November 5, 2018


Go, Look: A Brief History Of Bilingual Voting

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Bundled Extra: Chicago Sun-Times Moves From Three Pages Of Comics To One Page Plus A Scattered Few

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Here's their announcement. I'm looking around for someone in the Chicago media watching business that would know what's been dropped -- if anyone has caught such a blog post or article,

The regional media critic Robert Feder has a short list of casualties and some commentary here. DD Degg and a pair of readers of the resurgent Daily Cartoonist have a complete accounting here. What's left skews towards their older strips, it looks like.

I was a Midwestern kid and lived in Chicago for a couple of years. I was a devoted Tribune reader -- I don't remember being able to get the Sun-Times in northern Indiana -- and my take on its comics page vs. the Sun-Times is that 1) the Tribune offering was generally superior and 2) one mitigating circumstance is that the Sun-Times had a shitload of comics with three pages of them. I think -- and someone can correct me here, too -- that the Sun-Times also had multiple suburban-type papers with different strategies for different publications.

What does it mean for the future, immediate and otherwise? Well, a lot of strips just lost a sizable client. It's still an industry where a lot of strips are out there carrying a small number of clients. I'm interested in what the decision-makers were looking at to indicate this was their best move; the decision itself might not be as important as the reasons. When the newspaper industry cratered in the late 2000s the conventional wisdom was that comics would suffer for the general decline but would also be an important remaining and unique feature for a while yet. Is "a while yet" something that starts to end now? I doubt it, but we'll see. Acceleration seems likely at some point.
 
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Go, Look: Magic On Deck

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* that generous writer about early efforts from a variety of cartoonists, Rob Clough -- he is also involved at SPX with their programming -- has expressed a need and would like to offer you some mini-comics. One would suppose, and you'd have to check, that if you were to buy some seminal minis and give them to the Billy's Dylan Williams collection or its equivalent at other libraries you could support Rob and make a tax-deductible donation. You'd have to check, though, seriously, I have no idea if that's true.

* I'm always interested in driving attention to industry veteran Jim Wheelock. I'm hoping an angel will pick up on his support needs, although any smaller amount I imagine would be a great help as well.

* those sued by Cody Pickrodt continue to receive support, and I hope we can get to that initial goal by the holidays. Please give. I think it's important that people able to speak freely about their experience without being fearful that the existence of a lawsuit keep them from doing so.

* finally: the funds being raised for Damian Duffy's dad and stepmom are very close to the initial goal.
 
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Go, Look: Mort Walker In Saturday Review Of Literature

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

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Go, Look: Halloween-Related Art Posts I'm Just Seeing Now

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Universal Monsters On Dell Comic Book Covers

*****

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Richard Sala Witch Illustrations

*****

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The Marvel Family #52

*****
*****
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* congratulations to the great Fiona Smyth on receiving an Acker Award.

* Mark Evanier provides a list of comics industry truisms from 1970, many of which still apply. It's interesting for the look it provides into a time when mainstream comics company editorial decision-making dominated everything, to the point that quirks of behavior in individual offices had a ripple effect across the entire field.

* festivals extra: looks like DINK has extended their exhibitor applications until November.

* love this photo of Gengoroh Tagame, Justin Hall and Chip Kidd.

* did I recommend the Inktober efforts from Mike Laughead? If I didn't, here you go. If I didn't, here you go again.

* finally: look at this gorgeous Rocky and Fumble cover from Xaime. Just about any cartoonist other than Jaime, those two great characters would be the life achievement.
 
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Happy 80th Birthday, Steranko!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Diana Tamblyn!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Robert Loren Fleming!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Mats Stromberg!

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Happy 45th Birthday, George O'Connor!

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November 4, 2018


Go, Look: Tip Top #54

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

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

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

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Happy 51st Birthday, Alex Van Koten!

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November 3, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Not Comics: Josh Frankel Makes A Fish Out Of Trash Lumber


Trailer For Cartoonist Kayfabe Episode Three


Rob Rogers' Synagogue Shooting Cartoon Analyzed


Carlos Latuff On Jair Bolsonaro's Election


Eric Dyck Profiled
 
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Go, Look: Mike Lynch Draws Cats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Zack Soto!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Tom Grindberg!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Tom Lyle!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Karen Sneider!

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November 2, 2018


OTBP: R Crumb's Dream Diary

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Go, Look: Confessions Of A Crisis Actor

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Alarming Tales #1

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Happy 67th Birthday, Bill Schelly!

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November 1, 2018


Go, Look: Bad Friends Excerpted

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Everyone Caught This But Me: Vanguard Visionary Assets Now Majority Owner At Dark Horse

Deal described by Milton Griepp here and discussed by Heidi MacDonald here. Both stories underline Mike Richardson remains CEO and retains a significant ownership share.

I have no real opinion about this. I guess there's an angle where you point out that VVA is a Chinese company, which I'm not sure really says anything specific to comics except that there is always the promise/hope that that country can be opened as a market -- a not unreasonable expectation, I suppose, at least the chance this might happen. It does look like Dark Horse's attention to its post loss of Star Wars core properties and its creation of very friendly to film and TV properties like Resident Alien make it a more friendlier partner for media companies like Netflix. I'm grateful for artists to have those opportunities and hope they're fairly executed.
 
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OTBP: Rudy

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

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* exhibitor applications are open for VanCAF 2019 through December 15. That's a growing-in-popularity show, a very visitable city, and a region with a rich reservoir of comics talent. I've always wanted to go but the cost of the show so soon after Toronto kills me. The difficulty of getting to certain parts of North America from secondary-hub airports is a fact of life now. I'm jealous of those who get to, though.

* missed this profile of a vendor couple at NYCC that uses some real numbers and paints what I'd say is a realistic picture of the margins involved. The secondary headline in the search is a little weird as they both seem like fully participating vendors to me.

* there was a blackface incident at Alamo City Comic Con when a prominent participant used black make-up to approximate the appearance of a dog character from a specific Disney effort. That seems deeply unfortunate no matter the intention going in, which I personally imagine -- though I could be wrong -- was wholly benign. A contest organizer and the con more generally have apologized.

* if I'm reading this correctly, it looks like Comic-Con International is going to establish firm limits on guest badges linked to professional registrations, part of their ongoing transformation of that process. I have a lot of sympathy for CCI making such changes as they've long been very generous in keeping as many old methods as possible, even as the show has continued to surge in popularity. I also know if/when they do something similar in my category, press, that I have years of being indulged under my belt and can't really object at all to most imagined outcomes of a more stringent policy.

* finally: Charles Vess is doing a mini-tour in support of his wonderful-sounding Complete Earthsea illustration project.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: The Gorilla

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* I've enjoyed the few Will Dinski travel comics I've seen here.

* Sean Phillips draws moments from In The Heat Of The Night.

* I always enjoy these Sarah McIntyre posts, which have this feel of coming from an alternate universe where everyone wears delightful costumes and makes cool looking stuffed creatures right out of well-designed books.

* by request extra: I don't know that there's any specific financial need tied into these offerings from Roger Langridge, but he is someone that could always be rewarded to the medium's overall benefit.

* David Beard profiles conservative editorial cartoonist Antonio Branco.

* finally: a rare Todd Klein post about an illustration gig.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Zander Cannon!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Whit Spurgeon!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Rich Koslowski!

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