The cartoonist Drew Weing has a fun post up here about a potential first Internet comic strip distinct from the first one recognized as the first one of the World Wide Web. So much of that history gets compressed that it's nice to see someone open it up and look into specific examples.
* not comics: the great Sean Tejaratchi is leaving Tumblr due to the NSFW ban thing I don't exactly care enough to understand (I'm kidding; look it up).
* here's a festival report from Leon Avelino, a very specific subset of comics writing I love with all of my heart. Leon gets to write the last comics article after we screw up dimming the sun.
* here is a thoughtful twitter thread on how "just make comics" isn't always the right answer for how to get into comics, mostly because it doesn't feel after you're in just for making some comics. And I understand it.
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events
By Tom Spurgeon
* here's a walk through Tokyo Comic Con that someone at Bleeding Cool flagged, basically a preview screen and a bunch of toy displays, which isn't too far from the bulk of what you see at any pop-culture oriented show anywhere in the world.
* speaking of the longtime news and rumor site, Rich Johnston dissects the charter membership offers CCI made on Giving Tuesday.
* Kerry Dixon looks at this year's economic impact numbers and where CCI lands in comparison to other San Diego shows. The shift in emphasis to more realistic numbers here was a big change in how CCI has been viewed moving forward.
* congratulations to cartoonist Sophie Goldstein on winning a year-long Tulsa Arts Fellowship. That's a city I don't think of for comics -- the late writer Jim Vance lived there -- but that will be to the advantage of the cartoonist and the community that will get to enjoy her presence and her husband Carl Antonowicz. This will become more and more of a comics thing over the next decade, particularly for awards with a community aspect. I think cartoonists are uniquely built to collaborate and participate.
* there is still a bit of late President Bush post-passing cartoon news. Here's the story of how Nick Anderson worked with his former employer on a larger-than-usual tribute. Here's a modest survey of cartoons out there. The confusion in comics over how to remember a president who was somehow reasonably well-liked and considered competent while at the same having to process his open ties to indictable political acts and outcomes is a sign of how confused the country is in terms of what constitutes political discourse more generally. I die a little bit at the nihilistic implications of casually simplistic reactions, the sappily sentimental and the occasional sweeping, non-engaged dismissal, but that may be because those are constructions which are of specific interest to me. Cartoons almost always prove themselves worth watching both individually and as a group, and have again been valuable here.
* finally, Image has an oral history of Image Comics up, about which my e-mail is host to a score of complaints about who is involved, who isn't, what's said. That was an influential on-line forum for the group of creators that were participants in terms of exposing them to ideas and relationships through they would build careers. I joked yesterday that it's the first article of its type where like 90 percent of those profiled have actual PR photos, by which I mean that not only did that Forum drive people to careers but successful one. I shudder to think of an article gauging the impact of the TCJ message board.
This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market
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.
OCT181718 VANISHING ACT HC $14.99
Good week for the kind of comics I like. Roman Muradov's comics are challenging and beautiful and every time a new one comes out I hope it's the one that captures the imagination of the widest possible alt-reading audience. And so I hope again.
SEP181985 THIMBLE THEATRE PRE POPEYE CARTOONS OF EC SEGAR $85.00
Thimble Theatre is a top five comics achievement of the 20th Century, with two of the ten best characters, and these comics that came before the appearance of Popeye are excellent in most of the ways those that came after that introduction ended up being. They are well worth the read and this fabulous looking presentation.
OCT180282 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #11 CVR A MIGNOLA $3.99 OCT180283 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #11 CVR B MIGNOLA $3.99 OCT180474 MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 (OF 12) $3.99 SEP180436 SHAZAM #1 $4.99 OCT180018 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR A ALBUQUERQUE (MR) $3.99 OCT180019 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR B ALBUQUERQUE (MR) $3.99 OCT180020 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR C INTERCONNECT PT 1 ALBUQUERQUE (MR) $3.99 OCT180021 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR D INTERCONNECT PT 2 ALBUQUERQUE (MR) $3.99 OCT180022 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR E INTERCONNECT PT 3 ALBUQUERQUE (MR) $3.99 OCT180023 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR F QUITELY (MR) $3.99 OCT180024 PRODIGY #1 (OF 6) CVR G BLANK CVR (MR) $3.99 OCT180264 WICKED & DIVINE #40 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99 OCT180951 DOCTOR STRANGE #9 $3.99
Comic-book comics! You rarely go wrong with one from the Mignola-verse. The two DC books are one that looks to fill the thinking person's superhero book role most recently taken up by Mister Miracle, and one connected to a movie that I didn't even know was being relaunched in comic-book form. I really hate this most recent use of that character, and it's baffling that a comic with that many great characters can't find a better general narrative. The Prodigy is the latest Mark Millar and a further sideways slide for Millar away from violently executed high concepts into outlines for an elevator pitch -- the sad thing is these properties are sold already and don't really have to convince anyone. I'm also worried about variant covers for something that I'm not totally convinced benefits from them in a way that serves to enhance the marketplace. The Gillen & McKelvie enters its final arc ahead of a conclusion in 2019. The Doctor Strange book has a Kevin Nowlan cover and I'll want to own it on that basis alone.
SEP181770 HIERONYMUS & BOSCH HC $27.00 OCT181720 MAXON CRUMB ART OUT OF CHAOS GN $25.00 OCT181694 MEMORABILIA SC $16.99
The first is a strip collection by Paul Kirchner about which I know very little. It sure is attractive. The Maxon Crumb book -- with the Spain Rodriguez biography/collection series and the latest Mineshaft -- makes this a decent period for underground publicats. Memorabilia looks like a tribute to the comics of his youth by Sergio Ponchione, who is always worth a look.
SEP188812 ELECTRIC STATE HC $35.00
This seems more extended and sober kids-book making rather than a comic as we might think of comics, but it does look very attractive and the juxtaposition of quotidian and fantastic things is something both comics and kids-book type storytelling do very well.
SEP181845 DUNKIRK ONE SHOT GLANZMAN CVR $9.99 OCT181719 NOW #5 NEW COMICS ANTHOLOGY $9.99 SEP181949 OUR WRETCHED TOWN HALL GN (MR) $10.00
I'm interested in the price points here as much as the content, although each one of the books seems interesting to me -- the NOW anthology in particular I think has been weird and intriguing and well-curated. But a lot of reading for about ten bucks, whether it's Noah Van Sciver's last project or these books or others like it? I think that could gain some traction over the long term if it becomes a category.
SEP181776 PARALLEL LIVES GN $24.99
This is a collection of short stories from a formidable, word-class talent. I think there's some pushback on Olivier Schrauwen, but I haven't personally felt it yet, I think he's really funny and an idiosyncratic visualist to boot. Automatic buy for me.
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.
Another Presentation Of The Teaching Comics Argument
This time it's from someone with a job that at least sounds academic in nature. The argument is basically the general anti-humanities one you see nowadays -- "the jobs out there are increasingly technical in nature and your course about Happy Days just won't cut it" -- with presentation of superhero classes as the eye-roll generators. My view of education has these kinds of courses in it, and I don't believe their number is so grand as to be worrisome.
* the very funny cartoonist Michael Kupperman announces a move into self-publishing. Kupperman has worked with both boutique comics-type publishers and larger prose-based houses. First up: a best-of.
* I don't have a link, but NBM sent out a press release announcing the publication of softcover versions of Black Dahlia and The Axe-Man Of New Orleans. That's a nice value for dense, accomplished content.
* I found this story about two brothers on the autistic spectrum rewarding in that there are some insights sprinkled throughout: for instance the reading spaces provide a reduction in outside stimulus as well as a bit of privacy, and they do an amount of business with other on the spectrum because of their ability to meet such specific needs.
* Marshall Ramsey made the editorial cartoon about Barbara Bush being reunited with the daughter that preceded her in death as a toddler, and now he's expanded on it for a popular cartoon about the late President Bush. I'm not a big fan of cartoons like this pair, but they sure resonate with swathes of people.
On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Recommend Five Comics Publications Released Before 1960 You'd Recommend To A Contemporary Comics Reader." This is how they responded.
1. The Pogo Stepmother Goose, Walt Kelly (1954)
2. The Life and Times of the Shmoo, Al Capp (1948)
3. The Last Flower, James Thurber (1939)
4. Sports et Divertisements, Charles Martin (art) and Erik Satie (words and music) (1914 and 1923, two different sets of art by Martin)
5. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake (1793)
1. "Lost in the Andes!," Carl Barks (1949)
2. Stardust the Super Wizard, Fletcher Hanks (1939-1941) (pictured)
3. Betsy and Me, Jack Cole (1958)
4. Spacehawk, Basil Wolverton (1940-1942)
5. "Massacred!," Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin (1951)
1. The Passport, Saul Steinberg (1954) (pictured)
2. Sick, Sick, Sick, Jules Feiffer (1958)
3. The Bungle Family, Henry J. Tuthill (1918-1945)
4. Man In The Shower, Peter Arno (1944)
5. Barnaby, Crockett Johnson (1942-1952)
1. Addams And Evil, Charles Addams (1947)
2. Objectif Lune, Hergé (1953)
3. The Mad Reader, The Usual Gang Of Idiots (1954)
4. La Mauvaise Tête, André Franquin (1957)
5. Jungle Book, Harvey Kurtzman (1959)
1. Une semaine de bonté, Max Ernst (1934)
2. Moomin, Tove Jansson (1954-1959)
3. Tricky Cad, Jess (1952-1959)
4. Passionate Journey, Frans Masereel (1919)
5. The Lonely Ones, William Steig (1942)
1. Krazy Kat, George Herriman (1946)
2. The Gluyas Williams Book, Gluyas Williams (1929)
3. Peanuts, Charles Schulz (1952)
4. Uncle Pogo So-So Stories, Walt Kelly (1953)
5. Cartoon Cavalcade, edited by Thomas Craven (1943)
1. By The Dawn's Ugly Light, Richard Taylor (1953)
2. Dreams of Glory, William Steig (1953)
3. Kids Out Our Way, J.R. Williams (1946)
4. Sad Sack, Sgt. George Baker (1944)
5. Cartoon Cavalcade, edited by Thomas Craven (1943)
Thanks for participating. Lot of creative formatting this time out. Please know I reserve the right to skip and delete any entry that does not provide that courtesy, and will likely do so in the future.