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














January 31, 2019


Alex Barbier, RIP

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Go, Look: Canceled!

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Two Nice News Stories From The Billy Ireland

Comics is in a weird place in term of identifying what constitutes industry news, but a giant institutions making a couple of announcements always works. I was struck by two stories posted by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

image* the first was Dr. Susan Kirtley winning this year's Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award. Caswell is one of the great figures in the industry's last fifty years, anything that drives attention to the Billy as a research institution -- the role on which history will eventually judge it -- is a wonderful thing, and Kirtley is one of the foundational figure of comics' right-this-very-second through both her national organizing work for fellow academics and building her school's program out west. I am a fan of everything with a proper name in this story and can't wait to see what Kirtley does with the opportunity.

* the second story right there on their feed is that Ann Drozd is joining the staff at the Billy as museum coordinator, with a slew of cool-sounding responsibility. I don't know Drozd as well as I do Kirtley but anyone joining that staff is a big deal, and she's run programming at the Ann Arbor kids-focused show in impeccable fashion. I think she's going to be fantastic for the community in which I live and for the wider comics community.
 
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Go, Look: Russ Manning's Tarzan

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the cartoonist and author Brian Fies checks in from this year's LumaCon.

* you can now nominate your favorite comic shop for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing award.

* not comics: yeah, that's a terrible look.

* If I have the day I should, CXC exhibitor applications should go up tomorrow. If I don't... Monday.

* finally: advice from behind the tables.

 
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Go, Look: The Vampire

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Mark Newgarden talks to Mark Dery. Nathan Chazan talks to Sarah Horrocks. Greg Hunter talks to Carol Tyler.

* not comics: a mini-museum of type.

* Rob Clough on Memorabilia. Keith Silva on That Box We Sit On. EA Henson on Doctor Strange #400.

* bundled extra: I have no familiarity with this strip, but I love looking at some Alfred Andriola.

* with great power comes great repetitiveness.

* Randy Enos remembers National Lampoon.

* finally: here's a bit more on the St. Mark's closure, including a dumbass conspiracy theory.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Grant Morrison!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Jonathan Baylis!

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January 30, 2019


Go, Look: Jules Feiffer At 90

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Go, Look: Taps

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every time this randomly shows up in one of my feeds I'll link to it
 
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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.

*****

NOV181499 CICADA HC PICTURE BOOK $19.99
In the admittedly terrifying model of the universe where what lies at the center of the galaxy is my gigantic, fat head and everything revolves around me, the direct market of comic book specialty retail exists to let me know when a new Shaun Tan book comes out and affords me t the opportunity to take a look at it before buy. Thank you, direct market of comic book specialty retail.

imageAPR170103 WISH TP $24.99
Okay, everything I just said, but about books from Clamp. Kidding aside, I find Clamp's comics very foundational and have no problem suggesting you buy one sight unseen at $25 if you're not familiar with the work already.

DEC181866 EIGHTBALL PUSSEY TP (CURR PTG) (MR) $12.95
SEP180286 NANJING TP THE BURNING CITY $14.99
SEP181316 IRON OR THE WAR AFTER GN $19.99
These seem to be this week's group of reissued books that are aimed at getting the work back on the stands instead of fostering an archival edition or to mark some special occasion. I like all of these book at least a little, I think. my memories of Nanjing are limited generally and what I remember about Iron from its Archaia publication was that it had some visual flair. Your mileage may vary, and so may mine six hours from now. I still love the Clowes, slightly more as a time capsule of a certain kind of alt-culture criticism of the mainstream companies (although the Groth and Spiegelman digs are still funny, too). There's probably some Bill Maher observation I can make right here, but fuck it.

SEP180757 STEVE CANYON HC VOL 09 1963-1964 $49.99
NOV181836 MIDWAY FROM PAGES OF COMBAT ONE SHOT GLANZMAN CVR $9.99
Two handsome gentlemen from the 1940s, one recognized as such in his day and one whose beauty became more apparent in retrospect. Previews is selling this era of Canyon as a tonic for the nation's loss of Kennedy, which I'm not sure tracks but will in the back of my brain when I read it for sure.

JUN180747 JAMES BROWN BLACK AND PROUD HC $24.99
JUN180729 SWORD OF AGES HC $24.99
Two books with which I'm completely unfamiliar. It may just be the material selected for preview material but the James Brown looks rote and clumsy. The Sword book looks kind of gorgeous, to be honest: the design choices, the linework and the coloring in particular. I know Gabriel Rodriguez mostly by reputation and Lovern Kindzierski by comics I read when I still lived with my Mom, but sheesh.

SEP181901 BAD MACHINERY POCKET ED GN VOL 07 CASE FORKED ROAD $12.99
I buy everything related to John Allison and I will fight you if you try to make me stop.

NOV181936 HILO GN VOL 05 THEN EVERYTHING WENT WRONG $13.99
This caught my eye because I like Winick and I'm really into artists doing long series in comic book or book form right now. If this isn't the last in the series I'm guess it's the next to last. Having worked everywhere, Winick is going to be the most entertaining convention nostalgia panelist 35 years from now.

JUN182014 SALAMMBO HC $39.99
Philippe Druillet interpreting Flaubert's novel about the Pict War! That sounds like a sophisticated night at the theater AND a gorgeous comic book. I'll settle for the latter.

*****

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 Paris, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Steel Sterling Cover Art Images

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Go, Look: Nickel Comics #2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* some nice person at Fiction Advocate talks to Lilah Sturges.

image* bundled extra: the micro-publisher Bergen Street Comics announced their titles by Charles Forsman and Michel Fiffe will be appearing with other imprints in 2019. I think conventional wisdom says there's a lot of extra sales potential there, so good luck to all involved.

* I'm sorry to see the legendary St. Mark's going out of business and it's a testament to my addled mental state of the last three years that had I been quizzed at the grocery store this morning I would have told the person with the mic that St. Mark's had been closed since 2013 or something. I hope people find as much buried treasure as is possible in the forthcoming sales, and I hope the next generation of shorter-cycle stores have a similar thing to the kind of buried treasure I'm indicating with that phrasing.

* a random Star Wars link on Facebook led me to stare at this 1980s comic book shop photo. I wish I had paid more attention to comic book shops when I first started visiting them as a kid. It never occurred to me they hadn't been around in big cities since like 1960, and that the models were all a bit wobbly and new.

* finally, a bit of not comics: now that it's too late to be any help, here's some polar vortex advice from my hometown digital-only.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Ibrahim Ineke!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Michael Avon Oeming!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Tracy Hurren!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Fred Hembeck!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Denys Cowan!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Guy Gilchrist!

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January 29, 2019


Go, Look: August Garden

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Go, Read: Readers Sound Off On Firing Of Steve Benson

imageHere. There's also a lot of solid cartoon work woven into that piece via a couple of slideshows.

I'm sympathetic towards a lot of the journalism cost-cutting that took place at the end of the previous decade as the newspaper model went into freefall, but I share every concern expressed about Steve Benson shown the door at the Arizona Republic. If you have an editorial board, you can afford an editorial cartoonist, and I firmly believe that any of the major cartoonists holding a staff cartoonist position is talented enough to be a profit center for their publication.

Another thing I noticed is while I don't think of Benson as a strident cartoonist, some of the readers piping up disagree with me. I'm not sure what to do in the long run if people make these really broad political assignments of that kind of coverage.

Update: I've already linked to it here at CR but Pat Bagley roasting Gannett for this decision is choice.

Update: Here's Michael Cavna's piece not behind the Post's paywall. Cavna provides additional context.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Barbara Shermund

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Bundled Extra: Oni Press Announces Four For Fall 2019

Oni Press did their Fall 2019 announcement yesterday through Hollywood Reporter and that fine gentleman Graeme McMillan. It's a very right now group of four graphic novels: two for September, two for October.

imageThe company continues its plan for its single-issue series Kaijumax and comics featuring the Rick & Morty property.

The four stand-alones are Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman, colored by Luke Howard. That's aimed at pre-teens and very young teens, and is exactly as described in the title. Kriss: The Gift of Wrath, by Ted Naifeh and Warren Wucinich, features the popular writer Naifeh on an all-new fantasy effort. Morning in America by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre is a 1980s culture-sift conspiracy-theory adventure set in the American Midwest. Finally, Unplugged & Unpopular marries a message about watching too many screens to an alien-invasion story. That's from Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja and Mike Amante.

The second and third book listed are young adult, and that last one is another for Middle Readers. Watching the Middle Readers category as more people take direct interest in the massive audience found there should intrigue industry wonks for the next few years.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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OTBP: Intelligent Life: Season 1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Howard Chaykin offers up an explanation/context/rebuttal for all things Bill Maher vs. Comics. The interest from so many in the funnybook world in the comedian's dismissal of comics through the example of Stan Lee fairly baffles me -- he would have to ride out cowboy-style on a living dinosaur for me to want to see it on TV -- but I suppose that being able to rile people up is a skill set for our modern times.

* I'm bookmarking this productivity tool to look at it later on, but you might get use from it right away.

* this story has likely progressed since I stored the link, but it struck me that I'm not sure how anyone accomplishes stealing a large cash amount worth of comics as a tiny subset of comics are generally worth a shit-ton and the vast, vast majority are worth about nothing at all, but okay.

* finally: I'll note this in birthdays, but Happy 32nd to the remarkable and brave Atena Farghadani.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Sascha Hommer!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Robert Goodin!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Brian Wood!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Jeph Loeb!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Chad Nevett!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Ryan Kelly!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Atena Farghadani!

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January 28, 2019


Go, Read: Growing Up Through The Cracks

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Go, Look: More Seattle Healthcare Clinic Comics

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* count Ibrahim Ineke among those cartoonists relying in matter-of-fact way on their patreons.

* Carol Tyler reports the Patreon contributions are helping, and we should all hope to help the great Carol Tyler.

* the fundraiser for those sued for defamation by cartoonist/publisher Cody Pickrodt continues on. That situation curdles quickly if the money runs out, so consider a second throw-in or an initial one if you haven't done so. I would suppose the next major step is seeing if some of those involved can be removed from the case for not living and thus not doing enough business in New York.

* finally: Rich Tommaso's recently launched self-publishing style Patreon could use some attention. Rich is an influential alt-cartoonist with a fun, broad, pulp sensibility.
 
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Not Comics: Frank Schoonover WWI Visual series

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Go, Look: The 3 Bad Ones

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* artist Steve Lieber's very funny portfolio critique is now a buyable print.

* totally missed that Steve Benson was let go by the Arizona Republic and agree with Pat Bagley that this is a stupid, short-sighted decision. I think that any of the remaining working staff cartoonists are good enough that it's up to the newspaper to figure out how to employ them in way that sells copies and/or drives hits. In general the recent round of journalism cuts has a real end-of-industry feel to it, more than anything since the original deep cuts made back in 2008-2010.

* otbp/not comics: our pal from two entries above this one Steve Lieber found a prose book illustrated by the great Jaime Hernandez.

* by request extra: cartoonist Patrick Dean's family is participating in a comprehensive support program run by a family friend. You probably don't live close enough to be a meal-maker or a shopper or a check in person, but those meal cards and the occasional thing popping up on their Amazon wish list would be greatly appreciated.

* not comics: here's a profile of 1990s TCJ mainstay Christopher Brayshaw in his current gig.

* finally: that's quite the illustration by Jillian Tamaki.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Hunt Emerson!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Tony Harris!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Todd Klein!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Jason Aaron!

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January 27, 2019


Go, Read: Dylan Horrocks' Inventing Comics

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How Do We Get Rid Of Tax Havens?

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

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Happy 57th Birthday, Richard Starkings!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Stefan Petrucha!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Frank Miller!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Steve Leialoha!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Sean Phillips!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Peter Laird!

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FFF Results Post #516: Very, Very Ordinary

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Not Particularly Distinguished Comics That Have Stuck In Your Memory Even Though They're Just Not That Good. Explain Why You Remember #4 In The Fifth Slot." This is how they responded.

*****

imageSean Kleefeld

1. Mirror Walker #1
2. Questprobe #3
3. Golden Legacy #8
4. Steelgrip Starkey #2
5. I read Mirror Walker when it came out in 1989. The notion of a cartoon figure walking through the "real" world wasn't totally new, of course, with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? coming out the year before, and the concept of passing through a mirror to get to an alternate reality was lifted from Lewis Carroll. But there were two things that struck me about the book at the time. First, it was written by Marv Wolfman, who had a long history of writing mainstream superhero comics. That he was now doing an indie book that wasn't at all superhero related seemed very strange to me; it had an almost greater sense of walking through a mirror than what was depicted in the story itself. Second, there was only the one issue before Now Comics folded, leaving the story decidedly incomplete. I really started thinking about the economics of comic books -- even indie ones -- as a driving factor in their production, frequently over-powering whatever creative energy might be behind the stories themselves.

*****

imageMarty Yohn

1. Werewolf by Night #1
2. DC Special #5
3. Ragman #2
4. Our Army at War #298
5. I remember liking the story's ending and the way the artwork showed such a gritty, rain-soaked war scene.

*****

imageTom Spurgeon

1. Defenders #17
2. Sunrunners #2
3. Hi And Lois: Is Dinner Ready?
4. Laundry Land #1
5. I'm sure it's a charming comic that had its fans, and Kid Anarchy plays much the same role for me, but this still feels like the right choice.

I'm reasonably certain that reading Laundry Land #1 as a broke-ass graduate student changed the way I bought comics. It made me think about what I was buying and when and for how much. As a result of this comic book, I stopped being an alt-comic completist and started putting back the same amount of money every week into a separate account and have that be the obsessive part of it. I then stopped buying anything day-of. That let me build a little bankroll. About six to eight weeks later, I'd skipped enough weekly books so as to afford myself the regular opportunity to buy every comic I wanted -- just as long as I was willing to wait for them.

A few years later I went to work for a comic company and never bought like a normal person again.

*****

imageOliver Ristau

1. Invaders #17
2. Shazam Nr.1
3 Punisher MAX #4 -- Up is Down and Black is White
4. Incredible Hulk #94
5. I remember Hulk #94 for the same reason I decided to purchase it in the first place: the two pages in it that were drawn by Alex Nino and the cover art by José Ladronn. The rest is of the average quality one is used to by visiting the house of ideas every once in a while, and so I wasn't surprised to meet elements of the story premise being recycled into the third Thor movie -- an idea as inspired and self-cannibalizing as coming up with ideas like Asguardians Of the Galaxy or Spider-Gwen.

*****

imageAndrew Mansell

1. Shazam #10
2. Superman Spectacular #1
3. Thor #302
4. X-Men Annual #7
5. The worst comic I had read up to that point. It began to destroy my super-hero buzz forever with one "pop". Kitty Porn indeed. Ick. But I never forgot it.

*****

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Marc Arsenault

1. Purgatory U.S.A. by Ed Brubaker - Cover art by the Hernandez "Bros."
2. Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 - Cover art by Jim Steranko
3. Action Comics #454 - Cover art by Bob Oksner
4. Street Music #4 - Cover art by Chester Brown
5. When I started reading comics again after a decade long burn out after my stint at Fantagraphics my most frustrating experience at the comics shop was seeing an awesome cover on a comic and then opening it up to see that the insides where nowhere near the same level. There are many many examples from before that period. These are the ones that came to mind. Number 4 being particularly disappointing.

*****
*****
 
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January 26, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Setting Up An MCA Exhibit At The Bruce


Yeah, No Idea What's Going On Here


School Walks Back Re-Classification Of Raina Telgemeier's Drama


Emma G. Wildford Graphic Novel Trailer


Albuquerque Comic Con Walk-Through
 
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If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 90th Birthday, Jules Feiffer!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Jacob Pander!

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Happy 83rd Birthday, Sal Buscema!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Damon Hurd!

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January 25, 2019


Go, Bookmark: Diskette Press

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Go, Look: Delphine Panique

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Go, Read: Steven Thompson Remembers Batton Lash

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Go, Read: The Life Of Gad Beck

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Girl Town. John Seven on Seven Places Without You.

* not comics: Tim Kreider on what the future will hate about us. I once read that the thing that will most puzzle people in the future is the widespread use of chemotherapy.

* not comics: I like reading comics, but sometimes you remember the Internet will tell you what happened to a book series you stopped reading when you were 12 years old.

* Chris Arrant asks comics readers which comic book series could use one more series.

* it hasn't been lost on professionals processing news about the departure of Mark Chiarello from DC Comics that rival Marvel needs a Mark Chiarello. I would say that's true of John Cunningham, too, given the longtime messy state of Marvel's book program. My understanding is that jobs at those two companies are very different, and not just because they're on opposite coasts now.

* finally: that's an attractive Superman comic-book cover.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Turtel Onli!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Chris Sotomayor!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Geoff Johns!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Chris Marshall!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Alan David Doane!

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Happy 81st Birthday, Leiji Matsumoto!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Elin Winkler!

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January 24, 2019


Go, Bookmark: Ink Logging

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WBCP-Driven Layoffs Hit DC; John Cunningham And Mark Chiarello Among Three Percent Of Staff Laid Off

Former DC staffer Heidi MacDonald has a good first-reaction piece here you can read backwards into the story itself. She also includes the text of a key announcement memo. I think it's appropriate to focus on the moves at the broader VP/SVP level.

imageIt may be worth noting that these moves come in the context of a lot of broader publishing-industry layoffs, most notably in the general Internet magazine/news site/eyeball-catching category. Tying them all together seems to a general desire to cut salaries and staff to make these companies leaner and more profitable, without addressing the very top-heavy places a lot of wealth settles in gigantic companies.

I imagine more comics pros will have had dealings with mega-influential art director Mark Chiarello and perhaps even longtime vet Hank Kanalz. The latter was not fired at all, and in fact ends up on top of one of the reshuffled divisions at DC. Expect a number of personal and professional appraisals of Chiarello and his accomplishments through the week. His has been the modern look of that storied company and as a result the look of much of comics. Myself, I will miss my occasional encounters with the apparently now-departed John Cunningham, whom I felt ran a tight ship that flattered the state of editorial at that company no matter how healthy or not-healthy creative might be. Cunningham always gave what seemed to me a no-nonsense appraisal of whatever part of DC's publishing business I asked him to assess, with a mastery of facts on hand that allowed him to argue forcefully in whatever direction he felt right. I'm grateful for his insight and wish him the best of luck with whatever no-doubt successful enterprise he begins next.

Many of the people to whom I spoke at the time thought DC's move to Burbank in 2015 signaled the end of the comics publisher being removed from these kind of more general company concerns. Given that thought, given the pro-publishing rhetoric of the memo, given the single-digit measurement of the firings, and given the unique nature of DC's business with so many niche-level sales items, I suppose one can make a positive or at least non-dire case for the implications here. I'm always a bit stressed out by people where I know what they do being replaced by people where I don't, bearing job titles I don't really understand. Additionally there's some really nuanced initiatives on the horizon for DC line-wise, with age-targeted standalones and sustaining the Wal-Mart comics, at a time when they could make some significant creative gains. All of this should bear watching.

My sympathies to anyone who will experience an element of life disruption based on these moves.
 
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Go, Look: Jul Gordon

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I was not aware of the Dinky Awards until 11 seconds ago, but here is a piece about submissions.

* here's Howard Chaykin being as clear as possible about his disappointment in being linked to much older work when presented to the attendees of a convention.

* finally: a career retrospective for Dave Cooper is great news, and if it means we get to look at archival discoveries along the way, even better.
 
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OTBP: Patent Depending

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on N For Nadelman.

* not comics: a bunch of journalists including a few cartoonists were laid off in a wave of firings by Gannett. To make this story a little more depressing, it's not really about the journalistic mission than about Gannett squaring off against rival Digital First Media.

* here's a list of formidable Canadian comics to be published this year. Canadian comics are more polite than US comics, and sport the occasional extra "u" in certain words.

* really long week, yeah. Sorry.

* finally: Coal Tiger 4-Ever.
 
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Happy 89th Birthday, John Romita Sr.!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Steve Geppi!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Ben Morse!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Lorenzo Mattotti!

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January 23, 2019


Rumiko Takahashi Wins 2019 Grand Prix At FIBD

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This is a great choice. The manga legend beat out Emmanuel Guibert and Chris Ware in the second round of voting for the award, which bring international attention and an opportunity to shake next year's show. Takahashi is only the second female cartoonist to win the award.

FIBD extends through the weekend.
 
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Go, Look: Graham Roumieu

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Go, Look: Mathilde Van Gheluwe

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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.

*****

NOV181710 OFF SEASON HC (MR) $24.95
This is a new James Sturm book and longer works by James are always welcome. He is one of the more consistent cartoonists working in the alt/arts world. This one is about the current American spiritual landscape, marriage and vocational struggle, which one guesses from the shape and nature of the acknowledgments is informed by Sturm's personal life. It reminds me of the approach that Sturm has taken with historical moments by foregrounding them, just with right now. I want to read it again.

SEP180261 PROBLEM OF SUSAN AND OTHER STORIES HC $17.99
This is a collection of Neil Gaiman work with exemplars of a kind of art used by Gaiman to provide a visual element to his comics stories. Might be thin page-wise, but I imagine there's gorgeous art in this one.

imageOCT181826 KAIJUMAX SEASON 4 #4 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99
OCT181623 WORN TUFF ELBOW #2 $7.95
NOV180515 WILD STORM #19 $3.99
NOV180165 MONSTRESS #19 (MR) $3.99
NOV180171 OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #38 (MR) $3.99
NOV180892 IMMORTAL HULK #12 $3.99
A solid to good week for comic-book format comics, although the one that jumped out at me most is a Marc Bell comic that strains at a standard definition for anything it does. I enjoy Zander Cannon's supermax prison comics about giant monsters; they are weird and surprisingly affecting. Marc Bell is a comics genius with whom we are luck to share space and time on this planet. I've enjoyed the deliberate pacing on the Warren Ellis reconsideration of the Wildstorm concept. Monstress is a big hit for its publisher and I imagine Outcast and Immortal Hulk to be modest ones that likely won't be around 18 months from now. I'm bad at betting that kind of thing, but Outcast I think a mere ten issues away from calling it a day. Who knows with iterations of Marvel characters?

NOV181855 COLLECTED TOPPI HC VOL 01 ENCHANTED WORLD $24.99
NOV181785 FISTFUL OF DRAWINGS SC $25.00
NOV181790 OLYMPIANS HC GN VOL 11 HEPHAISTOS GOD OF FIRE $18.99
NOV182111 RIPLEYS BELIEVE IT OR NOT TP $15.99
This is my go-and-look-at-it section, a mix of books I haven't seen before and ones I want to check on by group to see if they're possessing the energy they did at an earlier point. A good Toppi series would be wonderful.

NOV181779 EC JACK KAMEN AL FELDSTEIN MARTIAN MONSTER HC $29.99
The Fanta EC book formatting, which I don't like in theory but seem to enjoy like hell with the books.

NOV180081 PROXIMA CENTAURI TP (MR) $16.99
Farel Dalrymple is one of our great great visual cartoonists and everything he draws delights me. All the others on that crew are neat a

*****

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 Am Near A Computer Or In SF, I'll Go To This

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Go, Look: Tuna Dunn

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Annie Mok talks to Mickey Zacchilli. Mark Peters talks to Mike Norton.

* someone at VoyageLA talks to Robert Goodin, a longtime favorite of mine. He's one of those people that his not being able to work all the time making comics makes you feel comics is broken. Best Christmas card in the industry. The visuals used for the profile really pop on the screen. At least for me.

* not comics: Brian Fies on Marie Kondo is funny and touching.

* by request extra: I keep hoping to include this mention of a William Messner-Loebs benefit book in one of the By Request columns, but in case I don't I'll mention it here. Nice man, interesting creator, tough case.

* finally, I think I forgot to post this link to Fred Van Lente on proper comic script formatting. If I didn't, here it is again.
 
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Happy 85th Birthday, Don Wright!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Klaus Janson!

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January 22, 2019


Go, Look: Jessica Seamans

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Go, Look: Benoit Preteseille

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* lovely Drew Friedman cover for the next issue of Mineshaft. That Mary Fleener is swell.

* congratulations to Terry Moore, headed towards a significant milestone with his lifelong creation Strangers In Paradise. I don't think we make enough of creators like Moore, or the Pinis, or Meredith Gran, or whomever, reaching the end of the line with these sprawling creations. It's a very special thing to comics, this kind of work, and we have some of the best ones.

* hard to resist news of a Marvin Hamlisch graphic novel on its way in 2020.

* finally: totally missed this Spring 2019 at SelfMadeHero article. Box Brown doing a comic about weed!
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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OTBP: Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher Of Utopia

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Zack Soto has uploaded another Secret Voice installment, and that makes me happy.

* this description of Wolverine's powers now including hot claws makes me feel as if one problem with a lot of mainstream comics is narrative exhaustion. That's not a criticism of the creators involved, but man that's a lot of stories for a character that specific.

* Andy Oliver on Swim.

* Noah Berlatsky talks to Ariel Schrag.

* I'm late on everything, and writing comic books looks pretty hard, but delays in the first year on major titles is rough from a conventional wisdom industry institution perspective.

* finally: Rob Salkowitz looks at the DC superhero streaming service, including its approach to comics.
 
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Happy 38th Birthday, Jordan Shiveley!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Alex Ross!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Howard Mackie!

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January 21, 2019


Go, Look: Yannis La Macchia

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Go, Read: Is The Direct Market As Increasingly Screwed As Long-Time Commentators Seem To Believe?

Brian Hibbs chimes in on the state of non-returnability, and references a few recent articles from foundational Direct Market retailers we've also noted here at CR. It's a decent recap while getting in some insight from Brian's unique area of interest. Basically, the fundamental structure of the Direct Market of nonreturnable comics and comics-related products is under assault by entities that use it a cross-purposes in order to secure a slight, immediate advantage.

imageSo what to do? I'm not sure. One thing that's worrisome is that some of the adjustments have gone past people seeking short-term advantage and into people seeking a baseline of health. Things might get increasingly rigid from here. For instance it's believed many retailers have and will institute austerity measures on their ordering due to the inherent risk in over-extension involving poor product. That may help retailers from cutting their own throats, but it also makes the slow growth of a market working as it should almost impossible to reestablish.

I agree with Brian that something has to give. I might allow for content to be a bigger factor. I think the general quality of periodical publication is pretty terrible right now, especially the comic book series from Marvel and the licensed product work from other publishers. Working for Marvel and DC or for a toy that was a toy before it was a comic is not the top rung on the ambition ladder for a lot of creators, not anymore; it doesn't feel to some longtime observers to whom I speak like there's enough talent to support entire lines of comics, especially a quarter-century into multiple titles, constant relaunches and energy-diverting stops and starts. I think there a couple of hands left to be played -- if the writer Jonathan Hickman ends up in a mainstream gig soon, definitely note where -- but the best-case scenario is that the potential respite created leads to room for the reform of bad habits. It's hard to think one such miracle as that will happen, let alone two in close succession. Company to company, we're at the point it may be easier to conceive of the cessation of print than its rescue.
 
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Go, Look: Simon Roussin

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Angouleme Week Arrives With Emmanuel Guibert, Rumiko Takahashi, Chris Ware Your Grand Prix Finalists

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FIBD 2019 launches this week with three solid Grand Prix Finalists named six days ago, all boasting some level of popularity and sales success: Emmanuel Guibert, Rumiko Takahasi and Chris Ware.

I don't keep up with the ins and outs of the awards from year to year, but certainly that trio fulfills some of the general expressed hopes for a double-tiered voting system when the show moved in that direction. I would be happy for any of the three. That second link above should give vote details as to how that vote came together. Like many votes in comics, they were flattened a bit in terms of sheer numbers of those considered.

I also failed to post this year's official selection. That's the first step in designating several awards given out at the festival: a list of 40 to 45 book from which several awards finalists are named, including a tighter list dubbed the Essentials for that festival.

As usual, there's a bunch of interesting stuff on the list for a North American fan: Nina Bunjevac, Frank Santoro, Tom King/Mitch Gerards, Emil Ferris, Jeff Lemire, Jesse Jacobs and Nick Drnaso and a smattering of artists familiar from translation here. It does seem very male dominated broken down that way, which always needs to examined and discussed and potentially acted upon. I don't know that Santoro is the first English-language cartoonist to be nominated for work initially published in a language not the cartoonist's on, but it's a possibility.

Best of luck to all nominees and the winners announced this week.

*****
* Aile froide, Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette (Casterman)
* Alice dans le Sussex, Nicolas Mahler (L'Association)
* Andy, un conte, faits, Typex (Casterman)
* À travers, Tom Haugomat (Éditions Thierry Magnier)
* L'Arabe du futur Vol. 4, Riad Sattouf (Allary)
* Bezimena, Nina Bunjevac (Ici Même)
* Blue Giant Vol. 3, Shinichi Ishizuka (Glénat)
* Bolchoi Arena Vol. 1, Aseyn and Boulet (Delcourt)
* La Cantine, minuit Vol. 3, Yarô Abe (Le Lézard Noir)
* Charlotte impératrice Vol. 1, Matthieu Bonhomme and Fabien Nury (Dargaud)
* Les Chefs d'oeuvre, Lovecraft Vol. 1, Gou Tanabe (Ki-oon)
* Chroniques du léopard, Téhem and Appollo (Dargaud)
* Claudine à l'école, Lucie Durbiano (Gallimard)
* Courtes distances, Joff Winterhart [Ça et Là]
* Dansker, Halfdan Pisket (Presque Lune)
* Deux femmes, Song Aram [Ça et Là]
* Les Grands Espaces, Catherine Meurisse (Dargaud)
* Heimat, Nora Krug (Gallimard)
* Il faut flinguer Ramirez Vol. 1, Nicolas Petrimaux (Glénat)
* Indélébiles, Luz (Futuropolis)
* Istrati! Volume Two: L'écrivain, Golo (Actes Sud BD)
* Kimi le vieux chien, Nylso (Misma)
* Lune du matin, Francesco Cattani (Atrabile)
* Malaterre, Pierre-Henry Gomont (Dargaud)
* Moi, ce que j'aime, c'est les monstres, Emil Ferris, (Monsieur Toussaint Louverture)
* Peintures, guerre, Angel, la Calle (Otium)
* Pittsburgh, Frank Santoro [Ça et Là]
* Pline Volume Five: Sous les vents d'éole, Tori Miki and Mari Yamazaki (Casterman)
* Renaissance Volume One: Les Déracinés, Emem, Duval and Blanchard (Dargaud)
* Les Rigoles, Brecht Evens (Actes Sud BD)
* Royal City Volume Two: Sonic Youth, Jeff Lemire, (Urban Comics)
* Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (Presque Lune)
* Saltiness Vol. 3, Minoru Furuya (Akata)
* Servir le Peuple, Yan Lianke and Alex W. Inker, (Sarbacane)
* Sheriff of Babylon, Mitch Gerards and Tom King (Urban Comics)
* Sous la maison, Jesse Jacobs (Tanibis)
* Spirou: L'Espoir malgré tout Volume One, Émile Bravo (Dupuis)
* Sunny Sunny Ann!, Miki Yamamoto (Pika)
* Ted, drôle, coco, Émilie Gleason (Atrabile)
* The Artist Volume Two: Le cycle Éternelde, Anna Haifisch (Misma)
* Théodore Poussin Volume: Le Dernier Voyage, l'Amok, Frank le Gall (Dupuis)
* Le Vol nocturne, Delphine Panique, (Cornélius)
* Voyages en Égypte and en Nubie, Giambattista Belzoni Volume Two: Deuxième voyage, Grégory Jarry, Lucie Castel and Nicole Augereau (FLBLB)
* Wonderland Volume Three, Yugo Ishikawa (Panini Manga)
* Xibalba, Simon Roussin (2024)

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Gabo Illustrations

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Go, Look: Ellen Lindner's TCJ Diary

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Tom Kaczynski on The Drifting Classroom. It's an older review but a good one.

* the artist Steve Lieber collects all the convention portfolio advice he can into one place just in case you don't see him any time soon.

* not comics: things to buy. Well-designed t-shirt things.

* the writer Warren Ellis suggests a perfect format for his doing comics I've never heard any offer up as ideal before now.

* finally: congratulations to Robyn Chapman on her promotion.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Bob Weber Jr.!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Till Thomas!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Mark Martin!

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I Did Not Know There Are Moomin Wipes, But Of Course There Are Moomin Wipes

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photo supplied by Jordan Raphael
 
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January 20, 2019


By Request Extra: Matt Lesniewski Art Sale

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Go, Look: Caroline Breault

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OTBP: The Collected Cyanide Milkshake

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Happy 51st Birthday, Gerry Alanguilan!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Keith Pollard!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Alexander Danner!

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Happy 75th Birthday, Bill Griffith!

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FFF Results Post #515: On Delay

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics Narratives Where There Was A Significant Delay -- For Whatever Reason -- Between When You Started And When You Finished." This is how they responded.

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth (1978-2016)
2. V for Vendetta (1982-2003)
3. Bruno Brazil: La Nuit des Chacals/Sarabande à Sacramento (1973-2013)
4. American Flagg (1983-2009)
5. Nemesis, the Warlock (1980-1984)

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Cerebus (1977 to 2004)
2. Flash Gordon (1934-1943)
3. I.N.V.U. (2000-2007)
4. Captain Marvel vs The Monster Society Of Evil (1943-1945)
5. Yotsuba&! (2003 - 2018)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Camelot 3000 (1982-1985)
2. Avengers/Defenders War (1973-1980)
3. The Sand Superman Saga (1971-1994)
4. Miracleman Vol. 1 (1985-1994)
5. Peanuts (1972-2016)

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Corto Maltese (1986-2019)
2. Lance (2008-2019)
3. Planetary (1999-2009)
4. Steve Canyon (1986-2019)
5. Clyde Fans (2000-2019)

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Section Zero (2000-2018)
2. Planetary (2001-2009)
3. Lone Wolf & Cub (1987-2002)
4. The Last Avengers Story (1995-2003)
5. Howard the Duck (1986-2016)

*****

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John Vest

1. Omaha The Cat Dancer (1982 - 2013)
2. Border Worlds (1985 - 2017)
3. Rocketeer (1982 - 1984)
4. Puma Blues (1986 - 2015)
5. Alien Fire (1987 - 1995)

*****

thanks to all that participated

*****
*****
 
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January 19, 2019


Oh No Oh No The Entropy Twins Are Dead

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Bob Andelman Interviews Clay Jones


Jeff Stahler On Broad And High


Matt Harrison's Cartoonist Kayfabe Fan Comic


Anders Nilsen From A Mentoring Program


Marisa Acocella Profiled
 
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OTBP: N For Nadelman

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Go, Look: Bilquis Evely

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Happy 54th Birthday, Frank Cammuso!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Barbara Canepa!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Guy Delisle!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Thomas Yeates!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Joe Staton!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Scott Tipton!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Don MacPherson!

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January 18, 2019


Go, Read: Tony Fitzpatrick On Absinthe Birds

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Eisner Judges Pick Aparo, Tarpe Mills, Stevens, Turner For HOF; Four More To Be Voted In For July

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Announcement here. That's a diverse and interesting group -- by sample order above Jim Aparo, June Tarpé Mills, Dave Stevens, Morrie Turner -- and continue recent trends in selection. The judges also selected the nominated comics figures for voting. Four more will be named to the Hall that way. The latter group will be announced and both groups celebrated at the Eisner Awards in July.

The nominees are:

* Brian Bolland
* Kevin Eastman
* José Luis Garcia-Lopez
* Lynn Johnston
* Jenette Kahn
* Paul Levitz
* Alex Niño
* Lily Renée Peter Phillips
* Wendy & Richard Pini
* P. Craig Russell (pictured below)
* Bill Sienkiewicz
* Don & Maggie Thompson
* Akira Toriyama
* Naoki Urasawa

The Eisners have put their descriptions of the nominees here. I will certainly be able to find four nominees for whom I can happily vote, and I wish everyone good luck. One thing that strikes me about this list is I'm less certain than usual where the voting will land -- there are a lot of popular types of comics figures which usually receive voting attention competing against one another this year. Should be fun to see how it works out.

This year's judges are Chris Arrant, Jared Gardner, Traci Glass, Jenn Haines, Steven Howearth and Jimmie Robinson. Final round votes are done through Eisnervote.com.

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Go, Look: Brady Evans

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Collective Memory: Batton Lash, 1953-2019

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this post has been archived
 
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Go, Look: The Cost Of A Government Shutdown

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Assembled Extra: Comics Workbook Relaunching Site

Looks like we'll have a new Comics Workbook site in six weeks. It makes sense to have that site reboot itself every few years as much attention they spend on how exactly the basic models work on their behalf. I look forward to the result.
 
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If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Bill Everett Pencil Drawings Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on a bunch of comics by Reilly Hadden. Todd Klein on Green Lantern #3. Andy Oliver on Chlorine Gardens. Johanna Draper Carlson on Is Kichijoji The Only Place To Live? Volume Five.

* Heidi MacDonald calls attention to a recent Hannah Berry article about Berry's financial situation over a three-year stretch, and the saving grace of a partner making wages to live on. I think this is the new mission that now that the literary value and cultural impact of comics is no longer in question: return as much money and support to the creative class as possible. That doesn't automatically mean the problem is solved; my guess is that no matter how many cartoonists see a return that allows their work to be supported there will be three others that wish it to be so. But as many cross that threshold, the better; and to push at the limits of sustainable return better lets us know what's possible.

* finally: DT Max profiles Nick Drnaso.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Mike Lynch!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Charles Yoakum!

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Happy 85th Birthday, Raymond Briggs!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Yvan Alagbé!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Christian Durieux!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Alan Gardner!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Patrick Lesueur!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Stephen DeStefano!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Frank Quitely!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Scott Mills!

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January 17, 2019


Go, Look: Diigii Daguna

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Go, Read: Progressive Taxation: How Does It Work?

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* this article about the impact that social media has on community spaces also would seem to have a lot to say about comics community spaces with an even less thorough commitment to space in the real world.

* PFC #6 is on. That gathering of top-level talent for camaraderie-generating comics-making and exercises is a wonderful way to orient your show towards the act of comics-making. Everywhere you look is an interesting cartoonist.

* here's a call for entries for a comics-related contest tied into the Lake Oswego Festival For The Arts.

* finally: Comic-Con fixture Pam Noles has a big-bags conversion business, complete with store. There is nothing I dislike about this story.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Gill Fox Covers

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Go, Look: Three Stooges Comic Book Photo Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on The Don Rosa Library Volume Eight. HW Thurston on Vanishing Act. Andy Oliver on My Father Was A Fisherman. Henry Chamberlain on Alpha: Abdijan To Paris.

* here's a story over at CBLDF using benign cartoons of Liz Climo's tagged by Tumblr as adult content that is not adult content, with blame put on the technology used and what many feel is an unfortunate decision to remove content of that type from the site in the first place. I have yet to read up on that whole thing, although I know that Tumblr fell out of favor with the majority of artists I know months and months and months ago.

* here's Comics MNT on the launch of an erotic series from BOOM!. I thought we'd have a lot more sexy straight-up superhero stories this decade. Something to look forward to, I guess.

* David Betancourt talks to David F. Walker.

* finally: the late Stan Lee and the not-really-her-name Olivia Jaimes share the industry person of the year survey honor at The Beat.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Ann Nocenti!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Tom Brevoort!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Joseph Lambert!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Jon B. Cooke!

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January 16, 2019


Go, Look: Der-Shing Helmer

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Go, Look: Abortion Is Illegal In Lebanon, But That Hasn't Stopped Abortions

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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.

*****

OCT181745 DOG MAN GN VOL 06 BRAWL OF THE WILD $9.99
I am not finding very many comics at all this week, but post-holiday and post-SDCC time slots are difficult for my specific reading tastes. Shoot me any suggestions I'm missing, particularly if they're obvious. In the meantime, it's certainly noteworthy when Dav Pilkey drops a book in one of his sales-juggernaut series. I get asked about these comics by kids of friends more than any other series.

MAR180562 LOST GIRLS HC EXPANDED ED (MR) $49.99
JUL180943 RICK VEITCH THE ONE HC $29.99
NOV181784 ETERNAUT HC (CURR PTG) $49.99
Three newer/different editions of solid to excellent graphic novels, the kind a serious colleciton might have in its library. I have no idea if there's been backlash against Lost Girls, though it seems a candidate for that kind of analysis. It's nice having Rick Veitch back, generally. The Eternaut is on my reading table as we speak.

NOV180199 WICKED & DIVINE #41 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99
NOV180200 WICKED & DIVINE #41 CVR B GANUCHEAU (MR) $3.99
SEP180696 DICK TRACY DEAD OR ALIVE #3 (OF 4) CVR A ALLRED $3.99
SEP180697 DICK TRACY DEAD OR ALIVE #3 (OF 4) CVR B TOMMASO $3.99
One recent sales and buzz stalwart and one project with a lot of interesting names attached. I think that's one away from the end for the Wicked & Divine gang. That's going to be a comic that comes up a lot 5-7 years from now with young mainstream and indy/genre creators.

MAY182059 KIRBY & LEE STUF SAID $24.95
I like the idea here -- a look at the creation of Marvel's 1960s comics based on the extensive on-the-record testimony and evidence-in-hand. It's all in the execution, of course.

*****

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: Clark Kent Into Superman Images

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Go, Look: Leonard Starr's Mysto

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alenka Figa on Fashion Forecasts.

* not comics: my brother Whit told me these are the tribute ads that were placed in Hollywood Reporter in honor of Stan Lee after his passing; Maggie Loesch (longtime Marvel Productions head), DC Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, the five main Avengers cast members, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney/Marvel. I'm not sure why I find that interesting, but I do.

* not comics: hey, it's a geek-related writing job! I don't remember which geek site this is but it sounds like one of the important ones.

* this kind of avoidance/swapping is par for the course in many American newspapers, but if you make promises about changes in content you might as well be held to the result.

* finally: LA Zine Fest applications end tonight at 11:59 PM. That's a June show.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Al Davison!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Eleanor Davis!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Jamie Coville!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Frédéric Boilet!

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January 15, 2019


Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Peter Kuper

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Go, Read: History Of Helioscope Twitter Thread From May I Think Of This Year But Oh God Who Knows

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Here. It's at least a half-year old, but I think the basic principles stand. This is the shared workspace in Portland. No idea where the industry goes from here but I think all non-publisher groups are important until that gets figured out. I find interesting the way the studio becomes modular when address certain kinds of financial opportunities: studio-wide creative projects, sketch projects by individual creators.
 
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Go, Look: George Herriman Illustrates Archy's Life Of Mehitabel

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a Rufus Marigold collection coming. There was a point when I thought that print publishing would be dominated by webcomics efforts, which hasn't really come through.

* DD Degg walks us through a purge of strips at the Boston Globe, followed by a partial reprieve for many of the offerings.

* finally: it makes perfect sense to me that there'd be another version of the Ralph Reese/Byron Preiss effort One Year Affair, but I'm always amazed by how many thing I've imagined reprinted have been reprinted. I'm really running out at this point. I'm sure Byron Preiss did a collection back in the day.

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Go, Look: My Paycheck

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Go, Look: Dick Briefer Draws Jughead

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* missed that Brad Anderson joins the recent list of all-stars donating material to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. I have to figure that is a substantial collection given the length of Anderson's run and the success of his high name recognition panel.

* Mike Lynch wishes the great Peter Arno a happy 115th birthday.

* meet Naomi. I would think creating a bunch of new characters and have their stories involve a set of backgrounds more diverse than a group of people felt comfortable using in 1948 would be fun for creators and for readers. Why should this be overthought?

* bundled extra: don't think I'd stopped and looked at the cover and details on Peter Bagge's Rose Wilder Lane book before last weekend.

* Rob Clough on comics by Jen Vaughn and Moss Bastille. Austin Price on Bloodstrike: Brutalists.

* finally: this is some book cover by Hannes Bok.
 
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Happy 34th Birthday, Jacq Cohen!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Scott Snyder!

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January 14, 2019


Go, Look: Paul Mavrides Images

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Collective Memory: Batton Lash, 1953-2019

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Go, Look: Bob Brown Cover Art Mini-Gallery

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By Request Extra: Patreons For Carol Tyler, Rich Tommaso

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Tracking creator Patreon accounts has been slightly more difficult than I thought it would be. One reason is that the creators themselves tend to dip into and out of various community fundraising methods including Patreon. I will endeavor to do better.

A quick look around reveals two veteran alt-comics creators have jumped back onto Patreon with campaigns aimed at specific projects. The wonderful cartoonist Carol Tyler is looking for support to complete The Ephemerata: Shaping the Exquisite Nature of My Grief. That next book is about a recent period of great and repetitive personal loss for the artist, and the oncoming public takeover of her home. Tyler's plan is to relocate to a farm she's rehabilitating -- there will likely be another focused fundraising campaign to cover some of those costs. This one is for the comics work, and there can never be enough support for comics work from Carol Tyler.

Rich Tommaso is asking for support in making his Black Phoenix, a multiple-serial, multiple-genre magazine that looks as if it will seek to take advantage of Patreon's ability to create and fulfill a market's desire for a work without outside factors coming to bear. Tommaso is an influential visual creator, and his recent work has been great-looking.

Any other creators out there that are getting back into patreon as a tool, please know this column is I don't always see everything on my own.

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Go, Look: Passion's Pawn

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OTBP: Comics Research Bibliography 2018 Editions

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*****

* Printed Edition 2018 Vol. 1
* Printed Edition 2018 Vol. 2.
* Both Printed Editions In PDF Form

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

image* Christiana Salah talks to RJ Casey.

* saw this picture of Bob Fingerman and Eric Reynolds on the front porch of Fantagraphics and enjoyed it. I believe Fingerman is out West now, orienting towards opportunities like MAD and more broadly as a writer. As far as the photo goes, I think those chairs have been out there since 1994. There are probably a lot fewer cigarette butts just out of frame than might have existed back in the day.

* editorial cartoonists address the subject of Trump's Wall.

* not comics: it's been fun watching various Seattle comics personalities say goodbye to the Viaduct, an oddly charming but decidedly anachronistic visual gateway to one of comics' great cities. Comics has a big heart when it comes to those kinds of things.

* festivals extra: tomorrow is I believe the last day for the latest Call For Papers from the CSSC. That's a June conference, I think.

* Rob Clough on books by Aaron Cockle. Matt Seneca and Joe McCulloch discuss Parallel Lives. John Seven on Kingdom.

* finally: Marylou Tousignant profiles Robert Ripley.
 
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Happy 7th Anniversary, Study Group Comic Books!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Nomi Kane!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Gabe Fowler!

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January 13, 2019


Go, Look: Moebius For Maxwell Coffee

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Go, Look: Beautiful Frank Imagery

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Happy 86th Birthday, Ron Goulart!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Anina Bennett!

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FFF Results Post #514: Animal Magnetism

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics Characters You Like That Have Some Sort Of Animal-Man Hybrid Element To Them." This is how they responded.

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Hobbes
2. Bucky (Get Fuzzy)
3. Grimm
4. Detective Chimp
5. Hieronymus Flask

*****

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John Quring

* Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
* Usagi Yojimbo
* John Blacksad
* the Beagle Boys
* Gyro Gearloose

*****

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David Robertson

1. Howard the Duck
2. Jaxxon
3. Man-Bat
4. Man-Wolf
5. Usagi Yojimbo

*****

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Tim Hayes

1. Sensitive Klegg (2000AD)
2. Starfish (Nocturnals)
3. Detective Chimp (DC)
4. Ferdinand the Minotaur chef (DC)
5. Sauron (Marvel)

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. Gooseberry Sprigg
2. Scrooge McDuck
3. Inspector Canardo
4. Saubon
5. Herbert de Vaucanson

*****

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John Vest

1. Omaha
2. Mr. Tawky Tawny
3. Gregor The Purple-Assed Baboon
4. Hugo
5. Fritz

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. G'nort
2. Shoe
3. Lupe Impala
4. Black Catfish
5. Landwolf

*****

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Mike Pfefferkorn

1. Gladstone Gander
2. Archie LeBrock
3. Kelly O'Hare
4. Man-Bat
5. "Churchy" LaFemme

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Frank Page's Bob the Squirrel
2. Larry Elmore's Snarf
3. Krosp from Girl Genius
4. Tracy J. Butler's Rocky Rickaby
5. The "panda attack" panda from PvP

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Howard the Duck
2. Donald Duck
3. Scrooge McDuck
4. Daffy Duck
5. Dirty Duck

*****

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Dave Knott

* Binky
* Cerebus
* Archie LeBrock
* Lapinot
* Canardo

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Mr. Tawky Tawny
2. Snoopy
3. Raul
4. Oedi
5. Rocket Raccoon

*****

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Des Devlin

1. Rudy in Hollywood
2. Werewolf Jones
3. Kolin Kelly, maker of bricks
4. The weary urban cockroach from MAD #199
5. The scattering people from MAD #199

*****

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Michael Neno

* Grandma Duck
* Mister Sacker
* Squeak the Mouse
* Snowy
* Beppo

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Lurchi
2. Mecki
3. The Artist
4. Omaha, The Cat Dancer
5. Paperinik

*****

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Michael Catron

1. Animan
2. Rex, the Wonder Dog
3. Insect Queen (Lana Lang)
4. Fish Police
5. Xal-Kor the Human Cat

*****

thanks to all that participated

*****
*****
 
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January 12, 2019


Batton Lash, RIP

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Go, Look: Cairo Under The Crackdown

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Go, Read: Who Gets Called An "Unfit" Mother?

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Go, Look: Dustooned

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Happy 51st Birthday, John Jackson Miller!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Joe Quesada!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Damian Duffy!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Andrew Wales!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Takehiko Inoue!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Hans Rickheit!

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January 11, 2019


Go, Look: Sam Grinberg

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Collective Memory: Best Comics And Graphic Novels Lists For 2018

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Go, Look: Evah Fan

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Go, Look: Guice Mann

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Go, Look: Blame This On The Boogie Excerpt

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my goodness the colors in this book
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on High Heaven #4. Sean Gaffney on Silver Spoon Vol. 6.

* critic and general writer-about-comics drops a giant public confession post on Facebook on the occasion of halving his regular freelance gig to take on his Stan Lee book. You don't see to many of those types of essays from that side of the creative/critical community. I look forward to his Lee book: there's a lot of material to be covered since 2003, and Lee's passing may change what's available about Lee's first eight decades. We're also at the point where people are passing away in the natural course of things that didn't even work with Lee until he was 50, and I'm grateful a lot of them will be interviewed sooner rather than later.

* I totally missed this unique-sounding collection donation to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. I'm so very excited about comics and comic art curation generally.

* finally: all hail Don Labriola, patron saint of comics Internet allies. Back in the CompuServe days at Fantagraphics, Mr. Labriola was our only friend. What a weird time for comics.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Clint Hollingsworth!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Neil Cohn!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Sam Kieth!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Bob Harras!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Terry Beatty!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Lucy Knisley!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Gil Roth!

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January 10, 2019


Michael Dooley Comics Best Lists For 2018

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Hey, A New Comic Is Out By Someone I Know

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It's maybe not all the way out but it's close enough to say something.

Publisher. Amazon. Tour. Comic shops are best.
 
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Go, Look: Evan M Cohen

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* James Sturm has an events-heavy small tour planned in support of Off Season. Sturm is good on his feet and well worth your comics-focused time.

* good luck and safe travel to all of those making the sojourn to France for the Angouleme Festival. That may sound early, but I've talked to two US people making extended trips that have already had their mail held. Because he's not one to participate in such things, the parts of the show devoted to Richard Corben should be really interesting. They've done a great jobs with major exhibits recently, and that one could really be something to see.

* if you haven't done a check of exhibitor/vendor/attendee registration deadlines for all your favorite shows, I'd suggest doing that sooner rather than later. I know that CXC ramps up its exhibitor application on February 1, and our show isn't until late September. One thing I've noticed from my position is that it looks like -- by which I mean it seems to me -- that Comic-Con may be trying to streamline its press registration by leaving more in the hands of sponsoring publications. I sympathize; that's a huge group and I think a lot of people with press passes are attending that show more than they're maybe covering an aspect of that show.

* this is an interesting investment from D+Q considering their limited classic con/festival attendance right now. Sounds smart to me.

* finally, I ran into this 2015 panorama shot of the San Diego Convention Center which makes it look like there's a corner and two directions one might head rather than one long front sidewalk. That is one big facility. Taking a second look, that might be 2018 due to no cars/buses/etc. on that immediately proximate driveway.

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Go, Look: Katy Farina

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Go, Explore: Bustletown

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on The Devil Is A Part-Timer Vol. 12. Rob Clough on Brainworm #1-2. Sean Gaffney on The Asterisk War: Idol Showdown.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Rob Jackson!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Kelly Tindall!

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January 9, 2019


Go, Look: Rian Sygh

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Nate Powell And His Dry Erase Board Sends Everyone In The Industry To Bed With Headaches

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Brian Fies has the strongest contextual post about these dire figures from cartoonist Nate Powell, riffing on some lowball expectations for writing that came out in the UK this wee. This reminds me that there were about a half-dozen established pro that at some point in the month of December admitted to radically re-thinking the place of comics in their creative careers. There have also been some retailers asking for broader industry change. It's not a great situation out there in terms of feeling positive about the return that comics may bring, and that provides psychic wear and tear left unchecked. Be careful out there, and nice to one another.
 
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Go, Look: JGV

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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.

*****

NOV181768 HOBO MOM HC $14.99
I don't know much about Charles Forsman and Max de Radigues as creative partners. I know that I should. I do remember that the latter did one of the better comics in Forsman's mail-order mini-comics business from a few years back, and that they share similar sensibilities. Forsman's higher profile should place this project in a few more laps, and as I like both comics-makers, I'm glad. I'm also always to put a name alt-effort at the top of a DM shipping list. It's rare these days.

OCT181812 AXE-MAN OF NEW ORLEANS SC $9.99
This is a softcover version of Rick Geary's under-appreciated true historical crime series. I love this price point for a book from Geary, as his work is one of the more dense narrative and visual information wise. I always find something to like in these.

imageOCT180733 LOEG TEMPEST #4 ONEILL CVR $4.99
NOV180021 CRIMINAL #1 (MR) $3.99
My comics pals and I have been talking about the use and utility of modern comic-book format comics, and it strikes me that the ones worth reading do have a sense of purpose serialization-wise. It may not be an easy default format for comics anymore. These are both fun book by thoughtful creators, and you'll want both in some format at some point.

AUG180760 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 25 $44.99
Dick Tracy is on my list of major work I enjoy but don't love. I get its visual power but even that feels like more flash than substance to me. It's always difficult for me to process a style or approach that I'm told is important but never all the way why. Still a great series, though and they're more fun to read in collected form than I remembered before they started doing this series.

OCT182131 INVITATION FROM A CRAB GN $12.95
This is one for which I have information going on, so I'd be dying to pick one up and hold it in a store. Sneaky-appealing title, too.

NOV181984 LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS GN $19.99
NOV181878 PHILIP K DICK A COMICS BIOGRAPHY HC $24.99
Biographies are almost all in the execution, and these are two worth subjects. Douglass in particular is fascinating, and comics would be a great place to establish mood and context in terms of that fascinating life. I enjoy Philip K. Dick without being totally taken with Philip K. Dick, and I'm not sure I have enough curiosity to get me through the book unless it itself is well done.

OCT181892 NOTHING NICE TO SAY GN (MR) $24.99
I never know how seriously to take claims of popularity for a webcomic, but I like punk memoirs, so I'd definitely take a peek.

OCT181861 TRISH TRASH ROLLERGIRL OF MARS OMNIBUS GN $19.99
OCT181862 TRISH TRASH ROLLERGIRL OF MARS OMNIBUS HC $29.99
Jessica Abel I see mostly as a kind of self-help, general-creativity and productivity guru. There is nothing wrong with that; I can always use that kind of help! It's been a while since I've read her comic work, and I look forward to correcting that in the next few days.

OCT181585 WARREN TUFTS COMPLETE LANCE 1955-1960 HC $100.00
No idea for whom this book might appeal, but it is occasionally really gorgeous and was quite the popular offering of its time. Thanks god for libraries.

OCT181571 TIMELY CONFIDENTIAL WHEN GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS WAS YOUNG SC $39.95
This is Allan Belman's story, probably the final Golden Age creator to go through the whole discovery process whereby the artist learns that people are interested in this long-ago job of theirs. High end production is a hope here, so definitely god bless a comic shop that lets you see it.

JUL188260 STAN LEE STORY TASCHEN DLX ED $1500.00
Well, that's a price point. The interesting thing here is that Roy Thomas did the writing, and that's a person with the writing and personal experience to write an excellent book. I can't imagine a scenario under which I'll be able to read it, so I hope it's good. Nice to see the Leader get a little drive-to color on the cover≥

*****

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: James F. Wright

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Go, Look: More Madman Pin-Ups

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul O'Brien on Weapon X #22-27. Rob Clough on comics by Denis St. John. Sean Gaffney on Kimagure Orange Road Vol. 1.

* this Hulk comic sounds pretty damn bleak.

* just another reminder the gofundme helping those sued by publisher and creator Cody Pickrodt stalled out a while back. I assume there will be additional pushes, but if this reminder gets you interested in any sort of donation ahead of that time, that's great. I think it's important people be allowed to inform their communities about a negative interpretation of an event without being held to some sort of dormitory hallway standard of proof applied to a restricted selection of accusations.

* it's been a while since I checked in on Make It Then Tell Everybody. I'm assuming the Kristyna Baczynski, the Ben Sears and the Erin Nations are new enough to deserve a mention here.

* this comic Peter Bagge did about criminal justice system reform is about as bleak as anything he's done of a political nature.

* finally: The Year In Illustration.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Frank Margerin!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Sean Azzopardi!

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Happy 29th Birthday, Minna Sundberg!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Booksteve!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Art Baxter!

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January 8, 2019


Go, Look: Josh Cloud

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Egad, Someone Found A First-Month Little Orphan Annie Strip

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I don't know a lot about the comics art auction business, but this is a pretty cool thing that something like this could just be found.
 
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Go, Look: Kevin VQ Dam

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* looks like the Eleanor Davis serialized work Tomorrow will be out this Fall -- at some point this Fall, as Amazon.com's exact dates go only so far to allow a rough measure -- as The Hard Tomorrow. Davis is one of our most formidable creators.

image* this back-and-forth between two people that seem fans of Marvel Comics covering that company's output pretty close can be interesting if you have a different perspective going in. That seems a pretty lost line to me, a few scattered titles garnering most of the attention with the bulk being indistinguishable in most ways from previous invigoration efforts at the company. Not exactly the revival promised.

* Mary Fleener's early-March-arriving book with Fantagraphics is among those antcipated-in-2019 volumes under the spotlight provided here. I have missed Fleener's presence in the general marketplace for years now.

* finally: Sarah McIntyre's Grumpycorn is due this Spring.

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Go, Look: Steph Guez

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Go, Look: Dog In Yard

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Edwin Turner on The Labyrinth. Rob Clough on a group of CCS-related cartoonists. Todd Klein on Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter Of Terror #1.

* I've received a few e-mails about this Phil Boyle column on a combination of survival strategies and suggestions for same from other in terms of negotiating an increasingly byzantine and self-defeating comics-ordering landscape. I think there's an enormous amount of pressure on certain elements of the comics community to meet specific goals, and for years this has set up a tremendous imbalance in the marketplace. I don't see a way to walk all of it back when the basic situations facing these actors differ so strongly. It is refreshing to hear some plain talk about how certain strategies just may no longer be supportable on any level. It feels like we're near a cyclical low point and it should be interest to see how long comics stay there, how long certain models can remain viable.

*

* finally: I almost missed this, but Sarah Gaydos has assumed Editor-In-Chief responsibilities at Oni Press, having joined them less than a year ago most recently in charge licensed material. She is best known for a group editor stint at IDW. That's a quick rise for a company with Oni's relative stability, a sign they think very highly of their new EiC. We wish positive results for all involved.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Ken Steacy!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Boris Vallejo!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Domingos Isabelinho!

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January 7, 2019


Go, Look: Carly Lake

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Collective Memory: Best Comics And Graphic Novels Lists For 2018

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this post has been archived
 
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Bundled Extra: John Porcellino Writes About The Move Away From His Small-Press Distribution Work

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Here.

John's a pretty ideal blogger: forthcoming, natural voice, and full of information about items of importance starting with the fantastic comics he makes and continuing into the sometimes-remarkable comics he finds to distribute in idiosyncratic times sales-wise. It's a miracle he's been able to do some good work in this tough area, and despite the unlikely nature of that success it's even better he plans to spend more time post-50 making his great comics and doing things of a personal nature. There's no more admirable artist or industry figure in comics, and everything he chooses to do should be supported.

Porcellino's latest issue of his long-running King-Cat Comics & Stories and his most recent collection From Lone Mountain were among the best comics of 2018.
 
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Go, Look: Sunmi

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By Request Extra: Booksteve Could Use Some Help

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Steven Thompson, one of the most devoted comics-content bloggers for years and years, could use a boost. It is a very modest request. I hope you'll join me in considering it.
 
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Go, Look: Nico Sprinkles Art

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Go, Look: More Mid-20th Century Gag Cartoons

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Batman Annual #3. Rob Clough on comics by Rainer Kannenstine. Todd Klein on The Dreaming #4. Johanna Draper Carlson on Catwoman/Tweety And Sylvester Special #1.

* here's a few wise words from that gentlest of men David Lasky about comics.

* Joel Lang profiles Mady G.

* not comics: the idea of active morality clauses in publishing projects seems like a minefield to me, although it's difficult to argue coherently for there being fewer consequences for shitty behavior. I don't know of these in comics, although the contracts/assignments are short-term and allow for course correction in publishing relationships at a number of junctures.

* here's a story about cartoonists being invited aboard a sailing ship in order to document its journey.

* I did not know being casteist was a thing, but it makes sense it would be. It cost one cartoonist their job.

* finally: J. Caleb Mozzocco digs into the designs used by Shiori Teshirogi's Batman And The Justice League Vol. 1.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Bob Wiacek!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Karl Kesel!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Kevin Dooley!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Aaron Lopresti!

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January 6, 2019


By Request Extra: Barbara Shermund's Burial Fund Only Half Of The Way To Reaching Fulfillment

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What an interesting and important artist. Barbara Shermund deserves to find her final resting place, and I ask you to read about the artist and the campaign and please consider a donation.

GoFundMe here.

Information on the new and astonishing Shermund exhibit at the Billy Ireland here.
 
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Go, Look: Viet Vu

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OTBP: Cassette Comics

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If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Keren Katz!

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FFF Results Post #513: Tweeter

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Comics Industry Events Where You Would Have Loved To Have Read The Next 24 Hours Of Reaction On Twitter. Name One Event You Would Have Liked To Have Seen Live-Tweeted, And The Person Doing The Tweeting." This is how they responded.

*****

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Jog Mac

1. William Randolph Hearst buys out the New York World’s cartoonists
2. Bill Gaines testifies before Congress
3. The debut and early months of Action at IPC
4. Foundation of the Comic Book Creators Guild
5. That time Tom Sutton went to an event at Jim Warren’s mansion and found a bunch of his original art hanging on the walls, so he took them off the wall and left, livetweeted by Tom Sutton.

*****

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Bryan Munn

1. Playgirl names Jim Shooter top eligible bachelor
2. It Ain’t Me Babe
3. Stan at Carnegie Hall
4. Al Capp at the bed-in
5. Gaines in Kefauver hearings

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. The 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency;
2. The sentencing of Mike Diana in 1994;
3. The 1994 acquisition of Heroes World by Marvel;
4. The announcement of the Pulitzer Prize special award to Art Spiegelman for Maus in 1992;
5. The elaboration of the Top 100 comics of the century list, published in The Comics Journal #210, tweeted by the then editor.

*****

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Jason Green

1. The result of the vote to kill Jason Todd
2. Announcement of the founding of Image Comics
3. Rob Liefeld being fired from Image Comics (and Marc Silvestri coming back after previously quitting)
4. Release of the first issue of Kickers, Inc.
5. Premiere of the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie, by Chris Sims

*****

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Matthew Craig

1. Founding of Image Comics.
2. The imposition of the Comics Code.
3. And the Code-free "drugs" story in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98.
4. The Powerless Mod Wonder Woman story, beginning or end.
5. Livetweeting The Moon Landing With Stan Lee!

PS: I had the chance to read some of the earliest comics-related discussions on Usenet a couple of years back. Incredible to see people talking about single issues of Watchmen and Transformers or Peter and Mary Jane's Wedding in more or less real-time.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. The Publication Of Cerebus #186.
2. Kirby Leaves Marvel, Heads To DC.
3. Jim Shooter Fired By Marvel.
4. The Death Of Raven Sherman.
5. Steranko Hosts The Harveys, By Chip Kidd.

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. Launch of Milestone Comics.
2. Jack Anderson's reporting on Al Capp's sexual misdeeds.
3. Publication of Mad #11.
4. Premiere of Destroyer Duck.
5. Alexandra DeWitt's corpse discovered in a refrigerator (Green Lantern #54), by Gail Simone.

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Franklin debuts in Peanuts
2. Death of Mary Gold (mind-boggling!)
3. Leak of the Shooter "Little fucks" memo
4. Publication of first JLA/JSA cross-over
5. SDCC 1976 and Vaughn Bode's untimely passing By Patrick Rosenkranz

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. The introduction of Franklin to the cast of Peanuts.
2. The dawning of a new era for men's costumes in the Legion Of Super-Heroes series.
3. The rape of Ms. Marvel.
4. Keith Giffen swiping from Josè Munoz.
5. DC/Vertigo releases Hellblazer #141 in 1999 (which they didn't), by Dana Loesch.

*****

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Andrew Otis Weiss

1. Watchmen #1.
2. Crisis on Infinite Earths
3. The debut of the Fourth World books.
4. The death of the Doom Patrol
5. Giant-Size X-Men #1.

*****

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Greg Araujo

1. Alpha Flight #12
2. Secret Wars II
3. Justice League Detroit debut in Justice League of America Annual #2
4. McFarlane, Lee, Liefeld & co, leaving Marvel to form Image
5. The death of Iris Allen in Flash #275

*****

thanks to all that participated

*****
*****
 
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January 5, 2019


Go, Look: Twilight Of The Bat

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OTBP: Mythical Sea Monsters

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If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This

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Happy 78th Birthday, Hayao Miyazaki!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Alexis E. Fajardo!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Eric Haven!

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January 4, 2019


CR Review: Heroes For Hire #5

imageCreators: John Ostrander, Pascual Ferry, Jaime Mendoza
Publishing Information: Marvel, comic-book format, 32 pages, November 1997, $1.99.
Ordering:

This comic book ended up in my possession when Laughing Ogre donated some giveaway comic books to Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. It looked like an aggressively 1997 mainstream comic so I've read it a few times wile the pile of like books marches by. It's fairly bonkers. I know there's a re-appreciation of terrible 1990s superhero comic books, I think in part because of ragged awfulness and excess of their storytelling and the thoroughness to which many of them give themselves over to the propulsive aspects of the story. Everything in this comic is designed to make my head hurt, including any appearance by supporting cast members.

I don't remember a lick of plot, but I do remember a White Tiger that's an actual tiger. That seems like something that led nowhere interesting. As if summoned forth by that notion we see an appearance by Jim Hammond, the Robert Alda of mainstream superhero characters. He's in some sort of organization leadership position or another that has little to no effect on me even when I try to let it have one. Also everyone is screaming at one another and a horse flies underwater. This all sounds much better than it actually is, and one feels the urge to hire the lead characters away from their current predicament even if you really don't have anything to do.

Comics like these pretend that they exist on an important continuity with older issues where the events from right now and from 25 years ago have equal weight and volume. It's never been a guarantee from those comics.
 
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Go, Look: Karine Bernadou

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Go, Look: Joe Gordon's Best-Of Cross-Media List 2018

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It's the only list I link to that isn't solely comics, although the comics section is always thoughtful and idiosyncratic. I missed reading the FPI Blog gang this holiday season.
 
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Go, Look: Amera Sherm

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Assembled Extra: The El-Salomans Profiled

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I'm not familiar with the work, but it looks kind of cool and I'm fascinated by the idea of a webcomic as a component work in a package of branded entertainment options. That does sound pretty repulsive, I'll admit. Still, I'm not certain why there isn't more of this, or why we haven't seen some comedians do Woody Allen-type newspaper strips.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Charles Glaubitz

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on a selection of mini-comics including a recent book by Caitlin Cass, a cartoonist for whose work I reach from my pile of mini-comics whenever they arrive there. Jennifer Szalai on Born To Be Posthumous. Hillary Chute on a selection of comics.

* Dan Goldman + Andrea Powell vs. Human Trafficking.

* whoa, look at these gorgeous Breccia pages.

* bundled extra: George Gene Gustines takes a look at the forthcoming Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater from Abrams.

* Martiun Dupuis digs into DKR with a well-illustrated article. It might not always be healthy that so much attention gets paid to a limited number of books, but I always enjoy people taking shots at well-worn works from years past.

* festivals extra: that's a nice group of pros headed to Secaucus.

* finally: Nick Mullins has a list of 2018 comics he enjoyed. So does Tom Kaczynski.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, JP Trostle!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Douglas Wolk!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Andy Warner!

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January 3, 2019


CR Review: The Beagle Boys #36

Creators: Peter Alvarado, Bill Wright, Vic Lockman, Kay Wright, Tony Strobl, Larry Wright
Publishing Information: Comic Book, Western Publishing, 36 pages, August 1977, 30 cents.
Ordering:

imageThis is from an intermittent run of Beagle Boys comics that came out from Western from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s. It was given to me as a gift by a small child at my recent birthday party. I have no idea why, but I do like the characters. I'm not enough of a Disney comics fan to be able to say for certain which creator at work on stories in this comic book had what strengths. To my untrained eye, it's not remarkable in any way at all. So of course I liked it a bit for that reason.

The criminals in the Beagle Boys gang, here reduced to three members of the varying prison numbers they use for names, are played as gentle doofuses with no impulse control. They steal because they love, much in the same way that Scrooge McDuck accumulates. Wealth acquisition makes for an easy and variable narrative through-line. The most odd story is one that involves them briefly adopting a grinder monkey and I'm already forgetting why the hell that took place except perhaps to facilitate the more general plot or underline already obvious central truths about those characters. It's an endless cycle, never questioned.

I like looking at standard mainstream art of this type and time, the deliberate pacing and the background drops two of among a dozen or so reoccurring formal tropes that give me pleasure. I like minor characters that show up without explanation, I like the cityscapes. Comics like these do the job and keep things moving, although that hardly seems a joyful enterprise as portrayed here. Imagine a world in which post-prison reform keeps you in the same outfits, stripped of the agency of a non-prison code name. There are some hints that Scrooge and the Beagles are two sides of the same coin, but it is clear which side everyone expects to land facing up. If there's subtext here, the Beagles left it in the trunk of their car.
 
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Go, Look: Minnie Phan

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Festivals Extra: Call For Papers Goes Out For Brighton's 2019 Graphic Medicine Conference

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This is one of the best comics-related conferences, and their Call For Papers will be open through the end of the month.
 
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Go, Look: Ashtani Fortson

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Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Announces It's Received A Collection Donation From Jan Eliot

I missed this announcement from right before Christmas. Note that the original art donation comes with supporting material and some correspondence -- a key for that institution's ambition to cement its place as a research center.
 
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Go, Look: Betje

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Festivals Extra: LAZF Starts Its Application Cycle

Here. It's a short one. Also, the show offers a sliding scale for tables, something that shows have done behind the scenes in some form or another since the beginning of time, but that will become a more important public feature moving forward.
 
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If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Grant Kratzer

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on Joylandia. Here's all the TCJ writers on all the books reviewed in 2018.

* here are cartoonists receiving honors. I so wish we had something this potentially hilarious in the US.

* Marek Bennett does the hard work of classroom visits, to great reward.

* Marylou Tousignant takes a look at Ripley's, a continually under-appreciate comic in terms of its popularity and cultural impact.

* Joseph Gerth profiles Marc Murphy. Sally Pryor profiles David Pope.

* politically observant cartoons are always a big deal in the African countries, as this article about the Congo will attest.

* Mark Knight takes another shot at drawing Serena Williams.

* finally: Jane Fryer on the cartoonist transition at Daily Mail.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, RL Crabb!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Richard Bruton!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Hellen Jo!

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January 2, 2019


CR Review: Young Shadow Pamphlet One

imageCreator: Young Shadow Pamphlet One
Publishing Information: Self-Published Mini-Comic, 16 pages, $5, December 2018.
Order Now: https://bensears.bigcartel.com/product/young-shadow-pamphlet-one

This is a series of character drawings, staging areas and general designs for cartoonist Ben Sears' occasional science fiction series. He's a sturdy talent at all of these things, and how much enthusiasm you have for the general look and feel of the resulting comics likely determines in its near-entirety your appetite for your work. I liked it well enough, although I might have liked buying it in person and without shipping given the sparsity. Even that is fine, though give quality of imagery on display.

Sears does very little in terms of staking out measurable artistic differences in effect between figures and settings, but the talent on display is obvious and everything communicates a sum greater than component parts. I like how early-days this seems, how much progression could be had within choices made or by eschewing the work to date altogether.

This may be for a Sears completist; luckily, that's where I am these days. I am also happy to give money to Ben Sears whenever I'm able.
 
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Go, Look: Break Out the Yodelling and Mulled Wine: It's Saint Silvester's Day!

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Abhay Khosla Openly Wonders After Writer Tom King's CIA-Connection Claims, Details And Implications

Here.

Abhay gave me this story on a plate a couple of years ago and I was not able to get very far in the months and months he left me with it. I apologize to him and you. I will pursue the story now as one of a chorus of commentators, through what I'm sure will be several levels of response.

Like Abhay, I think there are multiple issues in play here, and I have no preconceptions as to the full extent of the truth in any direct or related circumstance. It should be fascinating to explore.
 
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Go, Look: AC Esguerra

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Festivals Extra: Gil Roth Profiles Kriota Willberg And Her Cartoonists-Helped Book At CXC 2018!

imageGil Roth talks to Kriota Willberg about her Draw Stronger book back at CXC 2018 in September.

I think Willberg's work is important because it's a non-fiction comics work less about finding legitimacy for comics than it is about providing aid and comfort to its makers. I've talked to a lot of people that purchased this book, and all of them are glad they did in terms of their finding some control over the aches and pains of making work within this medium.

I am glad this comic exists, that this cartoonist is paying attention to these issues and that I can follow Kriota's fellow comics-makers into areas that are challenging and exciting.
 
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Go, Look: Carmen Johns

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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.

*****

OCT181699 INK & ANGUISH TP JAY LYNCH ANTHOLOGY $39.99
A stand-alone volume of great comics from the late Jay Lynch brought to our attention by fellow creator and fan Ed Piskor and the great writer of underground comics history Patrick Rosenkranz sounds like a first-class aces project to me. I know some people avoid older work but I've never thought comics best flattered by meeting it at the tip of its spear point. It may be fun to read that way, but comics itself always has a variety of temporal entry points.

imageOCT181769 CHANCELLOR AND THE CITADEL GN $15.00
SEP181702 VAGABOND VALISE (MR) $25.00
OCT181721 IN CHRIST THERE IS NO EAST OR WEST GN $25.00
What distinguishes this week and then next few in comics shopping is that the bulk of winter has its own books on offer AND you see about a half-dozen quality works that just didn't make it out in the Fall. The first listed here is one of those metaphor heavy, idiosyncratically drawn, unsettling fantasies of the moment. I remember liking it when I read a copy. Vagabond Valise is a coming-of-age story told with anthropomorphics and is a prize winner from last year's festival circuit. It looks great, and I'm not familiar with the artist's work. I have no idea what the third work listed concerns or if it's any good, but I would totally check one out in the comics shop -- one of the points of this article.

NOV181348 GIANT DAYS #46 $3.99
NOV180230 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #12 $3.99
AUG180371 BPRD HELL ON EARTH HC VOL 04 $34.99
NOV180197 WALKING DEAD #187 (MR) $3.99
A modest handful of comic-book comics that make my purchasing Mendoza Line this time out. I will always buy everything John Allison does, Giant Days is in for me. I'm a collector of the BPRD material in serial form, although most people prefer the trades and I totally get it. Walking Dead is in the midst of its non-woke suburb plotline. We'll do the best we can to serve you.

OCT182076 20TH CENTURY BOYS TP VOL 02 PERFECT ED URASAWA $19.99
SEP181858 BAREFOOT GEN GN VOL 03 (CURR PTG) (MR) $16.95
You want both of these series in at least some form, so check out these latest volumes in the most recent iterations. Barefoot Gen still slaughters me, particularly when our hero is carrying around a family members remains in a bucket.

AUG189233 ONE DIRTY TREE GN $19.95
If this is Noah Van Sciver's memoir of growing up poor in a big Mormon family iin New Jersey finally making it to the DM after a nice festival run, many of you will want to know about it. I like this book a lot.

OCT181700 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 18 1971-1972 $34.99
SEP181683 RASL COLOR ED TP VOL 03 (OF 3) FIRE OF ST GEORGE (MR) $12.99
Another pair of loving re-releases. Those RASL books snuck up on me and I hope they have some market penetration over time moving forward.

SEP181992 WALT DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE COMP HISTORY HC $200.00
I don't like all the Taschen books, but this seems to me a splendid subject for one of them.

*****

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: Abby Jame

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Go, Look: Annabelle Hayford

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd VanDerWerff expresses love for Olivia Jaimes' Nancy. John Seven on The Vagabond Valise.

* Matt O'Keefe talks to Ben Dewey. John Seven talks to M. Dean. Brian Hibbs talks to Ngozi Ukazu.

* not comics: haven't taken the time to analyze why Aquaman is doing pretty well at the box office, but it seems to be doing pretty well. Since all of the figures I see in headlines are worldwide box office ones I imagine that's where it's done well. The main attraction for me is to watch fans argue with significant rage about their favorite toy worlds using box-office figures as a measure of worth. I wish soda fans and fast-food fans were as explicit in their assignments of value.

* here are a bunch of solid, working critics and writers-about-comic unpacking a few favorites from 2018.

* not sure I can pull from this mention the specific nature and focus of this forthcoming exhibit mentioned, but I sure want to see it.

* finally: whoa, look at these Kaz pencils!
 
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Happy 36th Birthday, Ethan Young!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Lynda Barry!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Naoki Urasawa!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Marc Sobel!

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Happy 84th Birthday, David McKee!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Andy Burns!

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January 1, 2019


A Happy New Year Classic Gordo Sunday

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Happy 44th Birthday, Steve Hamaker!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Nick Abadzis!

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