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















February 19, 2019


OTBP: Everly

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Your Spectrum 26 Award Finalists

imageThe assigned jury has released the finalists for the Spectrum 26 Awards, to be given out next month in Kansas City. It's not an awards program I follow closely, but they do have a comics category and in recent years the industry has slowly swung back to a reinvigorated understanding of comics as a form of visual art.

Planet Comicon will host the late March announcement of winners in Gold and Silver categories, and at least grand winner. More information here. Judges listed here.

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ADVERTISING CATEGORY

* Justin Gerard -- Lair of the Firebreather
* Donato Giancola -- Reach
* Valentin Kopetzki -- After the Flood
* Victo Ngai -- Earth Species Project
* Greg Ruth -- Annihilation variant

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BOOK CATEGORY

* Jaime Jones -- Winter Road
* Vanessa Lemen -- I am the Light
* Yuko Shimizu -- Japanese Tales 1: The Invisible Man
* Chase Stone -- Dragon Lords: Bad Faith
* Francis Vallejo -- Charlie Florida

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COMIC CATEGORY

* Alex Alice -- Castle in the Stars: Book 4, page 1
* Thomas Campi -- Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman cover (pictured)
* Paul Davidson -- Blue Vortex 1
* Kang Minjung -- Kang Hearts Out 1
* Jeffrey Alan Love -- The Thousand Demon Tree

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CONCEPT ART CATEGORY

* Te Hu -- Golden Temple Through Time we Converge: End
* Carlyn Lim -- Dwarf
* Danny Moll -- The Banner Saga 3: Juno in the Black Sun
* Abe Taraky -- Submerged Statue of Tyr
* Zhengyi Wang -- Big Hunt

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DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY

* Matthew Corcoran -- Vivicus
* Paul Komoda -- SwampThing
* Patrick Masson -- Reflection
* Mark Newman -- Gallevarbe
* Dug Stanat -- Justice

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EDITORIAL CATEGORY

* Chris Buzelli -- Structure
* Qiuxin Mao -- The Remains
* Victo Ngai -- Human: Opener
* Tim O'Brien -- Stormy
* Leonardo Santamaria -- How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

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INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY

* Ed Binkley -- Mantis
* Bastien Lecouffe Deharme -- Etrata
* Jesper Ejsing -- Slippery Bogle
* Tyler Jacobson -- Opt
* John Jude Palencar -- The Nights Watch

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UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY

* Julien Delval -- The Stranger
* Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov -- A Walk in the Woods
* Ronan LE FUR -- Sent by the Gods
* Eric Pfeiffer -- Racing Season in Empire City
* Annie Stegg Gerard -- The Serpent

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*****
 
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Go, Look: The Assassination Of Fred Hampton

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* everyone's favorite Brigid Alverson brings word of not one but two Cassie Anderson books this year.

* great news: Fantagraphics will bring back to print many of the classic publications of the just-passed Tomi Ungerer. That's such an admirable publishing effort, and this kind of committed effort is one of the best things about North American comics publishing.

* I'd known for a while that writer Matt Fraction might do a Jimmy Olsen comic with DC, but I hadn't known he'd be partnered with that grandest of his generation's veteran artists, Steve Lieber. That should be fun.

* Tony Millionaire + Chip Kidd?

* the well-regarded writer-about-comics and academic Carol Tilley is set for a future appearance in Hogan's Alley.

* finally: Monte Beauchamp mentions somewhere in this post's responses that he's building a new BLAB!. Also, I hadn't realized the apocalypses made up a series of articles.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2019

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February 22
* If I Were Near MSU, I'd Go To This (Comics Forum)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

February 23
* If I Were Near MSU, I'd Go To This (Comics Forum)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

February 24
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

February 25
* If I Were In Naperville, I'd Go To This

February 26
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

February 27
* If I Were In Huntington, I'd Go To This

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

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March 1
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Vancouver)
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This

March 2
* If I Were Near West Palm Beach, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Revolution)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Vancouver)
* If I Were In Corrales, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This

March 3
* If I Were Near West Palm Beach, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Revolution)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Vancouver)
* If I Were In Corrales, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This

March 4
* If I Were Near Gainesville, I'd Go To This

March 5
* If I Were Near Gainesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 6
* If I Were Near Gainesville, I'd Go To This

March 7
* If I Were Near Gainesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

March 8
* If I Were Near Gainesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 9
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Comic Con)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Santa Rosa, I'd Go To This

March 10
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Comic Con)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

March 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 14
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 15
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Either Modesto, I'd Go To This (Latin Comics Expo)

March 16
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Either Modesto, I'd Go To This (Latin Comics Expo)

March 17
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 22
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In South Carolina, I'd Go To This (Swan Con)

March 23
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In South Carolina, I'd Go To This (Swan Con)
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This

March 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

March 26
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 28
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

March 29
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

March 30
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

March 31
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)

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Events For April 2019 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Lengthy Graphic Essay On Betsy DeVos' Concept Of A School Choice Movement

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* otbp: I didn't necessarily expect to see a new Dan O'Neill comic up for sale in 2019, but I'm glad for it.

* not comics: the story of an early Superman impersonator/embody-er person.

* I always enjoy looking at analyses of hiring patterns at the Big Two and, when they're made available, related companies. I would imagine there are plateaus involved, especially when a segment of an industry doesn't always offer jobs that are an automatic entry into middle class and the culture has elements of resistance to diversity, no matter how stupid or misguided that resistance may be.

* not comics: Alejandro Jodorowsky learned principles by which to live and wants to pass them along to you.

* what a lovely image from primetime Al Hirschfeld.

* finally, one more not comics: this seems like terrible advice to me. Let's all live sloppy, beautiful, inefficient lives.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, Gerry Shamray!

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Happy 70th Birthday, William Messner-Loebs!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Jim Lawson!

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Happy 76th Birthday, Don Glut!

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February 18, 2019


Happy Presidents Day!

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take the day off and read some comics
 
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OTBP: New Additions To What Things Do

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ton of great news stuff on there
 
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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* Andy Runton could use some help taking care of his dog, if you're so inclined.

* I am heartened by the fact that people continue to give to Barbara Shermund's burial fund, and hope you'll consider it if you haven't yet. It's a great honor to help such a great artist find their final resting place.

* here is a collectors' edition of My Friend Dahmer going into its final hours of open funding.

* finally: we're getting close to a thousand contributor to the fund serving those who were sued by cartoonist/publisher Cody Pickrodt. That's about $90 a contribution, which strikes me as admirably high for a small-press comics thing. I hope we can push this over the top, and have confidence in its organizers this will be so.
 
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If I Were Near Pasadena, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: The Autograph Collector

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Go, Look: Twinkie


 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Jenee Darden, Bo Walsh and Tarek Fouda talk to Breena Nuñez Peralta.

* not comics: another potential seismic shift for which to try and figure out if comics has an easy entry point. I don't know why they have articles about any kind of developing media or form that doesn't engage how it'll be used for sex. In this case, it looks like an opportunity for finding dates that involve that reality's version of you dating that reality's version of others and then gauging the compatibility by the results rather than projections of same, but maybe I'm crazy. Maybe another shot at virtual cons; overlays of reality at cons seems certain.

* so according to this a Spanish-language publisher made their own Spider-Man comics in the 1970s where Gwen Stacy didn't die because they thought that plot development would kill their sales. I've never heard of this. Wow if something like that escaped everyone's attention until now. No idea if it's true. I think it may be, because that's a weird joke to pull, but I know that the wider superhero community will correct like righteous thunder if it's not and probably by the end of today. But if that's a prank, hell, I think I prefer to believe the prank.

* finally: the Post tells the story of Stephan Pastis' tribute to his dog.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Mark Bodé!

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Happy 89th Birthday, Gahan Wilson!

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Festivals Extra: CXC Expo Exhibition Registration Remains Live Through February 28!

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They're about halfway home at my other job in terms of getting people lined up for exhibitor slots at CXC Expo 2019. Great group so far, room for more, won't you apply?

That's Scott Roberts up top from 2015, drawing from the back of the room like cartoonists do.

goo.gl/XWqstw
 
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February 17, 2019


Go, Look: A Self-Care Routine For The Dead Of Winter

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Go, Look: Alexander Lozano

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If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This

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Happy 49th Birthday, Hiroaki Samura!

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FFF Results Post #518 -- Classic Lady Superheroes

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Superhero Lady Characters Created Before 1980 That You Enjoy In Those Pre-1980 Adventures." This is how they responded.

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Invisible Girl (Sue Storm)
2. Red Tornado (Ma Hunkle)
3. Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr)
4. Big Barda (pictured)
5. Thorn (Rose Forrest)

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Buzz Dixon

1. Fantomah (yea!)
2. Elasti-Girl
3. Platinum (Metal Men)
4. Wonder Woman
5. Mary Marvel (pictured)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Wonder Tot
2. Fantomah (pictured)
3. Thundra
4. Miss Fury
5. The Wasp

*****

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Dave Knott

* Shanna the She-Devil
* Big Barda
* Hellcat
* Zatanna
* Valkyrie (pictured)

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Big Barda
2. Insect Queen (pictured)
3. Batwoman (1950s)
4. Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel was a Lady, dammit!)
5. Scarlet Witch

*****

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Michael Dooley

* Invisible Scarlet O'Neil (Russell Stamm)
* The Blonde Phantom, Louise Grant (Syd Shores) (pictured)
* Lady Luck, Brenda Banks (Chuck Mazoujian)
* Venus, the Goddess of Love (George Klein)
* Miss Masque, Diana Adams (unknown)

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Supergirl
2. Mysta of the Moon (pictured)
3. Rose and Thorn
4. Vampirella
5. Black Orchid

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Michael G. Pfefferkorn

1. Black Canary
2. Mary Marvel
3. Saturn Girl
4. Power Girl
5. Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) (pictured)

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Tim Hayes

1. Janet van Dyne
2. Clea (pictured)
3. Dejah Thoris
4. Black Canary
5. Jill Trent, Science Sleuth

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John Vest

1. Invisible Girl
2. Nova Kane
3. Beautiful Dreamer
4. Namorita (pictured)
5. Mary Marvel

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Jamie Coville

1. Wonder Woman
2. Fantomah
3. Miss America
4. Little Lotta
5. Valkyrie

*****

thanks to all that participated

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*****
 
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February 16, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


The Great Ann Telnaes On VOA


Tomi Ungerer, RIP


The Top Five Quotes Of Gabrielle Bell


Beware The Doodler
 
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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Denis Kitchen

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Go, Look: A Quick Message For The Weekend From The Mighty Liniers

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If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This

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Happy 64th Birthday, Len Strazewski!

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Happy 36th Birthday, James Moore!

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Happy 61st Birthday, John Totleben!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Tim Bradstreet!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Warren Ellis!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Bill Williams!

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February 15, 2019


By Request Extra: Let's Bury The Great Barbara Shermund

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it's the right thing to do
 
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Go, Look: Crossed

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Go, Look: Monsterville #33

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Go, Look: Off Season Previewed

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Assembled Extra: Geoff Boucher Launches Hero Nation

The announcement from host/publisher Deadline Hollywood can be found here, along with Boucher's resume as a superhero-focused on-line newsman. Looks like this gig will be about film/TV media versions of superhero and related genre stories, which doesn't look like a source that will ever be exhausted. Good look to Mr. Boucher!
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* not comics: here is an essay on acknowledging the financial support of relatives. I wish this happened in comics, too. I believe there are bad choices made by people based on misjudging where seemingly more successful received their support.
 
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Van Horn!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Jim Blanchard!

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Happy 71st Birthday, Art Spiegelman!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Matt Groening!

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February 14, 2019


Happy Valentine's Day!

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THR: DC Cancels Comic Book, Notes Conservative Political Pressure; Creators Cite Rights Return

Here. It involves a narrative starring Jesus. This article at The Beat says that Second Coming was a title announced with a Vertigo relaunch, although at this point there have been so many relaunches and Vertigo is such a obscure footnote in my own comics-reading efforts I couldn't contextualize that for you in terms of dates or publishing history.

imageI can't tell quite yet, but there may also be some dispute over the nature of the actions involved in exorcising Second Coming from the DC section of Previews, as tweets from the creators pulled together at that Beat link focus on a rights-reversion request over a cancellation. THR seems really comfortable calling it a cancellation, though, and I trust writer Graeme McMillan's judgment on that part of the industry.

I don't quite understand how something like this works anymore given the overall media landscape. Satan has a featured role on a couple of TV shows these days, or did recently -- in fact, I think those shows both come from Vertigo comics. I would assume there are more. There have been TV shows starring Jesus or at least a Jesus analog I can even bring to mind in the dim hours of this morning. I guess a comedic take on the character might be at issue? These protests seem toothless, too, and at best publicity-enablers. One thing that's been added to such controversies in recent years is that conservative Christians will now sometimes equate satirical portrayals of Jesus with satirical portrayals of Muhammad and complain about a kind of general unfair treatment by media, Resentment Politics 101, but outside of what I'm sure are a few comments threads I haven't seen that here as of yet.

Another thing that seems different from the way things used to be is that the publisher gets a lot of praise for handling things at the editorial, rights-return and personal level. Maybe that is an extraordinary experience, I don't know, and I'm sure DC employees do their best when presented with a difficult situation. Still, let me say that no matter how cordial the process might be, or how exactly the process unfolds, allowing barely-engaged outside forces to have any effect on editorial policy or to duplicate standards and processes on your own that lead to such an outcome, either thing is really, really horrible.

I hope for a last-minute shift in the narrative. With Jesus, all things are possible.

Writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace plan to release Second Coming with another publisher, and I don't think one will be difficult to find. The popular series Boys enjoyed a similar migration.
 
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Go, Look: Diana H. Chu

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Deb Aoki alerts us to a comics show devoted solely to indie comics about food. Plus she has the poster.

* TCAF has begun announcing its small and glorious army of shiny major guest stars, and the rest of us out here should make our plans to attend and reconcile ourselves to the fact how awesome that festival can be.

* finally: I'll do this as its own post, but congratulations to the SPACE winners being awarded this year. That's one of the oldest comics small press awards, and a show I've attended several years in a row.

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

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Go, Look: Tintin Promotional Postcards

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Random Comics News Story Round-UP

image* Kim Jooha on Space Academy 123. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Twists Of Fate.

* not comics: this is one of those highly passed around articles, and I didn't get a lot of out of it except it suggested to me one question: why do so many of us conducting ourselves as artists and writers have the e-mail habits of a middle-management paper-pusher. I'm not saying all of us doing it wrong, but couldn't it be that most of us are doing it wrong?

* I did not know that Ryoichi Ikegami drew any Dune related material, or I knew that and forgot so I could remember it in heaven. Young Elvis is a kill word.

* I think it was Zainab Akhtar that recently tweeted a reminder of this very nice arts award from some of comics' kindest people.

* finally: this Melanie Gillman comic made me laugh and I am very appreciative.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Gordon Purcell!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Roger Langridge!

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February 13, 2019


Go, Listen: Mort Gerberg

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Bundled Extra: Youth In Decline 2019 Subscriptions Are Live

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Here.

This year's line-up, the forthcoming efforts from which well-described through that link, is: Hannah Waldron, Derek Yu, Anatola Howard, Tunde Adebimpe.

Ryan Sands' one-person/one-issue comics-plus anthology occupies a unique place on the alt-publishing landscape, offering solidly conceived looks at new artists, artists that have moved into different areas and even a few firmly established figures from that world. Also, getting comics in the mail is fun.
 
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Go, Look: Who Owns An Asteroid?

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

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

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

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NOV181774 DISNEY MASTERS HC VOL 06 CARPI SCROOGE GOLDEN RIVER $29.99
This is a weird week with a lot of interesting comics being sold about which I'm slightly ambivalent, so I thought maybe I'd take a second to thank the comics gods and Fantagraphics for their driving some of their Barks- and Rosa-driven interest back into some of the other major Disney comics practitioners. I'm happy to have those stories, and I'm happy to have samples of that work translated and in my home.

imageDEC180525 WONDER TWINS #1 (OF 6) $3.99
DEC180526 WONDER TWINS #1 (OF 6) VAR ED $3.99
OCT180708 DICK TRACY DEAD OR ALIVE #4 (OF 4) CVR A ALLRED $3.99
OCT180709 DICK TRACY DEAD OR ALIVE #4 (OF 4) CVR B TOMMASO $3.99
NOV188407 CRIMINAL #1 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
DEC180234 CRIMINAL #2 (MR) $3.99
DEC188162 DIE #2 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
DEC180250 GUNNING FOR HITS #2 (MR) $3.99
SEP180188 MAGIC ORDER #6 (OF 6) CVR A COIPEL (MR) $3.99
SEP180189 MAGIC ORDER #6 (OF 6) CVR B B&W COIPEL (MR) $3.99
DEC188055 MAGIC ORDER #6 (OF 6) CVR C KERSCHL (MR) $3.99
There's a lot here. Wonder Twins may indicate the way these big companies do series from now on: as short bursts of issues under a greater umbrella that takes care of the continuity/stick-with-it part of something like this. Most creators at all levels have the ability to do a story of five issues length with just about any character. The first of the Dick Tracy modern cycles has ended. Criminal jumps into the world of funnybooks, which means half the fun will be reading into Ed Brubaker's choices of what comics into his own. Die gets a second printing for a second issue, which is a good sign. Gunning For Hits is Moritat doing Music Business adventure comics, and I am down. Finally, Magic Order may wrap things up really quickly or settle in for another series, I can't tell.

OCT181280 GIANT DAYS TP VOL 09 $14.99
NOV180061 HEY KIDS COMICS TP (MR) $16.99
I always read John Allison and I always check out the designs employed by Howard Chaykin on the page. This new series is only slightly bonkers.

OCT180598 MISTER MIRACLE TP (RES) (MR) $24.99
NOV180580 TORSO TP NEW ED (MR) $24.99
The first is a collected trade from one of DC's high-concept success stories of the last few years. Torso is the latest Bendis book showing up under the DC bookselling umbrella, which I have to imagine is a big boon for Bendis and his collaborators.

NOV180728 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 09 JOHNNY BOO IS KING $9.99
All hail Johnny Boo and his ninth volume of James Kochalka-led nonsense.

NOV188701 CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 2ND PTG CAMERO VAR $4.99
DEC180911 CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 $3.99
DEC180914 CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 MOVIE VAR $3.99
NOV181018 CAPTAIN MARVEL EARTHS MIGHTIEST HERO TP VOL 05 $24.99
AUG181069 CAPTAIN MARVEL MS MARVEL A HERO IS BORN OMNIBUS HC $100.00
AUG181070 CAPTAIN MARVEL MS MARVEL A HERO IS BORN OMNIBUS HC DM VAR $100.00
That doesn't look like a company ready to exploit a character's high-profile film offering, but Marvel has looked worse this many days out on other projects.

DEC181868 BLOOM GN (MR) $17.99
DEC181869 BLOOM HC GN (MR) $24.99
AUG182271 WRATH OF FANTOMAS HC (MR) $29.99
Two interesting-looking books to pull of the shelves if, like me, you think the comic shop exists to point me in the direction of books with which I'm largely unfamiliar. The first is YA, the second looks like more general fantasy, but perhaps teens, not quite sure there. They both look handsome.

NOV182078 WALLY WOOD DARE DEVIL ACES SC $24.95
OCT180352 EC ARCHIVES HC PIRACY $49.99
Any way you're reading old EC Comics, salute you.

DEC182117 CAPTAIN MARVEL & ART OF NOSTALGIA HC $30.00
DEC182020 COMICS WILL BREAK YOUR HEART HC $18.99
Here's a rare bottom-picture prose book: Faith Erin Hicks with all words and no pictures.

*****

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: Dustin Nguyen Images

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Go, Look: Tiger Man

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Coyote Doggirl.

* not comics: I can never tell what percentage of these articles are that old saw about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but every suggestion outside of teaching local experts to write makes sense to me. I would also caution against giving the audience too much of what it wants, no matter what the research indicates.

* Brigid Alverson profiles Spike Trotman.

* one of the weird things about have 40 year plotlines in comics is that in team comics like X-Men you end up creating waves of characters that get lost when the older one assert their presence. The solution seems to be to kill them. It's kind of weird and sad, and they burn off a lot of pretty good characters that nonetheless can't make an impression outside of their initial narrative cycle.

* go, look: a preview of A Fire Story.

* finally: David Mazzucchelli on his friend Ted Stearn.
 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Chris Duffy!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Dan Christensen!

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February 12, 2019


Go, Look: Ness Lee

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Go, Look: Steve Rude Draws The Mid-1960s Version Of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy And Mary Jane Watson

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The 19th Century Cartoonist

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sam Wildman talks to Chris Schweizer. David Mazzucchelli talks to Ted Stearn in 2017.

* not comics: guaranteed minimum income could have a significant effect on the course of comics creation if it's ever established here, although this test pilot report asks more questions than it answer, really. I think the confidence that comes with the guarantee of whatever small amount this is could be key, but it could also be processed as simply not enough.

* Brian Nicholson on Perdy. Sally McGrane on Drawn To Berlin: Comic Workshops In Refugee Shelters And Other Stories From A New Europe.

* finally: Cynthia Rose remembers the late Alex Barbier.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Judd Winick!

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Happy 49th Birthday, T. Edward Bak!

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February 11, 2019


Go, Look: Neyef

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Festivals Extra: Junji Ito To TCAF 2019

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Great get.
 
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Go, Look: Djamila Knopf

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I'm sad to see the opening of the Billy Ireland's excellent Barbara Shermund exhibit didn't drive that last two thousand dollars in donations to her burial fund. I'm going to see if I can give some more money in the next month or so. I know it's hard to work up enthusiasm for a project that benefits an abstract principle like seeing this extraordinary woman finally laid to rest over projects that salve the wounds of the living, but I think it's an honorable exercise for peers and fans to this sort of kindness to a great artist.

* a quick survey of Kickstarter sees projects from known names like Dave McKean, Hope Nicholson and Dan Brereton.

* finally, I got here from an Alex Hoffman interview to which I also linked, but this looks like a fine project with a well-deserved initial push of success through its funding ask.
 
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Go, Look: Tradd Moore Mini-Gallery

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Go, Look: Byrne/Austin X-Men Last-Page Splashes

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman profiles Naked Body. Carina Taylor on Dead Parents.

* the artist Collen Doran takes up for the late Jim Aparo. I don't think criticizing shifts in art style is off-limits, but variations of "lazy" are an enormous clumsy and insulting tool with which to do. A lot of artists change when they get older, but it's almost always due to an aesthetic that favors clarity, physical accommodation or a desire to work differently including more quickly. "Lazy" gets into some really entitled fandom expectations, too, in addition to it being a bold declaration of principles at work. It's lazy.

* festivals extra: not only is TCAF a mere three months away, so is proximity to all the great restaurants in Toronto.

* this profile of Anders Nilsen reminds me how relatively sophisticated an article like that can be these days, as opposed to the "look at this weird person with the weird job" write-up of the 1990s, when I started paying attention to the coverage of cartoonist. I like the way it suggests that a big part of Nilsen's career is in its development of solution to various artistic problems presented.

* finally: Steve Ditko with a Last Word.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Reinhard Kleist!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Mo Willems!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Drew Sheneman!

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February 10, 2019


Happy 49th Birthday, Frédéric Pontarolo!

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February 9, 2019


Tomi Ungerer, RIP

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If I Were In City Of Industry, I'd Go To This

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Happy 57th Birthday, Sarah Byam!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Tim Truman!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Jo Duffy!

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Happy 60th Birthday, David B!

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February 8, 2019


Go, Look: Colocho

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Gary Groth talks to Tomi Ungerer, in advance of the longer interview in the new The Comics Journal.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Marc Chalvin!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Virginia Paine!

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February 7, 2019


Ted Stearn, RIP

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Go, Look: Jeremy Perrodeau

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

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

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on comics by Laurel Lynn Leake.

* love this tweet by Evan Dorkin of notes from a long-abandoned project. It's amazing to think of how much good work and how much partially done attempts at good works are in the basements, desks, closets and garages of Team Comics.

* not comics: congratulations to the artist Pia Guerra on news the mega-popular comics series she did with writer Brian K. Vaughan, Y, The Last Man, is on its way to becoming a television series. The high-concept Y's mega-potential as a film or TV series was a general part of its presentation during its comics run, so this one pops a bit in a way other television deals don't. I hope it's good TV. The initial wave of announcements also came with another thing that marked the series, the ubiquity of writer Vaughan's credit for the comic book's creation and the relative lack of same for Guerra, the artist -- not total, but always noticeable. A social media and industry-news round of pushback on Guerra's behalf felt widespread for such an effort and in every instance totally deserved.

* don't exactly know what's going on here, but it's quite attractive.

* finally: this is my favorite thing of the week.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Mark Haven Britt!

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Happy 90th Birthday, Alexandro Jodorowsky!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Richard Bruning!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Alan Grant!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Seth Tobocman!

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February 6, 2019


Go, Look: Etienne Chaize

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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.

*****

NOV181771 COMICS JOURNAL #303 $14.99
This seems like a solid week of comics, a lot of good work and a lot interesting stuff publishing-wise. I also think that James Sturm's Off Season may fall to this week for some stores. Anyhow, it's not on my weekly list, so I'll start with the latest iteration of my longtime 1990s publishing home, The Comics Journal. I think the challenge for this round of the print TCJ is to support whatever interviews Gary Groth wants to do, and then figure out what is the unique and best companion for those interviews. Once upon a time it was aggressive reviews and even more aggressive news. The latter seems off the table for the most part these days -- you could fill up an issue of the Journal debating why -- and there's enough really good writing that the critical approach has to be immensely rigorous, come from a completely clever and out of left field point of view, or both in some mixture of amounts. There's a high degree of difficulty there, but RJ Casey and Kristy Valenti are hard-working comics lifers and will come up with an answer, I'm certain.

imageDEC181966 THROUGH A LIFE GN $18.95
OCT181277 FEATHERS ORIGINAL GN $14.99
If the joy of going to the comic book store is finding works about which you know very little, this is my little corner of the Great Weekly Routine this week. I know little about Through A Life beyond the pedigree of its publisher, and little about Feathers beyond the fact that the artist won the Russ Manning a few years and the cover looks very handsome. Perfect for a few minutes between aisles with those books in my hands, checking them out.

DEC181379 GIANT DAYS #47 $3.99
DEC180358 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #13 $3.99
OCT180284 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW TP VOL 02 PANDEMONIUM $19.99
Here's more familiar territory. I buy whatever John Allison does and this is one of the projects he does. The BPRD stuff is the great reliable mainstream comics of my adult lifetime, and I eventually acquire all of those comics -- although usually not the first day. That corner of comics is so prolific that I think the trades and books are a better collecting strategy than the comic-book comics, and I view comic-book comics as part of my personal belief system.

AUG181071 VENOMNIBUS HC VOL 02 $125.00
I just like saying this out loud. I also like that despite its rich library and glorious (mostly) Jack Kirby conceived characters that you can argue the series that work the best right now involve parody/not-parody characters Deadpool and Venom. Also, these $100-plus books seem to do pretty well for Marvel, I'd love insight into their numbers. Most of what they do feels scattered, and I'd love to know how that line works, particularly in contrast.

DEC181916 BIGBY BEAR HC $14.95
DEC181871 MAKER COMICS GN BAKE LIKE A PRO $12.99
DEC181873 MAKER COMICS GN FIX A CAR $12.99
DEC181872 MAKER COMICS HC GN BAKE LIKE A PRO $19.99
DEC181874 MAKER COMICS HC GN FIX A CAR $19.99
Hey, new lines for Humanoids and a line of non-fiction (!) comics for First Second. I'm a fiend for Chris Schweizer's inventive, labor-intensive book, so I'd probably go for the car one even though I'm more a baker than a mechanic.

NOV181786 MORT GERBERG ON SCENE SC $25.00
I know that Fantagraphics' focused-distribution underground line hasn't always had an easy time in terms of its reception by close industry observers, but I've become fond of the possibilities of a house of Fantagraphics' size being able to engage with works that have smaller print runs, as there are any number of ways that a work can find itself there. What an odd thing to be able to buy a Mort Gerberg book.

DEC181899 NEW KID GN $12.99
DEC181900 NEW KID HC GN $21.99
This is comics veteran Jerry Craft's stab at a broadly conceived kids' book. Craft is an industry survivor, and I think he'll do a good job getting his book into the hands of folks that will appreciate. All respect.

OCT182009 WALLY WOOD DARE DEVIL ACES DLX SLIPCASE ED $69.95
OCT182008 WALLY WOOD DARE DEVIL ACES HC $39.95
Sorry, I just look at whatever Wally Wood shows up on the stands. I don't know if this is my ultimate strategy to get a hold of this work, but I'm glad there's a lot of it in the world. Wally Wood's comics always feel bruised and melancholy to me.

DEC181855 EDDIE SPAGHETTI HC STORY BOOK $12.99
DEC181856 MR FIBBER HC STORY BOOK $12.99
This might be yet another line of comics, but it's certainly two attractive-looking books from really good artists. Rutu Modan!

JUN181903 KAIJUMAX DELUXE ED HC VOL 01 (MR) $59.99
God bless Zander Cannon and his weird series, the only comics on this entire list equally suited for a 1983 comics rack. They didn't have fancy presentations like this back then, though. Not a lot of the time.

DEC182119 EXPANDING ART OF COMICS 10 MODERN MASTERPIECES SC $30.00
I'm all for reading more translated Thierry Groensteen and I am all in on any and all attempts at canon, even partial ones. Count me in, even if my teeth end up grinding in rage.

*****

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: Guillaume Grimonprez

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on The Wrong Earth #6.

* this sounds so wretchedly stupid and irritating/upsetting for no reason other than to irritate and upset that it's hard to believe it even exists.

* I enjoyed all of Don Simpson's essay here about the decline in staff editorial cartooning. I prefer the structural explanations over the gorging-on-Trump line of reasoning, and think the shift in cartooning when syndication hit was newspaper-wide in terms of the type of information communicated that editors suddenly valued, but we agree in broad strokes for sure. It's also nice to see that level of interest in editorial cartooning from a traditional comic-book cartoonist.

* Steve Lieber on mentoring.

* finally: @comicsreporter, RIP. The account, not me. I'm going to live to the year 2094, for one last shot at disrupting Image's historical narrative. Anyway, thanks for laughing at my dumb jokes. Sorry, everyone. We'll always have Before Watchmen.
 
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February 5, 2019


Go, Look: Fabrice Erre

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Go, Look: AdHouse Books FIBD 2019 Photos

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: Details On June's Moonshadow Release

imageI think ICv2.com is smart to do an article on the publishing details of the latest iteration of Moonshadow to hit the market this June.

There's not a lot of work from that particular time period, that particular shelf along the wall of that era's comic books and early collections, that would have a level of on-its-own, discoverable market pull today but the JM DeMatteis + three titans (Muth, Williams, Pratt) of early painted comics series strikes me as one that could.

The direct market stands a good chance of being weirder if not outright chaotic for the next 24 months, particularly if Marvel continues its desultory performance with its new comics, and foundational backstock could be key for many stores struggling to make it through.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Early '90s Alex Toth Annie Pitch Materials

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul O'Brien on Age Of X-Man: Alpha.

* Trevor Getz writes on the challenges of working with history in comics form. The esteemed force for diversity in comics Frederick "Professor LatinX" Aldama writes about one advantage.

* April Baer talks to Anders Nilsen. Andrew Conte talks to Steve Kelley. Alex Dueben talks to Caitlin McGurk about all things Barbara Shermund.

* finally: so today I found out there was a comic book story featuring the actor Hilton McRae.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Megan Kelso!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, JT Dockery!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Matteo Piana!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Yuko Tsuno!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Katie Skelly!

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February 4, 2019


Go, Look: Life Size: A Day In The City

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Shaun Tan: One City, One Book, One Exhibit, Lots Of Hope

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I totally missed this, but Shaun Tan's The Arrival is apparently the subject of Hong Kong's One Book/One City program participation and the target of an accompanying exhibit, as this article informs us. That's an accomplished work and certainly good enough for engagement on a community-informing level, although a lot of things have to fall in place including a consensus of non-forced opinion about the work itself. Let's hope.

A couple of things suggested here is that we need more immigration narratives like this one given the state of the world, and that comics works that hit broadly like this one did back in 2006 have the potential for viability for years after they are initially published -- something to remember within a publishing context that focuses on a week-to-week presence.
 
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Go, Look: Tom Yeates And Todd Smith Pulp Covers

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as might be expected, the images reflect outdated cultural norms
 
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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* Hope Nicholson's latest Kickstarter in a series of successful Kickstarters is about to blow past its initial ask. All of those books have been well-positioned and well-conceived, I think.

* I've been paying attention to Carol Tyler's latest Patreon, as I think that's potentially but certainly not automatically a good sources of some money coming in for an artist like her. I don't think there's a conclusion there yet. Others I've been watching are from Rich Tommaso and Milton Knight, and I hope for an angel on the Jim Wheelock GoFundMe. Sean Kleefeld is another longtime writer about comic that maintains a modest presence that could certainly be supported.

* finally, the Barbara Shermund Burial Fund took an important step moving from its first half to its final third, but there's still some work there, and I hope some attention coming to it with the astounding exhibit being officially opened at the Billy Ireland is enough to shove it over the top.
 
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Go, Look: Virgil Partch Advertising Work

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Go, Look: Vault Of Horror #12

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Follow Me In.

* egad, that's a handsome-looking Superman.

* Will Dinski launches Relax.

* Lee Lai talks to Tommi Parrish.

* not comics: an art school closes, even as there seem to have been a number of success stories in that corner of education over the last 15 years. I do know that conventional wisdom says there are more successful art schools than successful careers making art.

* hey, look at that nice New Yorker cover drawn by Tom Gauld.

* finally: praise from Marlon James for Beto's Palomar.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Souther Salazar!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Tom Sniegoski!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Dez Skinn!

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February 3, 2019


Go, Look: Dorothy Swain Lewis

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Go, Look: The Man Who Took No Chances

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Happy 70th Birthday, Richard Marschall!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #517: Paperback Writer

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Books You Remember Fondly Featuring Comics, In The Common Mass Paperback Format." This is how they responded.

*****

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Jeffrey A. Goodman

1. The Katzenjammer Kids
2. Swift Comics
3. The Best Of Creepy
4. Thunder Agents: The Terrific Trio
5. Bode's Cartoon Concert

*****

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John Vest

1. Very Funny, Charlie Brown, Charles M. Schulz
2. The Fantastic Four Return, Lee and Kirby
3. What's New B.C.? Johnny Hart
4. The King Is A Fink! Hart and Parker
5. What's Next, Andy Capp? Reg Smythe

*****

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Matthew Guest

1. Mad's Dave Berg Looks at Things, Dave Berg
2. Tall Tales, Al Jaffee
3. Man the Beast and the Wild, Wild Women, ViP
4. Go to Your Room, Bil Keane
5. Dennis the Menace... and His Girls, Hank Ketcham

*****

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Des Devlin

1. Take a Bow, B.C., Johnny Hart
2. Al Jaffee’s MAD Book of Magic and Other Dirty Tricks, Al Jaffee
3. The Explainers, Jules Feiffer
4. Dennis the Menace vs. Everybody, Hank Ketcham
5. Herman: And You Wonder Why I Never Want To Go To Italian Restaurants? Jim Unger

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Hallo, Snoopy! Charles M. Schulz
2. Dennis, der Schlingel, Hank Ketcham
3. Willy Wacker: Willy -- immer unschuldig! Reg Smythe
4. Hagar: Die Axt im Wald, Dik Browne
5. Asterix: Zoff in Gallien, Goscinny/Uderzo

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Hard At Work, Andy Capp? Reg Smythe
2. As The Kid Goes For Broke, Garry Trudeau
3. For The Love Of Peanuts, Charles Schulz
4. Three-Ring Mad, Various
5. The Wizard's Back, Hart And Parker

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Meet Fred Bassett, Alex Graham
2. Madvertising, Dick DeBartolo and Bob Clarke
3. Slide, Charlie Brown, Slide, Charles Schulz
4. Amazing Spider-Man PB #1, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
5. Let's See if Anyone Salutes, Milton Caniff

*****

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Dave Knott

* The Peasants are Revolting! -- Brant Parker and Johnny Hart
* The Mad Adventures of Captain Klutz -- Don Martin
* Just A French Major From The Bronx -- Garry Trudeau
* The Amazing Spider-Man -- Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
* The Happiest Hookers -- Various Cartoonists from Playboy Magazine

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. The Return of Pogo by Walt Kelly
2. Heathcliff Does It Again by George Gately
3. The Mad Adventures of Captain Klutz by Don Martin
4. The All New Mad Secret File on Spy vs Spy by Prohias
5. Flash Gordon: The Ice Monster by Al Williamson

*****

thanks to all that participated; let me know if I missed yours, this one came together a bit weird

*****
*****
 
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February 2, 2019


Go, Read: Lauren Weinstein At The Believer

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

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Bob Schreck!

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February 1, 2019


Festivals Extra: CXC Expo 2019 Registration Is LIVE

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Missed It: Harry Lyrico, RIP

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Go, Look: Vanna Vinci

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By Request Extra: Webcartoonist Michael Avolio Is Seeking Help With Specific-Procedure Funds

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Here. It's a chronic pain situation, and it has kept Avolio from updates on his comics work, but some of you may sympathize with the situation or remember Avolio's work fondly.
 
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Go, Look: Gluyas Williams Images

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Festivals Extra: NOICE Profiled Ahead Of Show

Here. I think all the small, indie shows are particularly great because I didn't attend one until the mid-1990s and it's a model that I think encompasses a lot of eventual artists' range of participation in the medium.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Stranger In Town

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Martin Rowson on The Labyrinth. Dan Brown on Petals.

* Leslie Stein is a forthcoming resident at SAW. I bet learning from her would be swell.

* John Przybys profiles Brett Dulak. Brian Hibbs talks to Matt Wagner and Brennan Wagner.

* bundled extra: Dark Horse will publish a comic tied into the forthcoming cgi-driven Lion King.

* Heidi MacDonald says folks are talking about Marvel moving to the West Coast. Sure, that could happen. I doubt it totally kills the Marvel Bullpen myth since 1) that was always bullshit, and b) who cares? but to say that such a move would precede downsizing and closer scrutiny generally seems right on to me.

* finally: totally missed listing the opening of this Naoki Urasawa exhibition, but I can't imagine a lot of comics fans reading this site that have the ability to go not wanting to go.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Diana Schutz!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Gilbert Hernandez!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Jim Rugg!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Ron Frenz!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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