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














July 31, 2019


Happy 51st Birthday, Franklin Armstrong!

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Go, Look: Welcome To Bachelor Nation

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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.

*****

JUN191749 NIB SCAMS $14.95
I believe this is the last printed volume they're doing with First Look Media. I hope you will avail yourself of The Nib as it moves into self-publishing. I thought the issue was pretty fun.

imageMAY191680 BAD GATEWAY HC MEGG & MOGG (MR) $29.99
NOV180527 AUTHORITY OMNIBUS HC $99.99
MAY191686 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 19 1973-1974 $34.99
MAR191913 BAD MACHINERY POCKET ED GN VOL 08 CASE OF MODERN MEN $12.99
MAY192047 CARTOON GUIDE TO BIOLOGY GN $19.99
That's a strong set of books for the things-with-spines buyers among us. Simon Hanselmann continues his long march into late-period alt-comic superstardom with another strong and sizable book. Authority is a key to under 1990s superhero comics in a way that informs the titles of right now as well. I remain very fond of Prince Valiant, and started reading the strip with those in this run. I look at every Bad Machinery publication, and hey, lookee there, a "Cartoon Dude." That's a spread, all right.

MAY190703 POWERS OF X #1 (OF 6) $5.99
More ponderous X-Men comics for relapsed fans like me. Some story movement was these book was inevitable, and the first publication (sporting a different title) was memorable.

JAN190845 ENOLA HOLMES CASE OF LEFTHANDED LADY HC $14.99
I don't know this series, although I read a lot of Nancy Springer books ass a kid: so all respect.

MAY190603 ENEMY OF PEOPLE TP CARTOONISTS JOURNEY $24.99
This is Rob Rogers book of the work he was doing in the course of losing his job for too much attention paid the current president. Yeah, I don't know how that's a disqualifying principle either.

*****

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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By Request Extra: Anthology The Seas

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* here's Dr. Frederick Aldama, Professor Latinx himself, on Miles Morales and a few issues related to the character.

* not comics: that nice man Buzz Dixon sent along this link to an article about a summer camp using superheroes to reach special needs children.

* not comics: it's always good to be reminded of dodgy activities by big corporations when they're immune to reprisal, as was the case with The Lion King and a similar work by Osamu Tezuka festooned with specific acts of appropriation. I always laugh by those that still take the strategy of never having heard of a similar work to one they worked on, a work by an acknowledged master, when I knew about it at least a little bit collecting random facts as a dull-witted 11-year-old.

* here's an update on the support for conservative political candidates provided by Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter.

* finally: some nice person at Henry Ford College publications profiles those great citizens of comics, Dan and Katie Merritt.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Nate Powell!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Jog!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Alex Holden!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Gary Barker!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Leinil Francis Yu!

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Happy Franklin Day, Everyone!

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i will always celebrate the made-up movie-related holiday of Franklin Day because Franklin
 
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July 30, 2019


Go, Look: David Tolu Graham

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* anything done in support of Peter Maresca's work packaging comics is a great thing, as far as I'm concerned. I hope for a fruitful partnership.

* I don't know if I knew AdHouse was doing a book with Cathy G. Johnson this September.

* this is more than a year off according to this post, but I want to read the book and know moer about that subject matter.

* finally: I like what looks to be the final cover image for Eve Gilbert's new book.
 
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Go, Look: Excerpt From Mardou's Forthcoming Book Strange Kind Of Love

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Go, Look: Robert Kline Fanzine Images

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Go, Read: Chloe Maveal Talks To Eddie Campbell

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* David Harper on House Of X #1.

* industry veteran Larry Shell wrote yesterday worried that he won't make his ask for roof repair aid, with dire consequences. If you're a friend of Larry's, this would be a fortunate moment to step up with some aid.

* not comics: I hate self checkout because people could use those jobs and I shouldn't have to supply a retailer with a discount on payroll taxes because they don't staff their lines in reasonable fashion. I also hate the notion that some sort of thievery is justified for anything less than astonishing reasons.

* photos from the SDCC 15th Anniversary Party for The Beat. I'm not in any of them, don't worry. Great crew, though. Congratulations to Heidi.

* bundled extra: a forthcoming book illustrated by Bran Biggs.

* finally: Matt O'Keefe survey a selection of artists on how writers can be better collaborators.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Chris Sprouse!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Tom Ziuko!

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July 29, 2019


Go, Look: Maria Stoian

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Jim Wheelock recently put out the call that more help is needed in his situation. If you're able to give angel-amounts of help, you might look at some of these older requests that never really caught fire.

* Dustin Harbin went over $58K starting back in June in his search for $75K in relation to some horrific mouth injuries; that is an all-time win for comics-industry generosity, although $17K is hard for any cartoonist to carry around, at any point in their career.

* it's been a while since I've seen an active ask for a comics shop gain some momentum. This one has already done better than most.

* the huge success of a game related to Cyanide and Happiness still shows the strength of traditional web-friendly entities.

* Columbus cartoonist mainstays Flor Canela and Max Ink have made less than $500 on a catch-up ask related to Canela's recent illnesses. Flor always gives to Columbus-based events as best she can so it would be nice to see her rewarded on this request.

* finally: Lawrence Shell's roof repair ask that came in right before SDCC week might be more appealing to some folks on the other side of that specific yearly expense. Couldn't hurt to mention it again.
 
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Go, Look: Wally Wood History Strip Samples

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Not Comics/OTBP: Invisible Ink

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to Eleanor and Drew.

image* Shea Hennum on Red Ultramarine. Dan Brown on Wage Slaves.

* Sam Thielman waves goodbye to the retiring Alan Moore. It's difficult for the way our consumerist takes on making art are lined up to wrestle with a cessation of activity, but my guess is Moore will have a shot at making his departure a true one. It should also be fun to track the takes; I think this one will be a popular one: Moore's gifts were formidable an particularly suited to infusing profundity in to junk-genre literature.

* what are comic books and what are graphic novels? This can get weird, but it shouldn't.

* here's a list of graphic novels by musicians.

* George Takei strikes me as a dignified man who knows the not-as-dignified parts of promoting artistic work, so I'm sure he'll be well-suited to a press campaign for his internment story in comics form, They Called Us Enemy.

* finally: Camille Vernet profiles Cole Pauls.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Gail Simone!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Ted May!

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Baru!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Nick Gazin!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Lovern Kindzierski!

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FFF Results Post #526 -- Eisner-Bound

Ten days ago, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Future Will Eisner Awards Hall Of Fame Members." This is how they responded.

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Mário Filipe

1. Daniel Clowes (pictured)
2. Rick Vetch
3. Steve Oliff
4. Lynn Varley
5. John Higgins

*****

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Allan Rosenberg

1. Ed Brubaker
2. Michael Lark (pictured)
3. Greg Rucka
4. Brian K. Vaughan
5. Jim Woodring

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Naoki Urasawa
2. Jacques Tardi (pictured)
3. Jeff Smith
4. Dwayne McDuffie
5. Lucy Caswell

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Brian Bendis
2. Chris Ware
3. Kate Beaton
4. Raina Telgemeier
5. Gene Luen Yang (pictured)

*****

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Mark Brodersen

* Paul Pope (pictured)
* Dave Sim
* Alan Moore
* Marjane Satrapi
* Philippe Druillet

*****

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Tucker Stone

1. Tom Spurgeon
2. Heidi MacDonald
3. Gary Groth
4. Kim Thompson (pictured)
5. Gina Gagliano

*****

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Mike Borelli

1. Daniel Clowes
2. Charles Burns
3. Chester Brown
4. Seth (pictured)
5. David Mazzuchelli

*****

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Douglas Mullins

1. Gary Panter
2. Lauren Weinstein
3. Anya Davidson (pictured)
4. Jim Woodring
5. Taiyo Matsumoto

*****

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Alan David Doane

1. Al Ewing
2. James Kochalka
3. Nate Powell
4. Paul Hornschemeier
5. Tom Scioli (pictured)

*****
*****
 
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July 28, 2019


Go, Read: Yallah Bye Profiled

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Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Karl Stevens

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Dean Mullaney Posts Some Lost Art Of Alex Toth Material

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OTBP: I'm On A Boat

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OTBP: New Comics From Bill Wehmann

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OTBP: Sky In Stereo Vol. 2

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Happy 74th Birthday, Jim Davis!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Jon J Muth!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Will Pfeifer!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Miriam Libicki!

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FFF Results Post #527 -- Rest Of 2019

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five 2019-Or-Later Works You Are Looking Forward To Reading Before December 31, 2019." This is how they responded.

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Stephen Harrick

1. Queen of the Sea, Dylan Meconis (Walker Books)
2. Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers (Drawn & Quarterly)
3. Sky in Stereo 2, Mardou (Revival House Press)
4. Sea Sirens, Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee (Viking Books for Young Readers)
5. Tamba, Child Soldier, Marion Achard and Yann Degruel (NBM)

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Gladys Parker: A Life in Comics, A Passion for Fashion, Trina Robbins (Hermes Press)
2. Invisible Men: Black Artists of The Golden Age of Comics, Ken Quattro (Yoe Books)
3. Snow, Glass, Apples, Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran (Dark Horse)
4. The Only Living Girl: Beneath the Unseen City, David Gallaher & Steve Ellis (Papercutz)
5. The Arab of the Future 4, Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. The Poe Clan, Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
2. The Hard Tomorrow, Eleanor Davis (Drawn and Quarterly)
3. LAAB #4: This was your life, Various (Beehive Books)
4. Comic Aht #2, Various (Domino)
5. Ein Jahr ohne Cthulhu, Alexandre Clérisse & Thierry Smolderen (Carlsen)

*****

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John Vest

1. Reincarnation Stories, Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)
2. Winter Warrior, Eve Gilbert (Fantagraphics)
3. Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 27, Chester Gould (LOAC)
4. Jack Kirby's Dingbat Love, Jack Kirby (Twomorrows Publishing)
5. Nancy: A Comic Collection, Olivia Jaimes (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. All The Presidents, Drew Friedman (Fantagraphics)
2. Toybox Americana, Tim Lane (Fantagraphics)
3. Ditko Is Amazing!, Steve Ditko (Marvel)
4. LOAC Essentials Volume Fourteen: Barney Google, Billy DeBeck (LOAC).
5. Lupus, Frederik Peeters (Top Shelf)

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga (Drawn & Quarterly)
2. Grip, Part 2, Lale Westvind, (Perfectly Acceptable Press)
3. Reincarnation Stories, Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)
4. Bradley Of Him, Connor Willumsen (Koyama Press)
5. Dédales, Charles Burns (Cornélius)

*****

thanks to those that paid attention to my crabby requests regarding formatting

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July 27, 2019


Go, Look: Super-Enigmatix!

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

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Happy 81st Birthday, Pierre Christin!

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July 26, 2019


Go, Watch: Chris Pitzer Shoot Interview

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Assembled Extra: Barry Blitt Joins Air Mail Newsletter Team

* this review of Graydon Carter's army-of-contributors e-mail newsletter Air Mail makes it sound as ridiculous as every other piece of writing on it, but there's news in here that Barry Blitt provided a cartoon that apparently made Ari Fleischer kill his subscription. That's news for Blitt's participation but also I believe just for that format carrying a cartoon contribution.
 
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If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: How Do You Experience "Parts?"

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Matt Seneca on Walt & Skeezix: 1933-1934.

* Dylan Horrocks has a list of writing he'd like to see. I'd like to see all of these things, too.

* festivals extra: a report from Lyon.

* happy 100th, Barney Google.

* bundled extra: hey, they're apparently taking another shot at the Legion Of Super-Heroes concept. Maybe they're finally far enough way from fans wishing to hug the series to death to give something else a long enough life to find some space with which to create. "Superpowered teenagers from the future" is one of the slam dunk concepts, for sure.

* everyone mourns differently and I don't get to vote on that but man you just open yourself up for thoughts-and-prayers style eye-rolling there.

* finally, missed it: Carol Tilley and John Jackson Miller have a bit of back and forth about some uncovered, broad numbers for 1970s comics publishers.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Bob Pinaha!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Brannon Costello!

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July 25, 2019


Go, Look: San Juan Takes To The Streets

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* next year's SDCC is July 23-26 with a July 22 Preview Night. I think this iteration stamped on comics brains that the show remains a necessary one for those with the conception of the show as a comic industry gathering place, even if the actual role of promoting individual comics becomes more and more a part of everything else. Comics people seem to attend the Eisners if they or their friends are up for them, they go to signings, they are happy to be on panels. They seemed pleased to touch base with community allies and see old friends. It felt as mentally healthy as a comic convention stuffed to the rafters with people might get.

* I still suggest everyone go at least once.

* finally: this is a nice memory by Scott Dunbier.
 
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If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* not comics: sad to hear that Tuca & Bertie didn't get a second-season order. Letting an algorithm program your shows means we're likely to get replacement with characters voiced by Kevin James and David Spade. Congratulations to Lisa Hanawalt on making art according to her own standards, and I look forward to whatever is next.

image* here's Noah Van Sciver and friends on Will Eisner.

* here's another story about the Loot comic book store in Brooklyn, which I guess has a borrowing model that's leaving some of my comics friend scratching their heads. If I don't think about it too deeply, maybe it will succeed despite these moments of skepticism.

* I don't know if this is publicly accessible, but there's apparently a round-up of retailer reaction about 2019 so far at SKETCHD. So if I'm not informing a bunch of you, I'm reminding a few of you. It does seem to support some anecdotal evidence of mine from the first half of the year that there's some "asses absent from seats" stuff going on, a physical vacating of some shops.

* Mike Barr presents at Bowling Green.

* finally: sure, it's likely that MAD will be brought back and I guess it's always going to be on the table until it happens that this could be sooner rather than later, but I hope no one uses this to slip/slide past the fact that MAD was given a death sentence.
 
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Happy 78th Birthday, S. Clay Wilson!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Dan Shahin!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Ray Billingsley!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Jon Lewis!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Alex Wald!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Chip Bok!

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July 24, 2019


Go, Read: Why Am I Scared To Ride A Bike?

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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.

*****

MAY191681 TONTA HC LOVE & ROCKETS (MR) $19.99
This cover makes me laugh for multiple reasons, but man do I love Gomez. Summer reading for me means reading Jaime, and is one of the recurring pleasures of my life.

JAN190750 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 26 $44.99
A lot of people take similar pleasure in Chester Gould's work. I'm not one of the, but these are consistently visually appealing comics and I yearn for a time I can buy $45 comics hardcovers like a plate of French fries. That's a hell of an achievement, by the way, to publish that much of a popular cartoonist that far removed from their heyday.

imageMAY190081 LAZARUS RISEN #2 (MR) $7.99
MAY198629 LITTLE BIRD #1 (OF 5) 4TH PTG (MR) $3.99
MAR190257 WICKED & DIVINE #44 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99
MAR190258 WICKED & DIVINE #44 CVR B RIOS & MUERTO (MR) $3.99
MAY190374 ACTION COMICS #1013 CARD STOCK VAR ED YOTV THE OFFER $4.99
MAY190373 ACTION COMICS #1013 YOTV THE OFFER $3.99
MAY191249 LUMBERJANES #64 CVR A MAIN LEYH $3.99
MAY191250 LUMBERJANES #64 CVR B PREORDER CHAU VAR $3.99
This is the most stacked of the recent comic-book comics portions of this list. I enjoy the Rucka/Lark comic-book series Lazarus whenever I see it. I think it has a Warren Magazines adventure-story sturdiness, and the concept of the world transformed into vassals of a handful of rich families removes a lot of the half-players from the board in a way that lets an adventure story breathe. The Wic/Div stuff is a comics narrative conclusion with an important Coda to come. Congratulations to the creators. I enjoy these Team Rucka Superman comic books as diverting entertainment. I don't read Lumberjanes at all, but that's a lot of comic-book issues.

DEC181978 SCOTT PILGRIM COLOR COLLECTION TP BOX SET $89.99
DEC181979 SCOTT PILGRIM COLOR COLLECTION TP VOL 01 $29.99
DEC181980 SCOTT PILGRIM COLOR COLLECTION TP VOL 02 $29.99
DEC181981 SCOTT PILGRIM COLOR COLLECTION TP VOL 03 $29.99
That's a nice way to celebrate the works' 15 years since launch. There will be a revisit of that work by a lot of people eventually.

MAY191835 AKISSI MORE TALES OF MISCHIEF GN $14.95
I love the Ivory Coast setting and don't miss the previous series' young-person soap opera, although I realize it's a thematic blend of that world and its popular, soap opera entertainments.

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Preview Of Adrian Tomine's Cartooning Memoir

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Go, Look: Marguerite Sauvage

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on O Josephine!

* not comics: I hope that you remember to do this on this weekend, and on others when comics people congregate. Comics literally had to endure shittier treatment than their economic impact indicates for San Diego because there were so many stories of poor tipping behavior. That's what I always felt, anyway.

* this wasn't long enough to justify a full go, look post when it first appeared; I do try to make those a bit more substantial a page or a page and a half, but I do like the fact that The Nib and other publications have been able to use Pia Guerra, with and without husband and writer Ian Boothby. Her ability to render places in a recognizable way is a nice tool for these publications to employ.

* finally: forgot all about this set of Instagram posts from a photographer at the opening in June in Hamilton, Ontario. Poke around for a few famous-cartoonist images.
 
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Happy 61st Birthday, Robert Greenberger!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Steven Stwalley!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Mark Andrew Smith!

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Happy 84th Birthday, Pat Oliphant!

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July 23, 2019


Go, Look: Jul Gordon

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* whoa, look at this 500-plus page Will Dinski work on the way from Uncivilized.
 
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Go, Look: The Life Cycle Of A Beach Read

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Hillary Brown on MacDoodle St., one we need to remember next year when the awards are done.

* the Moebius Advice To Students article is an on-line perennial and I bet there's at least one person that gets one thing from it every single time it gets posted.

* Ernie Estrella walks Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp through their The Green Lantern series' first eight issue. There's a lot there to chew on in the interview, maybe more than I easily pull from the comic. I do like some of their foundational jiggering with the heroic models involved, particularly with the Hal Jordan character.

* finally, a bit of not comics: this streetwear won't be for me for 100 reasons, but apparently price and exclusivity will be two for many people.
 
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Happy 72nd Birthday, Mike Vosburg!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Kelley Jones!

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July 22, 2019


Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.

*****

UP THROUGH MONDAY, JULY 22

* sitting here early in the morning on the Monday after SDCC, twitter is full of personal travelogue wrap-ups and think pieces about Marvel's movie slate. I'm sure those movies will be fine as long as they cast interesting actors and draw from the more intriguing story runs in that gigantic pile of comics from which they're ultimately working. Whether or not this has an effect on the comics being sold -- it will in the broadest terms of what gets published -- mostly depends on how the comics line chooses to do things. It might also be a time to see if the comics publishing arm is slow-developing any material in the Guardians fashion; my guess there is that there may be a lot of Young Avengers material from the last 15 years suited to film translation. The Shang-Chi film strikes me as a way to reclaim a kind of super Kung-Fu film that didn't quite work with the Neflix series group. I wonder if there's a sense they can try some things with Fantastic Four and X-Men as big-property back-ups.

* I spent more time than ever before sleeping during the show. I was tired, and not in good enough shape to be doing that much walking while trying to get some things down. That should never happen again, and I hope I can address that directly in the ramp-up to 20-20.

* congratulations to the show itself for its 50th anniversary, which it celebrate in a series of panels and supplementary acknowledgments. I'm told those panels were occasionally pretty entertaining, especially the small aside that as recently as the Clinton Administration someone like Mary Fleener could share a table with her friends and make costs back and some extra money selling mini-comics. This is true, and it'd be nice if I could be convinced that this generation's Jim Blanchard is out there warping minds and finding a stretch of floor on which to sleep.

UP THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 21

* as I was being driven out of town on Saturday -- new tip for 2020: ask the cars that fail to pick someone up how much they'd take for a quick airport run -- I noticed a lot more people than I though on the streets above the show. I think that likely has something to do with the perception that things are crowded but not super crowded in the "holy fuck reality is bending get me out of here" way. With a shift from the intensity of the big franchise days there's a lot more of the general fan more likely to want to go have a nice lunch between toy purchases. I just don't get that same must-see insistence, although of course it's still there.

* I really like the Chris Ware panel I saw yesterday, the spotlight moderated by Chip Kidd. They brought a few books and a ton of posters for the big fall book Rusty Brown, and gave away both to designees of a small handout according to proportional amounts available. I like Chris's demeanor, I think the nervousness and self-laceration is real but tempered in a public setting. He seemed genuinely touched by receiving an Inkpot and complimented the award on its handsomeness (it is a really good looking physical award!). I like all the stories about Kidd and Ware working together in the years he was first starting out, and Ware's various design jobs. It was interesting to hear Chris talk about the notion of comics-consumption as a huge sign of lack of social standing, why surrounded by a show where comics is a part of positive experience for so many fans.

UP THROUGH SATURDAY, JULY 20

imageThe Eisners are a Comic-Con awards program, so I don't always agree with some of the In-Memory choices that don't go as deep on the artistic contribution as other factors. Ted Stearn wasn't as significant artists as some, or as part of SDCC, but he was an artist I liked very much and wanted to mention him here.

* I didn't think the Eisners was as long or difficult to sit through as last year's version, although in other ways it felt longer -- like last year I made my first "what the hell is going on?" check with seven awards left while this year there were 11. I think I agree with most people talking (some griping, some almost ruthlessly analyzing) that the only major cut to be made with a dramatic time impact in one shot is do something with the Hall Of Fame, but I'd also love to see an effort to get down to some of the iterations where it's been 24, 25, 26 categories instead of in the mid-30s.

* I saw all the goofery that annoyed many. No more commentary on whether or not you thought you'd win, please. Make notes for who to thank from your prepared professional side rather than your honest-reaction side, if you must. There's no way to play commentary on your getting a nice honor where you come across better ending self-reflective sentences than you looked beginning them. The wink-wink sexist stuff goes over like a lead balloon. I wanted to rush people off the stage that did "you're a hot chick at a comics convention" jokes and put them in a van to take them to a motel and talk them through some things. I was surprised there was almost nothing about all the stuff that faces the comics industry right now, and there's a lot upon which to comment.

* all that said, I'm glad Jackie Estrada made it though what must have been a really tough work. Good for her, and thanks for all of those in her circle able to support her more directly.

* the best thing I saw was Chip Zdarsky's scribbled acceptance-speech note, which was like five hastily scrawled words including "dildoes." I wasn't kidding the Billy Ireland needs that for their files, Chip.

* kudos to Gina Gagliano and Chip Moster for the power move of greeting friends with a hug as soon as they stepped away from the photo area. One weird thing I like is watching the winners walk by with their faces all lit up because of the excitement.

* Simon Hanselmann was this year's best yeller of funny things.

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* just to be clear: I was sad that Ted Stearn didn't make the In Memorium section of the show, but I don't get worked up into a high dudgeon anymore. I think running those lists past a few people is eminently doable. I don't think they're in danger of being overwhelmed by being one or two steps more cognizant of alt/arts talent that died in the last year. Stearn was a uniquely expressive cartoonist and those kind of cartoonists are what have kept me reading the form past the age of 12. RIP.

UP THROUGH FRIDAY, JULY 19

* I tromped a lot around town last night, much to my legs' chagrin. I only let out an audible moan, realizing walking about sixth I had no idea how far away Broadway was at some point. It was easy start to the evening. The Scholastic Party moved from Broadway to the Hilton Gaslamp, so that was convenient. I was standing on my balcony looking that crowd below and noticed Jenni Holm before I figured it out.

* saw Milton Griepp at the Scholastic shindig, too. He was kind about reading my Twitter feed. Milton is a big comic-con memory for me because of my first panel moderation, which was a panel with Larry Marder on it after Image had made the decision to thrown in their lot with a dominant Image as opposed to a Capital City with a fighting chance because of people wanting to carry Spawn. I worked with Kurt Busiek on a panel this weekend; he was in the audience for that panel. Man, we're just rocketing towards death.

* good to know it's still slightly insane

* got to talk to Maggie Thompson at the Scholastic function, someone to whom I rarely get to speak. Sorting through the Walt Kelly material kept by Carolyn over the years sounds fascinating.

UP THROUGH THURSDAY, JULY 18


UP THROUGH WEDNESDAY, JULY 17

* there's a good buzz for this year's San Diego show, at least from where I sit, despite or maybe because the changing shape of the various comics industries.

* Zdarsky and Loo go high-concept -- or the "please make a TV show" route if you're cynical -- with Afterlift. I like Zdarsky writing humor a lot, so i'll look at this for sure. At some point I'm going to sit down and trying to figure out industry veteran Chip Mosher as an editorial director, but this is not that day. That's a much higher profile creative team than most of what's been done so far with those comics.

* Jonathan Hickman and collaborators working on the X-Men comics is a big deal, just in terms of a potential point-and-buy prestige title with a still-potent amount of affection from different corners of its longtime readership. Its mega-story status is the story, at least this week. And then let's see where everything stands a few months in.

* okay, I should do better at this once I stop flying in airplanes. I'm also going to do a couple of comics publishing news stories as stand-alones that deserve then. See you tomorrow.

UP THROUGH WEDNESDAY, JULY 17

* one of the other giant shows on the world calendar, the one in Angouleme, announced a major exhibit/retropective featuring Yoshiharu Tsuge. That would be super-fun to see.

* it may be a rare comics announcement for the show, but it's legit comics news; Warren Ellis an Bryan Hitch team up on a Batman maxi-series. I think the recent mainstream work from both men has been a lot of fun.

*****

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Go, Look: The Adventures Of Talon

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* Please consider giving to the Sam Gafford Memorial Fund, and particularly so if he had been an independent creator and publisher from your general area.

* a group from Center For Cartoon Studies in Vermont is asking on behalf of their latest, admirable-sounding projects.

* there's a lot of great work done during San Diego Comic Con on behalf of comics charities and this year was no exception. Here's Scott Dunbier on art monies raised for the CBLDF.

* here's where you can pre-order that new Kevin Czap book.

* finally, Dustin Harbin is about $16,500 from making his current asked-for amount.
 
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Go, Look: Dresden Douglas

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Happy 35th Birthday, William Cardini!

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July 21, 2019


Paul Krassner, 1932-2019

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One More Day Of SDCC; Dead-Dogs, Final Announcements, Traveling Safely Back Home

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Here's Los Angeles-area Eric Michael Kochmer in the dining room of the Hilton Gaslamp as the 2019 Comic-Con International winds down. Safe travel to everyone and thank you, San Diego.
 
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Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.

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Go, Look: Rose Bousamra

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Go, Look: The Pioneering Surgeon Who Defied Victorian Gender Norms

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Happy 71st Birthday, Garry Trudeau!

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July 20, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Scott McCloud's Original Understanding Comics TED Talk


Riad Sattouf Interviewed; Gives Advice


Nicole Hollander Interviewed In 2009


Henry Chamberlain Talks To Bob Sikoryak


Cartooning Panel: Horrocks, Langridge, Murdoch, Mulipola
 
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Your 2019 Eisner Awards Winners

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Lot of Tom King, a modicum of Jen Wang, and a lengthy ceremony. Congratulations to everyone. Winners in Bold.

*****

BEST SHORT STORY
* "Get Naked in Barcelona," by Steven T. Seagle and Emei Olivia Burrell, in Get Naked (Image)
* "The Ghastlygun Tinies," by Matt Cohen and Marc Palm, in MAD magazine #4 (DC)
* "Here I Am," by Shaun Tan, in I Feel Machine (SelfMadeHero)
* "Life During Interesting Times," by Mike Dawson (The Nib)
* "Supply Chains," by Peter and Maria Hoey, in Coin-Op #7 (Coin-Op Books>
* "The Talk of the Saints," by Tom King and Jason Fabok, in Swamp Thing Winter Special(DC)

*****

BEST SINGLE ISSUE/ONE-SHOT
* Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, Emily Carroll (ShortBox)
* Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)
* No Better Words, Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket)
* Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310, by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)
* The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils In Suits, Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)

*****

BEST CONTINUING SERIES
* Batman, Tom King et al. (DC)
* Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
* Gasolina, Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter (Skybound/Image)
* Giant Days, John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julaa Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
* The Immortal Hulk, Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José (Marvel)
* Runaways, Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka (Marvel)

*****

BEST LIMITED SERIES
* Batman: White Knight, Sean Murphy (DC)
* Eternity Girl, Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew (Vertigo/DC)
* Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Mark Morales (DC)
* Mister Miracle, Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC)
* X-Men: Grand Design: Second Genesis, Ed Piskor (Marvel)

*****

BEST NEW SERIES
* Bitter Root, David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Green (Image)
* Crowded, Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image)
* Gideon Falls, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
* Isola, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image)
* Man-Eaters, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk (Image)
* Skyward, Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett (Image)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR EARLY READERS (UP TO AGE 8)
* Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer, James Kochalka (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Petals, by Gustavo Borges (KaBOOM!)
* Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, Graham Annable (First Second)
* This Is a Taco! By Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley (CubHouse/Lion Forge)
* Tiger Vs. Nightmare, Emily Tetri (First Second)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS AGES 9-12
* Aquicorn Cove, Katie O'Neill (Oni)
* Be Prepared, Vera Brosgol (First Second)
* The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell (Knopf/Random House Children's Books)
* Crush, Svetlana Chmakova (JY/Yen Press)
* The Divided Earth, Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR TENS (AGES 13-17)
* All Summer Long, Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)
* Gumballs, by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Middlewest, Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
* Norroway, Book One: The Black Bull of Norroway, Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image)
* The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang (First Second)
* Watersnakes, Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

*****

BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION
* Get Naked, Steven T. Seagle et al. (Image)
* Giant Days, John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
* MAD magazine, edited by Bill Morrison (DC)
* A Perfect Failure: Fanta Bukowski 3, Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
* Woman World, Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST ANTHOLOGY
* Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, edited by Shelly Bond (Black Crown/IDW)
* Puerto Rico Strong, edited by Marco Lopez, Desiree Rodriguez, Hazel Newlevant, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz (Lion Forge)
* Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi (Image)
* Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, edited by Will Dennis, curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams (Image)

*****

BEST REALITY-BASED WORK
* All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
* All the Sad Songs, Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet)
* Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, Box Brown (First Second)
* Monk! by Youssef Daoudi (First Second)
* One Dirty Tree, Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)

*****

Best Graphic Album -- New
* Bad Girls, Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)
* Come Again, Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1, Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)
* Homunculus, Joe Sparrow (ShortBox)
* My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
* Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- REPRINT
* Berlin, Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Upgrade Soul, Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)
* The Vision Hardcover, Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)
* Young Frances, Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)

*****

BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM
* Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Pantheon)
* "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, adapted by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
* Out in the Open by Jesus Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero)
* Speak: The Graphic Novel, Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (Farrar Straus Giroux)
* To Build a Fire: Based on Jack London's Classic Story, Chabouté (Gallery 13)

*****

BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL
* About Betty's Boob, Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!)
* Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
* Herakles Book One, Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* Niourk, Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
* A Sea of Love, Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

*****

Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia
* Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition, Tsutomu Nihei, translated by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
* Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction, Inio Asano, translated by John Werry (VIZ Media)
* Laid-Back Camp, Afro, translated by Amber Tamosaitis (Yen Press)
* My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, Nie Jun, translated by Edward Gauvin (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
* Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLLECTION/PROJECT -- STRIPS
* Pogo, Volume Five: Out of This World At Home, Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959–1960), Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Ferran Delgado (Amigo Comics)
* Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, edited by Dean Mullaney (Library of American Comics/IDW
* The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Words and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, Justin Duerr (Beehive Books
* Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- COMIC BOOKS
* Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, edited by Paul Levitz (DC)
* Bill Sienkiewicz's Mutants and Moon Knights... And Assassins... Artifact Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Madman Quarter Century Shindig, Mike Allred, edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)
* Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, edited by Joseph Melchior and Bob Chapman (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
* Will Eisner's A Contract with God: Curator's Collection, edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

*****

BEST WRITER
* Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
* Tom King, Batman, Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis, Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
* Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer: Age of DoomDoctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, Quantum Age (Dark Horse); Descender, Gideon Falls, Royal City (Image)
* Mark Russell, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig (DC); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
* Kelly Thompson, Nancy Drew (Dynamite); Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, Mr. & Mrs. X, Rogue & Gambit, Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers (Marvel)
* Chip Zdarsky, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One (Marvel)

*****

BEST WRITER/ARTIST
* Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni)
* Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
* David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW); Stray Bullets (Image)
* Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)

*****

BEST PENCILLER/INKER OR PENCILLER/INKER TEAM
* Matias Bergara, Coda (BOOM!)
* Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
* Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
* Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
* Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
* Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC)


*****

BEST PAINTER/MULTIMEDI ARTIST (INTERIOR ART)
* Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned (DC)
* Carita Lupatelli, Izuna Book 2 (Humanoids)
* Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
* Gregory Panaccione, A Sea of Love (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

*****

BEST COVER ARTIST (FOR MULTIPLE COVERS)
* Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
* Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
* Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
* Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
* Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)

*****

BEST COLORING
* Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)
* Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)
* Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)
* Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC): Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)
* Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways(Marvel)

*****

BEST LETTERING
* David Aja, Seeds (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
* Jim Campbell, Breathless, Calexit, Gravetrancers, Snap Flash Hustle, Survival Fetish, The Wilds (Black Mask); Abbott, Alice: Dream to Dream, Black Badge,Clueless, Coda, Fence, Firefly, Giant Days, Grass Kings, Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, Low Road West Sparrowhawk (BOOM); Angelic (Image); Wasted Space (Vault)
* Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
* Jared Fletcher, Batman: Damned (DC); The Gravediggers Union, Moonshine, Paper Girls, Southern Bastards (Image)
* Todd Klein -- Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse); Batman: White Night (DC); Eternity Girl, Books of Magic (Vertigo/DC); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (Top Shelf/IDW)

*****

BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICL/JOURNALISM
* Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows) (tie)
* The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, columbusscribbler.com
* Comicosity, edited by Aaron Long and Matt Santori,  www.comicosity.com
* LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter, edited by Ronald Wimberley and Josh O'Neill (Beehive Books)
* PanelxPanel magazine, edited by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, panelxpanel.com

*****

BEST COMIC-RELATED BOOK
* Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978, Keith Dallas and John Wells (TwoMorrows)
* Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists, Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi)
* The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, Jon Morris (Quirk Books)
* Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without an Eraser, Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messer (TwoMorrows)
* Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography -- Beyond the Fantasy, Florent Gorges, translated by Laure Dupont and Annie Gullion (Dark Horse)

*****

BEST ACADEMIC/SCHOLARY WORK
* Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, Aaron Kashtan (Ohio State University Press)
* Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, Marc Singer (University of Texas Press)
* The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics, Eddie Campbell (Library of American Comics/IDW/Ohio State University Press)
* Incorrigibles and Innocents, Lara Saguisag (Rutgers Univeristy Press)
* Sweet Little Cunt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet, Anne Elizabeth Moore (Uncivilized Books)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION DESIGN
* A Sea of Love, designed by Wilfrid Lupano, Grégory Panaccione, and Mike Kennedy (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* The Stan Lee Story Collector's Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)
* The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley, designed by Paul Kepple and Max Vandenberg (Beehive Books)
* Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios/NYC (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
* Will Eisner's A Contract with God: Curator's Collection, designed by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

*****

BEST DIGITAL COMIC
* Aztec Empire, Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett, and David Hahn.
* The Fuhrer and the Tramp, Sean McArdle, Jon Judy, and Dexter Wee.
* The Journey, Pablo Leon (Rewire).
* The Stone King, Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook (comiXology Originals).
* Umami, Ken Niimura (Panel Syndicate).

*****

BEST WEBCOMIC
* The Contradictions, Sophie Yanow. (WEBTOON).
* Lavender Jack, Dan Schkade. (WEBTOON).
* Lore Olympus, Rachel Smythe. Let's Play, Mongie. (WEBTOON).
* Tiger, Tiger, Petra Erika Nordlund. (Hiveworks).


*****

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Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.

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Go, Look: Nero Hamaoui

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Go, Look: Mike Perkins

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Some Strange Disturbances. John Seven on How To Be Reasonable. Sean Witzke on Sea Of Stars #1. Matt Seneca on Plaza.

* not comics: I don't know what digital minimalism is, but I have my suspicions and I'd love to find a way to more effectively and more aggressively structure my life around my digital use. I mean, I work on-line for a living, I like this stuff, but I'm not sure I'm wagging the tail on it anymore. Anyone have a suggestion of books/articles on this matter

* bundled extra: Gary Tyrrell reacts to the release news for Gene Luen Yang's book next year.

* while I'm just asking people to send me links, does anyone know how ComiXology did with Walking Dead #193 sales? I remember the first time I was convinced there was a place for digital comics in a paper-driven medium even if paper stayed on top was when they shot Captain America and suddenly no one could find that physical issue and more people than could find it wanted to read it. It's slightly different scenarios at work here, but I wonder about that kind of thing.

* finally, Mike McCann on Little Bird #4.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Benoît Ers!

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July 19, 2019


Bundled Extra: Kevin Czap Collecting Four Years

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I was happy to hear that Kevin Czap was going to collect Four Years through the Czap Books label. I admire the publisher and am twice as fond of the cartoonist; efforts in both areas helped Czap become the 2016 Emerging Cartoonist at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. The new book should be lovely-looking, too, in full-color and at over 40 pages. I recommend any and everything you find on the site I sent along a few questions for something to read on this Comic-Con Friday and Kevin was nice enough to reply. -- Tom Spurgeon

TOM SPURGEON: Was it the plan to publish at this time, with this much material had been created? I'm always interested in the exact reasons things happen at one time over another.

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KEVIN CZAPIEWSKI: I've been playing this one a bit by ear, making decisions as opportunity and necessity dictate. My original plan was just to serialize the story online, on my Patreon, and as mini-comics. Since there has been space available in the Czap Books schedule for the past several conventions, it made sense to use that chance to have my own work there. Over the past year I've released two issues of Four Years as small runs which are both sold out. I just finished the third issue and it ended up being more cost-effective to print them all together, and with SPX, CXC, and MICE coming up now would be the time to do it. It works out to being half of the overall story, and I think this package will give people a better overall experience.

SPURGEON: I know this has been a tough year for a lot of cartoonists; I think of our small press as a place for a lot of positives. How do things look from your perspective as a publisher, as a creator?

CZAPIEWSKI: Things have been pretty inwardly focused on both fronts for the past year or so as I work on making both my solo career as a cartoonist and Czap Books as an operation stronger and more resilient. I have a lot of worried thoughts about how the political atmosphere is dismantling some of the prospects of having a small business like this (for a minor example, I mean look at international shipping rates). Creatively it feels as exciting as it ever has, I'm seeing so much great work from newer names (new to me at least), and the cartoonists who I think of as being in my peer group are getting a lot of great opportunities. I guess my perspective in both cases is maturing.

SPURGEON: You had a really interesting statement or two about intergenerational differene and floated the argument at TCAF that it may be that younger cartoonists are due more respect. Is that fair, how would you like to see the broad range of cartoonists come together on those kinds of arguments?

CZAPIEWSKI: I'm not sure how true or fair it is, I just remember feeling that way at some point early on. When I pitched the panel I felt I didn't even need to necessarily be the moderator, it was just a conversation I wanted to see happen - a space to share perspective in good faith. To be perfectly honest, I've seen more good examples of how I wish things were in practice already than the opposite, which is usually just people sniping over Facebook. [Spurgeon laughs]

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Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.

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*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Jaws

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon
 
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If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Jim Aparo Charlton Cover Art

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Happy 47th Birthday, Jamal Igle!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Rupert Bottenberg!

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Happy 57th Birthday, John Kovaleski!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Luke McDonnell!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Richard Pini!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Bob Burden!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Terry LaBan!

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July 18, 2019


Bundled Extra: AdHouse Provides Details On New Kurt Ankeny Work

imageChris Pitzer and AdHouse Books announced July 15 the publishing details for their new collection featuring the works of cartoonist Kurt Ankeny: Pleading With Stars.

Due mid-September, Pleading will be a 184-page softcover priced at $19.95. Its ISBN13 is 9781935233527 and its Diamond order code will be JUL19 1426.

A partial PDF preview can be obtained here.

I'm a great fan of Ankeny's work, an am excited to see a book with a perfect publisher for taking that next step into comics' wider consciousness. I hope to see copies at SPX and CXC this Fall.
 
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Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.

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Up Through Thursday, July 17
* there's a good buzz for this year's San Diego show, at least from where I sit, despite or maybe because the changing shape of the various comics industries.

* Zdarsky and Loo go high-concept -- or the "please make a TV show" route if you're cynical -- with Afterlift. I like Zdarsky writing humor a lot, so i'll look at this for sure. At some point I'm going to sit down and trying to figure out industry veteran Chip Mosher as an editorial director, but this is not that day. That's a much higher profile creative team than most of what's been done so far with those comics.

* Jonathan Hickman and collaborators working on the X-Men comics is a big deal, just in terms of a potential point-and-buy prestige title with a still-potent amount of affection from different corners of its longtime readership. Its mega-story status is the story, at least this week. And then let's see where everything stands a few months in.

* okay, I should do better at this once I stop flying in airplanes. I'm also going to do a couple of comics publishing news stories as stand-alones that deserve then. See you tomorrow.


Up Through Wednesday, July 16

* one of the other giant shows on the world calendar, the one in Angouleme, announced a major exhibit/retropective featuring Yoshiharu Tsuge. That would be super-fun to see.

* it may be a rare announcement for the show, but it's legit comics news; Warren Ellis an Bryan Hitch team up on a Batman maxi-series.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Amber Leigh

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* CAB 2019 has opened up exhibitor applications. They promise more table for a lower price per table, and encourage everyone who exhibits to submit panel programming idea. That is one of the strongest rooms in comics. Deadline July 31; show on November 2. I hope to be there!
 
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Go, Look: The Aaron Goodman Art Collection

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Ginseng Roots #1.

* otbp: Sally Cantirino comics available at Gumroad.com.

* win a residency, make a comic.

* I'm starting to get worried about the relative frequency with which individual The Nib cartoonists will be published once the new financial model settles in.

* it's great to see Kriota Willberg doing comics that move beyond the immediate injury element.

* finally: a bit of by request extra: that is a hell of a dollar amount for anything, and for a comic book it's worth a double chin nod full Our Gang reaction. Yow.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Wes Molebash!

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July 17, 2019


Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show

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Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show, except the one directly above which is like from 2011.

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* one of the other giant shows on the world calendar, the one in Angouleme, announced a major exhibit/retropective featuring Yoshiharu Tsuge. That would be super-fun to see.

* it may be a rare announcement for the show, but it's legit comics news; Warren Ellis an Bryan Hitch team up on a Batman maxi-series.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Chantal Horeis

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Paul Buhle On Comics As Erotic Art

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thanks to Patrick Rosenkranz
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Witzke on At The End Of Your Tether #1.
 
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Happy 44th Birthday, Jeffrey Brown!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Brian K. Vaughan!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Ned Sonntag!

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Happy 81st Birthday, Hermann!

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July 16, 2019


Go, Look: Massive New York Daily News Visual History Article

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* that isn't the final cover above, but I'm glad to see the Journal taking on this issue. Fanta-fact, we had good health insurance at Fantagraphics when I worked there in the 1990s, a time when Gary and Kim had about eleven cents between them. Don't believe any comics publisher that says health insurance for staff is impossible.

* Meg Lemke provides a broad survey of Fall 2019 books for PW. There are some interesting books in there. Joel Orff!

* finally, here's the great Calvin Reid at PW on initial details about the new HarperCollins comics-devoted imprint. Andrew Arnold will be editorial director.
 
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Go, Look: Cookie #7

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Slightly Plural. Emily Gosling on Kramers Ergot Vol. 10.

* the Cornish CCS Residency Fellowship is opening up for another year. That sounds like a fantastic opportunity, and I bet ten years from now we'll have a half dozen of these types of things serving the wider comics community.

* just now caught up with this. I can't imagine anything good can come out of criticizing your freelance pool via an outside mechanism. I also figure the freelancers have a point -- mainstream titles get canceled all the time for various reasons and staying on a title can have a negative impact on your sales history. Me, all my mainstream title runs would be short because I have very few ideas and find most of the narratives represented by that genre to be exhausted or something close to it.

* Josh Bayer talks at length with Trevor Von Eeden.

* OTBP: INKS: The Journal Of The Comics Studies Society, Vol. 3 #1.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Pierre Wazem!

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July 15, 2019


Go, Look: Veronika Muchitsch

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By Request Extra: Michel Vrana's Black Eye Back With Pre-Order Driven Jay Stephens Collection

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Both of these things are good news. This also works out for CXC, where Jay will be in conversation with Rafael Rosado on September 25 in an affiliated event.
 
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Go, Look: Pin-Up Type Illustrations By HAI

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* AJ McGuire on Dry County. Mike McCann on Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter #3.

* best wishes to Kate Lacour and family.

* editorial cartoonist Greg Perry pulls himself from consideration as the replacement for Michael De Adder at Brunswick News. I think a lot of people would have departed that situation just because it sound like a pain in the ass and some promises weren't kept.

* count Gary Tyrrell among those that works their way through the daily CCI schedule and pulls out some of them for your consideration. Here's Thursday and Friday.

* longtime retailer and porto-blogger Mike Sterling weighs in on MAD's change in publishing status.

* SPX Tumblr continues to add names to this anniversary year at SPX's stupendous-sounding list.

* here's Charles Schulz in 1970 on what makes a good citizen. Sounds like a reasonable answer to me. This was passed along to several sites over this last holiday weekend.

* finally: Scott Edelman talks to Gerry Conway. I've been enjoying these Scott Edelman interviews of his peers.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Chis Cilla!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Kelly Sue DeConnick!

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July 14, 2019


For No Particular Reason Here's A Bunch Of Photos From The MIXX Show Back In 2013

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This was a good show that threw a spotlight on a single guest -- sometimes a pair -- that ran in the early 2010s on the CCAD campus in Columbus. This one featured exhibits by Gary Panter and Jeff Smith.
 
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Go, Look: Zohar Lazar

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If I Were In Northern Virginia, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Al Avison Images

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Alex Cox!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Leslie Stein!

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Happy 58th Birthday, JK Snyder III!

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FFF Results Post #525 -- Festivals Re-Discussed

Five For Friday #525 -- Name Three Current Conventions/Festivals You Like, One Convention/Festival No Longer Around You Miss, and One Convention/Festival Currently In Existence You'd Like To Visit Someday.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. TCAF
2. SPX
3. CAB
4. Linework NW
5. FIBD

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Michael Dooley

1. San Diego Comic Fest
2. L.A. Zine Fest
3. Long Beach Comic Expo *
4. EC Fan Addict Convention
5. Angouleme International Comics Festival


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Sean Kleefeld

1. CAKE
2. TCAF
3. CXC
4. Roger Price's Pre-Wizard Mid-Ohio-Con
5. Angoulême

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Trevor Ashfield

1. SaskExpo - Saskatoon, SK
2. SaskExpo - Regina, SK
3. Manitoba Comics Con - Winnipeg, MB
4. Regina Comics Fair - Regina, SK
5. Toronto Comics Arts Festival - Toronto ON

*****

Stephen Harrick

1. A2CAF
2. Superman Celebration
3. Genghis Con
4. Cincinnati ComiCon
5. CCI

*****

Buzz Dixon

1. WonderCon
2. SDCF
3. WorldCon
4. Atlanta Fantasy Fair
5. Comiket

*****
*****
 
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July 13, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Bob Andelman Interviews The Late Batton Lash, 2015


Cartoonist Kayfabe Commentary on Sandman #1


HeroesCon 2019 Panel: Forsman, Fiffe, Rugg, Piskor
 
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Go, Look: Mariana Pita

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

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If I Were In Northern Virginia, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Frank Miller's Famous Detective Pin-Up

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Happy 77th Birthday, Tom Palmer!

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Happy 88th Birthday, Ernie Colon!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Paul Karasik!

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Happy 77th Birthday, Mike Ploog!

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July 12, 2019


OTBP: Disorder

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Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Announces Special Guest List And Programming Themes For 2019 Festival

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As many of you know, one of my jobs is that I am currently the Executive Director For Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), a non-profit organization based in Columbus, Ohio that runs a four-day comics and animation festival in the Fall. This year will be our fifth show.

I believe we are unique in that the exact dates of the show depends first on when our college football team is out of town, and the second and third criteria rest on what weekends are being used by convention juggernauts Small Press Expo and New York Comic-Con. I am sure this landscape will evolve over the next few years because festivals and conventions is still an area for growth in an industry that looks to be heading into a cycle without a lot of such areas. But for now if we're not at peak conventions/festivals we are near that apex.

Today is a travel day for me headed to another show, Comic-Con International in San Diego. So with me tucked on a plane, I hope you don't mind my taking a gigantic, self-absorbed digression with the space provided here to talk about this year's CXC show. Last month we held our local launch party including announcements of our 2019 dates, our initial round of guests, and some of the themes. Here's my blog post about those announcements.

CXC 2019 is September 26-29, with affiliated events a possibility each day from September 23-25 and definitely one on the 25th.

imageWe will kick off the weekend on the evening of September 25th with animator and cartoonist Jay Stephens in a conversation about his work with CXC board member and very skilled cartoonist in his own right Rafael Rosado. CR is sponsoring that event. I am a huge Jay Stephens fan in whatever media he choose to use, and have a particular fondness for his comic book work in the 1990s with Black Eye. There may be more week-of events Sunday through Wednesday as the calendar takes shape.

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On Thursday, September 26, CXC moves its show to the Ohio State University campus in and around the glorious Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. There are two exhibits at the Billy CXC 2019 weekend: Drawing Blood: Comics And Medicine, about that growing area of interest for practitioners of the medium, and Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists And The First Amendment, co-curated by absolute heavy-hitters BILCM founding curator Lucy Caswell in partnership with Ann Telnaes, the Pulitzer-winning and Reuben-winning cartoonist, the person I think is the political cartoonist of the current day.

imageTelnaes is part a strong Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) contingent that are having their yearly convention in Columbus during the show and will appear on the Expo floor and in programming and events throughout. We are so happy to have them and their important work during a time of transitional change and raised stakes for that entire, honorable profession. One highlight will be a dual CXC/AAEC programming track on Saturday at CXC's Expo in the CML Main Library's beautiful Carnegie Room which will really dig into the state of that cartooning tradition and its current challenges, but they will have a presence at nearly every event. CXC is contributing to their number by having as a special guest Matt Bors of The Nib. Recent news suggests we will have a lot to talk about with Matt and some other Nib cartoonists in attendance as exhibitors.

We will also welcome back our sister-show of the last half-decade for 2019. SOL-CON is a Latinx and African-American devoted show that has combined events with us since 2015 while also running excellent panels, presentations and educational events of their own. This year they'll be adding an academic symposium on Wednesday and emphasizing a Thursday event featuring a pairing of two more CXC 2019 special guests: the great veteran alt-comics cartoonist Ho Che Anderson and rising superstar comics-maker and animator Ezra Claytan Daniels.

Thursday is also the day CXC features animation at the Film/Video theater at the Wexner Center For The Arts. The afternoon screening will be a selection of curated and historically significant British cartoons. At night Ezra Claytan Daniels will take the stage and present with partner and Special Guest Adebukola Bodunrin for a selection of their beautiful and afrofuturism-informed animation collaborations. That work is stunning and I'm looking forward to seeing it on the big screen and hearing them talk about it. SOL-CON's on-campus reception is that evening as well. Welcome to Columbus, everyone.

CXC's Friday is traditionally one of our stronger days, as we transition from our campus setting of Thursday and Friday and into our downtown Expo events. SOL-CON runs their educational programming: Columbus school kids interacting with SOL CON artists, while the Billy Ireland runs tours of its amazing facilities, presents an extra round of art selected by special guests for view in its reading room, and runs presentations by guests on issues peer-to-peer concerns. This year will feature artists from the Billy's Graphic Medicine exhibit in the morning and then a screening of Mr. Fish: Cartooning From The Deep End in the early afternoon.

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Friday accelerates in the later afternoon, as we stay at the Film/Video theater at the Wexner Center for our Keynote presentation. The Keynote encapsulates our aspirations for this year's festival through a smart, engaged look at formidable artist that embodies the best in the art form. This year, CXC presents Mike Mignola, a once-in-a-generation talent as a designer, illustrator and comics creator through Hellboy and related projects, in conversation with our co-founder and Artistic Director, Jeff Smith, a not unimpressive monster-maker of his own. A signing will follow, as the show proper transitions to its traditional Billy Ireland reception, where at least one award will be given out in addition to the good times being had as all of our various groups meet under one roof. It's a great time to catch up on those exhibits if you haven't seen it yet.

Following the reception and across from the Billy on Friday evening, in the hallowed Mershon Auditorium, CXC is proud to present our Friday Main Event: a presentation and subsequent signing by Dav Pilkey. Pilkey's had one of the most successful careers in recent comics history, and his vibrant work on multiple series, including Captain Underpants and Dog Man, have defined in a major way the groundbreaking return of comics to all ages work from major national publishers. I am extremely interested in meeting and hearing from the cartoonist, and I no doubt share that feeling with a huge audience of young people and people that grew up as young people with the earlier Pilkey comics.

On Saturday, we move downtown and open the 2019 CXC Expo, a more traditional tables and panels show at our beautiful main library facility downtown. There is a curated show of comics-makers of about 120-130 people on hand. This year that will include a healthy AAEC and full SOL-Con contingent with tables and panels, but also full tracks of programming from LGBTQ creators and about attendant interests for that part of our community, and daily full tracks related to all-ages comics including more hands-on activities for the next genearation of cartoon makers.

On Sunday, CMA/CCAD residency winner Ivy Atoms will interview with Carta Monir at the Columbus Museum of Art at 11 AM. Atoms' exhibit will be up that morning, a free day at the library. That work should be fascinating in a museum context, and I look forward to that interview.

This is the main thrust of the special guests part of our show, the esteemed cartoonists who will exhibit at the EXPO but also be the main thrust of the programming held in and around the library. We will be very proud to add to our line-up over the weekend this staggering array of talent:

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* Natasha Alterici (courtesy of Laughing Ogre) [image above]
* Robb Armstrong (courtesy of GoComics)
* Mary Fleener
* Jaime Hernandez
* Hellen Jo
* Patrick McDonnell
* Terry Moore
* Nate Powell
* P. Craig Russell

I couldn't be happier nor more humbled by this group, the heart of CXC 2019. Programming details to come.

At this writing, we also expect a weekend presence for all of the guests from the Thursday and Friday events listed above save for Mr. Pilkey, who is Friday-only and Jay Stephens, who is here Wednesday through Friday. Ms. Budonrin is an animation-only guest but she is invited to stay for any day she wants. Information guest to guest as to panels, tables, signings will appear well before September as we move into our Expo programming phase.

All events and guests are subject to change, of course. Part of that we'll do on purpose. We hope to add four or so additional guests and there will be a few featured guests in our number worth noting as we get closer to the show. For instance, I'm hoping Kevin Huizenga will stop by the Expo in support of his massive Ganges book, The River At Night; and I hope our old pal Frank Santoro will make a similar, drop-in appearance on behalf of Pittsburgh.

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I'm happy with this very deeply talented group. The skill level and star power is staggering. Another thing I like about it is that we have a variety of expressions represented, but also that we seemed to have lucked out with some wonderful visually-oriented artists and cartoon maker. We also have significant career milestones this year for McDonnell (a 25th anniversary) and Moore (a wrap-up series connecting a bunch of his books), both still at the top of their creative game. Throw in some of our regular guests like Comics Workbook, Fantagraphics, Jeff Smith and Cartoon Books, and that should be quite the room. We will give out our Emerging Talent Prize, a yearly highlight sponsored by Jeff Smith and Vijaya Iyer, on Saturday mid-afternoon, right on the show floor. Last year's Emerging Talent winner Keren Katz will be there and provided art for this year's poster, which I love.

I hope that you'll consider coming. There's an event here for you. Our motto is that everybody leaves with something, whether that's comics, or art, or some sort of insight into the creative process, or information about how to protect yourself as a creator, or maybe just an excellent lunch at Ray Rays Hog Pit. (It's a great guest list, but don't sleep on Ray Rays.) Fun is a big part of comics festivals and conventions. Events like this can be fun as well as useful.

Comics culture has a lot of great shows now and more coming all the time. I hope you'll consider making ours a part of your year.

Thanks for past, present and future contributions to all our partners here in Columbus: our donors, our exhibiting guests, our special guests and our regular attendees. We hope to give you the best weekend we can, and we're proud to be in this growing class of events that strengthen our community and work on behalf of our artists.

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To Contact CXC and for Additional Information:


@cxcfestival
http://www.facebook.com/cartooncrosssroadscolumbus
http://www.cartooncrossroadscolumbus.com

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Finally, here are jpegs from a local-use document we've had around for vendors and press and potential donors.

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*****
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Go, Look: Miss Jaws

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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.

*****

MAY190040 BAD WEEKEND HC (MR) $16.99
You could argue from the last few comics of which this two-issue story was the highlight, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are the most vital creative team of this moment in comics. I had some dread about the Criminal creators doing a comics story, but I thought this was a bit lighter than I figured, and that was the right tone. As you might expect there are real cartoonist people and then a bunch of approximates. The comics creator lead is primarily Gil Kane in my opinion, but you can see other geniuses in there, too. I had fun.

MAR191273 STEVEN UNIVERSE ALL-IN-ONE ED HC $74.99
That is a lot of feels.

imageAPR191721 BLUBBER #5 (RES) (MR) $4.99
MAY190058 CRIMINAL #6 (MR) $3.99
MAY198155 DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9 (OF 12) 2ND PTG $4.99
APR191367 ZORRO MASTERS ALEX TOTH #1 MAIN CVR TOTH $3.99
You know, I don't think I've read Blubber although I know that this is weird out-there sex and violence stuff from a cartoonist who has worked similar ground in the past. The single issue of Criminal continues its fairly straight-forward serial story. Doomsday Clock has turned out to be a very, very odd comic book, and not a good one in any way I tend to recognize. I am, however, dying to see how it ends. And since it's summer, I'll recommend Toth doing Zorro. There's a limited edition that costs more money, so keep an eye out in case you prefer that presentation.

MAY190665 KITCHEN TABLE MAGAZINE $9.99
This is I think the comic-shop debut of Brett Warnock's food magazine and by now you know if you have to have it or you're confused. I remember liking it just fine, and I also remember it did get some regional penetration into food-related outlets. I'm fond of Brett; I hope he pursues whatever he would like.

MAY192005 DON HECK WORK OF ART HC NEW ED $14.99
I like that books like this exist, because I'm not sure every name artist of the 20th Century has done work that would be flattered by an elaborate treatment of those pages. I'd certainly take a peek.

MAY192004 WILL EISNER SPIRITED LIFE HC NEW PTG $19.99
This is the latest version of the Andelman book, which in its first-edition form I drove some attention its way. I don't know how much this has changed since then, or how much some of the other treatments of Eisner's life may have changed this particular book's context.

MAY191996 UPTON SINCLAIR THE JUNGLE GN $24.99
This latest version of what seems to me a project full of challenges comes from Kristina Gehrmann. I would pick it up and look it over until my retailer yelled at me.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
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If I Were In Northern Virginia, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: IBIS #3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on BTTM FDRS.

* I forgot to link to Mark Evanier's second essay on MAD, which features plenty of gut-punches for DC Comics generally and kind of a soft touch when it comes to MAD during its last several years in New York and this Los Angeles run. This link post won't roll out for a few days as I write this, but at the time I did type this MAD is all my friends have talked about for days.

* pop culture analyst Rob Salkowitz points out how AT&T's debt position may have an effect on how assets like MAD are handled.

* finally: attention paid Milton Glaser isn't comics, but it seems worth it for comics people to have some idea as to the designer's contributions to visual culture.
 
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Happy 36th Birthday, Meghan Turbitt!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Jon Vermilyea!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Mario Candelaria!

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July 11, 2019


Go, Look: Les Réparateurs

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I hope that the group that did Portland Indie Con end of June finds it within themselves to do a show next year despite reports that attendance was not overwhelming (and of course some have disputed the reports, or cited first-year realities, both of which elements of show planning I know intimately!) It's tough right now in comics and we're past the point of ascendancy in terms of comics shows and well into saturation. I hold out hope, though, in that Portland is an amazing city that has an alt-art community presence that matches its alt-indie community presence and it would be wonderful to settle into one of its neighborhoods for the weekend. It's tough, though.

* looks like FIBD is starting to post its major expos for 2020. I'm not sure how this stuff gets posted on the site, and Angouleme has some designations I can't tell apart, so you might poke around on the Facebook presence as a precursor.

* I'll be a moderating a panel on Friday at Comic-Con: Jimmy Olsen, with a focus on the Kirby years. Kurt Busiek, Paul Levitz, Seth and Gilbert Hernandez are all championship-class talkers, and Jimmy Olsen has had tow significant great-chraracter runs, including the one on which we're focusing.

* finally: Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg talk about their comics finds at Heroes Con 2019. Heroes is one of the great back-issue cons that we have, or at least that's been my experience of it. Let Jim and Ed have the final word!
 
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If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Walter Simonson Art From Michael Moorcock's Multiverse

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Robert Kirby on Motel Universe. Fred McNamara on Visiting. Paul O'Brien on Wolverine: Infinity Watch.

* it took me a few days to get here, but I have talked to a handful of DM retailers in casual (and I'm going to make it non-attributive) fashion about losing the Walking Dead comic just as places where people go to buy that series, as an element of the various things their stores offered. What I heard was that while the book wasn't a sensation best-seller as it had been, it still was a noteworthy book for all but one of the folks to whom I spoke, and losing a solid book without a natural replacement -- "you really need to start reading XYZ now" -- is never a welcome thing, especially in an industry with traditionally thin sales margins. That makes sense in that hit books are easier to stock than multiple books that reach the same sales numbers.

* happy 12th to Todd Klein's blog.

* I don't know if this is Tucker Stone from TCJ or not, but I pulled this out because I think that what the political cartooning controversies of late say about national character has been way more interesting than an historical point about a fading profession.

* finally, assembled extra: David Harper is relaunching his SKETCHD site, and is offering up subscription plans.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Dirk Deppey!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Mark Zingarelli!

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July 10, 2019


Go, Look: Agate Lielpetere

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Go, Look: Zane Zlemesa

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Go, Look: Olaf

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* RL Stine and Tim Allen is as eclectic a pairing of text-piece accompaniments as I've ever seen for a single comics work.

* hey, the Spirit Of Retailing nominees are out. I really like that the program exists, even though it's a long stretch at the Eisners and I can't help making those jokes. I like that there's an element of improving the stores in a deep systemic way by making them go through the process. I think I've been to the Burbank store but there are stores in Burbank that more directly meet my comics-while-visiting-family needs. The one from Juneau I think does that cool-sounding mini-con up there.

* Mike Peterson looks at recent Trump-related editorial cartoons and suggests maybe the field should dig in rather than endorse the notion of its own decline.

* finally, some not comics: they are certainly smartly rolling out the drips and drabs of new footage from that not-great Justice League film from a couple of years back, effective in making a certain kind of fan desire to see more. For me, though, it just means add-ons that look like more horrible stuff from a film of mostly horrible stuff. More isn't necessarily better, and I suspect that there's some weird specific-cultural stuff in venerating a hoped-for version of a film about the Super Friends that's super-macho and unpleasant.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Simone Bianchi!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Sandra Chang-Adair!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Ben T. Steckler!

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July 9, 2019


Go, Look: Jason Herr

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* alt-comics icon Richard Sala reveals his cover to the 2020 book Poison Flowers And Pandemonium.

* this lengthy funding proposal for Domino Books also serves as an announcement of the publishing/distribution season covered by the crowd-funder.

* ditto this Eye Of Mongombo comeback, which the cartoonist promises me will be released one way or the other.

* the Minnesota-based non-profit Green Card Voice is seeking artist submissions; artists will be paid $100 a page, although what that entails and what is pertinent beyond that figure wasn't announce but one assumes will come further in the process.

* Bruce Worden announces My Little Book Of Sex Euphemisms for CXC Expo 2019, September 28-29. Go to table #1. He's the only person I know where they are, because my memory is dim.

* finally: Boom announces a graphic novel from the Heavy Vinyl series for 2020.
 
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Go, Look: Martins Zutis

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OTBP: Let's Make Ramen!

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* by request extra: midwest small press fixture Max Ink could use a helping hand.

image* Sean Gaffney on The Asterisk War: Conquering Dragons and Knights. Dan Schindel on BTTM FDRS. Paul O'Brien on X-Men: Grand Design -- Xtinction. Andy Oliver on Desolation: Wilderness.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco looks at a month of comics promised/yet to come.

* there's a super-fun, stuffed-with-art article here by the formidable Mark Newgarden about Ernie Bushmiller's "How To Housebreak Your Dog" cartoon. Settle in for that one.

* veteran industry observer Johanna Draper Carlson takes a look at Vertigo shutting it down, emphasizing one of Brian Hibbs' arguments that you can see the move in terms of how companies approach cross-media rights.

* finally: Henry Chamberlain talks to Jason Leivian.
 
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Happy 32nd Birthday, Rebecca Sugar!

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July 8, 2019


Go, Look: The Best Year Of My New York City Moviegoing

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Doug Gray quietly announced a kickstarter for legendarily unfinished project The Eye Of Mongombo. I would love to see that happen, and so would a bunch of us my age. I just kind of like it when a project comes back, too. You don't see a lot of projects working the indie/alt influenced sphere of well-crafted genre projects, and there was a time that was a dominant part of comics. Here's a first chapter.

* the community did a fine job helping Dustin Harbin and his smashed face, but $17K is still a rough burden to carry. I'd like to see what money Dustin has left going towards a secure future. I'd give him the money myself if I had it.

* as we enter an era where we might be asked to more frequently make direct payment on behalf of projects we find useful admirable, remember the The Nib was cut loose from its business partner about ten days ago and could use as much fortification via subscription as the audience can muster.

* industry veteran Larry Shell could use the help of other industry veterans getting him to a point where he can do munch needed repairs in order to keep his house and make it livable while doing so. I know these kinds of asks can be tough, which is why I would hope his direct peer group would do the bulk of the giving.

* here's another laudable ask, from the longtime publisher Domino Books. They've been doing a lot of publishing scraping every last dollar together themselves for years now, and this initial ask is still super-modest. Also, that's a publisher with a very strong aesthetic identity. Please check them out.
 
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Go, Look: Kikuchi Hironori

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OTBP: Trance 'N Dance (Ley Lines #19)

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Waves.

* not comics: this article about the potential inability for small newspapers to be saved under any proposed scenario including the most recent ones is brutal. Last one to release their article for print turn out the lights, please. If that model is gone things could accelerate in print media fairly quickly, with all sorts of results for comics, none of them good.

* I have yet to read Brian Hibbs' analysis of Bookscan numbers more than once this year, so I wanted to make a note of it so I might be reminded to return to this year's version of the annual article. All hail our benign comics overlords at Scholastic.

* I only now just saw word of this event at the Strand featuring KE #10; I hope people went to see it and availed themselves of the new volume.

* finally, a bit of Festivals Extra: Katie O'Neill is going on tour.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Whilce Portacio!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Stan Woch!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Dominique Goblet!

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July 7, 2019


Go, Look: Nick Cagnetti

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Go, Look: Diana H. Chu

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

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

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

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Happy 67th Birthday, Rick Hoberg!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Noah Van Sciver!

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FFF Results Post #524 -- Saturday Recommendations

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Older Comics Or Specific Groups Of Older Comics You'd Recommend For A Saturday Just Reading Comics." This is how they responded.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. The Flaming Carrot, Bob Burden (A-V, Renegade, Dark Horse, Image)
2. Little Orphan Annie, Harold Gray (LOAC)
3. The Replacement God, Zander Cannon (Amaze Ink)
4. Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai (Fantagraphics, Mirage, Dark Horse, IDW)
5. The Land Of Nod, Jay Stephens (Black Eye)

*****

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William Burns

* Steve Gerber Howard the Duck
* Steve Gerber Defenders
* Hellboy
* Dykes To Watch Out For
* The first box set of the Fantagraphics collected Peanuts

*****

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Joe Schwind

1. HA HA Comics (ACG)
2. Dell Giants (Dell)
3. Young Lust (Company & Sons. Print Mint. Last Gasp)
4. Arcade The Comics Revue (Print Mint)
5. Guindon collections (various)

*****

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Dave Knott

* MAD Magazine
* Thimble Theatre featuring Popeye
* Tintin
* Yummy Fur
* Akira

*****

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Jeff Hayes

1. Tom Strong (America's Best Comics)
2. Daredevil Volume 1 by Miller and Janson (Marvel)
3. Usagi Yojimbo by Sakai (Fantagraphics)
4. Eightball by Clowes (Fantagraphics)
5. Camelot 3000 by Barr and Boland (DC Comics)

*****

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Mark Brodersen

1. Reid Fleming World's Toughest Milkman
2. Milk & Cheese
3. Scalped
4. Prison Pit
5. Ex Machina

*****

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Bruce Canwell

1. The Spirit 1947-48, Will Eisner (DC, Kitchen Sink Press, Warren)
2. Little Lulu, John Stanley/Irving Tripp (Dark Horse, Drawn & Quarterly)
3. Fantastic Four # 44 - 60, Jack Kirby/Stan Lee/Joe Sinnott (Marvel)
4. Peanuts, Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)
5. Hellboy, Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

*****

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Matthew Guest

1. Dennis the Menace Pocket Full of Fun (Fawcett)
2. Groo the Wanderer (PC, Eclipse, Epic, Image, Dark Horse)
3. Kamandi The Last Boy on Earth( DC)
4. Mad Magazine (EC)
5. Tarzan (Dell, Gold Key, DC, Marvel)

*****

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John Vest

1. Reid Fleming, David Boswell (Eclipse, Deep Sea)
2. Border Worlds, Don Simpson (Kitchen Sink, Dover)
3. Small Favors, Colleen Coover, (Eros, Limerence Press)
4. Strange Growths, Jenny Zervakis (Spit and a Half)
5. Los Tejanos, Jaxon (Last Gasp, Fantagraphics)

*****

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Nick Lane

1. Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfreidson
2. Uncle Scrooge or any of the Duck comics by Carl Barks
3. Bone by Jeff Smith
4. Mech Cadet Yu by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa
5. Justice League by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, And Kevin McGuire

*****

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Allan Rosenberg

1- The Transmutation of Ike Garuda - Elaine Lee & Jim Sherman (Epic)
2- Batman: Strange Apparitions - Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers (DC)
3- Corto Maltese - Hugo Pratt (Euro Comics)
4- Love Bunglers - Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
5- Frank - Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)

*****

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Erik Missio

1. Stray Bullets, Dave Lapham (El Capitan, Image)
2. Kamandi, Jack Kirby (DC Comics)
3. Corto Maltese, Hugo Pratt (IDW/Eurocomics)
4. Locas, Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
5. Fox Trot, Bill Amend (Andrews McMeel)

*****

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Michael Neno

1. Paul Pope's THB
2. A big ol' stack of Sad Sacks
3. Trevor Von Eeden's Thriller
4. Norman Maurer's The Little Stooges
5. Doll Man comics

*****

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Tucker Stone

1. Blammo, Noah Van Sciver (Kilgore)
2. Dork, Evan Dorkin (Slave Labor)
3. Nana, Ai Yazawa (Viz)
4. Scary Book, Kazuo Umezu (Dark Horse)
5. Domu, Katsuhiro Otomo (Dark Horse)

*****

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Jamie Coville

1. Concrete, Paul Chadwick (Dark Horse)
2. Finder, Carla Speed McNeil (Light Speed Press)
3. Hate, Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics)
4. Ms. Tree, Max Allan Collins & Terry Beatty (Eclipse)
5. Justice League International, Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, etc... (DC Comics)

*****

Oliver Ristau

1. Man-Thing, Steve Gerber (Marvel)
2. The Spectre, Jerry Siegel (DC)
3. Dakota North, Martha Thomases (Marvel)
4. Ms. Tree, Max Allan Collins (Eclipse, Renegade Press, Aardvark-Vanaheim)
5. Torchy Brown, Jackie Ormes (Pittsburgh Courier, The Chicago Defender)

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Kona, Monarch Of Monster Isle, Sam Glanzman (Dell)
2. Planet Hulk, Greg Pak (Marvel)
3. The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Omnibus, Gilbert Sheldon (Fanfare)
4. The Big Book Of Barry Ween, Judd Winick (Omni)
5. Nick Fury, Agent Of SHIELD, Jim Steranko (Marvel)

*****

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Rob Salkowitz

* Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson, preferably in the original 100-page Detective Comics they first appeared in
* The "Headmen" run of The Defenders by Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema (I think #22-30?)
* A stack of Spirit magazines from Warren, complete with monster movie ads in back
* Doctor Strange #1-5 by Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner
* The Airtight Garage by Moebius

*****

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Danny Ceballos

1. The Fun House, Lynda Barry (Perennial Library, Harper & Row)
2. Miss Fury, Tarpé Mills (Bell Syndicate)
3. Kings in Disguise, Jim Vance, Dan Burr (Kitchen Sink)
4. Sandman #41-49, Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson (Vertigo)
5. Kramers Ergot 4, edited by Sammy Harkham (Avodah Books, Gingko Press, Buenaventura Press)

*****

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Antranik Tchalekian

* Alien Legion - Carl Potts, Alan Zelenetz, Frank Cirocco, Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman (Epic)
* Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe - various (Marvel)
* Justice League/International (1987 series) - Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire (DC)
* Bloom County - Berke Breathed (syndicated/Little Brown & Co.)
* Power Pack - Louise Simonson and June Brigman (Marvel)

*****

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Chris Duffy

1. Down the Street by Lynda Barry (Harper Collins)
2. Dr. Spektor by Don Glut and Jesse Santos (Gold Key)
3. Howard the Duck by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, and others (Marvel)
4. I Love Led Zeppelin by Ellen Forney (Fantagraphics)
5. Odds Off by Matt Madden (Highwater)

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Mars, Mark Hempel & Marc Wheatley (First)
2. Kliban in a Box, B. Kliban (Workman)
3. Master of Kung Fu #103-120, Doug Moench & Gene Day (Marvel)
4. Third World War, Pat Mills & Carlos Ezquerra (Fleetway)
5. Bunny Vs. Monkey, Jamie Smart (Scholastic)

*****

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Austin English

1. Charles Addams collections
2. Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed
3. Raisin Pie by Ariel Bordeaux and Rick Altergott
4. King Aroo by Jack Kent
5. Girl Hero by Megan Kelso

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. The Spirit: Will Eisner (Kitchen Sink)
2. Groo: Sergio and ME (Epic, Image, Dark Horse)
3. Master of Kung Fu: Moench, Zeck and Day (Marvel)
4. Astro City: Busiek, Anderson (Image, Homage, Wildstorm, Vertigo)
5. King Aroo, Jack Kent (IDW)

*****
*****
 
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July 6, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Cartoon & Comics Documentary


Mort Drucker And John Reiner


An Unstoppable Force: The Story Of Cartoonist Jackie Ormes


Drawing With Cartoonist Nicole Georges
 
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By Request Extra: Longtime Industry Veteran Larry In Danger Of Losing His Home

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I don't know Larry personally, but I know several comics folks from his generation fond of him and worried about his situation. This is definitely intended to alert this people as well as the community in general. It seems like a modest ask given what he's facing.
 
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If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 69th Birthday, John Byrne!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Christy Marx!

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Katherine Collins!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Joe Zabel!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Andrew Fulton!

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July 5, 2019


Go, Look: Autism Isn't To Blame For Bad Behavior

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Assembled Extra: The Beat Offers A Redesign

You can see it for yourself.

I think this makes CR the standard-bearer for the oldest design on the comics-commentary map and all that goes with that; I'm still running Expression Engine 1.0. I'm sure there will be a global incident of some sort that will force me into reconsidering this strategy, but maybe not until then.

If I'm understanding the thinking, I guess the redesign sorts the article on a basis that's not just chronological order, and that this kind of sorting is common now although it's a still a popular option. I have no idea -- I know that not getting a straight sort on the google searches without tweaking them can be annoying, but sites seem to benefit by weighted roll-outs: keep your MAD Magazine article up top until interest fades rather than just newer articles showing up.

The reason to do a redesign these days isn't for the site interface, anyway. It's for the phones, of course. I'm sure this new design works fantastically -- or at least functionally -- for that purpose. My own 15-year is coming up this October -- CR launched the day Christopher Reeve died -- but my problems are content not delivery or design. Well, the bigger problems, anyway.
 
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If I Were In Florida, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Karl Kesel

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Howard Chaykin responds to those responding to him on Alex Toth. I have a strong hope that he and Gary Groth will talk for print in the next few issues of the revived TCJ, kind of a "Sons Of Gil Kane" thing. Chaykin's career has continued to be one that can make for interesting discussion, too.

* what Mike Thompson reads.

* visions of '90s alt-comics: Speedy Ortiz is filmed at Quimby's last Sunday.

* Gary Tyrrell on Island Book.

* Great to hear that BN Duncan's papers have been processed by the good folks at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Duncan made a lot of interesting art, wholly his own.

* DD Degg profiles Nathan Archer.

* finally: here's a group of classic comic strip artists appearing on one of the network TV game shows. I'm terrible at game show names, so don't ask me.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Steven Goldman!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Bill Watterson!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Chris Butcher!

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By Request Extra: The Nib Selling Memberships For New Ownership, Publishing Situation

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July 4, 2019


Happy July 4th From Easel Monster

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Happy Fourth Of July To All The CR Readers!

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Go, Look: Brian Heater Talks To Edie Fake

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Go, Look: My Prince

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

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Happy 22nd Anniversary, Fanfare/Ponent Mon!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Leon Avelino!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Kazimir Strzepek!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Chip Sansom!

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By Request Extra: The Nib Selling Memberships For New Ownership, Publishing Situation

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A Note Or Two On The MAD Magazine Situation

imageWell, the story of MAD Magazine ceasing current publication has broken wide, with the usual caveats and spinning coming to the forefront. One thread offered up is that MAD isn't really ceasing publication because they'll be doing issues with reprints and new covers. I get not wanting to draw attention to the fact that a gigantic cultural icon slipped into a coma on your watch, but I think these things are better handled straight on. There were a ton of structural and cultural factors involved in trying to make successful an iconic publishing property. At the same time, I think we'd be better off considering the possibility that this most recent iteration of the magazine may not have been a surpassingly powerful effort. As far as I can tell, an engine of idea-generation at MAD's level put one cartoon/concept into the public eye its entire recent publication run; that's not a great record.

I'm actually more worried about the implications of the Vertigo brand re-sort, because that set of properties at least seemed to be doing the kind show generation that they wanted all of their books to be doing, and despite doing so they still changed things around. We live in interesting times, obviously, but there's interesting and there's depressing and I'm not sure of the ratios here. Not yet.
 
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July 3, 2019


Sources Including Contributors Indicate MAD Is Shutting Down; Recent Senior Editor Let Go

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Tweets from staff and contributors, at least one e-mailed letter that went out last week to related personnel and one that went out today to contributors, and the departure of the current Senior Editor all seem to indicate that MAD is done. This story has come together in strange fashion, so in this age of spin I wonder after any subsequent permutations. The core seems solid at this hour, though. The version that came with my pair of original sources last week indicate a full shutdown and a working through of inventory to help satisfy subscription obligations.

This is a huge story in terms of cultural impact, the direction of modern media, the history of comics and the history of satire. MAD is the modern trunk from which all the branches of modern humorous satire reach towards the sky. It is a top five all-time comic. Its staff and contributor pool -- skilled enough it had its own nickname -- has included a half-dozen of the top 25 all-time American cartoonists, including a few competitors for #1: Kurtzman, Davis and perhaps as dark horses a pair of uniquely exquisite craftsmen: Aragones and Wood.

It can be argued that MAD, by challenging the advertising age and its constant lying to people for profit, was the most important comic ever published. That it may owe any future iteration to its value as a money-making brand in other set of strategies is little consolation. I'm also sorry for the gigs lost and jobs departed. It's been a hell of a summer.
 
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OTBP: The Calvin & Hobbes Book No One Remembers

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The great Jenny Robb reminds us of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum's book Exploring Calvin & Hobbes, the catalog to their great exhibit a couple of years back. That's a good enough book for a one-volume treatment of the great strip just on the look of it and the comics selected, but it also contains a massive Watterson interview with Robb, and Watterson did so few interviews and really only maybe 1-2 -- arguably, even that there are that many -- of this type. Everyone should want one.
 
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Go, Look: Jana Brike

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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.

*****

APR191713 KRAMERS ERGOT GN VOL 10 (RES) (MR) $34.99
I don't know that anyone's pushed KE off the top of the hill -- I'm not up on everything, but nothing springs to mind having done this -- and I've liked every issue since volume four, even the ones that baffled some of its core audience. I know nothing about the contents, but Harkham has won my allegiance a dozen times over in a way I don't have to know a thing. That is some amazing August summer reading to come.

imageMAR190280 HELLBOY HC 25 YEARS OF COVERS $34.99
I don't have much in the way of analysis of a big book of covers from Mike Mignola and company, except to suggest that the design constraints required of something with that specific purpose almost always has a positive effect on how the images are presented. So here's to eating the icing and saving the cake for another day.

APR198094 WALKING DEAD #192 SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE ED $3.99
MAY190111 WALKING DEAD #193 (MR) $3.99
Longtime bestseller and mega-successful TV show instigating property The Walking Dead apparently ends today with an epilogue-style #193 after some chicanery to keep it a secret until last night. I wish those creators luck. That comic had a number of virtues, and I've had good experiences with the professionals involved at various stages of its success. This feels like another blow for a) Direct Market retailers, b) the most recently successful phase of comics publisher and its institutions of some cultural power.

MAY190371 LOIS LANE #1 (OF 12) $3.99
MAY191253 GIANT DAYS #52 $3.99
Comic-book comics this week. The Lois Lane is the least heralded of the Bendis And Friends takeover of approximately one-half of the Superman Family books, but Mike Perkins is solid and I think Greg Rucka has done something with that Lazarus book which made me forget some of the flourishes from early and in his career. It's a great character, too, goodness, and not just for superhero but for all the characters, period. And I always look for John Allison.

APR190054 MONSTRESS HC VOL 01 (MR) $49.99
That is going to be one solid volume of inky lines and mossy colors, and I'm interested in ingesting that story this way.

APR191258 CEREBUS TP VOL 05 JAKAS STORY REMASTERED ED $40.00
Seeing this listing was terrifying, but the description focuses on the printing and some supplementary material that also suggests a focus on presentation. I liked this comic when I was a very young man reading the serial, but I liked it less as a full-throated direction for the narrative and kind of odd, thematic coda to the aggressive boys adventure elements that had come directly before. I don't think I need a new copy, but I might pull the old one into my summer reading basket.

NOV181818 FRANK THORNES LANN LTD HC GN (MR) $29.99
The best comics t-shirt ever was the Fantagraphics Lann t-shirt, although maybe I thought that way because they never had it in my size. Thorne is one of the great older-men drawers of American comics, and I could look at this material up through the straight up porno to come later and not have any idea what's going on the ink lines are so damn silky.

MAY191468 NOCTURNALS HC VOL 01 BLACK PLANET & OTHER STORIES (O/A) $29.99
This was a popular franchise for a while -- the kind that always had a SDCC panel -- and maybe still is, I'm not sure. I'd take a look at how the art has developed since my last splash in this pool.

MAR190322 BEANWORLD OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $24.99
Beanworld reminds me of the one-pagers by like Sheldon Mayer that used to be plopped into DC genre feature collections in the 1970s; it's great as a side dish, but I'm not sure how belly-satisfying a full meal I'd find it. Still like the look of it, too.

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: The Dream House

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Go, Look: Black Rider Rides Again #1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Ingrid Bohnenkamp talks to Karen Berger.

* here's Paul Levitz with his own take on Vertigo's passing, an imprint that for him was one of the publishing career-makers on his comics resume so an opinion doubly worth knowing. I like that he's skeptical of some of the innovations in publishing fully granted that line, although I also think Love and Rockets should be in there with building the standard model: what L&R contributed is a clearly enhanced delivery system for the material in terms of its visual sophistication and thus the effort to reach a new market not just in page count and spine. In addition, when Levitz looks at the job of a brand to drive readers to new, related material, I think there's also something to be said to providing a different, more flattering context for the instigating work. I also think that in terms of the Gaiman part of the line not enough people point out the simple sales success of the Sandman serial comic in relation to an overall line -- hell, industry -- that is historically superhero-soaked. Anyway, go read that article; it's way more interesting than my half-formed thoughts from the cheap seats.

* Brian Fies on PBS Newshour tonight.

* everything I hear about this company sounds awful, and I can't help but imagine how $10M could be spent in comics that wasn't looking to make a cross-media buck and was satisfied with the returns of traditional publishing. I know I'm dreaming. It's also a pretty amazing article in that it encompasses that frank and succinct an appraisal of a previous investment failure.

* Steve Foxe on This Was Our Pact.

* finally: this will be a very fun dinner for someone.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Tom Heintjes!

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Russ Cochran!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Dan Slott!

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By Request Extra: The Nib Selling Memberships For New Ownership, Publishing Situation

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July 2, 2019


Congratulations To Robert Kirkman And His Creative Collaborators On Ending The Walking Dead

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The notion of extending the show indefinitely after the in-narrative death of its protagonist is apparently a fake-out: issue #193 is a one-issue epilogue. As the series itself was created with the notion that there was an effect to be had by suggesting a zombie story that would never end, so is the ending an exploration of the idea of a sudden ending.

I think the success of Walking Dead as a television show made it difficult to see many of its comic book virtues: consistent craft, a willingness to play out plot scenarios at their own pace, and the overriding notion that nearly all of the damage caused by any apocalyptic scenario would be done individual to individual. I'll miss getting to read it every month, but I'd also like to do a close read in terms of its thematic work. There's a really uncomfortable notion that flared up from time to time that the primary survivor's group ability to keep going was tied into its core violence and effectiveness as murderers, and I'd like to see if that feels like a real thing at some point where I get to reflect.

This has to be a bummer for DM shops where this was a longtime solid-seller. It's hard not to see the times as discouraging for core exchanges in a lot of areas -- everything except all-ages work sold in book form, maybe, looks down, and we're losing significant cultural signifier of the high end of the cycle through which we most recently moved. I hope that everyone makes it through all right.
 
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Go, Look: Sim Mau

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Go, Read: The End Times Of the Political Cartoon

There's a nice summary article from Jack Shafer about the turmoil within the political cartooning world here, although note that things are so bad that this seems like a terrifying and complete blow-by-blow and the New York Times international section scouring doesn't seem to have made the article.

A couple of things that popped into my head: the De Adder separation from his gigs is scary because we're not going to get a straight answer about these things anymore, as few battles as there are left to fight. It's not one cartoon that's important with that one, it's the period of self-censorship that came beforehand and the fact that even avoiding certain topics those with economic interests that could be at risk weren't satisfied. I also think the best construction in the article is to note it's the political aspect that's leading the critical voices; people still more than able to rally around cartoons of politicians being reunited with their children in heaven. The value of political opinion itself is under fire: the stronger the opinion, the more criticized it is. I think lurking underneath all of this is that we slowly transformed into a society where political opinion has no basic operating functionality -- to make it or receive it, even as comic relief.
 
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Chicago Comics Receives $2500 Or So In Damage From Violence On The Street Coming In The Store

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I'm sure at the heart of this someone did something awful, but what a weird way to respond in the moment and what a weird thing to just be something that happened in the world. Chicago Comics is one of the core institutions in the entire Direct Market portion of the comics world, so if you have the privilege of it being your comics shop, or if you're nearby, maybe drop an extra dollar or two next time you're in. I just read the Glynnis Fawkes book above; it's good, maybe buy a copy of that. Or something from the eBay listings.
 
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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Checks In With Brian Bendis

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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Tom Spurgeon

* no Vertigo but a new micro-line for Joe Hill. I don't really understand any of these moves in relation to other moves, but okay; Hill has a comics track record, even.

* top of page: a new comic book by Kelly Froh! Looks promising.

* finally: here's a piece of PR about a Kevin Sacco book coming out from SLG. Sounds good.
 
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Go, Look: Kristen Liu-Wong

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Go, Look: Plastic Man #2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Ingrid Bohnenkamp talks to John Jennings. Benyamin Cohen profiles Maria Kalman. What's wrong with just being a quirky cartoonist?

* I thought this conversation between Ed Brubaker and Megan Abbott to be quite interesting, particularly as it talks about the impact working in television had had on each author's writing. Because Brubaker's most recent comics work for bookstore sale has a comics convention as its setting, there's even more about that phenomenon, how the equivalents for prose genre authors compare, and Brubaker's own fly-on-the wall experiences as a San Diego youth. This is a fine morning coffee break read. Do people still do that?

* here's a tribute to the Vertigo imprint by Tripwire, one of the publications made possible by its existence.

* finally, a significant bit of not comics: Sandman to Netflix. I thought Neil Gaiman did a nice job with that Good Omens show, so I hope he's involved or at least approves of the team involved. I would wonder after the material a bit given how much has copied it in lesser shows, at least in terms of tone. But hey, a lot of people cherish that work, so I hope it's a thrill for them. DC does a good job identifying and selling comics brought to the fore by other media. There would be a comics impact.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Daniel Nash!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Rickey Purdin!

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By Request Extra: The Nib Selling Memberships For New Ownership, Publishing Situation

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FFF Results Post #523 -- Jobbers

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Desirable Salaried Jobs From Some Point In Comics History." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Editor, MAD Magazine.
2. Editor in Chief, Marvel Comics.
3. Superman group editor.
4. Editor, The Comics Journal.
5. DC Comics Librarian.

*****

I guess no one responded? It happens. If it does, according to the rules I arbitrarily established once upon a time I get to take up to five weeks off. If you did respond, better forward that back to me. Something happened to it! Thanks to all that play.

Wait, Jamie Coville sent one in. Thanks, Jamie!

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Jamie Coville

1. Inkpot Award Decider/Giver
2. Head of TPB/Collections Department at Marvel or DC.
3. Original Art Returner.
4. DC Comics Librarian
5. Marvel Continuity Cop.

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July 1, 2019


Go, Read: Matt Bors' Official Statement On Future Of The NIB Post First Look Media

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Go, Read: Matt Bors' Official Statement On Future Of The NIB Post First Look Media

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Mordillo, RIP

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Assembled Extra: Farewell To Tim Hodler At TCJ.com

The longtime co-editor at TCJ on-line iteration announced his last day on Friday. I wish him the best of luck in everything that he wants to do with that extra time and energy, and thank him for how I and other comics fans benefited from his presence at the Journal.

I was not someone who particularly recognized the version of the magazine immediately preceding Hodler and longtime friend and professional colleague Dan Nadel moving their Comics Comics take on things to Gary Groth's big top. Hodler and Nadel and later Tucker Stone, who remains at the publication, did some things better than anyone in the Journal editorial tree: I admire greatly the seriousness with which older comics and cartoonists were engaged even as direct fun of that tendency was made. There being a place for Underground-era cartoonists to open up as members of their generation faded into obscurity and even oblivion is a valuable historical contribution I hope will be saved for posterity. Although I don't think it's the first thing younger cartoonists think of of any Journal iteration, I learned new cartoonists and read new writers there all of the time. Whatever contribution Tim made to the site's "Diary" feature earns him an extra gold star.

His has always been a fine critical voice as well.

Thanks again, Tim! And good luck to Tucker and what he has planned!
 
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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I think it was Annie Koyama that I saw mention that Dustin Harbin is still $18K or so short of his goal in terms of having the money to fix his face. That would be an alarming amount facing Harbin if he hadn't already cleared another $55K, and there's no reason one figure will take care of the other one.

* there are still people out donating in support of Linda Medley.

* this project involves Karl Kesel. It's not a rarity for cartoonists with that kind of pedigree to show up on a crowd-funding site, but it has yet to become super-common.

* congrats on the latest issue of LAAB reaching its halfway point. I'd give Ronald all the money if I could, just to do whatever, and this one has a one-issue pedigree now.

* finally, Gahan Wilson could still use some help.
 
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Go, Look: Blue Ribbon Comics #18

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Go, Look: Planet Comics #60

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* this editorial by Gary Varvel is full of practical wisdom about the recent plight of editorial cartoon step-backs, plus it name drops my old boss Harold Trulock in the first paragraph. Mr. Trulock was the kindest man with the best eyebrows and gave my favorite retirement speech ever: "I was too easy on you sons of bitches."

* as for the issue in general, what with Michael De Adder and The Nib joining the taking-a-sock-in-the-eye club, there's a billion things I can say on this subject but the first one is I've never learned of anyone saving a cultural object or something of similar value by eliminating what's unique about it. I don't think it's going to work in any of the recent cases, either. I also worry that everyone is aware of this already. Here's the latest de Adder stuff, looks like it's one of the nebulous thing that no one can say for 100 percent certainty it cause. Sure doesn't sound like De Adder had a lot of support in general. Again, let me suggest that a struggling enterprise like print journalism and print-model journalism on-line needs things that challenge, needs things that make it unique

* I have picked comic books over both children and a meaningful career. Where's my editorial?

* not comics: this CD design by Pat Moriarity sure is lovely.

* too bad a client took a pass on this cartoon in a public way, which I think a much less interesting and strident, performance-like act than firing someone -- no is hired anymore, so they can't get fired. I think people are rarely honest they'd be okay with certain strongly-constructed cartoon if their person was getting that criticism, but in this case it's hard for me at least to see that there's anything out of bounds. Strong, though.

* here's a piece on the big Hamilton museum comics exhibit for which Joe Ollmann served as co-curator. Sounds like a great survey of works. The notion of a museum exhibit playing a major role in the question of a medium's legitimacy is a very previous-generation one, when you think about it. I think comics is the best art form by several measurable, and I prefer to engage with more of that art form than any other.

* finally: a longish interview with the late Kim Thompson just popped up at one of the video sites. Still hard to believe he's not at the office somewhere, working.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Lee's Comics!

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By Request Extra: The Nib Selling Memberships For New Ownership, Publishing Situation

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