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














August 31, 2019


Here's Something We Can All Do Together Four Weeks From Now: Focus On The Nib At CXC

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It's our great honor at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) to host four weeks from now a Saturday night event put together by students and faculty of Columbus College Of Art & Design (CCAD) calling attention to the financial situation facing The Nib. I feel The Nib is an important publication, impeccably assembled, and I'd like to see it continue to publish for as long as it can.

CCAD is helping us call attention to its achievements and its continuing promise by bringing to its stage Nib founder Matt Bors, editors Eleri Harris and Matt Lubchansky, and cartoonists like Whit Taylor and Rob Rogers who have published work there. For a special treat, CCAD is bringing in the legendary Tom Tomorrow for an appearance. He will be interviewed on stage.

This event will be free because all of our events are free, plus we hope you might spend some of that money on a subscription for the publication. Rampant over-capitalism and the demand that the value of a return on an investment in art and journalism need start at seven figures, these are not sustainable ideas, let alone optimal ones. Let's do what we can on behalf of this publication and its displayed excellence. I hope to see many of you on the 28th.
 
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Go, Look: Ilya Milstein

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Go, Look: Random Little Nemo Images

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

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Happy 64th Birthday, Shizue Takanashi!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Rick Parker!

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August 30, 2019


Go, Look: Kashmir Is Cut Off

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Calvin Reid profiles Webtoon.

* Kaitlin Romriell writes about six humorous webcomics. Etelka Lehoczky on Ophiuchus

* finally, Darrian Breedlove profiles Who Made Me A Princess.
 
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If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Bianca Bagnarelli

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* James Asmus has a web store now.

image* not comics: these articles are an everyday occurrence, and I suppose there's some value in figuring out how emerging generations process art as entertainment. The general theme of these articles is that there's much less of a looking-back element to younger people culture when it comes to some popular art. The number are so small with comics that I don't think that the curatorial aspect of older art will be threatened. I bought an HT Webster book this afternoon. There will probably be a noticeable difference in older content from more popular forms.

* go, look: here's a bunch of Classic Marvel animated gifs.

* not comics: I stopped understanding model digital media back when Andrew Sullivan stated he needed a million dollars a year to update his blog. I'm sorry people lost their jobs, though, that's always rough.

* here's a comics-event (mostly) driven list of things that happen that can be argued are important to Marvel. It's interesting to me that the movie and TV shows seem to have brought back a keen interest in that company as its own origins of creative energy.

* finally, RM Rhodes on League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest.
 
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Happy 76th Birthday, Robert Crumb!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Ken Bruzenak!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Jacques Tardi!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Jordan Raphael!

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August 29, 2019


Go, Look: What Doctors Know About CPR

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Parade Extra: Dave Cooper's The Absence Of Eddy Table Now Free On Vimeo


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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I am really looking forward to the 25th anniversary SPX, this year's Short Run and our own, fifth CXC. I think we're going to have a Fall of good shows across the board. That whole world and its relationship to comics itself, is changing rapidly. I get asked questions that your average con-goer didn't even conceive of five years, and I think that's all for the greater good.

* interesting to read about additional security at the Silicon Valley show. I bet every show that goes off between now and next February has had that conversation.

* here's a snapshot of the show in Indianapolis that might describe with some accuracy an average show of the wider-media type.

* here's what programming will look like at Rose City.

* finally: here's an article about research and academic opportunities at San Diego con, including the framework for sharing/exploring those elements provided by the show itself.
 
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By Request Extra: Dave Kellett's Latest Crowdfunder

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It's Anatomy of Authors, a collection of his comics on that subject. He's a bit over 70 percent there, which is usually a strong sign of success on one's ask.
 
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If I Were In Columbus, I Would Let Tom Go To This By Himself And Buy All The Books For Sale

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Jason Latour!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Mark Heath!

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August 28, 2019


Go, Look: Vannak Anan Prum

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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.

*****

MAY191795 COLLECTED TOPPI HC VOL 02 NORTH AMERICA $24.99
This is a weird week. I hope that shops are taking advantage of selling work that's not exactly the specific format and genre of these new X-Men comics, because I think there's more opportunity driving readers were the most creative work is rather than running a made-up algorithm in your head as to what people want. This day wan't particularly helpful in shaping that. This Toppi stuff looks great as individual illustrations. I'm not sure I'm ready for seven volumes of it, but I might buy a book or two of it. I feel like I'm missing something obvious from today's list.

APR190278 GIRL IN THE BAY TP (MR) $17.99
I don't know this work but I like it when comics companies put out new work by creators that have a track record that might indicate the ability to find a corner in the array of works out there now. I'd surely look at it.

imageMAY190495 ORION BY WALTER SIMONSON TP BOOK 02 $34.99
JUN190842 MARVEL COMICS #1000 $9.99
JUN191040 MARVEL VISIONARIES TP JOHN BUSCEMA $34.99
There are a lot of choices a company can make in presenting older material. Here are three. I prefer the first: just reprinting odd runs and series where they can find life as an additional sales option -- this the kind of thing that usually leads me to obsessively buy back issues rather than a new collection, but I am not the ideal customer here. I have little to no interest in things like Marvel Comics #1000 except for imagining all the characters sitting backstage together. John Buscema was a wonderfully skilled and facile artist, and a presentation that focuses on art might be the best way to experience the creator if you don't have access to the drawings he drew on the back of original art pages.

JUN190470 ACTION COMICS #1014 VAR ED YOTV DARK GIFTS $3.99
JUN190568 BATMAN WHO LAUGHS HC $29.99
Here are two of what I'd imagine would be difficult about creating serial-driven mainstream comics: the crossovers are a disruption, and some characters that are asked to carry a lot of weight may be goofier than their status implies. I still like making that "Batman Who Crafts" joke, though.

JUN190614 WATCHMEN TP NEW EDITION $24.99
In a Toy Story like movie about comics hanging out in a comics shop, I can imagine all the other trades saluting this one as it makes it way down the aisles. Don't know if there are changes invalidating it or making it a less attractive object.

JUN190905 AVENGERS #23 $3.99
JUN190907 AVENGERS #23 MCKONE BOBG VAR $3.99
JUN190990 DOCTOR STRANGE #18 $3.99
JUN190991 DOCTOR STRANGE #18 MARTIN BOBG VAR $3.99
The lates round of major relaunches at a mainstream comics company are starting to show the first signs of aging. I can't tell the difference between these objects and similarly named ones from other time periods, which has to be a bad sign.

JUN190821 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) $4.99
JUN190825 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) ASRAR CONNECTING VAR $4.99
JUN190827 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR $4.99
JUN190824 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) DEKAL CHARACTER DECADES VAR $4.99
JUN190823 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) PICHELLI FLOWER VAR $4.99
JUN190826 HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6) YOUNG VAR $4.99
I'd rathe Marvel not finesse its X-Men relaunch to squeeze more sales, but maybe that's just me.

JUN191848 INVADER ZIM #46 CVR A C $3.99
JUN191849 INVADER ZIM #46 CVR B CAB $3.99
Good old fashioned "if you like this..." sales success.

JUN192126 ONE PIECE GN VOL 91 $9.99
Ninety-one!

APR181874 HEATHEN TP VOL 02 $14.99
This is more of an old-fashioned sales success: not so much the reorders but slow build of a potential variety player.

JUL192177 NAO OF BROWN SC GN $34.99
I remember this being very pretty; would certain look at it today.

MAR191686 GRASS GN $29.95
I thought this might be an adaption of Sherri Tepper's book, but it's a political book I've never heard of. Nice cover, though, and I'd be happy to give it a chance.

*****

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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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* this short post at The Beat tying in Art Spiegelman's withdrawal of a Marvel-related essay after changes were asked of it with a less publicized effort to finesse material in an essay related to Simon and Kirby's Captain America character and presenting that character more generally has a lot to interest. I think the way to use art that has a specific point is to allow space within its creation for specific points. Pushing for apolitical or supposedly balanced-out points of view rarely works as cultural positioning or as compelling art of its own. Corporate-owned art may have its strengths, I'm at least open to hear about things like stewardship and broader creative opportunities that thwart polemics, but facilitating politics with the tools used to standardize a set of superpowers an action figure is supposed to evince doesn't seem to be one of them.

* finally: you should avail yourself of all these workshops these days, the ones that interest you, if you're a workshop-goer. There are a lot smart cartoonists out there with practical wisdom to impart.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Joann Sfar!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Elijah Brubaker!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Benoît Peeters!

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August 27, 2019


Go, Look: Prescribed Burn

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Bundled Extra: BIBF Report At PW

Here's a write-up of the latest Bejing International Book Fair that indicates publishers are finding a niche for illustration-driven book with non-fiction and other works that contrast against comics from Japan and Korea. That would totally make sense. I can't even imagine the publishing opportunities across the board in China.
 
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OTBP: Egg Cream #1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* renewed attention to the X-Men corner of the Marvel universe has me relooking at architecture and equipment, because that's where I always go with that one.

* I think Bob Levin is one of the great writers about comics of all time and is a great writer, period. I would be happy to see him take on book from the FU Press for the rest of my life. Here he is on the latest from Casanova Frankenstein.

* finally, here's Cynthia Rose on Simon Roussin.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Phil Hester!

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Happy 35th Birthday, Melissa Mendes!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Denis Kitchen!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Matt Wiegle!

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August 26, 2019


Massimo Mattioli, RIP

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Go, Look: Chris Kindred

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Festivals Extra: Your 2019 Ignatz Award Nominees

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Here are your 2019 Ignatz nominees. These fell into a weird part of my day, so my apologies for not having them up. I don't see anything on which I'd choose to remark in a trends way. These seem like appropriate choice given the shape of this part of the wider field. Congratulations to all those nominated and good luck on SPX weekend.

For those not up to speed on how the Ignatz work, the awards are nominated by committee and voted on the weekend of the show by those in attendance. This year's judges were MK Czerwiec, Kelly Froh, Rob McMonigal, Nola Pfau and Chris Kindred.

Somebody is usually very sweet and someone is usually very cutting and critical at the awards show; both are entertaining.

*****

Outstanding Artist

* Rosemary Valero-O'Connell -- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (First Second)
* Koren Shadmi -- Highwayman (Top Shelf Productions)
* Lucy Knisley Kid Gloves (First Second)
* Sloane Leong Prism Stalker (Image Comics)
* Ezra Claytan Daniels Upgrade Soul (Lion Forge)

*****

Outstanding Collection

* Love Letters to Jane's World -- Paige Braddock (Lion Forge)">Love Letters to Jane's World -- Paige Braddock (Lion Forge)
* Girl Town -- Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf Productions)
* Dirty Plotte -- Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Leaving Richard's Valley -- Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)
* This Woman's Work -- Julie Delporte (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

Outstanding Anthology

* Electrum -- Edited by Der-shing Helmer (Ascend Comics)
* Wayward Sisters -- Edited by Allison O'Toole (TO Comix Press)
* Family: The Nib Magazine -- Edited by Matt Bors, Matt Lubchanksy and Eleri Harris (The Nib)
* Death: The Nib Magazine -- Edited by Matt Bors, Matt Lubchanksy and Eleri Harris (The Nib)
* We're Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology -- Edited by Tara Avery and Jeanne Thornton (Stacked Deck Press)

*****

Outstanding Graphic Novel

* Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me -- Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second)
* Upgrade Soul -- Ezra Clayton Daniels (Lion Forge)
* Woman World -- Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Koren Shadmi -- Highwayman (Top Shelf Productions)
* Gender Queer -- Maia Kobabe (Lion Forge)

*****

Outstanding Series

* The Nib Magazine -- Matt Bors (The Nib)
* Daygloayhole Quarterly -- Ben Passmore (Silver Sprocket Press)
* Heavenly Blues -- Ben Kahn/Bruno Hidalgo (Scout Comics)
* Frontier -- Youth in Decline
* Endgames -- Ru Xu (NewsPrints)

*****

Outstanding Mini-Comic

* Trans Girls Hit the Town -- Emma Jayne (Diskette Press)
* Gonzalo -- Jed McGowan (Shortbox)
* Silver Wire -- Kriota Willberg (Birdcage Bottom Books)
* Cherry -- Inés Estrada (Kilgore Books & Comics)
* YLLW YLLW YLLW -- Mar Julia (Diskette Press)

*****

Outstanding Comic

* Lorna Benji Nate (Silver Sprocket)
* Infinite Wheat Paste #7 -– Pidge Carlisle (Pidge Comics)
* The Saga of Metalbeard -- Joshua Paddon & Matthew Hoddy (Self-Published)
* Egg Cream -- Liz Suburbia (Silver Sprocket & Czap Books)
* Check Please! Ngozi Ukazu (First Second)

*****

Outstanding Online Comic

* Isle of Elsi -- Alec Longstreth
* That's Not My Name! -- Hannako Lambert
* What Doctors Know About CPR -- Nathan Gray
* About Face -- Nate Powell
* Full Court Crush -- Hannah Blumenreich

*****

Promising New Talent

* Haleigh Buck
* Ebony Flowers
* Emma Jayne
* Mar Julia
* Kelsey Wroten

*****

Outstanding Story

* Sacred Heart Volume Two Part One: Livin' in the Future -- Liz Suburbia (from Egg Cream #1) (Czap Books)
* Sincerely, Harriet -- Sarah Winifred Searle (Graphic Universe)
* Woman World -- Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
* The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea -- Vannak Anan Prum (Seven Stories Press)
* Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me -- Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (First Second)

*****

I will likely have this linked up by the time the winners are announced. Let's hope.

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*****
 
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Go, Look: Bodies Aren't Binary, So Why Are Sports?

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* after my first look at this Shelly Bond-related project, my memory is that it was in a strong position early-on and maybe not as much right now. It definitely has some work to do in its last few days to meet its initial goal.

image* Dustin Harbin did a comic for NYT about his gofundme experience after jacking up his face. I like reading that article with the contextual stuff in a different place -- it helps me see the story more clearly. It is, Harbin notes, a terrible system.

* speaking of which, is there any out there that I don't think a lot of folks have publicly gone there in a significant way and I also know from talking to people that a lot of folks continue to share Dustin's risk to significant injury. I would love to know what people are thinking, and I don't have a good grasp of that right now.

* remember that The Nib will need help from individual donors for a significant time.

* finally: I hadn't looked in on Gahanna Wilson or a while.
 
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Go, Look: The Television Peril

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Daniel Elkin on Rocks.

* here's Michael Cavna on Pia Guerra.

* this is a nice story. Comics people have kind hearts, for the most part.

* finally: I hope whatever is the best outcome for Keith Knight is what works out here.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Francis Manapul!

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August 25, 2019


Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talk To Donny Cates

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Happy 49th Birthday, Chris Roberson!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Antony Johnston!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Steve Conley!

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Happy 72nd Birthday, MW Kaluta!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Andrew Aydin!

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August 24, 2019


Go, Look: NYT Op-Ed Piece By Dustin Harbin About His Busted Mouth And Crowdfunding Health Care

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Go, Listen: A Bunch Of People Interview Gil Roth

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Keith Knight!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Jim Scancarelli!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Scott Lobdell!

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August 23, 2019


Go, Look: Funny Pages

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Fesivals Extra: Ignatz Nominees; Ringos Final Ballot

* I am far too out of touch to be the ideal judging candidate for The Ringo Awards, but I think my opinions are pretty good ones and deserve to be in the mix so I'm not going to turn it down. Plus that's a nice city and a well-regarded show. Final ballot here. I'm betting Yvan Alagb&233; was me. That's a really good book, though. Congratulations to all the nominees and see you in Baltimore.

* I am far too out of touch and not just my diabetic feet to be the ideal snarking candidate for the Ignatzes. Actually, I don't even feel like doing that. These seemed fine to me. There are a lot of good books there and it's hard to argue about the works around which this specific iteration of the award has clustered. Congratulations to all of you as well.
 
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Go, Look: Marie Severin Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Ryan Flanders points out a first New Yorker by Edward Steed.

* I like the feature in the Spokesman-Review linked to a couple of posts up, but I sure do dislike comics polls as a general thing.

* Tori Ackerman profiles Brittany Long Olsen.

* Keith Silva on Smashed.

* I liked this Brian Hibbs article that everyone's read but me about doing business with Diamond in a day where periodicals are a smaller part of that market. I'm not sure I had that easy a grasp on the shipping elements of what Diamond does, so I'm thankful.

* finally: hey, a Matt Furie interview. One's coming, I mean, it's not already here.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Tara Madison Avery!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Terry Austin!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Chris Bachalo!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Jean-Christophe Menu!

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August 22, 2019


Go, Look: Scenes From The George Herriman Walking Tour As Presented By Michael Tisserand

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* hey, fellow Hoosiers! I wish there were an Indiana-centric comics convention when I was a kid, or at least on bigger than a single room at the Holiday Inn. That must be great.

* here are dates for the 2021 Comic-Con International. Probably.

* congrats to FlameCon on these mostly positive comments on their recent show.

* um... okay?

* finally: Don Asmussen goes to Silicon Valley Comic-Con.
 
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Go, Look: Journey Into Unknown Worlds #51

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Go, Look: James Motgomery Flagg

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* I quite liked this article at The Beat on the Hugo awards, which apparently use a run-off driven voting process and were also giving awards linked to awards slates from a certain number of years ago. That must be a fun thing for which someone can cast a vote. I have no idea how that would work out in comics. Probably poorly. Also congratulation to the pair of Hugo Awards run by sometimes comics-maker Charles Vess, for his collaboration with the late foundational writer Ursula LeGuin on her Earthsea narratives. The comics award repeated with Monster, but it was apparently very close.

* the DCP crew talks to Johnny O'Bryant.

* cartoons by Carlos Latuff get dragged into one of the stories about congresspeople accused of having opinion that break with some perceived and argued mainstream for political opinion. Any idea of politicians endorsing or promoting cartoon work is usually a precursor to stridency more than anything worth considering.

* finally, Tom Shapira takes a look at Usagi Yojimbo as it moves into its (samurai) rabbit-in-winter stage.
 
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Happy 139th Birthday, George Herriman!

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August 21, 2019


Go, Read: Eric Davidson Talks To Gary Panter

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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.

*****

MAY191685 VIVISECTIONARY HC (MR) $24.99
I read this book in advance of its release into the Direct Market and liked it quite a bit. The drawing is beautiful, but the book now totally assembled has a greater cohesion that I might have thought possible. I felt like I was reading a narrative created from some abstract strategies, not a series of sequences, and I had wondered about that going. I have no idea where Lacour is going from here, and that's exciting, too. Also, that's one sturdy die-cut.

imageJUN191817 STAY HC $19.99
I think I'm going to stop trying to puzzle which Trondheim books/collaborations we're getting and which ones we aren't and just enjoy his popularity and prolific nature book to book. We don't always get to see this many books from a creator, so enjoy it while it lasts.

APR191256 CHARLES SCHULZ LINUS HC PEANUTS $14.99
I may not enjoy Peanuts books that aren't the Fantagraphics collections, but I find the publishing strategies involved extremely interesting. Of course a strip this ubiquitous is going to see a number of formats rise to meet it. I hope the production matches the conception.

JUN190294 HELLBOY AND THE BPRD SATURN RETURNS #1 (OF 3) $3.99
JUN190466 SUPERMAN YEAR ONE #2 (OF 3) MILLER COVER (MR) $7.99
JUN190465 SUPERMAN YEAR ONE #2 (OF 3) ROMITA COVER (MR) $7.99
JUN190542 SUPERMANS PAL JIMMY OLSEN #2 (OF 12) $3.99
JUN190543 SUPERMANS PAL JIMMY OLSEN VAR ED #2 (OF 12) $3.99
JUN190053 CRIMINAL #7 (MR) $3.99
MAR190246 SNOTGIRL #14 CVR A HUNG $3.99
MAR190247 SNOTGIRL #14 CVR B OMALLEY $3.99
MAY199027 POWERS OF X #1 (OF 6) 2ND PTG SILVA VAR $5.99
JUN190835 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) $4.99
JUN190841 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) ASRAR CONNECTING VAR $4.99
JUN190838 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) BENGAL CHARACTER DECADES VAR $4.99
JUN190840 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR $4.99
JUN190837 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) WEAVER NEW CHARACTER VAR $4.99
JUN190839 POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6) YOUNG VAR $4.99
Hey, comic books! Always happy to see books from the Mignola-verse. I think that first issue of Superman: Year One looks very handsome even though I have my doubts I'll be terribly interest in the story. Brubaker and Phillips are as sure of a bet that exists in comics this century. The Snotgirl comics I like for what I imagine might be reasons that the people don't like the series. I certainly have very little idea as to where the hell it's going, which strikes me as important. The run of supplementary editions and new comics to the X-Men series would seem to be a boon for that side of the industry. It's been very clever so far.

MAY190044 SAGA COMPENDIUM TP VOL 01 (MR) $59.99
I'm not sure this is worth noting by itself -- I mean, of course it is -- but if this is the first indication the series is coming back to print, that's outright publishing news these days.

APR190708 CORTO MALTESE THE EARLY YEARS TP $19.99
I hope this is a little kid with a tiny raft and that hat and that facial hair. Whatever it actually is, it's probably gorgeous.

JUN192001 SKY IN STEREO GN VOL 02 (MR) $13.99
I really loved the first volume of this book, to the point I was emotional invested in the protagonist's fate. I hope she's okay and it's swell I get to find out soon.

*****

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.

*****

image

*****
*****
 
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If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* it's odd to see a list of traditional genre series representing comics for the late summer consider how many titanic graphic novels there are either right this moment or imminent. I remain struck by how balkanized along very specific aim-and-purpose lines comics remains. I hope those series are all as good as they can possibly be, though, for sure.

* not comics: ICE has re-upped with the company that uses Amazon to facilitate support services, the matter at the heart of recent protests and quite a bit of interest from within the comics community. This will be a story until it isn't.

* "adorable" and "heartwarming" usually aren't the main adjectives in a comics article, but why not? Also, the three of these I've read are adorable and heartwarming.

* this article dives straight into the criticism that Art Spiegelman invokes in taking his essay away from Marvel after being told to change a few words.

* finally: this is a charming story by Andy Marlette.

 
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Happy 44th Birthday, Matt Emery!

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August 20, 2019


Go, Watch: Build Destroy


 
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By Request Extra: The Nib Unveils Its First Official Fundraiser

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Here. In addition to just wanting this to do well, I'm certain there will be news value in tracking their strategies to keep the publication alive. Good luck and may god bless.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Brian Bendis

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there's a lot going on already with Wonder Con and Comic-Con International at San Diego. I always forget what a year-round business that is as my strategy in recent years has been to not do anything until like June 5 and just send e-mails at nice people bawling like a baby until someone helps me.

* I sort of love this photo of the great Bob Harvey.

* finally: Simon Hanselmann suddenly showing up over by the piano in this series of pictures made me laugh.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Sean Kleefeld!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Daniel Torres!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 43rd Birthday, Rina Ayuyang!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 19, 2019


Go, Look: Luchiano Vecchio

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* money to save retail establishments is a traditionally rough go on the social media driven sites, but this gofundme seems off to a better than average start. As always, I wish anyone that feels a need the best of luck in not feeling that way.

* this Spike Trotman project is safely paid for, but has several hours left for those that would like to be involved.

* finally, comics industry veteran Shelly Bond has an interesting-sounding project going. That is a reasonably significant ask for a publishing project according to my experience, but that looks like appealing subject matter.

 
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Go Look: Alberto Varanda

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Kelly Sue DeConnick

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Threadbare. Todd Klein on that beautiful Earthsea collection with which Charles Vess was involved. Alex Hoffman on Trans Girls Hit The Town. Johanna Draper Carlson on Sanity & Tallulah.

* here are Alison Wilgus' TCJ diaries in one place.

* Wall Street Journal looks at graphic novel for younger readers.

* good on Art Spiegelman pulling a piece of political commentary from an essay he was commissioned to write. It will have a longer life in this form than if it had run in its original form. I've yet to catch up to the piece, but want to; Spiegelman's a good writer on comics and culture.

* finally, Wendy Browne talks to Kieron Gillen. Nicholas Burman talks to Simon Grennan.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, Gene Ha!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Josh Cotter!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Josh Fialkov!

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August 18, 2019


Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks to Milton Glaser

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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Tom King

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

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If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Jenni Rope!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Kevin Church!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Lilli Carré!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Chris Allen!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 17, 2019


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

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If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 50th Birthday, Tom McLean!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 63rd Birthday, John Romita Jr.!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Andrew Helfer!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 16, 2019


If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Noah Van Sciver praises Michael Kupperman's All The Answers. There's a significant element of that book's discussion since publication that it was somehow under-discussed, and I've never been able to figure that out. I'm going to guess that the construction there is that it resembles books from the recent past that did get the kind of widespread approbation, a kind of rhetorical momentum that has its own energy. But to be honest, I've read enough terrible "the book of the year is every book you read" headlines to know that hasn't been the case for many books of recent vintage -- maybe zero of them if you disqualify Emil Ferris. It's a possibility that the bulk of us may shrug our shoulders through Berlin, Clyde Fans and Rusty Brown by this Christmas. Holy hell. We still do have the "good superhero comic" phenomenon, and that seems fairly intact, but that's a different thing: a smaller pool with a different function. Maybe that should be expected. There is no monolithic critical apparatus for comics these days, and it may have seemed like there was one only because of a time when a bunch of writers wrote similarly voluminous, detailed responses to major works as a way of standing out before social media made more specific, arch, content-light interaction its own thing and people began to distrust that kind of climb-Mt.-Olympus writing as stuck in its writers' own heads. That said, I heard a lot about All The Answers. I would imagine any serious fan/fan of serious comics would want to read it and has a chance to do so. I'm not spending this morning writing about Olivier Schrauwen.

* there are structural peculiarities. One thing that's still the same that may continue to shape this is that there are certain elements of comics publishing that don't want to engage with other elements. I've written a lot about Michael Kupperman -- like a lot -- but never received a copy of the book, let alone was pitched an interview or other coverage. Comics has always been bad at that, and I'm not certain why. I just assume that kind of engagement isn't valued or rewarding enough. I'm not being sarcastic, I can see 100 scenarios where resources are better spent elsewhere. And while I know I need to find things on my own, there's a lot to write about and my professional life sometimes resembles a Transformer that changes from a food truck to a dumpster fire. I'll take the book on my desk over the one on my computer screen, and both of them over one that's a rumor. The fewer books I write about I'm less likely to score that gigantic investment of a physical copy. So it goes. And yet, having never seen it, I know about All The Answers and I know about some of its awards and about once every six weeks I seem to have read about this lack of coverage and whose fault that is, so there has to have been some work done. This is complicated even further when not everyone likes a work. And a good work isn't necessarily one that appeals to everyone. We can still agree on that, right? It's a buyer's market for smart work with which to engage, and most people can be talked out of hard to score work someone warned them away that simply might not look appealing without a lot of effort. It's tough out there. I have multiple book credits and I've done two signings. Two in my life.

* I hope that all the quality works find the audience, critical and otherwise, they deserve. It's hard to measure that, though. Maybe those of us that didn't can take a second look at few books of recent vintage -- All The Answers, sure, but also One Dirty Tree or perhaps Yellow Negroes -- and maybe all of us can dig in and focus on the next round of potentially great works from this fall before lurching into our best-of-decade battles. The Santoro and Huizenga I think are very good, and Eleanor Davis is in the midst of a powerful win streak. Mutts turns 25 this year and two potentially great strips turn one (Jaimes' Nancy and Liniers' Macanudo). I don't know if there are enough readers for all of these books, or enough writers about the better ones, but certainly someone will think it's not enough on every single book's behalf.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Jason!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 15, 2019


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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 66th Birthday Paul Gulacy!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 14, 2019


OTBP: In The Thick Of It

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

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*****

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

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

*****

JAN198511 DOG MAN GN VOL 07 FOR WHOM BALL ROLLS $12.99
Dav Pilkey's work on both this latest series and the Captain Underpants material is really due a major critical piece by one of the better writers out there. I don't think that happens in a preview article, although I like the Pilkey's comics whenever I read them, and enjoy their visual stamp a lot; I like looking at these comics. They're the comics of the moment for sure.

imageMAY191758 DUNKIRK ONE SHOT GLANZMAN CVR 2ND PTG $9.99
I don't want to question whatever series of events has given us a bunch of Sam Glanzman war comics edition in the late 2010s, but I'm happy to look at them every time I see them in the shot. Glanzman always does the work, and his fealty to a certain kind of accuracy in the depictions makes for its own through-line in the comics. The cover here with the mix of naval craft, their functions and their modernity relative to one another all make me take notice. I hope there are more of these.

JUN191263 ONCE & FUTURE #1 (OF 6) $3.99
JUN190694 USAGI YOJIMBO #3 CVR A SAKAI $3.99
MAY199082 SECOND COMING #1 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
JUN191368 SECOND COMING #2 (MR) $3.99
Hey, it's comic-book comics, including two series positioning themselves for a strong sales run. Once & Future is apparently doing advance scarcity in a way that drives buzz, while Second Coming is starting a cycle of re-orders and multiple printings that is either more advance work or the first fruits of earlier exposure to those comics. In between is Usagi Yojimbo, which is eternal and which if there are comics in heaven I will read 1000 years' worth.

APR190279 BORGIAS TP (MR) $29.99
I don't have a refined aesthetic for either comics-maker involved here, although I'm interested in the potential of the result. Exceedingly handsome comics likely to be the result. I'd have to do a pretty serious reading to say anything else. I have no idea of its public reputation.

APR190315 EC ARCHIVES CRIME SUSPENSTORIES HC VOL 04 $59.99
DEC180652 JOKER THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC $99.99
FEB190976 MARVEL MASTERS OF SUSPENSE LEE & DITKO OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $100.00
Hey, it's the expensive books section. I haven't found a way back into the EC comics with either the latest more tradition title-by-title reprinting or the black and white Fantagraphics, author-to-author presentation, but that's always been about where I am oriented than what the comics reveal to me. Never quite understood the Joker, but the move to completely unpleasant serial-killer comics would seem to me fun to watch in fits and starts. As for Steve Ditko, give me a look at every last page: that's an intriguing way to look at the world -- very 20th Century, and might be more flattered by a writer with Lee's lack of heft.

JUN191758 SCIENCE COMICS CATS NATURE & NURTURE HC GN $19.99
I haven't been paying a lot of attention to these First Second science comics, so one with a bunch of cat would seem a friendlier-than-usual re-entry point. Everybody likes cats.

MAY191414 ARCHIE ART OF FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA HC $24.99
This has to be attractive; if I have my doubts about playing around too much with the Archie formula, it comes from the narrative flexibility more than the artists they have presenting these various takes. Francavilla is very talented.

JUN191315 YOU ARE MY FRIEND STORY MR ROGERS & NEIGHBORHOOD PICTUREBOOK $17.99
It makes sense that there would be some Fred Rogers culture in comics form, and I'd definitely want to see the books if only for a flip-through.

APR191970 DRUILLETS THE NIGHT (LA NUIT) HC (RES) (MR) $24.99
When in doubt, dig your way into an impressive artist and see what results.

*****

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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*****
*****
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Conan By Gerardo Zaffino

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Bryan Hitch

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Philippe Leblanc on Repose. Lena Beck on Seattle Walk Report. Mel Schuit on Death Threat. Noah Berlatsky on Strong Female Protagonist.

* here is Susanna Mcleod talking to Terri Libenson in 2008.

* a consumer of Canadian media expresses some exhaustion with Trump-related cartoon coverage. One of the things that may happen as there are fewer opportunities for cartoonists in media more generally is that the pool of talent interested in different approaches might go down a bit.

* bundled extra: All My Friends Are Ghosts announced by BOOM!

* go, read: Steve Ringgenberg on the life and career of the late, very talented and very widely prolific Ernie Colon.

* finally: here's an excerpt of a manuscript with the promising title of The World Vs. Todd McFarlane.
 
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Happy 76th Birthday, John Costanza!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Jimmy Palmiotti!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Gary Larson!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 13, 2019


Go, Look: Ellen Crenshaw

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posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Cartoonists Molly Crabapple And Eli Valley Among NYC Amazon/ICE Protestors

This is probably the best article so far on the involvement of artists Eli Valley and Molly Crabapple in protests designed to drive attention to and disrupt connections between Amazon.com and ICE organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice for their #JewsAgainstICE campaigns. Looks like Valley has since been suspended from Twitter. I'm sure there will be more to come and that there are potential outcomes for comics work both directly linked to this issue and for political orientation within comics more generally. It bears watching and recurrent attention.
 
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Liniers

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Steve Lafler Offers Original Covers To Assist In Father's Hospice Care

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There are some beautiful covers here from Lafler's long run; I hope it's successful.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Few Random Dope Rider Installments

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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Mark Russell

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Batman Secret Files #2

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Philippe Leblanc on The Adventurers: Love You Very So Much.

* finally: ADA Books, RIP.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 59th Birthday, Bret Blevins!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 53rd Birthday, Shannon Wheeler!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Donna Barr!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 12, 2019


Go, Look: Alexandre Franc

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Images From Halloween By Bill Sienkiewicz

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Aorta #1

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Philippe Leblanc on Slaughterhouse Slough.

* I've had a link to this nice-looking superhero art stored away for a while.

* I'd like to see something done about these anti-free speech stunt work done by trolls, even if it's just a standard playbook so the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented every time out.

* the skilled artist Jesse Hamm doing Thundarr fan comics sounds super-fun.

* finally, here's a nice list of diversity-driven graphic novels listed by the Virginia Library Association.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, Gregory Benton!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Al Ewing!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Chris Sims!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Akimi Yoshida!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 11, 2019


Go, Look: Marco Checchetto

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posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 31st Birthday, Sophia Foster-Dimino!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 55th Birthday, Jim Lee!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #528 -- Jumping The Gun

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Comics Works Likely To Be On Your List Of Best Ten Comics Of The Decade 2010-2019, And Name One You Think Might Possibly Sneak In Once You've Read It." This is how they responded.

*****

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Mark Brodersen

1. Bedlam, Nick Spencer, Riley Rossmo, Ryan Browne, Frazer Irving (2012)
2. The Auteur, Rick Spears, Jim Callahan (2014)
3. Imperium, Joshua Dysart, Doug Braithwaite, Scot Eaton, Pere Perez, Cafu, Juan Jose Ryp, Khari Evans, Jon Livesay, Wayne Faucher, Sean Parsons, Victor Olazaba (2015)
4. Red Light Properties, Dan Goldman (2010)
5. Nanjing: The Burning City, Ethan Young (2105)

*****

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Dave Knott

* Lastman - Bastien Vivès, Balak, and Michael Sanlaville (2013-present)
* Everything Is Flammable - Gabrielle Bell (2017)
* My Favourite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris (2017)
* One Dirty Tree - Noah Van Sciver (2018)
* Poochytown - Jim Woodring (2018)

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Fante Bukowski (2015)
2. Lumberjanes (2014)
3. Phoebe And Her Unicorn (2012)
4. Get Naked (2018)
5. The Autumnlands (2015)

*****

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Sean Rogers

1. Dal Tokyo, Gary Panter (2012)
2. Sir Alfred No. 3, Tim Hensley (2016)
3. Everything Is Flammable, Gabrielle Bell (2017)
4. Impressions, Aidan Koch (2014)
5. Pittsburgh, Frank Santoro (2019)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Susceptible, Geneviève Castrée (2013)
2. Soldier's Heart, Carol Tyler (2015)
3. Arsene Schrauwen, Olivier Schrauwen (2014)
4. The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez (2014)
5. Rusty Brown, Chris Ware (2019)

*****

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Mike Borelli

1. Habibi by Craig Thompson 2011
2. Paying For It by Chester Brown 2011
3. Building Stories by Chris Ware 2012
4. Gast by Carol Swain 2014
5. Berlin by Jason Lutes 2018

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Yours, Margot Ferrick (2017)
2. Drifter, Anna Haifisch (2017)
3. Hax, Lale Westvind (2015)
4. Valley, GG (2017)
5. Through The Woods, Emily Carroll (2014)

*****

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Mário Filipe

1. Building Stories, Chris Ware (2012)
2. New School, Dash Shaw (2013)
3. Arsène Schrauwen, Olivier Schrauwen (2015)
4. Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist, Bill Griffith (2016)
5. The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga (2019)

*****

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John Vest

1. My Friend Dahmer, Derf Backderf (2012)
2. Freeway, Mark Kalesniko (2011)
3. Ruins, Peter Kuper (2015)
4. The Complete Omaha the Cat Dancer: Volume Eight, Kate Worley, James Vance, and Reed Waller (2013)
5. Winter Warrior, Eve Gilbert (2019)

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One, Adam Hines (2010)
2. Finder: Voice, Carla Speed McNeil (2011)
3. The Wicked + The Divine, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (2014-2019)
4. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, Sonny Liew (2015)
5. Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (2018)

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Building Stories, Chris Ware (2012)
2. Here, Richard McGuire (2014)
3. Hawkeye, Matt Fraction, David Aja, Francesco Francavilla, Annie Wu, Jesse Hamm, Steve Lieber, Javier Pulido, Matt Hollingsworth (2012-2015)
4. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris (2017)
5. The River At Night, Kevin Huizenga (2019)

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Clyde Fans, Seth (2019)
2. Providence, Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (2018)
3. Sergio Aragones Funnies, Sergio Aragones (2011)
4. The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez (2014)
5. Screwball!, Paul Tumey (2019)

*****

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Sean Knickerbocker

* Anti-Gone, Connor Willumsen (2017)
* Berlin, Jason Lutes (2018)
* Everything is Flammable, Gabrielle Bell (2017)
* Jordan Wellington Lint, Chris Ware (2010)
* The Hard Tomorrow, Eleanor Davis (2019)

*****
*****
 
posted 12:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 10, 2019


Go, Look: Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg

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posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Eddie Campbell!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 62nd Birthday, Scott Bukatman!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 9, 2019


Ernie Colon, RIP

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posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Claire Merchlinsky

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Jim Lee gives a thumbs up to DC's streaming service and a thumb in some other, less positive direction to digital sales of individual comics. I don't know if that's disheartening or super-obvious; I haven't figured any of this basic strategy out, either. Looks like they'll continue working on it.

* Jacob Anderson-Minshall profiles Luma Lilac.

* the Mooncakes graphic novel is previewed by The Beat here.

* missed this new digital comics publisher debut last month. If I'm confused as to what a successful venture for DC would look like, I'm stone baffled by what would work for a digital comics publisher to make it.

* finally: a list of webcomics you should be reading.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Henri Guerra Portfolio

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Unburdening

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver on Flem.

* the last MAD. Maybe.

* never liked Sinestro, although he's an appropriate match in that he also avoids making a deep commitment to the inherent structural metaphors of the main conce

* I thought it was weird that with the headline they're using I can't imagine any of these creators to be ss active by then.

* the television series version of The Boys is a hit. I hope all the comics people made a ton of money.

* the new comics company designed to jumpstart TV/film projects is a go. I already don't remember what the series is about.

* finally, Sloane Leong talks to Evan Dahm.
 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Josh Neufeld!

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Happy 74th Birthday, Posy Simmonds!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Rick Leonardi!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Bob McLeod!

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August 8, 2019


Go, Look: Mariah-Rose Marie M

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I enjoy the amount of video and the different variations that NYCC employes.

* here's a general preview of Flame Con, the most important show going right now, I think, and it might not be close.

* here are the CXC 2019 Thursday/Friday events that involve that mighty institution, our venue partner and ally the Wexner Center For The Arts. Our events are free unless there's something structurally impossible for us to do it without charging something, but we sometimes ticket to work on crowd control and to anticipate decade. It should be clear event to event what's need. I really like the range of animation we'll see. We are very lucky to have such skilled partners.

* finally: Vincent Harris talks to Donald Brock, Jr. about Soda City Comic Con.
 
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Go, Look: Liz Enright

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Anya Davidson on Brat. Sean Witzke on Bad Weekend. Rich Barrett on Simon & Louise.

* I think it's good that Naji Al-Ali is remembered.

* here's another piece on comic-shop customers abandoning agreed-upon relationships regarding comics held back for subscribers. I never liked that system, I don't think most people extend that kind of courtesy to things they pay for, and I think that's even more frayed a relationship now than it was when I was in a comic shop on every Wednesday. But yeah, don't do this. And maybe we make mental space and take a forgiving stance towards shops that abandon the practice altogether.

* finally: speaking of difficult issues, what it means when an aberrant-acting personality enjoys cartoon work, and if that's an endorsement of anything, or reflective of elements of that work, continues to vex a lot of people. I think ideas are rarely actionable, but I wouldn't leave bed for 30 years if I thought something I created led in any way to widespread violence.
 
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Happy 95th Birthday, Gene Deitch!

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August 7, 2019


Go, Look: Kazimir Lee

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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.

*****

JUN191740 ANTHOLOGY OF MIND GN (MR) $24.99
Tommi Musturi short stories in different styles? Yes, please.

imageFEB192024 AMERICAN COMIC BOOK CHRONICLES HC 1940-44 $44.95
This is the first of many comics this week where I'm no sure if it's been out or not but I know I eventually want it so let's list them all today. I'm never going to read all the comics stuff I want.

JUN191304 GIANT DAYS #53 $3.99
JUN190273 BERSERKER UNBOUND #1 (OF 4) CVR A DEODATO $3.99
JUN190274 BERSERKER UNBOUND #1 (OF 4) CVR B MIGNOLA $3.99
JUN190524 LOIS LANE #2 (OF 12) $3.99
JUN190525 LOIS LANE #2 (OF 12) VAR ED $3.99
Not the strongest showing for classic comic book formatted comics, but it's worth noting the production juggernaut that is Giant Days, the level of other-cover support given Berserker Unbound and the Lois Lane boy is a limited series -- I probably knew that but I didn't recall that when I pondered the title this morning. Great character, Lois Lane. Hard to tap one of those great approaches for modern superhero narratives.

JUN191736 EMPRESS CIXTISIS HC (MR) $16.99
New Anne Simon, extension of the same world used last time. I like the look of this material.

JUN191730 POE CLAN MANGA HC VOL 01 MOTO HAGIO $39.99
Another book I will own one day that I'm not sure has been published quite yet. I'd look.

JUN191764 PEEP SHOW UNCENSORED & BEAUTIFULLY SEXY ENGLISH ED SC (MR) ($44.99)
Joe Matt is back, baby! Actually no, check that, this is just sexy pictures. Not that Joe isn't handsome.

MAR190747 WALTER SIMONSONS STAR WARS ARTISTS EDITION HC $125.00
FEB190977 KIRBY RETURNS KING SIZE HC $100.00
MAY191993 GEORGE HERRIMAN COMPLETE KRAZY KAT IN COLOR 1935-1944 HC $200.00
APR191956 STAN LEE STORY TASCHEN HC $200.00
There aren't many alternate universes where I could buy all of these expensive book, but it would be a fun one. I want them all, and am curious most about the Stan Lee Taschen.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Gerardo Alba

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Go, Look: Michael Cho Drawing Superheroes

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Sasa Rakezic!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Tommi Musturi!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Paul Dini!

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August 6, 2019


Go, Look: Tracy Chahwan

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* not sure that I'd seen a cover image for the next Dave McKean as of yet.

* Graeme McMillan writes about the acquisition of Katy Farina's Soung Of The Court.

* got not one but two Fantagraphics sell-into-bookstores catalogs last weekend. I'm not seeing anything that surprises. I'm pretty sure I knew they're working with Mr. Fish now, which is a potentially strong pick-up for them. It does seem like those catalogs overall offer a greater emphasis on newer cartoonists and existing series, which makes sense as that's what the whole bookstore-oriented industry is focusing on doing.

* finally, Paul Gravett reminds us of comics coming out next month. This looks to be a potentially great Fall season.
 
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Go, Look: Proof Positive

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Go, Read: Alex Dueben Talks to Paul Karasik

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

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* Matt Seneca on Pope Hats #6.

* Matt O'Keefe looks at product announcements from this year's Gen Con. There was a time I would have felt comfortable reading into product announcements and making proclamations about the state of licenses but now I just point at the links.

* looks like TCJ.com is using Ryan Flanders as their links person, he noticed a week later than everyone else.

* Molly Mendoza will be your TCJ cartoon diarist this week.

* finally, Alex Dueben talks to Joan Steacy.

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Happy 68th Birthday, Ed Hannigan!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Sarah Horrocks!

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August 5, 2019


Go, Look: Mady G

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Go, Read: DC Comics As Part of AT&T's Current Corporate Vision

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Rob Salkowitz covers the intersection of business, culture and comics for a number of publications including ICv2.com and Forbes. I liked his writing the last few weeks on various DC-related moves that fairly baffled me coming into them cold, and here's a summary article that explains the foundations of that analysis.

It will be incredibly odd if the thing that wrecks the industry part of the direct market part of the comics industry is too much success of one kind, but nowhere near enough success according to a resulting new standard, but it wouldn't be so odd as it would suck that a bunch of people might end up out of work. Their just cancelling a Warren Ellis-written comic to seemingly straighten out the artistic rotation on those books isn't the kind of article anyone saw five, ten years ago and seems more "everything's broken" than most schedule adjustments tend to seem.

Lex Luthor, a surprisingly resilient character for the overall DC Comics empire
 
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Go, Look: Chelsea Saunders

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Go Look: EC Story With Color Guides

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Go, Look: Eleri Harris

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* go, read: here's a nice piece on the Milwaukee Journal's green sheets.

* the Jai Nitz harassment story receives significant regional news attention. Nitz is gone from comics now, in a way that rhetoric might suggest will be forever. There is a strong point made that even when this is true, it doesn't mean those who were harassed get to make that kind forceful, strong withdrawal from the pain of the incident in question.

* not comics: for those helping bring to life a billion dollar movie, Avengers Endgame creatives sure can't let go being second-guessed by fans about the idea that maybe Hulk was scared of supreme bad guy Thanos from the previous movie's butt-kicking. I just like the focused attention there and the repeated hitting on that point, as if that other reading was abominably and unforgivably stupid.

* finally: Robert Boyd on I, René Tardi, Prisoner Of War In Stalag IIB Volume Two: My Return Home.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Steve Mitchell!

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August 4, 2019


Go, Look: Steve Teare

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If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This

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Happy 77th Birthday, Rick Norwood!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, K. Thor Jensen!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Charlie Adlard!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Robert Pope!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Franco Saudelli!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Mike Gold!

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August 3, 2019


By Request Extra: Jeremy Sorese Was Attacked And Thrown Onto NYC Subway Tracks

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If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Marc Weidenbaum!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Gianfranco Goria!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Reed Waller!

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August 2, 2019


Go, Look: Evan Matthew Cohen

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* here are some webcomics that could ostensibly -- according to the article -- replace some of your comic book store reading. I don't know that one kind of comic ever really replaces another one for one, but hey, new comics to go look at.

* this letter is what living with a ex-TCJ staffer is like all the time.

* finally: Samantha Puc talks to Michelle Gish.
 
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If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Tubby #9

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rachel Cooke on Blossoms In Autumn.

* B. Kliban photographed for Playboy.

* bundled extra: here's a forthcoming comic looking at Arthurian mythos and nationalism.

* festivals extra: I didn't see Heidi MacDonald's extended think piece on SDCC 2019 until just now. It did feel like there were a bunch of reductions across the board, especially in flourishes brought in by other industries. That thing where they announced like four years of movie and TV shows at Marvel was a focused follow-up that matched the heyday of the Twilight movie in its own way. A lot of things that were still there were smaller than the last time I saw them. There are ascendant things: toy culture is still a hot thing there; that X-Men relaunch received a lot of attention and not in a consolation prize way, and the all-age book publishers seemed to have as much institutional strength as the mainstream comics people. Chris Ware was giving away books and posters, received an inkpot and seemed generally pleased to be there. I had a good time.

* Avery Kaplan talks to Jen Bartel.

* finally: please be comics, please be comics, please be comics.
 
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Happy 83rd Birthday, Victor Moscoso!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Danny Hellman!

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Happy 46th Birthday, MariNaomi!

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August 1, 2019


Go, Look: Elin Elisabet

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Jamie Coville is a devoted tape-maker and photographer of convention programming. Here's his SDCC 2019.

* I will continue to tighten up my ramblings into one post spread out over days and will put that in the place where notes were intended to go as the show built.. I'm still not up to speed where I should on these kind of direct-observation, which is a great value that blogging provides to the event.

* it might be worth seeing that it seems like a whole new group of comics-makers aged 35 to 50 have settled into that show -- and NYCC a bit, in the same way -- as kind of full-serve, old-fashioned shows with enough industry verve to serve all amkers. I think this will change in then ext ten year as the kids book publisher really surge forward as some other forms either move backwards or begin to take a form for most of these publisher where it's still very hard to make use of a big-tent show.

* so onto the Fall slate: a jam-packed SPX with anniversary stories to tell, CXC, Baltimore Con, Rose City Con, New York Con, a Brooklyn show, Seattle's lovely Short Run show and I'm sure some surprises. Flame Con goes first. It's still a reasonably healthy part of our industry, these shows but that also means an ability for our shows to pivot in a variety of ways. The best outcome for my money would be an agreed upon framework with which to bring close attention to the industry between the shows, even using the shows as a resource on how to do so. It's going to be an impressive Fall for comics, I think, which will help focus our attention on the books themselves. By the end of the year we may even learn what TCAF has planned for May 2020 with their longtime host hotel facing a limited number of rooms. Very exciting.

* some of the things offered up as the main signifier of SDCC 2019 include: no one person, Marvel's movie/TV presentation, and, my choice, all the scooters that were impounded.

*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Amanda Scurti

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Go, Look: Jungle Jim Cover Art

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on Walking Uphill and Rose: A Double Life. Rachel Cooke on Maggy Garrison. Some love for Bad Gateway.

* former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels writes about editorial cartooning generally, and his relationship with Gary Varvel specifically.

* a bit of not-comics with an analysis of how much longer newspaper have to bleed out their remaining profits.

* this was an odd-as-hell and insensitive move, but of course guys like that don't apologize for crass actions. It's a sign of weakness to do so, for pity's sake.

* finally, not comics: God bless our alternative libraries and community collection and rooms and comics of all kinds that are open to be perused.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Mark Newgarden!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Michael DeForge!

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Festivals Extra: CXC 2019 Free Ticketed Events Go Live At 10 AM Today

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Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) 2019 has announced its two ticketed events -- a keynote-address conversation between Mike Mignola and Jeff Smith, and an evening presentation/signing by superstar all-ages cartoonist Dav Pilkey -- are going live for reservations at 10 AM today at their host venue's site. Both events are for the Friday of the festival, September 27; Mignola at 4 PM, Pilkey at 7:30 PM. You can reserve up to three tickets for Mignola, and up to four for Pilkey. Both of the events themselves are free.

The direct link to ticket sales for Mignola is here, as of 10 AM this morning.

The direct link to ticket sales is here, as of 10 AM this morning.

Past keynote address presentations by CXC include Bill Griffith and Chris Ware; past Friday night evening presentation-givers at the show include Garry Trudeau and Lynn Johnston.

please keep in mind I work with CXC as a executive-level staffer
 
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