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














September 30, 2019


Go, Look: Immortal Wildwood

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Go, Look: Life Comics

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All-Ages Drag Show At Mile High Comics Location Brings Out The Usual Strident Dumbasses

Here and here. Chuck Rozanski performing as Bettie Pages may be one of the top five best things about comics retail right now, and stores stepping in to provide community resource space is way, way better than top five. It makes me deeply sad that anyone could formulate a protest to an assertion of rights.
 
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Collective Memory: CXC 2019

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2019 edition of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, held September 26-29 in and around the great City of Columbus.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

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Institutional
* Con Site
* Central Physical Location 01
* Central Physical Location 01
* Host City

imageBlogs And Personal Journals

Facebook
* Primary Facebook Presence For Show

News Stories And Columns

Photos

Twitter
* Karl Christian Krumpholz

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Go, Look: Rob Rogers

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Go, Look: Captain Video

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Happy 43rd Birthday, David Baillie!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Mahendra Singh!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Deni Loubert!

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September 29, 2019


OTBP: Infinine Wheat Paste #7

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

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

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Nicolas De Crécy!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Tim Vigil!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Jennifer Daydreamer!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Kieron Gillen!

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September 28, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Max und Moritz (1941)


Cartoonist Kayfabe On MAD Magazine


MAD RIP On CBS This Morning


MAD Profiled In 2012 On CBS This Morning


Cartoonist In Kashmir Censored To The Point Of Quitting

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

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

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

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Flavio Hoffe!

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September 27, 2019


Congratulations To Mike Mignola, Alison Bechdel & The EC/MAD Artists Now In The Harveys Hall Of Fame

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If I remember correctly, the program's ceremony is October 4.
 
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CR Friday Interview: Brian Canini

1. Brian, now that some time has passed, do you have any kind of perspective on your Eisner experience? You were nominated with your collaborators on the first issue of The Columbus Scribbler. How does it feel looking back on what happened?

Having the opportunity to represent my hometown and passion for comics at a major venue like the Eisners was an amazing honor that I am still trying to wrap my head around. I can’t even begin to express in words the experience of being able to go to the San Diego Comic-Con and be apart of the Eisner Awards. Talk about a humbling and awe-inspiring trip. I met artists that I have admired for what feels like my entire life during that weekend and I was able to meet with like-minded creatives with similar goals of developing ways to spread our love of comics.

2. Is there a specific memory or two you might take with you from the SDCC, or the experience more broadly? What’s it like to get that email?

I was only in San Diego for the day, but I feel like I made every moment count. Without question meeting Walt Simonson is a memory I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life. It happened while I was wandering the con floor, I turned around and there he was. I said “Holy crap, you’re Walt Simonson.” and he jokingly looked around like he didn’t know who I was talking to then came up and shook my hand. I asked if I could take a picture with him and he graciously agreed. Then I gave him a copy of one of my new comics, Glimpses of Life #6, in which I had drawn portraits of a bunch of cartoonists that have influenced me, he was one of them. Once he realized I had created the comic I was handing him, he insisted that I sign it for him and he proceeded to walk me over to Marc Silvestri’s table and asked Marc if he could borrow a pen. So there I was signing a comic I had made for one of my heroes using the pen of another one of my heroes. My hand trembled a little when I returned the pen.

As for the email, to be honest, I can’t really answer that one because I never got emailed about the news. In a frantic dash to mail my submissions to the Eisners, I had neglected to add my contact info. In fact, I didn’t know we had been nominated until CXC made a post on Facebook congratulating us. By the way, thanks for that one!

Once I found out the news it was one of those moments where you’re not really sure how to process the information. We had just come out with the second issue of the Columbus Scribbler and we were all getting ready that weekend for SPACE. Which for those of you that don’t know is an independent comic convention hosted by Columbus local Bob Corby. I can probably say without a doubt that we won at life that weekend. We received more attaboys and congrats from our peers and local community members than we were expecting. It was extraordinary.

3. Your work is not typical of that category; it’s not a traditional industry news publication. What do you think is the unique appeal of what you’re put together?

Our goal with the Columbus Scribbler is simple. It’s a platform for local artists and creatives to share their work but at its core we designed this paper as a means of sharing our love of this artform. We want the world to know that comics are for everyone. From an outsider’s perspective, the comics community can seem very overwhelming and difficult to navigate through. We wanted to develop a medium that anyone could take home and explore. We share local artist perspectives, historical background of comics, tutorials of development and artistic processes, and highlight local comic events and stores to name a few of the features. The idea of the Scribbler began as a means to connect with everyone from the kid discovering comics for the first time to the professional local artist. We’re doing our best to develop a free local family-friendly newspaper that everyone can enjoy and gain something from.

4. Is it more difficult now having been paid attention to from your very first issue?

Absolutely not. If anything we feel more inspired. I think Jack, Steve, Derek, and myself all feel like every new issue is our best issue yet. We’re still very much in the growing phase, just trying to figure everything out.

To be completely honest with you we don’t know entirely what we’re doing but it all seems to be coming together. There is nothing quite like the Columbus Scribbler here in central Ohio. We’ve received nothing but positive praise and we’re all just doing what we love. Nothing about this process has felt overbearing or difficult for any of us. We’re just rolling with it and looking forward to the evolution and development of our venture.

Having been nominated for an Eisner has been really encouraging, it’s made us feel like we’re on the right track and really doing something worthwhile for comics and our local community.

5. Are there publications or sites that inspire you? Do you have a Rushmore?

A comics newspaper isn’t anything new when we started this project we looked at a lot of other papers like Hoot, Magic Bullet, and The Sequentialist just to see what others had done with the format. I think the thing that sets us apart is that there is nothing quite like the Columbus Scribbler. We showcase local artists and have plenty of comics in our paper, but we also discuss the artform. We want to share what comics are to us, what comics can be for others and what comics could be for them.

6. Brian, you just kind of showed on my radar as a helpful person at local and regional activities here in Columbus. Do you have a comics history? Were you a comics readers as a kid? Do you remember what made you create comics for other folks to read, and get them out there?

Comics have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My first comic was an issue of Archie’s Ninja Turtle Adventures when I was six years old. Once I read that I was pretty much hooked on comics.

As a kid, I found old Marvel Masterwork books of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man at a used bookstore. So I grew up with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. I also went through a Dick Tracy phase. All the hype around the Warren Beatty movie got me curious, well that and the Looney Tunes episode, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery. I was a big Chester Gould fan. I love how deformed and interesting he designed his villains, especially Flattop.

I came of age in the 90s collector’s boom so, just like everyone else, I was big into the X-Men comics and all the Image guys, especially Rob Liefeld and Erik Larsen. I collected comics obsessively for a while. These days I tend to prefer trades and graphic novels because it’s easier to find room for a bookshelf than a long box, but, given the right mood, I can still go nuts on a dollar bin.

As for creating comics, I couldn’t honestly tell you what made me want to create them for other folks to read. I’ve been making comics since I was about six years old. I’d spend hours in my room drawing them and give them to my parents to read. When I’d go over to a friend’s house, one of the games we’d play was comic book company. We’d set up a little assembly line in my friend’s garage, I’d draw a comic, another friend would ink it, another would color it with crayons or colored pencils. We’d just have fun with it.

Self-publishing for me began back in 2000 when I found an exhibitor form at my local comic shop, The Laughing Ogre, for an indie comic convention called SPACE. To my surprise, I got an acceptance email back. I was in, now all I had to do was create some comics to sell, I had six months. By SPACE I had created three comics with help from my writing partner, Derek Baxter. Since then, I haven’t stopped self-publishing comics. Comics are just something I’ve always done.

It was never about making comics for others to read initially. It was about taking a story or an idea that I found interesting or funny and putting it to paper. Comics were always my form of expression with storytelling.

7. Your autobio is charming, but I’m not sure if I can figure out where you’re coming from by publishing that material. Is that just a kind of work that interests you? Is there an element of diary here, putting things down to sort or remember them? It’s hard to find time to do this kind of work. What motivates you?

Thanks! The autobio stuff definitely leans more towards the diary side of the genre. I decided to challenge myself after reading a graphic novel called Drink More Water by my friend Chris Monday. I was in an artistic rut at that point, just not producing much, a page would take weeks to finish. So from that moment on I was attempting to produce a journal comic every day for a year in addition to my other projects.

It was a very freeing experience and it opened my eyes to the infinite possibilities with comics. You really can do just about anything with the medium.

Something strange happens when you draw a comic about your life every day, reading through it at the end a story unfolds that you never really expected. Life has a story arch. When the year was up, I had my first graphic novel, Fear of Flying, which ended up chronicling my long-distance relationship with my now wife, Amy.

Since then, I’ve done two other major projects with journal comics and I do them off and on now when something significant happens that I want to remember. I think, in general, comics have always been about remembering things for me. Autobio is just another way to sort through things.

For me, autobio definitely about capturing a memory or a moment. I just like taking those single moments that stood out to me down on paper and holding on to them to look back on later. And I think it’s a wonderful gift for my children to have, to be able to look back at their childhoods and get to know their parents. Aside from that, I always hope that my work connects with people and gives them some comfort in troubled times to know that they’re not alone or at the very least gives them a good chuckle.

I’m not going to minimize the massive undertaking that comes with taking on a daily journal comic. At times it was a struggle to keep up with production. There were moments that I didn’t want to work on journaling and wanted to work on other projects or just relax and not do anything. But I fought through my frustrations and found inspiration from the everyday moments that are so easy to forget with time. These are thoughts and ideas and feelings as they occurred that I’ve expressed through a medium that connects with me.

8. Are there as-yet unrealized ambitions for your work. Is there something you want to achieve comics-wise in five, ten years?

The first thing that comes to mind is I would like to find a publisher for my future projects which would enable me to reach a wider audience. I have ambitions to make a one-man anthology in the vein of Blammo. I would also love to dip my toes in the historical non-fiction genre. I am in no short supply of imagination and creativity when it comes to figuring out something to tinker away at my drawing table.

Simply put, I want what every cartoonist wants. I want to be able to support myself doing what I love.

9. How hard do you work on the craft of your comics? Because it does seem like your art is in flux, that there’s an arc to its development. What do you feel you do well? As specifically as possible, what do you feel you’d like to do better?

I work on comics every day. About two years ago, I started a routine where I wake up every morning during the week at 5 AM and work on comics for about 2 hours before I have to get the kids ready for school. I’ve always been a night owl and would have never thought this would be something I’d enjoy doing, but it’s surprisingly really great.

Instead of sitting at the drawing board tired and drained from the workday, I’m sitting there with the whole day ahead of me. I start every day doing something I love. Plus, at 5 AM, it’s far too early to overthink things so I can really just buckle down and figure out how to tell the best stories possible. Another bonus, since I started this routine my productivity has increased tremendously.

As for the flux you mention, yeah I’d agree that there’s an arc to the development of my art. I think part of it is that I just like to experiment with tools and styles. If I stick with the same process, whether that’s tools, paper, or drawing scale, I get bored. I always feel the need to shake things up and challenge myself. I’m also a strong believer that in order to make a good comic, the art has to feel right for the story.

Overall I enjoy developing stories and going through the process of creating new characters. The feedback I receive from others leads me to believe that I’m pretty good at it.

What would I like to do better? I’d like to improve on my coloring technique. I’ve spent the last decade working in black and white format. I do some color work on covers, but I have never felt overly comfortable with it. Feeling confident in my color choices and being able to choose faster would be great things to improve upon.

10. What is the last good comics you’ve read? What is the last great one.

I’ve been kind of all over the map lately. It’s an incredible time to be a comics reader, there’s so much great work out there right now.

Recently, I’ve read Blammo #10 by Noah Van Sciver which was wonderful and contains, in my opinion, one of his best short stories, “Burning Brigsby”. I’ve also read G. I. JOE: Sierra Muerte by Michel Fiffe which is just a whole lot of fun.

As for the last great, that’s a little tricky. I’ve been rereading old favorites and right now I’m about to finish rereading Watchmen and I’m pleased to say that it still holds up and is still great. I also recently reread Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli which still blows me away, there are so many ideas for how comics and storytelling can work in that book.

Those all feel like copouts, so aside from those, I recently read Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia and when I finished it I remember thinking to myself, “Wow!” There’s an amazing energy and tension in that book that just keeps you turning the pages. I also finally got around to reading Smile by Raina Telgemeier and discovered what my daughter, Kayla, has been telling me for years now, it’s great! Beautifully illustrated and a charming story that makes you feel like Raina’s one of your close friends.

11. What would you be happiest to have people explore from your CXC table? What would make for a good weekend on the floor?

I’ll be premiering three new books at CXC this year, so feel free to explore any of them.

Ruffians is a complete collection of my crime comic about a three-foot-tall blue bear hitman named Scar out to avenge the death of his friend. It’s a wild ride that sees Scar fight a giant gorilla, go to prison, converse with a ghost and leave a trail of corpses in his wake. It took about eleven years to complete and is one of those projects that just feels really good to finally put to bed and be able to have on my bookshelf.

Last Call is a collection of short humor strips that Derek Baxter and I created for our website, DrunkenCatComics.com. The book is set up like the secret sketchbook of The Drunken Cat and contains pieces with subject matters that vary from pop culture references to the life story of a hamburger.

Devil’s Milk is my latest autobio book. Its a collection of all the random journal comics when my daughter, Izzy, was born and through its development over time it became this arc of the journey of raising a baby with my wife. The book also includes a comic titled “To My Children” that I think may be one of the best comics I’ve ever made.

Honestly, a good weekend for me would just be to have fun, make some new friends and talk to people about comics. And if I sell a couple of books, that would be awesome.

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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Terence Dollard talks to Henry Barajas.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, Jim Shooter!

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if i got this page wrong, someone shout
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Mattt Konture!

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Happy 92nd Birthday, Jack Katz!

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September 26, 2019


Reminder: P. Craig Russell Presents At Billy Ireland Today, 2 PM

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I am looking forward to introducing Craig. The presentation slides are beautiful.
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Comics Festival: Shows And Events

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I was surprised to see the header image; I thought I'd changed it, but I'm just thinking about the new "forthcoming" image from San Diego with the lighted stairs.

* it's CXC all the time for me right now. I hope you'll find something to attend if you're in the area. It might be easier to access from in here.

* MICE, Short Run and CAB are still yet to come and are still all three highly anticipated by their target audiences. I have no idea if this will bring another interest in discussion issues of where festival money comes from, but it might.

* finally: the Harvey Awards announces its Hall of Fame: Mike Mignola, Alison Bechdel and five cartoons aligned with EC/MAD. I still wish the Harvey had distinguished itself from the Eisners by embracing a humor role, or a full New York City identity. But I don't get the things I wish for all too frequently.

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

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* this pass-around from the University of Chicago has a lot of comics-related imagery, although it seems odd to encounter a couple of people in my inbox writing to me about it as if it were in comics form.

* here's a list of indie comics creators attending RCCC that I should probably save for a bunch of go, looks. It's interesting to see very little from the alt-comics side of things, given that RCCC can trace itself back to the Stumptown show that had a significant element of that. I mean, it was always clear that show was split. But still. It does make me think that alt-comics as we came to think of them 1994-2003 may be a really, really odd duck right now.

* finally: I'm much more aware of the DC custom comics department, or whatever it's called, I think because I simply see more of them. Here's a Marvel comic of that type featuring a Jay Stephens character. No one does Universe Pay For Play.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, Tom Veitch!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Stephen Weiner!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Louise Simonson!

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September 25, 2019


By Request Extra: Jim Wheelock Could Use Immediate Help With A Very Specific Amount Of Money

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Go, Look: Simon Gane Ghost Tree Images

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okay, it's really just a review with Simon Gane images in it, but I'll go there for Gane
 
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My Other Job: CXC 2019 Launches Today/Tonight With Strong Affiliated Events; Full Special Guest List

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Cartoon Crossroads Columbus will quietly launch its fifth show tomorrow morning, basking in the afterglow of what's become a more active day-before featuring affiliated events from traditional venue partners: an academic conference at the Billy Ireland put together by SOL-CON and featuring luminaries like the great Qiana Whitted, and a conversation between Rafael Rosado and alt-comics legend Jay Stephens at the Gateway Film Center.

Drawing from recent PR, it may be worth noting that CXC added to its June Special Guest list announcement with an array of featured and special guests designed to bolster festival goals and provide a stronger experience to audiences overall. Those arriving Friday to see Dav Pilkey can now stay the weekend and experience panels and signings by Terri Libenson of the strip The Pajama Diaries and the hybrid middle-school series Emmie and Friends.

Newly-arranged guests joining Libenson include Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and political alt-cartoon legend Tom Tomorrow. Both will appear at CXC Expo -- the traditional tables and panels show at the city's Main Library on Saturday; Price will extend her trip into Sunday.

Tomorrow will appear in support of his key, long-running work This Modern World, as a guest of interest to political cartooning fans that may attend the Columbus-based show because of the appearance of special guests Association of American Editorial Cartoonist members in the city for their annual meeting. Tomorrow is also one of the The Nib contributors on-hand to build subscription interest and general financial support for the on-line-into-print effort. The Nib lost their primary funding from First Look Media earlier in 2019. A program will be held at CCAD Saturday Night, September 28, supporting the publication.

CXC has also added three cartoonist hosted by OSU professor Jared Gardner from the growing tradition of graphic medicine: MK Czerwiec, Rachel Lindsay and Georgia Webber. Literary comics fans will get to engage with new entries into the really big books part of the comics publishing world with the addition of three authors turned featured guests promoting new ones: Frank Santoro with his Pittsburgh, Kevin Huizenga and The River At Night, Liana Finck with the impressively titled Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self -- a book coming out just a year after 2018's Passing For Human. Santoro and Huizenga will be moderated in a panel Saturday, September 28 featuring an exploration of their books moderated by Kurt Ankeny, whose own Pleading With Stars will be at CXC bearing as much new book smell as anything out there. It's going to be a colossal Fall for major new works, and we're happy to be a small part of that.

Mike Mignola also confirmed a second appearance at the show following his keynote address and subsequent signing on Friday. Saturday's appearance will be held at booth 101, an area of the floor hosted by Gib Bickel and Laughing Ogre. Mignola will sign from 3 PM to show's close that evening at 5 PM. He will sign from home or from books bought right there at the Ogre; limit five items. Mr. Mignola's Saturday plans will repeat as its own item later in the week.

CXC runs four days with a focus on panels, presentations and screening its first two, and a Saturday move to our downtown library for an Expo held Saturday and Sunday. Information here. We hope you enjoy the expanded guest list, joining an already-announced group of Dav Pilkey (Friday only), Mike Mignola (Friday-Saturday only), Patrick McDonnell (Saturday-Sunday only), Natasha Alterici, Ho Che Anderson, Robb Armstrong, Hellen Jo, Carta Monir, Mary Fleener, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Ivy Atoms, The Nib, Buki Bodunrin, AAEC, Jaime Hernandez, Terry Moore, P. Craig Russell and Nate Powell.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus is a 501(c)(3) devoted to artistic expression via cartoon, promoting Columbus as an international arts destination and helping younger generations of cartoonists develop relationships and skill that may assist them in growing as artists through cartoon- and comics-making. Contact cxcfestival@gmail.com for advertising, sponsorship and donorship opportunities. The show is made possible by its volunteers, its guests, its staff, its board, its council, its venue partners, the general comics communities in Columbus and throughout North America, and a modicum of positive thinking.

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Go, Look: Kurt Ankeny Doing A TCJ Diary

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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.

*****

JUL192106 CHRIS WARE RUSTY BROWN HC GN $35.00
A book so potentially good I don't mind running one of those weird three-quarters views that the Internet uses now in place of a good flat cover image. This is Chris Ware's much touted first book in his ongoing Rusty Brown epic. I hope the weird resentment-driven backlash is over and people can dig into the book no matter their eventual reaction. It's on my own bookstand right now.

imageJUL191900 ALL THE PRESIDENTS HC $24.99
Don't let Drew Friedman's new book of presidential portraits sneak by, and I hope it's enjoyed for much more than the kick to undershorts to the current disaster of a president it could be. I studied history as an undergrad, and everyone between Lincoln and Wilson remains fascinating to me.

JUL190118 CRIMINAL #8 (MR) $3.99
JUL190873 POWERS OF X #5 (OF 6) $4.99
JUL191029 MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #47 $3.99
That's two solid choices for serial comic book literature and one Little Rascals-style double-take inducing issue number on the Moon Girl book. I'm happy to see that. As for the x-book, I'm starting to wonder what the restarted regular series will look like.

MAY190670 DAVID MAZZUCHELLIS DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN ARTISAN ED TP $49.99
JUN191832 ALBERT EINSTEIN POETRY OF REAL HC $19.99
MAY190295 ELFEN LIED OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $24.99
APR191805 FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROS COMPENDIUM TP $13.99
MAY191848 KAIJUMAX TP VOL 04 SEASON FOUR SCALY IS NEW BLACK $19.99
JUL192176 ISADORA GN $24.99
JUL192003 MEYER TP $17.95
Here's a bunch of book-style comics, which indicates where the general emphasis of the industry is today. Mazzucchelli is great to look at in any edition, and his smarts are apparent in every Dunbier-type edition that lets you see the comic being built. The Eisnstein looks like a transplant from a handsome European edition. Einstein's interesting, though. My younger brother's favorite manga is Elfen Lied, which makes no sense to me but all respect and I've enjoyed big chunks of that work, too. Shelton is always of interest. I'm fond of Zander Cannon, and the presentation of giant monster prison stories gets more amusing as he works out stranger part of that fictional cul-de-sac. Isadora seems like a natural comics treatment because of the dance elements. I was hoping Meyer might be about the NW store, but instead we're getting a whipped-into-a-modest-frenzy treatment of the gangster's life.

JUL192179 YOUR BLACK FRIEND ONE SHOT MINI (MR) $5.00
One of the key comics of the whole decade, always welcome in a shop.

JUL191911 ZAPPED BY GOD OF ABSURDITY HC BEST PAUL KRASSNER $26.99
This is from the Fantagraphics prose line, and there are some interesting projects coming up there.

JUN191682 RIVER AT NIGHT HC (MR) $34.95
Kevin Huizenga's is only about a fourth to a third as long in the making, but it's a powerful and even dare I say meditative work. I had a lot of fun reacquainting myself with those comics a few weeks back. Come buy one from Kevin at CXC.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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Go, Read: Marc Sobel Visits The Book Nook

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Brian Nicholson on Stunt. I suppose that closes the book on the Koyama/Deforge collaborations, which should be its own item of study. Hillary Brown on King Of King Court.

* Matt O'Keefe talks to Bobby Curnow. The editor at TCJ.com have put together four of the late Bill Schelly's collaborators for an extended look at the comics and comics fandom historian.

* finally: here's a bunch of links to Terri Libenson interviews pulled from her site for me to do some CXC research. You can learn a lot by looking at a bunch of interviews like this, and how segments of publishing present comics-related material. These are smart but very, very short.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Bob Layton!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Paul Pope!

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September 24, 2019


Go, Look: Crescent-Fresh Descent

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* I suppose we're entering a period where the 21st Century Battlestar Galactica is primetime, nostalgic-driven revisit fodder. Comics' role in squeezing creative juice out of desiccated pop culture properties probably deserves some deep analysis and has probably had it out there somewhere. I think one role comics plays is that it can encompass being on-model and off-model almost at the exact same time. I think that extends that very specific half-life. Played differently, this can also thwart it.

* lists like this one provide a form of light canon-making that should inform while also reflecting what's available in the guts of most bookstores that is comics-informed or comics themselves. I see Ware, Satrapi and Bechdel, with the Golden Age narrative Kavalier and Clay also slipping in there. We'll be seeing all four for a long, long, long time.

* there's a new Lily Williams book out this month. It should be fun to learn the rhythms of a comics market where the default of comic book is a book from a big-book publisher, probably amenable to all-ages readers.

* finally: here's a round-up of forthcoming graphic novels from that seemingly specific point of view where high-end indie genre material drives the comics car. The Scioli take on Fantastic Four is in there, as is the latest digging up of a body that can be traced to the original Watchmen material. Gross. That Raina Telgemeier work offers some nuanced cartooning in terms of its depiction of physical/psychic torment suffered by a lot of kids.
 
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Go, Look: Cuyler Hedlund

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Go, Look: Scoop Comics #2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Chris Ware on the enormous impact of Peanuts. The citations are weird here, but it looks to be Chris Ware in support of Rusty Brown.

* Fiona Zublin profiles Jen Wang.

* Ruth Serven Smith dissects the Oliphant exhibit at UVA.

* another radio posting from another place, this time Melanie Gillman.

* finally: recommendations for quality runs of Doctor Strange comics. I can't get this one to load, nor can I make a guess about the comics on it. I like the serial these day, but it doesn't seem to me it's had a lot of quality periods.
 
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Happy 52nd Birthday, Shinobu Kaitani!

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Happy 12th Anniversary, Secret Acres!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Sophia Wiedeman!

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September 23, 2019


Go, Look: Lambiek Avontur Strip

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* I would imagine the first item that remains in most comics folks' mind is the money be raised for Ben Hatke's family. If anything can be taken off the table of things to worry about during a time of immeasurable grief, that could be a nice thing for them.

* we won't get to see our good friend Dustin Harbin during CXC 2019, my understanding is because of exhaustion and health issues caused by his trauma earlier this year. I'd love to make all of it go away for him but maybe we continue to work on the monies owed.

* this is the week I'll spend a great deal of time reminding people that Cartoons Crossroads Columbus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and counts on donors to fulfill its mission.

* finally: there are still days to participate in Zainab Akhtar's already successful effort on behalf of work from Rosemary Valero O'Connell.
 
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Go, Look: Tom Gauld New Scientist Cartoons

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Go, Look: Gianluca Ascione

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Aaron Iara talks to Andy Michael. Kayla Randall profiles Elizabeth Montague. Jamal Melancon profiles John Slade.

* Scott Stossel looks at the context within kids' lives addressed by Raina Telgemeier's Guts.

* finally, Elizabeth Billman digs into the Mr. Fish documentary. I like Mr. Fish and we're having that moving to CXC in a few days, where I will get to see it. He's also a very articulate speaker on his own behalf and own behalf of his political views. I hope you'll the catch the screening if you're in Columbus or make a point to catch up with the film at some point in another venue.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Michael Peterson!

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Happy 81st Birthday, Jean-Claude Meziérès!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Peter David!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Dan Day!

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September 22, 2019


Go Read: Robert Bell's Comic Shop

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

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

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Happy 61st Birthday, Peter Kuper!

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September 21, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Cartoonist Kayfabe Show And Tell: Ware, Los Bros, Clowes


Featuring Cartoonist Mark Oakley


Cartoonist Kayfabe On 30th Anniversary Of Eightball


Cartoonist Chris Eliopoulos Profiled


Margaret Larson Interviews Simon Hanselmann
 
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Happy Batman Day: You're Underachieving And Overexposed, But We Like You Anyway

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My Other Job/CR Saturday Interview: Ken Eppstein

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*****

I've known Ken Eppstein since shortly before I moved to Columbus in 2015. He was very nice in welcoming me to town and educating me about local cartoonists, for whom he has a vast and abiding love.

Ken publishes Nix Comics, a small press imprint with a strong reputation in terms of paying its artists. He runs a number of small shows around town, in bars and libraries and other semi-public spaces, and has been exhibiting with CXC since its inaugural show in 2015.

Ken and I disagree about a lot of things, so I wanted to reserve part of this interview for Ken to make some of his points about the nature of small press scenes and non-profit shows without immediate, rigorous and probably way too sarcastic challenge. Those debates I'm sure will continue.

I appreciate Ken's time and encourage you to visit his booth at this weekend's CXC Expo. His is the only one I expect to have vinyl. -- Tom Spurgeon

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TOM SPURGEON: Ken, I know less about you than about many of the equally prominent core members of the Columbus comics community. You've been remarkably consistent in terms of your output. At what point did you find this groove of other folks' work in anthology form, by theme, consistently done?

KEN EPPSTEIN: The groove pretty much found me as opposed to vice versa. Once I decided to make comics it all came naturally to me. I actually got out four issues of a "quarterly" comic that that first year I started Nix. If the money had been there, I am confident that I could have continued at that rate. I guess this is a little unhumble to say, but I'm not nearly at the capacity of what I could do as an artist or as a publisher.

Having worked at a lot of small business start-ups and non-profits with budget issues over the years I know how to hang a project together. I think doing restaurant work as a kid helped, too, in that it's high stress/high touch without a lot of money involved category. Organizing a bunch of artists to put a comic together is actually pretty easy by itself. Doing it multiple times in the face of a treacherous marketplace is when it gets hard.

imageSPURGEON: If we talked to you 15-20 years ago, would you be surprised to find you were making comics?

EPPSTEIN: Definitely 20 years ago it wasn't on my radar. I was content to be a guy selling comics. There were also some serious self-confidence issues in regards to my artistic talent. I had given up drawing and painting at that time. I wrote the occasional essay or fiction for some zines when people asked me too, but they weren't even comics-related.

15 years ago, I probably would've believed you. By that point I had started writing more regularly in the form of a newsletter for my mail order records site and had started drawing some again. That's also around when I was really into the things Warren Ellis was sharing on-line. I remember a couple of scripts he shared in particular… Not the content so much as I suddenly understood the narrative elements of a script. That's definitely part of how things started clicking.

I'm glad you didn't ask me about 25 years ago. I was drunk that whole year.

SPURGEON: Were you a maker as kid? Do you remember how you moved from reading comics to wanting to make some? What were your easier comics like?

EPPSTEIN: I wasn't a comic maker as a pre-teen, but I wrote a lot of stories and did a lot of drawing.

I think maybe my love of roleplaying games was slightly greater than my love of comics, because what I did resembled a game module more than it did a comic.

There were a lot of fantasy stories based on my D&D characters. I loved the superhero RPGs like Champions and Villains and Vigilantes best of all, and so I did a lot of riffs on superheroes that were very X-Men and Legion of Superheroes derivative. I included lots of maps and pictures of weapons. I went into a lot of detail about how stuff worked. I also created a chart of how my characters felt about each other based on the weird "interracial relations" table in the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. (The one where you could cross reference races like Orcs with Goblins to see if they liked, tolerated. hated or felt antipathy to one another. I specifically remember having to look up antipathy in the dictionary.) [Spurgeon laughs]

As a teenager I wanted to be a comic artist. I don't remember exactly when or how that desire manifested. I never quite put the pieces together, though. I was one of those kids who basically does the same set of characters in the same set of poses over and over in a sketchbook. No one ever gave me direction on making a strip or framing out a comic page. It was even actively discouraged by a couple of art teachers in high school and college.

SPURGEON: How do you conceive of a new issue of the anthology? How does something go from idea to printed comics, and generally how long does that process take?

EPPSTEIN: I wish that ideas came to me in such a way that I could answer this question in some sort of succinct manner. So, I'm sorry about that. New stories and publications usually come to me as visitations from the astral plane or something.

I daydream -- a lot -- and sometimes those daydreams are strong enough to manifest into full-fledged stories or ideas. The trick is to get the pen moving or a google doc open while the image is strong in my head. The whole thing doesn't have to happen all at once, I just need to get the gist down somewhere/somehow so it will stick around instead of evaporating back into the mist. Sadly, I think that means that some of the best ideas are lost, the ones that come from yukking it up with pals where I have no way to stop and write it down. Or the ones that come in the middle of the night when I want to sleep more than I want to click on a light and scribble.

Once I have that idea started, though, how long it takes to come to fruition has more to do with money and free time than anything else.

SPURGEON: Sure.

EPPSTEIN: I'm a publisher and artist on top of being back at school to get a public affairs degree, holding down two part-time jobs and needing to occasionally check in on my wife and dog. So, you know, a lot of time being spent and not a lot of income coming in. Even with the help of crowdfunding, money is a significant restraint on productivity. Small cheap projects, like my record collecting zine, get done fairly often. More involved and grander scale things wait until the money and time are right.

SPURGEON: Do you have a favorite thing you do of all the various things? Do you feel you have a particular gift?

EPPSTEIN: I have a weird relationship with picking favorites. One day I told my wife, Kate, that I couldn't pick a favorite actor and she just rolled her eyes and said "Vincent Price is your favorite actor, honey." She was right, of course. Now I usually just defer to her about what my favorites are whenever it comes up. That's a long way of saying I asked Kate and she doesn't know which of my own comics is my favorite. [Spurgeon laughs] That makes me think I don't have one.

I think I'm good at writing weird little shorts. It's a by product of punk-brain... If a song is longer than three minutes, I get bored. If a comic story goes much longer than eight pages, I get a little bored, too. Give me three cords and three characters. It's a real shame that massive epics and brick-thick graphic novels are the rage these days: my skills don't match. I'm a Little Richard comic writer in a Pink Floyd comics world.

SPURGEON: You seem to be a very ethical publisher. How did it become important to you to not just be a representative of this artistic community, but to do so in a way that involved paying people and showing them off and getting the best work out of them?

EPPSTEIN: I think part of it is being a recovering Stan Lee enthusiast. I bit hard on the Stan Lee mythos as a kid and that carried over into the 2000s -- until I started reading more about him and the early days of Marvel Comics. I look back on all of that work now with sadness... There was so much credit -- and money -- to go around, but the corrupt nature of the business sucked everything upwards through the ranks. It's sad because so many artists worked so hard for so little, but it's also because I can't help but wonder what would have come next those artists had been allowed to grow in a nurturing environment. The artists were cheated for their work and we were cheated as fans.

Another part of it comes from my background as a music fan. For instance, when I started Nix, it wasn't that long after the Dead Kennedys all sued each other over money and publishing rights. I guess it was about a decade, but the band members continued to snark at each other, trying the case in an ongoing court of public appeals. To me, the fact that these ultra-lefty punk rockers couldn't keep their shit together over money was a real cautionary tale. Have your act together early on and keep straight along the way or you'll end up fighting with your best friends.

So, here's a thing I didn't expect. I got a little queasy answering this question. It's the second time in recent months I've been asked essentially the same thing in the context of an interview. I appreciate that you and some other folks have noticed that I'm trying to do right by my artists, but I don't want to fall into the trap of calling myself ethical. You ever see that Leslie Stahl interview with Jack Abramoff where he says that before getting caught, he thought of himself as one of the more ethical lobbyists on K Street? I want to be ethical, but I don't want to present myself as an exemplar of ethical behavior.

There's real danger there. It's a complex thing and there's lots of room for me to fuck it all up without even realizing.

SPURGEON: Nix is an anchor of a strong comics scene. How would you describe Columbus cartooning generally, from your perspective? What do people not know about the cartoonists here?

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EPPSTEIN: Anchor? That explains that constant sinking feeling... Har dee har har.

I can't put any single label on the comics community in Columbus. There's not a predominate genre or style or even demographic. It's diverse in terms of level of experience and professionalism, running the spectrum from super-successful artists like Jeff Smith and Rafael Rosado and down to kids just entering Columbus College of Art & Design just now finding their way into the cartooning world. We have decent participation in the way of cultural diversity, though I'd like to see more. I think there's always room for growth in those areas.

As far as what people don't know... I think that I want to put locals on the spot a little. The average Columbusonian should be more aware of how much of a "thing" comics art is in Columbus. It should be a source of pride same as Buckeye football or Jeni's Ice Cream. That's grandiose thinking, I know. I just remember the early '90s music scene in Columbus when the local press was eager to sell us as "the next Seattle" in the face of the grunge explosion. It never really took. Where's the love now for Comics Town?

SPURGEON: What don't national shows and regional shows understand about any local festival or con? What is something of value that bigger shows could adopt to make for a more meaningful experience in general?

EPPSTEIN: I'm going to pivot and deflect on this a little. Don't hate me.

Tussling with questions like this is why I want to get into non-profit program evaluation as a career. I honestly don't know what a national/regional show does and doesn't understand about local or regional show. I'm also not sure anyone knows what a generally meaningful experience looks like. I think there's a lot work to be done before anybody can answer questions like this with making some, quite possibly dubious or even damaging, assumptions.

The key work to answering your question would be a stakeholder analysis of cartoon art festivals. I can guess what showrunners of national or regional shows know and don't know about their smaller local counterparts, but it would be better to ask.

Similarly, I can make assumptions about what a meaningful experience is for exhibitors and attendees of festivals, but again, better to ask. I've gone looking for any published analyses of art festival stakeholders by academics or non-profit organizations, but have come up mostly dry so far. I get that... It's time consuming, complex and potentially expensive work. Thing is, somebody is going to have to do it if we want to answer the hard questions about the efficacy of festivals and conventions for artists, attendees, the broader community and all of the other stakeholders involved.

Right now, I'm planning to initiate some of this kind of research myself as part of my coursework... so let me cop out for now and maybe come back to ask me again next year?

SPURGEON: Sure. Hey, is there an artist or two -- either one of yours or from the region more generally -- about whom you'd like for people to know more than they do already?

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EPPSTEIN: Geez. That's tough, to just pick one or two. I could do an A to Z book about regional artists I think people should know. But, I passed on answering the question about small versus big shows... so... Two artists I'd like to see more comic work from personally are Rich Trask and Renkorama.

Rich is "one of my guys" and has done a lot of work with me for Nix Comics. Like me, he's come to doing comics later in life and we were introduced by a mutual friend. I scroll his feed sometimes and shake my head at all of the funny, twisted ideas he lays out on a daily basis. It's a tip of the iceberg type thing where I'd like to see him have the time and money to follow through on just a couple of them!

Renkorama is a youngster... A student at CCAD who I actually met while tabling at CXC. I think she's an animation major now, but her comics are excellent and I hope she turns to the dark side and goes full in on those. Cool rock and roll stuff that I didn't think a 20 something would necessarily be interested in. She's on my "top five" list of people to figure out a project with for Nix Comics.

SPURGEON: You curated comics for a local newspaper section for a while. What do you learn about the audience for comics providing a different reading experience every few weeks?

EPPSTEIN: Oh man... I miss that job.

I heard a lot from comics folks, but I didn't get a lot of feedback from the broader Columbus Alive readership. There weren't a lot of responses in the comments section or on facebook or anything. There was at least one "I'm so proud of you -- Love Mom!" in the comments section, so that was nice and embarrassing for the artist that week. In casual conversation with non-comics people, I got some feedback, mostly positive but often tinged with things I found frustrating... People telling that they were amazed that I could draw in so many different styles or other asking me when Jeff Smith was going to do a strip. I guess it illustrated to me how difficult it is to get people talking about comics. Even more difficult to get them talking about comics artists.

SPURGEON: Music connections aren't totally rare in comics, but how do you see those two interests interacting for you?

EPPSTEIN: Yeah, I wish I could say Nix "owned" music comics but clearly, I don't. There's been a great surge in music themed comics over the past few years! I loved Summer Pierre's All The Sad Songs and M. Dean's I Am Young last year, in particular.

Anyways I think what it comes down to is my favorite thing to do is read comics while I'm listening to records. There's nothing I like better, except maybe now making comics while I listen to records. Comics and records are just flipsides to the same coin for me. I can't look at an album cover without thinking of it as a one panel cartoon. I can't look at a comic cast without thinking of them as a band. A good song makes single point in time images pop up into your brain, telling a story. A good comic has rhythm, melody and harmony. A comic shop and a record shop are essentially the same in terms business models and community-building.

You're right that music themed comics aren't a rare thing, but It's weird to me that they aren't more of a common thing since there seems to be a natural connection.

SPURGEON: Is there anything -- a shop, a cartoonist, a way of thinking about comics -- that you miss about the Columbus scene of the past. Is there anything you'd like to see back?

EPPSTEIN: Hah. I want to say "Yeah, my store" but that would be letting my bitter and self-centered side show.

imageI'm a sentimental fool and there are a lot of things I miss… but hands down, I miss Monkey's Retreat more than any other. That store, with all of its weird comics and magazines and the Lou Reed-esque charms of its owners, was a deciding factor in me making Columbus my home 30 years ago. It was a bit of east-coast cool that made me feel at ease in the cornfed-crew-cut midwest.

It was really sad to watch Monkey's die by degrees. First, they stopped stocking a lot of comics, I suspect in response to how hard it is to navigate Diamond discounts when you don't fit the standard LCS mold. The downside, I think, was it cut out some of their foot traffic. I'm just guessing on that, but I think it's a good guess.

Next they were forced to move from their North Campus location when developers bought their spot. Monkey's Retreat ended up in a stretch of the Short North neighborhood in Columbus that is notoriously hard on retailers, too far from OSU campus to regularly pull in students and too rough edged to pull in the art gallery and high end boutique crowd regulars from the part of the Short North closer to downtown.

As a last ditch effort to stick around, the owners tried to focus more on holistic health than literature. This let them hang on to the store a little longer, but eventually they had to close up.

*****

(c) their respective (c) holders... I'll take down anything that makes anyone upset!

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Go, Look: Nice-Looking Scarlet Witch Cover Art

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By Request Extra: Tragedy Strikes The Hatke Family

It is of course not an adequate response to what they're facing, but Ben Hatke and his family could use relief from the size and shocking suddenness of the accrued cost from their family tragedy.
 
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If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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Happy 44th Birthday, Craig Thompson!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Drew Friedman!

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Happy 39th Birthday, David Malki!

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September 20, 2019


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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I find the nasty undercurrent of the pushback against Chris Ware to be pretty weird, enough so I'm probably going to do something dumber and more embarrassing than this, eventually. Sorry, Mike. Sorry, everyone. I also just don't know what they're talking about half the time. This chippy review describes all of this interesting stuff going on on the comics page and then suggests that the book is best processed as trying something else unrelated to those things -- and failing. "Why so sad, Chris? Where are the recognizable characters?" I'd be as sad as Chris is rumored to be if that were the standard constantly switched in and out in front of my face.

Chris Ware is not in my personal Rushmore but he strikes me as a formidable artist and a nice man who works very hard and comes by his worldview honestly. Having Ware in your highest estimations of a cartoonist and what they can accomplish seems extremely reasonable. He's not as good at casual, penetrating psychological insight as he is with formal invention and crafting a kind of humor of futility, but hey, Michael Jordan couldn't hit a curveball. If all Ware ever did was show Superman face-planting in a downtown Chicago boulevard, I would love him just a little bit. I don't hate anyone who rides a tandem bike with their kid as a general rule. His comics seem human and humane. I know plenty of people like the people in his comics, or have encountered them in situations that can be treated artistically. Like Chris does. His work seems to me suffused with a variety of emotions and full of non-sad moments. You don't have to like him, or his work, but I am baffled anyone spends a lot of time working up these overheated reasons why he should be mocked, and that the targets of the mockery are his humor, his ambition, his engagement of the human condition, his craft and in some blink and hope it goes away moments his physical appearance? What in the fuck. Feeling like the praise someone receives is an oppressive demand on you that someone is shrieking you have to agree with it is a thing that happens when people are trying to lend drama to their own views, not something that actually exists. Why this gets directed at Chris Ware, who comes as close as any artist in the last 50 years to exceeding even the extravagant points made about his work, and does so with good humor and open engagement, that's beyond me. There are so many actually bad comics out there, made cynically and without care.

* finally, Jamie McKelvie asked for newsletter recommendation and everyone recommends the five or so made by his closest professional friends and fellow travelers. Mostly. They're all interesting ones, though. Except Zdarsky's.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Coop!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Steve Ringgenberg!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Bill Amend!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Tom Williams!

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September 19, 2019


Go, Look: Alissa Sallah

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DC Discontinues Comic Shop Co-Op Ad Buying Program

I can't tell if this is simply a programming's results becoming obsolete or if it's the first scene of Roland Emmerich film, but DC is apparently discontinuing its comic shop co-op ad buying program in early 2020.

Longtime Direct Market observer as both press and publisher Eric Reynolds has a take with which I largely agree here.

The reason this feels hinky is I don't really know where DC Comics is going within its new corporate infrastructure. DC has traditional been a responsible big brother to comic shops, while Marvel wrecks the corvette and screws the senator's daughter but still makes everyone smile because of the Kirby-Lee-Ditko legacy, which has just enjoyed a colossally profitable superhero movie phase. I have no sense of where DC is going because of some the directions they have been taking seem to have worked and yet this hasn't mattered as I once thought it might. It seems to me some of the TV shows were doing exactly what one might hope it would do and remained canceled, shortened or shrugged at. Blockbuster thinking serves very modest sales goals. Creative energy is out; structural syergy is in. Traditional comic books is at a place, and DC Comics with it, of being so cheap and self-sustaining as a long-term licensing-development avenue that it still seems like an irresistible place to invest, but also slightly modest in return, if only in the context of a home-run entertainment economy, in a way that makes broad investment less appealing than it might have been 20 years ago.

What losing a program like this makes me question in such a rudimentary way that I may be missing the point entirely, is what that company wants to look like five, ten years from now and what role its direct market relationships have in making that happen. I'm still betting on slow transitions to a reduced version of the across-the-board swell that once seemed possible, but enough reductions and changes in a row without a counter-build in another direction, whatever that may be, increases my belief that a really bad morning to end all mornings for everyone in that segment in comics isn't yet out of the question.
 
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OTBP: At The End Of The Stream At Dusk

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Go, Look: The Fuzzy Slug

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

By Tom Spurgeon

* I had a really good time at SPX this year. Some quick notes in succession.

* It was hard as hell to drive there west to east this year. That's usually drive of just under six hours from Columbus, meaning it is reachable up from a fair number of substantial eastern-half cities. It was ten this year, and there were a lot of stories about fog drifting down into the Cumberland Gap and general highway-construction chaos surrounding Pittsburgh, any number of which I can confirm. I drive down to transport boxes for CXC, and mission accomplished there, but there will likely be weather-related and general decline of American infrastructure related hassles for regional travel in the future. It's going to be harder to get to these shows. I think we're near the end of more than a few people doing double-digit shows in any one calendar year.

* the hotel was much the same in most places. The new rooms are fine. I like any comics show hotel with a pervy-looking water stick. A few people were freaked out by the combination of the hotel's bar and restaurant in to a big open area spilling into the lobby, although it seemed like the restaurant part was more frequently used than usual. It also made going outside more an active choice than a default choice, even though there will still plenty of people in the traditional nooks and crannies.

* seemed like there were more older cartoonists than the year before. I don't think this was at the expense of younger cartoonists, who still dominate the show numbers-wise and culture-wise.

* I saw two babies I was interested to see: Eleanor Davis' and Meredith Gran's.

* this was a good book show. SPX usually is, particular for early-career books, but there was a nice combination and then veteran cartoonists with major works. Chris Ware, Jaime Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Eleanor Davis, Emily Carroll, Connor Willumsen, Frank Santoro, they all had really hefty, not-messing-around books out there, as did a ton of others.

* the crowd is always amazing at SPX, and when it's buzzing and fully engaged with the table set-up in this surprisingly complete and fascinating way it's also just one of the best things to see in comics. The attention seems to me extremely egalitarian in the context of the differences in talent involved. There's an audience for just about everything, and smiling faces from people some of whom I rarely see smile.

* I saw a very good panel spearheaded by Carol Tyler about comics where cartoonists tell stories of giving birth. A lot of people cried. Carol had a bunch of family around her and took some time Sunday to sightsee.

image* Craig Fischer did an excellent job of hosting the Chris Ware and Eddie Campbell in discussion panel. Those two were great together, and there was one question that floored me whether those artist's individual fatalism grew out of their comics-making or was caused, at least in part, by the act of making comics. Very sizable crowd, although I'm not sure how it matched other crowds over the weekend. One thing I laughed at was the "Awwws" Chris Ware's story received about how as a kid he would kiss the TV out of love for a show he might watch because he wasn't sure he'd see the show again. That awwww was the most SPX reaction ever.

* that photo is by Gil Roth, whose twitter you should follow until he posts his SPX podcasts with Ware, Annie Koyama and Sylvia Nickerson.

* I think both of those men are great cartoonists. I'm reading Rusty Brown right now, and The Goat-Getters was massively slept on. Campbell has a sequel to that book about the transition of sport cartoons into daily comics that he was carrying around the show in mock-up form. I have no idea of its status but I hope it's published.

* the late night mood was light-hearted, although there was an edge to it in terms of general economic worry for cartoonists, just simply finding a way to have one's comics contribute to a bottom line, someway, somehow. I learned Zack Soto has been at Oni Press since July, and talked to one cartoonist who is working on something for them because of it, so I hope that goes well. I don't even read or watch the things that allow me to participate in young-cartoonist small-talk, which also confuses me on a structural level, but people were nice. People were nice all weekend.

* I quite liked the Jaime Hernandez/Katie Skelly conversation moderated by Rachel Miller. Those two have an interesting friendship buttressed by similarities in approach to art -- which is the best kind of friendship. Miller was adept at keeping them on point. My friend Dan Wright says that everything that comes out of Jaime's mouth is interesting to him these days, and I agree that he's been a particularly great interview the last two-three years and into this one. Skelly announced Maids for Fantagraphics and according to my eavesdropping will probably be aimed at the late-Fall part of the publisher's schedules. It's her first non-fiction, which I hadn't realized until seeing the panel.

* Simon Hanselmann had a great show in terms of lines attention. I was happy to see and hear that, because I think Bad Gateway is probably the best book he's done and this may be a sign he's past the typical initial pushback and we may see a lot of work for him for a while.

* it was fun to talk about TV shows from the present and the future with my comic-book friends.

* Matt Bors was a nice presence at the show. He's out stumping for the future of The Nib, and there were enough people there he hadn't met before that was fun to watch, too. They were well-supported, and won an Ignatz.

* I do not know the general results of the Ignatzes, and will catch up to that post on the site this weekend. I think that Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell and Mariko Tamaki won multiples. I did hear some wondering out loud if a First Second Book was a best choice for a show that try to foster support for independent publishing companies, but I didn't hear anyone complain about the book itself. I think the Ignatzes have always had a pretty loose definition of how that factor plays in, and can certainly scramble to such a position with any set of judges setting the bar where they like. Might be something they move into in the future, especially as the bigger companies become more what the broadest expression of big-company comics looks like.

* Warren Bernard gave a speech about ageism that I did not see. Reaction I encountered on the floor seemed split between generational lines, mostly on the subject of when and why one might best use the language of inclusion. I imagine there's still a lot of work to do, but that this will happen as cartoonists like Kevin Czap and Carta Monir and countless others become better known and describe though both talk and action how best the industry evolves to suit a community that includes all of these new members and their concerns. I look forward to seeing what that younger community does.

* I'm really grateful for as many who walked up to talk to me about comics or whatever during the show. If I looked tired, I am.

* saw people being friends together I didn't place from a previous SPX and realized I had seen them meet at CXC, which made me feel great.

* Here's to 25 more.

* I miss the fried calamari.

* and to end, a bit of announcement news: ICAF will return to SPX in 2020. That's a good place for it, given the number of schools nearby, the weight of the comics festival and the chance to bring in non-US cartoonists.
 
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If I Were In Raleigh, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Marvel Editorial Floorplan Late '70s

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Chris Gavaler on Bradley Of Him.

* Michael Dean writes an appreciative obituary of the late Bill Schelly. Like everyone else I really liked the man and was a fan of his writing. The Harvey Kurtzman book was a revelation, and the work about fandom has yet to be matched by anyone.

* Stan Mack and Susan Champlin are listing their New York co-op for 1.72 Million.

* Amy Gunia profiles Budiucao. Jamie Lee Rake profiles Daniel Beyer. Brian Hibbs talks to Jaime Hernandez. Travis Dandro talks to Pascal Girard.

* finally: G. Willow Wilson breaks down some of the figures in the "I lost all my author money" article linked-to yesterday.
 
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Happy 43rd Birthday, Chris Wright!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Sarah Oleksyk!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Garry Leach!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Cynthia Martin!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Michael Tisserand!

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September 18, 2019


Festivals Extra: Guelph Comics Jam And Shuster Awards Report From Jamie Coville

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That friend to comics archivists everywhere, Jamie Coville has a report on the Guelph Comics Jam and this year's Shuster Awards. Any hall of fame with Gerhard in it is my kind of hall of fame.

Here's a full accounting of the awards.
 
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If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has announced Ladies First an exhibit about innovative, top-notch comics making from women artists. Their initial line-up sounds great, and Rachel Miller and Caitlin McGurk are super-smart comics people with fine taste. I cant wait to see what they come up with, and a broad survey-style reckoning like this one in that area of comics-making is overdue.

* go, look: Barry Blitt on the recent Democratic Presidential candidate debates.

* Brian Hibbs talks to Sarah Graley. Fulya Ozerkan profiles Musa Kart.

* assembled extra: I can't imagine this is anything other than a relaunch of the on-line archives, but that's a nice indication of how much that cartoon is missed. And stranger things have happened.

* not comics: another cautionary tale of an author assuming a lucrative career was underway because of early success and it just didn't work out that way. You should read one such article once a year.

* finally: Chris Gavaller on Rat Time. Christine Ro on Wage Slaves. Mateo Estling on Mr. Fish: Comics From The Deep End.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, John Porcellino!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Gary Groth!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Chris Radtke!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Robin Brenner!

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Happy 70th Birthday, William Stout!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Brian Ralph!

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September 17, 2019


My Other Job: CXC Returns September 26-29

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If you would retweet, and then like etc. this tweet and linked-to pages for CXC 2019's core information, I would be really appreciative.

Facebook
Web Site
 
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If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Hope Larson!

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Happy 69th Birthday, Roger Stern!

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Happy 76th Birthday, Carlos Sampayo!

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September 16, 2019


If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Mike Mignola!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Seth!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Kurt Busiek!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Kip Manley!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Tom Kaczynski!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Amanda Salmons!

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September 15, 2019


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

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

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

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Happy 57th Birthday, Scott Dunbier!

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Happy 50th Birthday, John Ira Thomas!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Lance Tooks!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Isaac Cates!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Salgood Sam!

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September 14, 2019


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Theater Talk With Art Spiegelman And Al Hirschfeld


Cartoonist Kayfabe On Hero Illustrated #1


Agency In-House Cartoonist Profiled


Dave Sim And Colin Upton, Together Again


Todd McFarlane And Rob Liefeld On Cartoonist Kayfabe
 
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If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This

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

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

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If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 57th Birthday, Tom Dougherty!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Mary Fleener!

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September 13, 2019


Two Of The Good Ones: This Year's CXC Will Mark $37,000 To Emerging Cartoonists By Smith & Iyer

We have the press release crowing about it. Festivals can be tough -- it's been one of those weeks in that world -- but one thing I wanted to underline coming into our fifth show is the consistent action and support Jeff Smith and Vijaya Iyer of Cartoon Books have shown the festival's Emerging Cartoonist award.

imageNot only has $37K gone from Jeff and Vijaya into the pockets of greatly promising artists, I think the cartoonists have been really well-selected: Katie Skelly (whose win made Frank Santoro cry), Kevin Czap, Kat Fajardo and Keren Katz (that's her art in this post). I think people will be similarly delighted by this year's winner as they have by those selected by that hard-working committee in the last several years. By focusing on a significant award to a single cartoonist, Jeff & Vijaya have been able to make a real impact on those cartoonists' lives, frequently pushing them past some career fussiness to a next stage -- however that is defined. It brings attention, and it brings a very real resource. I've enjoyed getting to know each of these artists and watching their art develop, in the very modest way I get to be involved as a kind of weird, shouting man on their behalf (the show is given out on the floor of our festival).

This is Jeff and Vijaya's achievement, though, and I'd like to personally thank them for it. We're at the beginning of a potentially tough comics cycle. At these times, I take strength and solace from people doing kind things that help others. So thanks, guys, and congratulations on Year #5 getting underway in two weeks and a day. I hope the past winners continue to feel the effect of this astounding act of generosity. I hope some of you out there reading might take a second to send Jeff and Vijaya a message as well. And I hope some of my siblings in comics press might consider running with the PR.
 
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Go, Look: Jayla Patton

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

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

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Go, Look: Nick Anderson At GoComics.com

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the Jan Strnad and Richard Corben kickstarter for Mutant World needs some help to make a few additional rewards tiers. I'm a great fan of Richard Corben's work, and I remember this book being sturdy and handsome.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Gary Kwapisz!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Kent Worcester!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Matt Bors!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Drew Weing!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Chuck Forsman!

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September 12, 2019


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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* SPX! SPX! SPX!

* finally, a comic show for my hometown, Muncie. I think this may be a friend's wedding weekend, but I'm thrilled to have a chance to go to my father's beloved city once a year and preach the gospel of comics. I hope they do gangbusters. One thing I immediately thought is that if they're over at the fairgrounds I can go to their excellent farmer's market before the show. Lima beans as big as your head!

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

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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 55th Birthday, Chip Kidd!

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September 11, 2019


Daniel Johnston, RIP

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Go, Look: Ann Uland

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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.

*****

JUL191368 DRAWING POWER WOMENS STORIES SEXUAL VIOLENCE HC $29.99
This is Diane Noomin's anthology. She is smart and highly skilled and anthologies are very, very, very difficult. I would guess that there are some extra challenges with a book like this in terms of how different the generations are in terms of general approach to drawing and the standardization of narrative solutions. Still, big desire on my part to see it.

imageMAY198986 USAGI YOJIMBO #1 2ND PTG $3.99
JUL190094 TREES THREE FATES #1 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
JUL190865 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) $4.99
JUL190868 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR $4.99
JUL190869 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) LAND CHARACTER DECADES VAR $4.99
JUL190872 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) MOLINA CONNECTING VAR $4.99
JUL190866 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) WEAVER NEW CHARACTER VAR 4.99
JUL190870 POWERS OF X #4 (OF 6) YOUNG VAR $4.99
Nice to see an issue of Usagi get into the reprint cycle. I'd be hesitant to make any sweeping characterizations as a result beyond that Stan Sakai's work has a lot of appeal even in its lion-in-winter phase. The Trees material is Warren Ellis working with Jason Howard and each man staying out of the other's way. And here's the latest X-Men comic. I've been thinking about where this material ends up, and I don't have a positive sounding answer as of yet.

MAR190991 X-MEN BY ROY THOMAS & NEAL ADAMS HC GALLERY EDITION $39.99
These were some of my favorite comics when I was a kid. The Adams work in particular had a lot of berserk energy. I'd look at this, although I've owned the original for years.

JUL192076 HILDA & MOUNTAIN KING HC GN $19.95
JUL191979 MR WOLFS CLASS GN VOL 03 LUCKY STARS $9.99
JUL191980 MR WOLFS CLASS HC GN VOL 03 LUCKY STARS $24.99
Two quality series. I like the latter more than the former but boy howdy does the Hilda stuff have a quality to it. The Wolf's Class stuff brings to mind a lot of the quiet kids comics of ten years ago.

JUL191818 ONCE UPON A TIME IN FRANCE OMNIBUS GN $29.95
This came to me from the military publisher that's doing a numb of these surprise and bizarre initial offerings.

JUL191904 FREE S$$T HC CHARLES BURNS ZINE COLLECTION $19.99
It's beautiful. I'll figure it out later on.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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Go, Look: The First Detective

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Go, Look: Iron Giant Concept Drawings

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* the great Gary Tyrrell on Are You Listening? I can hardly wait for the day we realize Walden has like ten books done. Like next year or something. Scott Cederlund on The Wicked + The Divine #45.

* apparently we just passed the 40th anniversary of For Better Or For Worse.

* Dean Mullaney and LOAC found the Wonder Woman strip they were looking for.

* Charles Pulliam walks through a number of new comics to be found on the stands out there.

* is it okay if I say out loud this looks awful? I have very little fait that the mystery will compelling and even less than that that the murder part won't be wildly overplayed. I hope I am wrong.

* Mark Evanier writes about still being tired from Comic-Con 2019. I think the big difference is that it's harder to get around. You not only only have the crowds inside the convention center and just outside, you're dodging people and working your way through crowds up to four blocks away. I'm tired 20 minutes into my day when I'm there.

* finally: it must be very disheartening to follow this president as an editorial cartoonist.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Adam Grano!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Ben Towle!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Rod Whigham!

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September 10, 2019


Go, Look: Darwyn Cooke's Wonder Woman

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* Darryl Cunningham tells us where we can advance order his Billionaires: Lives Of The Rich And Famous.

* finally, congratulations to Derf on sending to press his Kent State book, the major-book follow-up to his Dahmer work and an interesting subject with Midwestern roots galore.
 
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If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

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Happy 48th Birthday, Steven Gilbert!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Gerry Conway!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Jackie Estrada!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Alison Bechdel!

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September 9, 2019


Evangelical Mayor Of Rio De Janeiro Attempts Seizure Of Marvel Comic With Male Characters Kissing

I don't know if there's a group of scientists monitoring a "Doomsday Of Stupid" clock somewhere, but surely it's closer to midnight after the mayor of Rio De Janeiro suggested the physical seizure of a Marvel comic where two male heroes kiss. It's a story point in a series of comics known as "The Children's Crusad" starring younger Marvel heroes that was collected already in other countries including the US.

The Times has a reasonably thorough run-down of events to date. It's hard not to see a retriggering of thought-reduced and/or dormant conservative ways of using culture's threading-through of bigotry riled up by economic distress to divide and distract a distrustful culture that is looking for scapegoats concerning money matters. It should be criticized, mocked and generally eviscerated at every opportunity. There are bigger fish to fry, probably even literally.

The reaction of audience members and public personalities in terms of pushback seem heartening as well.
 
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Tintin Exhibtion By Atak Closes In Lausanne

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I haven't read a quality translated piece on this development of events but it seems pretty straight-forward. It looks the group that is set up to manage Tintin threatened legal action against a Lausanne gallery for displaying paintings by Atak intended as an homage and/or commentary on that worldwide set of ideas and intentions. Rather than fight it, due to the resources perceived necessary to do so the gallery closed its doors after the first day the exhibit opened and gave a couple of statements to the press, one right on the physical door of the gallery.

I don't know how the actual laws work, but I think there's a general idea that this kind of expression is legitimate and be allowed. It kind of reminds of the feelings a lot writers and artists have for the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, that the zealotry for constraining the rights and channeling the money that comes from use outpaces the public good that comes from allowing these ideas to be engaged by artists, at least to the point that there is some general bullying perceived.
 
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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Ivan Brunetti profiled on the subject of his latest New Yorker cover.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Paul Grist!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Dan Vado!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Ted Adams!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Kevin Maguire!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Chris Eliopoulos!

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September 8, 2019


My Other Job: CXC 2019 Figures With Patreon Account Or Something Similar To One

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*****

Beat the rush and got on board with those CXC 2019 guests that could use direct support for their work via the Patreon site.

* Natasha Alterici (Special Guest)
* Nick Anderson (AAEC)
* Ivy Atoms

* Hakim Callwood (Instructor, Exhibitor)

* Carta Monir (Special Guest)
* Bryan Christopher Moss (Instructor, Exhibitor)

* Ted Rall (Exhibitor, AAEC)
* Gil Roth (Moderator)

* Ben Sears (Exhibitor)
* Katie Skelly (Moderator)

* The Comics Reporter (Festival Director)
* The Nib (Special Guest)
* Tom Tomorrow (Special Guest)

If you're at CXC this year and have a Patreon,

*****

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Go, Look: Claudiu Limbasan

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

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

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Happy 46th Birthday, Jordan Crane!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Kate Beaton!

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September 7, 2019


Go, Look: A Mike Dawson I Don't Know If I've Seen

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If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This

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Happy 85th Birthday, Warren Sattler!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Richard Barker!

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September 6, 2019


By Request Extra: On His 45th, Dustin Harbin Could Use The Gift Of Reattaching Things To His Skull

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Always a blast to work with that guy; he he's doing some CXC work in 2015.
 
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By Request Extra: On His 45th, Dustin Harbin Could Use The Gift Of Reattaching Things To His Skull

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Always a blast to work with that guy; he he's doing some CXC work in 2015. Click through to his GoFundMe.
 
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Assembled Extra: Go Follow Fieldmouse Press

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I bet there are a bunch of small-press oriented creators reading this site that could make use of information gleaned following the critics non-profit Fieldmouse Press.
 
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If I Were In Ann Arbor, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* missed it: apparently Dark Horse has broken ties with the writer Brian Wood, after previous accusations of sexual harassment were added to and extended by the journalist, editor and writer Laura Hudson. I have not done the work I need to do to say anything super-smart about the details that hasn't been said already. It sounds horrible. One thing I hope that happens here is that with 1) a person feeling free to talk about older incidents, as they should, and 2) a company taking action about a hire this way, which they should, I pray it will help move us out of this space where someone might be choosing not to respond because "I'll just get in more trouble no matter what I say, so no response, but I will assert my explanation off the record" is a viable strategy. It isn't, or it isn't one where the vague implication of an element of untruthfulness should be granted the same legitimacy of someone clearly stating things. (In that spirit, please remember that everything I receive in correspondence I don't clear in advance as off-limits is fair game to be printed).

* it's definitely the end of traditional summer now, so it's a nice time to clear out any pre-orderables at your local comics shop, start the Fall with a clean slate. It was a tough summer for a lot of our specialty retailer friends.

* finally, I'm glad to have this level of support if I choose to figure out the current x-men comics.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Dustin Harbin!

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Sergio Aragones!

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Happy 74th Birthday, Go Nagai!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Jason T. Miles!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Brendan Leach!

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September 5, 2019


Go, Look: The Wonderfully Queer World Of Moon

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If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 69th Birthday, Cathy Guisewite!

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September 4, 2019


Go, Look: Ronald Searle In 1951 Sketch Magazine

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Go, Read: Tom Heintjes' 1999 Interview With Lee Salem

He didn't do a lot of them, I don't think. At least I can't personally recall another one. His was an intriguing, engaged, and classy career. RIP.
 
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Go, Look: Aya Kakeda

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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.

*****

MAR190740 LOAC ESSENTIALS HC VOL 13 CHARLIE CHAN 1938 $29.99
I don't know the strip, and barely know the character. I was a Mr. Moto guy as far as orientalist detective characters go. My family had all the Arthur Waley, all the decorative print bought in San Franciso, all the accoutrements of that period as might be possible. They were also strip people, so there had to be some overlap. Alfred Andriola's work is always attractive, and you could do worse to read one strip (this one) for a different perspective on a strip as reliable as Kerry Drake was for several years. I'd sure be interested in reading a few of these strips, anway.

MAY191246 GUNNERKRIGG COURT HC VOL 07 $26.99
This is a reliable performer from a generation of print collections and several generation of webcomics ago. Reading comics that are popular with audience that just maybe aren't you as an audience can be an edifying thing.

imageAPR190032 WICKED & DIVINE #45 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.99
APR190033 WICKED & DIVINE #45 CVR B JAIMES (MR) $3.99
JUL190736 USAGI YOJIMBO #4 CVR A SAKAI $3.99
JUL191346 GIANT DAYS #54 $3.99
JUN198618 HOUSE OF X #1 (OF 6) 3RD PTG SHALVEY VAR $5.99
JUL19084 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) $4.99
JUL190853 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) CABAL CHARACTER DECADES VAR $4.99
JUL190852 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR $4.99
JUL190856 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) MOLINA CONNECTING VAR $4.99
JUL190850 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) PICHELLI FLOWER VAR $4.99
JUL190854 HOUSE OF X #4 (OF 6) YOUNG VAR $4.99
Thi is a pretty full list of comic-book comics. Congratulations to Gillen and McKelvie on complete of their gigantic and very popular Wicked & Divine. That's the kind of book that's its own career opportunity and Gillen seems to have hit the grown with projects and series of the kind that afford writers in particular a kind of sustained period that make entire careers. But I'm happy for the accomplishment of this series because that's a thing that comics does that we don't celebrate as much as we used to and I think we should. We should also always read everything Stan Sakai makes, forever and forever. John Allison is all of his forms is a good bet, too. I'm not sure what to make of the multiple covers on these X-Men comics here. Those seem like really fun, clever comics, and it was easy to see that Marvel had an X-Men card to play, but is this going to be it? I'm happy for those artists to have those gigs, but is Marvel beyond having a line-transforming series. Or is it all the one or two comics of the moment and then the latest shot at things like Agents of Atlas and Future Foundation. That's somebody's baby, too, but we would look at television weird if they kept announcing Remington Steele relaunches. Anyway, those X-Men comics are pretty fun. I hope DC has similar success with Legion Of Super-Heroes stuff.

JUL191521 BIG NATE HUG IT OUT TP $9.99
JUL191523 LITTLE BIG NATE BOARD BOOK $7.99
Big Nate is very popular, and that format is more influential that we surmise. I think.

APR191969 MS TREE TP VOL 01 $24.99
That's a good character, and there's probably a run for her in other media if the right actress comes along. My dad was fond of the books back when everything looked like Dave Sim printed it.

JUL191536 GIANT DAYS SC NOVEL $9.99
Someone like Jog needs to pop into my inbox and explain to me the role that prose versions of comics play when they're not the best-selling comics. I'm sure it's simpler than I'm imagining it -- extension of brand, or the numbers are actually really good.

JUL191997 ANIMAL FARM GN $22.00
I thought this was an attractive cover. I'm not sure what comics brings out of it except a kind of visceral reaction; it's long overdue I reconsider the work, and maybe Orwell's work in general considering we spend our day in his journalism and our nights dreaming in his political allegories. My dad, by the way, would be totally convinced the artist's name is a pun.

*****

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 DC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Alex Toth's Merchants Of Death Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Marilyn Greenwald profiles James Thurber.

* Karina Yan Glaser on Pumpkinheads. Angie Mortoccio on Life On The Moon. Jeff Spry on Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass.

* I have no idea how anyone can conceive of Doomsday Clock as a sequel to Watchmen in anything except the most blunt, character-sharing way. What a strange to exist.

* I wondered if someone posted the Jack Kirby: Story Teller video back on the King's birthday.

* BC's "Cute Chick" and "Fat Broad" now have names: Grace and Jane. Well... that's a story that could have been done in 1973.

* a literary agency devoted to comics seems inevitable rather than newsworthy. Good luck to them, and to the artists they choose to represent.

* not comics: wow, we have weird ideas now about how art is supposed to work. A line item for painting over art is terrifying to me no matter how much money is set aside to fight lawsuits.

* Karama Horne on Alitha Martinez.

* finally: a bunch of the AV Club folks look at DC's graphic novels aimed at young readers.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, Scott Shaw!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Paul Smith!

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September 3, 2019


Lee Salem, RIP

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Not Comics/By Request Extra: Dave Cooper Is Raising Money For A Live Action Film Called Squash

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

* great to hear that Sean Kleefeld's textbook on webcomics will be published next year. Nice guy, lovely prose voice. Also, there's always a chance he may do his tour by running from town to town.

* go, look: a cover for a Little Richard bio.

* Philip Zonkel writes about Eve Zaremba's groundbreaking lesbian detective character Helen Keremos returning in graphic novel form.

* finally: I don't know if I remembered to share Sophia Glock's book announcement. At any rate, I didn't delete the link.
 
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If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* by request extra: Boing Boing reminds that Gahan Wilson still needs help. That fundraiser looks well-supported in terms of people on the ground, so there's every chance that any dollars sent will be well spent.

* here's the story of a cartoonist who met a painter and they fell in love.

* this article suggests cartoonists may be part of the deliberations over independent contractors going on in California, but I can't see it in the actual text. Makes sense, I guess.

* every list of books for Fall through Christmas 2019 looks like a pretty good list.

* here's the story behind a crowd-funder that showed up last week about the Rob Rogers comic Brewed On Grant.

* finally, I had a good time this weekend starting a list of "good" comic shops, by which I mean a full-service comic shop that includes alt/arts comics -- my site, my rules! I have about 80 so far, and I'm grateful to all of you that sent in a store. If you love stores as much as I do, make sure your business with them is up to date. Clean out those pull drawers now, kids.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Victor Cayro!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Joe Matt!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Paul Chadwick!

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September 2, 2019


Go, Look: On The 25th Anniversary Of Reading Frenzy

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Chloe Eudaly takes a quick look back. The great 'zine and independent publishing store, a destination for years and years, started a quarter-century ago. It's hard to measure how influential that store was for Northwest Cartooning at a crucial time for that whole scene. I routinely found works that readjusted the entirety of my expectations for that whole realm of publishing, and am very grateful to have had these experiences. Where we buy and how and what's being sold is very, very important.
 
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Happy 73rd Birthday, Walt Simonson!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Bruce Simon!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Brett Warnock!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Colleen Frakes!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Eric Knisley!

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September 1, 2019


CR Sunday Interview: Bruce Worden

imageI made a decision to formally volunteer some CR time and resources to the non-profit behind my other gig, helping run Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC). I'd like to think there was a time when people were cautious about crossing strings of involvement, but I also know how tough it is in my fifties to sort of naturally generate comics-related content of any sort, let alone carefully screened material that serves both avenues. I hope you'll forgive me, but it should mean a burst of CR-ready material, so I'm going to jump right in.

Bruce Worden is one of the more interesting exhibiting guests with whom I work at CXC. The Michigan based cartoonist and educator seems like one of those increasingly welcome regional stalwarts: older cartoonists for whom finding an audience isn't a bridge to somewhere. I think it's rich place for comics, and links to its past where these avenue of expressions were the rule rather than the exception. I also think his endorsement of John Allison's Bad Machinery comics says something about how these worlds of meaning are constructed now. I second that recommend, and suggest the next time you have a chunk of time to read them, to seek those comics out.

I appreciate Bruce talking to me for today, which will probably be Labor Day Weekend. In addition to the links above, he will be Table #1 at the end of month CXC Expo, the weekend anchor to the Cartoon Crossroads 4-day show. I'll be buying stuff there, and I hope you'll choose to meet him if nothing else. I very much enjoy Bruce Worden, and you should, too.

The following was edited a tiny bit for flow. -- Tom Spurgeon

*****

TOM SPURGEON: Bruce, I'm happy to talk to you because I've seen you at several show since moving to the Midwest but I don't know you very well. Do you have a standard comics-related secret origin. What your early comics reading like, and is there a story to how you returned to them as an adult?

BRUCE WORDEN: When I was a kid I wanted every comic book I laid my eyes on. So I realized early on that I couldn't afford to "get into" comic books. I thought they were cool, and I loved the characters and logos and knowing the secret identities and everything. But I knew I couldn't start collecting them, and I never did. Comic strips, on the other hand, came to our house in the newspaper every day! Far Side. Calvin & Hobbes. Garfield. B.C. Crankshaft. Momma. Tumbleweeds. I read them over breakfast nearly as far back as I can remember, and I can say without a doubt that they influenced what I've been doing with my drawings ever since. As an adult I became a scientific illustrator, using drawings to tell concise, little stories about some biological process or other, often in sequential panels. It's the same thing as comics, man. It's always been the same thing, and I couldn't be happier about it.

imageSPURGEON: I got the sense when I was running into you mid-decade that making and selling your comics was a new thing for you. How did you end up taking that step? When did comics become a creative outlet you wanted to place in people's hands?

WORDEN: It was a perfect storm of lifestyle changes. 1 -- my part-time job left me free to pursue a freelance illustration career in my extra time. 2 -- My wife and I had a baby, which immediately put everything in perspective. 3 -- The economy tanked, and we lost a load of money. At the time, it just seemed crystal clear to me that I had to sink the freelance career. With the new baby, I wasn't going to spend my free time struggling to make other people's art for them. It was time to make my art, to start checking projects off my list of ideas instead of only adding to it. And to do it, I was going to invest the money I would've been putting into a retirement account into those projects instead.

SPURGEON: What was it like for you as you started to build an audience? I know sometimes it gone be very strange to have these measurements by which you can tell one comic sold more than another, or people react to in different ways. What do you remember about that transition?

WORDEN: I was choosing to invest in my own future instead of some CEO's, and to make that work I had to find a way to get a return on my own investment. And I'm only realizing right now that my approach has been very much like a CEO's investment strategy: diversify. As I mentioned, I'd been working in art ever since school, so the idea of using it to make money has always been a part of my ideology. What I never did, though, was settle into a signature style. I always try -- try! -- to tailor the illustrations to suit the story. So what I ended up doing was building small audiences for each book, rather than a single audience for me-the-illustrator. Maybe not the smartest way to go, but it does make it a little easier to admit when -- and why -- one book sells better than another. It also means I show up at comic book festivals with some books that are illustrated, but aren't really comics. Oops!

SPURGEON: Were you always funny? You seemed to show up with a grounded and smartly developed sense of humor. What do you find humorous? What are some of the positives -- and maybe a negative or two -- of expressing that humor in comics form?

WORDEN: Aw, thanks! I don't know that I was always funny. I certainly used humor as a deflection, growing up a skinny nerd in a macho culture. I suppose I think I have exactly the right sense of humor for me, but sometimes it can be a little dry -- or, I don't know, dismissive? dark? -- for other people. Basically, I get the feeling sometimes people think I'm an asshole because of it. Which I guess is better than being bullied all the time. See? Deflection! [Spurgeon laughs]

Anyway, I can't stand insult humor; so even if you think I'm an asshole, you'll have to admit I'm not telling jokes at your expense. I grew up with that, having to "hold your own" against someone just mercilessly mocking you for being you, under the pretense of "Hey man, I'm only teasing." So, yeah, I guess I sought out something a little more nuanced, and I found it in the comic strips I loved best -- which meant I had to question my love of Garfield, had to seriously question all the gender-role strips like Andy Capp or Born Loser. But luckily I also had MAD Magazine, Monty Python, and Weird Al to show me how to use humor in a smarter way.

imageStill, as you suggest, expressing it in comics does always feel like a risk to me, because, well, what if I flub the joke? Can't go back and retell it. Gotta get the wording right, gotta get the pacing right. Carve it in stone, print a hundred copies, pray the joke lands. And pray it holds up over time, right? But I can't really imagine making comics that aren't, at their core, trying to be funny. My gut reaction to comics is to laugh.

SPURGEON: Where did the interest in homophones begin, and how did that transform into the sustained expression of the blog? In fact, how has that experience been overall? Because working something out in that specific, accessible on-line form seems like something from a time machine now a little bit.

WORDEN: You won't believe it, but it's the plan that worked out exactly as I hoped. The idea started because I can't seem to read all the way through anything anymore without finding a spelling error. And I'm not talking about tweets and texts, I mean stuff that claims to be professionally edited. Most of the time it's that someone has used the wrong word, a homophone -- words that sound alike, but are spelled differently -- for the word they intended. "Then" instead of "than." "It's" instead of "its." Affect/effect. Their/there/they're. The kind of thing that happens when a writer doesn't really pay attention, and their "editor" is just a spell-check program.

So I thought what would be more helpful than shaking my fist at the world would be to create a visual descriptor -- an illustration -- for each word to help people remember the difference. Then it could be a fun little desktop reference book. A homophone dictionary. But it was going to take a long time to do the work, and I didn't really want anyone else telling me what to draw for each pair of words. So I started it as a weekly blog -- to put myself on a schedule to get the work done, to build an audience for the book while I was still creating the content, and so the existing work -- and audience -- could speak for itself when it was time to find a publisher. Because I really, really dislike the pitching process with traditional publishers. But I knew Homophones Visualized needed a bigger publisher than what I can do myself at Black Market Books, so I just let the blog build and build until someone -- Chronicle Books -- finally saw the value in it. It only took, what, seven years?

SPURGEON: With how much seriousness do you take that kind of wordplay? Are you evangelical about it in a way I sometimes hear some folks can be? Do you encounter people who are more serious than you are or even obsessed with that kind of wordplay? "I'm not a grammar nazi, but..."

WORDEN: No, I feel like the illustrations do the work for me at this point. There's so much more weight behind sending someone a link to a well-designed illustration explaining their typo, than there is just leaving "THEIR" in the comments section, y'know?

Passive-aggressive? Maybe. But it's like saying "let's compare how much time I spent helping people remember these spelling differences, to how much time you spent crafting that bland think-piece." Haha. Oh man, that sounds petty, maybe I am a nazi.

imageWell, the reason I think I'm not is because I realize language is totally fluid, regionally different, and always changing. So it's not really worth being stuck-up about it. But I am constantly getting comments on the blog insisting that some pair of words aren't homophones because in some other part of the world, in someone else's mind, "a" and "ah" would never be pronounced the same, or whatever. I mostly just let that roll off my back. I did have a week-long argument with one guy, though, who kept escalating and telling me I had no authority to speak about the English language because he disagreed that "fir" and "fur" are pronounced the same. (Though he never did explain how or where they might be different. And the dictionary certainly seems to agree with me about it.)

SPURGEON: Do you have specific ambitions for your comics? What would be a satisfying outcome for you in terms of the expressive part of your life that counts on the comics world?

WORDEN: Obviously I see how I could be more ambitious about them than I have been. I could -- should? -- quit my job and commit full-time to comics and picture books. Dedicate myself to it in the way successful people dedicate their lives to their work. But honestly, I'm always balancing that stuff with everything else -- family, travel, and the other things I enjoy about my life outside of art. I'm not trying to work myself to death, even with work that I love. So I think I need to be comfortable at a lower level of ambition.

Let's look at it this way: I invested monetarily in these projects nearly ten years ago, kept expenses modest, earned a little money, but was always spending more than I was earning on this part of my life. With the Homophones Visualized deal last year, I'm probably breaking even over the last decade. That's pretty good for a side job. And I've made a hell of a lot of friends and acquaintances doing this, which is priceless. So how about I aspire for the next decade to turn a profit, and hang onto those friends? Then turn a profit over the next five years, and the five years after that, and then maybe every year after that? And keep those friends close. And give back when I can. That sounds hella ambitious to me. Honestly, though, I'd probably be "satisfied" if I just keep creating projects that manage to find their audience, and don't land my family in the poorhouse.

SPURGEON: What will you be taking in front of the kids during CXC’s all-ages track? Is it my imagination that because of that great show in Ann Arbor that all of you in Michigan are kids-comics people? In fact, how would you define that community more generally? Hows does where you live play into what you do?

WORDEN: Oh yeah, that's just your imagination, dude! [Spurgeon laughs]

imageMichigan comics aren't just for kids. You're referring to A2CAF (formerly Kids Read Comics), which has grown into quite a solid institution here. And if that show defines our community, then it does make it hard for folks who don't make kid-centric work to feel like we're part of the clique. To their credit, since they changed the name to A2CAF, I think they really are trying to expand the range of cartoonists they invite to exhibit. But is the audience really ready for Kam Komics' Michigan Muthafukas or Jeff Manley's Romancing the Strip or Carolyn Nowak's No Better Words alongside Raina Telgemeier's latest release? Time will tell.

At CXC this year, I'll be leading a one-hour all-ages workshop on how to draw hands. It's a session I developed last year at my son's middle school. I led occasional drawing and cartooning classes there over the last few years, and finally realized all the kids really wanted to learn was to how-to-draw-hands, how-to-draw-eyes, how-to-draw-noses, etc. So last year I came up with a series of focused workshops like that, and I'm super excited to bring one of them to CXC this year! Wait, oh shit, I am kid-centric, aren't I?

SPURGEON: Is there a homophone appropriate to comics conventions/selling comics/making comics?

WORDEN: There is if you stop by my table:

image

SPURGEON: What's the last good comic you read? What's the last great one?

WORDEN: I'm going with a three-way tie for the last good comic I read: Ngozi Ukazu's first Check, Please! book #Hockey which was the most fun book I read all summer. Jackson Ziegler's Smell the Roses -- a short sci-fi comic that sucks you into its world completely and immediately. And Jim Benton's Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. -- a collection of his webcomics which are hilarious and super-poignant all at the same time.

The last great one, though, has got to be John Allison's Bad Machinery series.

image

SPURGEON: That's a fine choice.

WORDEN: I discovered them a year or two ago, and have been re-reading them this summer. They're so good, dude! Like, I don't know how he even does it. The stories are perfectly plotted, the dialogue is perfect, the jokes are perfect, the drawings I thought were weird and sparse but it turns out they're perfect too. And, I don't know, it seems like it's not even his main series! It's like a side-series in the same world as Scary Go Round and Giant Days, but focuses on the schoolkids. I just don't know how he does it. He's created a whole world, and found a voice that lets him do anything he wants in that world. And what he seems to want to do is write hilarious and heartfelt stories with rock-solid structure and believable characters. They're the best comics. The. Best.

*****

Homophones Visualized, Bruce Worden, Chronicle Books, 208 pages, hardcover, 9781452180038, August 2019, $14.95

*****

CR is a sponsor of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, September 26-29 2019. Bruce will be appearing at the expo's table #1 on the latter two day and providing us with a panel at the Expo on September 28. The show is free. Guests on hand this year range from Bruce to Hellen Jo to P. Craig Russell to Pidge Carlisle to Terry Moore. My thanks to a few CXC folks for helping facilitate this chat with Bruce. Hope to see you there. Come have fun with us.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Forbidden Worlds #75

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Looking For The Good Shops: Help Me Create A List

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CR STORE DIRECTORY
Labor Day 2019

ARIZONA

Ash Avenue Comics
806 S Ash Ave
Tempe, AZ 85281
480-858-9447
ashavecomics.com

Samurai Comics Glendale
6808 N Dysart Rd #148
Glendale, AZ 85307
623-872-8886
samuraicomics.com

Samurai Comics Phoenix
1602 E Indian School Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-265-8886
samuraicomics.com

Samurai Comics Mesa
1120 S Country Club Dr
Mesa, AZ 85210
480-962-1123
samuraicomics.com

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Lucky's Books & Comics
3972 Main St, Vancouver
BC V5V 3P2, Canada
604-875-9858
luckyscomics.storenvy.com/

CALIFORNIA

Comix Experience
305 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
415-863-9258
comixexperience.com

Comix Experience Outpost
2381 Ocean Ave
415-239-2669
San Francisco, CA 94127
comixexperience.com

Dungeon Dungeon
The Last Bookstore
435 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
323-666-2228
lastbookstorela.com

Hi De Ho Comics
412 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-394-2820
hidehocomics.com

Hijinx Comics
2050 Lincoln Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
408-266-1103
hijinxcomics.com

House Of Secrets
1930 W Olive Ave
Burbank, CA 91506
818-562-1900
artoffiction.com/HouseOfSecrets/

Isotope -- The Comic Book Lounge
326 Fell St
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-621-6543
isotopecomics.com

Ralph's Comic Corner
2379 E Main St
Ventura, CA 93003
805-653-2732
ralphscomiccorner.com

Sterling Silver Comics
2210 Pickwick Dr
Camarillo, CA 93010
805-484-4708
sterlingsilvercomics.com

The Secret Headquarters
3817 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
323-666-2228
thesecretheadquarters.com

Colorado

Aamazing Fantasy Comics
6721 W Ken Caryl Ave
Littleton, CO 80128
303-933-4604
aamazingfantasycomics.com

All in a Dream Comics
2901 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
303-333-8616

I Want More Comics
550 E Thornton Pkwy Suite 114
Thornton, CO 80229
303-460-7226
iwantmorecomics.com

Kilgore Books & Comics
624 E 13th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
303-815-1979
kilgorebooks.com

Mile High Comics Jason Street Mega Store
4600 Jason St
Denver, CO 80211
303-477-0042
milehighcomics.com

Mutiny Information Cafe
2 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
303-778-7579
mutinyinfocafe.com

Time Warp Comics
3105 28th St
Boulder, CO 80301
303-443-4500
time-warp.com

Vision Comics & Oddities
3958 S Federal Blvd
Englewood, CO 80110
303-781-0299
facebook.com/visioncomicsoddities/

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Big Planet Comics
1520 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-342-1961
bigplanetcomics.com

GEORGIA

Infinite Realities Comics & Games
5007 Lavista Rd
Tucker, GA 30084
470-359-5988
infiniterealitiescomics.com/

Criminal Records
1154 Euclid Ave NE A
Atlanta, GA 30307
404-215-9511
criminalatl.com/

Oxford Comics & Games
2855 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
404-233-8682
facebook.com/oxfordcomicsandgames/

ILLINOIS

Challenger Comics + Conversation
1845 N Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
773-278-0155
challengerscomics.com

Chicago Comics
3244 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
773-528-1983
chicagocomics.com

Comix Revolution (Evanston)
606 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
847-866-8659
online-revolution.com

Comix Revolution (Mt Prospect)
115 West Central Road
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
847-506-0800
online-revolution.com

Quimby's
1854 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
773-342-0910
quimbys.com

INDIANA

Comic Carnival
7235 N Keystone Ave Unit G
Indianapolis, IN 46240
317-253-8882
comiccarnival.com

Downtown Comics
11 E Market St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-237-0397
downtowncomics.com

MARYLAND

Atomic Books
3620 Falls Road
Baltimore MD 21211
410-662-4444
atomicbooks.com

Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
301-654-6856
bigplanetcomics.com

Big Planet Comics
7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740
301-699-0498
bigplanetcomics.com

MASSACHUSSETS

That's Entertainment
244 Park Ave
Worcester MA 01609
508-755-4207
atse.com

That's Entertainment
56 John Fitch Hwy
Fitchburg, MA 01420
978-342-8607
thatse.com

MICHIGAN

Green Brain Comics
13936 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126
313-582-9444
www.greenbraincomics.com

Vault of Midnight-Ann Arbor
219 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-998-1413
www.vaultofmidnight.com

Vault of Midnight-Detroit
1226 Library St
Detroit, MI 48226
313-481-2165
www.vaultofmidnight.com

Vault of Midnight-Grand Rapids
95A Monroe Center St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-776-9013
www.vaultofmidnight.com


MISSOURI

Rock Bottom Comics
1013 E Walnut St,
Columbia, MO 65201
573-443-0113
facebook.com/rockbottomcomics

Star Clipper
1319 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103
314-240-5337
www.facebook.com/StarClipperSTL

NEW JERSEY

East Side Mags, LLC
7 South Fullerton Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042
862-333-4961
eastsidemags.com

NEW MEXICO

Big Adventure Comics
418 Montezuma Avenue, Suite C
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-992-8783
bigadventurecomics.com

NEW YORK

Anyone Comics
1216 Union St
Brooklyn, NY 11225
347-350-8422
anyonecomics.com

Desert Island
540 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-388-5087
desertislandbrooklyn.com

Escape Pod Comics
302 Main St
Huntington, NY 11743
631-923-1044
escapepodcomics.com

Gutter Pop Comics
1028 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
716-436-4806
facebook.com/gutterpopcomics/

Housing Works Used Book Cafe
26 Crosby St
New York, NY 10012
212-334-3324
housingworks.org/locations/bookstore-cafe

NORTH CAROLINA

Heroes Aren't Hard To Find
417 Pecan Ave
Charlotte, NC 28204
704-375- 7462
heroesonline.com

Parker, Banner, Kent & Wayne: Comics and Games
21500 Catawba Ave Suite A
Cornelius, NC 28031
704-892-4263
pbkwcomics.com

OHIO

Books With Pictures
1401 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
503-206-4369
bookswithpictures.com/

Carol & Johns Comic Book Shop
Kamm's Plaza
17462 Lorain AVE.
Cleveland, OH 44111
216-252-0606
www.cnjcomics.com/site/

Cover to Cover (Kid Books Specialist)
2116 Arlington Avenue
Columbus OH 43221
614-263-1624
covertocoverchildrensbooks.com

Gramercy Books
2424 E Main St
Bexley, OH 43209
614-867-5515
gramercybooksbexley.com

Maverick's Games and Comics
2312 E Dorothy Lane
Kettering, OH 45420
937-294-4900
jackmavericks.com/

The Book Loft Of German Village
631 S 3rd St
Columbus, OH 43206
614-464-1774
bookloft.com

The Laughing Ogre
4258 N High St
Columbus, OH 43214
614-267-6473
laughingogreohio.com

Two Dollar Radio Headquarters
1124 Parsons Ave
Columbus, OH 43206
614-725-1505
twodollarradiohq.com

Wexner Center Store
1871 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-3535
store.wexarts.org/books/comics-cartoons

OKLAHOMA

Literati Press
3010 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
literatipressok.com

ONTARIO

The Beguiling
319 College St
Toronto, ON
M5T 1S2 Canada
416-533-9168
beguilingbooksandart.com

OREGON

Floating World Comics
400 NW Couch St
Portland, OR 97209
503-241-0227
floatingworldcomics.com

PENNSYLVANIA

Atomic City Comics
638 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-625-9613
facebook.com/atomiccitycomics/

Phantom Of The Attic Comics
411 S Craig St 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-621-1210
pota-oakland.com

QUEBEC

Librarie Drawn & Quarterly
211 Rue Bernard O
Montréal, QC
H2T 2K5 Canada
1-514-279-2224
mtl.drawnandquarterly.com

SASKATCHEWAN

Comic Readers Regina Downtown
105 – 2125 11th Avenue
Cornwall Professional Building
Regina, SK S4P 3X3 Canada
306-779-0900
comicreadersregina.wordpress.com/regina-downtown/
facebook.com/ComicReadersDowntown/

Generacion X
Calle de la Puebla, 15
28005 Madrid, Spain
34-915-21-99-85
generacionx.es/

Molar Discos y Libros
Calle de la Ruda, 19,
28005 Madrid, Spain
34-911-72-57-40
molarmucho.tumblr.com/

TEXAS

Austin Books & Comics
Plaza 5000
5002 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
512-454-4197
austinbooks.com

UNITED KINGDOM

Dave's Comics
5 Sydney St
Brighton BN1 4EN, UK
44-1273-691012
davescomics.co.uk/

Family Store
33 Kensington Gardens
Brighton BN1 4AL, UK
familystoreuk.com/

Gosh! Comics
1 Berwick St
Soho, London
W1F 0DR UK
44-20-7437-0187
goshlondon.com

Orbital Comics
8 Great Newport St
Covent Garden, London
WC2H 7JA UK
44-20-7240-0591
orbitalcomics.com

UTAH

Dr. Volts Comics Connection
2043 E 3300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
801-485-6114
drvolts.com

VIRGINA

Big Planet Comics
426 Maple Ave. E.
Vienna, Virginia 22180
703-242-9412
bigplanetcomics.com

Local Heroes
1905 Colonial Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517
757-383-6810
localheroescomics.com/

Telegraph Art & Comics
211A W Main St
Charlottesville, VA
434-244-3210
telegraphcomics.com/

Velocity Comics
819 W Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
804-303-1783
velocitycomicsrva.blogspot.com

WASHINGTON

Analog Coffee
235 Summit Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
206-390-7670
analogcoffee.com

Arcane Comics And More
15202 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
206-781-4875
arcanecomicbooks.com

Comics Dungeon
319 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105
206-545-8373
comicsdungeon.com

Danger Room
201 W 4th Ave
Olympia, WA 98501
360-705-3050
dangerroomoly.com

Destiny City Comics
218 St Helens Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-234-7112
destinycitycomics.com

Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
206-624-6600
elliottbaybook.com

Fantagraphics Bookstore And Gallery
1201 S Vale St
Seattle, WA 98108
206-557-4910
fantagraphics.com/flog/bookstore/

Outsider Comics And Geek Boutique
223 N 36th St
Seattle, WA 98103
206-535-8886
outsidercomics.com

Phoenix Comics and Games
113 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
206-328-4554
http://phoenixseattle.com

Push/Pull
5484 Shilshole Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
206-789-1710
pushpullseattle.com

The Comics Place
105 E Holly St
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-733-2224
thecomicsplace.com

The Dreaming Comics And Games (Will Close End Of September)
5226 University Way
Seattle, WA 98105
206-525-9394
dreamingcomics.com

*****

I appreciate your help, but I won't be able to process any more suggestions until after October 7! There's a good chance that anything sent in between now and then will be deleted. Sorry about that. I need to declutter for the Fall festival. Thanks!

*****

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