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














September 21, 2017


Go, Read: Anders Nilsen On The New Obamacare-Destroying Healthcare Bill

Here. As many folks in comics that feel the impact of inadequate healthcare, it's fascinating that only a few step up to write something this to the point. I urge all my fellow citizens to stand up for those political issues in which they believe, and feel the best thing for comics-makers would be if the American standard were the most coverage for the least amount of outlay + pre-existing conditions not even being a concept.

This is comics' biggest story this decade, and if you think we would have seen the same explosion of fine talent without the halfway -- only halfway -- rational set of programs that is Obamacare, I'd say you are wrong. I am still alive only because in 2011 I obtained decent healthcare coverage about two months before I got sick.
 
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If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Salt Lake Vs. San Diego goes to jury. My gut is that San Diego has been wronged but I'm not legally knowledgeable enough to know if they've been wronged in the way spelled out in their case. That's why they have trials, I suppose.

* the Shamus brothers are back with a series of focused-theme superhero conventions called the ACE Comic Cons. The first one will be in September. There's certainly room for variations in the basic model, although whether this is it I could not tell you.

* the Koyama kids on tour.

* Jared Whitley writes about con burnout. I don't think that's exactly what's going on in the festival end of things, but there was a lot of talk at SPX about creators attending for their last time, or near their last time. I think part of that is perception: the current 30-somethings are a mass like the current 48 to 52s were a mass, so what they're doing seems more important for their numbers. It's pretty common for people in their early thirties to drop out of attending festivals. I also think all of the shows' general utility is being questioned.

* Secret Acres has split in two and now it's Barry's last SPX, boo-hoo.

* finally, here's a feature article about the contingent of French cartoonists coming into the city when NYCC is running.
 
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If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through October 2017

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*****

September 22
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Madison, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 23
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Madison, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 24
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Madison, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 25
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 26
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 27
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 28
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (TCZF)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

*****

October 1
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 2
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 3
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 4
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 5
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 6
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 7
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were Near Bristol, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 8
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 12
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This

October 13
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)

October 14
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)
* If I Were Near Nottingham, I'd Go To This (Nottingham Comic Con)
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This (St. Louis Small Press Expo)

October 15
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)

October 20
* If I Were In Mississauga, I'd Go To This (MCX)
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

October 21
* If I Were In Mississauga, I'd Go To This (MCX)

October 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

October 27
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)

October 28
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This

October 29
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)

*****

Events For November 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: #drawingwhileblack

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Blood Lad Vol. 9. Whit Taylor on My Pretty Vampire and Sunburning.

* the Equatorial Guinean political cartoonist Ramon Nsé Esono Ebalé has been arrested. Criminal defamation charges of the same noxious variety as those in place like Turkey are expected. The initial detention period has already been extended.

* JA Micheline talks to Tillie Walden.

* Maren Williams notes that submissions for the International Human Rights Award are now open.

* finally: Ariel Dorfman reflects on the duck essay.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Craig Thompson!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Drew Friedman!

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Happy 37th Birthday, David Malki!

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September 20, 2017


Go, Listen: Jesse Moynihan On Process Party

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

JUL171843 PRESENT HC $21.95
I thought this was a strong outing for Leslie Stein's autobiographical material, taken from the second half of her weekly installments at VICE. It's the first of her books at Drawn And Quarterly, unless I'm really letting time slip away from me. There are a lot of small gems, but the one that sticks in memory is about Stein sleeping at an old boyfriend's place following a fitful, frenetic night of not being able to slumber at her own. Let's hope ore and more people begin to pick up on Stein's work.

imageJUL170804 HEAD LOPPER #7 CVR A MACLEAN $5.99
JUL171467 SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #23 $4.99
JUL170816 INVINCIBLE #140 (MR) $2.99
JUN170445 MICRONAUTS WRATH OF KARZA #5 (OF 5) CVR A RONALD $3.99
Not a bunch for me in the comic-book sized, serialized work department. I always enjoy the oversized issues of Head Lopper, a straight-up fantasy reminiscent of Hellboy if Mike Mignola had an in-close-proximity-in-terms-of-talent younger brother or son enamored of modern television cartoons rather than Jack Kirby comic books. Invincible begins its closing run with a fight in the middle of the sun that's not as grandly drawn as you might think; no-cartilage noses are the new crimson masks. Someday I'll find and read a Micronauts book. I like their design. Maybe not today, but you never know.

JUL172009 PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN HC $19.99
JUN171844 JEFF STEINBERG TP (MR) $19.99
On a day like today in particular, I might check out work by two solid veterans in the middle of long-running relationships with interesting publishers : artist TJ Kirsch (Decent Man) and Josh Hale Fialkov (Steinberg. Looks like Kirsch is working well within an established comfort zone, while Fialkov's book with its humor might be a bit more out there.

JUL171338 HEAVENLY NOSTRILS ACTIVITY BOOK RAINY DAY UNICORN FUN $8.99
Sneaky-intense fandom on this one, and the comics have a unique energy that I can't quite figure out in printed form.

JUN170376 MISTER MIRACLE BY JACK KIRBY TP $29.99
JUL172406 ROBERT CRUMB SKETCHBOOK HC VOL 02 SEPT 68-JAN 75 (MR) $39.99
JUN171682 FANTAGRAPHICS STUDIO ED HC HAL FOSTER PRINCE VALIANT (RES) $175.00
I have no idea where any of these three fall in the context of their publishing programs for their series or even past efforts to publish the same material, but my personal library contains works by each of these three.

JUL171919 DAM KEEPER HC GN $19.99
A First Second book in partnership with the studio behind the animated versions of these stories. I don't think that's a new thing for FS. This sure is handsome looking, although I come to it super-cold.

*****

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 Near Leeds, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: The Idiot In Me

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Steve Foxe on all the ways that the Legacy initiative at Marvel won't save Marvel.

* John Siuntres talks to Declan Shalvey.

* go, look: Evan Dorkin draws the great Jack Kirby character Karkas. Roger Langridge draws Superman and Lois Lane.

* Ben Towle went to Quebec City to see the traveling Hergé exhibit and tells us all about it.

* Todd Klein on New Gods Special #1.

* finally: Jason draws Pennywise.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, Bill Amend!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Tom Williams!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Coop!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Steve Ringgenberg!

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September 19, 2017


Go, Look: Can The Democrats Imagine A Better Future?

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