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

January 28, 2014

Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News


By Tom Spurgeon

* it was a good week for cover reveals and first art examples seen from a variety of alt-comics projects. Ryan Sands of Youth In Decline claims that the Thickness collection will be out for TCAF sporting the above Michael DeForge cover, the content from the first three issues of the anthology, various pin-ups and new work from True Chubbo, DeForge, Lamar Abrams, Jonny Negron, and Andy Burkholder. The second image above is from this post at Drawn and Quarterly and John Porcellino's Fall 2014 work Hospital Suite. The third image above is from Esther Pearl Watson and was released by Mike Dowers in a friends-only post, so it's probably cheating to present it here (and it's blown up a bit) but I liked it; it's what the cover to his second collection of mini-comics will look like. That first one was awfully cool; I haven't yet processed all of it. The last of those four images is a final cover for Mike Dawson's next work, out in about 8-10 weeks from Secret Acres.

image* if there is any better news just in general for comics fans that appreciate the underground generation (1965-1980, roughly) and the portion of the first alt-comics generation (1981-1995) that worked very similar territory than a new Mineshaft, I"m not sure what that could be. What a marvel that one has made it to 30 issues, and I'm jealous of people far in the future pulling that one out of the bins at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and enjoying the organic way it presents that material.

* speaking of the Arch City, Ken Eppstein of the Columbus-based small press publisher Nix Comics writes about his company's future plans, including a free local tabloid. I have no idea what the economics are for a free tabloid, how hard it is to rope in advertisers and keep them, but providing comics as a stand-alone or as a section of an established alt-weekly always seemed to me an opportunity for a lot of publishers to become more significant members of their local communities. We forget sometimes that comics publishing in those terms is less than a generation old, really. I hope they find a way for that to work.

* news over at the Richard Thompson blog that the complete publication of Cul De Sac is imminent is only the second best news Richard Thompson shared recently, as it looks like he'll be going home after a significant amount of time in physical therapy after late 2013 surgery. I'm greatly looking forward to having all of that work in one place, and I've liked some of the bigger books that Andrews McMeel has done in recent years. That was a fine, fine comic, and the best of the comic strips since Calvin & Hobbes, I think.

* Julia Wertz provides more clues about this Fall's Fart Party Omnibus.

* I'm not sure I all the way knew about new Lane Milburn, but all right. That strikes me as reasonably significant lead time for that publisher working with a younger cartoonist, which I suppose is nice to see in terms of the promotional possibilities.

* I am a great fan of the word "pitiful" because a close friend of mine uses it hilariously in casual conversation, so I'm all for it being in the title of a new comic, The Pitiful Human-Lizard. I'd like to figure out at some point what social media tools people are using to what effect. I suspect with comics people in general, you've had people over the 6-12 months just settle into the social medial tools they prefer rather than those that might maximize their presence or help to spread the word about their projects.

* finally, First Second Books announced two new works last week in partnership with a pair of sites. Hero Complex had a cover and a profile of The Wrenchies from Farel Dalrymple. School Library Journal announced The Straford Zoo, one I'm not sure I'd heard about even in rumor. Nice high-concept, though.

posted 1:37 am PST | Permalink

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