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
















August 17, 2017


Go, Look: Spy Seal Pages For Sale

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Go, Listen: Katie Skelly On Comic Book Decalogue

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* while I noted the opening back in June, someone from the Society Of Illustrators wrote in to remind me that the show is up for a few more weeks. Some of that art is very attractive, of course. One of the key things about Marvel success was how cannily Stan Lee locked down a group of artists that could extend their creative success, and the later Spider-Man crew of Romita Sr., Kane and even Ross Andru were evidence of that. Seeing the evidence of Romita re-staging some of Kane's dynamic pages is collective creativity at its best.

* if any of you are out in Carbondale this weekend say hi to my professional peer Melody Reed.

* I'm hoping to make CALA this year -- at least the Sunday -- and am fascinated by how it will work in its new location. Looks like it might be easier to drive over to that neighborhood, but who knows? I'm grateful for every important scene to have an arts-focused show.

* I'm not sure how many of the Wizard shows Stan Lee does on his endless tour of comics conventions, but I'm sure fans of the Wizard show in Madison will be thrilled by the opportunity to meet the legendary writer/editor.

* 196 days until Emerald City. That sent a shiver up someone's spine out there.

* you know, I like the basic shape of the festival year: March 1 to November 15, a few shows like Angouleme running in the "offseason," intense periods in April and September, less intense periods in June and August making room for tours and signings. There's a lot of tumult yet to come, though. A lot.

* Juggalos and Trump supporters join SPXers in the Washington, DC area on the same day.

* finally, I was talking to someone the other day about the notion that cosplay serves a function at some smaller shows to modernize the show -- give it an appeal to a certain young fanbase -- without pushing the show into the celebrity game. I'm not sure if this show qualifies, but it kind of engages some of that rhetoric.
 
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Go, Read/Listen: David Letterman On Harvey Pekar

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2017

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*****

August 18
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)

August 19
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 20
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

*****

September 1
* If I Were In Atlanta, I Would Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (San Francisco Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)

September 2
* If I Were In Atlanta, I Would Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (San Francisco Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)

September 3
* If I Were In Atlanta, I Would Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (San Francisco Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)

September 4
* If I Were In Atlanta, I Would Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 8
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This

September 9
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

September 10
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

September 16
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This (Memphis Comic Expo)

September 17
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This (Memphis Comic Expo)

September 18
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 19
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

September 21
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

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

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)

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)

September 28
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

September 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

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

*****

Events For October 2017 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Ron Cobb's Anti-Nuke Cartoons

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Aseem Trivedi comments in text and illustration on a group of mothers affected by Turkish political upheaval.

* not comics: I'm always happy to see cartoonists take the opportunities to work across media in a way they're full participants, because such opportunities are rare and thus curated to the individual cartoonist's experience. Sonny Liew making stage work is very exciting.

* a brutal month for fans of Mexican cartooning continues with the passing of Eduardo del Rio.

* a young person that looks like Amelia Earhart to me profiles Steve Sack.

* finally, Liza Donnelly sings the praises of the iPad pro. I'm trusting the story is around that loud, commercial-driven page somewhere.
 
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Happy 48th Birthday, Tom McLean!

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Happy 61st Birthday, John Romita Jr.!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Andrew Helfer!

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August 16, 2017


Go, Read: Asher Elbein On Letterers And Colorists

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Yogi Bear Sundays

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Go, Look: Tide Of Terror

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there's a nice discussion here between Nick Hanover and Kim O'Connor about the state/nature/reality of present-day criticism written about comics. It links to a more wide-ranging discussion. I always find some insight in discussions like this. I don't have very well-developed critical chops and most of the writing about comics I do is my personal reaction to something I've encountered. I do think of criticism as more useful/not useful than good/bad, but that comes out of my own consumerist impulses.

image* another week, another significant cross-media deal for a comics creator and their ability to bring a company's worth of projects along with them. For me, it's the solidification of where many creators might want to find themselves some day, with a side order that these deals might be easier to make with creator-driven company rather than publishing houses or media companies run by non-creatives.

* not comics: a statement or two by Judd Apatow about the difficulties the American conservative point of view has as a departure point for great art. I see a lot of entertainment out there as essentially conservative with liberal flourish, but it's an interesting idea to consider.

* finally, Drew Friedman celebrates the Kirby Centennial with a limited-edition print.

apologies for the Kirkman photo from the pleistocene epoch; it's the only one I have!
 
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Hal Foster Was Born 125 Years Ago Today

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Otto Messmer Was Born 125 Years Ago Today

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August 15, 2017


Go, Listen: Sammy Harkham On Process Party

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Go, Look: Joseph Lambert One-Pager

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's a short "it's coming" preview for the first volume of Nila Magruder's MFK.

* Entertainment Weekly was selected to host the cover-driven announcement of First Second's Spring 2018 season. It's as massive as the seasons this year have been, so I guess that's the new normal. Here are the books:
+ Animus, Antoine Revoy
+ Chasma Knights, Kate Reed Petty and Boya Sun
+ One Day a Dot, Ian Lendler and Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
+ Be Prepared, Vera Brosgol
+ Cucumber Quest: The Melody Kingdom, Gigi D.G.
+ Science Comics: Rockets, Anne Drozd and Jerzy Drozd
+ Quirk's Quest: The Lost and the Found, Robert Christie and Deborah Lang
+ All Summer Long, Hope Larson
+ Pop by Jason Carter Eaton, Matt Rockefeller
+ Cottons: The Secret of the Wind, Jim Pascoe and Heidi Arnhold
+ Spill Zone: The Broken Vow, Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland
+ The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness, Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
+ The Adventure Zone: Here Be Gerblins -- Clint, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch
+ Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules, Tony Cliff
+ Idle Days, Thomas D. Brousseau and Simon LeClerc
+ Science Comics: Trees, Andy Hirsch
There's not a lot there for me, but that's a complaint that's like six years old now. If I had had a child instead of complaining, they'd have a bunch of First Second books to read, for sure. It's not so bad. Me, I'll read anything Tony Cliff, Vera Brosgol and Hope Larson do, and a few more here are interesting visually, but I'm not sure where my entry point is overall. There probably isn't one.

* finally, Noah Van Sciver shows off a potential cover or two. Ed Piskor shows off his X-Men book cover. Those should all be fun projects.
 
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Go, Look: Fantastic Comics #1

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Go, Look: Recent BD For The Beach

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Heidi MacDonald (I think) talks to Jon Morris.

* I like to imagine this is three normally-dressed people buying stuff from the cartoonist Keren Katz and the photo just shows us what Keren is seeing.

* that was a long and ugly weekend in domestic politics, with many moments lurching into national disgrace territory. Here was the most brutal exchange between cartoonists. Here is the thread I was sent the most times with a comics-maker involved. Hopefully I remember to come back here and more directly link to the cross-section of mainstream editorial cartoonists on the matter. Okay, I remembered, but there's almost nothing there. Here's Ben Passmore from earlier this year on the movement to rid the South of its confederate statuary. I've been following that story for a while.

* finally, Jason draws Allen Ginsberg.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday Paul Gulacy!

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August 14, 2017


Go, Look: Sofia Niazi

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Go, Read: WSJ On Thoroughness Of Difficulties Facing Editorial Cartoonists In Turkey

imageIt's behind a paywall, but if you have a chance to get at this Wall Street Journal article on the collapse of satire and cartoon commentary in Turkey over the last 24 months, take it.

The authors go beyond the direct harassment of cartoonists and journalists by the present Turkish regime to bring in a couple of other elements to the table. Most surprisingly, they flat-out blame those who copy the works and distribute them for free as depleting resources from publications that could have used -- and could continue to use -- that money to fight legal sanctions. That's not an argument I've heard before.
 
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