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
















January 26, 2015


Go, Look: Fred Campbell

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Alternative Comics Announces Spring 2015 Season

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In a press release distributed this morning, Marc Arsenault's Alternative Comics announced its Spring 2015 season and the fact that Eric Aucoin will be acting as an Associate Editor for the line. This will be their first season with Consortium Book Sales & Distribution -- that company expanded its interests in comics last year with a lot of folks attending a sales meeting the same week as 2014's CAB show.

The books they're releasing, a mix of reprints, collections and initially-published works, are:

* Clover Honey, Rich Tommaso, softcover, 136 pages, FEB150911, 9781934460863, February, $14.95.
* From Now On, Malachi Ward, softcover, 144 pages, 9781934460917, June, $14.95.
* Oh, That Monroe, Sam Henderson, softcover, 128 pages, 9781934460870, no month given, $11.99.
* Quit Your Job And Other Stories, James Kochalka, softcover, 192 pages, 9781934460931, no month given, $15.95.
* Sunbeam on the Astronaut, Steven Cerio, 48 pages, 9781934460238, no month given, $9.95.
* Smilin' Ed Comics, Raoul Vezina And Tom Skulan, softcover, 160 pages, 9781934460856, June, $19.95.
* The SAW Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips, Tom Hart, softcover, 96 pages, 9781934460894, June, $12.95.

The Clover Honey book takes me back. That's a re-publication of Tommaso's not-serialized, stand-alone graphic novel done for Fantagraphics in the mid-1990s when that was considered a really weird thing to exist. Not only was that an appealing format for publishers at the time because of the promise of bookstores, the numbers were perceived to be better in a lot of different ways (there was some debate).
 
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Go, Look: Al Williamson Images Mini-Gallery

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Please Keep An Eye Out For Jim Wheelock's Stolen Comics, Music And Art Collection

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Bleeding Cool has Jim Wheelock's letter about a massive number of comics stolen from a storage facility in Vermont. There may also be art and music involved in a similarly curated form. If you're a dealer or a buyer in that area and can help Mr. Wheelock track down his material, please keep an eye out and please contact Mr. Wheelock directly through information on the other side of that link.

Having that much curated material taken from you must be heartbreaking, and I hope it works out for the cartoonist.

cover image from a comic another copy of which was in the collection
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Bunch Of Dave Gerhard Gag Cartoons

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Festivals Extra: SPX Explains Its Lottery System

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It's here in full. Small Press Expo is one of the big shows and if you have material to sell that is of the kind the show is there to facilitate, SPX should be on your absolute list of things to do.

Good luck to all those that will participate in their mighty lottery.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Goran Parlov Images Mini-Gallery

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Linework NW Announces Special Guests Clowes, Congdon, Hanawalt And Howell

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This Spring's Linework NW Illlustration And Comics Festival in Portland, Oregon, announced on Friday their four special guests Daniel Clowes, Lisa Congdon, Lisa Hanawalt and Jay Howell.

Clowes will be debuting his The Complete Eightball 1-18 two-volume collection at the show, so that's a heck of a get just right there, all by itself. It's a good mix, though, that hits their target audience and encompasses the illustration part of their mission very well. I also like how Lisa Hanawalt is becoming a significant guest at these shows regardless of whether or not she has brand new bookstore work out, I think in part because in addition to being an appealing guest generally she hits a lot of target areas for different shows and is generally point-to-it busy in one or more of the things she does. The reason I mention that is that I frequently wonder how the careers of under-40s in comics are shaped, and how that might have an effect on things like shows.

What I don't know looking at the list is if all four creators will be there both days -- the show is splitting some of its exhibitors into individual days in order to better encompass the massive creative community there in Portland, and it would make total sense if one or more of the special guests were only going to do one of the days. Let's assume for now all of them are there on both April 18 and April 19, and if I hear differently I'll get back to you. If you don't hear from me at all, like I fall in a sinkhole or something, at least maybe you'll remember to ask someone if it's a concern.

images supplied by the festival
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1960s Yogi Bear Sunday Newspaper Strips

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Links, Statements And Notes As They Relate To The Charlie Hebdo Killings

This recurring column is a clearinghouse for various links and articles related to the killings in and around the Charlie Hebdo offices, and its violent aftermath in Paris a couple of days later. There will be links to material and the employment of images here or in the linked-to articles that may upset. Every link and every image used is intended to better facilitate this site's mission to inform.

* thousands of protesters in places like Pakistan marched against the depiction of Muhammed in issues of Charlie Hebdo, including the recent, post-killings issue. In Turkey there was a significant political endorsement of one such march.

* the site Hooded Utilitarian has put all of their articles on the Hebdo killings in one place.

* I'm pretty sure I ran this very old link at some point, but of course it's always worth a reminder of this kind of awful thing. This very new link puts it into stark terms. These are criminal acts.

* the role of France's prison system in breeding this specific kind of criminal activity as well as outright terrorist organization recruitment is starting to get poked.

* the head of Russian's Orthodox Church would like you to know that Hebdo's attacks on Christianity were in a different league altogether.

* Jacob Canfield writes about his experience writing about the Hebdo killings.

* it took a few weeks, but someone finally wrote the "power of ink and paper" essay.

* Cory Doctorow writes about the tendency of governments to control speech in massively ironic and heartbreaking response to an incident ostensibly about the limits to a nightmarish response to free speech.

* this isn't a story I've followed, but I know from the Danish Cartoons Controversy this is a story that will likely be seen a lot in some form or another in the weeks ahead.

* I get the worry here with use of the word terrorist and I understand that can be a loaded term that's hard to define, but I don't all the way get not using a word because of perceived political implication -- that strikes me as odd, and making language overtly political in a way that's much more dubious in the long-run than the inherent political weight of language. Also, if what we know about the provenance of these attacks is true, and that word can't be used, I'm not sure it can ever be used, which is also weird. At the same, time, it's not a word I'm interested in using in this case.

* one break between these killings and the Danish Cartoons Controversy is that people feel the need to insist that you can support free speech and criticize Hebdo. Supporting free speech and kicking Jyllands-Posten in the nuts for their free speech stunt was never in question -- at least not to my memory, and certainly not to this extent.

* go, look: a cartoon from Jen Sorensen.

* one Hebdo staffer says it's very good President Obama didn't join in a world-leaders march because the Obama administration's record on press freedom is atrocious.

* what was the reaction like in our atheist, non-free speech supporting superpower country?

* another Hebdo-related event was canceled. This also comes with a special distribution arrangement, so let the opinion pieces fly.

* here's an American newspaper opinion-piece that I believe is saying the publication of the post-Hebdo issue is pretty much the same as yelling fire in a crowded theater.

* finally, here is Juanjo Guarnido's tribute piece. I have to admit, I hadn't thought about the major reporter characters that comics has traditionally featured.
 
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Go, Look: Ian McMurray

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* there are a few days left in an effort to auction some very nice black and white cover art to benefit its artist, Norm Breyfogle, who recently suffered a debilitating stroke. Adam Beechen apparently owns the piece now. The general crowd-funding campaign for Breyfogle is here; it was recently extended. Judging from the amount asked and the long road ahead for the artist and his loved ones, there's significant need there.

* four different CR readers wrote in to ask me to take notice of this graphic novel project being crowd-funded by Alex Heberling.

* two other names I noticed in my walk-through of that material were Ben Dunn and Jim Lawson.

* finally, James Hudnall provides an update on his situation. I greatly appreciate him providing those updates if only because a severe, sudden health circumstance is something from which no one is immune.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through February 2015

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*****

January 28
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

January 29
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)

January 30
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)

January 31
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (Charlotte Mini-Con)

*****

February 1
* If I Were In Angouleme, I'd Go To This (FIBD)

February 5
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

February 6
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

February 8
* If I Were In Lodi, I'd Go To This

February 9
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

February 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

Feburary 13
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Shock Pop Comiccon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

Feburary 14
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Shock Pop Comiccon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)

Feburary 15
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Shock Pop Comiccon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)

February 19
* If Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (ComicsPRO Annual Meeting)

February 20
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This
* If Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (ComicsPRO Annual Meeting)

February 21
* If Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (ComicsPRO Annual Meeting)
* If I Were Near Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)

February 22
* If I Were Near Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)

February 27
* If I Were Near Warren, I'd Go To This (Great Lakes Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This

February 28
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)
* If I Were Near Warren, I'd Go To This (Great Lakes Comic-Con)

*****



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Go, Look: Day Of Doom

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Kevin Huizenga made a comic about Twitter. All Kevin Huizenga comics are worth reading.

image* go, look: Gary Panter draws William Shakespeare.

* love this formatting.

* it's not exactly comics, but here's the first review I've read of The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, which has made an impression during its Sundance debut. It's interesting to read how matter-of-fact the reviewer is about the source material and about the film's milieu including comics without making a big deal of either.

* someone at Biowars profiles Jack Kirby.

* I can't ever figure out if these pieces are written or compiled or what, but I enjoyed reading about the sometimes-unpleasant interior lives of the Peanuts characters. The relatively complex emotional lives of the Peanuts characters is frequently cited for what made a good strip a great one, and I mostly agree with it. One thing that frequently gets left out in terms of how children read it, I think, is that there's a range of kids with similarly off-key emotions from which a kid might pick. I couldn't figure out Charlie Brown when I was six, but I sure got Linus.

* finally, the SPX tumblr freeze-frames a rolling conversation about doing on the Internet and whether or not people are recruited for paying comics jobs from there. The answer is yes.
 
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Happy 36th Birthday, Damon Hurd!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Jacob Pander!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Sal Buscema!

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Happy 86th Birthday, Jules Feiffer!

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January 25, 2015


The World's Greatest Comics Collection

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Rare public sighting today of my favorite comics collection in the universe, the collection owned by my younger brother Dan.

Dan's collection has lived in two 18-beer Coors boxes ("the perfect size") for the bulk of its existence.

It is made up of:

1) a complete run of Badger comics.
2) 48 comics with Black Bolt in them.
3) 79 comics with Namor in them.

"That's really all you need," he says.
 
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Go, Read: The Incredible Shrinking Joe Franklin

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posted 4:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Another Face Comic

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 77th Birthday, Leiji Matsumoto!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Alan David Doane!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Chris Marshall!

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