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

June 30, 2014

By Request Extra: Hadn't Realized The Zak Sally-Linked Schoolhaus Project Had Gone To Kickstarter

They could use a white knight, or several white squires.
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By Request Extra: Please Put This Roman Muradov Kickstarter Over The Top And Then Some

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Go, Read: Her Baby Is At Risk; Lauren's Story

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Go, Read: Massive Barnaby Vol. 2 Interview; Phil Nel's Errata

imageIt's almost against comics' encoded DNA to get truly excited about a reprint project in the same way that fans get worked up about new comics. We have so many great reprints; you could have a satisfying relationshipo with comics at this point only reading stuff originally made 40 years and longer ago.

I haven't read a better book this year than the second volume of Fantagraphics' collection of the Crockett Johnson Barnaby strip. There's a lot of stuff in that volume I hadn't seen before, and more that I'd barely seen, so it was sort of like having a new book and, with it, new eyes on the project. Even as much of a fan of that work as I am, I was pleasantly surprised by how strong the strip remained in this second grouping of years, how the relentless narrative push of Johnson's comics mirrored the timelessness of a child's daily existence. There's no read in comics like it, and there never was.

Here's a lengthy interview performed by Chris Mautner over at Robot 6, good enough it's scared me off of doing one of my own. Here is project co-producer Phil Nel politely and enthusiastically engaging with corrections to that work, a model for how one should do that.
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Go, Bookmark: The Imitation Game

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Festivals Extra: SPX Fills Out 2014 Alt-Weekly Focus Guest Slate With A Bunch Of Appropriate Talent

This announcement was made last week, but I think it's worth noting before the moment totally passes. One of strengths of SPX is that it can go deep on its guest list due to the nature of the show, its desirability for a stopping point by potential on-site pros, and its general resources. After announcing Jules Feiffer, James Sturm and Lynda Barry in its first alt-weekly focus announcement -- a fine show right there with no one else added -- they named a second wave to include Tom Tomorrow, Jen Sorensen, Charles Burns and Ben Katchor. That is a really great line-up: Sorensen is also a good one for the 20th Anniversary celebration because that's where a lot of us remember first running into her (the award-winning editorial cartoonist was a student within driving distance). Charles Burns is one of the great comics artists. Tom Tomorrow and Ben Katchor rarely appear at show; I don't know if I've even met the former at any show, ever.

As we work our way into an era with so many good shows, how the individual shows execute a theme is going to be a bigger and bigger deal: this looks like an accomplished, thoughtful series of moves.

I also wonder if they're trying for Matt Groening, with Burns joining Barry.
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Go, Look: King Of The Mountain, Man

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By Request Extra: Locust Moon Finishing, Taking Initial Orders On Little Nemo Book Via Kickstarter

This crowd-funder on behalf of an already-rolling Little Nemo tribute project has already pushed past its goal, and there are more than three weeks to get on board if you want to get on board this way. I mention it here because something about it strikes as a potential future for high end book from established publishing companies. I'm not sure why it hits me that particular way, why it's distinct from any other project, but it does -- it's probably the limited purview for the money spent; it's close-the-circle, not fund-the-dream. I could see established companies running five or six such crowd-funders a year.

Interview here. Profile here.
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Go, Look: Hairy Scary

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Go, Read: Michael Cavna On Ultimate Auction Fate For Those Bill Watterson Pearl Before Swine Comics

Michael Cavna of the Washington Post has a full description here of something this site mentioned briefly in the HeroesCon report that went up Sunday -- the Pearl Before Swine strips exhibited there which included middle panels from reclusive legend Bill Watterson. They'll be going up for auction to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research as is the case with the Team Cul De Sac efforts. You can read the formal press release here.

I believe from what I've been told it's that great friend of quality comics Todd Hignite that will be spearheading things from the Heritage Auctions end, and they'll be donating from their usual fee to the foundation as well.

Watterson has been wonderfully supportive of Richard Thompson since the diagnosis. They are currently exhibiting one room apart from one another at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
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Go, Look: Super-Mystery Comics #2

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Pando Fires Ted Rall Along With David Sirota In Mini-Purge

Little explanation given. It's hard not to see this, as asserted throughout that piece, as some sort of amelioration for monied interests. In the journalist Sirota's case that's a shame since Pando's recent higher profile came due to his work. In the editorial cartoonist, editorial prose writer and sometimes journalist Rall's case, I imagine it sucks hard to lose a place where he could be well-supported for the kind of muck-raking and strident editorialization he likes to do. On the other hand, if you have to be tossed overboard, that's flattering company. I wish him the best in finding a new place of purchase and die a little bit inside about the shape of any and all well-funded journalism.
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Go, Look: Anthony Piper

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Missed It: Ulli Lust Wins Max And Moritz Prize

Discovered at this late date here, in a post by her North American publisher. I'm actually more familiar with that prize program -- it's affiliated with the festival in Erlangen -- for its lifetime achievement award, which this year went to Ralf Konig. I don't know if that's similar to the big "The Reuben" and then a bunch of divisional NCS awards, or what -- but the one Lust one is right up there. I believe it shares the same prize money, if I'm looking at these site's correctly and seeing prize money.

The original posts notes that Lust's autobiographical work was also the winner of the LA Times Book Prize in its category and received an Ignatz.

This is a juried awards program.
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Go, Look: Three Josh Bayer Drawing Commissions

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Critics Group ACBD Celebrates 30 Years; Releases Latest Lists

imageI enjoyed this article over at the French-language comics news clearinghouse about the 30th anniversary of L'Association des Journalists et des critics de la bande dessinée. The article deals with the shift from a combination of local newspaper writer and hobbyists to more of a sprawling organization that includes writers for national and international publications. Rare for an article like this one, Gilles Ratier is singled out for his work in providing that organization with a bit of analytical heft year-in, year-out.

They also released two lists: a summer books recommendations list and the nominees for their Asian book prize, with announcement of the winner coming in about a week at the Japan Expo. The former list includes a few familiar names including Riad Sattouf, Manu Larcenet and Blutch.

Summer Indispensibles List

* Amère Russie Volume One: Les Amazones, Bassaiev d'Anlor et Aurélien Ducoudray (Éditions Grand Angle)
* L'Arabe du futur: une jeunesse au Moyen-Orient (1978-1984), Riad Sattouf (Éditions Allary)
* Blast Volume Four: Pourvu que les bouddhistes se trompent, Manu Larcenet (Éditions Dargaud)
* Chamisso, l'homme qui a perdu son ombre, Daniel Casanave et David Vandermeulen (Éditions Le Lombard)
* Charly 9, Richard Guérineau d'après Jean Teulé (Éditions Delcourt)
* Choc Volume One: Les Fantomes de Knightgrave, Éric Maltaite et Stéphane Colman (Éditions Dupuis)
* Le Dahlia noir, Miles Hyman et Matz d'après James Ellroy et David Fincher (Éditions Casterman)
* Docteur Radar, tueur de savants, Frédéric Bézian et Noel Simsolo (Éditions Glénat)
* Le Fils du yéti, Didier Tronchet (Éditions Casterman)
* Lune l'envers, Blutch (Éditions Dargaud)
* La Machine a influencer, Josh Neufeld et Brooke Gladstone (Éditions Ca et la)
* Mattéo Volume Three: Troisième époque (aout 1936), Jean-Pierre Gibrat (Éditions Futuropolis)
* Moby Dick Volume One: Livre premier, Christophe Chabouté d'après Herman Melville (Éditions Vents d'Ouest)
* Moderne Olympia, Catherine Meurisse (Éditions Futuropolis/Musée d'Orsay)
* La Nueve: les républicains espagnols qui ont libéré Paris, Paco Roca (Éditions Delcourt)
* Rouge comme la neige, Christian de Metter (Éditions Casterman)
* Une affaire de caractères, Francois Ayroles (Éditions Delcourt)
* Les Vieux Fourneaux, Paul Cauuet et Wilfrid Lupano (Éditions Dargaud Benelux)
* La Vision Bacchus, Jean Dytar (Éditions Delcourt)
* Wet Moon Vols. 1-2, Atsushi Kaneko (Éditions Casterman-Sakka)

Prix Asie L'ACBD Nominees

A winner will be named at the Japan Expo next weekend.

* Cesare, Fuyumi Soryo (Ki-oon)
* Le Chef de Nobunaga, Takuro Kajikawa & Mitsuru Nishimura (Komikku)
* San Mao, le petit vagabond Zhang Leping (Fei)
* Space Brothers, Chuya Koyama (Pika)
* Wet Moon, Atsushi Kaneko (Sakka)
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Go, Look: An Entirely Different Kind Of Labour Union

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Jeremy Eaton Opens Up A Home Gallery In Seattle


The cartoonist Jeremy Eaton has opened up a home gallery to show off his various works, and to provide them to patrons at a price he promises will be below the price for which they're available on-line. Eaton's a talented artist and one of the nicest men to ever work in comics, so I hope if you're in Seattle you'll take advantage. As mentioned above, Eaton's e-mail to arrange a viewing is I know that a lot of cartoonists have work at home, but I'm not sure I've ever seen this kind of thing attempted to this degree.

His on-line shop is here.
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Go, Read: Moebius' Brief Manual For A Cartoonist

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* two projects big enough they got their own posts were launched last week: a gofundme campaign for SLG Publishing; a fund-raiser related to the late Dave Cockrum's The Futurians project. They continue and I hope you'll check out both.

image* here's one I hadn't noticed: my peer Henry Chamberlain, who also makes comics, has a gofundme thing going. I hope that this will attract the attention of at least a few of the other writers about comics and that they'll attempt a small donation.

* last few hours on the Hunt Emerson-related crowd-funder.

* here's one that was sent along to me that looks to be in the fleshy middle of its crowd-funding journey: a collection of DA Bishop's Stranger.

* last few hours on Cringe.

* I don't see a lot of cons crowd-funding and I'm not sure I've ever seen one of the local library-hosted pop-up cons go down that road, so this one from Pennsylvania stood out.

* this Juan Navarro fundraiser has already raced past its goal, but there's plenty of time to participate.

* this P. Craig Russell crowd-funder has surged past the important halfway point.

* finally, this animated project that would have employed the talents of that fine cartoonist Pat Moriarity, well, it doesn't look to have ever gained that initial burst of attention and subsequent traction.
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Go, Look: More Herb Trimpe Hulk Splash Pages

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Go, Look: Fun Food Facts With The Ramones

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Zainab Akhtar Nathan Wilson on Graphic Ink. That is one odd cover-image choice. Chris Sims on Station 38. Abhay Khosla on a big pile of old comics. Tom Bondurant on Superman #32. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Super Secret Crisis War #1. Jordan Speer on QCHQ. Rob Clough on War Of Streets And Houses. Sean T. Collins on Sorry Kid. John Seven on Truth Is Fragmentary.

* on physics-related comics.

* a bunch of not comics: 1) Here's the case for Irma Vep as a superhero movie. Maybe people should just not do this. 3) I'm not a fan of these cartoons or of nostalgic commercials using minor pop culture elements (yes, that's enough of a thing I can have an opinion on it), but if you're going to do it, go all in. 4) Dan Nadel talks to Brian Chippendale about his music.

* hail to the King.

* I'm nerdy enough to have owned all of the original X-Men comics, but I never thought of Magneto's face reveal as a big moment.

* Albert Ching talks to Gerard Way. Matt O'Keefe talks to Jim Zub.

* finally, here's a short piece on the role of bullying in geek subcultures. I'm not sure there's a lot of clarity in that piece -- it was hard for me to sort out its main points -- and that precede full engagement with their content, but it's always healthy to be negotiating that material. Comics is responsible for an industry, a fan and an event culture, which is a lot.
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Christopher Priest!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Shawn McManus!

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