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
















July 31, 2015


Five For Friday #425: Four Or Less

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Five For Friday #425 Name Five Comics-Related Things That Never -- Or Haven't Yet -- Made It To Five

1. Issues Of D'Arc Tangent
2. Years Of Marvel Self-Distributing Through Heroes World
3. Times The Comics Reporter Will Ever Win An Eisner
4. Guest Appearances By Stan Lee On Thicke Of The Night
5. Peanuts Dailies Starring Ethan

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Go, Look: An Australian Cartoonist Explains Brooklyn

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Go, Look: All Things Hank Chapman

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Go, Look: Strange Tales #87

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OTBP: Birthday

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Go, Watch: Alison Bechdel On Seth Meyers

I hadn't heard about this at all, but Bechdel is one of the great ambassadors for comics and it's great to see her appreciated in public as many time as she's ever interested in doing this kind of appearance.
 
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Go, Look: How Not To Get A Cartoon In The New Yorker

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the writer Brigid Alverson profiles an attempt by Cartozia Tales to round up funding for the last few issues by using existing inventory as a sales inducement.

* this Shea Hennum article about the failure to cover a prominent manga story also has a webcomics element worth reading.

* I can't find a link, but Ivan Salazar sent out a press release on the 30th noting the move of 1700 single issues to the Kindle store as part of a double-move: renew their relationship with comiXology, begin a relationship with Amazon and its Kindle platform and the single-issues level.

* here's the Archie Digital Comics page, if you wondered about their options more generally.

* finally, as expected this year's TopatoCon keeps adding exhibitors and looks to be a sizable presence on the calendar from its opening show.
 
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If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2015

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*****

August 1
* If I Were In Tampa, I'd Go To This (Tampa Bay Comic Con)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 2
* If I Were In Bristol, I'd Go To This (Rob-Con)
* If I Were In Tampa, I'd Go To This (Tampa Bay Comic Con)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 6
* If I Were In Tampa, I'd Go To This

August 7
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

August 8
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Dover, I'd Go To This (Dover Comic Con)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 9
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

August 14
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 15
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This (Dublin Zine Fair)

August 16
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This (Dublin Zine Fair)

August 22
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 28
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

August 29
* If I Were In Auckland, I'd Go To This (Auckland Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

August 30
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

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September 3
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)

September 4
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)

September 5
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)
* If I Were In Birmingham, I'd Go To This (ICE)

September 6
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (SF Zine Fest)

September 7
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 10
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 11
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 12
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 13
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 14
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 15
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 16
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 17
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 18
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)

September 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were Near Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Brisbane, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were Near Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Brisbane, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)

September 21
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 23
* If I Were In Winston-Salem, I'd Go To This

September 24
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)

September 25
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)

September 26
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Greensboro, I'd Go To This

September 27
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)

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Events For September 2015 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: The Many Ghosts Of Dr. Graves #1

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* happy 7th birthday, Comic Riffs!

image* Todd Klein on Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland #4. Scott Cederlund on Hellboy In Hell #7.

* someone e-mailed this excerpt of a Warren Ellis article to me. Starting with finished art and then cutting it open and figuring out how it was made is always a good idea if someone is wishing for a long career in doing any kind of creative work. Copying is good, too, if the component parts are easier to figure out.

* Shawn Starr talks to Steve Blatchford.

* old gunslingers are nearly always great characters, so it's nice to see Star Wars dig into one of the great blank canvasses in its closet.

* I linked to this panel transcript once already, but it's kind of amazing the number of casual insights into Japanese publishing so having run across it again I'll recommend it again.

* finally, apply here for Genghis Con.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Nate Powell!

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Happy 34th Birthday, Jog!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Alex Holden!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Leinil Francis Yu!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Gary Barker!

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Happy Franklin Day, Everyone!

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I believe this is a movie promotion, but I've always been fond of the sequence in which the character first appeared on this date in 1968
 
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July 30, 2015


Go, Look: Dogs And Wi-Fi Mini

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Festivals Extra: Denver Group Announces An Alt-Show Called DINK For March 2016

imagePeople are drooling over photos of the Sherman Street Event Center, the space being used for a new indie/alt show launching in March 2016: DINK (Denver Independent Comic And Art Expo). The first version is set for March 25-26 in that great American city, and is brought to you by two veterans with ties to the extremely successful Denver Comic Con.

That's a city that could use a good show like this one if it comes off: there are a lot of creative people there, but the city is isolated enough that it frequently gets flown over when it's time for a tour.

I love that part of the country and hope to attend if it proves to be a good show.
 
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Go, Look: Kevin O'Neill Pin-Ups

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Festivals Extra: We're In The Final Hours For CAKE's Cupcake Award Entry Cycle

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I probably run too many articles on this specific award, but I'm fond of awards that both make sense in terms of who's giving it and offers real stuff. I would think these would be all fine things to have if you're a cartoonist of a certain age. You have scant hours to apply.

 
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Go, Look: The Lost World

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Go, Read: Shea Hennum On Attack On Titan's Story Vs. Star Wars #1 News From A While Back

imageShea Hennum has a well-timed article here comparing a story about the Attack On Titan property from Hajime Isayama having 2.5 million copies of its 15 volumes in circulation and the reaction to Marvel attaching a one million sold number to a Star Wars comic when they relaunched that franchise under its own banner a while back. The one million sold into the direct market was a deeply qualified number, including a substantial purchase for a bundled-together gift package and an ice planet's worth of cover incentives. Hennum also brings in an analysis of heavily-circulated web comics.

I'm not sure beyond Milton Griepp that anyone covers numbers-related stories in broader, reliable, workmanlike fashion; I don't link to any numbers in a systematic way at this point, and I tend to shy away from number stories even when I might think they're important because I lack the tools and skill to vet them properly. I hope I can get better at covering comics this way. I should have covered both of these stories as best I could but covered neither which puts me way behind even those that covered the Star Wars over the Attack On Titan. Ideally, I imagine they both should be covered. Selling one figure into one market doesn't necessarily inform how another figure sells into another market. The formats are even different. You can't accept the publisher's narrative on the Star Wars on its face and you can't countenance the idea that manga sales into a bookstore market isn't a comics story.

So what do I think? While the Star Wars sales seem to indicate the continuing ability of bigger publishers to game their numbers in the direct market and perhaps even manufacture a hit from a solid performer by tying up so much non-returnable money into a single segment, the Attack On Titan sales figure strikes me as positive story that properties that hit with a fan base can be significant publishing events across a series, and that this can be sustained over time with a lot of emphasis at the front of a line. It suggests that Attack On Titan is a legitimate item of curiosity and perceived source for quality comics from North American readers, where the Star Wars comics number seem more like an shotgun wedding with a lot of bells and whistles pushing us to a pre-arranged outcome matching a certain kind of reader with a new comic book that brings a familiar version of prefigured thrills. It should be intriguing how -- and if -- interest is sustained in the Star Wars comics, which isn't at question with the Attack On Titan, or at least not as big a question. There's also a nearly concurrent release schedule with the different languages, which is not how the big hits of the '00s always worked. It would also indicate to me that anime shows need to be covered more effectively for publishing news, which isn't a sorting mechanism I've previously employed.

I'm also always interested when one of the young comics-makers in the manga tradition has a big hit, mostly in contrast to the American model where that's much less common. Not so much the case with Star Wars, which seems like it's been around since 1845. Then again, I should have picked up on all of this a while ago.
 
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