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
















July 25, 2017


Comics Workbook Announces Its Composition Competition

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Here. A lot of interesting work bursts out of this contest every year, and there are prizes beyond what you learn completing a project according to the Frank Santoro-established guidelines for comics creation.

image from Paul Daniel's 2016 entry
 
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Go, Look: Sara Kipin

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News Special Comic-Con And Pre-Con Announcements 2017

By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a ton more stuff to come, and if I can get my shit together I'll present what's left that seems worth noting in next week's column or as stand-alone. For now, here's what struck me as important in a classic publishing-news sense from Comic-Con International 2017.

image* there will be three new character-driven series in the Hellboy-verse, one of the great solid performers of modern times.

* here's one that seems a bit underplayed: one more volume of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen; one more volume of comics in the careers of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. That one starts next June. I like much of that work, and of course Moore in particular is a top 10 all-time comics-maker in terms of influence. This one sounds like a story to be developed and revisited in the months ahead.

* in my favorite announcements of Comic-Con 2017, Drawn and Quarterly confirmed they'll be collecting and publishing two great serials of the alternative comics era: Berlin in Fall 2018 and Clyde Fans in 2019. They will also be doing a kind of archival treatment of Dirty Plotte with a bunch of support material -- that book already sounds amazing.

* Ed Piskor will be doing a major story-of X-Men series for Marvel over the next few Decembers. That should be fun, and it's forward thinking for the company to let an artist like Piskor provide his take on characters for which I'm assuming he has some affection. It's sort of like DC talking about publishing sellable bookstore perennials, but a different company doing one and not through their serials and events.

* this is potentially interesting: Glenat and IDW partnering on original graphic novel creation. That's going to be all about execution given the crowded market, but the structure is there for support for sure. Nothing blows me away in the first group announced, although Mike Carey is a writer of interest, particularly working with Peter Gross.

* Fantagraphics I don't think announced anything at the show except the completion of the fourth volume in the Pogo series, which is announcement enough. Those are pretty glorious comics, some of the best looking of all time, and I think this is a nice time to place volumes like that into libraries because I don't think that great strip has had a second life even to the extent that a few other equally popular strips have.

* there will also be expansion in the Wildstorm imprint supervised by Warren Ellis. I think that's a good thing. I want to see where that model heads.

* on July 12 Lion Forge Comics expands its all-ages ClubHouse imprint with Glint: Loon's Army, from Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty.

* Frank Miller announced via panel drop-in that he and John Romita Jr. will be doing a Superman: Year One graphic novel. This fits into DC's asserted general strategy of the moment: emphasizing the jumpstart of potential bookstore perennials across several categories. Both of them can still be intriguing artists, although I have to say I can't work up much enthusiasm for another version of an old character.

* Superman to fight Dr. Manhattan soon, or whatever. Man, that thing sounds super-dumb.

* it doesn't get much more solid publishing new of the sweet, sweet books-to-come variety than details for lines arriving from two former DC/Vertigo stalwarts: Shelly Bond's Black Crown line at IDW: Karen Berger's Berger Books group at Dark Horse.

* so many, many, many comics hitting a market that can't handle the comics being published. We're France now.

* finally, Marvel continues to fill out its Legacy publishing slate. Like most of the DC launches this century, I can't tell the difference between these comics and random comics from 2008, say, but maybe I'm not supposed to.
 
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Go, Look: Bianca Xunise

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

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)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

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)

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)

*****

Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Freddy Carrasco

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Nisemonogatari: Fake Tale Vol. 1

* this article is interesting. I think DC's doing an okay job right now of creating the best books they can and looking at wide strategies. I disagree with some of their plans and arguments. It's pretty cheeky for DC to suggest they need a new generation of stand-alone works like Watchmen when they spent the last five years being pretty bad stewards of that work as a book of literary value and stand-alone importance. I suspect most of what would make DC a better place isn't strategizing. My hunch is that it's execution and return/reward: execution by making DC a place where every single pro I know doesn't at some point in my first 30 minutes of talking to them tell me what a horrible pain in the ass it is to work at DC, return/reward by providing a way to attract top talent increasingly looking towards creating their own work and controlling their own media rights. I think the deals with Warren Ellis and Gerard Way are more interesting than the bulk that's been discussed here: at least that's a new model.

* finally, RJ Casey talks to Jason Murphy.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Dan Shahin!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Ray Billingsley!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Jon Lewis!

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Happy 76th Birthday, S. Clay Wilson!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Alex Wald!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Chip Bok!

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July 24, 2017


Go, Look: The United States

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you have to look around for these a bit
 
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AAEC Makes Statement On Nick Anderson's Firing

imageThe AAEC through its board of directors issued a statement Wednesday about the recent firing of editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson by the Houston Chronicle.

The Chronicle is a Hearst Communications publication. Anderson joined the paper in 2006.

The Board of Directors of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has released a statement on Nick Anderson and his firing by the Houston Chronicle/Hearst Communications:
"The firing of Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson is a misguided, short-term cost cutting maneuver by the Houston Chronicle and Hearst Communications. The elimination of his position now means there isn't one on-staff newspaper editorial cartoonist in the entire state of Texas to provide local visual commentary and hold the state government accountable to its citizens.

"Editorial cartoonists are a historically important and powerful component of American journalism. Editorial cartoons are very popular with readers; they look to their local cartoonist to provide satirical observations of their representatives and government officials. Especially in these times where our country's free press is under attack by the current administration, the work of editorial cartoonists resonates with Americans and provide a vital component of the political dialogue that our democracy needs in order to thrive.

"While we acknowledge the financial challenges publishers face with the online market, eliminating original content is not the answer.

"We denounce the actions of Hearst Communications in their short-sighted cost cuts at the expense of the health of the editorial cartoonist profession and journalism in general."
Signing the letter are Ann Telnaes (AAEC President), Pat Bagley (President-Elect), Nate Beeler (Vice President), Monte Wolverton (Secretary-Treasurer) and Adam Zyglis, (immediate past President). Three board members also signed: Ed Hall, Kevin Siers and Signe Wilkinson. Anderson is a past president of the organization, and is probably still best known for winning the Pulitzer in 2005 while at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Although staffed editorial cartoonist firings seem more rare than they were in the previous decade, that's in part because there are far fewer position out there that could conceivably be at risk. I believe the most thriving papers find some way to use an editorial cartoonist on staff: local cartoons, web site enhancements, sales-through-personality. Anderson is widely syndicated and highly skilled and won't see his voice silenced by the move by any means, making the loss one that gets passed to paper and readers.
 
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Go, Look: Sara Corbett

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* here's hoping that Hero Initiative and CBLDF had great San Diego weekends; that's a vital time on the calendar for both of those traditional comics charities.

* Hero House in Indianapolis could use some help.

* Clifford Meth would like you to consider helping Guy and Marnie Dorian with Marnie's unexpected medical bills. That seems like a nice cause. Meth is also raising money for the Rich Buckler Memorial Scholarship and for a prose book project featuring his own work.

* finally, it would be great if We're Still Here could end up 5X or 7X initial ask.
 
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Go, Listen: Brian Heater Talks To David Lloyd

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

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)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

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)

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)

*****

Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

*****



*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Nou

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on the comics of Andrew White. John Seven on You & A Bike & A Road.

* this picture got a lot of attention. That's a lovely moment, and I'm happy for kids that were previously kept from seeing themselves in heroic roles in mass entertainment now beginning to have opportunities to see themselves that way. I think most people agree on that. I hope that's clear even when some of us distrust the corporate nature of some of these characters or are confused a bit wondering how healthy it might be for adults to have that same relationship to licensed properties that kids might.

* in case you missed it, Flo Steinberg passed away. She was a notably nice person in a medium that has thousands of them, an important cog in the Marvel Comics culture of the 1960s, a key publisher in underground-to-independent comics and an object lesson for the ages in that her late 1960s departure from Marvel is a perfect example of how many of these companies have been unable to properly reward smart, capable people, particularly when they're not white males.

* finally, Todd Allen speculates about possible DC tweaks in format regarding OGNs.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Robert Greenberger!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Steven Stwalley!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Mark Andrew Smith!

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Pat Oliphant!

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