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

















April 25, 2014


Go, Look: The Date

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a first long-form comic from a student of Frank Santoro's correspondence course
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* this is interesting, a tumblr devoted to those comics that garner a certain amount of attention on tumblr before being posted there. There are some good comics and some bad comics, but it's sort of fascinating to see some of the connective threads, like certain subject matter that repeats.

* Dave Kellet sent along the following, a chance to watch the movie Stripped! while the filmmakers tweet at you:
This Saturday at 7PM PST, we're going to hold a worldwide viewing and live-tweet of Stripped.

Basically, the entire world will hit “play” on the film AT THE SAME TIME, then we'll all watch it together. And on Twitter, the directors and producers behind the film will answer questions, give behind-the-scenes info, and share stories we haven’t told yet...as this or that scene comes up. We think it'll be fun. Here are the deets:

WHO: Directors Fred Schroeder (@fredschroeder), Dave Kellett (@davekellett) and Associate Producer Jen Troy (@JenTr0y)
WHAT: Worldwide Live-Tweet Viewing of STRIPPED, using hashtag #strippedfilm
WHEN: This Saturday, April 26th, exactly at 7PM PST / 10PM EST / 3AM (Sunday) GMT
WHERE: At your place and on Twitter! Just get comfy on the couch, hit “play”, then follow the hashtag #strippedfilm on Twitter, or you can ask questions of the folks behind the film: @fredschroeder @davekellett @JenTr0y
HOW: Using the technological magic of Two-Screens-At-Once™, you can watch a movie AAAAND absent-mindedly check your phone at the same time. smile
That sounds like fun, particularly if you want another "in" with that film.

* Gary Tyrrell looks at the very successful recent Smut Peddler 2014 kickstarter in terms of the numbers involved as indicators of overall success; I found that interesting. This might have gone better in the "By Request" column, actually, but I think both Tyrrell and that book are creatures of webcomics culture to the extent it's okay to put it here.

* finally, I totally missed the initial announcement, but The Cattle Raid Of Cooley has begun its last chapter.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2014

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*****

April 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This

April 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Wales, I'd Go To This (Wales Comic Con)
* If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

April 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Jackson, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

*****

May 1
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Auckland, I'd Go To This

May 2
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This

May 3
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Arizona, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This
* If Were In The Baltimore Area, I'd Go To This

May 4
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Purchase, I'd Go To This

May 7
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

May 8
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

May 9
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 11
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

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

May 15
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This

May 16
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Philly, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

May 18
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

May 23
* If I Were In Philly, I'd Go To This

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 25
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 30
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 31
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
* f I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hartford, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

*****

Ongoing
* Edward Gorey at Loyola University in Chicago (Through June 15)

*****

This post is designed to list events through February 2014, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

*****
*****
*****
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Champ Comics #23

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Yuck. Good on the site for taking that down within minutes. I think messageboard and comments policy is something that every site may have to revisit in the weeks and months ahead, and that's a difficult area considering the traffic involved and how anything in that neighborhood of concern has free-speech elements.

image* Richard Bruton on Valerian And Laureline Volume Seven: On The False Earths. Zainab Akhtar on Thermohalia. Daryl Cagle on Trackrat. James Kaplan on The Private Eye.

* look at all the supermen.

* Alex Dueben talks to Stefano Raffaele.

* Umberto Eco, comics maker.

* Andrew Weiss goes after the notion that fans collectively or individually have power over entertainment media decisions. I agree with him that such power is usually overstated, I suspect to flatter that hardcore fandom.

* I always make fun of people who find out about stuff through cartoons or satirical TV shows, but I had no idea this was a law.

* here's one of those comments-thread driven posts from the site io9 on the best Marvel Comics story. I don't know that I've ever thought about it in exactly those terms before. I think the best run of comics that Marvel ever published is that set of Fantastic Four comic books from the introduction of the Inhumans through the Him issues (#44-67), but like a lot of comics of that era I'm not sure how effectively it conforms to being seen as a single story.

* not comics: yikes.

* here's a nice post showing some of the hands-on archival work for the SPX collection at the Library Of Congress. That Drew Weing mini is indeed a very good mini.

* finally, I stumbled across this now-defunct cover-focused site due to I think a twitter mention; I wonder how many sites like that there are out there, valuable yet no longer updated. I bet it's a ton -- I know a lot of people that have switched over from doing any kind of blog to established social media platforms only.
 
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Happy 87th Birthday, Albert Uderzo!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Peter Sanderson!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Milo George!

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Go, Bid: Stan And Sharon Sakai Art Auctions Going On eBay

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April 24, 2014


Go, Look: Just One

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posted 2:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Kevin Kallaugher Wins The Thomas Nast Award

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The cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher, who works as KAL primarily for the Baltimore Sun and The Economist, has won this year's Thomas Nast Award as given out by the Overseas Press Club of America. It is that group's 75th anniversary; the Nast Award has been going out to editorial cartoonists since 1968. The citation notes this cartoons' "visual élan" which I agree is a notable strength of Kallaugher's at a time when that's not the way you'd describe a significant number of editorial cartoon-makers, even some very good ones.

I believe the program is tonight...? I'm not sure how that works. I know there's prize money involved in addition to the prestige attached to the name an an organization old enough google image searches yield men in top hats. Congratulations to Mr. Kallaugher.
 
posted 2:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Almost Full Coverage

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posted 2:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Janelle Asselin On Her Recent Experiences Including Multiple Screenshots Of Threats Made

Here. It could be that some of the screenshots of the threats -- taken from Asselin's survey of sexual harassment in comics, which I encourage every person eligible to take before it comes down in a few days -- appeared in other article, but I hadn't seen them. It is really painful to see someone have to make a case to work in an arts industry, as Asselin does at the article's conclusion, particuarly someone that has a lot to offer an industry that has so much going for it right now. That's where we are, though. We've made our proclamations and we've drawn our lines in the sand, in some cases for a third or fourth time; next time we'll be judged on our progress rather than our intentions.
 
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Go, Look: The Two Questions

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posted 2:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Enroll: Zak Sally Presents Schoolhaus

Were my life organized in a different way so that it were possible, I would love to go the College Of Zak Sally Creative Knowledge, a program called Schoolhaus he's teaching with Dan Ibarra. Sally is an obvious multi-disciplinarian when it cames to the arts, although even just to do comics in a way where you're managing different elements of the wider production process, that would seem to me to qualify a lot of folks to teach in this manner. Sounds fun.
 
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Go, Read: Manga -- A Place To Start

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posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Brian Hibbs On Amazon.com Purchasing comiXology

The retailer and direct market industry advocate Brian Hibbs wrote a piece about the Amazon.com purchase of comiXology that bears reading, like the vast majority of what Brian pens. It isn't dismissive or backwards-sounding; although there are critical elements. I think there are reasons to remain skeptical about that partnership for the long term; that hesitation on the very fundamental part of the deal where more of the publishing industry gets placed into Amazon's hands, that's something that came up when I talked to publishers, even publishers super-enthusiastic about the acquisition. Just as it's wrong to automatically assume an independent virtue of keeping the old system for the sake of the old system, so is it misguided to make a virtue out of abstract principles over how the companies and creators benefit.

I do find some of Hibbs's broader assertions curious, particuarly when they depend on idealized elements of the market. There are some great comics shops out there that carry a sizable array of comics and can direct people to work and build readers; there are also shops that don't even carry the "weirder" Marvel/DC books. There are about 20 cities in all of the US where I'll send someone I know to a comics shop rather than Amazon.com when they're looking for a specific trade or even shopping for a general kind of comic, at least without massive qualification.

I think the comparison of this to Diamond's exclusive-driven dominance of the direct market back in the 1990s is reasonably apt, particularly in terms of how that deal developed: it turns out that was not armageddon, but you could argue that was a massive blow, particularly in the broad potential of that market not reaching its potential in certain ways, even to the limited extent they used to. One hopes for the best outcome here as well, and I think the way this deal went down means that there's a greater chance people will be pushing the business in that direction.
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sunbakerey

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posted 1:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: LARB Blog On Netflix And Television Canon

The writer Sean T. Collins pointed out via twitter this article by Anne Helen Petersen on the role that the easy availability of certain television shows may have on the canon-building efforts by an emerging generation of media critics. It's one of those articles that's stuffed full of interesting insights and revelatory moments even if, like me, you find its central premise deeply disturbing and many of those individual moments darkly humorous.

I do think that it does have something to say about comics, though, in that a broader audience than actual critics-to-be are definitely going to be influenced by what is closest and most ubiquitous and a part of their consumption lives just as they are by what hits, what leaves a mark, what is powerful and affecting. While I always caution people away from thinking the end goal of every artistic pursuit is maximizing audience and profit (and those aren't even the same thing anymore), I think there are likely some takeaways in there for putting comics on-line and how, and also reference points for re-examining older structures, like the fact I'm uncertain if there exists any sort of infrastructure that might bring second- and third-generation alt/arts comics makers to a wide audience based on print alone.

I'm not sure I'd want to be on the business side of comics over the next 15 years, although that's where all the opportunities are in terms of making the particularly artistic endeavor a better place.
 
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Go, Look: excellence & genius

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: WonderCon 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of WonderCon, held April 18-20 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

*****

Institutional
* Convention Site
* Festival Location
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Andy Fish
* asmzine

* Comic Spectrum
* Crabcat

* Dork Up

* Josh Shalek

* Mike The Fanboy

* optik nourishment

* Pop Culture Maven

* Stuart Ng Books

* The Adventures Of Obi-Rus Kenobi
* The Chris Jones Gaming Network
* The Collective
* The Voice Of E

Facebook
* WonderCon Page

News Stories and Columns
* Advocate
* Bleeding Cool 01
* Comic Vine
* Daily Trojan
* Hero Complex
* New York Daily News
* Sonia Harris At Comics Should Be Good

Photos
* bhampton1963
* coffeemarc
* daryl k
* Doug Luberts
* White Rose

Twitter
* #wondercon
* con account
* Landry Walker
* Skottie Young

Video
* ellivllams
* FBC
* geekworldradio

*****



*****

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*****
*****
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Carry Me

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* unlike the last couple of weekends, the majority of the focus this Friday to Sunday will be one show: C2E2 in Chicago. There should also be some folks crossing over to do stuff at the Brooklyn Zine Fest. C2E2's an interesting show. That one actually got off to a rough start, but has since slowly built itself back up to a valued stop for the folks that do the more mainstream-focused shows. Also, Chicago is the greatest. It also didn't really vanquish Chicago's Wizard show but as it turns out that's a region of the country that can support more than one show with that set of emphases. I think it's interesting I could not tell you any guest for that show to save my life, which shows just how those shows basically act as their own headliners now.

* here's a nice piece at The Beat about getting to and from that show. There's some fanciful stuff that went over my head, but the majority of the real-world advice seem practical and well-considered. I recall there was also some discussion early on with that show how much people in the Chicago area liked going to the McCormick Place at all, another issue that I assume has been largely settled.

* here's a reasonably late -- by today's standards only -- report on Linework NW on Panel Patter. And here is one from PSU Vanguard.

* Conundrum Press has their TCAF schedule up, a sign that publisher in the alt-/arts- world are really focusing in on that one now. That's a major event any year in that world, and by that world I really mean "comics" at this point, not just smaller press or art comics. Here's a snapshot of their small press area.

* I totally missed this report from Maura McHugh on one of the MCM conventions, this one in Ireland.

* I'm not sure that I've seen enough on-line about FLUKE, but there are a few things here and there and it looks like a fun show. That's not FLUKE's fault. Almost no one writes con reports anymore but the big shows still have enough saturation in terms of attendance to make a "collective memory" possible. Maybe I'm wrong; if someone knows of a ton of links, let me know! Here's one from the Dollar Bin podcast.

* finally, I'll be staying at the Hilton this year during HeroesCon, so if you're going to be there, too, we'll have a drink or play a game of HORSE at the YMCA connected to it. Everyone else will be over at the Westin, so we'll have to stick together.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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