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



















February 23, 2017


Go, Look: True Classroom Flubs & Fluffs

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* TCAF keeps inviting wave after wave of special guests. It's terrifying and very, very impressive. Looks more and more like a great show. I'll see you there.

* they're still adding shows.

* most folks I know have settled in on Emerald City, not just as a show they're doing but as the first show of the year in practical if not literal terms. At the end of March a big bunch of shows will make perfectly clear that we are a-conventioning again.

* did you read Bart's article on this year's Fauve D'or winner? It's good!

* Lauren Orsini discusses Cosmunity.

* finally, exhibitor applications for the show I help organize, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), will start up March 1.
 
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If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Steve Ditko Draws Dr. Graves

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Mockingbird: I Can Explain.

* they are going to fire up the Comics Workbook engine for the Spring flights soon.

* somebody talks to Ben Marra. Gil Roth talks to the great Patrick McDonnell. It's about time for all of us to once again start appreciating McDonnell more openly and actively. A bunch of wieners talks to Emily Carroll. Alex Dueben talks to Jamie Delano.

* okay. Sure. Whatever.

* not comics: this happens to a lot of people these days. It hasn't happened to me yet. I've had people withdraw from me for political positions in the past, usually ones that were classic left/liberal ones. It always breaks my heart, but I get it.

* finally, Frank Santoro talks to Mickey Z about Risograph printing.
 
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Happy 69th Birthday, Doug Moench!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Craig Yoe!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Shawn Cheng!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Tom Peyer!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Rick Bradford!

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February 22, 2017


Today Is The Day We're To Celebrate 40 Years Of 2000 AD

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That's what the press releases tell me. There's been stuff on-line and a bit of material in the real world. It's a good anniversary to celebrate. That publication and its spawn has been foundational for key readers and influential creators for most if not all of its existence. Within the UK market and in terms of creative opportunities, it kind of encompasses the indie part of the states' indie/alt comics but also the prestige mainstream lines that developed along the way, frequently employing many of the same people that put their time in on the weeklies. It is a cultural positive.

The thing I think of first when I think of 2000 AD is what a goddamn splendid comics writing career John Wagner's had, including loads of material for the publication in question and work in the general school of comics to which it gave birth. It's hard to think of someone else in comics that has worked in a similar milieu that well for that many years. While I'm sure there are several if you include all of the world traditions of comics-making, I'm certain they could fit into a coat room. But why compare? Wagner's achievements have been all his own and lag far behind the respect he deserves for their making. And past Wagner there's a line of many, many, many more. Thanks for the comics.
 
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Go, Look: Adventure

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OTBP/Bundled Extra: The Great Oliver East Has A New Comic Book Out In Rolling Stock #1

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Oliver East's new book Rolling Stock #1 sells for under $6 USD, it looks like, which is a doable content expenditure even for something from overseas. Oliver East is one of my favorite cartoonists. He specializes in urban exploration, either as the main line of narrative for a book or as a starting point on which to riff on history, culture and personality.

Don't take his apologizing for the in the presentation linked-to as anything more than politeness.
 
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Go, Look: Art Adams Re-Draws Silver Age Covers

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Bundled Extra: Secret Acres Announces Debut Graphic Novel From Keren Katz -- The Academic Hour

imageKeren Katz is one of the more interesting talents to appear this decade, with a foot in several artistic expressions. She's had homemade work at various MoCCA Festival as idiosyncratic and fun as anything you might have in your hands as you walk away from that show. A debut graphic novel from Secret Acres seems an auspicious pairing.

Their description: "The Academic Hour charts the romance between Pothel, a disgraced architecture professor, and his student, Liana. Told in a series of surreal, vibrant vignettes, and set in a fantastic, logic-defying college of shifting rooms and secret performance spaces, The Academic Hour affirms how an intense, fledgling relationship can ignite the impulse for storytelling with unbridled, ferocious creative energy." Sounds good to me.

The Academic Hour will be full-color, 176 pages, and cost $19.95. Its ISBN will be 9780996273954.

It will debut at TCAF and be released more generally the week after.
 
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Go, Look: Rowland Wilson Esquire Cartoons

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This Isn't A Library: New Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market

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*****

Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

DEC161626 SPANIEL RAGE GN $16.95
Vanessa Davis is a great treasure of comics and this is a welcome new edition of an early collection. I find most of what she does pitch-perfect, and I'm always pleased by some of the artistic flourishes she brings to sometimes more standard confessional or autobiographical stories.

imageOCT160072 EDGAR BURROUGHS TARZAN JESSE MARSH OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $29.99
This is the best deal you'll find this week in terms of attractive pages per dollar, that's for sure. When I lived in Silver City I used to give my local charity thrift store a heads up if they had something in the quarter-bin that might be something they could eBay. I told them I'd do it until I found some comics I personally wanted. That happened with a big stack of Jesse Marsh Tarzan books, which are still in a small stack next to my guest room's bed.

NOV160329 COSMIC ODYSSEY DELUXE EDITION HC $34.99
I have this in either single-issues or an initial trade, but everyone has their format preferences. This is perhaps artist Mike Mignola's best-remembered extended effort with DC mainstream superheroes. There are some great pages in here, and the book itself has a 1970s cosmic charm.

OCT160547 JAY DISBROW MONSTER INVASION HC $24.99
Flames of Gyro, never stop burning. This is a Yoe-assembled collection of the idiosyncratic author's earlier material. I'd certainly pick it up to look at it.

DEC160721 MONSTRESS #10 (MR) $3.99
DEC160733 SHE WOLF #6 (MR) $3.99
DEC160666 SUN BAKERY #1 $4.99
DEC161010 BLACK PANTHER #11 $3.99
DEC160440 STARSTRUCK OLD PROLDIERS NEVER DIE #1 (OF 6) $4.99
OCT160318 ASTRO CITY #41 $4.99
DEC160047 VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #1 (OF 5) $3.99
Hey, comic-book comics. Monstress is a hit. She Wolf is Rich Tommaso's latest stab at genre material, and as usual has a few pages to die for. Sun Bakery makes its Image debut after four self-published issues. Black Panther continues its most recent core title run, either near the end or the actual end of a politically-drenched storyline. The Starstruck I find extremely curious, essentially an expansion of old Epic material, but really expanded. Its creators are formidable, too. Forty-one issues of this latest round of Astro City! That's quite the accomplishment. I'm quite behind, but I enjoy those comics just fine when I read them and I always catch up. Don't be me. The last is a Paul Grist comic and I love Paul Grist comics. It's also this week's serial-format Mignola.

DEC160774 SNOTGIRL TP VOL 01 GREEN HAIR DONT CARE $9.99
The $9.99 price point indicates more to come where the lower-priced volume one acts as an inducement for folks to try the series out. I've liked the couple of issues I've read although it's so light I have a hard time remembering what's going on even issue to issue. It might be fun to read a big chunk at once.

DEC161229 BIG NATE WHATS A LITTLE NOOGIE BETWEEN FRIENDS TP $9.99
DEC161854 HILO GN VOL 03 GREAT BIG BOOM $13.99
Books from two kid series. The Big Nate books are really popular and represent an ongoing enterprise that does well in bookstores. The Judd Winick Hilo series I think is just three books and this is the concluding one. Winick's enjoyed a pretty eclectic career in terms of number of genres worked.

DEC161894 LITTLE NEMO BY WINSOR MCCAY LIFE OF IMAGINATIVE GENIUS HC (R $79.99
Books featuring Little Nemo isn't as difficult a thing to follow as EC and Archie reprint series, but it's up there. I don't know where this one fits in -- it's certainly not complete, and it may feature more biographical material than usual, but Little Nemo is an achievement where it is definitely worth having some of it on your shelves and this would be one way to achieve that.

AUG160479 ALEX TOTH BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE ARTIST ED HC $PI
The great stop-and-stare comic book artist of the 20th Century meets the great stop-and-stare format of the 21st. What's not to love? It's hard to gauge the cut-off date for interest in older artists -- characters seem to last longer -- but I think there's still enough oomph in the Toth name for this one to sell very well. It should be gorgeous.

*****

The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

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If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2017

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*****

February 23
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

February 24
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)
* If I Were Near The Atlanta Airport, I'd Go To This

February 25
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Copenhagen, I'd Go To This (Copenhagen Comics)
* If I Were Near Destiny City Comics, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Brussels)

February 26
* If I Were In Copenhagen, I'd Go To This (Copenhagen Comics)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Brussels)

February 27
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

*****

March 2
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 3
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 4
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Tulsa, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Nigeria, I'd Go To This (Comic Connect Africa)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 5
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Nigeria, I'd Go To This (Comic Connect Africa)

March 8
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

March 9
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This

March 10
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 11
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Con)
* If I Were Near Ontario, Oregon, I'd Go To This (Border Town Comic-Con)

March 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Con)

March 13
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 15
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

March 16
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 17
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

March 18
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 19
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 22
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 23
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 24
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 25
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (SPACE)
* If I Were In Greenville, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 26
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (SPACE)
* If I Were In Greenville, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)

March 28
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Harper College, I'd Go To This

March 29
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

March 31
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Dallas)

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Events For April 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

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Go, Look: The Only Man For Me

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Keith Silva on How To Survive In The North. Calvin Reid on My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. G. Willow Wilson on Angel Catbird. Augie De Blieck Jr. on Hearts At Sea and The Midlife Crisis.

* I admire the public author element of Neil Gaiman's career, and working with kids in a grand, charitable way is always a great thing. I wish him maximum effectiveness and return.

* Max Morris talks to Matthew Thurber.

* by request extra: Jeremy Eaton is having another big sale of his art. His art is always pretty fun, particularly for hardcore comics fans. Jeremy seems to be making these occasional sales a regular part of how he gets his work out there, and I'll try to follow his pattern as best as I can. My Eaton, by the way, is really good-looking, much better than I thought from a scan.

* finally, Cynthia Rose profiles the great André Franquin. I think more of North America might be ready for André Franquin; by "more" I mean people beyond those having dinner with Kim Thompson more than once a year.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Eamon Espey!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Andy Diggle!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Alec Stevens!

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