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

















August 24, 2016


Go, Look: Alive

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Go, Look: Ode To Crumb

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Frazetta

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OTBP: Swim Team Superstar

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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.

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APR160152 RG VEDA OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 (C: 0-1-2) $24.99
JUN160554 AMAZING FOREST TP $24.99
This is a really light week for comics at the comic book store from my perspective on the field, even from the viewpoint of the imaginary rich version of me that usually inhabits this column. I don't even have Jog's ability in a down week to pull out 17 European graphic novels only he has heard of. So I'd be looking to take a chance on stuff slightly outside of my interest, perhaps one of these two books. RG Veda is Clamp, and it's been a while for me and that group of creators. This is super-early work if not the first, so there'd be that interest as well. Amazing Forest is a collection of a series with a pair of writers and rotating artists that might reveal a cohesion in collection its own formatting choices might thwart.

imageJUN160059 USAGI YOJIMBO #157 $3.99
JUN160222 HELLBLAZER #1 $2.99
JUN160223 HELLBLAZER #1 VAR ED $2.99
JUN160635 INVINCIBLE #130 $2.99
JUN160636 ISLAND #10 $7.99
JUN160657 SHE WOLF #3 (MR) $3.99
JUN160658 SNOTGIRL #2 CVR A HUNG $2.99
JUN160659 SNOTGIRL #2 CVR B O`MALLEY $2.99
JUN160821 CIVIL WAR II ULYSSES #1 (OF 3) $4.99
This is an odd week for comic books, and will likely see me take some interesting things home. I always love some Stan Sakai, I like that inspector character, and this is the conclusion of that mini-arc. Sexy Constantine from the New 52 era I found to be one of the more hilarious characters in comics history, particularly in the context of a super team. Sexy Rebirth Constantine just sounds gross, so maybe they're doing something different with him, I don't know. I list the comic here because I like that Moritat fellow, he's an old-fashioned mainstream workhorse building up long runs here and there over the years. I'm interested in what this one looks like. Invincible is on a 15-issue countdown, and I'm hoping for at least two dozen crimson masks between this and the final issue, #144. Congratulations to Island for reaching double-digits; I think the best issues are yet to come, which is exciting for any anthology. She Wolf is about as pretty a comic as Image has made. I have yet to dive into Snotgirl but I still intend on making that happen. The Ulysses character in the Civil War II comics I've read was so boring I almost want to read this comic to see how a comic book about the character is possible. He whines and has visions, just like some of the old hippies I know that can still afford to live in Portland.

FEB160015 FRANK MILLERS SIN CITY HARD GOODBYE CURATORS COLL HC (C: 0-1 $175.00
This is the Dark Horse version of the color-photocopies of black and white original art served up at the size of the original art and accompanied by fancy extra. The Sin City stuff bores me to tears in any format -- it physically makes me cry to read these comics -- but I have to imagine that for fans this would be a great way to read this visually arresting material. I'm not sure how I feel about people knocking off this approach, but I get creators wanting to work with their primary publishers when and if they can.

JUN162058 FORGING THE PAST SETH & ART OF MEMORY HC (C: 0-1-0) $60.00
I think Seth has become a very interesting cartoonist and one that would invite a lot of intriguing commentary. I'm not sure I'd pay educational prices to experience that thinking, but if that class were available to me in college I would have enjoyed the heck out of it and then complained about my grade.

MAY161913 SENSUOUS FRAZETTA SC (RES) (MR) $24.95
I will always look at a Frank Frazetta book. The one I like is a mid-'90s exhibition catalog done in hardcover, but that was $200 even back then.

JUN160409 MARCH GN TRILOGY SLIPCASE SET $49.99
Finally, why not end the summer with this version of the March series? Once they get going, they don't stop, and when you realize that in John Lewis' view this story ends in 1964 and the immediate aftermath of that year's laws, that's a lot more interesting than a broad survey stretched across the entire '60s decade.

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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 Edinburgh, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2016

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August 25
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

August 26
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 27
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 28
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)

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September 1
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)

September 2
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 3
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 4
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 5
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 9
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

September 10
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)
* If I Were In KC, I'd Go This (KC Zine Con)

September 11
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)

September 15
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)

September 16
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)

September 17
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

September 18
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)

September 19
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 21
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

September 22
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

September 23
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 24
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPE)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 25
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPE)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)

September 26
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

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Events For October 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Images From The Help The Sakais Benefit

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Robert Clough on the latest from Lynda Barry. Alex Hoffman on Be Good.

* not comics: another potential sports-miss for Marvel's custom art department.

* Michael Cavna contrasts how political cartoonist deal with a similar charge levied at the major presidential candidates.

* don't remember ever seeing this particular Al Columbia image before now. Brrr.

* this article has one of those interesting clashes of nerd-culture that only I care about, and increasingly faintly: the idea that character's status as properties has an effect on how they're treated within the larger narratives these comics have. Yes indeed, a female version of Superman would not automatically be seen as a second-tier character in the world of their existence, even as a derivative.

* MariNaomi is profiled in the latest LA Woman publication.

* David Betancourt profiles Roye Okupe.

* James Whitbrook tracks the nature of a request from FCBD organizers concerning type of comic to submit.

* finally, Danny Hellman has a new print for sale.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Scott Lobdell!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Keith Knight!

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Happy 75th Birthday, Jim Scancarelli!

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August 23, 2016


Go, Look: Aunt Mary's Kitchen Slideshow

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon


* I don't know that I've seen the cover to the next Julia Gfrörer book, Laid Waste. That looks pretty amazing.

image* Annie Koyama let slip this Aidan Koch image from the forthcoming After Nothing Comes.

* the talented Sean Gordon Murphy is going to spend two years drawing nothing but Batman (at least for commercial art gigs of this type).

* here's a Matthew Loux cover reveal.

* finally, Rich Tommaso announced a "second season" of his She-Wolf. For those of you out there not used to that term, that just means more of the comic, leading to a second trade paperback, sometimes with a narrative jump or new storyline in the manner of a television series. I love the image he chose for that announcement.

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Go, Look: Office Laffs

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Go, Look: Uncle Sam's Postal Inspectors

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Kramers Ergot 9.

* still pounding through this, if anyone has a late-summer reading lull and wants to join me... And here's your weekly reminder that this list exists.

* the comments under a Robot 6 story about Wizard deciding to disinvite a guns dealer from their Chicago show are about as wholly American as you can imagine. One thing that's interesting is that if you have gun dealers at show it kind of casts all the guns in comics in a different light, a light I'm not sure comics-people who make gun-heavy comics particularly want turned on.

* Richard Thompson remembered in Betty. What a nice man and creative talent that Richard Thompson was.

* not comics: there's a movie about Charlton coming out. I hope they confirm or deny a couple of stories but other than looking at Steve Ditko and Pat Boyette's work there, and maybe those early E-Man comics, I never think about that company much at all. I love companies that don't exist and don't make an impression a little more, though.

* finally, Theo Ellsworth shares a summer image.
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Chris Bachalo!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Terry Austin!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Tara Madison Avery!

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August 22, 2016


Go, Look: Beautiful Gil Kane Spider-Man Splash Images

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Go, Look: Swampson

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Go, Read: Analysis Of Scott Adams As Political Soothsayer

I'm not interested in new permutations of what the cartoonist Scott Adams has to say about the presidential campaign, because that attention eventually descended into an act of cruelty, but I liked this write-up of what he's said thus far and why: it comes across as reasonable and clear-headed even when Adams doesn't. I think the branding is interesting: why wouldn't the man who sold that many people on Dilbert and whose subject matter is office shenanigans have something to say of interest about the way a celebrity businessman candidate works his rhetoric? There is a reminder at the race-crash end of the article that the rational parts of what Adams is selling only stick around for part of the ride.
 
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Go, Look: Jessica Burnworth

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Your 2016 Comics-Category Dragon Awards Shortlisters

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Locus Online has a post up pertaining to the shortlist pertaining to a new comics program, the Dragon Awards, which will be given out in conjunction with Labor Day mainstay comics show Dragon Con. I have no idea if they will be sexy awards or not, for that is the sexy con. To reflect their broad, genre-soaked base, most of these categories strike me as a breakdown of various prose approaches that pertain to imaginative fiction of the type Dragon Con fans are believed to love. That seems appropriate. Although the content of the graphic novels list strikes me as broad. Go figure.

The two comics-related categories and their shortlisted works are:

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Best Comic Book
* Astro City
* Civil War II
* Daredevil
* DC Universe: Rebirth
* Ms. Marvel
* Providence
* Saga

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Best Graphic Novel
* The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
* Chicago, Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)
* March: Book Two, John Lewis & Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)
* Virgil, Steve Orlando & JD Faith & Chris Beckett & Tom Mauer (Image)
* Sacred Heart, Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)

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Dragon Con 2016 is September 2-5.

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