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
















July 31, 2015


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)

*****

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)

*****

Events For September 2015 Onward Listed Here

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

 
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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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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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Go, Look: Interior Art Pages From Spider-Man: Fever #1-3

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* someone pointed out that until reminded I failed to list the San Francisco Zine Fest. That's actually one of the biggest events for a certain kind of qualifying comic, and it should be on everyone's radar.

* this poster up on the SPX tumblr represents the most of this year's special guests as I've seen in one place. There are a number of very talented younger cartoonists here, as appropriate to their theme of cartoonists that started to publish and produce after 2000. I'll be there, and if you're into comics I hope that's one of the shows you either do routinely or make room to do at some point in your comics-reading life.

* at some point, Hawaii shows are going to become a thing, right? Like I find myself attracted to shows now depending on where they are; it's only SPX where that doesn't play a factor and SPX environs at leat pony up plenty of restaurants.

* finally, these postcards are really cute and a clever way of advertising the Lakes show.
 
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Go, Look: JP Leon Images Mini-Gallery

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on The Hospital Suite and King-Cat Comix & Stories #75. Chris Randle on Fragments Of Horror.

* Mike Lynch profiles Aaron Fine.

* I'm glad The Beat caught this because I sure didn't: a campaign on behalf of Norm Breyfogle heavy on the comics that were coming out during the main thrust of his career.

* Ed Piskor draws Rorschach.

* not comics: there will be many articles and thinkpieces about the exploration of sexuality depicted in The Diary Of A Teenage Girl. If the movie depicts this in anything close to the same forthright, thrilling manner of the book, these may all be thinkpieces worth reading. I greatly look forward to seeing the movie.

* this looks like several free articles about comics, which is something I want to mark so I can come back and explore it more thoroughly when I can.

* here's a resource for writing more effectively about comics art. I'll be reviewing it myself, as I have a lot of shortcomings in that area.

* I love the idea of this kind of cataloguing. In fact, I think organizing these visuals spatially with a defined sense of what the difference between those images entails pretty much makes them comics, even though we won't see them as such.

* I'm not sure that I ever provided a link to this Fusion-published series of cartoonist responses to same-sex marriage going national via the Supreme Court decision. My apologies if that's true.

* not comics: Lisa Hanawalt participates in this discussion of the credit sequence for Bojack Horseman.

* finally, go here to see a delightfully filthy cartoon illustration by Laura Park.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Chris Sprouse!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Tom Ziuko!

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