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March 24, 2017


Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Highlander: The American Dream #1. Scott Cederlund on The Abominable Mister Seabrook.

* Albert Ching talks to Mike Marts.

* not comics: I enjoyed Abraham Reisman's interview with Daniel Clowes, likely one of (one of) the more comics-conscious ones the cartoonist will do in the ramp-up to the release of his movie Wilson. It's fun to watch him process those Ditko questions. That movie isn't doing well with critics on the "Critic Average-'em-Upamizer" or whatever it's called, but Art School Confidential did more poorly than this one and I liked that movie just fine. That stuff about the outfit in the Riesman interview is funnier than anything I've seen in a movie this year.

* what in the hell?

* finally: paying tribute to Island, now sunk back into the sea. It's the Dilraj Mann that will be remembered.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Gabrielle Bell!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Goran Parlov!

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March 23, 2017


Go, Look: Cody Pickrodt's March Monsters On Instagram

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Go, Read: Jeffrey Koterba Benefits By Engaging Critics

I thought this was an interesting public letter in regards to cartooning more generally in that it shows a positive outcome for editorial cartoonist Jeffrey Koterba in a case of reaching out to one of his critics on a specific cartoon.

Editorial cartooning is a difficult job recently made that much more problematic by the very curious political times in which we now live. It's worth noting that the cartoon in question is relatively benign (to my eyes, anyway), and has a sensible, non-partisan explanation behind its creation (true or not, this matters to the path of rhetoric). It's easy to get caught in endless whinging in any sort of political discussion, and there are elements of our political disagreements now with which there can be little softening, with any common ground imaginary, but I also think that our arguments are so depraved these days that a nod across the aisle might have an interesting effect, particularly for cartoonists within their home and regional markets. I think that can be done without looking like you're backing away from whatever statement you're making -- more "I'm listening to you but stand by my work" than "Hey, everyone has a different point of view" -- but certainly others disagree.
 
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Go, Look: Never Published Skip Williamson Page

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By Request Extra: Vic Carrabotta's Dream

Vic Carrabotta would like to make another comic and take it to Comic-Con. I'm sure that many of you that are old mainstream comics aficionados might see this as a special case worth considering. The ask doesn't seem out of bounds, and I've always liked what I saw of his 1950s work, which I believe was almost entirely with Marvel. I think he left comics or was gently shown the door during that really rough late 1950s period that Martin Goodman's company had, where they really cut things down, but I'd have to be backed up on that.
 
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OTBP: Ganges #6

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* we are headed towards one of the two big choke-point periods of the North American convention schedule: next weekend's Mocca Festival + WonderCon + Fumetto is about as good as the calendar year gets. I was hoping to do two of them (the ones not in Luzern) but I may not do any. I hope it works out.

* another week, another smaller convention announced.

* I still don't all the way get the fold-in inclusion of cosplay into comics conventions: there's historical weight to it, of course, and flat out some of the costumes are awesome. They're crowd-pleasers, too. I think some of it may be a conception of these shows as a place to ply your creativity as opposed to engage with the fruits of a medium. I was always confused by the Star Trek conventions I attended as a kid, too. Disney World even developed an aspect of that. Now that I'm involved with a convention that doesn't include those elements I still get people asking to come to perform or whatever. God bless anyone that finds joy in making art.

* this article makes explicit what some others didn't: Comic-Con International putting a museum into Balboa Park indicates a commitment to San Diego above and beyond its leasing situation with the convention center. It could be a fun museum, too. I like permanent spaces for comics.

* finally: Excelsior!
 
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If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through April 2017

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*****

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
* If I Were In Seattle, 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
* If I Were In Chicago, 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)

*****

April 1
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Dayton, I'd Go To This (Gem City Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (MoCCA Festival)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Dallas)
* If I Were In Tacoma, I'd Go To This

April 2
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Dayton, I'd Go To This (Gem City Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (MoCCA Festival)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Dallas)

April 3
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)

April 4
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)

April 5
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

April 6
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Dubai, I'd Go To This (Middle East Film And Comic Con)

April 7
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Dubai, I'd Go To This (Middle East Film And Comic Con)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (The Great Philadelphia Comic Con)

April 8
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Dubai, I'd Go To This (Middle East Film And Comic Con)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (The Great Philadelphia Comic Con)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This

April 9
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (PIX)
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (The Great Philadelphia Comic Con)
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con Spring Fling)
* If I Were In Iowa City, I'd Go To This (Ice Cream)

April 13
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

April 14
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (Queers And Comics)
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

April 15
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (Queers And Comics)
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)

April 16
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)

April 20
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

April 21
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In El Paso, I'd Go To This (EPCC)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum Fantastic Art Live)
* If I Were In Juneau, I'd Go To This (Alaska Robotics Mini-Con)

April 22
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In El Paso, I'd Go To This (EPCC)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum Fantastic Art Live)
* If I Were In Juneau, I'd Go To This (Alaska Robotics Mini-Con)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

April 23
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In El Paso, I'd Go To This (EPCC)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum Fantastic Art Live)
* If I Were In Juneau, I'd Go To This (Alaska Robotics Mini-Con)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

April 24
* If I Were In Juneau, I'd Go To This (Alaska Robotics Mini-Con)

April 25
* If I Were In Juneau, I'd Go To This (Alaska Robotics Mini-Con)

April 27
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 28
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 29
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (FLUKE)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 30
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

*****

Events For May 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: Miranda Harmon Ponders The X-Men

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Insel Paradies II. Robert Reed on Black Panther #12.

* I like these old-fashioned Amazing Heroes-style articles that pop up on the Internet, particularly when they are comics-focused rather than TV or film. It does seem awfully weird that the Legion concept remains un-utilized, but I get how nostalgic runs trap publishers who are working on very thin sales margins. They probably need to blow that up and have it come back in a form that will visibly upset hardcore fans. That sounds mean, doesn't it? I don't mean it to be.

* I like the comics just fine. It'd be nice if more people read the comics.

* come for the review of Image #0, stay for the bizarre promotional stunt details.

* finally, Michael C. Lorah talks to Peter Bagge.
 
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Happy 62nd Birthday, KAL!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Shelton Drum!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Joe Daly!

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March 22, 2017


Go, Look: The Best We Could Do

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Go, Look: Big Wheel

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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.

*****

DEC161625 FIRE THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY HC $21.95
This is Peter Bagge's second biography of a formidable female political/cultural figure. I liked the Margaret Sanger book quite a bit. Bagge's a very humane writer in that he can portray unflattering elements of human nature without in any way condemning the circumstances that brought that person there. That's an intriguing element to bring to historical study of any kind, but particularly the individual profile.

imageOCT160511 MICHAEL WM KALUTA STARSTRUCK ARTIST ED HC $150.00
Well, this has to be damn beautiful, and it's probably going to sell out a couple of times. I'm dying to see one.

JAN178350 SUPER SONS #1 2ND PTG $2.99
JAN170759 SHE WOLF #7 (MR) $3.99
JAN171026 BLACK PANTHER #12 $3.99
JAN170951 IRON FIST #1 $3.99
This is an interesting if not exactly staggering numbers-wise week in comic-book format comics. I can't imagine I'll be picking up Super Sons as I'm just not in the market for most superhero books after 45 years of reading them. I list those here because I liked both those characters, and that's not exactly an easy thing for a publishing house like that to accomplish with all of the relaunches. Rich Tommaso continues on with his attractive-looking She Wolf. Black Panther is one of Marvel's pay-attention titles still, although maybe doesn't generate the same excitement in its reality that its promise did. Few comics do these days. I'd look at the Iron Fist comic; I don't think that's a well-developed character and treating him as one is probably the great sin of the TV show and a contributor to how that has been mostly poorly received. Maybe this one figures it out in a way that will communicate beyonds its likely modest readership.

DEC160751 ARCLIGHT TP (MR) $14.99
I'm looking forward to catching up with this series collection from Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland. That seemed to come out excruciatingly slowly at first and then in a rush at the end -- not my favorite serial reading strategy. It looks pretty, and Graham is one of the dozen cartoonist of this historical moment.

JAN172176 MASTER KEATON GN VOL 10 URASAWA $19.99
Best series by a major manga artist with a new volume out this month, at least as far as I could tell.

DEC161678 INTERVIEW HC $24.99
This Manuele Fior book is both relationship drama and science fiction: the aliens-contacting-earth elements are played for their role is startling and changing the view of those who experience it, or that must come to some sort of reckoning with their reality. Fior's world is reich enough to have stood on its own without the extra element, which I think is part of the point. There's a lot of expressive, pretty cartooning here.

DEC161197 REICH #5 (OF 12) (MR) $4.00
The re-offering and re-soliciting for this admirable series continues.

DEC160395 FLINTSTONES TP VOL 01 $16.99
And then here we are with a Flintstones book, on a week when I think a lot of fans will feel freed up to buy it. The price point is interesting to me, as I bet they could have done some solid work expanding the series critical praise into a wider readership with a "Less Then $10" strategy. But they don't pay me to make decisions like that at a big comics company and there's nothing duller than a backseat publisher. As for the work? Yes, it's true: that's a pretty amusing comic book, and something about its approach to satire works to generate humor despite everything in your brain telling you it shouldn't. The comic book issues have worked as standalone stories if you want to sample.

*****

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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By Request Extra: 10 Days Left On 2D Cloud's Latest Season

Here. That issue of Mirror, Mirror looks really good. I keep forgetting to put this one in the regular column even though it's the one I hear most discussed right now, by a wide margin. My apologies. Over 50 percent with double-digit days remaining usually means a great chance of meeting one's initial goal.
 
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Go, Listen: Process Party With Eleanor Davis

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MAD's Long-Rumored Move To Burbank Confirmed

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Prominent illustrator, caricaturist and MAD veteran Tom Richmond has confirmed publicly what's been rumored for a while -- I'm guessing the rumor was likely public, too, although I'm not sure who was first with the rumor or whatever -- that MAD Magazine will be joining DC Comics out in Burbank and the New York office will close. A small office serving the longtime satirical magazine and iconic comedic touchstone remained behind when the main comics operation went West. I think the source for this and the most recent rumors is the freelance staff being told of the move, which affects them because of either a communicated change or at the very least a potential change in editorial leadership.

MAD had about two decades less history than DC in New York just by virtue of when each came into existence. As Richmond points out, MAD always had a significant element of New York humor based on the model created by its primary creative voices in its first two decades moving forward. I hope a west coast version works out: there's a comedy culture out there for sure, and editing MAD Magazine always struck me as the best gig in comics that no one talks about. There's a chance good work could result. What I would worry is that "MAD" becomes an empty suit, like National Lampoon, with the first step towards that result being that the work itself in the next phase is ordinary and/or lacks focus. Then again, at some point you really are rooting for a word and a memory. We'll know a lot more soon.
 
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