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
















August 2, 2014


If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

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Happy 50th Birthday, Danny Hellman!

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Happy 78th Birthday, Victor Moscoso!

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Happy 41st Birthday, MariNaomi!

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August 1, 2014


Go, Bookmark: Gabrielle Bell's Summer Diary Returns

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Conundrum Press Announces Acquisition Of Zach Worton's The Disappearance Of Charlie Butters

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Over at their web site earlier today, Conundrum Press announced it acquired world rights to the new graphic novel by Zach Worton, The Disappearance Of Charlies Butters. They describe the work as "a new graphic novel about the final throes of a death metal band. While filming a music video they stumble upon an old cabin in the woods containing the archives of a disappeared artist. The discovery sets in motion a chain of events which eventually leads to one character's redemption."

That book will run 120 pages, be published in softcover and retail for $17. The work's progress has been marked at times through Worton's personal on-line avenues for expression.

Worton's previous significant effort was The Klondike.
 
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Go, Look: Andrew Rae

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Festivals Extra: TCAF Exhibitor Applications Open For 2015; Festival Refines Selection Process

The very excellent comics festival TCAF has opened its exhibitor applications for 2015. That's news in and of itself -- that's a very good show, one of three musts on my convention calendar and probably the closest to running an optimal version of itself of all the shows out there.

What's fascinating, though, is that they're basically suggesting they won't be taking exhibitors every year without a justification for doing so along the lines of a major new work or an absence from the show. They're also emphasizing comics over other, related art forms and suggesting that publishers will be exempt (even though it's hard to imagine a comics publisher going a full year between qualifying releases).

Just off the top of my head, two prominent creators in that world that I remember exhibiting without having significant new comics material for sale -- it was a subject of conversation between me and both folks -- were Kevin Huizenga and Dustin Harbin.

How a show might deal with a set space and an aggressive desire for people to exhibit is one of the two great unexplored issues facing the surge in comics shows. The other is paid appearances, and how that will work and have an effect on things regarding the top-of-the-line guests, and we're close on that, too. As for this, it's kind of a "whoa" moment but when you step back you realize that this kind of thing is one way of dealing with an overabundance of applicants. It might go down poorly with some comics people because of the culture's touchiness about everyone being treated fairly and because a few shows seem to actually prefer to build core expectations in the form of recurring guests year after year, which is a strategy with another set of positives and negatives.

I think TCAF is in the driver's seat here, even though it will be interesting to see how people react. The much more interesting thing will be to revisit the policy four to five years from now and see if it's had an effect on the show's development and what that effect has been. (If you just conceived of the word "effect" there positively or negatively, that may be due to your own initial reaction to the policy.) I'm also kind of interested in the notion that creators will participate in a show without exhibiting, which is a holy grail for a lot of shows. My hunch is that TCAF is further along this path than anyone not Comic-Con and SPX and Angouleme, and if they can achieve that in a significant way, look out.
 
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Go, Look: 1970s Guardians Of The Galaxy-Related Covers

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Not Comics: Rebecca Mead On Relatability

There's an interesting post/article over at the New Yorker about the idea of "relatability" as a value in and of itself. I don't have any problem with any criteria anyone wants to bring to the art they consume, but I do bristle a bit when consumption preferences act as unchallenged stand-ins for how we decide what art has worth and what that worth might be. While it's fun for me to see my own problems through a fun-house mirror or simply made grand and compelling on a screen, on a stage, in the pages of a novel, I also value equally learning about the rest of human experience not directly my own. In that way, I'm convinced art has helped me become a better person and helped more of the world become less consumed by conflict and subsistence than it otherwise might be.

It's also baffling to me that someone that exists as a person in western culture couldn't find at least one thing in every Shakespeare play to which to directly relate, but that's one of the problems I have with relatability as a standard of worth: it tips things in favor of blunt, direct engagement and most of the valuable art I've experienced in my life is not that. Anyway, as it's still summer, I urge you to see Shakespeare up on its feet, including the two works in question. I also urge you before Labor Day to pick up a comic that features someone that doesn't look or think like you, particularly if like me most art leans your direction by default.
 
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Go, Look: This Week's BWS Image Gallery At Ungoliantschilde

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Please Consider Matching Your Guardians Of The Galaxy Ticket With A Donation To Bill Mantlo

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Bill Mantlo, the co-creator of the Rocket Raccoon character, featured prominently in this weekend's Marvel opener, is in need of ongoing medical care. That can be expensive. Please consider a matching donation the size of your ticket, if you're able and willing. Link through the image or right here.
 
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Go, Look: Jeremy Eaton's Etsy Store

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Police Advance Theory That Cosplayer Injured Sunday AM At SDCC Fell Rather Than Was Assaulted

There's a good write-up here at CBR about the Harbor Police determining that the cosplayed who was injured Sunday night may have fallen rather than have been assaulted; the CBR piece folds in the other information known about the injured person and her relationship to a man that was booked and then released on bond Sunday. I hope a fall turns out to be the case because of the ugliness implied in a willful assault. No matter the cause of her injuries, the cosplayer is still in our thoughts until she sees a full recovery.

I would also point out that the ability to have police officials involved in this way, and have security on high alert at the convention and at the hotels, that is one thing to which Comic-Con International makes a strong commitment and an area in which they enjoy some strong partnerships.

No matter the provenance of the young person's injuries, we must see to a continuing discusssion of harassment issues and issues of safety at shows, including Comic-Con. This story could still have some impact in an unexpected direction. I would imagine if this is the storyline we settle into as the most truthful one, there might for instance be some resulting discussion about minors attending shows. We'll see.
 
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Go, Look: A New Leslie Stein Comic Posted About Ten Days Ago

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Collective Memory: Comic-Con International 2014

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If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2014

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*****

August 2
* If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

August 3
* If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

August 7
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

August 8
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 9
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 10
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)

August 11
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 12
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 15
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 16
* If I Were Near Virginia Beach, I'd Go To This (VA Beach Comicon)
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 17
* If I Were Near Virginia Beach, I'd Go To This (VA Beach Comicon)
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 18
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 23
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chimacum, I'd Go To This

August 30
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

*****

September 5
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

September 6
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

September 7
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

September 8
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

September 12
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

September 13
* If I Were In Rockville, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

September 14
* If I Were In Rockville, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

September 15
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were In Asheville, I'd Go To This

September 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)

September 27
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This

September 28
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This

*****

Ongoing
* Exploring Calvin And Hobbes, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Through August 3)
* Eye of the Cartoonist: Daniel Clowes’s Selections from Comics History, Wexner Center (through August 3)
* Modern Cartoonist: The Art Of Daniel Clowes, Wexner Center (Through August 3)
* The Irresistible Force Meets The Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson Retrospective, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library And Museum (Through August 3)

* Small Press Spotlight On Jon Adams, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 10)
* Raw Fury: The Art Of Mike Zeck, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 10)

* Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 24)

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cartoon Art Museum (Through September 14)

*****

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

*****
*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Bogeyman #3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there are two forthcoming workshops at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum that sound worth it if you're in that part of the country. I'd attend.

image* Todd Klein on Green Lantern #32. AH on Operation Margarine. Dominic Umile on Escapo. Mike Sterling on some comics.

* not comics, but also comics: Sonia Harris reminds that sexism in comics takes place against a backdrop of horrifying sexism throughout several of our cultures.

* someone at Off Life talks to Annie Koyama. Seo Kim profiles Graham Falk. Steve Morris talks to Adam Murphy.

* why Chris Sims is really, really careful about taking sketchwork for free. I like his answer.

* I like this Fantastic Four page. Marvel invested a lot of smart creative energy into the Fantastic Four property over the last 10 years -- it's hard to think of a trio of writers more in tune with the times over the period than Mark Millar/Jonathan Hickman/Matt Fraction, and a lot of the artists have been solid to good, too. The title has continued to struggle, at least in broad terms. I wonder if this isn't the first of the Marvel Silver Age properties that may be creatively spent, in a sense, that may just be disconnected from the modern audience as it exists now. That's probably nuts, but I still think about it.

* not comics: I don't know that I've seen this Mike Ploog Wizards drawing before.

* finally, Alternative Comics has available some of the recent Kevin Huizenga minis in addition their own books.
 
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Happy 27th Birthday, Michael DeForge!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Mark Newgarden!

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July 31, 2014


Go, Look: The Next War

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posted 3:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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