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

January 24, 2015

The Comics Reporter Video Parade

Test Footage From That Cerebus Film Thing I Know Nothing About

For Some Reason This Winsor McCay Footage Is Everywhere Again

Brian Walker's Billy Ireland Opening Tour

Art Spiegelman Talking To Ricky Jay

Shock Magazine #1

Sonja And The Wizard (I've Never Posted This, I Don't Think)
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from January 17 to January 23, 2015:

1. Milestone Media is poised for a relaunch.

2. Updates related to the Charlie Hebdo killings on January 7 include a museum show being canceled and the potential for the president of France to visit Angouleme.

3. The first mainstream media story about Comic-Con having to find a space after next year's show drops. At specific issue is the delay in promised convention center expansions.

Winners Of The Week
Bill Woggon and Marge

Loser Of The Week

Quote Of The Week
"What I discovered is that, while often more fun and interesting to be a part of, the smaller conventions don't pay enough of the bills to make sense doing. It was great meeting people and the folks who run these conventions are very hospitable and take great care of their guests, but at the end of the day it's time away from the studio and that only makes sense if the dollars roughly match up. Sad, but basic economics." -- Tom Richmond


the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas

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Festivals Extra: FLUKE Pre-Registration This Morning At 10 AM ET

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OTBP: Style And Fashion Zine #1

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If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 85th Birthday, John Romita Sr.!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Lorenzo Mattotti!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Ben Morse!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Steve Geppi!

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January 23, 2015

Go, Look: Is What It Is

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Dan Perkins Donates The Tom Tomorrow Collection To The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum


Another week, another significant acquisition by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, as cartoonist Dan Perkins announced today that the Columbus, Ohio-based research institution will receive the collection bearing his pen name. This includes "manuscripts, research materials and ephemera." Perkins is best known as the creator of This Modern World, is a past Herblock Prize winner, and won the Robert F. Kennedy Award For Excellence In Journalism twice (1998, 2003). In the linked-to press release, Perkins cited the museum's ability to both preserve the material and make it accessible to readers and scholars.

Perkins has made an an initial donation, and will add to it in the future. That first shipment is said to have included "tear-sheets of published cartoons and illustrations, interviews, articles..."

I know this is a significant pick-up for the Billy because of their renewed emphasis on getting historical documents and support to their already-massive collection of original art and published materials.
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Go, Look: Bruno Borges

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Eisner Awards Names Bill Woggon, Marge To Hall Of Fame; Announces Further HoF Nominees Slate


The Eisner Awards have announced this year's pair of judges awards choices for the Hall of Fame and a slate of 13 possiblities from which four more people can be announced. Going right into the Will Eisner Hall Of Fame are 1) Marjorie Henderson Buell (1904-1993), who worked as Marge and is best known for the creation of the Little Lulu gag panel in The Saturday Evening Post, and 2) Bill Woggon (1911-2003), the creator behind Katy Keene, perhaps best known for soliciting designs from fans.

The nominees, from which four may be voted on-line, are:

* Lynda Barry (1956)
* John Byrne (1950- )
* Chris Claremont (1950- )
* Howard Cruse (1944- )
* Kim Deitch (1944- )
* Matt Groening (1954- )
* Denis Kitchen (1946- )
* Frank Miller (1957- )
* Francoise Mouly (1955- )
* Paul S. Newman (1924-1999)
* Bob Powell (1916-1967)
* Lily Renée Peters Phillips (1925- )
* Frank Robbins (1917­-1994)

So we're starting to get right in the heart of the late-'70s generation for whom many people in my generation were the first group of active mainstream comic book stars. I'm also happy to see both Matt Groening and Lynda Barry on the list. It's hard to think that Miller, Byrne and Claremont won't go in given past voting tendencies, but these days, who knows?

Tons more information through that first link.
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Go, Look: More Ross Andru Amazing Spider-Man Splashes

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Festivals Extra: NYCC SE Announced For 2015

I'm glad that Zachary Clemented caught this over at The Beat because I sure didn't. New York Comic Con is going to host another edition of its more comics-focused show NYC: Special Edition, and has announced dates (early June) and a place (not the Javits).

The idea of a bigger convention or festival sponsoring a smaller, more focused show in a way that involves a component of comics they still want to have at the bigger show intrigues me a bit. I imagine there's also some general news there in that a show in New York could draw away from regional shows in May and June due to travel costs and concerns -- if you just need to do a show, you might do the local if there is one. Also, 2016 is freakishly stuffed with events in and around New York, a city that people used to say could never host a major con and for years hosted a single alt-comics event and some dealer-driven shows.
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Go, Look: Kyle T. Webster

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Go, Read: Alyssa Rosenberg On Women And Alcohol As Portrayed In Two Webcomics

Here. That's a kind of criticism you don't see used with comics, I think because for years and years comics had a very limited range of effects in the vast majority of what was published and paid attention to, so if you wanted to draw a connection between certain characters your choices were probably kung fu techniques and how many pockets they had on their costumes. That's a great benefit of diversity in genre and creator and approach and platform: more bases touched means more connections to be drawn.
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Go, Look: Jimmy Olsen's Silver-Age Flash Hat-Tip

surely a coincidence, but still amusing
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So The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Is Hiring

Here. It's a real job and everything. That's a small office, so I imagine with the travel involved it's also the kind of job that allows a great deal of freedom of approach -- but I'm not the one hiring. The CBLDF is one of the key comics institutions, and I hope the job goes to the person who can do the most with it.
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Go, Look: Adam Brouillette

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Links, Statements And Notes As They Relate To The Charlie Hebdo Killings

This is a clearinghouse for various links and articles related to the killings in and around the Charlie Hebdo offices, and its violent aftermath in Paris a couple of days later. There will be links to material and the employment of images here or in the linked-to articles that may upset. Every link and every image used is intended to better facilitate this site's mission to inform.

* it looks like Francois Hollande will attend next week's Angouleme Festival, the first president to do so since Mitterand in 1982.

* speaking of Hollande, the terror attacks have been worked into at least this speech about security and economic power.

* the New York Times publishes a round-up article on a signficant Chechnyan public outcry against criticizing Islam, and how these things are being processed through Russian culture as well. There seems to be a significant amount of political expediency in how Russian responses track.

* a planned exhibit on Charlie Hebdo at the Herge Museum has been canceled for security concerns. Here is a brief article on what that exhibit would have entailed.

* 20,000 fresh copies of the post-killings issue of Charlie Hebdo will be available in various amounts in three US cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

* gunman Cherif Kouachi will be buried in an unmarked grave after some negotiation with the family; an unmarked grave helps avoid the grave becoming a cultural rallying point for those that agree with the actions of the gunman.

* Caitlin McCabe profiles Leman, a satirical magazine in that a distressing place for free speech right now, Turkey.

* Michael Dooley still has the killings very much on his mind while writing about the latest collection from Mr. Fish.

* Matthias Wivel reviews the post-killings issue of Charlie Hebdo for The Comics Journal.

* the free-speech hypocrisy storyline seems to be one with legs.

* finally, Matt Bors makes a point about editorial cartoonists in North America.
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Go, Look: Landscape-Formatted Tintin Image Gallery

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Go, Read: Lengthy Article On The Finger Family Legacy

There's a lengthy article here about Athena Finger and her attempts to drive attention to her grandfather the late writer Bill Finger's contributions to the Batman concept. In case you're not up on that lovely chapter of comics history, Finger's contributions span about 90 percent of the ideas and storylines that most people think of when they think of that character. Finger died alone and penniless in part because of a culture that was unable on multiple levels to provide him with proper credit and recompense. His is a full chapter in the book of talented people who created things related to comics that saw less reward than many people think fair. Count me among them.

imageI like the piece for the photos and the specifics of the story, and some of the connections one might make: like the TV show and the movies providing opportunities for a reconsideration of events even as their gigantic profits put a dollar figure on the amount of injustice done a lot of these creators. Mostly, though, it evokes in reasonable yet depressing fashion an entire reality pushing against this family. It's heartbreaking how much joy there is to be had in basic recognition; there should be more. It's an ugly industry legacy, and I'm not sure we've turned the corner on history in a way where even those instances of credit and payment and human decency fail to carry with them the consequence of illuminating the dark parts yet to be placed into the light.

I know how sensitive I am about my family; it would be hard to sleep had they suffered something this public and seemingly unfair. Let's continue to present in matter-of-fact fashion Bill Finger's achievement, and hope for any reward that might come his way as a result.

study of Finger from Marc Nobleman's biography; Nobleman is a significant presence in the piece
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Go, Look: More Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics

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