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
















August 23, 2014


If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In Mt Prospect, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2014

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*****

August 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 26
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

August 29
* If I Were In Decatur, 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
* If I Were In Decatur, I'd Go To This

August 31
* If I Were In Decatur, I'd Go To This

*****

September 3
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near A Computer, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

September 4
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, 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)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Paper Jam Small Press Festival 2)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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
* If I Were Near Harvard, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

September 16
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

September 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cincinnati, 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
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

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

September 23
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 24
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

September 25
* If I Were In Kenosha, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

*****

Ongoing
* 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,

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

 
August 22, 2014


Go, Look: Liz Wong

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bill Kartalopoulos Puts Out Word That They're Accepting Submissions For Best American Comics 2015

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The Best American Comics series editor Bill Kartalopoulos put out word via at least Facebook -- there might be other places -- that they're accepting submissions for the next Best American Comics. He put it thusly:
We are currently accepting submissions for The Best American Comics 2015, which covers new, North American comics (including Canada and Mexico) published between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014. We accept eligible submissions in any format and of any origin, including self-published and online work. Work can be submitted for consideration to the following address:

Bill Kartalopoulos
Series Editor
The Best American Comics
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003

All work that is submitted will be considered seriously. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.
I hope as many of you that qualify will take advantage of this. I think it's a good habit to form to put in for the things for which you qualify, no matter if you feel you're in line to receive them or not.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: In Defense Of Howard The Duck

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Wang "Rebel Pepper" Liming Fears Return To China

The Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming, known as "Rebel Pepper" when he grew to prominence via social media networks a few years back, has told a news service he fears a return to China due to a state-facilitated campaign against his satirical and sometimes critical work. He was in Japan at the time of the story; I'm not sure if the Thursday flight back refers to yesterday or six days from now.

Liming is often cited as a critical voice in modern China, and features on him have focused on both the backlash he's received and the fact that he's dependent on popular social media tools to get the word out, with it looks like about 850,000 followers split across two services. I'm not sure I'm reading him correctly, but the worry seems to be that reaction on state-run Internet sites was more thorough and pointed than usual, accusing him of being a traitor for holding the criticial views in question. It's worth following; I know that the cartoonist has had problems having access to the Internet and similar obstruction issues. It would be an egregious action for there to be formal censure or, god forbid, something even more extreme than that.
 
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Go, Listen: Dan Berry Talks To John Porcellino

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Town Of 4500 Welcomes Comic Book Shop

Baldwin City, Kansas has a new comic book shop: Bulldog Games And Comics, opened by proprietor Gabriel Dorsey. It's been open about three weeks. A couple of things interest me here. The fact that it's a small town is mitigated in part by a business plan that hopes to hook in a regional customer bases that's traveling further away to a bigger city in order to buy their comics and related genre material. The other is that this is going to be a kind of geek-interest store. This of course is a classic store strategy to the extent that we hardly think about it anymore but I always thought it was a pretty good one for a small town. There are overlapping customers, of course, but more to the point these other hobbies also encourage destination-shopping customers. I wish them luck. Their ribbon cutting is August 28.
 
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Go, Look: Sophie Goldstein

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Assembled Extra: Everyone Ask Matt Bors To Make A Regular Feature Of This Sketchbook Thing

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I would like to see them and I would like Joseph Lambert and anyone else he's thinking of have an ongoing opportunity to let this part of their work be seen. Here's a stand-alone posting. Here's Bors thinking out loud.
 
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Go, Look: Josep Baqué

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Pikitia Press has a brand new web presence. That's always nice to see.

* new column at TCJ.com, a focused review series from the cartoonist Julia Gfrörer called "Symbol Reader." Tim Hodler introduces it here.

* if you're friends with the illustrator and comics-maker Laura Park on Facebook, you should go look at her latest -- it's really good. If you're not, sorry.

* finally, I think I totally whiffed a providing a link to this survey-style article on the state of digital comics after the Amazon-comiXology deal.
 
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If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Little Lulu #27

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* what a great find by Brian Biggs. I hope all cartoonists are thinking about where things like this will end up one day.

image* Patrick Lohier profiles Charles Burns. Jason Sacks talks to Caleb Monroe. Clint Nowicke talks to David Aja. Mike Dawson talks to Brian Evenson. Susanna Lam talks to Haukur S. Magnusson.

* here's a nice interview C. Spike Trotman, an important figure in comics. If you're not familiar with her, you can start to catch up there. The interviewer is Juliet Kahn.

* not comics: here's a new Adrian Tomine print.

* Sonia Harris writes about the path that led her to the design work she does for various comics.

* David Mazzucchelli draws Batman.

* not comics: Boom! seems to have done pretty well in the corporate partnerships arena thus far. If there's one takeaway from the Marvel comeback of the last 15 years, it's that high-end corporate partnerships can make a difference.

* finally, Valerie D'Orazio draws a line in the sand.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Will Shetterly!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Matt Emery!

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August 21, 2014


Go, Look: "So What He Stole A Box Of Cigars?"

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Go, Read: Sean Howe On Frank Miller At Wired

imageThe third time's the charm as far as big-publication profiles of the cartoonist and filmmaker Frank Miller go, with this Sean Howe piece at Wired outdoing similarly-focused treatments at the New York Times and Playboy in terms of insight and perspective. It also offers the best photos. It even suggests a continuity of vulnerability that informs Miller's work, a way of connecting the rage and drive of his superhero narratives to real moments of perceived physical danger.

I might haggle a bit with some of the details as presented: certainly Kim Thompson's review of Ronin kept that from being an across-the-board critical success, and I'd say even introduced a counter-narrative about Miller that came to drive much of the thinking about the cartoonist that surfaces in other parts of Howe's career survey. I might also describe DK2 as more of a popular disappointment than a critical one. Still, it's a strong piece across the board about an interesting and influential cartoonist. I hope Howe does more of this kind of thing moving forward.
 
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Go, Look: La Lecture Des Ruines

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Even The Headline Could Get Me In Trouble

imageThat's art for a variant cover by the European comics-maker Milo Manara that Marvel is using for a Spider-Woman book. I don't have much to say about it, although maybe I should: we're in a cultural moment where this kind of thing drives feature stories of reasonable length at The Guardian. Here's a thought. I sort of like it as art, primarily because of its grotesque sexuality in a commercial context, like Jonny Negron doing the packaging for a line of Barbies. It's admittedly a curious, tone-deaf choice for the publisher, unless the idea is to jumpstart interest by getting this image out there and talked-about. I certainly didn't know there was a Spider-Woman comic out any time soon.

There are some interesting pop-culture flourishes for which one might look. I'm sure Manara will be described by detractors of this drawing not just as a maker of dubious choices but as an outright untalented artist, maybe even a supremely bad one. The Internet rewards scorched-earth arguments. It's also a basic reminder there is definitely still an undercurrent of cliched, sweaty-boy sexuality in a lot of comics work, something about which we don't like to think but is definitely there. It's also a good place to see that curious mix of fan ownership and commercial standards. Mainstream superhero fans are at times flattered into thinking they're a creative contributor in addition to being an audience member, but the overriding standard they have to apply when making their voice heard is a commercial one. So you see a lot of arguments where maximizing profit is brought to bear as an answer to aesthetic concerns. If only there was as much going on with the covers of respectable taste.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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