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July 23, 2014


Koyama Press Announces A. Degen's Mighty Star And The Castle Of The Cancatervater For Spring 2015

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imageKoyama Press this morning through Ed Kanerva and Anne Koyama announced that they will collect Mighty Star And The Castle Of The Cancatervater by the Brooklyn-based A. Degen in Spring of 2015. Described by the publisher as a "surreal superhero epic," the book presents a silent narrative reminiscent of early film and world animation.

The book was originally serialized on-line at Study Group. The printed version will be expanded, with a brand new prologue, epilogue and series of spot illustrations.

Degen's previous books were Area CC (Sonatina) and Soft X-Ray Mindhunters (Birdcage Bottom Books), both released in 2013. He has contributed to Future Shock, Sonatina, Snakebomb and Chromazoid.

Koyama's Mighty Star And The Castle Of Cancatervater will run 172 pages, in softcover for black and white interior pages. Koyama plans a $15 price tag, and a release in May of next year.

Below please find a selection of prologue pages provided to CR by the publisher.

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Go, Look: An Honest Performance

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Go, Look: The Room Of Madness

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Not Comics: Two Sizable Articles On The Perils Of The Internet-Era Economy

Jason Schreier looks at a gaming kickstarter that went a half-million in the hole and then basically disappeared from view -- or at least significant parts of it did. This rambling, personal essay at Deadspin on one writer's experiences with a popular on-line publishing venue offers up several dropped-jaw moments.

The vast majority of people and projects are not like this. Still, I hope everyone is careful out there, and, when it's applicable, see the arrangement involved as a service being provided by those paying for something rather than a service to the person being paid.
 
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Go, Look: Comic Art In America Cartoon Selections

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Bundled Extra: Publishing News Newsbriefs, Stories, Commentary & Links From Comic-Con International

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By Tom Spurgeon

What follows is a list in brief of comics publishing news stories that have come to light during and just preceding Comic-Con International weekend. If you've seen one that we haven't,

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BOOM!
* the writer Justin Jordan will be doing three projects with the publisher, starting in November. (July 3)
* Roger Langridge will be doing an original all-ages project starting in December. (July 18)
* the writer Grant Morrison will be doing a project with the publisher. (July 22)
* Filip Sablik was named the President Of Publishing And Marketing. (July 16)

Monkey Brain Comics
* Neil Kleid and Dan Gasl announce Kings And Canvas. Partial Image Below. (July 22)

NCS
* 64-page free digital magazine National Cartoonist launches at NCS site and at ISSUU.

Self-Published
* Katie Skelly launches My Pretty Vampire on Tumblr in full-color with limited animation effects. Mini-comic version planned for SPX. Partial image above. (July 21)

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Go, Look: Air Fighters Comics #3

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Go, Look: Bernie Wrightson's Edgar Allan Poe Imagery

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This Isn't A Library: New And 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.

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MAR140071 SAKAI PROJECT HC 30 YEARS USAGI YOJIMBO $29.99
MAY141615 LOEG III CENTURY HC COMPLETE ED (MR) $29.95
Two positive publisher-creator relationship share the spotlight SDCC week. Charitable efforts on behalf of Stan and Sharon Sakai reach the published-book stage with Dark Horse's collection of material from other artists featuring the Usagi character. Top Shelf made its name on the basis of its strong service on behalf of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill with the League Of Extraordinary Gentleman books; this is the collection of the latest cycle -- particularly discounted in the standard way that's a lovely, lovely price point.

imageMAY141240 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #1 $3.99
Jeff Smith is showing up in San Diego with a full-color comic book for you to buy, the first print collection of material from his Tuki webcomic, which was launched and then relaunched on-line. Smith is indulging the adventure-comics side of his personality here, and it will be interesting to learn how that material looks on printed page.

MAY140083 ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #4 $3.50
MAY140010 GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #1 $3.50
MAY140038 GROO VS CONAN #1 $3.50
MAY140230 BATMAN #33 (ZERO YEAR) (NOTE PRICE) $4.99
MAY140726 SAGA #21 (MR) $2.99
MAY140739 TREES #3 (MR) $2.99
APR140614 VELVET #6 (MR) $3.50
MAY140817 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1 AVENGERS $3.99
MAY140882 STORM #1 ANMN $3.99
These are all the standard comic books that jump out at me this week not by Jeff Smith. I haven't seen a single panel of this final capper series to the Elfquest saga, and four issues seems like it would be enough for me to jump on board. New Goon series; I'm not a reader of that one, but that art is certainly pretty. I like both Groo and Conan, so sign me up for at least picking that one up for a few seconds. The Batman I believe is the last in this current cycle of early Batman stories, featuring the Riddler. That's not material for me, but it seems visually distinctive and well-executed compared to the rest of the line.

MAR140463 MIKE MIGNOLA HELLBOY ARTIST ED PI
Whoa.

MAY140641 SEX TP VOL 02 SUPERCOOL (MR) $14.99
I like this title, which I think plays well into writer Joe Casey's fascination with trying to figure out how certain comic book and comics narratives works: this time around it's 1980s world-building.

MAY140652 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 21 ALL OUT WAR PT 2 (MR) $14.99
I'm still reading this in serial form. While I wasn't a fan of this storyline as anything other than a very standard adventure story, I do appreciate the opportunity it gives Kirkman and Adlard to take things in a different direction beginning right after.

APR140786 GOTG BY ABNETT AND LANNING COMPLETE COLL TP VOL 01 $34.99
I've read this material in bits and starts and nearly all of it is enjoyable in that standard Marvel comic book way -- these are the kind of things you read in a hammock while waiting for the 30 minutes of non-swimming time to pass after lunch.

MAY141431 SHADOW HERO GN $17.99
Gene Luen Yang is on board and thus, so am I. I haven't caught up to this material yet so I look forward to seeing it all in one big gulp.

APR141207 SPECIAL EXITS GN $22.99
The feel-good book of the summer, if by feel-good you mean you're going to be somewhat relieved when it stops because it's so heartbreaking and sad. It's good to see this work get another iteration, though, it's awfully well done.

MAY141249 STAN DRAKE HEART JULIET JONES TP VOL 02 $24.95
MAY141250 STAN DRAKE HEART JULIET JONES TP VOL 03 $24.95
Well, you're not going to enjoy looking at anything any more than this one, even that Mignola book.

APR141654 ALTER EGO #127 $8.95
APR141655 BACK ISSUE #74 $8.95
APR140957 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #11 (MR) $4.99
I salute my peers devotion to print and I pay additional respect to over 200 issues of those first two, at least when combined. That's quite something.

MAY141442 SMILE SC NEW PTG $10.99
MAY141838 GOODNIGHT DARTH VADER HC $14.95
One giant-selling comic and one about to become one. They are fine, fine gifts, all of these books.

MAY140979 STREET ANGEL HC $19.95
APR141272 THROUGH THE WOODS GN $14.99
APR141273 THROUGH THE WOODS HC GN $21.99
Finally, Jim Rugg and Emily Carroll gather together material in their separate projects that were extremely well-liked in earlier forms. It's good to have them back.

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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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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: The Damned #2-3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Mixtape #5. Rob Clough on Bad For You. Todd Klein on Aquaman #32. Grant Goggans on Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Rob McMonigal on Lok Zine #5 and Paper Crush #4.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco pulverizes a bunch of weird, catty and sort of untenable jokes floated in what sounds like a pretty navel-gazing product from DC Comics. I have no idea why anyone uses a creative platform that way. It's basically just turning office gossip into art, which seems to me an incredibly weird and unpleasant way to make art.

* here's a nice report on the Portland 'Zine Symposium. With Dylan Williams gone, I'm kind of unclear as to how much the 'zine and comics worlds cross over in a more significant sense than a few people like to hang out in both. There was a moment about five years ago when I thought that there might be a resurgence in that world as it pertains to comics. I have no idea where we'll be five years from now.

* finally, Don MacPherson writes about superhero underwear -- the kind that's licensed to people in this world, not the kind worn by superheroes in their worlds.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, Mike Vosburg!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Kelley Jones!

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July 22, 2014


OTBP: Eik

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By Request Extra: Justin Green Pays Birthday Tribute To S. Clay Wilson, Offering Art

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The underground great Justin Green pays birthday tribute to another iconic figure of comix, S. Clay Wilson, on the occasion of the latter's birthday. Green is also offering some nice incentives for anyone that donates to Wilson's trust.

Between Green and Wilson you have about 68 percent of taboos broken in terms of comics content as they existed by the mid-1960s. If you read and enjoy this site, or the vast majority of the comics covered, you have those two men to thank.
 
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Go, Look: Star*Reach #6

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Missed It: Homeless Advocate Accuses San Diego Police Of Rousting Street Sleepers Pre Comic-Con

Here. I assume one of the majors had this so that people could find it and e-mail it to me, so I apologize to whichever of my peers found it first.

I'm not sure what to think of the story. That police would be doing this a week before the show does indeed seem kind of odd, so the police rep makes a good point there. I've done homeless advocacy before and used to argue with people about this kind of policy -- it's horrifying on a human level, but I also sort of understand the impulse.

As a longtime SDCC attendee, it seems to me that most of the homeless population has in recent years scattered to the frontier of gentrification in that part of town -- whether there's an artificial, temporary aspect to that or not, I couldn't tell you. That frontier is further away than it used to be, but it's still there if you amble off north or east. To get slightly old-man about it, it used to be you could park a couple of blocks off of the main strip and then step over homeless people on your way to con stuff -- but that was when that part of town had a much narrower nice section.
 
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Go, Look: Jijé In America

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Not Comics: Al Columbia-Made Music Video, Song

Here. That's Al with the hatchet -- and I can't tell you how many times I typed that particular phrase in the '90s. It's very reminiscent of his comics.
 
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Go, Look: Frankenstein #3

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Dave Lasky Just Sent Me The Best SDCC Personal Appearance Notice I've Ever Seen

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Bonus points for using 2012 version of me as photo reference: several pounds lighter than 2014 me, and with a nicer suit. Still bald, though.

At any rate, go see David Lasky. Comic-Con International is a strange event on a lot of levels, but at its core is a really good to excellent comics show. The fact that they'd have a David Lasky and an Eleanor Davis and a Jim Rugg on hand speaks to that fact.
 
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Go, Look: Bruce Timm Draws The X-Men

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* there was a bunch of publishing news that came out before San Diego Con this year, particularly from not Big Two publishers. Archie, for instance, provided a name for the revamp of their superhero characters into a line, one that's already been slowly rolling out. I have an interview with Alex Segura that's giving me brain fits of some sort whenever I try to transcribe it, but he's heavily involved and promises a lighter touch with the creators on the individual books having their way.

image* Josh Kopin appears to approve of the forthcoming Jason Aaron/Ron Garney collaboration Men Of Wrath.

* here is what the covers will look like on the forthcoming Zenith reprint project. I know a lot of people that are looking forward to that one.

* missed this announcement of Lucy Knisley's next book with First Second; it's wedding-related.

* a couple of you sent me this link, to an article about artist Ronn Sutton's involvement with a 2015 graphic novel in collaboration with an author and former Hell's Angels member.

* the nice folks at ComicsAlliance speculate on storytelling solutions for Marvel being able to head back to the Superior Spider-Man well. That's been probably been figured out by the time this post rolls out.

* missed this trailer for The Shadow Hero. That's a fun project.

* Hope Larson announced a while back that she and Rebecca Mock will be joined on the Four Points project by colorist Shari Chankhamma.

* Tony Millionaire shares a letter received as a way of noting a short run for his Maakies in a Florida newspaper, now ended. It's hard for me to think of Maakies running anywhere that people would have this reaction to it. Then again, there aren't a whole lot of papers left that are willing to run this kind of material, period.

* the cartoonist Matt Bors says his first print collection is running out of its first print. I thought that was a good book, both the cartoons selected and the extensive supporting prose.

* finally, the artist and cartoonist Roman Muradov has a one-page preview of work up from the forthcoming Yellow Zine #5.

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