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
















April 24, 2015


Go, Listen: Katie Skelly Talks To Mike Dawson About Book Of Human Insects

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that's an amazing book
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: DC Comics Announces Third Book In Frank Miller's Dark Knight Series For Fall 2015

imageThis is a pretty straight-forward press release -- at least far as it goes. Frank Miller will be working with writer Brian Azzarello on a third Dark Knight series, after what is now called The Dark Knight Returns and its sequel The Dark Knight Strikes again. No artist has yet been selected; they hope to begin the eight issues to run every two weeks starting sometime this Fall.

There will be an extremely high curiosity factor here, with the original series' place near or at the top of superhero-reworkings of the 1980s and the sequel's place as a baffling rejoinder to that series. I'm one of the 10 percent that quite liked DKSA, but it did not do well with audience members expecting more of the original's imaginative, gritty noir take on those superheroes.

My memory is that this specific project has been rumored for a while, but with Scott Snyder as the co-writer rather than Azzarello. I could be completely wrong about that. I'm old now, like Miller's Bruce Wayne. I think you can also interpret this as a classic gesture on DC's part to block some of the market momentum that should be flowing Marvel's way post its Secret Wars phase. As for Miller not providing the art, it might be worth noting that one of the other great Batman stories of all time involved Miller just writing. So I don't know, sounds fun to me; I'll keep an eye out for it.
 
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Go, Look: Ann Pajuväli

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Go, Look: ICAF Call For Treasurer

The International Comic Arts Forum is putting out a call for someone to fill their Treasurer positions. It is unpaid. I suppose the kind of person to whom this might appeal is an academic who wants to be involved with ICAF, perhaps in order to advance their own career in the weird sort-of structured world that is comics academia.
 
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OTBP: A Is For Amos

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A Pair Of Articles Related To Recent Internet Tussles

* Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool site has pulled a bunch of tweets from a small group of working comics professionals battling over whether or not they'd want or be able to work together after personal political beliefs and decisions are examined.

* the talented writer Rembert Browne explores the Internet culture of winning.
 
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If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2015

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*****

April 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were Near Saratoga, I'd Go To This (ChaseCon)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Zine Fest)
* If I Were Near Knoxville, I'd Go To This (Marble City)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

April 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Zine Fest)
* If I Were Near Knoxville, I'd Go To This (Marble City)

April 28
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 29
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

*****

May 2
* If I Were Near Jonesboro, I'd Go To This

May 3
* If I Were Near Jonesboro, I'd Go To This

May 7
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 8
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 9
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (Ratha Con)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)

May 15
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)

May 16
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)

May 17
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In Portland, Maine, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 23
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures 2015)

May 25
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 28
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)

May 29
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)

May 30
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)
* If I Were In Spokane, I'd Go To This (Lilac City Comicon)

May 31
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Dc)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)

*****

Events For June 2015 Onward Listed Here

*****



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

 
Totally Missed This Mermaid Story That Popped Up At SPX Tumblr

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via
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* here's a report on STAPLE through the books picked up by one attendee.

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco on All-New X-Men Vol. 5. Sean Gaffney on Accel World: The Twilight Marauder. Rob McMonigal on Masks 2 #1.

* I don't know enough about marketing/product/content initiatives like DC Super Hero Girls to know if it's going to succeed or not. I can predict one or two objections -- like I'm sure that some people don't want toys for girls cordoned off from the rest of the "universes" and "worlds" and toy lines. The primary fun I have is looking at a line like DC through the eyes of a toy company or a content creators that wants to do something with them, which characters get singled o ut.

* Sam Bosma draws Mulholland Drive.

* here's the cover for the debut book by Jeremy Baum, being published by Fantagraphics. Speaking of imminent work, it looks like the next issue of Pope Hats is an all-color one.

* here are some of the times Batman wore armor. That jumped out at me because you'd think storyline-wise that would be a weird thing but apparently it's not. On a lot of levels, the big superhero characters are pretty exhausted.

* how Warren Ellis works.

* finally, Todd Klein looks at a Dracula logo.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Warren Craghead!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Devlin Thompson!

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April 23, 2015


Go, Look: Beginning's End

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* we're right in the thick of it now, with multiple mainstream shows and at least a pair of art comics festival in the rear view mirror. This week it's C2E2, with the entire of art comics focused ahead on TCAF, a couple of weeks from now.

* there was some high idiocy at the Calgary show, instigated by people too dumb to know that free speech doesn't include harassment and acting out. So pathetic. That is quietly one of the most successful shows going, by the way.

* this small festival in Berlin looks like it was a lot of fun. It took place last weekend. That was a very busy weekend although not even half the number of shows that the weekend before could claim.

* finally, Stan Lee and Steve Wozniak are getting into the con business together. You can't deny that's a place where nerds have money.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2015

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*****

April 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (ICE)

April 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were Near Saratoga, I'd Go To This (ChaseCon)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Zine Fest)
* If I Were Near Knoxville, I'd Go To This (Marble City)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

April 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Zine Fest)
* If I Were Near Knoxville, I'd Go To This (Marble City)

April 28
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 29
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This

*****

May 2
* If I Were Near Jonesboro, I'd Go To This

May 3
* If I Were Near Jonesboro, I'd Go To This

May 7
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 8
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 9
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (Ratha Con)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)

May 15
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)

May 16
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)

May 17
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In Portland, Maine, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 23
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures 2015)

May 25
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 28
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)

May 29
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)

May 30
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)
* If I Were In Spokane, I'd Go To This (Lilac City Comicon)

May 31
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Dc)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)

*****

Events For June 2015 Onward Listed Here

*****



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

 
Go, Look Various Imagery From Enrique Alcatena

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Citizen Of The Galaxy #1. Sean Gaffney on Let's Dance A Waltz Vol. 1 and Yamada Kun And The Seven Witches Vol. 1. John Kane on various comics and even more various comics. Johanna Draper Carlson on The Cartoon Introduction To Philosophy, Princess Decomposia And Count Spatula, Nutmeg Vol. 1, Food Wars: Shokugeki No Soma Vol. 5 and a prose romance set at SDCC. Henry Chamberlain on The Realist. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. Michael Buntag on Red One #1. Joe Gordon on Avengers By Jonathan Hickman Vol. 1 and Thor: God Of Thunder Vol. 1. Richard Bruton on Newstreet Versus The Accelerati. Jerry Smith on some different strip collections.

* the writer/editor Rachel Edidin has a lengthy and heartfelt essay up here about the Bobby Drake/Iceman character in Marvel's various X-Men comic being revealed as gay.

* Scott Simmons on Roger Slifer.

* if I'm really good today and get everything done I'm going to read this Storify of a presentation by John Porcellino.

* finally, I always like these articles where writers attempt to comprehend digital vs. print based in part on their consumption preferences. I do this, too.
 
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Happy 73rd Birthday, Edmond Baudoin!

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April 22, 2015


OTBP: Inventory, Vol. 1

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Your 2015 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominations

I'll write something that's like a respectable news story when I get the rest of this formatted, but there's no reason you should wait. Congratulations to all nominees. You can see their PR here.

Best Short Story

* "Beginning's End," by Rina Ayuyang, muthamagazine.com
* "Corpse on the Imjin!" by Peter Kuper, in Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World (Simon & Schuster)
* "Rule Number One," by Lee Bermejo, in Batman Black And White #3 (DC)
* "The Sound of One Hand Clapping," by Max Landis & Jock, in Adventures of Superman #14 (DC)
* "When the Darkness Presses," by Emily Carroll, self-published http://emcarroll.com/comics/darkness/

*****

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

* Astro City #16: "Wish I May" by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
* Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
* Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image)
* Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 (Marvel)
* The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)

*****

Best Continuing Series

* Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
* Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
* Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (Marvel)
* Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
* Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
* The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)

*****

Best Limited Series

* Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause (Marvel Infinite Comics)
* Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
* The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC)
* The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
* The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series

* The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)
* Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
* Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
* Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
* The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)

*****

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

* BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch (Lerner/Graphic Universe)
* A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories, by John Martz (Koyama Press)
* Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories, edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki (VIZ)
* Mermin, Book Three: Deep Dives, by Joey Weiser (Oni)
* The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)

*****

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

* Batman Li'l Gotham, vol. 2, by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen (DC)
* El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
* I Was the Cat, by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey (Oni)
* Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
* Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse, by Art Baltazar & Franco (DC)

*****

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

* Doomboy, by Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
* The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix/Scholastic)
* Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
* Meteor Men, by Jeff Parker & Sandy Jarrell (Oni)
* The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew (First Second)
* The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple (First Second)

*****

Best Humor Publication

* The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel)
* Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. by Jim Benton (NBM)
* Groo vs. Conan, by Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, & Tom Yeates (Dark Horse)
* Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
* Superior Foes of Spider-Man, by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber (Marvel)

*****

Best Digital/Web Comic

* Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover, Monkeybrain/comiXology.com
* Failing Sky by Dax Tran-Caffee, http://failingsky.com
* The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, http://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
* Nimona, by Noelle Stephenson, http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic
* The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin http://panelsyndicate.com/ 

*****

Best Anthology

* In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW)
* Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O'Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)
* Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, edited by Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd, & Graham Kolbeins (Fantagraphics)
* Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, edited by Monte Beauchamp (Simon & Schuster)
* To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

*****

Best Reality-Based Work

* Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
* Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi (2d Cloud/Uncivilized Books)
* El Deafo by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
* Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
* Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale (Abrams)
* To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

*****

Best Graphic Album -- New

* The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins (Picador)
* Here, by Richard McGuire (Pantheon)
* Kill My Mother, by Jules Feiffer (Liveright)
* The Motherless Oven, by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Ballantine Books)
* This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)

*****

Best Graphic Album -- Reprint

* Dave Dorman's Wasted Lands Omnibus (Magnetic Press)
* How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)
* Jim, by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
* Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
* Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)

*****

Best Archival Collection/Project -- Strips (at least 20 years old)

* Winsor McCay's Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
* Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan: The Sunday Comics, 1933-1935, by Hal Foster, edited by Brendan Wright (Dark Horse)
* Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, by Tove Jansson, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Pogo, vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly & Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, vols. 5-6, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best Archival Collection/Project -- Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

* The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)
* Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Son, by Don Rosa, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
* Walt Kelly's Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics, vols. 1-2, edited by Daniel Herman (Hermes)
* Witzend by Wallace Wood et al., edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

* Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
* Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn, by Hugo Pratt (IDW/Euro Comics)
* Jaybird, by Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen (Dark Horse/SAF)
* The Leaning Girl, by Benoit Peeters & Francois Schuiten (Alaxis Press)

*****

Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia

* All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Takeshi Obata & Yoshitoshi Abe (VIZ)
* In Clothes Called Fat, by Moyoco Anno (Vertical)
* Master Keaton, vol 1, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, & Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
* One-Punch Man, by One & Yusuke Murata (VIZ)
* Showa 1939-1944 and Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda & Yu (Yen Press)

*****

Best Writer

* Jason Aaron, Original Sin, Thor, Men of Wrath (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
* Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel (Marvel); Pretty Deadly (Image)
* Grant Morrison, The Multiversity (DC); Annihilator (Legendary Comics)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image); Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)
* G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
* Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)

*****

Best Writer/Artist

* Sergio Aragonés, Sergio Aragonés Funnies (Bongo); Groo vs. Conan (Dark Horse)
* Charles Burns, Sugar Skull (Pantheon)
* Stephen Collins, The Giant Beard That Was Evil (Picador)
* Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
* Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
* Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)

Best Penciller/Inker

* Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
* Mike Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
* Frank Quitely, Multiversity (DC)
* François Schuiten, The Leaning Girl (Alaxis Press)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
* Babs Tarr, Batgirl (DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

* Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen, Jaybird (Dark Horse)
* Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
* Mike Del Mundo, Elektra (Marvel)
* Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo (Dark Horse)
* J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)

*****

Best Cover Artist

* Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
* Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, X-Men: Legacy, A+X, Dexter, Dexter Down Under (Marvel)
* Francesco Francavilla, Afterlife with Archie (Archie); Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (Dark Horse); The Twilight Zone, Django/Zorro (Dynamite); X-Files (IDW)
* Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
* Phil Noto, Black Widow (Marvel)
* Alex Ross, Astro City (Vertigo/DC); Batman 66: The Lost Episode, Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet (DC/Dynamite)

*****

Best Coloring

* Laura Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
* Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)
* Lovern Kindzierski, The Graveyard Book, vols. 1-2 (Harper)
* Matthew Petz, The Leg (Top Shelf)
* Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
* Matthew Wilson, Adventures of Superman (DC); The Wicked + The Divine (Image), Daredevil, Thor (Marvel)

*****

Best Lettering

* Joe Caramagna, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil (Marvel)
* Todd Klein, Fables, The Sandman: Overture, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC); Nemo: The Roses of Berlin (Top Shelf)
* Max, Vapor (Fantagraphics)
* Jack Morelli, Afterlife with Archie, Archie Betty and Veronica, etc. (Archie)
* Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)

*****

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
* Comic Book Creator, edited by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows)
* Comic Book Resources, edited by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
* Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler, & Joe Hughes, www.comicsalliance.com
* tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel & Timothy Hodler (Fantagraphics)

*****

Best Comics-Related Book

* Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (4 vols.), edited by M. Keith Booker (ABC-CLIO)
* Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton, by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics)
* Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC)
* What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, by Michael Alexander Kahn & Richard Samuel West (IDW/LOAC)
* 75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen, by Roy Thomas & Josh Baker (TASCHEN)

*****

Best Scholarly/Academic Work

* American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife, by A. David Lewis (Palgrave Macmillan)
* Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics, by Andrew Hoberek (Rutgers University Press)
* Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, by Michael Barrier (University of California Press)
* Graphic Details: Jewish Women's Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland)
* The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, by Thierry Smolderen, tr. by Bart Beaty & Nick Nguyen (University Press of Mississippi)
* Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay, by Katherine Roeder (University Press of Mississippi)

*****

Best Publication Design

* Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti/DC)
* The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
* Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)
* Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit)
* Winsor McCay's Complete Little Nemo, designed by Anna Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)

*****
*****
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Warlock Wasteland

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Articles Summing Up DC's New 52 Endeavor

Heidi MacDonald has analysis and a round-up of links concerning the New 52 initiative at DC Comics. This was a reboot of the entire line around the principles of 52 comics a month and combining their main imprints/worlds. It's now being tweaked and reconfigured a bit via a cosmic, narrative event I probably won't be able to follow.

imageNew 52 was hugely successful at the start. I imagine part of that was that it was the great lion-in-winter act of Bob Wayne, whom stores always trusted, to kind of get everyone on board with something that even at the time seemed a bit thin creatively. And the hook was really good. I think there were casual readers excited about joining the company at a fresh, new starting point. I thought the line as a whole might not catch, but I was wrong. It definitely seemed to shock the market out of a dismal period marked by a creative stupor at both companies, especially DC. Things had become very event-dependent and constantly in flux. New 52 was a nuke after years of strategic detonations. It was either going to work or it didn't. In the short run it did.

I read about 300 of those books overall, I think. Not enough to give you an informed opinion beyond really facile impressions. My hunch is that DC didn't have the deep bench that might have facilitated surprise hits and new, strong performers. A lot of older names were used on the books, including some we hadn't seen in quite some time. I don't know anyone that was brought back to do those comics that seems to have turned that into anything beyond more chances to work on more of DC's comics. A lot of the books struck me as exactly the same kinds of books I read back in 1997 when I read all the DC Comics offerings, but it was hard to criticize DC being middle of the road when their comics were selling that well. Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that chaos in terms of keeping regular creative teams on most books were a huge boon to Image, where fill-ins and line-up changes were rare.

None of the character reformulations beyond maybe the initial Wonder Woman struck me as an interesting or useful take on any of those characters. I found the new Superman super-unpleasant, bereft of joy or, for me, anything interesting, although I had fun making blogger jokes when Clark Kent turned to a bad Hollywood movie version of that fading vocation. I always thought that first Superman movie got the strategy of that character right: In these times, what kind of person doing those kinds of things would give people hope? And then, what kind of mirror-image decent man would you never suspect of being that beacon of hope? This guy was... I don't know. The reconfigured Batman worked okay, but so many titles and so many allies made him look to me that he was that much more terrible at his job. New 52 John Constantine is the character I'll probably remember most, a buff, wise-cracking version reminisicent of a bleach-blonde Reggie Mantle, born from the ashes of what was for a couple of decades an enduring wreck of a character and probably the most significant corporate-owned creation of his time.

The initiative proved beneficial for several creators. Scott Snyder moved from solid-performer to A-lister, and Greg Capullo proved he could work with one of the iconic characters in a way that flattered artist and art. Jeff Lemire, Cliff Chiang, Travel Foreman and Charles Soule all got a solid boost for their work. It was good to have Ann Nocenti back. A few creators like Justin Norman quietly moved into the "solid pro" ranks. Aaron Kuder, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, all of whom should be around for a long while. Jeff Parker seemed a smart hire. As creators, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee seemed less like driving forces at the end of that run of comics when compared to how they were perceived at its beginning, but each maintained enough oomph that anything they care to do remain news. John Romita Jr. parked his car across the street for a while, to odd effect. Grant Morrison did Grant Morrison things.

Before Watchmen fairly ended any momentum the company had in terms of taking on big, challenging, audacious projects as recurring strategy. Or at least it sure seemed to. In the regular line, there seemed to be the opposite problem: a lot of in-series events gripped those titles. Despite being advertised as new takes on these characters you could follow from the beginning, there seemed a surprising number comics that depended on past history as part of their appeal. Readers were constantly asked to show a level of interest based on 20-30 years of comics rather than 20-30 months, or at least it seemed that way to me.

I suspect that at first there was a big element of video-game culture being catered to, particularly as that perceived audience dovetailed with adults that remembered the early Image days fondly. This current shift seems to be a away from that particular conception and into a broader, all-ages friendly approach, which this new period will either solidify or fail to. I also think that whether whatever was going on with DC's serial comics during that time was key or if it wasn't, they seem to have a greater certainty in terms of how to blend their monthly line, their book program and their on-line efforts.

That's about all I have. I'm sure there were newsworthy events going on all over the place during the entirety of the publishing initiative. I'm sure I missed key creators. In the end, I think it's safe to say that New 52 knocked DC Comics out of a potential death spiral, and afforded several creators career-making opportunities. It seems equally a story of a wasted opportunity. We will long wonder if a stronger, deeper creative bench, maybe deciding to do something with the Marvel Family instead of Watchmen and a more assured, more planned-in-advance character development work at the start across the board could have resulted in DC keeping more of that initial audience. And even then, maybe all of this is something that DC needed to experience in a period of relative comfort and safety purchased by those initial sales. Maybe all they needed was a breather. We'll never really know.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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