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

















August 27, 2016


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Modest Comic Store; Immodest Old Comic Book Collection
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from August 20 to August 26, 2016:

1. CBR redesign kills blog version of Robot 6, one of the more popular about-comics web sites for industry members and non-mainstream fans, and a transitional one spanning the individual link blog and content-heavy group-blog eras.

2. Sandman: Overture won the Hugo award for best graphic story in a year when the awards' legitimacy was challenged.

3. Dragon Con starts an awards program, a further sign of how the apparatus surrounding comics has become thinner and more diffuse.

Winners Of The Week
James Taranto, who got 85 percent of a respectable article out of the crazy sideshow of "Scott Adams, Political Guru."

Losers Of The Week
Fans of the blog format employed by Robot 6. The good news there is there's not a ton of those people, that want information that way as opposed to other ways you can deploy articles like that.

Quote Of The Week
"I wish I'd started reading Batman comics long before I did, but that's mostly because (a) I've wasted a lot of time not reading Batman that could have been spent reading Batman, and (b) my goodness, there is a lot of Batman backstory to get caught up on." -- RB Kelly

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this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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Go, Look: Judge Magazine From April 1938

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

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If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This

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

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

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Happy 38th Birthday, Matt Wiegle!

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Happy 70th Birthday, Denis Kitchen!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Melissa Mendes!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Phil Hester!

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August 26, 2016


Go, Look: Lis Xu

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Festivals Extra: Water Glass Milestone Achieved At Tom Gauld Edinburgh Book Festival Signing

Here. That is some nice glassware going on there, maybe the fanciest ever provided a cartoonist at a book signing. it's my job to keep track of these things. Tom Gauld is one of comics' secret weapons and it'll be good to have him on the road this Fall in support of a new book.
 
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Go, Look: Giacomo Nanni

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Maggie Vicknair on Unsounded.

* it should probably be mentioned that the closing of Robot 6 is part of a bigger presentational shake-up at CBR that likely bears watching. As I write this (Thursday late afternoon) they're getting pounded a bit for a headline style that doesn't allow for publication of everything in the headlines, which isn't a great look. I assume they'll rally. It reminds me of the SI.com changeover when everything got made to look like it needs to to maximize reading on phones, which is the direction of on-line content more generally. I think comics and on-like culture share a faith in new delivery systems that doesn't always match up to the reality of new delivery systems, with comics generally more tethered than it needs to be as a counterweight to those arguments. The moderately old ways always suffer as a result. I've thought this since the market seemed to be in such a hurry to get rid of alt-comics customers back in the '00s. I'll miss the blog format for the material Robot 6 was doing, but god help any digital strategy that has my consumption at the point of its spear.

* here are a few people paying tribute to Robot 6: Caleb Goellner, Chris Butcher, Chris Pitzer, Scott Kurtz. The reason this doesn't feel like a bigger deal is because nothing is a big deal right now; the comics industry is numb from the jawline down.

* finally, speaking of Scott Kurtz, PVP has started a storyline revolving around Jim Davis and Garfield. Okay, that's not really hard news, but I'm from Muncie, and someone who catches up with PVP in big gulps, so I noticed it. BTW, the cider thing is a real thing.
 
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If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2016

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*****

August 27
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 28
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)

*****

September 1
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)

September 2
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 3
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 4
* If I Were In Baltimore I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Comic Con)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (SF Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 5
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

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

September 9
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

September 10
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)
* If I Were In KC, I'd Go This (KC Zine Con)

September 11
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Richmond, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Richmond)

September 15
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)

September 16
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)

September 17
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were Near Kenosha, I'd Go To This (Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

September 18
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)

September 19
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 21
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

September 22
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

September 23
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 24
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPE)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)
* If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

September 25
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPE)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Austin)

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

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

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

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Events For October 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Real Life Comics #58

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Wonder Woman #2.

* not comics: a modern adaptation of the Madbomb story would have only pleased me, and only if they used the Revolutionary War outfits, which was about .5 percent chance.

* I'm not sure I remembered to post this on the site this week, but this American's experience at a Comiket was super-fascinating. It sounds to me like most people in comics I know might struggle with the "being one tiny element part of a huge show" at something like this. I encourage cartoonists to show their stuff as many places as they can and want.

* hey, look: it's MariNaomi in a magazine.

* Art Spiegelman selects a bunch of solid one-pagers for publication on the New Yorker site. I always enjoy it when Spiegelman curates, even on something like this, mostly because I think his taste is as refined as anyone's in comics. He takes this stuff seriously, thinks about it, and makes choices. That usually means you get a strong list and likely pushback from people that see refinement as restriction.

* finally, Team Trouble With Comics members name their favorite things in comics. That is a late '90s kind of on-line article right there.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, Francis Manapul!

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August 25, 2016


Go, Look: Get Kissed Properly!

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Assembled Extra: Robot 6, RIP

imageSo it looks like the Robot 6 group blog that ran under the Comic Book Resources umbrella has been killed in a site-wide blog purge and redesign. The content that ran on the news and commentary blog will apparently be mainstreamed into the CBR site proper, but that immediately sounds problematic: it wouldn't make any sense to give unprofitable content a bigger platform. We'll see.

Even if CBR publishes more work of interest under this new arrangement, the shift in presentation will be jarring. The nice thing about Robot 6 was that it was a bunch of stuff related to comics that comics-interested adults might want to see all in one place (or pull from in one go, or access via one feed, etc.). There were also a lot of good writers there over the years: Brigid Alverson's news round-ups were invaluable; all of her work for that site was good. There were a ton of others.

I have no idea what this means for comics in general. I would assume this is a choice by CBR's new owners to focus more on broader, more popular content to try and make the site maximally profitable. There's also something to these sources moving towards a focus on phone interaction at the loss of some of the crunchier aspects of sites that I like; this has certainly greatly reduced by consumption of sports-related content, not that they'll miss my old ass. The loss of Robot 6 in this form strikes me as a wider story for comics in that a lot of the standard industry tools are starting to go away. There's a point at which I think that becomes a problem for everyone.

I hope all of those writers are able to write about comics as they desire to write about comics and as close as they can come to being properly rewarded for their work. I am grateful for the writing they did, and for their engagement with the comics form. RIP.
 
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Go, Look: The Three-Foot Sleuth!

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Go, Look: Mike Pence Was Once A Not-Accomplished Cartoonist

Here. They're ruthlessly ordinary, but it's nice to see some sort of artistic glimmer in any politician's eyes. I guess. I don't know. This whole year has been so weird it's hard for me to make any commentary at all. These could be a fake, there could be alarming ones, it's hard to see any of it making a dent in our understanding.
 
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