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
















June 22, 2017


Go, Listen: Brian Heater Talks To Frank Santoro

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Marc Arsenault Could Use Some Help

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The retailer, publisher, artist, editor and art director Marc Arsenault -- a significant figure in the history of small press comics -- could use a hand following a surprise surgical procedure. I hope you'll consider joining me in making a donation. Marc currently runs Alternative Comics which means he likely publishes a cartoonist you love or someone that inspires a cartoonist you love. I hope things return to normal for him soon.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Molly Kiely's Site

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* this weekend is much more quiet than last weekend, but last weekend was probably the busiest single weekend of the year. I hope to fully catch up by Sunday with the stuff I've gleaned staring at that full calendar.

* this music/comics festival is coming up. I don't know how those two mix -- you attend music shows mostly for performance and you attend comics shows mostly for consumer opportunities -- but the contrast in the might play well. I can't imagine doing as many shows as someone like Cameron Stewart seems to do, and I don't even work at the shows I attend.

* one of the great things about San Diego Con is that it forces comics professionals to deal with their place in the wider entertainment industry firmament, hopefully in a positive way. I look at an article like this one so obsessed with celebrity and spectacle it suggests standing around outdoors and hanging out in hotel lobbies as a way to pass time, and I can't imagine giving up my show of cartoonists panels, old funnybooks and getting to see speak at least three or four legends of an art form I love.

* finally, I suppose that "comic con" could be a theme for your non-related business to embrace. Why not?
 
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Go, Look: Short Ribs

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through July 2017

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*****

June 23
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

June 24
* If I Were Near Birmingham, I'd Go To This (The Birmingham Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

June 25
* If I Were Near Birmingham, I'd Go To This (The Birmingham Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

June 26
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

June 30
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DCC)
* If I Were Near DC, I'd Go To This (blerDCon)

*****

July 1
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DCC)
* If I Were Near DC, I'd Go To This (blerDCon)

July 2
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DCC)
* If I Were Near DC, I'd Go To This (blerDCon)

July 8
* If I Were Near Clallam Bay, I'd Go To This (Clallam Bay Comicon)
* If I Were Anywhere In The UK, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (QCE)

July 9
* If I Were Near Clallam Bay, I'd Go To This (Clallam Bay Comicon)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This (QCE)

July 14
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (WW)

July 15
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (SLCZF)

July 16
* If I Were In Albuquerque, I'd Go To This (WW)

July 19
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI Preview Night)

July 20
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 21
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 22
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 23
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

Events For August 2017 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Joe Ciardiello On Virtual Memories

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Hillary Brown talks to Simon Hanselmann. Tobias Carroll talks to Gail Simone & Cat Staggs.

* Abraham Riesman writes an article about the kids-comic part of the comics industry in a way that gives significant attention to Raina Telgemeier and manga, which is a rare thing, unfortunately. Jeff Smith, Jenni and Matt Holm, Gene Luen Yang, they're all in there.

* Landry Q Walker writes a response to maybe that article, maybe a couple of other ones. No matter the case, it's interesting.

* that's a nice way to celebrate the King's 100th, I guess. I have a hard time figuring out if things like that are widely meaningful or meaningful in a focused way or just more noise. I'm pretty sure it beats not getting that specific recognition. It's also still weird to see Disney accommodate the Marvel stuff as Disney stuff, but I guess 50 years from now there's a chance no one sees that distinction.

* finally, here's an old-school profile of a writer and a gig: Steve Orlando and one of the Justice League books.
 
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Happy 66th Birthday, Ali Farzat!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Phil Elliott!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Eric Reynolds!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Kevin Fagan!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 80th Birthday, RC Harvey!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Armando Gil!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 21, 2017


Go, Listen: Josh Bayer On Process Party

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Chef's Holiday Illustrations by Roger Duvoisin

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Midnight Monster

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

APR171238 KING CAT 77 $5.00
John Porcellino's mini-comics master series slipped back into Direct Market distribution a few issues ago -- my memory is that it was briefly available this way a while back, but this could even be a first time thing. It's a really good issue, with a bunch of high-energy short comics about the natural world as encountered by the cartoonist. Paired with the great #75, it paints a picture of a revitalized cartoonist with plenty to say. I hope that's the case: the comics world is better with an invigorated John Porcellino on point.

JAN170390 DOOM PATROL THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS HC $99.99
It's a pretty good week for comics of a bunch of different types, so of course my old-man eyes are drawn to a standard DC archival project collecting a bunch of their old Doom Patrol comics. The thing is, I've never read a lot of this stuff, and I've had it recommended to me not as great comics but as quirky and compelling ones. I'd look!

imageAPR170815 HEAD LOPPER #6 CVR A MACLEAN $5.99
MAR170740 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #6 (MR) $3.99
APR170827 INVINCIBLE #137 $2.99
My brother and I are both infatuated with Head Lopper, which we enjoy as an atmospheric, fantasy goof with great setpieces and a jaunty tone. I've been reading a bunch of Jonathan Hickman to the point that when I saw him at Heroes Con I gushed more than usual. I think he's an interesting talent in the world of independent/mainstream comics, and most of the books he's done over the last five years have a lot to recommend them. Black Monday Murders uses a lot of text and symbolic language, which makes the comics sequence punch and disarming. Invincible continues its crimson-masked victory tour with a sprawling inter-galactic epic meant to wrap up the majority of its foregrounded plotlines. It's to the comic's credit that a bunch of basic outcomes are still on the table.

MAR170628 LEANING GIRL TP (IDW ED) $29.99
FEB170489 LOST PLANET HC $29.99
FEB170492 RED RANGE A WILD WESTERN ADVENTURE HC $19.99
FEB170486 ROCKETEER HIGH FLYING ADVENTURES HC $39.99
These are the reprints that stood out for me this week. Leaning Girl is IDW by way of its partnership with Schuiten/Peeters focused Alaxis Press, and is one of the more elegant looks in that collaboration's sprawling efforts. Lost Planet is Bo Hampton doing 1950s science fiction comics to the point they're printed in some odd way that was only done at the time -- I always look at Bo Hampton. Red Range is Joe Lansdale paired with the mighty Sam Glanzman, who never cheats on the page. That Rocketeteer book I think is a big collection of the immediate post-creator efforts, with an all-star lineup of the last 30 years of mainstream to indy talent. I have little to no interest in making that kind of work part of my diet at the serial comic level, as my interest in the concept ended with the originator, but I'd take another look at it bundled together in one place.

APR171740 NEW LOW GN JOHNNY RYAN (MR) $19.99
FEB171648 ZANARDI HC $29.99
MAR171796 IN THE PINES 5 MURDER BALLADS HC (MR) $24.99
Strong week from Fantagraphics, including a bunch of Vice work from the super-smart and leans-to-extreme-outcomes Johnny Ryan. I always like how immediately Ryan shoves his characters into dismaying circumstances. The Zanardi work was titanically important to adult-sensibility comics in its original market and promises realistically portrayed stories of teenager troubles in the late '70s and early '80s, all the teens I stared at and watched from my percn on the stairs until I became one myself. Looks super-pretty, too. I'm in the middle of reading Erik Kriek's well-conceived volume of adaptation of murder ballads; they could be lying to me that murder ballads is really a thing, but if it isn't it should be.

APR171754 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 15 1965-1966 $34.99
I clapped my hands like a simpleton when I got a copy of this latest Prince Valiant work. I adore the boys' adventure elements of Foster's work, and this Arn-driven revisitation to some Valiant/Aleta stomping grounds provides a lot of that kind thing. Like I really liked this Viking Hall that has this humiliating nighttime door where you have to enter in a non-defensible crouch. Give me details like that and I would have read it for 100 years or whatever in my newspaper, too.

APR172172 DOROHEDORO GN VOL 21 (MR) $12.99
APR172173 MASTER KEATON GN VOL 11 URASAWA $19.99
APR172166 GOODNIGHT PUNPUN GN VOL 06 (MR) $24.99
That's three super-solid, appealing series by cartoonists of significant interest. I think the latter two are late in their runs. I've come around on the Urasawa work, which carves out its own place in your brain.

APR171772 INDEH STORY OF THE APACHE WARS TP $14.99
I've heard more about the publicity for this comic due to its pedigree as work originating with the author/actor Ethan Hawke, but Greg Ruth has done a lot of well-received work in a quiet way and I'd like to see the actual work to figure out how he's done with this particular story.

APR172280 PERSPECTIVE IN ACTION SC $22.99
David Chelsea doing one of the things David Chelsea does best: communicate issues of drawing and presentation to a reader ready or at least desirable of master-class type teaching.

FEB171592 KITARO AND THE GREAT TANUKI WAR $12.95
I quite liked this little Shigeru Mizuki work, from his long-running and popular series of monster-focused adventures. I liked how crazily this story careened towards despair and places of hopelessness, and how things offscreen would both not come through and succeed spectacularly. I want to read more.

*****

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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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Michael Cho Draws Team Batman

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Father's Days At Seas

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 60th Birthday, Berke Breathed!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Darryl Cagle!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 52nd Birthday, Steve Niles!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
June 20, 2017


Go, Look: Celia Marquis

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posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Bernie McGovern

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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