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
















April 27, 2017


Leo Baxendale, RIP

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Go, Look: Cycle

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Go, Read: Simon Moreton's Ruminations On 10 Years In Comics

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Simon Moreton processes ten years of comics-making by wondering after autobiography. He also links to two very good pieces of recent vintage so I hope you'll follow him out to those essays.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Al Ross Gag Cartoons

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Go, Read: Billy Ireland 40th Birthday Article

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Here. As is appropriate, it turns into an appreciation of founding curator Lucy Caswell. Caswell took several boxes of papers and art that no one wanted and turned into the nicest place for comics in the world. All respect, forever.
 
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OTBP: Captain Easy: The Frank Santoro Edition

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* this has come and gone. Still such a big show in so many ways. Congratulations if you go the hotel you want. Condolences if you didn't, but don't worry: you can have a good time at all of them. I've stayed up to an hour and ten minutes away, in a range from lovely boutique facilities to scumbag dive motels, and while a great hotel is something to enjoy, no San Diego hotel has ever played a significant role in my overall enjoyment of any trip.

* Dan Brown profiles Tingfest, the kind of show that could have its own quirky Netflix series.

* here are some tips in publicizing your convention event.

* finally, here's a report from the March Book 3 auditorium presentation in Los Angeles last week. Remember when there was a point when they got shut out at the Eisners for that one Jim Henson thing that people thought their momentum might never build in this way?
 
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If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Corky

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Book Of Void.

* Ben Towle looks at a certain kind of comics page that's familiar but a bit more difficult to describe than most. I missed this post, and it's been a while since its publication, but I liked it at a second glance for sure.

* I agree with a lot of this Brian Hibbs essay on the recent problems experienced by Marvel Comics, which reached a recent low particularly in terms of number of regular titles with a decent audience. It's one of the better cases I've ever seen against loading in the tie-ins and stacking titles within specific characters or concepts. I think it's been this way for a while and it's just gotten worse and worse. There might be some mitigation against the poor effects of some of these moves if the work itself was great, but most Marvel work i read is mediocre in a way that just kills prolonged attention, let alone prolonged attention + hoops to jumps through.

* Jason would like you to know he likes Thor: The Dark World better than you do.

* finally, I'm not sure why I didn't hear about this comic's first part, but from what I've seen it's pretty amusing. I just can't stay in 2016 anymore to be able to read it.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Jan Mullaney!

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Happy 51st Birthday, Yoshihiro Togashi!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Sean T. Collins!

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April 26, 2017


Go, Look: Bearing Witness At Buchenwald

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By Request Extra: James Hudnall Needs A Home

Here. The longtime writer's medical issues brought with them their own ask a couple of years ago. This is specifically for assistance in finding Hudnall a new place to live. I hope you'll consider giving.
 
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Go, Look: Primetime Polly And Her Pals

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This Isn't A Library: New, 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.

*****

MAR171735 HOSTAGE HC (MR) $29.95
This is Guy Delisle's latest a shift from his politically inform travelogues into a bit of straight reportage on one person's experience being kidnapped while working for a charitable organization. it is equal parts fascinating and harrowing, and it builds its specific tone out of Delisle's skill with the fundaments of cartooning. I enjoyed it a lot.

imageJAN171778 CRICKETS #6 (MR) (C: 0-1-2) $8.00
FEB170032 LOBSTER JOHNSON PIRATES GHOST #2 $3.99
FEB170037 VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #3 (OF 5) $3.99
FEB170457 COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS #6 (OF 6) $3.99
MAR160556 BITCH PLANET #10 (MR) $3.99
FEB170581 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #5 (MR) $3.99
FEB170657 KILL OR BE KILLED #8 (MR) $3.99
FEB170894 BLACK PANTHER #13 $3.99
A lot of books out this week that I'm interested in owning, including a nice group of serial-format comic books of one type or another. There's two up top from the Mignola-verse, including the one drawn by the great Paul Grist (Visitor). IDW's re-serialization of Comic Book History of Comics continues. A strong run of Image Comics includes the latest Bitch Planet, the most recent comic from that dour Jonathan Nickman illumnati-noir, and the latest from Brubaker/Phillips team. I'm still interested in the Black Panther series as a riff on the Marvel house formula of the 1990s structure and tone wise.

JAN170631 LOAC ESSENTIALS HC VOL 10 DAN DUNN SECRET OPERATIVE 48 $29.99
JAN170632 STAR HAWKS HC VOL 01 $39.99
It is a wondrous thing two such relatively obscure comics have big books coming out and how we don't even question how much of a miracle this is. The Star Hawks in particular might read far different all at one.

MAR171736 ONE HUNDRED DEMONS HC $21.95
JAN171110 BLACK WIDOW TP VOL 02 NO MORE SECRETS $17.99
FEB171163 PEARLS BEFORE SWINE TP PEARLS HOGS THE ROAD (C: 0-1-0) $18.99
FEB170714 STREET ANGEL AFTER SCHOOL KUNG FU SPEC HC $19.99
NOV160072 WB DUBAYS THE ROOK ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 (C: 0-1-2) $19.99
It's a strong week for collection/reprints. If you don't own the Lynda Barry book, you should; it's one of her bests and she's a colossal figure in North American Cartooning. I like Chris Samnee's art on the Black Widow comic; I think leaves with us one book to go. Stephan Pastis is on tour behind this latest book and someone smart in your family or friends reads it without you knowing. Jim Rugg has the skill to take your breath away every time out. The Rook Archives collects comics on the newsstand when I was a kid that slightly frightened me. Someday I'll read them again.

JAN170576 HER BARK & HER BITE TP $9.99
This is a new short book from an illustrator turned comics maker. I like the price point, and I like the book's general tone and look -- halfway between Eleanor Davis and Brecht Evans. I'm hopefully interviewing the artist this week or next.

DEC161682 DRAW OF SPORT HC MURRAY OLDERMAN (C: 0-1-2) $24.99
This is a delightful book of sports cartoons contextualizing their purpose and the time each was done. Great voice in both the cartooning and prose from its author, and a bunch of wonderful stories and sportsman are profile. A love letter from a different time in the world of cartooning.

*****

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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Go, Look: Drew Friedman's Post About His Forthcoming SOI Exhibition Contains Tons Of Art

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Jim Demonakos Leaves ReedPop To Pursue New Ideas

Jim Demonakos announced on Monday that he'll be leaving his current position at convention organizer ReedPOP. Demonakos secured the position at ReedPOP secured after the 2015 sale to the company of the extremely well-liked Emerald City show he founded in 2003. Demonakos will continue to consult for the company.

I would think that this is a loss for ReedPOP and a near-certain gain for whatever entities with whom he decides to work in the future. I know enough people have expressed dismay over the impact that the one-time retailer just going from direct to indirect influence on ECCC has had on the show, something which I have taken to be a sign of their affection for Demonakos.

I look forward to seeing what Demonakos chooses to do next. I would imagine he would have one of the broader ranges of opportunities for a comics free agent of recent vintage, and we've had some superstar editors shift gigs. Apparently, Demonakos will take that next step in the Pacific time zone, moving back from the East Coast to Seattle.
 
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Go, Look: Food For Thought

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a re-run, but I will always consider running Al Williamson
 
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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2017

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*****

April 27
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 28
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 29
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (FLUKE)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 30
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

*****

May 2
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)

May 5
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 6
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 7
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Ashville, I'd Go To This (Ashville Zine Fest)

May 12
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 13
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

May 19
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

May 20
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 21
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 23
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 25
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 26
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 28
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For June 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

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Go, Look: The Gentlemen Of The Jury

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lurid, beautiful Russ Heath art
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* James Whitbrook on Batman '66/Wonder Woman '77 and Star-Lord #6.

* the latest era at Marvel Comics I would suggest begins when they brought the Inhumans to the forefront of the company. At the time it seemed like a pile-on: Marvel's deep bench included a little-utilized Jack Kirby concept! It hasn't gone well in its execution.

* Laurenn McCubbin pointed out to me something that sounds like it'll be true: if this WGA strike happens, comics companies are going to be crushed by an avalanche of writers seeking work. If you're an acquisitions editor, maybe volunteer for a different gig?

* people shit on Jack Kirby's scripting but I think his raw, emotional, bombastic approach works great here.

* finally: a discussion about taking a story unpopular with many fans right out of its appropriate continuity.
 
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Happy 87th Birthday, Bruce Jay Friedman!

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indulge me; i love that essay
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Michael Kupperman!

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