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














September 23, 2017


Go, Look: Darkseid Model Sheet By Jack Kirby

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If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 35th Birthday, Michael Peterson!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Jean-Claude Meziérès!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Peter David!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Dan Day!

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September 22, 2017


OTBP: The Incomplete Art Of Why Things Are

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Missed It: Matt Furie Takes Significant Legal Action Against Users Of His Pepe The Frog

Here's the most succinct summary, which sees cartoonist Matt Furie filing takedown actions against the digital use of his character as an alt-right meme. This follows a move against a book that used his character, and perhaps follows some under the radar legal actions against other, similar works as the Texas book.

One thread of discussion that has developed since Monday when the story dropped is some concern for Furie as he faces the wrath of the people with unlimited time on their hands and near-nihilistic conception of how to relate to other people. I shared that concern, and I hope a gameplan is in place with Furie and his legal team to ameliorate the worst of it.

Another thread of discussion the best example of which is here, is that Furie's legal pursuit challenges fair use, that the use of Pepe is clearly transformative. I"m not certain about that: I think the transformation is in backstory, not the image, and that this is a question of image use. I wonder if the new Pepe story qualifies as a transformation that I couldn't give Batman a new secret origin and use those images, too. Let's see what happens in court.
 
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Go, Look: Alice Meichi Li

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Different Day, Same Old Dumb Array Of Arguments

If you spend any significant amount of time on the comics internet, I recommend reading this article and this twitter thread. That paints a decent picture of the latest round of fan-harassment buzzing around, an indictment of a specific person using elements of how social media is set up to direct attention at targets of their criticism.

While it's necessary to discuss this, and awful implications, it's not a new or radical story: small-c conservative reactions have been ongoing since fan pen hit fan paper, and many of them curdle and give expression to the worst elements of social interaction. There's also an element of giving power over to something like this that makes it tricky to negotiate. Are you exposing something or giving it oxygen?

I guess you could argue that something about the method used might be worthy of note for those tracking on-line rhetorical maneuvers. The idea of targeting people for other people to harass, like the fascist version of bum language scratched onto digital fence posts, might seem novel until you realize how many times on-line criticism works like this as a matter of course. One might find similarly compelling the notion that a slew of wholly discredited ideas about the nature of today's culture have been married here to a self-entitled position, built dishonestly and also discredited, regarding what comics should be and shouldn't be. I don't. It's a marriage of convenience; pushing old, boring, logic-deficient arguments near one another doesn't make them true.

I don't know how anyone has the time to complain so desperately about a forced, strained and wholly self-serving snapshot of corporate entertainment except for that last part, maybe: rallying a bunch of grimly like-minded souls into agreement, a few people you don't like into noticing you, a few dollars socked away in a downloadable account. If it's possible to check out of the affair entirely, or nearly so, maybe we still should -- with the exception that any harassment is toxic and wrong, period, and should engender our best, focused, eyes-open action in direct response. I'm open to those ideas wholeheartedly.
 
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Go, Look: BWS Conan Art Portfolio

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* here's Lauren Weinstein's last for-print Village Voice cartoon, as we wait to see how the paper's cartoons make the transfer to a proposed on-line version of the iconic publication. I'm curious, because from what I know they've fired nearly the entire staff and they never had an on-line culture or much material on-line to be seen. If they only ran cartoons, though, I'd be happy for those cartoonists with those gigs. Hopefully, Lauren Weinstein and Karl Stevens retain these profiles in some happy publication somewhere.

* this would seem potentially significant in terms of the pedigrees involved, although nothing's a 100 percent certain slam dunk anymore. It's interesting to see on-line work take a position as equal partner with game and book, but why wouldn't an on-line work have that status?

* finally, Minna Sundberg maps the languages and Emma Taggert appreciates the result.
 
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If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This

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If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through October 2017

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*****

September 23
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Madison, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 24
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Madison, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were Near Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 25
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 26
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 27
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 28
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

September 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (TCZF)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

*****

October 1
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 2
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 3
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 4
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 5
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 6
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 7
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were Near Bristol, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 8
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In St. Petersburg, I'd Go To This (Boomfest)

October 12
* If I Were In British Columbia, I'd Go To This

October 13
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)

October 14
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)
* If I Were Near Nottingham, I'd Go To This (Nottingham Comic Con)
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This (St. Louis Small Press Expo)

October 15
* If I Were Near Kendal, I'd Go To This (Lakes)

October 20
* If I Were In Mississauga, I'd Go To This (MCX)
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

October 21
* If I Were In Mississauga, I'd Go To This (MCX)

October 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

October 27
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)

October 28
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This

October 29
* If I Were In Oklahoma City, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con)

*****

Events For November 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Chip Zdarsky

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Astro City #46.

* not comics: the voice actor June Foray remembered. She was an important part of convention culture, particularly with shows that leaned towards pop-culture models.

* go, look: Curt Swan draws an A Distant Soil character.

* Drew Friedman drew Gilbert Gottfried for the final Village Voice. I have no sense of that paper but I suspect New York could use a paper with some cultural memory the next ten years or so.

* finally, here's a nice piece on graduates of MICA working in comics.
 
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Happy 59th Birthday, Peter Kuper!

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September 21, 2017


Go, Look: German's Totally Boring, Functional Government

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Go, Read: Anders Nilsen On The New Obamacare-Destroying Healthcare Bill

Here. As many folks in comics that feel the impact of inadequate healthcare, it's fascinating that only a few step up to write something this to the point. I urge all my fellow citizens to stand up for those political issues in which they believe, and feel the best thing for comics-makers would be if the American standard were the most coverage for the least amount of outlay + pre-existing conditions not even being a concept.

This is comics' biggest story this decade, and if you think we would have seen the same explosion of fine talent without the halfway -- only halfway -- rational set of programs that is Obamacare, I'd say you are wrong. I am still alive only because in 2011 I obtained decent healthcare coverage about two months before I got sick.
 
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