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
















July 22, 2014


Go, Look: Star*Reach #6

image
 
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Jijé In America

image
 
posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Al Columbia-Made Music Video, Song

Here. That's Al with the hatchet -- and I can't tell you how many times I typed that particular phrase in the '90s. It's very reminiscent of his comics.
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Frankenstein #3

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Dave Lasky Just Sent Me The Best SDCC Personal Appearance Notice I've Ever Seen

image

Bonus points for using 2012 version of me as photo reference: several pounds lighter than 2014 me, and with a nicer suit. Still bald, though.

At any rate, go see David Lasky. Comic-Con International is a strange event on a lot of levels, but at its core is a really good to excellent comics show. The fact that they'd have a David Lasky and an Eleanor Davis and a Jim Rugg on hand speaks to that fact.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Bruce Timm Draws The X-Men

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* there was a bunch of publishing news that came out before San Diego Con this year, particularly from not Big Two publishers. Archie, for instance, provided a name for the revamp of their superhero characters into a line, one that's already been slowly rolling out. I have an interview with Alex Segura that's giving me brain fits of some sort whenever I try to transcribe it, but he's heavily involved and promises a lighter touch with the creators on the individual books having their way.

image* Josh Kopin appears to approve of the forthcoming Jason Aaron/Ron Garney collaboration Men Of Wrath.

* here is what the covers will look like on the forthcoming Zenith reprint project. I know a lot of people that are looking forward to that one.

* missed this announcement of Lucy Knisley's next book with First Second; it's wedding-related.

* a couple of you sent me this link, to an article about artist Ronn Sutton's involvement with a 2015 graphic novel in collaboration with an author and former Hell's Angels member.

* the nice folks at ComicsAlliance speculate on storytelling solutions for Marvel being able to head back to the Superior Spider-Man well. That's been probably been figured out by the time this post rolls out.

* missed this trailer for The Shadow Hero. That's a fun project.

* Hope Larson announced a while back that she and Rebecca Mock will be joined on the Four Points project by colorist Shari Chankhamma.

* Tony Millionaire shares a letter received as a way of noting a short run for his Maakies in a Florida newspaper, now ended. It's hard for me to think of Maakies running anywhere that people would have this reaction to it. Then again, there aren't a whole lot of papers left that are willing to run this kind of material, period.

* the cartoonist Matt Bors says his first print collection is running out of its first print. I thought that was a good book, both the cartoons selected and the extensive supporting prose.

* finally, the artist and cartoonist Roman Muradov has a one-page preview of work up from the forthcoming Yellow Zine #5.

image
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Magno

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2014

image

*****

July 23
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (Comic-Con Preview Night)

July 24
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (Comic-Con International)

July 25
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (Comic-Con International)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Medina, I'd Go To This

July 26
* If I Were In Manchester, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (Comic-Con International)
* If I Were In Medina, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

July 27
* If I Were In Manchester, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (Comic-Con International)

July 28
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This

July 30
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

July 31
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

*****

August 1
* If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

August 2
* If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

August 3
* If I Were In Tampa Bay, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Rhode Island, I'd Go To This

August 8
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 9
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)

August 10
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sunderland, I'd Go To This (Sunderland Comic Con)

August 11
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 12
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 15
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 16
* If I Were Near Virginia Beach, I'd Go To This (VA Beach Comicon)
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 17
* If I Were Near Virginia Beach, I'd Go To This (VA Beach Comicon)
* If I Were Near Bridgeport, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Japan, I'd Go To This (Comiket)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (COMICA Festival Weekend)

August 18
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 23
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chimacum, I'd Go To This

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

*****

Ongoing
* The Art Of The Cartoon, Featherstone Centers Of The Arts (Through July 30)

* Exploring Calvin And Hobbes, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Through August 3)
* Eye of the Cartoonist: Daniel Clowes’s Selections from Comics History, Wexner Center (through August 3)
* Modern Cartoonist: The Art Of Daniel Clowes, Wexner Center (Through August 3)
* The Irresistible Force Meets The Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson Retrospective, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library And Museum (Through August 3)

* Small Press Spotlight On Jon Adams, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 10)
* Raw Fury: The Art Of Mike Zeck, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 10)

* Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection, Cartoon Art Museum (Through August 24)

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cartoon Art Museum (Through September 14)

*****

This post is designed to list events through the month after this one, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

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

 
Go, Look: Abyss #1

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Saltire. Don MacPherson on various comics. Lauren Davis on The Economics Of Webcomics. Rob Clough on The Shadow Hero. Todd Klein on Justice League #31. David Brothers on Dorohedoro.

* speaking of MacPherson, he has a post here about people overvaluing original comics art in eBay auctions. I always figure that's just some random page that an estate holder has or something similar, and they'd just take a chance they could sell it for a tremendous amount. But who knows?

* Natasha Robinson profiles Bill Leak. Bradley Campbell profiles Gene Luen Yang.

* finally, Brigid Alverson takes a shot at licensing news from Anime Expo; I thought that report had a great deal of clarity.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 30th Birthday, William Cardini!


 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 21, 2014


Go, Look: Tyler Landry

image
 
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Al Nisbet Cartoons Case Being Heard This Week

I haven't seen a ton about these Al Nisbet cartoons since the initial furor about their depiction of people taking advantage of a government school system in what seems like the most brutally dumb and obvious and insulting way, but it looks like a human rights case is being heard this week.

It also looks like that case has lurched into borderline absurdity from the start, focusing on whether or not the depiction of red hair on some of the crudely-designed figures may slip them out of being depictions of the peoples involved. If I'm getting it right, the basic argument is that something in these depictions that may not be a whopping, goofy stereotype may somehow absolve the cartoons despite everything that is. Although I guess that red hair is being argued tribe to tribe, so who knows? I don't believe that free expression should be curtailed even when it's insulting speech, but I certainly don't enjoy seeing a case tried by people dancing around authorial intent in such a bizarre manner. My preference would be cartoonists claiming their work says what it seems to be saying without having to back away from it for fear of legal evisceration, even if what that work says is dumb and viciously upsetting.

The cartoons appeared last year in the Marlborough Express and Christchurch Press.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Happiness #4

image
 
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request/Assembled Extra: Katie Skelly Launches Operation Margarine Follow-Up My Pretty Vampire

image

The cartoonist Katie Skelly, whose Operation Margarine launched successful for AdHouse Books this Spring at the MoCCA Festival and was the first book in that publisher's 2014 new-release youth movement, has announced a new project for digital and potential eventual print publication.

My Pretty Vampire launched yesterday on Skelly's Tumblr. It's digitally colored, and employs limited animation effects, both of which may be somewhat of a surprise for fans of a cartoonist best known in print for her stark black and white work. The on-line release of the material in part facilitates the use of both of those effects, Skelly says in introducing the new series.

A black and white print mini-comic version is set to debut at this year's Small Press Expo.

No formal publishing home beyond Tumblr and that mini-comic was announced. Both of Skelly's previous books, this year's Operation Margarine and 2012's Nurse Nurse (with Sparkplug), enjoyed a life previous to collection as numbered series of black and white, self-published minis.

I'm interested in cartoonists turning around with new material so quickly after previous publication, although of course several cartoonists work on overlapping projects, particularly in serial form. I do believe that digital avenues facilitate a tighter turnaround between book projects, or at least our public perception of them -- this is another way they fulfill the role previously head in art comics by one-person alt-anthologies.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Plopular Poetry (A-U)

image
 
posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Beguiling Representing This One Summer Art At Comic-Con International This Week

image

This was just announced via e-mail, so I hope this link might get you there. Apparently The Beguiling will have pages of Jillian Tamaki art from The One Summer at their area this year, a side table at the Drawn and Quarterly booth. That's a frequently stunning-looking book, with pages I imagine work quite well as stand-alone images. I hope you'll go and look at them if not purchase several for yourself.
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Ghost

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Tech Crunch Article That Absolves Amazon.com Of Harming Writers; Blames General Market

A few of you have sent along this article arguing its way through the changes in the book market brought about by the Internet, using the announcement of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited plan as the trigger event for the piece.

I suppose this is where I should have some sort of sweeping proclamation to make. I don't. In fact, this article is a big jumble of arguments barely corralled together by its author. I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few of you wonder two or three times during the piece if arguments being made support or disprove what seems to be its general premise. I know I wondered.

Me, I think the old system was horrible and the new system is likely to be just horrible and maybe even more so in terms of the bottom line of number of artists making a sustainable living. This is a disappointment because it would be nice if a new system could be not horrible. Otherwise, it's like installing dirty carpets.

Unfortunately, we don't put much of a value on anything other than maximized profit at all times for whatever agency or actors can seize it. Admitting that to ourselves doesn't mean the old days were wonderful, because they were horrible, too. It would be nice if we could scale back some of that transformative zeal. I am certain several authors will escape the horrors involved with that kind of increasingly crass and harsh value system. I am also sure most won't. Incomes will continue to go down for a lot of working creators. In response, folks will argue potentialities like they're practicalities, as if all artists can do what Lady Gaga does. And so on.

One thing I worry about in comics is that the recent past has been pretty well served from an arts standpoint by the option of there being a strong relationship of artists to publisher in a way that both entities can sustain themselves economically. If the heart of the sustainable relationship shifts from artist/publisher to artist/audience, I'd worry a bit for the quality of the art created over time. In my view, comics doesn't have the same kind of artistic pedigree in terms of work created that way, and it certainly hasn't done so efficiently. I worry about assigning the role of savior to a system still in development. They rarely look like messiahs once the details gets filled in.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: National Review On Marvel's Thor Comic Book

Here. I was a crazy obsessive National Review reader at about the same time in my life I was last a reader of Thor comic books, so I wanted to read this one. It made me nostalgic for eighth grade study hall, but that's about it.

The American conservative movement has never been able to muster much of a fight in any sort of cultural war, perceived or real (it's sort of both). An elitist's position was probably available to them a few decades ago, but they're sort of rigorously anti-intellectual now. What's left is sneering and rolling your eyes, which this writer, Jim Geraghty, admirably avoids for the sake of exploring the basic context from which a decision like this might develop.

Two major problems with the piece should be familiar to readers of articles about comics that appear in non-industry media. First, it treats the superhero comics companies as the entirety of the industry, as opposed to a dominant market force in one of that medium's industries. Second, it treats segments of that audience as having monolithic taste. I'm not sure if National Review falling in line with most mainstream media treatments is a step forward or a step back. It's been a while.

Women have always been a significant part of comics' wider readership. I suspect the difference we're feeling now is the growing voice of many women within specific elements of a variety of focused, engaged readership groups. That's a different although equally welcome thing. In the wider view, there are few secrets as to making comics that appeal to a broad audience, and very few of them involve the almost arcane moving around of cultural elements with which Marvel is engaged. Many are just about making great comics exploring a variety of views, employing a variety of identifiable characters, and freeing the resulting entertainments from outright hostility and pandering to creepy elements which might actively repel giant swathes of a potential audience. Companies like Marvel and DC are latecomers adjusting to a wider industry standard more than they ever define one.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Elektra: Assassin Interior Pages

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* still a few ongoing crowd-funders featuring big names: Dan Vado and SLG, Dave Cockrum, David Petersen and Rick Geary. I think at this point all but the Dan Vado one should have met their initial goals, if not a few stretch versions.

* not as well-known a name, Henry Chamberlain still has a gofundme campaign hanging in there.

* I don't have people e-mail me links to toy-related crowd-funders all that often, but I can see why this line of retro action figures like Stardust would be appealing to people that read this site.

* not sure I've read a more entertaining crowd-funding request than this one. It looks like enough people agree with me that the project will be safely funded.

* the second Monstrosity anthology continues to chug along.

* Gary Reed and Caliber announced what they say is their first crowd-funder soon after last week's column went up.

* finally, there are still days left for this crowd-funder for The Somber Crown, but I have that it will have met its initial goal between the time I'm writing this and the moment it rolls out on the site, so consider this one of those "if you'd like to participate" notice.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Wildfire

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Frank Frazetta LOTR Images Mini-Gallery

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Daily Blog Archives
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
 
Full Archives