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

















April 24, 2014


Go, Look: Just One

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Go, Look: Almost Full Coverage

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Go, Read: Janelle Asselin On Her Recent Experiences Including Multiple Screenshots Of Threats Made

Here. It could be that some of the screenshots of the threats -- taken from Asselin's survey of sexual harassment in comics, which I encourage every person eligible to take before it comes down in a few days -- appeared in other article, but I hadn't seen them. It is really painful to see someone have to make a case to work in an arts industry, as Asselin does at the article's conclusion, particuarly someone that has a lot to offer an industry that has so much going for it right now. That's where we are, though. We've made our proclamations and we've drawn our lines in the sand, in some cases for a third or fourth time; next time we'll be judged on our progress rather than our intentions.
 
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Go, Look: The Two Questions

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Go, Enroll: Zak Sally Presents Schoolhaus

Were my life organized in a different way so that it were possible, I would love to go the College Of Zak Sally Creative Knowledge, a program called Schoolhaus he's teaching with Dan Ibarra. Sally is an obvious multi-disciplinarian when it cames to the arts, although even just to do comics in a way where you're managing different elements of the wider production process, that would seem to me to qualify a lot of folks to teach in this manner. Sounds fun.
 
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Go, Read: Manga -- A Place To Start

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Go, Read: Brian Hibbs On Amazon.com Purchasing comiXology

The retailer and direct market industry advocate Brian Hibbs wrote a piece about the Amazon.com purchase of comiXology that bears reading, like the vast majority of what Brian pens. It isn't dismissive or backwards-sounding; although there are critical elements. I think there are reasons to remain skeptical about that partnership for the long term; that hesitation on the very fundamental part of the deal where more of the publishing industry gets placed into Amazon's hands, that's something that came up when I talked to publishers, even publishers super-enthusiastic about the acquisition. Just as it's wrong to automatically assume an independent virtue of keeping the old system for the sake of the old system, so is it misguided to make a virtue out of abstract principles over how the companies and creators benefit.

I do find some of Hibbs's broader assertions curious, particuarly when they depend on idealized elements of the market. There are some great comics shops out there that carry a sizable array of comics and can direct people to work and build readers; there are also shops that don't even carry the "weirder" Marvel/DC books. There are about 20 cities in all of the US where I'll send someone I know to a comics shop rather than Amazon.com when they're looking for a specific trade or even shopping for a general kind of comic, at least without massive qualification.

I think the comparison of this to Diamond's exclusive-driven dominance of the direct market back in the 1990s is reasonably apt, particularly in terms of how that deal developed: it turns out that was not armageddon, but you could argue that was a massive blow, particularly in the broad potential of that market not reaching its potential in certain ways, even to the limited extent they used to. One hopes for the best outcome here as well, and I think the way this deal went down means that there's a greater chance people will be pushing the business in that direction.
 
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Go, Look: Sunbakerey

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Not Comics: LARB Blog On Netflix And Television Canon

The writer Sean T. Collins pointed out via twitter this article by Anne Helen Petersen on the role that the easy availability of certain television shows may have on the canon-building efforts by an emerging generation of media critics. It's one of those articles that's stuffed full of interesting insights and revelatory moments even if, like me, you find its central premise deeply disturbing and many of those individual moments darkly humorous.

I do think that it does have something to say about comics, though, in that a broader audience than actual critics-to-be are definitely going to be influenced by what is closest and most ubiquitous and a part of their consumption lives just as they are by what hits, what leaves a mark, what is powerful and affecting. While I always caution people away from thinking the end goal of every artistic pursuit is maximizing audience and profit (and those aren't even the same thing anymore), I think there are likely some takeaways in there for putting comics on-line and how, and also reference points for re-examining older structures, like the fact I'm uncertain if there exists any sort of infrastructure that might bring second- and third-generation alt/arts comics makers to a wide audience based on print alone.

I'm not sure I'd want to be on the business side of comics over the next 15 years, although that's where all the opportunities are in terms of making the particularly artistic endeavor a better place.
 
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Go, Look: excellence & genius

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Collective Memory: WonderCon 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of WonderCon, held April 18-20 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

*****

Institutional
* Convention Site
* Festival Location
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Andy Fish
* asmzine

* Comic Spectrum
* Crabcat

* Dork Up

* Josh Shalek

* Mike The Fanboy

* optik nourishment

* Pop Culture Maven

* Stuart Ng Books

* The Adventures Of Obi-Rus Kenobi
* The Chris Jones Gaming Network
* The Collective
* The Voice Of E

Facebook
* WonderCon Page

News Stories and Columns
* Advocate
* Bleeding Cool 01
* Comic Vine
* Daily Trojan
* Hero Complex
* New York Daily News
* Sonia Harris At Comics Should Be Good

Photos
* bhampton1963
* coffeemarc
* daryl k
* Doug Luberts
* White Rose

Twitter
* #wondercon
* con account
* Landry Walker
* Skottie Young

Video
* ellivllams
* FBC
* geekworldradio

*****



*****

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*****
*****
 
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OTBP: Carry Me

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* unlike the last couple of weekends, the majority of the focus this Friday to Sunday will be one show: C2E2 in Chicago. There should also be some folks crossing over to do stuff at the Brooklyn Zine Fest. C2E2's an interesting show. That one actually got off to a rough start, but has since slowly built itself back up to a valued stop for the folks that do the more mainstream-focused shows. Also, Chicago is the greatest. It also didn't really vanquish Chicago's Wizard show but as it turns out that's a region of the country that can support more than one show with that set of emphases. I think it's interesting I could not tell you any guest for that show to save my life, which shows just how those shows basically act as their own headliners now.

* here's a reasonably late -- by today's standards only -- report on Linework NW on Panel Patter. And here is one from PSU Vanguard.

* Conundrum Press has their TCAF schedule up, a sign that publisher in the alt-/arts- world are really focusing in on that one now. That's a major event any year in that world, and by that world I really mean "comics" at this point, not just smaller press or art comics. Here's a snapshot of their small press area.

* I totally missed this report from Maura McHugh on one of the MCM conventions, this one in Ireland.

* I'm not sure that I've seen enough on-line about FLUKE, but there are a few things here and there and it looks like a fun show. That's not FLUKE's fault. Almost no one writes con reports anymore but the big shows still have enough saturation in terms of attendance to make a "collective memory" possible. Maybe I'm wrong; if someone knows of a ton of links, let me know! Here's one from the Dollar Bin podcast.

* finally, I'll be staying at the Hilton this year during HeroesCon, so if you're going to be there, too, we'll have a drink or play a game of HORSE at the YMCA connected to it. Everyone else will be over at the Westin, so we'll have to stick together.
 
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If I Were In Minnesota, I'd Go To This

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

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If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2014

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*****

April 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Minnesota, I'd Go To This

April 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This

April 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Wales, I'd Go To This (Wales Comic Con)
* If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

April 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Jackson, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

*****

May 1
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Auckland, I'd Go To This

May 2
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This

May 3
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Arizona, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Wellington, I'd Go To This
* If Were In The Baltimore Area, I'd Go To This

May 4
* If I Were In Naples, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Purchase, I'd Go To This

May 7
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

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

May 9
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 11
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Bucharest, I'd Go To This (East European Comic Con)
* If I Were In Ottawa, I'd Go To This (Ottawa Comiccon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

May 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This

May 16
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Philly, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

May 18
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Con)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (XCon)
* f I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Big Wow)

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

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

May 25
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 30
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 31
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
* f I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hartford, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

*****

Ongoing
* Edward Gorey at Loyola University in Chicago (Through June 15)

*****

This post is designed to list events through February 2014, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

*****
*****
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Go, Look: A Simone Bianchi Spider-Man Art Mini-Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Josh Bayer's latest Suspect Device kickstarter seems like it will be up against it a bit as it rounds into it's last 10 days, but it's near the halfway point and that's usually key. You might want to take a look at one if you're a fan of the NYC scene, and the young cartoonists that come out of that scene.

image* Paul O'Brien on All-New X-Men #25. Johanna Draper Carlson on The Amateur Astronomer's Journal. Shea Hennum on Operation Margarine. Chris Sims on Fastlane. Osvaldo Oyola on X-Men. Emilia Packard on Blacklung. Sarah Mirk on a bunch of different comics. Charles Joy on MIND MGMT #21. John Seven on Beautiful Darkness. Brian Galindo on The Amazing Spider-Man Vs. The Prodigy.

* this comic book ad featuring a Saturday morning cartoon line-up from 1967 may be more entertaining than watching a morning of those cartoons. Back when that stuff wasn't covered so closely and the Saturday morning blocs were the only place to see new cartoons with any certainty, these ads were kind of a big deal for little kids.

* I never get mail this interesting.

* the only filmed Superman that matters. Someone must have had this up, because three people e-mailed it to me in the course of three hours. Sorry to that person.

* Zainab Akhtar talks to Felicia Choo and looks at some of the work coming out of the elmonstruodecoloresnotieneboca project. Carl Antonowicz talks to Julie Delporte. The Comics Alternative Podcast folks talk to Shannon Wheeler.

* Jason Sacks appreciates the Simon and Kirby horror comics -- if you see the monster comics as their own thing, this is probably the least discussed major phase in the career of Jack Kirby.

* Katie Skelly draws Kirby's Kamandi (the famous Kamandi map). Chris Schweizer draws the '80s X-Men. Richard Thompson draws some lovely-looking postcards. David Lasky draws Ziggy Stardust.

* some nice student at the Herron school could use some sales attention in order to make that transition from student to working artist.

* there's something very "right now" about a prominent comics writer having their longest run on a character/concept being less than 20 issues and that still involving the title re-launching once.

* Heidi MacDonald is putting together a resource page of professional development links.

* finally, Pearl Paint RIP.
 
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Happy 44th Birthday, Warren Craghead!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Devlin Thompson!

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Go, Bid: Stan And Sharon Sakai Art Auctions Going On eBay

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April 23, 2014


Go, Look/Bundled Extra/Festivals Extra: š! #17 To Debut At TCAF; Previewed Extensively

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By Request Special: CBLDF Through AmazonSmile

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, one of comics' traditional charitable causes and one of its backbone organizations, is participating in the AmazonSmile program. That means you can sign up with the retailing giant, indicate the Fund at the appropriate part of that process, and .5 percent of the price of your purchases will go to the organization. They've written about it here.

I have to imagine this wouldn't make a huge difference person to person but might start to if it's a few hundred folks doing it, and it's hard for to imagine what it hurts as it sounds like a reasonably invisible program.

I hope you'll consider it, anyway.

Update: So a few of you asked about whether comiXology purchases would now or might in the future be a part of this program. I asked Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Fund, who said he wasn't sure.

"Amazon Smile is a relatively new service, and one where folks purchases can benefit our work. The way it's currently set up, it only works when people enter through the Amazon Smile start page and perform their purchases. It isn't yet equipped to work with the Amazon App, even, so it seems doubtful, in the near term, that they would since that's another external application. But I don't really know yet."

Brownstein further told CR that while he'll ask the comiXology folks, he imagine that this is the kind of concern way down the list for that company, at least for the time being.
 
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Missed It: Tessa Brunton Diary At TCJ.com

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