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

















April 16, 2014


Go, Look: Mikus Duncis

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Go, Follow: The Jack Davis Foundation Tumblr

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Your 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominations

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The Eisner Awards released their 2014 nominees list yesterday.

imageInitial reaction on-line seemed reasonably positive, with no major omissions or jaw-dropping inclusions becoming the immediate focus of commentary. There was certainly a number of entry points for discussion. The titles Hawkeye, Saga and The Wake drove the most nominations. Writers Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, who are married, were both nominated in the Best Writer category for their respective work. DeConnick's presence in the male-dominated Best Writer category also drove attention to what seemed like a significant number of women in art-related categories. The late Kim Thompson was recognized for his work on Prince Valiant rather than for one of his pet European projects like The Adventures Of Jodelle. In terms of the alternative old guard, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez both received nominations and shared in a nomination, building on recent reconsideration for and appreciation of those alt-comics legends. Their peer Jim Woodring, however, whose Fran was a strong contender on a lot of best-of lists and was the the best stand-alone book I read last year, was not nominated. Graham Chaffee was nominated; he returned to comics with Good Dog after two well-received books in the 1990s, but made what seemed like little in the way of a critical impression. Naoki Urasawa, a recent Eisners favorite, wasn't nominated. A Josh Simmons work from (mostly) mini-comics publisher and distributor Oily Comics was nominated. Two self-published comics made the single-issue category. Two distinct Jeffrey Brown works received nominations, which I imagine without knowing for sure is also a relative rarity. Except for Batman feeding into a nomination for writer Scott Snyder, the core DC superhero books went without a nomination -- although the reprint line and the Vertigo imprint were represented. TCJ.com and the print Comics Journal released this year were both nominated. Other frequent recent nominees like ComicsAlliance and Alter Ego were not on that list, nor was one-time Eisner darling Jon B. Cooke. This site was also not on the list. Editor Scott Dunbier maintained a strong presence. I would have to imagine that up to half of the stand-alone original graphic novel category was not seen by many of those writing about comics through traditional outlets. Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia Of Early Earth, which came out too late in the year to make many best-of lists, particularly those with an apparent Christmas shopping imperative, drove a pair of nominations. The Oatmeal was nominated a couple of times; that's a feature with vocal fans and passionate detractors as one might expect of something that monstrously popular. Perennial design favorite Drawn And Quarterly was shut out of that category. Image took four of five continuing series nods.

I could do another paragraph about that size. Matt Phelan, for instance. Or Watson and Holmes. Just as the industry and art form feel bigger and more of a sprawl than ever before, so is at least this one snapshot of the art form.

I asked Eisner Awards Admininstrator Jackie Estrada about two of the nominations that featured individuals with close personal ties to members of the nominating committee: Steve Hamaker for Best Colorist on a variety of works (Hamaker is married to Jenny Robb), Margeurite Van Cook for painting/multimedia interiors on 7 Miles A Second (Van Cook is married to James Romberger). In addition to that personal relationship with Van Cook, Romberger was a co-author on the work for which the artist was nominated. Estrada told CR that in both cases the nominations came from the publishers involved rather than the judges, and that both were generally accliamed works of the type the awards program routinely considers. "There are often potential conflicts of interest in the Eisners because we are in all small industry and anyone who is a judge unavoidably has friends and colleagues who are eligible for nomination." Estrada also stated that Robb and Romberger recused themselves from voting for the categories in question.

This site congratulates all of the nominess, and specifically the nominees in the category for which this site was eligible. We wish everyone the best of luck, and urge all eligible to vote.

On a personal note, it was extra-nice to see the vastly under-appreciated Kristy Valenti share in two nominations -- one for The Comics Journal #302 (with Gary Groth) and one for The Love And Rockets Companion (with Marc Sobel). The comics industry runs on people like Valenti.

The nominating committee was Kathy Bottarini, William H. Foster III, Christian Lipski, Lee Oeth, Robb and Romberger. The awards will go to their winners the Friday evening of Comic-Con International weekend. That ceremony will include a hall of fame component and the winners of a smattering of outside awards traditionally given out during that ceremony.

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Best Short Story

* Go Owls, by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Mars to Stay, by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
* Seaside Home, by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
* Untitled, by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
* When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth, by Matthew Inman

*****

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Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

* Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
* Hawkeye #11: Pizza Is My Business, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
* Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
* Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
* Watson And Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton, and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)

*****

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Best Continuing Series

* East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
* Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
* Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
* Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
* Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

*****

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Best Limited Series

* The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
* Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
* 47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
* Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
* The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

*****

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Best New Series

* High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
* Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
* Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
* Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
* Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)

*****

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Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

* Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
* The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
* Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
* Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
* Otto's Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)

*****

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Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

* Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
* Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
* Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
* The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
* Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
* Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)

*****

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Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

* Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
* Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
* Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
* Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
* March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)

*****

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Best Humor Publication

* Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
* The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
* Vader's Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
* You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

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Best Anthology

* Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
* Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
* Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
* Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
* The Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)

*****

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Best Digital/Webcomic

* As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman
* Failing Sky, by Dax Tran-Caffee
* High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
* The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies
* The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman

*****

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Best Reality-Based Work

* A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
* The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
* Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
* March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
* Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

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Best Graphic Album -- New

* Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
* The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
* Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
* Homesick, by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
* The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
* War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)

*****

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Best Adaptation from Another Medium

* The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
* The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
* Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
* The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo (Last Gasp)

*****

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Best Graphic Album -- Reprint

* The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
* Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
* Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
* Julio's Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
* RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
* Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

*****

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Best Archival Collection/Project -- Strips

* Barnaby Vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Percy Crosby's Skippy Daily Comics Volume Two: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* Prince Valiant Vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
* Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
* Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)

*****

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Best Archival Collection/Project -- Comic Books

* Best of EC Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
* In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
* MAD Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Will Eisner's The Spirit Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

*****

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material

* Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
* Goddamn This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
* Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
* Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
* When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia

* The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
* The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
* Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Summit of the Gods Vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

*****

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Best Writer

* Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
* Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
* Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
* Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

*****

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Best Writer/Artist

* Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
* Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
* Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
* Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
* Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
* Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

* Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
* Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
* Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
* Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
* Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)

*****

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Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

* Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
* Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
* Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
* Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
* Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best Cover Artist

* David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
* Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
* Sean Murphy/Jordie Belaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
* Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

*****

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Best Coloring

* Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10 (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)
* Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue #1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)
* Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Frank Martin, East of West (Image)
* Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, PRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)

*****

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Best Lettering

* Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground (IDW)
* Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; "Finder" in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
* Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
* Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
* Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)

*****

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Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland
* The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
* Comics and Cola, by Zainab Akhtar
* Multiversity Comics, edited by Matthew Meylikhov
* tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel and Timothy Hodler (Fantagrapahics)

*****

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Best Comics-Related Book

* Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
* The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
* Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
* The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

*****

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Best Scholarly/Academic Work

* Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
* Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
* Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
* International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
* The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)

*****

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Best Publication Design

* The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
* Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
* Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
* Little Tommy Lost Book One, designed by Cole Closser (Koyama)

*****

The bulk of images used are hopefully understandable according to their placement over individual categories. The image up top is from Hawkeye; the image below is from The Wake; the inset image in the second paragraph is from Bluffton: My Summers With Buster.

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Go, Look: To Be Announced

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Go, Look: A Run Of Uncle Sam Comics

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Happy 25th Anniversary, Dilbert!

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Kim Thompson was a fan, as I recall
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of David Mack Watercolor Images

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This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases To The Direct Market



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.

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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: Kryptonite Handbook

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Go, Look: Paul Gustavson's The Human Bomb

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to Brittney Sabo for being named the best local cartoonist by City Pages during one of those "best of" periods all such publications pursue every now and then. That's a very cartoonist-rich scene.

image* Casey Nielsen on Creepy #16. Ng Suat Tong on Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. James Bacon on Charley's War. Richard Bruton on Rain On Glass. Larry Cruz on Stripped!. Paul Tumey on Superman: The Golden Age Sundays 1943-1946. Zainab Akhtar on Ariol.

* not comics: Nate Silver writes about the effect of Pulitzer Prize wins on circulation numbers.

* there's an update here from Heidi MacDonald about ongoing discussion concerning how people conduct themselves across the sexes within the comics industry and attendant, specifically how men may threaten women, particularly in the course of a wider discussion of gender and related issues in comics. It's impossible for those of directly involved to pay too much attention to this issue. The one thing that caught my attention in there is that MacDonald reports that the male colleagues to whom she's spoken are shocked by the fact that women are routinely threatened with rape on-line. I surely haven't talked to as many people on this issue, but those I have seem wholly familiar that this takes place. I'm not sure sure why anyone wouldn't know that at this point.

* good gravy this spread.

* Tim O'Shea talks to Dale Eaglesham. Michael Cavna talks to Kevin Siers. Brigid Alverson talks to Danica Novgorodoff. Zainab Akhtar talks to Lucie Ebrey. Graeme McMillan talks to Mimi Pond.

* the writer Marc Bernardin has some advice in advance of WonderCon, the old-school opening of the convention year.

* finally, this is a cute feature piece on titles for letters columns. I don't even know if people process these that didn't experience them as they were published the same way as those of us that were able to process them.
 
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Go, Bid: Stan And Sharon Sakai Art Auctions Going On eBay

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April 15, 2014


Your 2014 Eisner Award Nominations

Here. I'll come back at some point and list them here and do links, but until then you should just go read them on their site rather than a cut-and-paste here. I hate it when people do that.

Although: a super congratulations right now to my deserving, direct peers in a very tough "Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism" category: Jonah, Gary, Kristy, Zainab, Matthew, Dan and Tim.
 
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Go, Look: Celine De Cadt

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Pultizer Prize Day Is The Best Newsroom Day

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One of the best days in journalism is the day when the Pulitzers go out. They're announced mid-day as a news story rather than at a ceremony, which allows journalists to react and celebrate while at work. I have to imagine that there's no one for whom this kind of win isn't a career highlight -- in newspaper parlance, it's the kind of information that might make the first sentences of your obit.

Basically, all I'm saying is that it's hard not to love this picture of editorial cartooning category winner Kevin Siers getting a hug from a co-worker. Come on. You can practically hear the warbled happy birthday song attempts embedded in the walls of that place.

Here's Siers' on-line "space" at the paper. Here is the citation that can drive you to the winning portfolio. Here is what I think is the initial Observer story that became a wire release. That last offering emphasizes the Observer's cartooning tradition -- Siers apparently replaced the much-admired Doug Marlette -- and which cartoons they thought were particuarly impactful.

They also mention that Siers is from Minnesota, which I always thought a really underrated aspect of a lot of editorial cartooning positions, that they were staffed by people that maybe lived, went to school or even worked in a different place other than the place from where the paper originates.
 
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Go, Look: A New Sam Alden Comic (Or At Least New To Me)

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By Request Extra: Retailer To Raise Money For Customer On FCBD

There's a nicely linked-up story over at Robot 6 about the Levittown retailer Wade Shaw putting together a series of efforts on behalf of a longtime customer whose baby girl has leukemia. You don't have to bite down very hard, or at all, on the idea of a place of business as a community hub of some sort to want to see that retailer and this customer do well. They are looking for auction donations, and I hope if you're in a position to do something along the lines of what they're looking for, you'll consider it.
 
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Go, Look: Closer Than We Think

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Go, Read: Shannon O'Leary's Retailer Survey Summary Article Over At PW: Saga, Pricing, Weather

There are a bunch of straight-talk gems to pull from Shannon O'Leary's summary report of a discussion with a handful of Direct Market retailers. As the article itself notes, this isn't a representative survey of that market but a temperature-taking of a group of that market's 100 highest quality retail establishments; I didn't see a store included I don't think of as a model store. While this might make it harder to use what is said as some kind of truth for that entire market, it does allow for some quality observations about the high-functioning part of the DM.

The three that jumped out at me were Saga, pricing and weather. Saga is confirmed by the people selling it as the genuine hit its numbers and buzz indicate, a status driven by enthusiasm for the material and a wider-than-usual audience base for a book people want to share. It's also something that affordable trades facilitate in terms of entry point and Image's reach right now puts in almost every shop. Tucker Stone makes this really interesting point that one way that publishers are keeping their margins with digital sales playing a bigger factor is just jacking up the price in a way that makes it harder for physical-location book retailers to sell at the purposefully inflated price. I hadn't considered that before. Finally, the retailers note that the crappy weather in the Midwest and Northeast makes a difference, and probably did so this year in terms of the slow first quarter. This is something we don't think about enough. Direct Market stores sometimes draw from a pretty wide area for their business. It's not that comics lacks a wide fanbase, but the kind of focused, relentless buying that keeps the DM going asks for a specific customer that might not be available in every neighborhood.

That some of the best and brightest in a retailing sphere can remaing bullish on comics despite a present that could feed any number of slow-death or apocalyptic scenarios is some of the best news for which comics can hope.
 
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I Always Like Looking At Syd Shores' Artwork

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Collective Memory: Linework NW 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of Linework NW, held April 12 at Sons Of Norway Grieg Lodge in Portland.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention Site
* Festival Location
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Fantagraphics
* Lori D
* Scout Books
* The Beat

Facebook
* Ed Luce
* Jason Lamb
* T. Edward Bak

News Stories and Columns
* Portland Mercury 01
* Portland Mercury 02
* Oregonian
* PW

Photos
* Caroline Smith

* Ed Luce

* Fantagraphics (individual photo)
* Fantagraphics (Set)
* Francois Vigneault 01
* Francois Vigneault 02
* Francois Vigneault 03
* Francois Vigneault 04
* Francois Vigneault 05

* Jason Lamb

* kirko kain

* Linework NW 01
* Lisa Mangum

* the art of skinner

* Zack Soto

Twitter
* Festival Twitter Account
* kirko kain
* Linework NW
* Michael DeForge
* the art of skinner

Video
* Jim Woodring And His Giant Pen

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Go, Look: Vince Colletta In The Style Of Wally Wood

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Collective Memory: SPACE 2014

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of SPACE, held April 12 and April 13 at Ramada Plaza Columbus North Hotel And Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio.

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

*****

Institutional
* Convention Site
* Location
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Alex Heberling
* All Events In Columbus
* Angst And Ennui
* Matt Kish
* Nate Powell
* Natto Soup
* Penina Gal
* Prince Of Cats Comics Art
* Robot 6
* Tom Williams

Facebook
* Bob Ray Starker
* Convention Page
* Dave Foland
* Elizabeth Velasco
* JT Dockery

Miscellaneous
* Back Porch Comics
* Laughing Ogre Comics

News Stories and Columns
* Columbus Alive

Photos
* Drew Brockington
* Jono Balliet

Twitter
* Christian Hoffer
* Mike Freiheit
* The Outhousers

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posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Paul Pope Black And White Image Gallery

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Amazon.com Acquires Comixology

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Commentary and reaction around the Internet to the announcement that Amazon will acquire comiXology, in a deal to be concluded by the end of this year's second quarter.

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Institutional
* Amazon
* comiXology
* Press Release
* David Steinberger's Statement

Audio
* ComicsAlliance Podcast

Blogs
* CR

* Robot 6

* The Beat 01
* The Beat 02

News Stories And Columns
* ActuaBD.com
* Ars Technica
* AV Club

* Big Shiny Robot
* Bleeding Cool 01
* Bleeding Cool 02
* Bleeding Cool 03
* Business Insider

* Canadian Reviewer
* Canoe.ca
* Castanet
* CBR
* Chicago Sun Times
* cNet 01
* cNet 02
* CNNMoney
* Comic Book Bin
* ComicsAlliance
* Comics Should Be Good
* Crain's
* Crave Online
* Cult Of Mac 01
* Cult Of Mac 02

* Dallas Morning News
* dmw
* Droid Life

* Engadget
* Examiner.com

* Forbes
* Franchise Herald

* Geek
* Geeks Of Doom
* GeekSugar
* Gizmodo
* Good E Reader

* Hollywood Reporter

* IGN
* Inquistr
* International Digital Times
* intomobile
* io9

* Kotaku

* las vegas review journal
* libertyvoice
* liliputing

* Malaysia Sun 01
* Malaysia Sun 02
* Marketplace
* Market Watch
* Mashable
* MediaPost
* mobilesyrup
* Morning Ledger
* mstars

* NBC Bay Area
* Nerd Reactor
* Newsarama
* New York Business Journal
* NYTimes

* PC Mag
* Phandroid
* Pocket Lint
* Portland Mercury
* PW

* RTT News

* Slash Gear
* Softonic
* SuperHeroHype

* TechCrunch
* Tech Hive
* Techno Buffalo
* Technology Tell
* techsonian

* The Celebrity Cafe
* TechRadar
* The Mac Observer
* The Mary Sue
* The Motley Fool 01
* The Motley Fool 02
* The Outhousers 01
* The Outhousers 02
* The Scotsman
* The Slanted
* The Street
* The Verge

* Time
* TNW
* TUAW
* Tweaktown

* Ubergizmo
* Upstart
* USA Today

* VentureBeat
* Venture Capital Post

* Wall Street Journal 01
* Wall Street Journal 02
* Washington Post
* Windows Phone Central
* Wired

Twitter
* Ben Towle
* Dan Goldman 01
* Dan Goldman 02
* John Layman
* Panel Syndicate

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posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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