On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Specific Physical Comics Publications Or Specific Downloads You'd Take With You On A Proposed Trip. In The Fifth Slot, Describe In A Single Sentence The General Purpose Of The Trip." This is how they responded.
1. Cerebus: The Phone Book Editions (issues 1-300)
2. Lone Wolf And Cub Vols. 1-28 (Dark Horse mini-editions)
3. The Archies Americana Series 1940s-1990s
4. Yotsuba&! Vols. 1-13
5. A slow boat to China. The late fantasy author Thomas Burnett Swann told me he used to write his novels while traveling around the world via tramp freighters. Modern container ships still offer spartan passenger quarters: They'll give you a cabin and feed you but you're on your own re finding any diversion. Such a journey (and Swann took several to Asia) affords a writer plenty of time to write and read and think, and when done with writing and thinking, I'd take advantage of various downloads to read both text and graphic novels.
1. Essex County by Jeff Lemire (book)
2. Cerebus thru Church & State Vol. 2 Sim and Gerhard (download)
3. Pluto Vols. 1-8 by Urasawa (download)
4. Solo, the Deluxe Edition (book)
5. Take the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and then the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles. Visit family and friends.
1. Journey (Volume One) by William Messner-Loebs.
2. Mercury by Hope Larson.
3. Lewis and Clark by Nick Bertozzi.
4. Complete Elfquest (Volume One) by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini.
5. An extended weekend enjoying the outdoors at Brown County State Park in Indiana.
1. The Smithsonian Book Of Newspaper Comics
2. Kamandi Omnibus Vol. 1.
3. Kamandi Omnibus Vol. 2.
4. Locas: The Maggie And Hopey Stories.
5. Summer vacation rental of eight weeks or more where I expect people constantly dropping in and out, sometimes on rainy days.
Alan David Doane
1. The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
2. Daredevil Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
3. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
4. The Freebooters by Barry Windsor-Smith
5. Two-week getaway in a resort hotel
1. Moomin and the Comet by Tove Jansson
2. L'ABC de Monsieur Pizza by Ohara Hale
3. Showa 1944-1953 by Shigeru Mizuki
4. Ping Pong by Zviane
5. A two-week trip to a cottage to explore Prince Edward Island with my wife and baby boy (#1 & #2 are for him, #3 & #4 for me)
1. Alice in Sunderland
3. Sensational She-Hulk #14 (with the extra cover promo)
4. Judge Dredd #1 (Eagle Comics)
5. If I'm traveling, I have tons of reading material to catch up on that is accessible anywhere with an internet connection and I would have no need to choose specific pieces to carry with me. BUT if I were to travel to Great Britain for a week or so, I'd certainly try to see if I could overlap my stay with a comics event(s) where I could get some of my physical copies signed by the creators.
Jeffrey A. Goodman
1. Sadowski, Greg (ed.) -- Four Color Fear (Fantagraphics)
2. Gilmore, Donald H. -- Sex In Comics: History Of The Eight Pagers Volume Two: Mr. Prolific (Greenleaf Classics)
3. Wood, Wallace, and Jim Mooney and Bill Ward and Various -- Pussycat, The Complete 66 Adventures (Marvel/Various Men's 'Sweat' Mags compilation and Custom Bound)
4. Crumb, R. -- The Weirdo Years (Last Gasp)
5. I'm going to a funeral.
1. Barnaby Vol. 2
2. King Aroo Vol. 1
3. Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales
4. Groo Friends and Foes Vol 2
5. A bittersweet trip with far too much reflective alone-time as I visit 6 east coast Universities with my soon-to-be college bound daughter.
1. Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons
2. Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez
3. Comics & Media: A Special Issue of "Critical Inquiry"
4. The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art
5. Lengthy, long-distance summer vacation, so text-heavy selections since I'm limited to just five (fyi: that'll never happen).
1. Big Questions, Anders Nilsen
2. The Frank Book, Jim Woodring
3. The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1, Lee & Ditko
4. The High Cost of Dying, Reed Crandall, Al Feldstein, et al
5. All downloads on a tablet for a summer family trip to Poland that will provide ample waiting/reading time during plane, train, & bus travel with intermittent Internet reach.
I appreciate every last participant but will edit for the sake of the series. In order to keep people from making a point of coloring outside the lines, I tend to edit these in much more rigid fashion. I skipped that rigid control this time -- happy Memorial Day! -- but be forewarned.
Can I Mention Really Quickly How Much I Love Highbone Theater?
It's funny and weird and kind of beautiful. I wish we could all live in a headspace carved out by comics like this one as opposed to spending time puzzling over our feelings for even the most clever and enduring corporate products. Joe Daly is a treasure.
1. Imagine every person who has it in for you on some level gathered against a neutral backdrop and photographed. This picture is your own Masters Of Evil/Injustice Society/Your-Name Revenge Squad. Is it impressive? Is it formidable? Have you conducted your life in a way that has brought with it some serious resistance? Anyone you could talk over with a three-page scene, heavy on the dialogue?
Marvel/DC Quit The Field On Author Graham Jules Over Use Of Term Superhero In His Title
I keep forgetting to post a link to this article, and people forget to send it to me. I'm not sure I stray far outside the limits of conventional wisdom here. It's a dumb thing that word is held in copyright, and that article sure reads like Marvel and DC know that their hold on that word might not stand up in court if tested outright.
* some nice person wrote in and asked that I write about this, which looks like some process to present small press titles in a way that's beneficial to their being noticed and/or sampled. I don't really have the time to sort this out -- anyone would could unpack it for me would have a vested interest in selling me on it -- but there it is, and if it's something you can use, I'm happy to be the one that introduced you to it via that link.
* comic book store employee when I asked if I should buy DC Universe: Rebirth #1. "I guess. It's like 80 pages for three bucks. You might as well." I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I laughed reading the first line of description through that link because the first page of the comic tells you to read two other comics first.
Missed It: comiXology Announces Netflix-Style Service
I didn't miss it by a lot of time, but I am playing a bit of catch-up. Here is a reasonably straight-forward comics industry oriented piece on the digital distributor comiXology starting a streaming service called comiXology Unlimited. It's similar to curated streaming experience for film like those offered by Amazon.com or Netflix. It's not really a deep-dive offering like some of the company-specific programs. Under this program you pay your six bucks a month and get a mix of first-few issues and representative titles that kind of rotate in and out. For film, this strategy has hit a sweet spot between a world when lots of stuff is being offered, but that you're also not over-exposing the catalogs involved in terms of total depth and breadth.
I made my usual inquiry as to how the pay model works, and was given a no-comment by the distributor. I've been told that creators get paid out of a pool based on the relative number of contributed pages, and that sounds like the kind of strategy that could be in play.
Marvel and DC, ideal candidates for self-launched services featuring their own libraries, are not included.
I'm reading things on Twitter that indicate Image Comics made this particular distribution decision on behalf of the creators who publish under their banner, with all the usual questions about the implications of that for the company's aura of self-directed publication. I'm not finding a piece that confirms that, though. Then again, I'm writing this at 5:31 AM and should be able to update when I'm fully awake, perhaps even before this rolls out.
There are also significant questions about the overall effect of such services on other art forms, and what a successful version of this program would mean for comics folks.
Also from what I've reading this has been an opportunity for comiXology to reiterate its branding as a dominant market player and a force to potentially expand readership.