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


















April 28, 2016


Go, Look: Erin K Drew

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Bill Yates Strip And Gag Work

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Go, Look: Ronald Searle In Le Figaro Littéraire

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Go, Look: Marta Chudolinska

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* a report on New York's Kids' Comic Con on its tenth year.

* I'm sort of fascinated by micro-shows right now, like this one in Pickerington. There's a sort of "collapse of model" idea at work there. I can't imagine too many of these allow cartoonists to make a lot of money, so these are shows with reduced expectations from the outset. I also don't get a sense that many cities have a local-community feel to them beyond such shows.

* the great Space City war of 2016.

* I don't know if they've formally announced the TCAF panels yet, but I got a sneak peek during an administrative process and it's super-strong. TCAF provides a chance to see cartoonists speak in a variety of intimate settings. I'm still not sure I can go, but that's a key show for a big chunk of the industry now in every sense of the word with perhaps the most important being you can count on people being in the room that don't do a lot of shows anymore.

* Stan Lee may have one more year of Canadian cons in him.

* finally, everyone please convince Gabe Fowler to do CAB this year, thanks. That may be my only chance to run around New York this whole year. People in New York don't know how important visits to New York can be for those of us that don't live
 
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Go, Look: A Ken Barr Gallery

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2016

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*****

April 29
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Glendale, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

*****

May 1
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)

May 3
* If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This

May 6
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 7
* If I Were Near A Comic Shop, I'd Participate In This (FCBD)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 8
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 13
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Santa Cruz, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cupertino, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Merced, I'd Go To This

May 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)

May 26
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 28
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 29
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures)

*****

Events For June 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Military Comics #13

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on BPRD: Hell On Earth Vol. 12.

* not comics: I'm going twitter-light this month and not posting at all if I can help it, but I hope the people that remain non-spiritually-crushed by the platform made fun of this hilarious Killing Joke trailer. That just seems silly.

* Benoit Crucifix talks to Adrian Tomine.

* the artist Brandon Graham's Instagram account seems very "source/what I did with source/source..." but that's not a bad way to organize a bunch of images.

* finally: sorry, Robin. Anyone bearing a childish nickname or with a y on the end of an otherwise respectable name gets the stinkeye from me. I make exception for college football coaches working below the Mason-Dixon line.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Rob Salkowitz!

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April 27, 2016


Go, Look: Odin Cabal

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By Request Extra: Gene Colan Scholarship Set 2016 Goal

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If you didn't know, there's a scholarship of the late, mighty and wonderfully idiosyncratic mainstream comic book artist Gene Colan that goes to attendees of the Kubert School. Administrator Clifford Meth has set a modest goal for supplementary funds aimed at the next gift-giving opportunity: $1500. If you were a fan or otherwise feel inspired to pitch in and can afford to do so, that'd be a nice thing you could do.
 
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Will The Next Artist Reclamation Project Be Irv Spector?

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By Request Extra: Rosarium Publishing

I received a note that the diversity-driven publisher of books and comics Rosarium Publishing has an IndieGoGo campaign related to their next season, with stretch goals aimed at their back list. I thought that might be worth mentioning before next week's By Request regular column. I sometimes forget to cover IndieGoGo campaigns for a few weeks at a time.

My thanks to Kelly Alder for bringing it to my attention.
 
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Go, Look: Henry Guerra

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Cartoon Books Announces New Jeff Smith Bone Comic Book Material In BONE:CODA

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Cartoon Books announced today that they'll be publishing a new Jeff Smith comic featuring the Bone universe and characters. The story in BONE:CODA will follow the Bones as they try to make their way out of the valley where they had their adventures and back to Boneville. Also included in the publication will be a the content of the BONE Companion book written by Stephen Weiner and previously self-published by the writer.

I've seen about 20 pages of the comics narrative and they look like they came out of a time machine, more a lost issue of the long-running series than something added on after years of deliberation. If anything, the CODA work looks sharper than several sequences in Smith's career-making book, conveying some of the additional confidence Smith has built since BONE in certain aspects of drawing, like his landscape work.

Also included will be a kind of "from the studio" personal message from Smith to those readers who have followed the feature into numerous forms.

I believe the idea is to have it on sale at San Diego and then in various ways moving forward from there. Get in line at the convention center now.

Above is the back cover image.
 
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Not Comics: Three By Robert Williams

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Festivals Extra: Nominations For Russ Manning Award Now Open

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The submissions page is up for the 2016 Russ Manning Newcomer Award. That's a major comics award with a significant pedigree: this year's winner will be the 35th. The award is given out to during the Eisner Awards ceremony in at Comic-Con International. This year that's July 22.

The history and qualifications for the award can be found through the link.

Past winners include Eleanor Davis, Steve Rude, Dave Stevens, Cathy Malkasian and Eric Shanower.
 
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Go, Look: Hot Wheels Splash Pages

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market

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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.

*****

FEB161443 PANTHER HC $26.95
Brecht Evens' latest, which means a smart story, brilliant use of color and Evens' high-energy presence at one or two North American events this year. Seriously, if you haven't had the pleasure of looking at one of these books and you're in a comic book shop that has one, don't deny yourself.

imageMAR161305 BLACKBIRD GN $17.00
This is a Conundrum Press effort about a group of 'zinemakers in a world where hand-making publications is illegal. The throwaway stuff is the most fun here, like the search for copiers as they begin to blink out of production. It's also a sturdy, lengthy read at that price point, or at least my memory of it exceeds $17.

DEC150149 PLANETES OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $19.99
I'm glad they're re-doing some of the better-regarded series from the late '90s/early 2000s in different way: if that's the way keeping them in stock has to work, so be it. I cared less for this particular series than everyone I know, which just caused them to give me looks of disappointment for like three solid years there. I'm not sure why I had that reaction because certainly it's handsome and certainly its quotidian concept work appeals to me. One nice thing about a new edition is you can give an older work a second look.

DEC150126 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA LTD ED HC VOL 06 $79.99
DEC150125 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA TP VOL 06 $24.99
No matter how you collect them, you'll want some Stan Sakai at some point. It's great fun to immerse yourself in the drift and repeated cycles of the overall story, so you want enough pages to do that.

FEB160450 LIL ABNER THE COMPLETE DAILIES AND COLOR SUNDAYS VOL 08 $49.99
No great strip leaves me colder than Al Capp's masterpiece, but it's still a mighty work. At $50 I'd have to be super in-love, but I also think those are fair prices for those books. It's almost like the inability to just pick up that LOAC stuff willy-nilly give individual works you do collect a bigger place of honor on your shelves.

FEB160291 MICRONAUTS #1 $4.99
FEB160584 INJECTION #9 CVR A SHALVEY & BELLAIRE (MR) $2.99
FEB160585 INJECTION #9 CVR B SHALVEY & BELLAIRE (MR) $2.99
FEB160602 SAGA #36 (MR) $2.99
FEB160605 SEX #27 (MR) $3.99
AUG150541 SEX CRIMINALS #15 (MR) $3.50
MAY150568 VELVET #14 (MR) $3.50
FEB160869 DOCTOR STRANGE #7 $3.99
FEB160875 PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #5 $3.99
Strong Image week in the ol' comic-book comic section. I didn't know there was a new Micronauts coming -- actually I think I wrote about it, but it hasn't been front and center for me -- and while my nostalgia for all things is dull enough I'd only be compelled to look at a book from my childhood rather than make it an automatic purchase, that's still a lot more attention than I give most genre adventure. Shops get to sell their last Saga for a little while, and an issue of Sex Criminals, a book that feels like it's about to change course pretty soon. The latest issues of Sex, which has become more about the conflicts between characters and less a comment on 1980s comic book world-building, and Velvet, which I seem to enjoy alone of all my friends because no one will talk about it with me. Finally, there's good ol' Patsy Walker, finishing up a storyline.

DEC150502 SILLY SYMPHONIES HC VOL 01 COMP DISNEY CLASSICS $49.99
"Silly Symphonies" was at one point the franchise at animation studio Disney, and one of the spin-offs was a well-regarded comic strip feature, and one of the first not-film Disney creations, Bucky Bug. A lot of this depends on the execution but I have a feeling I'm getting every volume.

JAN160695 OCTOPUS PIE TP VOL 03 $14.99
All three of these collections thus far have been a next-to-bed companion for me in recent times. I'm not sure the timing of the on-line iteration makes a smooth transition into print, but it's super-fun to read sprawling soap opera; I wish more people did it.

JAN160925 CAPTAIN AMERICA OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 NEW PTG $125.00
This isn't Hitler-punching Cap but Crossbones-punching spy cap, from the Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting iteration that is several years in the rearview mirror itself now. Amazon.com tells me it's 25 issues. I got the first 25 issues of that run for $1 apiece, but I can vouch for these Omnibus editions as that seems to be the format of choice for my casual-reading former comics fans that have money now.

JAN161639 UKRAINIAN & RUSSIAN NOTEBOOKS LIFE & DEATH UNDER SOVIET RULE $28.00
Egad, like seven million pages of Igort, a new edition for English-language audiences combining two books in a way that makes your furrow your brow and count out the ampersands. I can't imagine this book being less than extremely intriguing. I sure hope there are more books coming that will surprise and delight me like this one's appearance has.

MAR161859 BLANC ET NOIR HC TAKESHI OBATA ILLUSTRATIONS $99.99
Takeshi Obata has always been an appealing artist, although I'm thinking it's Death Note where the comics-maker became an artist and designer worth of pulling material into a book collection. That's a steep price, but I can't imagine the audience for a wook like this is a mass one.

JAN161028 BARTKIRA NUCLEAR ED HC $19.99
The whole on-line blending of Simpsons imagery with scenes and panels from Akira barely gained my attention, so maybe I'll have better luck with the Floating World collection, which will apparently benefit charity.

*****

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2016

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*****

April 29
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Glendale, I'd Go To This

April 30
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

*****

May 1
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)

May 3
* If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This

May 6
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 7
* If I Were Near A Comic Shop, I'd Participate In This (FCBD)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 8
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 13
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Santa Cruz, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cupertino, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Merced, I'd Go To This

May 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)

May 26
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 28
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 29
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures)

*****

Events For June 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Who Dunnit?

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* go, look: Katie Skelly after Milo Manara.

image* Sean Gaffney on Black Bullet: The Destruction Of The World By Fire. Andy Oliver on Can I Borrow Your Toilet? Tom Murphy on Dept. H #1. Tim Hanley on Wonder Woman: Earth One. Tahneer Oksman on The Complete Wimmen's Comix.

* Claire Armitstead profiles Robert Crumb. The off-hand descriptives in these articles re: Aline are beginning to drive me nuts. Brett White talks to Cullen Bunn. Annie Mok talks to Julie Doucet. Frank Santoro profiles Simon Hanselmann.

* it's hard to believe the Comic-Con imposter story has stayed around this long as an item of interest, but it does reveal a kind of weird checklist of values and procedures where festivals and conventions are concerned.

* I must have really punted it on this week's By Request column, because I've missed four or five major projects, including a Kickstarter for a book from Seymour Chwast and a solid not-comics entry: Graham Annable doing some Grickle films through a Patreon.

* not comics: in terms of my personal take on the newspaper business, this is like the Empire complaining that Mordor has been sending soldiers their way. I don't know what happens if these two juggernauts get into it, but it won't be pretty.

* finally, I wasn't kidding. I really want us to talk about this derivative works of Bill Watterson obsession we seem to have.
 
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Happy 63rd Birthday, Jan Mullaney!

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