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
















November 27, 2014


Go, Look: Dreadful Wind And Rain

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Festivals/By Request Extra: Geek OUT Reaches Goal

Despite having two avenues through which to approach the story, I did not figure out that there was a group organizing a crowd-funder to help fuel a "super queer comic con" in New York City next year until Brigid Alverson told me. Thank you, Brigid. I think that would be a fine and potentially quite successful addition to a suddenly heavy NYC convention landscape. If that sounds like something you could make use of as an attendee or an exhibitor, you might think about following the links provided and making a donation.
 
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Go, Look: A Very Chagrin Falls Thanksgiving

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* this lengthy Short Run report by Rob Kirby is worth pulling out of the Collective Memory link list and presenting in this column.

* there's not a whole lot left on the convention calendar -- next week is CALA, which I hope to attend -- but as was the case back in August there are some store signings, many tied into the holidays, that are likely of interest. I can't imagine living in Seattle and not wanting to see Robert Williams on behalf of the new collected Zap, for instance. Although they're not as large event to event as the convention and don't get the press relative to their influences, store signings have made a comeback from a time when they were only intermittently done. It's a much healthier landscape, too, because both the comics stores and the regular bookstores seem to have more than enough events made available to them, to the point where you're starting to get art galleries and performance spaces snapping up an appearance here and there.

* I have not heard back from Comic-Con on a question sent their way if they might extend their disassociation with this aggressive tweeter in terms of his volunteering with the show to an outright ban on attending the show. I'll let you know when I have an update. It's a brand new world. You know that I used to think that the day of on-line aggression and weirdness would burn itself out around 2003 or 2004, as the Lords Of The Basement (like me) that emerged in the mid-1990s finally got accustomed to the shock of not having their every opinion supported? Never have I been more wrong.

* finally, speaking of shows, performance venues and galleries, here's a show taking place over the next three days in a performance space/gallery. I found that one by accident, and I wonder if there aren't a number of smaller shows like this in the French-language or other European scenes right now. There seems to be shows of every size everywhere.
 
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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2014

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*****

November 28
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This

November 29
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

November 30
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This

*****

December 2
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

December 6
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 13
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 28
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 29
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 30
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

*****



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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Tim O'Shea reports on the passing earlier this Fall of the talented artist André Coelho. He was 35.

image* Brian Nicholson on Understanding Nicotine. Shaenon Garrity on Gen Manga. R. Fiore on recent works by Joe Sacco and Ted Rall. Sarah Boxer on The Secret History Of Wonder Woman. Marc Singer on Pax Americana. Ben Towle on a bunch of different books about comics.

* my favorite reaction from a cartoonist to the decision in Ferguson, Missouri was Warren Craghead's.

* go here to see video Jeff Newelt took of Dick Cavett and Al Jaffee talking cartooning in the back of a limo.

* Michel Fiffe Greyshirt pages.

* this flashed across my twitter in I think more than one tweet, but I could only find the one when I went back through my links -- Matt Hollingsworth presents Hawkeye issue color art without the line art. I liked looking at that.

* this show looks pretty great. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it looks pretty great.

* Steve Sunu talks to Mike Richardson. Whit Taylor talks to the folks behind Dog City Press. Chris Arrant talks to Christopher Sebela. Matt Santori-Griffith talks to Bernard Chang.

* finally, I wish George Pratt visited my school.
 
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Happy 56th Birthday, Karen Green!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Paul Guinan!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Jonathan Rosenberg!

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November 26, 2014


Go, Look: Disk-Eyes Dick

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Isn't A Library: New And 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.

*****

AUG141848 ART OF RICHARD THOMPSON HC $35.00
SEP141875 ART OF THE SIMON AND KIRBY STUDIO $60.00
OCT141839 KIRBY KING OF THE COMICS HC NEW PTG (NOTE PRICE) $45.00
Three books that scream Christmas gift offerings, including a reprint of Mark Evanier's Kirby biography. I don't know anything about the Art Of The Simon And Kirby Studio book, but Abrams does a generally solid job with big books like that one and I'm literally interested in every last speck of information I can glean about Jack Kirby and his professional life, including his fruitful partnership with Joe Simon. That's not to say that Joe Simon isn't an interesting comics figure all on his own. But the shining light of this suite of book would have to be the Richard Thompson, part of the greatest year had by a cartoonist who is no longer working full-time. Thompson's story is becoming as interesting as his work, and the idea of this group of well-wishers and friends and peers gathering around him and getting the word about this quiet giant of cartooning in our midst is one I admire greatly.

imageJUL141449 INCREDIBLE CHANGE BOTS TWO POINT SOMETHING GN $19.95
Jeffrey Brown's books are a lot of fun, and he's a flat-out prolific cartoonist now. This is is homage series to a certain kind of genre entertainment, as opposed to the Star Wars work he's been doing where the Lucas people have tossed him the actual keys to some of the vehicles in that big garage.

JUL140133 MANARA BORGIAS HC (MR) $59.99
One thing we don't have when it comes to Milo Manara whenever he shows up in archival collections or in superhero comic book cover controversies is a sense of him as an artist right now. The work we see is either commercial one-offs or from much earlier in his artistic lifetime. It's like trying to figure out a film director based on a combination of his '60s movies and commercials he does for Audi. This is work from last decade, so it could be that window we're looking for into what the artist is like closer to the present. I don't know much about it other than that, but I sure as hell would open the book if that price tag didn't mean plastic.

JUL140142 SATOSHI KON OPUS TP $19.99
Although much better known as a filmmaker, the late director of Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika was a full-on manga artist for more than a decade. Opus I recall being a last work, mid-1990s, and not complete. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing it.

JUL140132 TALES OF IMPERFECT FUTURE HC $17.99
This is Alfonso Font, the Spanish illustrator that's about as versatile and solid as three dozen cartoonists of his generation better known to North American comics. I am never more fond of Dark Horse Comics than when they do a book like this one. I think these are short stories from a fruitful magazine period, connected by genre, but I'm going to buy it without looking.

imageSEP140080 ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #6 $3.50
OCT140090 USAGI YOJIMBO SENSO #5 $3.99
SEP140729 LAZARUS #13 (MR) $3.50
SEP140533 ODYC #1 (MR) $3.99
SEP140749 SEX #18 (MR) $2.99
SEP140758 TREES #7 (MR) $2.99
AUG140454 TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE #4 $3.99
SEP141515 STUMPTOWN V3 #3 $3.99
SEP140421 TMNT ONGOING #40 $3.99
Lots of genre comic-book comics, some I'd buy and some I'd probably think about buying before deciding not to. I haven't seen any of the new Elfquest work yet, so it's about time I tracked that down. I don't think I've even read a single review. I don't know if I've read a comic in that overall series since 1992 or so, and then it was intermittent, but that was a giant book for indie comics in the early 1980s and for a lot of us that read comics back then in the middle-school years. I'm glad they're wrapping it up the way they want to. Like that Elfquest series, Senso is also a "last" book but only in that it's set a bit ahead in the future of the narrative. I buy everything that Stan Sakai does. There's a fine group of strong-selling Image serial genre comics there, with the must-see of the foursome the Ody-C work from Matt Fraction and Christian Ward. The rest are books I'm more curious about seeing than convinced I'll pick them up. That's one of the GI Joe books on which Tom Scioli is working, and that sounds like fun. I liked previous iterations of the Stumptown series, so I'd like to see the new one. And the TMNT I looked up because I just interviewed Andrew Farago for his art book and was astonished to see that the new series was up to forty issues. It makes sense, though. I imagine there are a lot of pretty good comics-makers that would enjoy taking a shot at an issue or trade's worth of those comics.

AUG140513 NELVANA NORTHERN LIGHTS HC $39.99
JUL141223 NANCY COMPLETE DAILIES GN VOL 03 LOVES SLUGGO 1949-1951 $39.99
SEP140937 WOLVERINE BY AARON COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 04 $34.99
Another bunch of gift-ready books; it's that season. The Nelvana book I believe to be an IDW printing of the Kickstarter-funded volume; I remember that deal being struck. I think that's valuable history, and IDW has been doing a fine job of taking on projects like this one and sprinkling them into their very effective licensed comics work. The Nancy books are beautiful, and that work is such that it will be pulled from shelves and re-examined years after other collections, ostensibly more exciting this very minute, have worked their way to the sales box. The Wolverine I'm just throwing in there because I like these Marvel projects that collected certain writer runs with certain characters -- it still doesn't make systematic sense how they do their collections, for one thing they could use a perennials program, but I bet this sorting principle makes for a reasonable cohesive, contained read, as much as that's possible anymore.

OCT141546 LITTLE NEMO DREAM ANOTHER DREAM HC PI
This is the big Locust Moon Little Nemo tribute project, phsyically large enough to make for a dozen funny Facebook photos of grown men looking like they've been shrunk to half-size while reading it. I think this kind of book is a perfect gift book, particularly if they do a good job of spotlighting the various artists involved in a way you might scramble to find other work. That couldn't have been an easy project to put together, either, so good for the publishing crew there and congratulations.

*****

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: A Bunch Of Cy Ferring Cartoons

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Things You Read On Facebook At Two O'Clock In The Morning

I can't find a link that isn't friends-only protected, but apparently Fantagraphics sent a box of kids-friendly material to the Ferguson, Missouri library. That's a nice thing to do and I hope other publishers might follow suit if that's something the library is looking to have done for them.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Robert Boyd Reviews A Bunch Of CAB Mini-Comics

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Boyd was one of the first people to write regular criticism about handmade comics, so it's good to see him do a whole column like this
 
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By Request Extra: Campaign For Ed Siemienkowicz

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There is a campaign for the cartoonist and illustrator Ed Siemienkowicz here trying to raise money on his behalf to assist him time- and resources-wise with his fight against cancer. I encourage you to check it out and consider giving if you're able, particularly if you're a fan of his work or consider Siemienkowicz a peer.

Someone e-mailed to remind me that Siemienkowicz has been an SPX exhibitor, and if you're not familiar with him through that show you can see examples of his work here.
 
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If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2014

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*****

November 28
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This

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

November 30
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)
* If I Were In Antwerp, I'd Go To This

*****

December 2
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

December 6
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 28
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 29
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

December 30
* If I Were In Tokyo, I'd Go To This

*****



*****
*****

 
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Go, Look: Frank Frazetta Does Edgar Rice Burroughs

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* it makes sense that fans on the right-leaning side of the political spectrum would have complaints about some post-Ferguson decision statements made by various comics pros. As far as I know, none of these came close to cross the lines into abuse, forceful engagement or punishingly strident statements of the kind that got a former Comic-Con volunteer in trouble.

image* Henry Chamberlain on Cats In Service. Jen Vaughn on Recidivist Vol. 4. Daniel McCloskey on You Can Did It. Ian Scheffler on Showa: 1944-1953.

* this cover always makes me laugh. Thirty years ago! Thirty years before that, Elvis hadn't come along yet.

* Andrew Yates talks to Leslie Stein. Chris Sims and Jordan D. White talk to Katie Skelly. Samuel Ferri talks to John Ficarra.

* Kieron Gillen writes something that a bunch of folks were thinking re: Warren Ellis and Moon Knight, I'm sure.

* congratulations to Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki on This One Summer making the Globe And Mail best books list. Congratulations to Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti on their Hansel and Gretel making a Kirkus Children's Books list.

* not comics: no idea there was a Patrick McDonnell play. I bet his comics would translate pretty well to stage with a skillful director involved.

* finally: the first Maakies.
 
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Happy 61st Birthday, Pat Broderick!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Doug Rice!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Max Clotfelter!

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November 25, 2014


Sharon Sakai, RIP

Found on CBR via a release from Mike Richardson on behalf of the family. Sharon was the wife of cartoonist Stan Sakai, who made a personal announcement as to her passing on Facebook.

As noted in the CBR story, Sharon's medical costs had become a cause for comics professionals and fans throughout much of 2013 and 2014, proof of the affection with which many regarded both Sakais, together a loving and lovely presence at conventions and related comics gatherings for years upon years.

All condolences to Stan Sakai, the family, and Sharon's immense circle of friends, fans and admirers.
 
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Go, Look: Thanksgiving

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CCI Volunteer Tweets In Strident, Aggressive Fashion Post-Ferguson Verdict; CCI Cuts Ties

God bless Rich Johnston and his team at Bleeding Cool for assembling the mini-Twitter rampage of Bill Purcell, a self-identified Comic-Con committee member and I'm guessing longtime volunteer. He certainly seems to identify that way as well. Because of Bleeding Cool, I don't have to read this stuff any more than necessary. Purcell's run of tweets happened last night during the aftermath of the announcement made in Ferguson, Missouri, and address aspects of that case in a strident manner. He also directly engages with a few members of the comics community about those tweets, his right to make them, and various aspects to his life and personality he feels superior to those possessed by others on a different sort of life's journey.

I contacted David Glanzer at Comic-Con International about Purcell's tweets. His only statement so far: "This matter has been brought to our attention and we may be able to comment later in the day."

The whole thing sounds dumb, right? It is! But this is also an interesting thing. I agree with Mark Waid when he suggests here that calling for Purcell's position or volunteer job or whatever based on expressions of stomach-turning dumbassery isn't something that communities should do as a general rule. One hundred percent. But there's a growing element in comics culture that feels differently, and I think most institutions have to account for that in some way. I also think -- and Mark Waid anticipated me here, too -- there's a line to be drawn between staking out a position, no matter how loathsome or stupid, and engaging with your customer base in a way that carries even a hint of threat, or is simply so unpleasant and bothersome and noxious so as to disrupt and distract someone from the business of their day.

Hopefully, something will be done, even if it's just to engage with the fact the con would rather not get involved with an issue like that one. I expect this kind of thing to come up one or two times a year now, for everyone, and while I think I know what I'd do here, I'm not so confident I know which strategy is going to work best for every other institution over the long-term. Hopefully it's not just forgotten.

Update: The further statement from Comic-Con's David Glanzer, as promised, later on the same day.

"There is no excuse for offensive or threatening behavior. The fact that it comes from a purported member of our committee is clearly upsetting. Even though we cannot control what an individual says, we can address issues that have a direct effect on our organization or persons affiliated with our organization. We would also like to mention this individual no longer holds a volunteer position with our association. We encourage any individual who feels threatened by these comments or others to seek assistance from law enforcement."
 
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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