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
















July 20, 2017


Bundled Extra: Jeff Smith Releasing His First Picture Book Through Scholastic

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Jeff Smith and Scholastic's Graphix imprint announced a first picture book for the celebrated cartoonist during last night's "Preview Night" at Comic-Con International. That continues one of comics most beneficial publisher/cartoonist partnerships of the last fifty years.

The hard-news portion of the PR:
"On Preview Night at 2017's San Diego Comic Con International, Jeff Smith announced his plans to publish his debut picture book, Smiley's Dream Book (ISBN: 978-0-545-67477-5) with Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic. David Saylor, Vice President, Creative Director of Trade Publishing, and Editorial Director of Graphix acquired the book with English language publication rights in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. Smiley's Dream Book will be the first of two picture books featuring Smiley Bone and the Bone cousins, and is slated to publish in Summer 2018."
As the PR mentions, it looks like we'll get at least one more. I saw some pages of this at one point, and they're quite gorgeous.
 
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Go, Look: Tommi Parrish

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* you have until the end of September (one day before, really) to participate in the Observer/Cape/Graphica short story prize. That is indeed the kind of recognition and boost that can make a career.

* added two events to the forthcoming sections: St. Louis Small Press Expo in October and Comic Arts Brooklyn in November. It's good to see there will be a CAB this year -- it strikes me that this is a yearly decision by Gabe Fowler -- and it's great to see they'll be on a different weekend than Short Run in Seattle. A few folks do both.

* since writing that last bulleted point, Genghis Con has announced in its traditional post-Thanksgiving Sunday slot. I did that show last year representing CXC and it was fun.

* Steve Breen: Undercover.

* Koyama Press has announced a multiple creator tour for right after SPX.

* finally, the more people that enjoy Comic-Con without a pass the more people with passes enjoy Comic-Con a little bit less.
 
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Go, Look: Chris Kindred

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News & Notes From The San Diego Convention Floor

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This is the catch-all column for thoughts and links as to things I've seen or discussed on the convention floor and in the barrooms of Comic-Con International.

This should substantially with bullet points over the next few days. People spread their announcements all over the ten days leading up to the show, so that makes coverage sort of odd.

There were at least two stories starring first-rate talents that will be made into bullet points in the days ahead; new books from Jeff Smith and Lisa Hanawalt. That's not a bad start at all.

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photos and additional reporting by Whit Spurgeon and Chris Hatfield

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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 21
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 22
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

July 23
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 18
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)

August 19
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 20
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

August 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

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Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Interdimensional Party Animal

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul O'Brien on All-New Wolverine #19-21.

* here's the New York Times on the late Sam Glanzman.

* festivals extra: Graeme McMillan at Hollywood Reporter's "Heat Vision" blog has news of a Coyote Doggirl collection from Lisa Hanawalt, through her publisher of recent years Drawn and Quarterly. We should see that one Fall 2018. That work is very strong, I think.

* still can't get enough of that picture of Martin Landau as a young cartoonist.

* finally, Ashleigh Kassock profiles Ben Hatke.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Benoît Ers!

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July 19, 2017


Go, Look: Katie Harnett

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Go, Look: Gender Representation In (Mainstream) Comics

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Here. That seems a nice snapshot of broad descriptives for the superhero subset of comic books in terms of gender, cleverly and appealingly presented. It certainly makes that whole group of comics look creatively stifled in terms of unimaginative choices, which is what it feels like for a lot of us in the reading of them.

thanks for the link, Bob Levin
 
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Go, Look: Tobias Schalken

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

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MAR171775 SONGY OF PARADISE HC (MR) $34.99
This is a pretty standard comic book store week during Comic-Con madness, so I'll fire through these pretty quickly. First rate belle of this particular ball from Gary Panter, one of the great cartoonists still at the top or at least near-top of his game. Paner's one of the few cartoonists I'll buy sight unseen but everything I've olooked athere ascharged

imageMAY170589 MOONSTRUCK #1 $3.99
MAY170657 BITCH PLANET TRIPLE FEATURE #2 (MR) $3.99
MAY170692 INVINCIBLE #138 (MR) $2.99
MAY178160 WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1 (OF 4) 2ND PTG $3.99
MAY170741 WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #2 (OF 4) CVR A SAMPSON $3.99
MAY170742 WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #2 (OF 4) CVR B RUBIN $3.99
MAY170763 SECRET EMPIRE #6 (OF 10) $4.99
It strikes me as a lighter-than-usual week for comic-book serial comics. Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle's fantasy series debut strikes me as the clear winner in terms of attention and I hope enough comics shoppers try that one out to give it a chance in a tough marketplace. Bitch Planet Triple Feature feels like it may need a few issues to find its level: finding comics-makers skilled at short stories and making broader/deeper a speculative world are hard enough tasks, each on their own. Invincible accelerates towards its conclusion. Crimson masks for everyone!. That's a good sign for Winnebago Graveyard to have a first issue repeated at the same time a second issue drops, but we don't know for sure without seeing reliably reported hard numbers. Finally, Secret Empire gives us a string of plot points but I'll be damned if I can suss out a satisfying narrative here. It's like an exercise in event storytelling rather than an event.

FEB170299 ADAM STRANGE THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $99.99
The stripped-down Adam Strange look and foundational narrative hook make it a prime property for eventual other-media exploitation... why wait? These are solid Silver Age comics that tend not to be out there in a lot of formats outside of archival.

MAR170563 AMELIA COLE OMNIBUS TP $39.99
This is not a series I've ever read, but I have to imagine it might do better penetrating a wider array of comics fans' consciousness in this format. I'll certainly take a second look.

APR171143 BLACK EYED PEAS PRESENTS MASTERS SUN ZOMBIES CHRONICLES HC $24.99
That is a great fucking title. Pure madness.

JAN178427 VALERIAN COMPLETE COLLECTION HC VOL 02 $29.99
JAN178428 VALERIAN COMPLETE COLLECTION HC VOL 03 $29.99
I'm not certain what Valerian/Laureline I'll eventually want in my collection, but I'll take a look at these books and decide if this series is the one. Those books are fun albeit very French in terms of its wry presentation of some hoary cliches. It looks like a million bucks a page, too, for sure.

APR172091 BACK ISSUE #98 $8.95
All respect on the approach to #100. Even a single issue of a magazine is hard.

MAR170579 RIP KIRBY HC VOL 10 $49.99
Now we're getting into the old-man market where I live, albeit ten volumes into a series that I might have been happy to see sampled rather than archived. This volume lurches into the early 1970s, and is more solid than remarkable at this point, some 25 years in.

MAY171617 JASON SHIGA DEMON SC GN VOL 03 $19.99
First Second's most interesting acquisition of the last several years moves into its second half firing on all of its bonkers cylinders. Jason Shiga's cartoons are less satisfying narratives than super-intriguing problem-solving exercises, but there's certainly nothing else like it on the market. Take a look if you're unfamiliar.

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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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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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this is for preview night; I did this listing before they had a devoted site for the 2017 version so you might not to find it on the main CCI page
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 20
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 21
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 22
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

July 23
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 18
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)

August 19
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 20
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

August 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

*****

Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Daria Tessler

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Matthew Wells on Doom Patrol Volume One: Brick By Brick.

* Desireé Guerrero profiles Amanda Deibert and Cat Staggs. Sam Thielman profiles Gary Panter.

* Comic-Con articles: Variety has a trends article, although I'm not sure what they're describing are actually trends as I think of them. This CNN digital-arena article sorts through the idea the proliferation of on-line resources to see and hear things has damaged CCI's ability to be a repository of pop-culture reveals. I'm not sure it has, and in a broader sense I'm not sure it matters. The LA Times has a feature that manages to fold in the story of Chuck Rozanski bailing on the show, which is admirable, but there's very little questioning of that story. Mile High is a major retailer but their replication on the convention floor of what you can buy anywhere in the country the other 360 days of the calendar year seems to me like it was doomed to eventually fail. Unlike the post Rory Root loss of Comic Relief, where that store allowed access to books featured on panels and in awards shows, I can't imagine Mile High being gone having much of an effect on the floor itself. It's symbolic, for sure, though.

* finally, this article on Marvel's forthcoming plans outside of and within their Doctor Strange comic interested me for how explicit it is about the next big plot shift. There was something really weird about the latest version of the comic since its initial issues, in that there was very little narrative compulsion to keep the comic going once the latest concept was unpacked.
 
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Happy 55th Birthday, John Kovaleski!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Luke McDonnell!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Richard Pini!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Jamal Igle!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Bob Burden!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Terry LaBan!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Rupert Bottenberg!

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