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January 28, 2015


Go, Look: Josh Burggraf

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Zunar Sends Along Photos Of Police Raiding His Office, Confiscating His Books

The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar had four images sent along via an e-mail today: two of his office where police have newly visited looking to confiscate books, and two of the cover images of the books in question. Zunar is currently in London so missed the visit.

His message:
"Malaysian police raided my office this morning (Jan 28, 2005) under Section 2 of the Printing Press and Publications Act (PPPA), Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act, and Section 500 of the Penal Code. But I am currently in London. 155 books were confiscated in the raid -- Pirate of The Carry BN and Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar."
Zunar has been the target of renewed harassment by authorities in his native country since last Fall, starting just a couple of weeks after he won a major court decision about harassment and confiscation issues that were directed at him in 2010. As such -- and also for the broad array of entry points they seem to be using -- this series of events reads as more troubling to me as the first round.

The cartoonist is respected as a fearless political and social commentator, although I have yet to see a single cartoon from him that would cross the line at even the most conservative, old-timey North American newspaper editorial page. We wish him the continued best in the months ahead and he'll have our direct support if there's a tangible way to offer it during whatever comes next.

Two photos, two cover images:

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posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The First Book Of Jazz

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
A Couple Of Notes About This Weekend's Angouleme Festival

The Festival International De La Bandes Dessinées is sort of unofficially underway in Angouleme right now. A formal start tomorrow. That's always a big deal: it's the biggest and most important show for one of great world traditions of comics. This year is of special interest for a few obvious reasons: here are some of the things to keep an eye on.

image1. Hebdo. The biggest worldwide news story of the year so far, the murder of multiple people in the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 7, is bound to dominate the discourse and mood of the show this year round. I have no idea what this means we'll see in an overall sense, but I suspect that first and foremost extra security measures are going to make a show sometimes difficult to negotiate outright treacherous. I hope all of my friends that desire to see one exhibit or another will use any special opportunity they have to do so. I also imagine that you'll see some really broad gestures on behalf of free speech, perhaps even the French equivalent of Dr. Doom crying because of 9/11. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. I'll be most interested to see how much it's on the minds and tongues of those attending.

2. Watterson. It's Bill Watterson's presidency this year, the outcome of a voting designed to engage with a larger number of candidates and reduce pressure on the winners to negotiate how to give or not give a first-sentence-of-obit honor to friends and peers. Watterson drew a new comic and will be represented with a version of the Billy Ireland museum exhibit, which was impressive when I saw it in Columbus last year. It remains to be seen if this more populist-oriented way of voting leads to candidates that capture the imagination of those attending. We'll also have a second round of voting of grand prix to kind of figure out where that award is going.

3. Comics As A Career. My understanding is that careerist issues are an underlying but vital issue in French-language comics right now, with some younger and even popular cartoonists making public their desire to go down a more rewarding career path. My further understanding is that this introspection was triggered by some policy proposals in terms that would have a direct impact on all cartoonists below the "wildly successful" line, but has as its main fuel the reshaping of the French industry over the last several years towards a huge number of titles being published but very few breaking out and selling more than modest number. At the same time, I also get the sense from watching that market and its culture that you have a lot of comics-makers and institutions that are matter-of-fact about what they do and their desire to continue doing it; it's a structural issue, not a generational one. I think the number of experienced pros on hand should make for a really good festival in the wider sense: there should even be a solid slate of events outside of the official ones, as those are run by mostly veteran comics-makers now.

4. US Indy/Alt Presence. There are a number of cartoonists and comics people heading over. Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics is one of the newbies that this year benefits from a state-sponsored program to get coverage and secure publishing arrangements for French-language comics; it's a program I've applied to but for which I wasn't selected. But hey, if I were a French cartoonist I'd rather see more North American publishers than press. I think there's a small but significant number of the cartoonists over there for whom their primary publisher in Europe isn't just a bonus avenue for getting the work out there but very nearly or even absolutely a primary publisher. In return, it's interesting to see which cartoonists drive interest.

5. comiXology. I have no idea if their deal with Amazon has changed the way they're perceived or even has publishing ramifications, but I'm going to keep an ear to the ground in case there are any rumblings similar to the faint ones over here last year when it was announced last Spring.

I hope that everyone is traveling safely and continues to be safe through the entire weekend. We all look forward to seeing what results.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: I Am Such A Disappointment

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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NOV140529 CASANOVA ACEDIA #1 (MR) $3.99
NOV140643 BITCH PLANET #2 (MR) $3.50
NOV140680 SEX #19 (MR) $2.99
SEP140750 SEX CRIMINALS #10 (MR) $3.50
NOV140175 MULTIVERSITY GUIDEBOOK #1 $7.99
NOV141132 ADVENTURE TIME #36 $3.99
There's not a stuff out this week that I personally enjoy -- it's sort of the opposite of last week -- so I'd pay some extra attention to the comic book-format comics and maybe even take home more than listed here. It's a good week for Image, with new Bitch Planet, Sex and last year's surprise hit Sex Criminals. The most interesting comic to be in their section of the Diamond list is the first issue of Matt Fraction rotating collaboration with Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon: Casanova. That's the series' third cycle and I think the second cycle in particular was overlooked. I don't have any interest in a guidebook but Grant Morrison's involvement and the presence of some short comics will have me picking it up. The Adventure Time jumped out at me because I would have guessed they were still in the early 20s issues-wise.

imageNOV141817 TWELVE-CENT ARCHIE SC $26.95
This is Bart Beaty's new work, a dissection of Archie publications from the 1960s with a resulting 100 essays/observations. I'm looking forward to reading it; it should be fun. Bart sometimes publishes here, so you'll probably never know if this is a reliable recommendation or not, but I still look forward to seeing my copy.

NOV141526 LOU CALE SNAPPING BIG APPLES BAD SEEDS HC (MR) $34.95
This looks like hardcore mainstream French BD: a period-piece comic from the late 1980s, early 1990s album series about a crime photographer who then solves the crimes.

SEP140081 EYE OF NEWT HC $17.99
This is the kind of painted, high-fantasy comic that probably kept me interested in the medium between the ages of 10 and 12 yet also something for which I have almost new appetite now. It looks pretty, though, and I tend to like the Dark Horse no-fuss method of collecting their various short series.

DEC141512 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY GILBERT GN VOL 01 HEARTBREAK SOUP $18.99
OCT141485 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY GILBERT GN VOL 05 OFELIA $19.99
OCT141487 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY JAIME GN VOL 03 PERLA LA LOCA (NEW PT) $18.99
DEC141510 PRISON PIT GN VOL 02 $14.99
DEC141511 PRISON PIT GN VOL 03 $14.99
DEC141024 STREET ANGEL HC NEW PTG (MR) $19.95
DEC141532 ZITA THE SPACEGIRL GN NEW PTG $12.99
OV141451 EIGHTBALL GHOST WORLD TP $14.99
It's reprint season. I'm sure there are tons more books of this type coming out, but I only caught these on a walk-through. You likely want them all.

NOV141184 JOHN CULLEN MURPHY BIG BEN BOLT DAILIES TP VOL 01 $24.95
I would have featured this one more prominently, but none of the images on-line are big enough for me to do that. John Cullen Murphy's sports comic was a tiny bit out of its time, but it was handsome and looked good in a suit (or in shorts) and at this late date you can imagine it having a half-generation's worth of serious plaudits that never quite came through in the real world.

DEC141509 SAINT COLE GN $19.99
This is Noah Van Sciver's comic about a chemically agitated dope who wanders around fucking things up before things take a change for the [REDACTED FOR SPOILERS]. It's not my favorite milieu for Van Sciver, but it's one that's proven very popular for him in carving out some space in the imaginations of his peer group and from alt-comics fans more generally.

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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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posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Desert Eyeball

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1940s Gag Panel Gallery

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posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Laura Hilton-Smith

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: DC Bumps Up Norm Breyfogle-Focused Collection

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Chris Sims over at ComicsAlliance caught something potentially very nice on DC Comics' part: the company may have bumped up a forthcoming collection of Norm Breyfogle's Batman-related work to make for an opportunity to see that the artist, currently recovering from a severe stroke, has the benefit of whatever money might be due from the sale of that book. I have no idea how those contracts work, but at the very least it puts him in the spotlight a bit at a time he could use that attention. You can donate directly here.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Master Comics #12

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Abhay Khosla on The Names #1. Rich Griset on Street Angel #1.

* Kate Beaton draws Katniss and Harry Potter.

* these Gilbert Hernandez comics in Vice are weird and great. Roy 4-ever.

* comics are everywhere.

* it's weird that anyone would do sex comics under an assumed name at this late date -- unless you were Jim Davis, or that guy who does the angry conservative editorial comics -- but it's not my choice to make. The comic itself is attractive.

* not comics: here's a piece on newspaper economics, which are important because they facilitate the newspaper comic strip industry. They're not good. I'm not sure what had to be done with newspapers, but it seems like it wasn't, and I wouldn't be surprised to see one more freefall period in the next 30 months or so. Smaller.

* in case I forget to do it in the releases column the day it comes out, congratulations to Todd McFarlane on Spawn #250. That was quite the game-changing comic when it came and the degree of difficulty in transferring interest almost on a 1:1 basis from corporate characters to your own is never easy or everyone would do it.

* not comics: I'm thinking of buying one of these and doing a year's worth of cons.

* finally, Chris Pitzer is delighted to show you Sophie Goldstein's thumbnails for The Oven.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 63rd Birthday, Hunt Emerson!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Todd Klein!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 46th Birthday, Tony Harris!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Jason Aaron!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
January 27, 2015


Go, Look: TEAMSUZETTE

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Eitan Eloa

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Erica Friedman Has A Patreon

I wanted to mention really briefly that the writer about comics Erica Friedman has a Patreon that I didn't notice until she announced its imminent closure. This is a big year for Patreon flattening out -- for there just being a ton of them, at all levels, and it's not the worst idea in the world to reconsider your comics and about-comics consumption and figure out what might be worth paying for.
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Bernard Crowsheet

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Yet Another Horrifying Gaming-Related Post

Here. It's pretty self-explanatory. I don't follow that world very closely but that is just unacceptable, hateful idiocy, a parade of verbal sewage masquerading -- literally, almost no one uses their real name -- as righteous action. Good gravy. Even on the worst week ever by the TCJ message board, one of the notoriously hard-edged places for people talking on the Internet in the late 1990s through the early 2000s, 98 percent of these tweets as a single tweet would have immediately caused shouting at and banning of the dope perpetrating it.

I think it's good for people in comics to pay attention to fields with some overlap in cultural terms. It helps to know what something largely idiotic and hateful looks like so that it can better avoided closer to home. It doesn't make me feel god that this kind of thing has to happen anywhere, but I think a lot of folks than ever resolved this kind of direct harassment doesn't happen in comics, and I think that's good. Also, I'm not sure why angry speech directed at someone is treated in many cases as speech made just to be making it or in a non-confrontational context. How does that work? That seems dumb to me.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Andreslob.com

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posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Bunch Of Cabu's Catherine Comics

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Noah Van Sciver and Kilgore Books have announced a new issue of Van Sciver's long-running solo series, Blammo, this issue being #8 1/2. It will debut at LA Zine Fest and be available for immediate turnaround purchase right around Valentine's Day, but you can preorder it now. It's full-color.

image* the whole world will surely have seen this by now as it was released five days ago, but Bryan Lee O'Malley's variant cover for the new Zander Cannon is awfully cute.

* check out Al Jaffee's art for a forthcoming Smoke Signal. Now that's a get.

* here's a PR notice about a new work from Winshluss at Knockabout: In God We Trust.

* this is the first time I've seen an official notice that Craig Thompson's all-ages sci-fi book is one the schedule: the Scholastic book is due in August, apparently.

* Kevin Melrose unearthed a production blog for Southern Cross, debuting in about eight weeks.

* finally, what a thrill to see Ganges-related preview imagery from the great Kevin Huizenga.

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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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