March 7, 2014
Random Comics News Story Round-Up
* a new chapter of Siberia
* George Elkind on Bodyworld
and Fata Morgana
. Win Wiacek on Sock Monkey Treasury
. Sarah Boxer on Woman Rebel
. John Kane on a bunch of different comics
. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics
. Michael Buntag on a couple of the Jeffrey Brown Star Wars books
. Richard Bruton on Iron Man: Believe
* Blutch, Blutch, Blutch
. Stanislas, Stanislas, Stanislas
* an art book of Katsuhiro Otomo posters and a gallery show of same? I'm in
* not comics: Tim Kreider writes about finally maybe getting a war with Russia
* here's a contest related to the forthcoming British Library exhibition
. Judges are David Gibbons, Emma Hayley, John Harris Dunning, Paul Gravett, Adrian Edwards and Kissley Leonor. Cash prizes.
* Bob Temuka writes about comics critics and comics criticism
* Sam Hockley-Smith talks to Chuck Forsman
. Dan Berry talks to Julia Wertz
. Meg Lemke talks to the great Francoise Mouly
. Steve Sunu talks to Evan Dorkin
. Rob Clough profiles Batton Lash
. Justin McIntosh provides a platform for Ken Eppstein
* Anthony Dominic visits the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
* finally, it kills me how much Charles Schulz varies his strip structure
from the three-panel basic he was using by 1991. That guy never stopped working on his craft.
posted 1:05 am PST
Happy 36th Birthday, Ben Templesmith!
posted 1:00 am PST
Happy 45th Birthday, Cully Hamner!
posted 1:00 am PST
Happy 36th Birthday, Robin McConnell!
posted 1:00 am PST
Happy 56th Birthday, Peter Gross!
posted 1:00 am PST
March 6, 2014
That Drew Friedman Opening At Society Of Illustrators Looked Fun
I lose Internet access until morning to do much digging around, but I've seen photos of Gilbert Gottfried, Robert Klein and Abe Vigoda in attendance
on Gil Roth's Facebook feed. Looked fun. No word on Howard Stern. Friedman is a treasure and I wish he received as much attention from comics circles as he deserves.
posted 8:00 pm PST
Go, Look: Pigeon Press Gallery
posted 2:30 am PST
The Great Thing About Predicting The End Of The World Is You Only Have To Be Right The One Time
Heidi MacDonald has links
and no-doubt furious commentary discussion about someone predicting a doomsday scenario for comic shops: Marvel switching to all-digital. I've read the article and you can, too, by following MacDonald's links, but it doesn't seem like it's sound enough for me to want to provide them with traffic directly. Please forgive me.
It's never been likely but it's always been possible that a big company could do something like this. And yes, Marvel is the most likely culprit to do this not-likely thing presently. The thing is, you could write a version of this article at any time from 1951 to now. Mainstream comics publishing has almost petered out all on its own at least twice, and ending print publication has been on the table since the mid-1990s when it become more and more clear that the value of these companies is, as is the case with the no-longer-really-in-comics-aggressively classic Disney characters, in their licensing potential to more profitable media. You don't have to have six comics about you coming out every month to be a viable property. Marvel is indeed profit-oriented in ways that a place like DC isn't, and this would be a conceivable move in the direction of profits if someone say, were looking to cash out or make a case for a gig based on showing profits on the page.
But no, it's not likely. Things are going pretty well for Marvel.
As for Marvel trying to find its own way to offer up digital programs, or to collect their existing programs under one overarching strategy: they certainly are, they always have been, and so is everyone else that isn't a) dumb, b) overtaxed as it is. The success of digital could also be argued company to company as inducement to stick with print publishing because a) you get to compare actual numbers, b) the fact that they work interdependently would suggest that you might not get readers moving to an ostensibly more profitable digital version if the print comics were to disappear.
posted 2:25 am PST
Go, Look: Conan Saga Covers
posted 2:20 am PST
Comixology Sends Out Letter About Unauthorized Database Access; Asking Folks To Change Passwords
The very successful digital comics company Comixology apparently sent out a letter this morning that reads as follows:
Dear Comics Reader,
In the course of a recent review and upgrade of our security infrastructure, we determined that an unauthorized individual accessed a database of ours that contained usernames, email addresses, and cryptographically protected passwords.
Payment account information is not stored on our servers.
Even though we store our passwords in protected form, as a precautionary measure we are requiring all users to change their passwords on the comiXology platform and recommend that you promptly change your password on any other website where you use the same or a similar password. You can reset your comiXology.com password here.
We have taken additional steps to strengthen our security procedures and systems, and we will continue to implement improvements on an ongoing basis.
Please note that we will never ask you for personal or account information in an e-mail, so exercise caution if you receive emails that ask for personal information or direct you to a site where you are asked to provide personal information.
We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us by sending an email to
I haven't confirmed this directly -- hey, a hoax would be a story in and of itself -- but I wanted to put it out there to give a heads up to people that have e-mail from companies like this automatically sent to spam folders so they can go looking for it. I'm not saying I'm one of those people, but I'm sure there are a ton of people like that.
Seems real, though
The good news here would be a) that no financial information was touched, b) they discovered this themselves rather than having a bunch of people finding out that their accounts there and elsewhere have been used. The bad news would be a) the rest of it, although maybe particularly if you used a similar password or the same one with other digital accounts you have out there. Changing all of them could be a pain.
As is always the case with any password I recommend going full Your Parents On The Computer: clearing out everything, turning your computer off, turning it back on, going directly to the site by means other than the informing e-mail, then
changing it. There is probably a way to do this that is less ridiculous, but this is my way.
I know that mostly because of automatic re-sets, a lot of my friends -- even the old, forgetful ones -- are moving towards multiple passwords just generally, in some cases keying them into the purpose of the site (a comics password for a comics site, say). This is probably a terrible way to do it, too. Also, probably don't use "yellowking."
posted 2:15 am PST
Go, Look: Stanley Kubrick Photographs Peter Arno
posted 2:10 am PST
Bundled Extra: Top Shelf Formally Announces Return Of Pete Sickman Garner's Hey, Mister Comics
Like most of what goes on in comics between people talking to one another informally, creators and companies each having different branding and news-content needs, and the requirements that book distribution can foist upon a company in terms of having a schedule set far in advance, I imagine most people knew that Pete Sickman-Garner's Hey, Mister!
series was going to make a comeback this year in some form. It's still good to see the announcement and a cover image
. I'm always fascinated by people that take a different approach to releasing work mid-career as it seems Sickman-Garner, once a prolific maker of comic-book format comics, will be doing here. I also think it's worth noting for the role that collections of Sickman-Garner's work had at Top Shelf pretty early on. Heck, it'll be nice to just see that guy around. Also: more comics!
I'm still a little bit unclear as to how announcements are going to settle in as a thing with comics people -- there's no dominant working model, yet, so formally announcing on one's own web site seems as good a ploy as any. I kind of thought we might be at the place where people were being hired to provide content for such things, but that seems a bit off yet. Plus there are so many books
posted 2:05 am PST
Go, Look: A Hand-Painted Gasoline Alley Sunday
posted 2:00 am PST
Festivals Extra: SOI Makes Clear This Year's MoCCA Festival Prize Entry Rules
So with Drew Friedman's work appearing at the Society Of Illustrators starting this evening,
I thought it might be time to check in on next months' MoCCA Festival to see if I'd missed any important announcements. I missed a doozy
: the linked-to page details how they'll be doing their Festival Awards Of Excellence this year. I have to imagine that's a desirable thing for which to apply given the SOI is the kind of organization that does awards pretty well as a springboard for publicity -- plus your work becomes curated for the Columbia comics archives, so that's nice, too. And you're going to be there already. Come on!
Judges this year are Gregory Benton, Tracy Hurren, Chip Kidd, Chris Pitzer and James Sturm -- so if nothing else, a lot of folks will see you work that might be in a position to publish you or otherwise play a supporting role in the movie of your life in comics.
posted 1:55 am PST
Go, Look: Some ACG Horror Stories
posted 1:50 am PST
Go, Read: Various Links About The Changing Nature Of Sales
* Kevin Hamric at Viz talks with the hobby business and analysis site ICv2.com
about how streaming video drives manga sales. That might not be surprising, but how sensitive those sales are in Hamric's description of them might be.
* Paul Jenkins' short note about John Campbell
and his offer to send dissatisfied customers a PDF of one of his projects has a some stuff in there about making kickstarter a primary publishing option, and what that might entail. I think I would disagree strongly with Jenkins that crowd-funding is any more of an open publishing platform thatn traditional ones, or at least I know of plenty of crowd-funders where how they're structured is a total mystery. He may mean that just personally, or in a more poetic way, I can't tell.
* Heidi MacDonald talks about cracking the google authorship code
. I suppose this is very important for maintaining a web site -- I remember being lectured about how vital it was to better place certain pieces on searches a few years back -- although we've managed to have a profitable one so far while having terrible google everything. Knock on virtual wood, I guess. It could all end tomorrow.
* here's a not comics one: Getty Images is going to pursue a free content, monetize the placement of that content model moving forward
. I would say this is a big deal for all content producers at least spiritually: the idea that content can be made valueless except for a way of exploiting the use of that content is an uncomfortable thought. I am sure you could fuel entire cities on the energy of going around and around on issues like whether or not this is the only plan, or whether it's the smartest one, or even if this changes their fundamental revenue strategy where smaller blogs are concerned at all. Another avenue you could discuss is the idea of having content controlled by a corporate partner tha can not only change how you're doing business but the reality of how your work is perceived. In other words, if you have your comics content with someone and they decided that it's going to be free now, but you'd rather pursue another model because you prefer as a creator to be paid for content directly, I'm sure that work is not offered back to you.
* finally, Johanna Draper Carlson believes that Vertical may be flirting with the use of a Patreon subscription plan
posted 1:45 am PST
Go, Look: Another Art Adams Mini-Gallery
posted 1:40 am PST
Go, Read: David Apatoff And Robert Fiore Discuss Comics
There's a nice mini-discussion brewing between the critics David Apatoff and Robert Fiore here
springing from an Apatoff piece
about some specific comics artists but informed more generally by his admiration for older cartoonists like Mort Drucker and Leonard Starr in the light of praise offered comics-makers like Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware. I think all of the opinions offered so far are both a) worth considering, b) make for really poor "let's you and him fight" material. In other words, I think what's being said is more useful as ways to enter into Drucker, Starr, Ware and Spiegelman both positive and negatively than to engage with any comparison of the value of those artists. Fiore's most recent, lengthy response as of this posting is some pretty prime Bob Fiore, too, particulary using an inverse of the Bushmiller line.
posted 1:35 am PST
Go, Look: John DiBello Picks Best Will Eisner Spirit Title Pages
posted 1:30 am PST
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Cons And Shows
By Tom Spurgeon
* three weeks from now people will be rolling into Seattle for ECCC
and then we're off to the races. But you're starting to see people orient towards the Spring con of their choice: ECCC
and Linework NW
among them. It should be a fun Spring, with a lot of good books out at these shows. Certainly the convention model is a generally healthy one.
* if you want to start looking at anti-harassment policies, just to check in to see if how some of the Spring shows approach this issue in terms of posting guidelines, you can see ECCC's here
and I would CCI's policy here
applies to all of their show.
* it'd be nice to be in Portland this weekend, for signings with Tony Millionaire
and Gregory Benton
. Also, Portland is lovely, and one eats well there
. Hooray for Portland!
* HeroesCon continues to add guests in big gulps
, about once a week.
* Christina Blanch is featured in this feature piece
promoting the convention in Indianapolis this year.
* Trina Robbins will be on hand at TCAF
* Wizard continues to grind towards profitability with its heavy costs/reasonably heavy returns model. It's tough to process the Wizard because there are some nice people involved with some of them, and for some of those communities
* Salt Lake City will be adding a kids' pavilion
* finally, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has a mascot family they reveal in the below poaster by Jonathan Edwards.
posted 1:25 am PST
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
posted 1:20 am PST
If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
posted 1:20 am PST
If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
posted 1:20 am PST
Go, Look: Tabling Comic At Planet Look At Me, Look At Me
posted 1:10 am PST
Random Comics News Story Round-Up
* Whit Taylor provides tips
on how to make comics when you work full-time doing something else.
is one your periodical reminders to vote for Hall Of Fame candidates at the Eisners, if you're elegible.
* small press comics veteran Colin Upton writes about
a key Vancouver neighborhood.
* Jason Tabrys talks to Bob Fingerman
. Michael Maslin interviews a trio of New Yorker newbies
. Steve Sunu talks to Mike Marts
. Milton Griepp talks to Kevin Hamric
. Chris Arrant talks to Declan Shalvey
. Seth Robison talks to Frederick Schroeder and Dave Kellett
. Janelle Asselin profiles Maria Frohlich
. Some nice person on Tiny Pencil
talks to Renee French
* well, of course there are comics about 1970s Genesis
* Richard Sala is in a very good place, art-wise
. And there's very little more pleasurable than random Rogan Gosh art
, published or unpublished. Never seen this Graham Nolan Hulk art
* Greg Burgas on Crystallized
. Mike Sterlin on normalman
. Rob McMonigal on Mask Of The Red Panda
. Todd Klein on Green Lantern Corps #26
. Justice League #26
. Bart Croonenborghs on My Life As A Cat Named Sugar
. Rob Clough on Dog City #2
and the works of David J. Zelman
. Abhay Khosla on a bunch of different comics
. Grant Goggans on The Bojeffries Saga
. Daniel Elkin on Black Is The Color
* more art: Luke Pearson draws for The New Republic
. Darryl Cunningham draws in orange
. Jillian Tamaki drew Ryan Sands
* Jacq Cohen is the best
. This Stuart McMillen article
is only barely related, but that's good enough for me.
* how Lucy Knisley became "That Anti-Social Girl
* finally, Frank Santoro shows us
what he brought back from Frances. Comics-wise, I mean.
posted 1:05 am PST
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