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
















February 10, 2016


Go, Look: Tara Booth

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Go, Bookmark: Maps To The Suns

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Go, Look: Elena Casagrande Superpeople Portraiture

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2016

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*****

February 12
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

February 13
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Dallas, I'd Go To This (Dallas Comic Con Fan Days)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

February 14
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Dallas, I'd Go To This (Dallas Comic Con Fan Days)
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Festival Of The Photocopier)

February 15
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 16
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

February 17
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

February 18
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

February 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

February 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Macon, I'd Go To This (Middle Georgia Comic Convention)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)

February 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Macon, I'd Go To This (Middle Georgia Comic Convention)
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)

February 25
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This

February 26
* If I Were In Warren, I'd Go To This (GLCC)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This (MSU Comics Forum)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

February 27
* If I Were In Warren, I'd Go To This (GLCC)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This (MSU Comics Forum)

February 28
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (FZF)
* If I Were In Jersey City, I'd Go To This

February 29
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

*****

March 1
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

March 2
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 3
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

March 4
* If I Were In Princeton, I'd Go To This

March 5
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

March 6
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

March 10
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 11
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 12
* If I Were Near Ontario, Oregon, I'd Go To This (Border Town Comic Con)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

March 13
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 14
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 15
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 16
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 17
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 19
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 20
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 23
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

March 25
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 26
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 27
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 29
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 30
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 31
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For March 2016 Onward Listed Here

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*****
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Go Look: Mister Mystery #7

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the writer Abhay Khosla is penning four articles on the year in comics 2015. You can access them here. I'll try to respond to some of the ideas presented when I read all four essays.

image* Todd Klein on The Marvels.

* not comics: homebrew is always best.

* here's Charles Brownstein in good form on the Our Comics, Ourselves exhibit. It's always nice when Charles gets the time to write something.

* not comics: this is the second essay I've seen recently on the general subject of corporate entertainment doing away with the notion of Happily Ever After. The corporate element isn't emphasized here., although that's a big reason why we have more narratives extended to accommodate more movies, more books, more whatever. The weird thing to me is that my enjoyment of the closure provided by Return Of The Jedi or Return Of The King wasn't dependent on believing that there wouldn't be some tough times further ahead.

* Steve Lieber writes for the Comic-Con site about launching a creator-owned series.

* Brian Heater talks to Tommi Musturi, Noah Van Sciver and Derf.

* David Barnett writes about Comic Republic in Nigeria.

* finally, this comic looks potentially amazing. I have a very shallow understanding of underground comix created by women, and look forward to becoming more well-versed in that area.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Frédéric Pontarolo!

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February 9, 2016


Go, Read: The Making Of Daniel Clowes

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Bundled Extra: King-Cat Joins Alternative Comics Co-Op

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The alt-comics publishing co-operative Alternative Comics put out a release Monday saying that the iconic series King Cat Comics & Stories will be joining its line-up with the issue that came out last year, #75. That issue featured comics about the cat owned by creator John Porcellino for years, and appeared on several year-end list. It will now be available through Diamond Comics to bookstores and comic shops that buy comics that way.

I'm all for anything that gets Porcellino's series into as many hands as possible. Porcellino was such a crucial figure for the mid-1990s generation we sometimes forget he remains a potent, intriguing cartoonist and every comic he makes is of interest. That issue #75 I thought as good as any comic I read last year, and hope you'll seek it out if you haven't had the pleasure.
 
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OTBP: In Her Words

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* James Whitbrook has a preview of work from I Am A Hero, Kengo Hanazawa's zombie comic that has an omnibus series debut from Dark Horse in April.

* this is very charming video confirming that we will be seeing the delightfully strange Demon in completed form from First Second.

* author Marissa Meyer is set to make the graphic novel leap.

* profiles the path to publication for Terminal Lance: The White Donkey, a graphic novel from an ex-Marine derived from his own experiences in service. The fluidity between markets right now suggests to me we'll see one to five stories of self-publishing successes shaped in roughly the same way as this one from now until there is another paradigm shift in how comics are sold.

* Matt Madden has a nice write-up on the new iteration of Lapin.

* finally, Chip Zdarsky will be joined by artist Kevin Maguire on the seventh issue of Marvel's Howard The Duck comics. He doesn't sound nervous at all.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Leslie Stein In Montreal

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By Request Extra: Celebrating Michael Lynch's 10th Anniversary

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Mike Lynch is a valued member of that first, primary, significant generation of comics bloggers. He's just celebrated ten years of blogging about his own work. Mike blogs about a variety of things, but the ones of most interest to CR readers are the times he check in on comics history and explores the ins and outs of cartoon freelance work.

I hope you'll join me in considering a small donation, particularly if you're lucky like I am to read him post-to-post. If you enjoy the links I've done to his site from CR, please bolster what will be a shamefully insignificant amount mustered on my own.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Captain Steve Savage Over Korea

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note the presence of denigrating racial stereotypes common to the time
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on The Trouble With Women.

* that's some Daredevil commission from Gene Colan. It's strange to conceive of for a generation that wanted to know every name responsible for every comic ever made, but there's likely to be a time when some artists are remembered while so many great creators will have passed entirely from view. I wonder frequently who makes the cut.

* not comics: the pre-Rapahelites on paper. (thanks, Bob Levin)

* Gil Deacon talks to Neil Gaiman. Sloane Leong talks to Meredith Gran.

* totally missed this Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill horror anthology crowd-funder. The use of crowd-funding mechanisms by established artists is fascinating because of the amount of goodwill they usually have built up with a sizable audience before heading to a place where those things are at a premium. The publishing experience are different enough that I wonder if that's why we're not seeing people of that generation routinely using these sites and the culture that's sprung up around what seems to be each and every one.

* here's a lengthy gallery process profile featuring late-period work by Carol Tyler.

* finally, I forgot to point out this fine Jillian Tamaki illustration from a couple of weeks back.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Sarah Byam!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Jo Duffy!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Tim Truman!

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Happy 57th Birthday, David B.!

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February 8, 2016


By Request Extra: Rich Tommaso Art Sale

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Go, Look: No Diplomacy

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Missed It: Egyptian Cartoonist Held Briefly On What Look Like Made-Up Concerns

If you get the chance, you should read Al-Monitor's interview with the Egyptian cartoonist Islam Gawish about his late January detention by Egyptian officials. There are a bunch of compelling ideas in operation there. Gawish is best known for very simple cartoons that comment on politics and culture; as you can read in the interview he isn't exactly a radical about it and is happy to decry people that go too far into inappropriate uses for caricature. Still, Gawish found himself being charged with operating an unlicensed web site.

One big problem is that Gawish distributes his material via social media, on pages that don't have a licensing or fee structure. That makes this look less like an administrative practice and more like a potential censor checking in.
 
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Go, Watch: Phallaina

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Go, Read: The Trouble With Superman

We're going to see a ton of general-media thinkpieces on superheroes this year. Comics fandom's caped division is a coveted army of eyeballs for anything put on-line, and there are multiple avenues for such articles in 2016. We get DC's big three and DC in general with Superman Vs. Batman. We get the state of Marvel and broad political allegory in the new Captain America. We get genre correction with Deadpool, series correction with Doctor Strange and a flip-take with Suicide Squad. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther will generate some ink. I'm sure there will be others.

imageI like this article by a writer named Asher Elbein just fine. I think it's a measured piece, lacking that squeal of giddy fanboy approbation for one version of the character over another that tends to shock me when I read an article like this one. At the same time, it seemed like a thorough analysis, for instance citing the fairly obscure Joe Casey-written, Derek Aucoin-drawn "Never Throws A Punch" run on the Siegel/Shuster character. I will always think the way to a better Superman, a way to a better versions of all of these properties, as much as that's ever an interesting goal, is to tell good stories built around an appealing take on the character in question -- as opposed to genre tweaking or trying to puzzle out what fans want or having these grand line-wide plans and complicated narratives that obscure or simplify the individual characters of note. I rarely see narratives from DC that serve as vehicles for these characters to make a case for their own greatness.

I've yet to catch up with Gene Luen Yang's version of Superman; I've read only a few issues by the well-regarded team of Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder. The other versions I've seen post New 52 have been something of a chore and that basic conception? Ugh. I sort of hate that guy. And while I'd usually I'd say I'm not the audience, it's Superman. Everybody's the audience.

Update: the great Stuart Immonen just wrote in to point out that the article I mention credited writers without artists except in extreme historical circumstance, like Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. That is an awful thing that happens, I should know better. There's no excuse; that's a mistake on my part. I still like the piece, even thought I understand it's pretty unpopular. But, if nothing else, the practice of leaving artists out whole-hog should be its own criticism every time it happens.

I do have some sympathy for writers that try to engage with the world of mainstream comics when they do not exhibit the nuanced appreciation most of us try for that an artist and writer may have overlapping conceptual responsibilities -- in much the same way I think Elbein doesn't credit how increasingly character portrayals are tied into "universe" narratives. I think most of us feel our way through these things more than we care to admit. I added Aucoin's and Kuder's names to the above because that's how I think of those books. However, I didn't add Gene Luen Yang's certainly creative partners because in my conception of those comics for the point I'm seeking to figure out, I think of myself as being specifically interested in Yang's contribution. That might also be in error. It's certainly a rude assumption.

I couldn't tell if you that's a forever-hitch in my step -- if all artists deserve co-author credit in all facets of writing as thoroughly as Jack Kirby does, or if these kinds of things ebb and flow across individual partnerships that makes finding the target of focused analysis super, super difficult. I still feel like there are comics where a primary author might reveal herself; I think Kirby's authorial voice dominates most of the comics he worked on post 1961, and that the early Image comics that used writers were dominated by their artists. The Comics Journal was always Gary Groth's magazine, even when I worked on it. Ditto Wildwood and Dan Wright. But since I can't know that for other people, I should favor mentioning as many voices as seems sensible, and point out the practice when I see it employed across the board. Lord knows we've had a lot of abuse and shortsightedness from the other end of things.

Anyway: my bad. Thanks, Stuart.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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