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December 8, 2016


Go, Look: The Bridge

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Event Photos From CALA 2016

I attended the Saturday afternoon of a two-day Comics Arts Los Angeles, at Think Tank Gallery -- that's in downtown LA on Maple. I had a really good time. I believe it was a successful show, although I only have a limited sample from which to project.

I think one thing that CALA has in common with Comic Arts Brooklyn in that both are really good selling shows, with a lot of unique artists due to the wider industries available in each city, artists that are looking for a place to ply their paper wares and related items. It's an extremely young show, both in terms of its own growth (this is year three) and in terms of its exhibitor base. There seem to be a lot of makers in the audience. It feels like an end-of-the-year show, people wrapping things up, talking about 2017 in broad terms, creative pushes, sabbaticals, re-calibrations.

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My brother Whit took a bunch of photos at the show. He lives on the fissure line between Burbank and North Hollywood, a space occupied by a lot of comics people. We took the Red Line down to the Pershing Square shop, where you go to hit The Last Bookstore. We got brunch at Little Easy, a bar+kitchen with two spaces carved into the city block that are intended to be reminiscent of two kinds of New Orleans drinking establishments: the big old bar, curtain-heavy kind, and the courtyard-oriented kind. The brunch was good. The clientele was younger than the two of us, but not in an accelerated fashion.

There was a line outside CALA at 1 PM Saturday. Because it's in a gallery space that isn't obviously a comics show from the street, this gave the moment a hilarious clichéd LA feel. Chip Mosher cut in line to go in with us. It took about 20 minutes. It was not so crowded upstairs it felt like a show that would have a line, but I remember 2014 being hot and cramped and am happy they were doing what it took to not repeat that experience. That third shot is neighborhood shot; there's a lot going on down there on a random Saturday afternoon, and I enjoyed the walk through all the clothing- and fabric-focused stores. Super-bummed the nearby Starbucks shut down their bathroom, but totally understand.

****

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This is a few shots of the inside while we were there, and a fair representation of the show's audience and crowd-level while we were in the second floor space. They had a nice balance: people were busy, but if you stopped and talked to someone for 90 seconds or so it didn't feel like you were jamming up someone else's day. I don't know if they need to relocate the major part of the show or not.

*****

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The map gives you another look at the show's size and if you can read it an idea of the quality of the exhibitor. It was high for a show like this one. I didn't see a single person that felt strongly out of place and only a few that maybe seemed they could have made a stronger showing a year or two down the line. Good shopping room. Books and paper mostly, but plenty of t-shirts. The books were mostly handmade and small. A couple of shopping highlights for me were John Pham selling his latest and beautiful-looking books and Lisa Hanawalt had a bunch of original art going of various sizes and intensity, some just art and I think some pages.

*****

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There were more people here I recognized than in 2014, I think because the show is slightly more attractive and I've gotten to know a few more younger cartoonists at such events. This is an inconsistent and incomplete sampling in threes for the bulk of the rest of the pages. That's Lisa Hanawalt, Dustin Harbin and Charles Hatfield. Hanawalt's in the middle of her animation work year, but seems happy with the rollout for her 2016 book. Harbin had his pile of wares. My brother was wearing a Harbin t-shirt. Charles and I talked briefly of Comics Studies Society doings. It's always great to see him, and he was one of the contributing writers during my era of TCJ.

*****

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Kevin Czap and Cathy G. Johnson at their tables right next to one another seemed to be doing brisk business, as did creative partners Rebecca Mock and Hope Larson (on Compass South), seated next to one another. I got a chance to tell Hope I've enjoyed her public posts about vocational issues, which I think a lot of creators feel reluctant to address.

*****

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My brother and I have taken enough photos of Chris Pitzer to do a coffee table book and this is one of the Pitzeriest photos ever. He had AdHouse t-shirts for those of us that ordered them. I liked that Ryan Sands looked like a somewhat sleepy, van-driving Dad on his way to pick up salted Irish butter at the drive-through convenience store. Ben Sears was located next to Harbin. I don't know him all that well except to recognize I probably shouldn't introduce myself again, but I've enjoyed the last few comics of his I've seen.

*****

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Ryan Cecil Smith was selling a loose-leaf explanation of how to best employ Risograph printing methods on behalf of your own work. It was the only publication I physically bought at the show. He is also in the NoHo area. I've enjoyed his comics for years and it seems to me he's been ready for several years to take that next step in terms of finding a bigger, more trenchant audience. Sophie Yanow was a long way from her teaching gig in Vermont. She's a great add for them up there. Malachi Ward had an Image book there, which I don't think anyone else did even though there was a smattering of folks' book-publisher books on seemingly every table. Good book, too.

*****

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After introducing me to Cecil Castellucci, Chip and my brother an I went in his car -- my brother apparently took pictures of us gossiping from his back-seat perch -- and over to the remodeled and restored Clifton's for cafeteria-type dinner. Both the original place and its restoration have a place in LA's heart, and Chip talked about living in Los Angeles as a now-veteran member of the local community: vital, scattered, professionally-oriented. We also talked about areas of potential growth for comics people in the next few years. It was a really good time.

And so was CALA, really. That's a pleasing show that isn't running ahead of itself. I hope that in the next few years it might find ways to plug and play a few more socially-driven events around town -- there have been strong satellite events both years I've attended but not core-show stuff -- and that it will continue to get a crowd of people that just want to come to Los Angeles for a few days. It hasn't quite figured out that component, but I think it will get there. There's a lot of energy in that room, and a professional sheen that says of those mostly young cartoonists that they are going to do the comics they want to do and they're not asking for permission, access or for a specific outcome.

*****

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Let's end with Sam Alden, who de-aged 15 months during the two hours I was in the room with him and will one day win a major comics award he'll be too young to lift over his head. Sam seemed happy with the new work he's doing, and as one of the first cartoonists in his age group to make a bunch of people decades older take notice I'm glad to see him challenging himself and ensconced in a community that can find him work and multiple creative outlets.

I hope Sunday went as well, and I hope the show will be back next year. With more and more people moving to Los Angeles, there are chances to grow strictly according to their own desires, which is an exciting thing for comics. I'll return every time I can and one day I hope to burn through the room buying something from every table -- a modest comics dream, likely achievable.

*****
*****
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Gotlib Gallery

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the Society Of Illustrators has announced their MoCCA Festival for April 1-2 of 2017 and a nicely-selected group of special guests in terms of range of style: Blutch, Cliff Chiang, Becky Cloonan, Drew Friedman, David Lloyd and Gene Luen Yang.

* nice catch by Heidi MacDonald and The Beat that two of the "Amazing" comics shows have been canceled, with two left going. It's indeed a crowded market and we're going to see some of these local-to-regional shows take a pass on moving forward. I think in the short term the market saturation for such shows is going to be felt in the way the shows function.

* I'd take art lessons from Howard Chaykin. I expect to see something like this at every show by the beginning of 2018.

* finally, I don't think I announced all of them, but you can read about WonderCon's six waves of special guests announced through Thanksgiving weekend over at the Comic-Con site. I'd like to do that show next year, and I think people are going to start finding reasons to do the Southern California shows more generally.
 
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If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2017

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*****

December 9
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

December 10
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This (EBABZ)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)

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

December 29
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 30
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 31
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

*****
*****
2017
*****
*****

January 1
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

January 21
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

January 26
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 27
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 28
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 29
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

*****

Events For February 2017 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Superboy Cover Gallery

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Wrecked Hearts.

* Rob Salkowitz analyzes the latest financing moves from Wizard World, which while I'm sure there are some nice people involved in there somewhere, sound repulsive: money being pushed around by rich folks who made their money standing near other people's efforts to support an institution that may or may not ever make money by itself but certainly seems to provide benefits to those involved while it flops around. I would be sad if that business went away on behalf of those comics creators for whom it's still an anchor of what they do and how they make a living, but it's difficult for me not to see this as a symptom of capitalist excess rather than a benign outgrowth of its higher functions.

* Ben Novotny Owen talks to Laurenn McCubbin.

* finally, Mike Sterling believes in the power of pictures.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Erik Larsen!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, David Lasky!

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December 7, 2016


Go, Look: Cathrin Peterslund

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posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Chloe Eudaly Says Goodbye On Behalf Of Reading Frenzy As Her Elected Office Duties Take Over

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Here. Portland's Reading Frenzy was a wonderful store to have in my array of shopping options in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s. I bought a lot of handmade publications there. I wish Chloe Eudaly luck with the issues on which she ran; there's a staggering amount of need to be addressed.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Legacy Of Absence

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posted 1:32 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: CAKE Extends Exhibitor Application Deadline

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Here. It's December 12 now. They've done this in the past, and it makes sense with the timing of a show where the exhibitor applications have to be done before the holidays there might be some maneuvering with the deadlines.

CAKE is one of the five or six jewels at the local/regional level for small press and arts comics, fully worthy of a visit by comics fans who can get there and anyone national who wants to travel to the great city of Chicago in the beautiful summertime. I hope to go.

The show is June 10-11 in 2017. Get off the El (I'm with Algren) a few stops early south or north and walk the rest of the way.
 
posted 1:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Hanna K

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This Isn't A Library: New, 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.

*****

AUG162204 ROBERT CRUMB SKETCHBOOK HC VOL 01 JUNE 64 - MAR 66 (MR) $39.99
This is the time of year where you get all the Christmas stuff + all the stuff that the publishers want to get out before the year ends + all the stuff delayed for summer that makes sense for it to come out for the holidays if it's not going to be out when the weather is warm. These end up being a few crowded weeks, that last of November, beginning of December. You won't find a more interest book to read than the 400+ pages making up a Taschen mass release paperback featuring mid-1960s work from Robert Crumb. His sketchbooks are one of the great treasures of comics, unless you're just unable to process certain elements of his work.

AUG160082 BALTIMORE HC VOL 07 EMPTY GRAVES $24.99
I don't always recognize the Mignola-verse work in its trade paperback/hardcover collection form, but this is probably the best way to collect it given how much there is month to month.

imageOCT161325 GIANT DAYS #21 $3.99
OCT160062 RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME #4 (OF 5) $3.99
SEP160715 ARCLIGHT #3 (MR) $3.99
OCT160487 SUPER F*CKERS FOREVER #5 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR (MR) $4.99
OCT160631 REVIVAL #45 (MR) $3.99
OCT160648 WALKING DEAD #161 CVR A ADLARD & STEWART (MR) $2.99
OCT160649 WALKING DEAD #161 CVR B CONNECTING ADAMS & FAIRBAIRN (MR) $2.99
OCT160652 WICKED & DIVINE #24 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.50
SEP168679 UNWORTHY THOR #1 (OF 5) 2ND PTG COIPEL VAR NOW $3.99
OCT160874 UNWORTHY THOR #2 (OF 5) $3.99
OCT161323 GOLDIE VANCE #8 $3.99
Here are the comic-book comics I could find. John Allison first, followed by Mignola-verse material. Arclight looks like it will wrap up in a fourth issue after this long-delayed third one. Another cycle of James Kochalka's Superfuckers comes to a close; I still find those comics pretty funny. Revival is lurching towards its end in fits and starts. Walking Dead may never end, but that's actually a significant part of its underlying concept, that freedom from narrative pressures to answer things and wrap them up. Wicked & Divine loses me every now and then just in terms of my being able to track the narrative. This is one of those times, although I continue to keep the issues and am certain I'll figure out my blind spots within a quarter year. I bought the first issue of that Thor comic and thought it fine. I'm not the biggest fan of the Marvel space milieu. Goldie Vance takes us right back around to the same group of comics in which Giant Days is most frequently placed.

JUN160568 DITKO UNLEASHED HC $59.99
JUL160615 JACK KIRBY PENCILS & INKS HC $49.99
I'm in for every single iteration and gift book and reprint from both Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, save perhaps for straight-up reprints from weaker mainstream-comics periods.

AUG160549 STEVE CANYON HC VOL 07 1959-1960 $49.99
I'm also a great fan of Milton Caniff, but more out of respect than endearment. The Steve Canyon material is handsome as all hell, but big chunks of it are a less than exciting read for my eyeballs. It'd be a different strip on the other side of the decade, although ironically maybe not enough of a different one.

JUL160815 BLUE MONDAY TP VOL 02 ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS $14.99
This was an important work for a number of comics readers and creators now in their early 30s. This kind of work does nothing for me, but I have to imagine a lot of fans are happy to see it again.

SEP161125 CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS TP VOL 01 HAIL HYDRA $19.99
JUN160954 DEADPOOL BY POSEHN AND DUGGAN OMNIBUS HC $100.00
Two comics from the part of Marvel ostensibly designed to serve bookstores. I haven't heard much of anything recently about Captain America's heel turn in his comic book several months ago. Given how news organization love news that's been proven popular by its link to previously popular news items, that's saying something. I'm sure the story has continued to push forward. The Deadpool book is from that weird part of their line where you can't imagine anyone dropping that kind of money regularly but quickly realize they don't need a lot of people to make that work. I would imagine this is a big chunk of the material by which Deadpool became actually funny as opposed to comic-book funny, but Deadpool fans always get mad at me when I say that, in-between shouting names of creators at me I've never heard of.

OCT161623 BARBARELLA HC (MR) $24.95
Always. Every edition is worth a look.

OCT161624 BY THE NUMBERS GN $24.95
This is a work featuring comics by the L'Association co-founder Stanislas, and looks retro as all hell. Sign me up.

OCT161643 SHADOWEYES SC DLX ED (MR) $30.00
This is a redirected reprint via Spike Trotman of Sophie Campbell's beautiful-looking work.

JUN161208 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #24 (MR) $5.99
All praise to BC for their devotion to print.

OCT162164 1964 NEW YORK COMICON TRUE STORY BEHIND WORLDS 1ST COMIC CON $29.95
Ever single word in the title of this book is like a direct pitch to my wallet. All of it is execution, though, so I'll withhold judgment one way or the other until I catch up.

SEP162216 PETER BAGGE CONVERSATIONS SC $25.00
I love listening to Peter talk. I think he may be over-interviewed at this point, given how many projects he's done and how open he is to assisting their promotion, but a strong hand here should yield an excellent collection.

OCT162167 KRAZY BLACK & WHITE WORLD OF GEORGE HERRIMAN HC $35.00
A book of the year candidate, I waited 11 years to publish a book on comics just so I could lose any chance of an industry award to this sucker. I'm reading it right now, actually, and it's quite good.

*****

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 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Chris Ware Original Art For One-Pager

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2017

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*****

December 8
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

December 9
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

December 10
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This (EBABZ)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)

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

December 29
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 30
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 31
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

*****
*****
2017
*****
*****

January 1
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

January 21
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

January 26
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 27
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 28
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 29
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

*****

Events For February 2017 Onward Listed Here

*****



*****
*****
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Marvel Mystery Comics #89

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Mark Peters on Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1.

* Michael C. Lorah profiles Terry Moore. Brett White talks to Charles Soule. Nick Hasted talks to Art Spiegelman, in a major-looking one I definitely missed. Steven Cuevas profiles a post-election Steve Weissman. Rudraneil Sengupta and Elizabeth Kuruvilla talk to Liza Donnelly. Peter Rowe profiles Ron Campbell.

* word that a statue featuring Ham Fisher and his creation Joe Palooka will be restored. The base had deteriorated.

* never saw the TV show but I liked the Lucifer comics I read a few years back.

* finally: man, that Rob Liefeld art was sure something.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 53rd Birthday, Katsuya Terada!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Jason Lutes!

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December 6, 2016


Go, Look: Al Columbia Drawings

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posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: Cartoonist Rick Veitch Releases First Roarin' Rick's Rare Bit Fiends In Twenty Years

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Industry veteran Rick Veitch wrote in yesterday morning to say that he's published the first issue of his Roarin' Rick's Rare Bit Fiends to see the marketplace in 20 years. This was Veitch's dream diary comic, and a key player in the late-'80s to mid-'90s market shake-up in terms of what could be supported or not and how well in terms of personal expression given the margin of returns on self-published work. It was also the best work of an admirable career, ongoing.

It is not released through Diamond but is available on Amazon. It is also not the first work from Veitch to be released that way this year.

Veitch has written about the new release here.
 
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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