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

August 19, 2014

Go, Look: Several Pages Of Derek Ballard Comics

Part 1; Part 2
posted 8:30 pm PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Best American Comics Selection Canadian Royalty

it's by Michael DeForge
posted 10:30 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Frank Miller 20 Questions At Playboy

Here. It's his answer to #19 that will likely set off article and social media kvetching interest, mostly because that's the only reaction anyone has to anything anymore but partly because his answer there is... well... let's say colorful.

Miller was not the humongous figure for me in the 1980s that he was for most of my same-age peers that read comics, although I enjoy pretty much all of his major runs within the corporate superhero companies and there sure were a lot of them.
posted 8:35 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: You Might As Well Live

posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Anne Ishii Interviews Annie Koyama

Here. I'm happier just knowing these two people got to talk to one another. Bonus: the interview is funny and encouraging.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: How I Got My Medical Marijuana License

posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

By Request Extra: Paper Rocket Launches Fall Campaign; Inaugurates A New "Split The Tip" Policy

Robyn Chapman wrote in yesterday afternoon with news of this crowd-funding campaign, for the Fall comics from her Paper Rocket Minicomics.

She mentioned in the note something that's in the campaign presentation, that she would splitting any extra money over the pre-order cost with the artists involved, which seems to me an interesting way to approach what she forthrightly calls a pre-order effort. She also puts paying the artists as first priority with the fundraiser.
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Fantasy Management

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Profile Of Frank Miller In New York Times; Sunday Book Review On Jules Feiffer's Latest

The Miller is here. The Feiffer is here. Neither one is particularly insightful, although together they provide one of those step-back moment were you think, with amazement, "These kinds of profiles and review are routine now." The Feiffer one might surprise for the certainty of its praise, as advance word on Kill My Mother has been all over the place. It's hard for me to imagine the new Sin City movie doing well, but the Turtles surprised on their first weekend so who knows? I think there's a significant reservoir of goodwill waiting for Miller within comics, but it may be a while yet before the dam is removed.
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Missy Kulik

posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

Bundled Extra: Conundrum Press Announces Katherine Verhoeven's Towerkind For A TCAF 2015 Debut


Making yet another late-summer publishing announcement, Conundrum Press yesterday announced via social media and a press release that they had acquired world rights to Towerkind, by Katherine Verhoeven. They describe the work, a newly-named Ignatz nominee in its mini-comic iteration as follows:
"Conundrum Press is delighted to announce the signing of world rights to Towerkind by Katherine Verhoeven. Towerkind is an oblique end-of-the-world story seen through the eyes of a diverse group of children in Toronto’s St James Town, a neighbourhood of densely populated high rise apartments. The kids in this “towerhood” become aware of an impending catastrophe through a number of supernatural abilities. Super strong Ty is a self-proclaimed monarch, and in his frustrated rage bullies the other kids into building a castle for him out of scrap wood and boxes. Among others, Mackenzie uses her death magic to meddle, and language savant Mose would prefer to be left alone. Something is revealing itself through cracks and crevices, and through the children in the neighbourhood."
Conundrum promises at TCAF 2015 debut.

The book should be around 160 pages -- I believe that's the length of the story so you'd have that plus some extras -- and you can buy individual issues in the earlier iteration here. The cartoonist commented on the news here.
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: More Herb Trimpe Hulk Splash Pages

posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* you can submit to the Cartoonists Of Color database here.

image* Gabriel Winslow-Yost on a pair of translated war comics by Jacques Tardi. (thanks, Greg Kelly) Andrew Weiss on Radio Boy. Todd Klein on Detective Comics Annual #3 and Superman #33.

* Chris Sims writes about the Legion Of Super-Heroes property. It's kind of baffling that that one can't be made to work somehow. I wonder if it hasn't been overthought a bit. I imagine it also suffers from a very popular late 1970s run casting a shadow going forward for the next 35 years. With several thousand readers making the difference between a hit and a canceled book, it has to be tempting to return to that strongest iteration.

* did Phoebe come back?

* Alan Gardner reminds that Hilary Price recently visited the current dean of American newspaper cartooning, Mort Walker.

* Hannah Means-Shannon talks to David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz. Dan Greenfield talks to Ed Piskor. Some nice person at the Yorkshire Evening Post profiles Lisa Wood. Jonathan Bell talks to KAL. Julie Kahn talks to Ed Chavez. Jason Wilkins talks to Ryan Burton.

* I liked this strip by Evan Dorkin.

* finally, I'm putting word of this Wonder Woman podcast here so I will remember to go back and listen to it when I have the time.
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink

Happy 48th Birthday, Stefano Gaudiano!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 35th Birthday, Josh Fialkov!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 70th Birthday, Skip Williamson!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 45th Birthday, Gene Ha!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 37th Birthday, Josh Cotter!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 39th Birthday, Adam P. Knave!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

August 18, 2014

Go, Look: Caitlin Major

posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

Festivals Extra: The Hotel Where Folks Are Booking For SPX When They Can't Get Into The Marriott...

... is the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center. I've now e-mailed with multiple people who bounced down there after the Marriott sold out of rooms for SPX weekend about five days ago.

It's a full-service hotel like the Marriott, is about 3/4 of a mile away and is one transit stop up the system for easy access. There are a lot of Hiltons in the area so you want to check the address to make double-certain which one you're booking yourself into. I love a good hotel a short distance away, even for a party festival like SPX, because it makes the mornings your own. And this place is appropriately comfy-looking. It's running a bit cheaper than the Marriott through the basic booking services.
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Batman Great Escapes Month

posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink

Your 2014 Ignatz Award Nominees


They were named this morning. Congratulations to all the newly minted nominees. The Ignatz ceremony will be held on the Saturday of SPX -- September 13. Good luck to all participating.

It's an interesting group of nominees. It strikes me as a list where there's not a whole lot here that's daring or out of left field -- this is the first year in a while I've heard of all the nominees, and am familiar with all of the work, and I've had a terribly inattentive work year. I've received e-mail of a questioning nature already in terms of a couple of nominees, which is typical, but nothing "Oh My God" yet, which is not. My love for Kim Deitch is second to no one's, and I adore that Whaley book, but I didn't put it on my own year-end list because that seemed to me an illustrated prose story. That doesn't matter in the wider scheme of things, but it's an intriguing choice for a crowded field and opens up future awards slates. I also love The End, but that's essentially a reprint with an added signature. I'm always confused by "Promising Newcomer" categories. My hunch is that at least one of those cartoonists has been at it as long as Michael DeForge has been, although I could be wrong.

On a personal note, I think this means my choice for book of the year in 2013, Jim Woodring's Fran, received no North American awards nominations. I could be wrong about that.

I think this will be a well-received slate, though, perhaps strongly so. A couple that strike me as particularly welcome on a first glance is the Jesse Reklaw artist nod for that Couch Tag book so few people read, and the Sam Sharpe nomination for that ruthless "Mom" story. I'm also happy on first plunge-through for the Powdered Milk series nod.

Outstanding Artist
* Sam Bosma, Fantasy Basketball
* Kim Deitch, The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
* Sophie Goldstein, Darwin Carmichael is Going To Hell; Edna II; House of Women
* Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1
* Jesse Reklaw, Couch Tag

Outstanding Anthology or Collection
* Amazing Facts and Beyond, Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch
* The End, Anders Nilsen
* Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2, Leslie Stein
* Sock Monkey Treasury, Tony Millionaire
* QU33R, Various (Edited By Robert Kirby)

Outstanding Graphic Novel
* The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, Kim Deitch
* The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist
* Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang
* This One Summer, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
* War of Streets and Houses, Sophie Yanow

* Brownout Biscuit from Octoups Pie: Dead Forever, Meredith Gran
* Destination X, John Martz
* The Grassy Knoll, Nick Drnaso
* Jobs from Life Zone, Simon Hanselmann
* Mom from Viewotron #2, Sam Sharpe

Promising New Talent
* Luke Howard, Trevor
* Cathy G. Johnson, Jeremiah; Boy Genius; Until It Runs Clear
* Nick Offerman, Orange; Onions
* Keiler Roberts, Powdered Milk
* Daryl Seitchik, Missy

Outstanding Series
* The Black Feather Falls, Ellen Lindner
* Demon, Jason Shiga
* Powdered Milk, Keiler Roberts
* Sky in Stereo, Sacha Mardou
* Towerkind, Kat Verhoeven

Outstanding Comic
* Blammo #8, Noah Van Sciver
* Cosplayers, Dash Shaw
* It Will All Hurt #2, Farel Dalrymple
* Misliving Amended, Adam Buttrick
* Wicked Chicken Queen, Sam Alden

Outstanding Minicomic
* The Grassy Knoll, Nick Drnaso
* House of Women, Sophie Goldstein
* Never Forgets, Yumi Sakugawa
* Test Tube #1, Carlos Gonzalez
* Up to the Top, Ian Sampson

Outstanding Online Comic
* Band for Life, Anya Davidson
* Big Dogs at Nite, Dane Martin
* Demon, Jason Shiga
* On Hiatus, Pete Toms
* Vattu, Evan Dahm

This year's jury was Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor.

Update: I've heard back from several people now and taken a second look myself. The gender breakdown is at 2-1 in favor of male cartoonists (I get 30-14 leaving out the group anthology, but I'm super-shitty at math). The previous year it was just about 50/50 -- I want to say 23/22, but that's from memory. That was astonishing to a couple of people that e-mailed in just for the reputation that the end of last year through the first half of this year enjoyed in terms of there being a number of strong works out from female cartoonists. I think if you have a juried award system you can't really predict where the votes will break down, it's just too small a sample for prediction. I do think it's worth noting.

Also, in terms of what I perceive of as Ignatz favorites over the last few years: no Michael DeForge, but yes on Sam Alden, Noah Van Sciver, Dash Shaw and Jillian Tamaki. I'm not sure I see a D+Q book on there, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink

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