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

July 31, 2014

Jay Maeder, RIP

posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Anna Sailamaa

posted 8:50 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein In Support Of The Supreme Court Hearing The Kirby/Marvel Case

The best write-up I've seen so far is here. I don't know if any of these briefs in support mean a damn thing, and I'm resigned to this going the other way. Still, it's been nice with a lot of these briefs, because they're written with a Supreme Court ruling in mind, talking about the issues more in terms of being reflective of desirable or undesirable law rather than whether or not the law -- no matter its nature -- was being adhered to. It really is too bad if Marvel can profit from an assumed relationship to Jack Kirby as a kind of employee when that seems clearly not their relationship by any rational measure you or I would describe someone working that way.
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Imagery From Nightslayer #1

not sure why this showed up in my facebook feed a while back, but some of these images are fascinating
posted 8:40 am PST | Permalink

Missed It: Amazon Hunkers Down At 30 Pct Revenue Point In Still-Ongoing Amazon Vs Hachette Battle

imageI haven't been covering the Amazon vs. Hachette battle as it strings itself out over several weeks because my interest is less in the particulars of that battle than in Amazon's tactics in fighting it. Like many other media, comics has ceded a significant amount of its sales to Amazon and Amazon-affiliated businesses, so how they pursue something they want becomes of significant interest even when there are multiple arguments about the potential outcomes, both short- and long-term.

So I was interested in this letter, which takes an unofficial talking point ("Amazon wants 50 percent") off of the table and brings the argument around to a pretty strong place for Amazon: their perceived ability to add to an author's bottom line vs. the perceived ability of publishers like Hachette to enhance it. Of course, I'd rather that these arguments were taking place at the 50 creator 25/25 other players, or even 70/15/15, but that's just me.
posted 8:35 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Larry Todd

posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

By Request Extra: Rubber Necker #6

Nick Bertozzi has had a crowd-funding campaign going for his Rubber Necker #6 for a while, even though I haven't posted about until now. It's very modestly conceived, and I hope you'll check it out. Bertozzi is working a variety of projects right now, and I hope that his fan base will keep straight-up alterantive comics in the mix somehow.
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Heta Bilaletdin

posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

By Request Extra: John Porcellino Kickstarter Hits Goal

The crowd-funder in support of a documentary about John Porcellino has apparently hits its goal with several days remaining. I think Porcellino is an important cartoonist, and I'm hoping that the documentary, this fall's publication of The Hospital Suite and the tour in support of both will drive attention to that fact.

Mostly, though, I'm mentioning it here because I thought several of you might want to particpate.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

OTBP: Adventures On A Desert Island

posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

This Isn't A Library: New And Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market



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.


JUN141208 HOW TO BE HAPPY HC $24.99
MAY141406 GAST GN $22.99
Two really solid stand-alone volumes from two very talented creators, both at Fantagraphics. The first is Eleanor Davis' first major short-story collection, and people were oohing and aahing over it in San Diego. Gast is Carol Swain, with whom Fantagraphics has had a relationship for more than 20 year. Swain is a natural-born cartoonist of the Chester Brown variety in that she could draw people making sandwiches for 200 pages and it'd be interesting. I kow almost nothing about the book, but I'll buy it.

imageMAR140516 FATALE #24 (MR) $4.99
FEB140793 HAWKEYE #19 $3.99
APR140303 WAKE #10 (MR) $2.99
NOV130513 PROPHET #45 $3.99
A smaller than usual but potent week of comics that popped for me in the adventure comic serial comic book realm. That's a classy ending to the Brubaker/Phillips Fatale -- Brubaker's endings are under-appreciated -- and I look forward to their forthcoming noir project. The Hawkeye was the buzz book yesterday for a big chunk of the comics Internet I follow. There are only a handful of these left and all the creators involved are in a good creative space right now, so the individual comic books should be of a very high quality. Wake is a top-selling comic, although it hasn't really brought me into its world yet. Outcast is the new Robert Kirkman-written comic (with artist Paul Azaceta), so that's worth noting. I'm sure it's already been sold for some sort of film/tv adaptation. There's your Mignola, while Prophet #45 ends this cycle -- I think -- with another yet to come.

I thought the first one of these was a beautiful, fun, book, and I can't imagine this one not being more attractive. Not sure where I stand on having giant books around -- they're kind of a weird reading experience.

FEB140527 LAZARUS TP VOL 02 LIFT (MR) $14.99
I enjoy reading these well-executed genre comics in individual serial comic book form when I get them; don't remember much about them when I put the books down, although maybe that's not a criticism. I can certainly imagine this one becoming some sort of TV show in the next few years; there's at least three or four fun acting parts in here, and it feels like the creators have done the work of world creation rather than positioned themselves up near that work.

JUN140922 COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN HC VOL 02 1975-1977 $45.00
JUN140923 COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN HC VOL 03 1978-1980 $45.00
MAY140540 RIP KIRBY HC VOL 07 $49.99
There was a time not too many years ago where a Funky Winkerbean collection would have seemed perfectly normal and seven volumes of Rip Kirby would have seemed strange beyond measure. Now those positions are reversed. The funny thing is, I like both of these strips about equally.

MAR141262 NAJA HC $29.99
This is JD Morvan and Bengal, and looks impossibly, beautifully slick. Sci-fi comics are not my thing, but there's a definite mini-market there now even if what that market will handle and what it won't has been worked through just yet. I think Magnetic Press is doing a bunch of Bengal.

MAY141582 NEWT GN $7.99
This is Nicolas Mahler, with whom I'm familiar, working with an artist named Heinz Wolf, with whom I'm definitely not familiar. I like the price point of $8 for 80 pages, and would definitely check it out where I to encounter it in a comics shop.

I liked the movie, which was bonkers and pretty and had a lot of good actors chewing the scenery in an almost 1970s disaster-film way -- something I'm sure was intentional. The graphic novel on which the movie is based is pretty dull, and only for those that like traditional bd adventure-comics art or that saw the movie and wishes it were less frenetic and treated the plot with much more seriousness.

Finally, two of the best genre works of the 1990s, maybe top five in terms of consistent entertainment. The Doom Patrol is all of the Grant Morrison comics featuring that team from the transition-into-Vertigo period. I think those are funny, weird comics, and have an appealing trashiness to them that I don't think was a significant part of any other of the for-adults superhero books of that time period. Monster is one I haven't totally devoured yet, so I'm glad for a kind of legacy edition that should be around for a while.


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.



posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: House Of Mystery #88

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

Collective Memory: Comic-Con International 2014


Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2014 edition of Comic-Con International, held July 24-27 at San Diego Convention Center in San Diego.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people


* Convention Site
* Festival Location
* Host City


Blog Entries
* Comic-Con's Toucan Blog

* Robot 6 (Index)

* The Beat (Index)
* The Outhousers

* Comic-Con International On Facebook

* APE Home Page
* Wonder Con Home Page

News Stories and Columns
* 10News
* Comicosity
* Deadline
* Ecumenical News
* Entertainment Weekly
* Forbes
* Fox News 01
* Fox News 02
* Huffington Post
* Newsweek
* New York Daily News
* New York Times
* PW 01
* SFGate
* The Blaze
* The Salt Lake Tribune
* Time

Photos And Other Visuals
* Jacq Cohen
* Robot 6
* The Mary Sue

* #SDCC2014





posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Lisa Hanawalt At Inprnt

posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink

Alison Bechdel Among Those Speaking Out On Palestinian Rights

Other folks participating include Chuck D and Gloria Steinem. Bechdel is described as both a cartoonist and the creator of The Bechdel Test, which is an interesting pop-culture note in an otherwise super-serious project.

Ethan Heitner is collecting graphics here on the same subject.

You can see a broad cross-section of more traditional editorial cartoonist reactions here.
posted 7:45 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Pascal Barret

posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

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


By Tom Spurgeon

* well, that was something. A ton of legit news stories still tracking out of CCI, and my notes-report was imminent. Short version: 1) interesting and strong comics show, 2) enough problems and potential problems that I think many people fond of that show are genuinely worried, 3) los bros won eisners.

image* they re-adjust in a couple of weeks and focus on APE. Most of the North American-focused comics community at large focuses on Baltimore, NYCC or SPX depending on one's general orientation.

* I think it's actually a positive for comics to have some downtime in the schedule the same way I like shows to build in some dead time around the programming and floor hours. Don't get me wrong: there are definitely shows in August, but mostly people are sitting around clutching their heads from the last couple of weeks unless they're directly involved with one of those shows. They'll gear up again for a concentrated run from SPX through ICAF.

* one such August festival is Safari Festival.

* we should get some more news on ICAF soon, or that's what I've been led to believe. It already looks like a pretty fun show, and Columbus is a fine comics town. I'll be there and look forward to it.

* finally, here's a call for contributions to a Kirby-related exhibition at Angouleme, which will run next year during the festival and then again at the museum in Angouleme in slightly larger form. Any excuse to run Kirby art.
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Zap Comix Gallery

posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends Vol. 7.

* not comics: Charles CW Cooke at National Review takes on geek culture and the geek cultural archetype. I can't imagine there's a lot in there I'd find interesting or useful, but there is is if you want to buy it.

* not comics: some of my high school friends are passing this article around on Facebook. I think art matters, and I think it matters in these ways and I think it matters in negative ways, too.

* finally, educator Charles Hatfield posts information about his forthcoming comics course. There's a lot that's interesting there, including the syllabus and Hatfield's suggestion to work with a local comics store to obtain the books; they'll provide a discount. I don't know what buying books is like now, but I liked buying books on campus because it was easiest to have one bill at the end of the year. I have to imagine the Internet has nuked that system, though.
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink

Happy 36th Birthday, Nate Powell!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 33rd Birthday, Jog!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 39th Birthday, Alex Holden!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 37th Birthday, Leinil Francis Yu!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 57th Birthday, Gary Barker!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Daily Blog Archives
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
Full Archives