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

















May 4, 2016


Happy 56th Birthday, Geoff Grogan!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Shaenon Garrity!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Alé Garza!

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May 3, 2016


Go, Read: The Complete Agent 10

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AP: Atena Farghadani Freed From Evin Prison In Iran

The Associated Press is quoting lawyer Mohammad Moghimi that cartoonist Atena Farghadani was freed from prison earlier today. That's excellent news.

Farghadani was imprisoned -- at Iran's notorious Evin facility -- and reunited with her parents. Her 12-year prison sentence was reduced to 18 months, which she had served.

The imprisonment stems from the young artist's depiction of lawmakers as animals, a criticism of their role in drafting contraception law. The result was an extremely poisonous piece of PR that drove international attention to the hardline nature of certain conservative legal fiefdoms within the larger Iranian political system.

The article notes that President Hassan Rouhani also called for more freedom of speech earlier today, explicitly citing critics of the government.
 
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Go, Look: Tyson Hesse

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Festivals Extra: Billy Ireland Announces Summer/Fall Exhibits

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announced earlier today that their June-October exhibits will be "Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream" and "Good Grief! Children And Comics." They will run June 4 to October 23, which makes these the exhibitions that will run during Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), the festival with which I'm involved.

imageThe "Little Nemo" is tied into the Locust Moon homage book and will feature art from the artists paying tribute such as Farel Dalrymple and Carla Speed McNeil. In addition to the tribute art, part of a traveling exhibit, the Billy Ireland iteration will feature art from and about McCay's great creation as pulled from their collection.

"Good Grief" concentrates on the depiction of children in comic strips and should thus feature some heavy-hitting art from the collection, like Bushmiller's Ms. Ritz there.

The exhibition space is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 5 PM.

June 10th the Billy will host a reception in the galleries from 5:30 to 7:00 PM followed by a presentation by Gene Luen Yang in conjunction with the Wexner Center For The Arts over in their film/video theater.
 
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Go, Look: Adam Egyptian

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Not Comics: Brad Mackay's Profile Of George Feyer Nominated For National Magazine Award

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Congratulations to the Doug Wright Awards administrator Brad Mackay on his national magazine award nomination for a profile of George Feyer. A hugely successful magazine cartoonist turned television celebrity, Feyer was inducted into the DWA hall of fame program The Giants Of The North in 2006.

Mackay mentions here that what became "The Twisted Genius Of George Feyer" came from meeting the cartoonist's son and asking for more information about the cartoonist, who died in the late 1960s. The articled appeared in Canada's History.
 
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Go, Look: War Wind

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Go, Read: Robert Boyd On What Is Obscenity?

imageI was very happy to see that Robert Boyd chose to wrote about the new Koyama Press-published effort What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy. I'm happy when industry veteran Boyd chooses to write about anything -- alt/indy comics isn't a world with a lot of writers that offer the immediate perspective of multiple decades paying attention to them -- and I'm triply happy because Rokudenashiko's story is a fascinating, and might be a rough sell due to its mixed media nature.

I think Boyd's perspective that there's an issue of literary legitimacy involved in cases like this one is a necessary one to engage as the translated book starts to show up at shows and in stores.
 
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Go, Look: Blindsprings

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* for some reason I have a bunch of mainstream comics news this time out. Apologies in advance. I love to talk about forthcoming work of all kinds, so if anyone would like to give me information on comics a higher percentage of which don't make me want to die, Seriously, if you're working on a mini-comic or a future comic and and do a post about it, send me a link. We don't do that much anymore as a culture. I can't always guarantee tons of traffic, but I think I might still be worth an e-mail.

* you know, I think that was the saddest bullet-point text in CR history. Jesus. "Remember your old pal Tom." My fifties are going to suck.

image* speaking of things likely to suck, the Beat has a preview of a DC revamp of the Scooby-Doo characters, I guess because the idea that you can always grind someone's affection for some fictional something into profit of some sort is too effective a way of doing business to only apply it to superhero stuff. Fandral the Dashing there is actually Shaggy. This Shaggy apparently smokes the dope that makes you bigger and stronger, while physically reshaping the bones in your head. Zoinks. That's Scooby, foregrounded, looking slightly Duncan the Wonder Dog-ish. I don't know what to do with this. I suppose if you squint you can pretend they're relaunching Dalgoda. If I know the playbook here, we're either supposed to take this kind of thing on its face or be delighted by how misguided it is, but mostly it bores the shit out of me. I'm sorry we don't have anything better for the talented creators to do, and hope they're at least having fun and being paid well. I smell a hit.

* there's been a bunch of on-line chatter about the artist Frank Cho being hired to do Wonder Woman variant covers, mostly people rolling their eyes at an artist best known for a kind of 1960s-style nudge-nudge wink-wink cheesecake drawing and a frat-bro advocacy of that approach on-line being asked to do covers featuring a feminist icon and young girl fan-favorite. DC has always had this split personality about many of their major female characters, shifting back and forth between positioning a lot these properties as openly accessible to younger female readers and playing up a kind of R-rated sexuality that, well, I guess attracts people that look like me except maybe sporting a ponytail. Perhaps the only sign of progress when it comes to this mode of split-personality publishing is that people tend to notice the shifts now instead of it being all teenage-boy-without-a-computer masturbation material all the time. One weird thing is that these shifts often set the publisher up for praise when the cycle is such they push back against it.

* Vaneta Rogers' talk with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo gives you an idea of what both sides of the Batman creative team are going to be up to now that their time on that title has concluded. That was the most successful run of all the New52 books, deservedly so, and made stop-and-notice mainstream stars of both creators.

* Todd Klein writes about the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Come. I never liked that comic very much, but smarter people than I am about the superhero genre sure did and it featured one of the top three mainstream creators of the decade (Mark Waid, not Alex Ross). It also sold gobs of copies. Klein clearly remains fond of working on it, as well he should. Twenty years! Klein also notes a surprise reprinting of Miss Finch.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald pulls from her PW interview with Grant Morrison last week the news that he'll be working on two more stand-alone Wonder Woman books, and that Yanick Pacquette will join him. I guess those books do okay for them to keep doing them.
 
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If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: Turok, Son Of Stone #4

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I can't believe I quit Twitter this month and have no place to casually brag about having found a Solano Lopez drawing in my collection I didn't know I had. Sometimes I'm reminded I have a great life in a lot of ways.

image* Zainab Akhtar on Koyama Press.

* Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #5. Sean Gaffney on Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Vol. 5. Sean Kleefeld on Andy Capp. Paul O'Brien on All New X-Men #8. Martin Dupuis on Hard Boiled.

* Philippe LeBlanc talks to Michael Comeau. The interviewer pointed out in his e-mail to CR that Comeau talks about drastically reordering material for his latest collection, which is something that tends to fascinate me.

* totally forgot this book existed.

* I don't know who did the "I'll Never Get To Be A Celebrity Cartoonist" panel in the Ting Festival's banner, but someone please make a t-shirt out of it for me.

* I totally missed this major profile of Jeff Lemire, one of comics' nicest, most interesting and hardest working comics-makers. Diana Tamblyn pointed it out to me.

* finally, Brian Hibbs on licensed comics.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Bill Sienkiewicz!

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Happy 77th Birthday, Dennis O'Neil!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Derek Kirk Kim!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Mark Coale!

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Happy 89th Birthday, Mell Lazarus!

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Happy 29th Birthday, Zainab Akhtar!

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May 2, 2016


Go, Look: Conversion On The Road To Malha

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Go, Look: 1000 Jokes #79

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Just Look At This Beautiful Moebius Splash Page

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