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














December 14, 2017


Go, Look: Maia Kobabe

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Rob Salkowitz On The Comic-Con Trademark Decision

Here and here.

Salkowitz does some nice work in pointing out that licensing agreements between SDCC and other entities have already happened, that appeals are restrictive in what they can change and that Reed has significantly more resources at their disposal if SDCC goes after them for their use of the trademarked term.

I'm not done going over this stuff, but one thing that pops into my head is that I wouldn't read too much into the $20K award vs. the $12M asked. I suspect that damages were asked for not because the SDCC team thought they'd happen but to make the trial a jury trial. Now that we've seen what a jury might accept as an act of appropriation, I think most of these shows have vulnerabilities to a similar claim even if they didn't drive a car around San Diego, like the Salt Lake City folks did. I also imagine that SDCC might have a protective interest in guiding what that term means -- they've taken a path that's still comic-centric, that structurally won't allow for 200K in attendance -- and this would afford them some primacy in that market. I would also imagine it would give them a step up in creating one or two more shows if that's what they want to do.

I've said this a ton of times about the possibility of a SDCC win, but I'm still sort of surprised there's a legal path here -- or at least any outcome wouldn't have surprised me; this is maybe the only thing I've learned about legal outcomes covering them the last 25 years. I don't know of another instance of an even doing something so well they took at least their model from generic to specific, but I recognize significant chunks of SDCC in all of these new shows. The model just isn't very different. I wish them luck in stewardship, since it seems that's what they've been granted. I guess I'm glad CXC isn't CCC, although as said other shows have come to agreements.

SDCC was a longtime advertiser here, so what you just read could certainly be compromised nonsense. Trust no one!
 
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Go, Look: Jeffrey Hsueh

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2018

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December 27
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

*****

January 25
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 26
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 27
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

January 28
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

*****

Events For February 2018 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Adam Syzm

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Now #1. Ben Towle on Tristan And Yseult. Todd Klein on Green Lanterns #20.

* bundled extra: prolific writer and cartoonist Jeff Lemire writes about about his 2018.

* the veteran writer Tony Isabella lists a bunch of DC Comics projects he'd like to make. This reminds me of the days when I used to host TCJ contributors when they made their way through Seattle and they all had lists of projects they wanted to do. I don't know if young artists do their current world of comics' equivalent to that kind of hopeful chatter, but I hope they do. Also, they should give Isabella a crack at Metamorpho.

* Evan Dorkin draws George Steele.

* finally: Mark Evanier discusses the westward journey being made by MAD. It's my understanding the first Burbank issue is underway.
 
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Happy 39th Birthday, Brendan Burford!

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Happy 58th Birthday, David Quinn!

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December 13, 2017


Go, Look: Madeline McGrane

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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.

*****

OCT171588 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY JAIME GN VOL 06 ANGELS MAGPIES $19.99
This is a staggering collection of Jaime's astounding run a few years back. The award-winning Browntown/Love Bunglers pairing is here accompanied by the vastly underrated Ti-Girls work and supplemented by the cartoonist's New York Times serial and, running underneath it, that story about pottry-training age Maggie roaming her neighborhood, done in this elegant style that Jaime rarely uses. Hard to imagine a lot of collections with multiple works in them from the entire history of comics packing that much good work

imageOCT171805 CATBOY GN $20.00
This is a collection of material from the serial at VICE, represented in the direct market by Marc Arsenault and Wow Cool. Cute cover. It's the season to check out newer material.

AUG170036 LOBSTER JOHNSON TP VOL 05 PIRATES GHOST $19.99
SEP170439 ASTRO CITY ORDINARY HEROES HC $24.99
SEP170438 ASTRO CITY REFLECTIONS TP $16.99
These are two sturdy series that I'm mentioning here because there's a dearth of comic-book size comics this week, even by my relatively loose standard for such offerings. One advantage of Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson doing this stage of their career at DC is that they'll certainly do a good job keeping those trades on the stands. My hunch is that a lot of Astro City's natural audience at this point is primarily a trade buyer.

OCT170343 BUG THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #6 (OF 6) (RES) (MR) $3.99
OCT170608 WICKED & DIVINE CHRISTMAS ANNUAL #1 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON $3.99
OCT170609 WICKED & DIVINE CHRISTMAS ANNUAL #1 CVR B ANKA (ONE SHOT) (M) $3.99
Here's that short list of comic-book format comics that jumped out at me. I'm sure I'm missing two or three series that I cover here. That Bug comic is the Mike Allred take on the Fourth World character, and attention might perk up there at the end of the serialization. The W&D material is one of the way that popular series bridges the time between volumes of the main narrative.

SEP171618 A ZOO IN WINTER HC NEW PTG $23.00
This is Jiro Taniguchi and as this stuff seems pretty timeless to me in its appeal, I'm glad to see attention to having that work in print.

APR171907 DENNIS THE MENACE HC VOL 03 HAWAII $24.99
This is I think the best-regarded of the comic-book Dennis team's travelogues; I read the crap out of my version when I was kid. This comic was pretty ubiquitous and I think sold millions of millions of copies over several printings in that initial burst of five to ten years after its initial appearance on the stands.

AUG171662 DF DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #1 DF EXC MILLER HOMAGE $299.99
It's weird as popular as the previous DK iterations were that I don't have any sense of this volume's story, or outcome or publishing status.

SEP171572 MOOMIN AND THE BRIGANDS GN $9.95
An automatic purchase for me and others out there that know who they are.

OCT171705 PORTUGAL HC (MR) $39.99
I despaired of finding a comics for the bottom slot that wouldn't be overwhelmed by that Jaime, but a big Cyril Pedrosa book is certainly worth noting and yes, as one would expect it's glorious looking. I liked the subject matter, too, second-stage adult anxiety mixed in with later-20th Century regional European displacement. I'll write a review at some point, because it's very interesting in terms of its narrative choices as well.

*****

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
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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Go, Read: Eighty Days

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Caleb Orecchio would like to have a few words with you about the 1970s Marvel Comics coloring work done by Francoise Mouly.

* Frank Santoro on Wet Earth. Tegan O'Neil on Shirtless Bear-Fighter. Tessa Strain on I Am Not Okay With This.

* Martyn Pedler talks to Tim Lane. Greg Hunter talks to Emil Ferris.

* finally: here's an excerpt from Hillary Chute's new book, about punk comics.
 
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Happy 49th Birthday, Joseph Michael Linsner!

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Ed Koren!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Carl Antonowicz!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Philippe Francq!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Kyle Baker!

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December 12, 2017


Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Cullen Murphy

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: A Brief Reconsideration Of Local Arts Connections

This profile of Guelph art dealer Renann Isaacs makes a big deal -- and should -- of her gallery's recurring partnership with the great cartoonist and illustrator Seth. I'm putting a spotlight on it with its own post because I think it encapsulate an underutilized strength available to comics-makers.

In the past, some local art scenes have been reluctant to include comics-makers in their efforts to spotlight what's being made around a specific city or in a particular region. That's less and less of the case now. You also have found cartoonists that have been reluctant to partner with local institutions because they want to avoid being strait-jacketed with a "local artist" reputation. In the era of social, local is international in a lot of ways, and there are changing attitudes about where good work can be found. I encourage all comics-makers settled into a community or region to make these contacts and enjoy these working relationships as part of what they do.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Comics Available Over Christmas Break 1971

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posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2018 Eisner Award Judges

Comic-Con has posted this year's slate of Eisner Awards judges and program administrator has sent out a piece of publicity in support of the announcement.

They are:

* Candice Mack, manager of system-wide Young Adult Services at the LA Public Library.
* Greame McMillan, international cat thief and longtime writer about comics.
* Tate Ottatti, Florida retailer of 25 years standing.
* Nhora Serrano, a visiting assistant professor of comparative literatures at Hamilton College.
* Alexander Simmons, a freelance writer and educator.
* Bill Wilson, longtime fixture in the southern California fan community.

Fuller biographies are available at the link.

Submission will be accepted until the deadline March 16. The Eisners are juried at the nominations level and then opened up to working professionals and past winners. The ceremony is held the Friday evening of Comic-Con International.
 
posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Martian Press

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* with Spy Seal having finished up its first volume, fans of Rich Tommaso -- of which I'm one -- might hope for a higher profile for collections of his recent work like Dry County.

* this PW preview of the Spring comics and graphic novels category has some great tidbits about a number of what look like quality works. I had not known that Michael Kupperman's book on his quiz-kid father has gained the title All The Answers. That Kupperman book is probably one of the two or three curiosity pieces next year, as his obvious smarts and skills are being put to use for what I assume is an entirely different kind of book. Although, then again, if the sex blimps show up, I'm not going to complain. It's also the first time I've seen public recognition that the cartoonist known as Ethan Rilly will collect Pope Hats' major storyline Young Frances under his real name, Hartley Lin!

* finally: Bleeding Cool notes that Fantagraphics is reprinting Cannon in the new year. The success of Wally Wood publishing projects the last quarter-century is an intriguing story: I would imagine it's one winding down as the generation most taken with Wood is slowly shuffling off this mortal coil. Nothing like a really crackling Wood comics effort, though, still.
 
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Go, Look: Jean Wei

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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