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

March 30, 2015

Roger Slifer, RIP

posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Daniel Zender

posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

Universal Uclick Launches Phoebe And Her Unicorn In 100+ Publications


I don't cover as many of the strip launches as I might have once upon a time. It seems there are far fewer now, particuarly after the newspaper industry shudder and heave the marked the end of the last decade. My guess is that most syndicates moved from 2-3 launches a year at the beginning of the 2000s to one every 18-24 months, but I could be super-wrong about that. Much of the action in recent years has been in syndicates working with the creative properties to develop opportunities for them in a variety of media, with the occasional solid performer being launched like Dustin.

That Universal Uclick found more than 100 publications to carry Dana Simpson's Phoebe And Her Unicorn marks me as worth noting for a few reasons. One, that's an excellent launch, just by sheer numbers one of the best in that company's history. Two, I believe there's an historical aspect that hasn't been made part of how the strip has been presented, and I'll respect that here, although I'm thrilled by what that represents. Three, the strip has been carried for a long time on under its original name Heavenly Nostrils, and the ability to move it to a more profitable tier must be really exciting for that company in terms of executing that digital strategy. Something that may not be a factor considered with the frequency it deserves is that the ability to work in a space with syndication demands before syndication buyers get to see the strip -- that really has to be a gift to those creators. It's a nearly three-year running start for Simpson, and a chance to work in markets where you already have fans that might defend the specific work if dropped. It seems to be working in this case, certainly.

I note that Simpson is in the Seattle area, which at least in terms of idiosyncratic small-press comics people has enjoyed a significant resurgence and remains one of the great comics communities. Previous works from Simpson stretching back to the early 2000s have adhered much more closely to approaches enjoyed in furry culture, but syndication was an end result long in mind. Now she's there, with much aplomb. Our congratulations to the cartoonist.
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Early Eerie Covers, Comics And Illustrations

posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: How To Become A Cartoonist

Nigel Parkinson works in traditional UK kids' comics. So when asked to give his advice on how to become a cartoonist, he basically explains how he ended up where he is: in some ways it's the world's least helpful column, the description of a unique path hacked through a woodland where the path has closed up and the woods is nearly gone.

imageOn the other hand, there is something to the advice in general. Most cartoonists get to the point of making a living by keeping cartooning until the world curves slightly around them to accommodate that talent and persistence. And Parkinson is right in identifying a second step after being persistent for what may seem like forever: consolidating one's early opportunities and nascent skills until they begin to resemble something like a career.

If it all sounds impossible, it pretty much is -- there's no guarantee that if you do all of these things 100 percent perfectly that the ground won't open under you at some future date right where you standing or right where you need to be standing next for the previous steps to have made any sense at all. I think this is infinitely more so in an era without any real industry of any type; there are very few places into which one can settle, very few pieces of ground guaranteed to be there five years from now.

You also have to be able to draw and write, either surpassingly well at one or professionally able at both. It's really not fair.
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: One Book's Worth Of Charles Geer Illustrations

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Molly Mendoza

posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

Collective Memory: ECCC 2015



Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2015 edition of the Emerald City Comicon, held March 27-29 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

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


* Festival Site
* Host Building
* Host City

Blog Entries
* Steve Duin

* Event
* Organization
* Public Group

* Ali Sunderland Perry
* Andre Fernando Lee
* Cole Aaronson
* Dottie P. Jacob
* Dylan Donaldson
* Kelsey Gilbertson
* Kyla Applegate
* Marcus Burke
* Teresita Callaway

News Stories And Columns
* CBR (Index)

* Dinesh Shamdasani
* Ed Luce
* Katie Skelly 01
* Katie Skelly 02
* Kelly Sue DeConnick

* convention account
* #ECCC2015

* Cat Farris
* Christopher Sebela
* Gail Simone
* Hayley Atwell
* Jake Parker
* Jeff Couterier
* Kate Leth
* Katie Skelly
* Todd Nauck 01
* Todd Nauck 02

* Brandon Routh
* Longbox Review
* Mama Speaks Geek
* Rachel Himka 01
* Rachel Himka 02
* Rachel Himka 03




posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: The Artist And Cartoonist Lauren Weinstein Has Worked On This Painting For Over 20 Years


there are more paintings here
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Hy Fleishman Draws The King Midas Story

posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I love these original Frank King watercolors of Gasoline Alley characters.

image* Hannah Means-Shannon talks to Rich Tommaso. I think I already linked to this Sam Marx talk with Ed Luce, but I like Luce so I'm going to risk running it twice rather than look that up. Jason Sacks talks to Nate Powell. Laura Hudson profiles Jason Shiga. Michael Cavna talks to Nate Powell specifically about the passage of laws in Indiana that until they went over like lead balloon were 100 percent presented as providing religious people with the legal backing to petition the courts for exemption from serving people with whose lifestyle they disagree. I still believe that's the intention, by the way, I just don't see another pressing, positive formulation. Powell is based in Bloomington. Paul Gravett talks to Dylan Horrocks and Maurice Vellekoop, both super-nice gentlemen of comics.

* Meryl Jaffe writes about using Aya: Life In Yop City as a way to spotlight its very specific moment in history.

* the always-very-funny Hayley Campbell writes about things learned from working in a comic book store. This is one of my potential careers in hell, so I'm grateful for the article. I hope it's received in a way that matches its bouncy tone rather than as a somber, pre-pogrom declaration of intent.

* Rafi Schwartz points out a contest of potential interest to female comics-makers. I tend to think contests are a bad idea, but I can see how this might be a good one so I want to mention it.

* here's an article that was suggested to me by two of you who roughly had the same idea: that is presented Leroy Neiman as a visual journalist in addition to his more well-known career as a kind of pop painter of sporting events. I think that's true of a lot of the illustrators that were magazine from the 1930s into the 1970s. The way we understand comics now there's work by Steinberg, Hirschfeld and Steadman that clearly fits into a kind of "comics journalism" to use that horrible phrase. That seems true of some of what Neiman was doing.

* finally, here is Priscilla Frank's much linked-to guide to contemporary queer comics-makers.
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink

Happy 58th Birthday, David Hagen!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 50th Birthday, Forg!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 52nd Birthday, Gary Chaloner!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

March 29, 2015

Go, Look: Complete Five-Page Dan DeCarlo Story For Sale

posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Religious Freedom In Danger!

posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Life Out On The Political Fringe

posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Roy Krenkel Complaining At The Mall, 1980

posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: The NYC Mystery History Hour

posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Roy Doty's Laugh-In Newspaper Strip

There's also a lovely obit from RC Harvey here.
posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink

Go, Listen/Not Comics: Gil Roth Interviews Clive James

posted 2:30 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

If I Were Near Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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