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
















February 26, 2015


Go, Look: The Department Of Forgotten Drawings

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posted 2:35 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Jim Wheelock's Comics Collection Still MIA; Alleged Thief Arraigned

Here's the latest from Brattleboro, Vermont, where Jim Wheelock's stunning-sounding comics-collection was burglarized from a storage unit over a period of time. A thief caught entering various storage unit has now been arraigned, but there's still no sign of the comics that are missing even after a search of that man's home. Wheelock is interviewed and talks a bit about how he's rearranging his life after the loss of the collection. Not every collection is as valuable as its owner sometimes thinks, but this one as described with complete sets of key Silver Age comics sounded like it had significant potential value. I continue to hope for the best possible outcome.
 
posted 2:34 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mike Mignola Draws DC Superhero Characters

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1, 2
 
posted 2:33 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Massive Announces North American Tour For Jiraiya

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Here. Stops in LA, San Francisco and New York. Please note the photo embargo. This is the book; here is a sweatshirt.

This site can only aspire to announce every tour out there, but it's interesting to me that as of five years ago shop owners were complaining to me about the lack of physical appearances by comics-makers on behalf of their material and in 2015 that kind of thing is fairly common again. Granted, one of the reasons it's common is that there's an ability to put together tours that are direct market oriented, for sure, but you can also have tours that are bookstore-oriented, that are bookstore and kids event oriented, and even one that follow a different path entirely. I would say that the Jiraiya tour falls under that final designation, but it has elements of all the different kinds of stops one sees these days. It's also worth noting that these will be the artist's first appearances on behalf of this work outside of Japan.

I think the work Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, Chip Kidd, PictureBox and Fantagraphics have presented to the world the last couple of years is really interesting in a lot of ways, and I'm glad to see the artists appearing at shows for those who want to meet them and making merchandise for those that love merchandise. Comic is still a small enough with a big enough space heater sitting in the corner you can go from virtually unknown to semi-ubiquitous based on one book and maybe a sweatshirt. I think that's healthy, really.
 
posted 2:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mike Centeno

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posted 1:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: Marvel Plans Run Of NYC-Themed Variant Covers

imageI usually don't do article about variant covers. A variant cover is a cover to a comic book that is intentionally made available in addition to a primary cover. They are usually used to boost circulation on titles so designated. In the 1990s they were used almost solely to boost sales in aggregate fashion: if you wanted to collect all of a run of Amazing Spider-Man, for example, you had to maybe buy a couple copies of an issue if it had more than one cover. If there was one variant given to a store for every 25 copies they purchased, you might buy that copy for enough extra scratch to make your store's investment worthwhile. They're also a natural hook on which to hang some PR. Today they're used in additionally ways that are slightly different in emphasis. Many of the variants one can imagine simply wanting for the art being offered more than you could in the old days -- you just might want a certain cover, like on by Skottie Young. That might be something you collect in and of itself. Some of the variants themselves became tied not just into a specific issue of a book but into an element of its selling -- a variant for a specific store to sell, an inducement for stores to carry more copies than ever, a variant that celebrates a movie release, a variant tied into a convention. They're not as openly abused as they were at one point as a constant presence in the market, but they have still have that aura of exploitative opportunism. They are comics' primary "if you want us to stop quit buying them" moment, even today.

imageOkay, I mention all of that because I noticed that NYT's noted soft-features-about-comics writer George Gene Gustines wrote one of those kinds of articles about Marvel doing NYC-themed variants. It covers the basics, but it leaves out one thing: DC Comics is moving to California. Marvel isn't. If that's not part of Marvel's thinking, then it should have been. It's at least hilarious. There's not a whole lot of things to do with your industry competitor going to the other coast but doubling-down on your love for the city left behind -- itself a location for the majority of your stories, as the article notes. For me, the article brings up the potentially interesting question of how much comics are a New York thing at all. Even Marvel might be argued to be less New York-centric than they used to be. A sampling of their big-hit movies haven taken place in locations like California and New Mexico and Washington, DC without missing a beat. I'm not close enough to that kind of material to be able to suss out an answer, but I'd read an article from someone who is. For a month, though, Marvel's all about the Big Apple. And for a traditionalist like me, that seems right.
 
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Faster Than Sound

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posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: CAKE Announces 2015 Exhibitors List

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The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo has published its full list of exhibitors for their early-June show. You can find that list and descriptions of every artist here.

If one sign of health for a young show like that one is cartoonists worthy of special guest status showing up to exhibit during years when they're not special guests, CAKE certainly has that going for it. Chicago's a great town to visit and a great town for comics. I plan on attending.
 
posted 10:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Ben Doane

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the big news of the week is that SPACE lost its host hotel for its April date. It looks like right now that the main SPACE show will be moved to a new space July 18-19, while a small show maybe called "Extra SPACE" will be held on April 11-12 to accommodate those who have already made plans to travel there that they can't change. I'll be at both.

* there's a thorough five-part series at Nattosoup right now about how to present a convention table without breaking the bank: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I imagine a lot of people could benefit from that kind of practical advice, and it's something I've bookmarked for myself to read.

* Babs Tarr did the program cover for this year's WonderCon.

* any comics convention devoted to women creators sounds great to me, and such a convention being in Dearborn sounds even better. I heard that's one of the best places on earth to eat right now. Road trip, unless that's CAB weekend.

* finally, Roman Muradov talks about a sales success at last year's SPX.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2015

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*****

February 27
* If I Were Near Warren, I'd Go To This (Great Lakes Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This

February 28
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)
* If I Were Near Warren, I'd Go To This (Great Lakes Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

*****

March 1
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Buckeye Comic Con)

March 3
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 4
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

March 6
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This

March 7
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Canberra, I'd Go To This (Australian Comics Arts Festival)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This

March 8
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Canberra, I'd Go To This (Australian Comics Arts Festival)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

March 9
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Oklahoma, I'd Go To This

March 10
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)

March 11
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)

March 12
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)

March 13
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (The Millionaires Club)
* If I Were In Mexico City, I'd Go To This (La Mole)

March 14
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (The Millionaires Club)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (London Super Comic Con)
* If I Were In Bellingham, I'd Go To This (BellCAF)
* If I Were In Mexico City, I'd Go To This (La Mole)

March 15
* If I Were In Luzern, I'd Go To This (Fumetto)
* If I Were In Indianapolis, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Con)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (The Millionaires Club)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (London Super Comic Con)
* If I Were In Mexico City, I'd Go To This (La Mole)

March 19
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 20
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* ]

March 21
* If I Were In South Carolina, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 22
* If I Were In South Carolina, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 23
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 24
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 25
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 26
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

March 27
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Emerald City)
* If I Were In Austria, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In Yonkers, I'd Go To This

March 28
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (PIX)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Emerald City)
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPExpo)
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (Myrtle Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were In Dayton, I'd Go To This (Gem City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Yonkers, I'd Go To This

March 29
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Emerald City)
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This (RIPExpo)
* If I Were In Myrtle Beach, I'd Go To This (Myrtle Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Secaucus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Dayton, I'd Go To This (Gem City Comic Con)

*****

Events For April 2015 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Snortville Sneeze

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Green Lantern: New Guardians #37. Chris G on She-Hulk #12. Tony Guerrero on The Multiversity: Mastermen #1. Jason Sacks on Sock Monkey: Deep In The Woods.

* I wonder sometimes if I'm beyond being able to read and enjoy pop-culture list-making exercises the way I used to, but that shouldn't stop anyone else from liking this comparison of hip-hop and comics.

* Dan Berry talks to Scott McCloud.

* this is true.

* Evan Dorkin draws Bizarro.

* three of you sent me this, an indication that Ben Abernathy will be playing a role at the Burbank-headquartered DC Comics. That role is director of talent relations, according to this very good article by Heidi MacDonald, which sounds promising for them given how much creators are right on top of judging every move they make in terms of how it will have an impact on their overall career. I've said all along that nostalgia aside, this move could be very good for DC, as it will expose them to a completely different hiring pool at all levels. That doesn't mean it will be a good thing, but I think there's an opportunity there to change that division's culture in a positive way.

* finally, here is a repost of Kelly Sue DeConnick's advice on getting started in comics. Comics above all other media has almost no gatekeepers except for very specific expressions in very specific ways. But if my counted on my finding purchase in any field within three to five years, I'd choose comics. Still, it's never easy.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 64th Birthday, Steve Bell!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 57th Birthday, Karen Berger!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
February 25, 2015


Go, Download: Dark Side Of The Moon Tour Comic

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posted 11:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: D+Q Formally Announces Its Fall 2015 Schedule

In a massive press release sent out earlier today, the iconic comics publisher Drawn and Quarterly gave shape and form to their Fall 2015 schedule.

Their announced releases are, organized by date:

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* Red Colored Legacy (new softcover edition), Seiichi Hayashi (translated by Taro Nettleton), softcover, 240 pages, 9781770462120, August, $19.95.

*****

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* The Native Trees of Canada: A Postcard Set, Leanne Shapton, 30 postcards, 9781770462137, August, $14.95.

*****

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* The Owner's Manual To Terrible Parenting, Guy Delisle (translated by Helge Dascher), softcover, 204 pages, 9781770462144, August, $12.95.

*****

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* Step Aside, Pop: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, Kate Beaton, hardcover, 160 pages, 9781770462083, September 15 In-Store Date, $19.95

*****

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* Killing And Dying, Adrian Tomine, hardcover, 128 pages, 9781770462090, October 6 In-Store Date, $22.95.

*****

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* Pippi Longstocking: The Strongest In The World!, Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman (translated by Tiina Nunnally), softcover, 160 pages, 9781770462151, October, $22.95.

*****

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* Puke Force, Brian Chippendale, hardcover, 120 pages, 9781770462199, October, $22.95.

*****

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* Moominmamma's Maid, Tove Jansson, flexicover, 64 pages, 9781770462168, November, $9.95.

*****

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* Shigeru Mizuki's Hitler, Shigeru Mizuki (translated by Zack Davisson), softcover, 296 pages, 9781770462106, November, $24.95.

*****

That's a strong group across the board, with september and into October being reserved for heavy-hitters Kate Beaton and Adrian Tomine. I look forward to the Mizuki of the books I either didn't know about or had learned about and forgotten, and I think it's nice the Hayashi has gone to a different printing.

*****
*****
 
posted 11:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Herbie #8

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posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

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

*****

DEC141526 PRINCESS DECOMPOSIA & COUNT SPATULA GN $14.99
DEC141527 PRINCESS DECOMPOSIA & COUNT SPATULA HC GN $19.99
I'm a big fan of Andi Watson's work, and this latest from First Second is very cute and very attractive. I hope there will be a home for him there as I've always felt that there are more comics in Watson than publishers to which he's well-suited.

imageNOV140567 CRIMINAL SPECIAL ED ONE SHOT (MR) $4.99
DEC140664 FADE OUT TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99
This is the pair of comics from the prolific team of artist Sean Phillips and writer Ed Brubaker out this week. The first celebrates the placement of the Criminal backlist with Image (they serial and initial trades were done with the Icon imprint), and the comic is a lot of fun: Brubaker picks up on the old black-and-white magazines being popular in prison as one of his touchstones this time, and it works. I've enjoyed Fade Out so far, but I have no sense of the sweep and scope of the story so maybe getting these books all at once will be a big help. You'd be doing all right just buying these comics this week.

DEC140113 MISTER X RAZED #1 $3.99
DEC140325 BATMAN #39 $3.99
DEC140328 BATMAN #39 COMBO PACK $4.99
DEC140415 SANDMAN OVERTURE #4 SPECIAL EDITION (MR) $4.99
NOV140666 ODYC #3 (MR) $3.99
DEC140759 SEX #20 (MR) $2.99
OCT140749 LOW #6 (MR) $3.50
This is the rest of the comic-book formatted material that interested me. I always look at whatever they're doing with Mister X. I haven't been following the Batman comics, but that's DC's most able performer and I've seen people talk about it in passing on-line which means a surge of interest in what's going on there. I'm not sure where we are the Sandman project, but I know I'll eventually want one copy of every issue. ODY-C is lovely to look at and fun to read, at least so far. I'd like to see were it goes for a while, unless it's only going to have a short run. Sex continues its loveless tribute to the sublimated urges of 1980s superhero comics, which is a fine a use of that genre. Low is equally lush-looking, and one about which I hear more than which I physically see. I'd take a look.

MAY140099 MANARA LIBRARY HC VOL 06 ESCAPE PIRANESI (MR) $59.99
That price point is a bit beyond me, considering that I don't have more of a detached admiration than an involved passion for what Milo Manara does. But I'm so glad it's being done, I think there's a lot more going on there than the limited range of problematic elements that usually get ascribed to the artist ahead of every other virtue. I hope to own the some day.

NOV141547 LOVE HC VOL 01 THE TIGER $17.99
I remember this one from when it was briefly a festival favorite -- I'm guessing three years ago now. It's part of a series of silent comic featuring one animal at a time, lushly visualized. I want one.

OCT140654 SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 02 TWO WORLDS ONE COP (MR) $14.99
I'm just young enough to get the joke of the title, although it did bring on a lot of blinking before I snapped back to attention. The story has a bit of feeling to it where it seems like a decision was made to carry on with a narrative that might have been able to end just where it was -- that's not anything bad, it just means you get a little bit of establishment work a bit further along than you'd get in a series where it's clear it's going to be so many issues in length.

NOV141875 ALTER EGO #131 $8.95
DEC141165 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #15 (MR) $4.99
Two comics magazine devoted to print. One hundred thirty-one issues of Alter Ego is kind of amazing.

DEC141551 METABARONS HC (MR) $59.95
There are 544 pages of Alejandro Jodorowsky + Juan Gim&$233;nez in here.

NOV141664 MODERN MASTERS SC VOL 30 PAOLO RIVERA $15.95
There is a very sweet introduction by R. Kikuo Johnson in front of this volume, one of those boosk about the sized of a square bound classic TCJ, just in this case stuffed with fun mainstream superhero comics art rather than whatever the heck we put in those old things (I didn't read them). I enjoy Rivera's work.

DEC140492 GARBAGE PAIL KIDS LOVE STINKS (ONE SHOT) $3.99
There's not a ton work out there specifically tailored to me, so I'm betting my eyes would wander and I bet they'd settle on this fact

*****

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 10:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Violent Sequence From All-Star Western #2

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posted 10:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick Sign Deal With Universal For TV Development

There are likely several element to this story about comics-makers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction signing a TV development deal that I won't understand due to my lack of experiencing covering or learning about such deals. My hunch is that with all of the different avenues for TV shows now, so many different platforms, that there's a premium on writers that can develop original properties but I have no idea if that comes into play on something like or not.

What I do know is that DeConnick and Fraction are both extremely well-liked and respected members of their creative fraternity, and as someone who share that high opinion of them I'm glad for them. I'm also glad as a comics fan that this kind of deal could mean increased freedom for the pair and thus perhaps make any comics they're seeking to do only those project near and dear to each of their hearts. Mostly, though, I want to mention it here because it's comics news -- not that they'll be making TV or that one of the things being made will be a Sex Criminals show (although the effect of Walking Dead on sales of the comics are well-established), but that for a lot creative people in comics this is an ideal outcome, so the career path of each creator will likely be inspected for things to replicate just as Robert Kirkman and Mark Millar's recent careers get inspected the same way.
 
posted 10:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: A Bone Companion

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary Vol. 1. Alex Hoffman on Baby Bjornstrand.

* Shea Hennum takes a look at the manga portion of Fantagraphics' overall publishing strategy.

* Alex Dueben talks to Erika Moen, JP Ahonen and Nate Powell. James Romberger talks to Tonči Zonjić. Jesse R. Lucas talks to Melissa Mendes.

* there's an argument to be made that Marvel has invested in its female superhero characters, all decades, the same way ten years earlier they spent some time cleaning up their space characters.

* people keep sending me this photo as if I'm not super-old.

* Lauren Davis puts together some basic webcomics links of the how-to variety.

* five things about The Wrenchies.

* finally, Ed Chavez wonders after differences in production between Japanese and North American comics artists.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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