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

















July 24, 2016


Go, Look: KL Ricks

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Go, Look: Defunct British Golden Age Comics Blog

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Your 2016 Comic-Con Related News Round-Up

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Here are links and commentary related to news being generated the weekend of Comic-Con International. The following will be broken up by day of publication, but certainly there's no restriction as to when something might end up being discussed. The daily breakdown is to help those who are reading this column on subsequent days, as it's added to.

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Wednesday, July 20

I'm not seeing a whole bunch of news right away. Not publishing news, anyway. There some leaks of some announcements, and rumors of same. The two formal Wednesday news-generating events of recent memory -- the ICv2.com conference, Image Expo -- have been moved elsewhere.

People are arriving in town and setting up for whatever it is they do on the weekend. I've been able to score some interviews despite some REALLY LATE asks, which indicates to me that it's still not a big comics-press weekend in terms of in-depth work. I think that's fine, though. Not every weekend has to involve seven hours of intense podcasting from one's hotel suite. You aren't going to get several months of work done the next four days. You'll probably get less work done than usual. I also think that the industry has had a hard time adjusting to new show realities because there's not much of an industry anymore at least in terms a solid base of the kind of activity one might expect from a business supporting an art form. I don't know what you can do at a show like this one for mid-list and lower-selling books that doesn't involve a huge amount of guesswork.

Of what's promised to happens this weekend pubishing-wise, there's not a ton that interests me. I'm looking forward to seeing how Fantagraphics does in the old Top Shelf island space and if Top Shelf finds a solid home at the IDW space. IDW was a company that took a while to find a formula that works for them on the show floor whereas relative to its size I always felt Top Shelf comfortable there. The cartoonists appearing at Drawn and Quarterly are super-solid. Image seems loaded for bear, too, while DC becoming a wider-entertainment booth seems like a potential remember-this-year moment. Derf scoring a Saturday panel seems to me something worth noting on Abrams' behalf. The cocktail party seems pretty set; the outdoor media events do not.

I've noticed some drift in focused excitement for shows in general, but I think SDCC is sort of immune to those things. People are always ready to go out to dinner and stand around hotel balconies with drinks in their hands. I think rank and file indie/alt suffers right now, but they're not here.

I failed to mention -- well, mentioned and then withdrew, hoping for a better link -- that actor John Barrowman is hosting the Eisners.

The big story heading into the show is this: increased security, and more scrutiny of what that means.

We've had some terrifying terrorism incidents in different places around the world in the last 24 months, and it's not out of the question that we could see one with our large gathering of people. If you're going to Comic-Con in a group, I'd have the discussion about how to meet if things get weird or crazy (pick a walk-to spot in town), although there's not much you can do if the unspeakable happens except keep your wits about you. The con community came close to some scary incidents at the 2015 show without our folding in the possibility of an outright aggressive, planned event. Be well. Be safe.

We should also remember that Comic-Con's strategy is to emphasize paid security and a formal protocol designed to have that paid security catch incidents of harassment or abuse. Whether this is enough is a conversation for the other 360 days a year. Until then, for this weekend in particular, it's on the community to police its own as best as it is able. Comics suffers from a longtime sickness in terms of harassment as toxic and hard to flush as its embrace of economic exploitation. We should go as far as we can in the other direction to make sure everyone has a safe, hassle-free weekend. Keep an eye on each other. Check your own perceived right to act out or have a certain kind of fun. Remember that this is a professional event, and hold those around you to the expectations of that as a bare-minimum standard. It's not like we aren't getting to be children every other way possible.

*****

Thursday, July 21

I'm going down to the show today after spending a brief, brief, brief time in Los Angeles with a close friend and then a family member. I'm coming in on train, if anyone is taking the 6:00 AM.

Still haven't seen a lot of news. Some of the discussion about the show outside the show continues.

I just realized that one of the reasons I'm not seeing a lot of news is that I'm not looking very hard. I will do better tomorrow. I will tell you that you have to cross the street from the San Diego train station to get a cab and that wasn't the case several years ago I don't think. Also that Amtrak business class no longer reserves seats, they just keep free the number of seats in the business class car. That's kind of right up next to useless.

This is interesting: creators revisiting old-ground using the time-honored tradition of near-copies and not-reallys to explore ground they might have wished to explore with a character or two.

The first comics person I saw was that nice man Rob Salkowitz.

*****

Friday, September 22

The funniest thing I heard yesterday was Brigid Alverson complaining that everyone think she's a librarian. "I'm not glamorous enough to be a librarian."

The second funniest thing I heard yesterday was Andrew Aydin pitching a non-March project. "It's not terrible."

Everything else was tied for third.

I moderated three panels: Lisa Hanawalt's spotlight, one of those weird panels where they stick a bunch of people to get them another panel and provide the talk with a terribly broad name ("Indie Comics") and the Barnaby panel. Everyone on them was great. It's such a pleasure to talk about a 70-year-old comic strip in a giant convention hall in a room halfway to Mexico, RC Harvey barking out random observations like an old-timey AM Radio Show Host.

One publishing tidbit I pulled out of Lisa Hanawalt is that she works on multiple projects for herself as opposed to commercially-inspired projects and that she's done a bunch more pages for Coyote Doggirl she hasn't shown anyone that will one day be published.

As far as Barnaby goes, Eric Reynolds confirms it hasn't sold as much as he thought it might, but that Fantagraphics will conclude the series and right now volumes four and five are slotted for 2017 and 2018.

Fantagraphics still expects to publish Comics As Art: We Told You So this calendar year. A ton of people have told me they greatly anticipate that one, in a way that indicates something other than just being nice. Last chapter, organized by writer Mike Dean, is apparently over 55,000 words, which is almost more than twice the commissioned length of the entire book as conceived in 2005.

Nate Powell looks super-happy to have March Volume 3 in the rear-view window.

Book of the show in terms of a kind of mass sales event may be Bone: Coda or whatever specific volume holds this Bones-Going-Home work. Those are great-looking comics, and I'm slightly surprised more hasn't been made of Smith's return to that material in such a significant way.

Keith Knight is collaborating on a series of kids book that will come out starting next Spring.

I was sorry to hear that Hooded Utilitarian will be going into hiatus, and may not come back. They published a lot of talented writers whom I hope will have other outlets if they seek them out. I apologize for missing this news: my access to on-line material has been somewhat limited heading into this year's SDCC.

Scholastic announced a kind of wide-open publishing challenge. I tend to process news like that through my experience working on the Fantagraphics slush pile, which was nightmarish. Gina Gagliano assured me that the material they got submitted on a regular basis is actually quite high, and they may one day soon publish someone brought to their attention by an open submission -- I hope that's generic enough she won't get mad at me.

Joe Casey pointed out he thought we would be drowned in Pokemon GO players, but that's been the case at all.

It's sticky hot here, by the way -- for San Diego weather, anyway. I resemble one of those bad guys that opened the ark of the covenant at the end of Raiders.

The biggest item of discussion is the obviously increased security. The second biggest item of discussion the changing nature of the show: less cosplay overall, none of the super-intense fandom displays of the mid-2000s. The crowds seem under control, and it's like every tiny little fandom has found a place to be welcome.

Rich Johnston isn't here.

*****

Friday, July 22

Here on Saturday morning, Friday seems a million years ago and I'm not sure I can rally as much as I would need to present a full report.

This was my mostly free day. I had an interview with David at comiXology planned but he received some minor medial attention and we're still trying to reschedule. I stepped into a lot of panels, from Ron Wimberly to Kramers Ergot to Allan Bellman, for several minutes at a time and enjoyed them all.

Everyone is calling this a mellow show, where no panel is driving anyone to spasms of excitement and no signing line has to be capped. Everyone's having a pleasant time, though.

Got to see Image's David Brothers moderate two panels and it struck me how better at doing panels and presenting in public Brothers' generation is over my own. The baseline skill-set is way, way higher.

The Kramers' panel was fascinating, such a modest crowd for at Matt Groening appearance -- he's a fan, and he's in an issue. Sammy Harkham gives really short, thoughtful, articulate answers. He used a load-up philosophy on the book's first third, basically placing all of his personal favorites there to engage with the readers in a way that would make them trust the experience.

I fell asleep like five time at the panel. When you're seeing a panel with your friends, they all notice when you nod off. Sorry, guys!

I've talked to a ton of writers this weekend I hadn't before, from Albert Ching to the new generation of Beat writers to Abraham Riesman to Nick Sousanis. It was a great weekend that way.

Had my first not-good meal in a long time at San Diego. Rhymes with "Milton Hayfront." Strong contrast with my excellent dinner at the Grant Grill the night before. I know how self-indulgent a bullet point like this is, sorry.

Said hi to Jim Davis, enjoying his first Comic-Con. He called it a "sober Mardi Gras" and admitted he thought it would be mostly dudes. He's blown away by his interaction with the fans, which isn't something strip cartoonists do on a regular basis.

Talked to Mark Evanier and Karen Green about 100 years of Kirby next year. Talked to Denis Kitchen about 100 years of Will Eisner next year.

I'll write more about the Eisners in the final report. They were a very interesting snapshot of where the show is right now, where comics is right now.

Zander Cannon hurt his leg recently being a "cool dad" but still gets around better than I do.

I had fun tweeting the show last night.

Image booth was hopping during my one visit.

Eddie Campbell is a married man again, and lives in Chicago, Illinois. God bless America.

*****

Saturday, June 23

Sorry about the confusion on the site this morning. I meant to run my panel chat with either Lisa Hanawalt or Derf Backderf, but I forgot to record them. I'll have a link-heavy addition to this day's entry up by 5 PM ET.

*****

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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2016

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*****

July 27
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

July 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

July 31
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

*****

August 3
* If I Were In SF And Qualified, I'd Go To This

August 12
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 13
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 14
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 17
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

August 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 19
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 20
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 21
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 25
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

August 26
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 27
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 28
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)

*****

Events For September 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Mathilde Van Gheluwe

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Happy 58th Birthday, Robert Greenberger!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Steven Stwalley!

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Happy 37th Birthday, Mark Andrew Smith!

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Happy 81st Birthday, Pat Oliphant!

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July 23, 2016


Go, Look: Matt Wuerker At RNC

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Your 2016 Eisner Award Winners

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The winners for this year's Eisner Awards were announced last night at a fancy program at the Hilton Bayfront. It was a well-received program, with a little bit of something for everyone: John Barrowman making nerd-culture and penis jokes, emotional speeches, people being adorable, Ed Brubaker and Gary Groth and Peggy Burns kind of mixing it up acceptance-speech wise. It was great to see a night where Kate Beaton got an award and Lynda Barry got in the Hall Of Fame. Two great cartoonists.

I thought the winners were all pretty good. There were two I'd change if I could -- actually more, because I'm a jerk, but two stood out to me as personal "aw, man" moments. That's actually really good for an awards show. Biggest surprise was Bill Schelly's Kurtzman book, I think.

I lost my marked-up program, so if anyone has a correction,

Winners are in bold below:

*****

BEST SHORT STORY

* Black Death in America, by Tom King and John Paul Leon, in Vertigo Quarterly: Black (Vertigo/DC)
* Hand Me Down, by Kristyna Baczynski, in 24 x 7 (Fanfare Presents)
* It's Going to Be Okay, by Matthew Inman, in The Oatmeal
* Killing and Dying, by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Lion and Mouse, by R. Sikoryak, in Fable Comics (First Second)

*****

BEST SINGLE ISSUE/ONE-SHOT

* A Blanket of Butterflies, by Richard Van Camp and Scott B. Henderson (HighWater Press)
* I Love This Part, by Tillie Walden (Avery Hill)
* Mowgli's Mirror, by Olivier Schrauwen (Retrofit/Big Planet)
* Pope Hats #4, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse)
* Silver Surfer #11: "Never After," by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)

*****

BEST CONTINUING SERIES

* Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
* Giant Days, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin (BOOM! Box)
* Invincible, by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn (Image/Skybound)
* Silver Surfer, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
* Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)

*****

BEST LIMITED SERIES

* Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy (Image)
* The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
* Lady Killer, by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich (Dark Horse)
* Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions, by Bob Fingerman (Image)
* The Spire, by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely (BOOM! Studios)

*****

BEST NEW SERIES

* Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image)
* Harrow County, by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (Dark Horse)
* Kaijumax, by Zander Cannon (Oni)
* Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
* Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image)
* The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR EARLY READERS (UP TO AGE 8)

* Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion, by Dominque Roques and Alexis Dormal (First Second)
* Little Robot, by Ben Hatke (First Second)
* The Only Child, by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade)
* SheHeWe, by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch (Lerner Graphic Universe)
* Written and Drawn by Henrietta, by Liniers (TOON Books)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS (AGES 9-12)

* Baba Yaga's Assistant, by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll (Candlewick)
* Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, by Jessica Dee Humphreys, Michel Chikwanine, and Claudia Devila (Kids Can Press)
* Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor, by Nathan Hale (Abrams Amulet)
* Over the Garden Wall, by Pat McHale and Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)
* Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books)
* Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Scholastic Graphix)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION FOR TEENS (AGES 13-17)

* Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press)
* Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
* March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Moose, by Max de Radiguès (Conundrum)
* Oyster War, by Ben Towle (Oni)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION

* Cyanide & Happiness: Stab Factory, by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
* Deep Dark Fears, by Fran Krause (Ten Speed Press)
* Sexcastle, by Kyle Starks (Image)
* Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
* UR, by Eric Haven (AdHouse)

*****

BEST DIGITAL/WEBCOMIC

* Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
* Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press/comiXology)
* The Legend of Wonder Woman, by Renae De Liz (DC Digital)
* Lighten Up, by Ronald Wimberly (The Nib)
* These Memories Won't Last, by Stu Campbell (Self-Published)

*****

BEST ANTHOLOGY

* Drawn & Quarterly, Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary, Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eat More Comics: The Best of the Nib, edited by Matt Bors (The Nib)
* 24 x 7, edited by Dan Berry (Fanfare Presents)
* Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 3, edited by David Petersen (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
* Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz, edited by Shannon Watters (kaBOOM!)

*****

BEST REALITY-BASED WORK

* The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978–1984, by Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)
* Displacement: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics)
* Hip Hop Family Tree, Book 3: 1983–1984, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
* Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist, by Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics)
* March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
* The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden (Top Shelf/IDW)

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- NEW

* Long Walk to Valhalla, by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (BOOM!/Archaia)
* Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Dark Horse)
* Ruins, by Peter Kuper (SelfMadeHero)
* Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen, by Dylan Horrocks (Fantagraphics)
* The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage, by Sydney Padua (Pantheon)

*****

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- REPRINT

* Angry Youth Comix, by Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics)
* Roses in December: A Story of Love and Alzheimer's, by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers (Kent State University Press)
* The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal Omnibus by E. K. Weaver (Iron Circus Comics)
* Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (Harper Teen)
* Soldier's Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM

* Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt, by Rebecca Goldfield, Mike Short, and Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum)
* City of Clowns, by Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado (Riverhead Books)
* Ghetto Klown, by John Leguizamo, Christa Cassano, and Shamus Beyale (Abrams ComicArts)
* Lafcadio Hearn's The Faceless Ghost and Other Macabre Tales from Japan, adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa (Shambhala)
* Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

*****

BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL

* Alpha... Directions, by Jens Harder (Knockabout/Fanfare)
* The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez (Fantagraphics)
* A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet and Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
* The March of the Crabs, by Arthur de Pins (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
* The Realist, by Asaf Hanuka (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)

*****

BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATEIAL -- ASIA

* Assassination Classroom Vols. 2–7, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ)
* A Bride's Story, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)
* Master Keaton Vols. 2–4, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
* Showa, 1953–1989: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* A Silent Voice, by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha)
* Sunny, by Taiyo Matsumoto (VIZ)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- STRIPS

* Beyond Mars, by Jack Williamson and Lee Elias, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
* Cartoons For Victory, by Warren Bernard (Fantagraphics)
* The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Vol. 4, by Tom Batiuk, edited by Mary Young (Black Squirrel Books)
* The Eternaut, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
* Kremos: The Lost Art Of Niso Ramponi, Vols. 1-2, edited by Joseph P. Procopio (Picture This/Lost Art Books)
* White Boy in Skull Valley, by Garrett Price, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

*****

BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- COMIC BOOKS

* Frank Miller's Ronin Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman (Graphitti Designs/DC)
* P. Craig Russell's Murder Mystery and Other Stories Gallery Edition, edited by Daniel Chabon (Dark Horse)
* The Puma Blues: The Complete Saga, by Stephen Murphy, Alan Moore, Michael Zulli, Stephen R. Bissette, and Dave Sim (Dover)
* Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library Vols. 3–4, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
* Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales, edited by Craig Yoe (IDW)

*****

BEST WRITER

* Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards (Image), Men of Wrath (Marvel Icon), Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Thor (Marvel)
* John Allison, Giant Days (BOOM Studios!)
* Ed Brubaker, The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition (Image)
* Marjorie Liu, Monstress (Image)
* G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)

*****

BEST WRITER/ARTIST

* Bill Griffith, Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist (Fantagraphics)
* Nathan Hale, Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (Abrams)
* Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace And Babbage (Pantheon)
* Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree Vol. 3 (Fantagraphics)
* Noah Van Sciver, Fante Bukowski, Saint Cole (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST PENCILLER/INKER OR PENCILLER/INKER TEAM

* Michael Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art Ops (Vertigo/DC)
* Cliff Chiang, Paper Girls (Image)
* Erica Henderson, Jughead (Archie), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)
* Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
* Nate Powell, March Book Two (Top Shelf/IDW)

*****

BEST PAINTER/MULTIMEDIA ARTIST

* Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Tiger and Love: The Fox (Magnetic Press)
* Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
* Carita Lupattelli, Izuna (Humanoids)
* Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
* Tony Sandoval, A Glance Backward (Magnetic Press)

*****

BEST COVER ARTIST

* David Aja, Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch (Marvel)
* Rafael Albuquerque, Ei8ht (Dark Horse), Huck (Image)
* Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn (DC)
* Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
* Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)

*****

BEST COLORING

* Laura Allred, Lady Killer (Dark Horse); Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art OPS (Vertigo/DC)
* Jordie Bellaire, The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They're Not Like Us, Zero (Image); The X-Files (IDW); The Massive (Dark Horse); Magneto, Vision (Marvel)
* Elizabeth Breitweiser, The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, Velvet (Image)
* John Rauch, The Beauty (Image); Batman: Arkham Knight, Earth 2: Society (DC); Runaways (Marvel)
* Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Frankenstein Underground, Hellboy in Hell, Hellboy and the BPRD, (Dark Horse); Sandman: Overture, Twilight Children (Vertigo/DC), Captain America: White (Marvel), Space Dumplins (Scholastic Graphix)

*****

BEST LETTERING

* Derf Backderf, Trashed (Abrams)
* Steve Dutro, Blood-C, Midnight Society, Plants vs Zombies (Dark Horse)
* Lucy Knisley, Displacement (Fantagraphics)
* Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Kevin McCloskey, We Dig Worms! (TOON Books)

*****

BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICAL/JOURNALISM

* Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
* Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
* Comic Riffs blog by Michael Cavna (Washington Post)
* Hogan's Alley, edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan's Alley)
* Jack Kirby Collector, edited by John Morrow (TwoMorrows)

*****

BEST COMICS-RELATED BOOK

* Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, by Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics)
* King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
* Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams ComicArts)
* Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, by Martha Fay (Abrams ComicArts)
* Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, by Paul Levitz (Abrams ComicArts)

*****

BEST ACADEMIC/SCHOLARLY WORK

* The Blacker The Ink: Constructions Of Black Identity In Comics And Sequential Art, edited by Frances Gateward and John Jennings (Rutgers)
* Boys Love Manga And Beyond: History, Culture, And Community In Japan, edited by Mark McLelland et al. (University Press of Mississippi)
* Graphic Medicine Manifesto, by M. K. Czerwiec et al. (Penn State University Press)
* Superheroes On World Screens, edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward (University Press of Mississippi)
* Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis (Harvard University Press)

*****

BEST PUBLICATION DESIGN

* Beyond the Surface, designed by Nicolas André, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
* The Eternaut, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
* Eventually Everything Connects, designed by Loris Lora, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
* King of the Comics: One Hundred Years Of King Features Syndicate, designed by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
* Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz And The Art of Peanuts, designed by Chip Kidd (Abrams ComicArts)
* Sandman Gallery Edition, designed by Graphitti Designs and Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti Designs/DC)

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Go, Look: Minimidget

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Your 2016 Comic-Con Related News Round-Up

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Here are links and commentary related to news being generated the weekend of Comic-Con International. The following will be broken up by day of publication, but certainly there's no restriction as to when something might end up being discussed. The daily breakdown is to help those who are reading this column on subsequent days, as it's added to.

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Wednesday, July 20

I'm not seeing a whole bunch of news right away. Not publishing news, anyway. There some leaks of some announcements, and rumors of same. The two formal Wednesday news-generating events of recent memory -- the ICv2.com conference, Image Expo -- have been moved elsewhere.

People are arriving in town and setting up for whatever it is they do on the weekend. I've been able to score some interviews despite some REALLY LATE asks, which indicates to me that it's still not a big comics-press weekend in terms of in-depth work. I think that's fine, though. Not every weekend has to involve seven hours of intense podcasting from one's hotel suite. You aren't going to get several months of work done the next four days. You'll probably get less work done than usual. I also think that the industry has had a hard time adjusting to new show realities because there's not much of an industry anymore at least in terms a solid base of the kind of activity one might expect from a business supporting an art form. I don't know what you can do at a show like this one for mid-list and lower-selling books that doesn't involve a huge amount of guesswork.

Of what's promised to happens this weekend pubishing-wise, there's not a ton that interests me. I'm looking forward to seeing how Fantagraphics does in the old Top Shelf island space and if Top Shelf finds a solid home at the IDW space. IDW was a company that took a while to find a formula that works for them on the show floor whereas relative to its size I always felt Top Shelf comfortable there. The cartoonists appearing at Drawn and Quarterly are super-solid. Image seems loaded for bear, too, while DC becoming a wider-entertainment booth seems like a potential remember-this-year moment. Derf scoring a Saturday panel seems to me something worth noting on Abrams' behalf. The cocktail party seems pretty set; the outdoor media events do not.

I've noticed some drift in focused excitement for shows in general, but I think SDCC is sort of immune to those things. People are always ready to go out to dinner and stand around hotel balconies with drinks in their hands. I think rank and file indie/alt suffers right now, but they're not here.

I failed to mention -- well, mentioned and then withdrew, hoping for a better link -- that actor John Barrowman is hosting the Eisners.

The big story heading into the show is this: increased security, and more scrutiny of what that means.

We've had some terrifying terrorism incidents in different places around the world in the last 24 months, and it's not out of the question that we could see one with our large gathering of people. If you're going to Comic-Con in a group, I'd have the discussion about how to meet if things get weird or crazy (pick a walk-to spot in town), although there's not much you can do if the unspeakable happens except keep your wits about you. The con community came close to some scary incidents at the 2015 show without our folding in the possibility of an outright aggressive, planned event. Be well. Be safe.

We should also remember that Comic-Con's strategy is to emphasize paid security and a formal protocol designed to have that paid security catch incidents of harassment or abuse. Whether this is enough is a conversation for the other 360 days a year. Until then, for this weekend in particular, it's on the community to police its own as best as it is able. Comics suffers from a longtime sickness in terms of harassment as toxic and hard to flush as its embrace of economic exploitation. We should go as far as we can in the other direction to make sure everyone has a safe, hassle-free weekend. Keep an eye on each other. Check your own perceived right to act out or have a certain kind of fun. Remember that this is a professional event, and hold those around you to the expectations of that as a bare-minimum standard. It's not like we aren't getting to be children every other way possible.

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Thursday, July 21

I'm going down to the show today after spending a brief, brief, brief time in Los Angeles with a close friend and then a family member. I'm coming in on train, if anyone is taking the 6:00 AM.

Still haven't seen a lot of news. Some of the discussion about the show outside the show continues.

I just realized that one of the reasons I'm not seeing a lot of news is that I'm not looking very hard. I will do better tomorrow. I will tell you that you have to cross the street from the San Diego train station to get a cab and that wasn't the case several years ago I don't think. Also that Amtrak business class no longer reserves seats, they just keep free the number of seats in the business class car. That's kind of right up next to useless.

This is interesting: creators revisiting old-ground using the time-honored tradition of near-copies and not-reallys to explore ground they might have wished to explore with a character or two.

The first comics person I saw was that nice man Rob Salkowitz.

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Friday, September 22

The funniest thing I heard yesterday was Brigid Alverson complaining that everyone think she's a librarian. "I'm not glamorous enough to be a librarian."

The second funniest thing I heard yesterday was Andrew Aydin pitching a non-March project. "It's not terrible."

Everything else was tied for third.

I moderated three panels: Lisa Hanawalt's spotlight, one of those weird panels where they stick a bunch of people to get them another panel and provide the talk with a terribly broad name ("Indie Comics") and the Barnaby panel. Everyone on them was great. It's such a pleasure to talk about a 70-year-old comic strip in a giant convention hall in a room halfway to Mexico, RC Harvey barking out random observations like an old-timey AM Radio Show Host.

One publishing tidbit I pulled out of Lisa Hanawalt is that she works on multiple projects for herself as opposed to commercially-inspired projects and that she's done a bunch more pages for Coyote Doggirl she hasn't shown anyone that will one day be published.

As far as Barnaby goes, Eric Reynolds confirms it hasn't sold as much as he thought it might, but that Fantagraphics will conclude the series and right now volumes four and five are slotted for 2017 and 2018.

Fantagraphics still expects to publish Comics As Art: We Told You So this calendar year. A ton of people have told me they greatly anticipate that one, in a way that indicates something other than just being nice. Last chapter, organized by writer Mike Dean, is apparently over 55,000 words, which is almost more than twice the commissioned length of the entire book as conceived in 2005.

Nate Powell looks super-happy to have March Volume 3 in the rear-view window.

Book of the show in terms of a kind of mass sales event may be Bone: Coda or whatever specific volume holds this Bones-Going-Home work. Those are great-looking comics, and I'm slightly surprised more hasn't been made of Smith's return to that material in such a significant way.

Keith Knight is collaborating on a series of kids book that will come out starting next Spring.

I was sorry to hear that Hooded Utilitarian will be going into hiatus, and may not come back. They published a lot of talented writers whom I hope will have other outlets if they seek them out. I apologize for missing this news: my access to on-line material has been somewhat limited heading into this year's SDCC.

Scholastic announced a kind of wide-open publishing challenge. I tend to process news like that through my experience working on the Fantagraphics slush pile, which was nightmarish. Gina Gagliano assured me that the material they got submitted on a regular basis is actually quite high, and they may one day soon publish someone brought to their attention by an open submission -- I hope that's generic enough she won't get mad at me.

Joe Casey pointed out he thought we would be drowned in Pokemon GO players, but that's been the case at all.

It's sticky hot here, by the way -- for San Diego weather, anyway. I resemble one of those bad guys that opened the ark of the covenant at the end of Raiders.

The biggest item of discussion is the obviously increased security. The second biggest item of discussion the changing nature of the show: less cosplay overall, none of the super-intense fandom displays of the mid-2000s. The crowds seem under control, and it's like every tiny little fandom has found a place to be welcome.

Rich Johnston isn't here.

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Friday, July 22

Here on Saturday morning, Friday seems a million years ago and I'm not sure I can rally as much as I would need to present a full report.

This was my mostly free day. I had an interview with David at comiXology planned but he received some minor medial attention and we're still trying to reschedule. I stepped into a lot of panels, from Ron Wimberly to Kramers Ergot to Allan Bellman, for several minutes at a time and enjoyed them all.

Everyone is calling this a mellow show, where no panel is driving anyone to spasms of excitement and no signing line has to be capped. Everyone's having a pleasant time, though.

Got to see Image's David Brothers moderate two panels and it struck me how better at doing panels and presenting in public Brothers' generation is over my own. The baseline skill-set is way, way higher.

The Kramers' panel was fascinating, such a modest crowd for at Matt Groening appearance -- he's a fan, and he's in an issue. Sammy Harkham gives really short, thoughtful, articulate answers. He used a load-up philosophy on the book's first third, basically placing all of his personal favorites there to engage with the readers in a way that would make them trust the experience.

I fell asleep like five time at the panel. When you're seeing a panel with your friends, they all notice when you nod off. Sorry, guys!

I've talked to a ton of writers this weekend I hadn't before, from Albert Ching to the new generation of Beat writers to Abraham Riesman to Nick Sousanis. It was a great weekend that way.

Had my first not-good meal in a long time at San Diego. Rhymes with "Milton Hayfront." Strong contrast with my excellent dinner at the Grant Grill the night before. I know how self-indulgent a bullet point like this is, sorry.

Said hi to Jim Davis, enjoying his first Comic-Con. He called it a "sober Mardi Gras" and admitted he thought it would be mostly dudes. He's blown away by his interaction with the fans, which isn't something strip cartoonists do on a regular basis.

Talked to Mark Evanier and Karen Green about 100 years of Kirby next year. Talked to Denis Kitchen about 100 years of Will Eisner next year.

I'll write more about the Eisners in the final report. They were a very interesting snapshot of where the show is right now, where comics is right now.

Zander Cannon hurt his leg recently being a "cool dad" but still gets around better than I do.

I had fun tweeting the show last night.

Image booth was hopping during my one visit.

Eddie Campbell is a married man again, and lives in Chicago, Illinois. God bless America.

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posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kyla Vanderklugt

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from July 16 to July 22, 2016:

1. Comic-Con International launches in San Diego, the 47th iteration of the One True North American Comics Show.

2. Atena Farghadani opens up to Michael Cavna about her time in prison for her political cartoons, confirming some of the horrific stories that circulated about her treatment there.

3. The Nib returns to kidney punch the Republican National Convention 75,000 times.

Winner Of The Week
Farghadani. Superhero.

Losers Of The Week
The conservatives dug into the legal system that went after Farghadani.

Quote Of The Week
"When I was in prison, I wasn't aware of outside events and the news about me, especially in 2015, when I was on a hunger strike in the gruesome Gharchak prison. At that point, I was absolutely hopeless and thought I would die there, without my voice ever being heard. But I kept going with the strike, constantly thinking that even if I die, I have a clear conscience for I've died for my beliefs and goals." -- Atena Farghadani

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this year's comics images are from Fawcett

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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Frank Miller At The Kubert School


Angel Catbird Promotional Video


Ken Rinciari Left-Hand And Right-Hand Drawings


Guy Talking At The Camera About Comics


Gene Yang Speaks At Pikes Peak
 
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If You're AT SDCC, Please Consider Watching Me Talk To Derf At His Spotlight Panel

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A big-day Saturday event given over to a comics-maker, this should be fun. I always like talking to Derf. If these words are still here, I did not get information on a room or a time in time for me to post them in advance here, but they should be easily findable.
 
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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2016

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July 24
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

July 27
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

July 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

July 31
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

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August 3
* If I Were In SF And Qualified, I'd Go To This

August 12
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 13
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 14
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 17
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

August 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 19
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 20
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 21
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 25
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

August 26
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 27
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 28
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)

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Events For September 2016 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brittney Williams

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 69th Birthday, Mike Vosburg!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 54th Birthday, Kelley Jones!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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