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














August 18, 2019


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

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If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Jenni Rope!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Kevin Church!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Lilli Carré!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Chris Allen!

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August 17, 2019


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

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If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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

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Happy 50th Birthday, Tom McLean!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, John Romita Jr.!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Andrew Helfer!

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August 16, 2019


If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This

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

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Noah Van Sciver praises Michael Kupperman's All The Answers. There's a significant element of that book's discussion since publication that it was somehow under-discussed, and I've never been able to figure that out. I'm going to guess that the construction there is that it resembles books from the recent past that did get the kind of widespread approbation, a kind of rhetorical momentum that has its own energy. But to be honest, I've read enough terrible "the book of the year is every book you read" headlines to know that hasn't been the case for many books of recent vintage -- maybe zero of them if you disqualify Emil Ferris. It's a possibility that the bulk of us may shrug our shoulders through Berlin, Clyde Fans and Rusty Brown by this Christmas. Holy hell. We still do have the "good superhero comic" phenomenon, and that seems fairly intact, but that's a different thing: a smaller pool with a different function. Maybe that should be expected. There is no monolithic critical apparatus for comics these days, and it may have seemed like there was one only because of a time when a bunch of writers wrote similarly voluminous, detailed responses to major works as a way of standing out before social media made more specific, arch, content-light interaction its own thing and people began to distrust that kind of climb-Mt.-Olympus writing as stuck in its writers' own heads. That said, I heard a lot about All The Answers. I would imagine any serious fan/fan of serious comics would want to read it and has a chance to do so. I'm not spending this morning writing about Olivier Schrauwen.

* there are structural peculiarities. One thing that's still the same that may continue to shape this is that there are certain elements of comics publishing that don't want to engage with other elements. I've written a lot about Michael Kupperman -- like a lot -- but never received a copy of the book, let alone was pitched an interview or other coverage. Comics has always been bad at that, and I'm not certain why. I just assume that kind of engagement isn't valued or rewarding enough. I'm not being sarcastic, I can see 100 scenarios where resources are better spent elsewhere. And while I know I need to find things on my own, there's a lot to write about and my professional life sometimes resembles a Transformer that changes from a food truck to a dumpster fire. I'll take the book on my desk over the one on my computer screen, and both of them over one that's a rumor. The fewer books I write about I'm less likely to score that gigantic investment of a physical copy. So it goes. And yet, having never seen it, I know about All The Answers and I know about some of its awards and about once every six weeks I seem to have read about this lack of coverage and whose fault that is, so there has to have been some work done. This is complicated even further when not everyone likes a work. And a good work isn't necessarily one that appeals to everyone. We can still agree on that, right? It's a buyer's market for smart work with which to engage, and most people can be talked out of hard to score work someone warned them away that simply might not look appealing without a lot of effort. It's tough out there. I have multiple book credits and I've done two signings. Two in my life.

* I hope that all the quality works find the audience, critical and otherwise, they deserve. It's hard to measure that, though. Maybe those of us that didn't can take a second look at few books of recent vintage -- All The Answers, sure, but also One Dirty Tree or perhaps Yellow Negroes -- and maybe all of us can dig in and focus on the next round of potentially great works from this fall before lurching into our best-of-decade battles. The Santoro and Huizenga I think are very good, and Eleanor Davis is in the midst of a powerful win streak. Mutts turns 25 this year and two potentially great strips turn one (Jaimes' Nancy and Liniers' Macanudo). I don't know if there are enough readers for all of these books, or enough writers about the better ones, but certainly someone will think it's not enough on every single book's behalf.
 
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Happy 54th Birthday, Jason!

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August 15, 2019


If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up


 
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Happy 66th Birthday Paul Gulacy!

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August 14, 2019


OTBP: In The Thick Of It

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This Isn't A Library: New, 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.

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JAN198511 DOG MAN GN VOL 07 FOR WHOM BALL ROLLS $12.99
Dav Pilkey's work on both this latest series and the Captain Underpants material is really due a major critical piece by one of the better writers out there. I don't think that happens in a preview article, although I like the Pilkey's comics whenever I read them, and enjoy their visual stamp a lot; I like looking at these comics. They're the comics of the moment for sure.

imageMAY191758 DUNKIRK ONE SHOT GLANZMAN CVR 2ND PTG $9.99
I don't want to question whatever series of events has given us a bunch of Sam Glanzman war comics edition in the late 2010s, but I'm happy to look at them every time I see them in the shot. Glanzman always does the work, and his fealty to a certain kind of accuracy in the depictions makes for its own through-line in the comics. The cover here with the mix of naval craft, their functions and their modernity relative to one another all make me take notice. I hope there are more of these.

JUN191263 ONCE & FUTURE #1 (OF 6) $3.99
JUN190694 USAGI YOJIMBO #3 CVR A SAKAI $3.99
MAY199082 SECOND COMING #1 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99
JUN191368 SECOND COMING #2 (MR) $3.99
Hey, it's comic-book comics, including two series positioning themselves for a strong sales run. Once & Future is apparently doing advance scarcity in a way that drives buzz, while Second Coming is starting a cycle of re-orders and multiple printings that is either more advance work or the first fruits of earlier exposure to those comics. In between is Usagi Yojimbo, which is eternal and which if there are comics in heaven I will read 1000 years' worth.

APR190279 BORGIAS TP (MR) $29.99
I don't have a refined aesthetic for either comics-maker involved here, although I'm interested in the potential of the result. Exceedingly handsome comics likely to be the result. I'd have to do a pretty serious reading to say anything else. I have no idea of its public reputation.

APR190315 EC ARCHIVES CRIME SUSPENSTORIES HC VOL 04 $59.99
DEC180652 JOKER THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC $99.99
FEB190976 MARVEL MASTERS OF SUSPENSE LEE & DITKO OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $100.00
Hey, it's the expensive books section. I haven't found a way back into the EC comics with either the latest more tradition title-by-title reprinting or the black and white Fantagraphics, author-to-author presentation, but that's always been about where I am oriented than what the comics reveal to me. Never quite understood the Joker, but the move to completely unpleasant serial-killer comics would seem to me fun to watch in fits and starts. As for Steve Ditko, give me a look at every last page: that's an intriguing way to look at the world -- very 20th Century, and might be more flattered by a writer with Lee's lack of heft.

JUN191758 SCIENCE COMICS CATS NATURE & NURTURE HC GN $19.99
I haven't been paying a lot of attention to these First Second science comics, so one with a bunch of cat would seem a friendlier-than-usual re-entry point. Everybody likes cats.

MAY191414 ARCHIE ART OF FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA HC $24.99
This has to be attractive; if I have my doubts about playing around too much with the Archie formula, it comes from the narrative flexibility more than the artists they have presenting these various takes. Francavilla is very talented.

JUN191315 YOU ARE MY FRIEND STORY MR ROGERS & NEIGHBORHOOD PICTUREBOOK $17.99
It makes sense that there would be some Fred Rogers culture in comics form, and I'd definitely want to see the books if only for a flip-through.

APR191970 DRUILLETS THE NIGHT (LA NUIT) HC (RES) (MR) $24.99
When in doubt, dig your way into an impressive artist and see what results.

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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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Go, Look: Conan By Gerardo Zaffino

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2019

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August 16
* If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Michigan Comic Convention)

August 17
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Michigan Comic Convention)

August 18
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Silicon Valley, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Michigan Comic Convention)

August 21
* If I Were In St. Louis, I'd Go To This

August 22
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

August 23
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

August 24
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)

August 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 30
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Convention)

August 31
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Convention)

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September 1
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This (Indiana Comic Convention)

September 3
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This

September 4
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

September 5
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (FanX)

September 6
* If I Were In Ann Arbor, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (FanX)

September 7
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (FanX)

September 8
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

September 9
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

September 10
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Corning, I'd Go To This

September 11
* If I Were In Santa Cruz, I'd Go To This

September 12
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

September 13
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)

September 14
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

September 15
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Brussels Comic Strip Festival)

September 16
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This

September 17
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 18
* If I Were in Louisville, I'd Go To This

September 19
* If I Were In Raleigh, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 21
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 22
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 26
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

September 27
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

September 28
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

September 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

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Events For October 2019 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Listen: John Siuntres Talks To Bryan Hitch

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