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
















September 5, 2015


A Campaign To Help Norm Breyfogle With His Stroke Ends At IndieGoGo Today

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Here. A previous, more highly publicized campaign brought in almost $100K. This one involves some of Breyfogle's early work on the character Whisper.
 
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September 4, 2015


Go, Look: Tamia Baudouin

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Go, Look: On-Line Petition Up Against Censorship Of Dernier Cri, Pakito Balino And Others

I'm pretty sure this is not comics, although there's a lot of crossover in terms of the players involved and visual art. I hope that you'll take the time to read it and perhaps sign if you're so moved. I wonder after free speech these days; it feels like there are disagreements and objections in such a wide variety of locations on the rhetorical map that the borders don't even touch. This likely isn't art for me, but it's art for someone, if only its creator.
 
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Go, Look: Antoine Maillard

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Go, Read: R. Fiore On A New Bunch Of Mainstream Comics

imageI enjoy reading R. Fiore whenever I got the chance. Fiore was the most important critic in Comics Journal history -- not a history that everyone's interested in, I'll admit -- because he showed that the contrarian stance that the magazine took towards corporate output and material that adhered closely to corporate output could be applied over and over again, via humor and insight, to a dozen comics a month. It seemed likely this would be the case from Marilyn Bethke forward, but Fiore was the one who served on point the longest. His is the default voice for all of comics reviewing, including for many people who have no idea he exists.

Fiore may be a bit unsuited for social media-driven comics culture because a lot of his constructions are personal ones, and pulled out squiggling into the sun on their lonesome can be surrounded and hectored to death with a million modern rhetorical antibodies. For someone who's been reading him as long as I have, though, it's a joy to see new material. I found this latest column fascinating, both for its undercurrent of self-criticism and for the usual array of cleverly written but super-solid insights into the work discussed. He praises Matt Fraction's wit, which is an excellent avenue into that writer's work that rarely gets consideration. And he's still good with the asides like when he describes David Aja: "he is after all like Alex Toth with a good writer." I know people might blow past something like that, but for me it's a stop and stare at the screen moment. Is that who David Aja is? Does that sound right? Does that hold up to what I know?

When I talk to people that wrote about comics in the 1980s and 1990s, they often claim their superiority; the 1980s folks in particular. I always thought that writing comics criticism of that confrontational type was a lot easier when the job was comparing the latest run of All Star Squadron to a few issues of Love And Rockets, all for an audience primed to believe the direction you were probably going to go. Today there's a relatively high level of craft and artistic effort on the best mainstream books, alternative books where the subtle differences in quality thwart easy one-liners, and considerable work in all sort of revived genres that has to be processed on its own terms. To have a Bob Fiore drop in for a few words is great; that he's genuinely engaging with this work and questioning past assumptions, that's such a wonderful thing even if you disagree with him on both ends.
 
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Go, Look: King Features Advertisements

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Collective Memory: Jack Kirby Day 2015

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Links to articles, posts and other on-line entries regarding any and all celebration of the 98th anniversary of the comics-maker Jack Kirby's birth.

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Miscellaneous
* Interview With Charles Hatfield About Jack Kirby

Resources
* Comic Book Apocalypse Show
* Kyle Latino
* TCJ Interview
* The Australian
* The Jack Kirby Chronology
* The Kirby Museum

Tributes
* #JackKirby

* Brandon Graham

* Carol Tilley 01
* Carol Tilley 02
* Carol Tilley 03
* Carol Tilley 04
* Carol Tilley 05
* Carol Tilley 06
* Carol Tilley 07
* Carol Tilley 08
* Carol Tilley 09
* CBR 01
* CBR 02
* Chris Samnee
* Colleen Doran 01
* Colleen Doran 02
* ComicBook.com
* Comics Alliance 01
* Comics Alliance 02

* Dan Slott
* Den Of Geek

* Gerard Way
* Greg Araujo

* Inside The Cosmic Cube

* Jason Latour
* Jerry Ordway

* LiveAtNewChimeTrek

* Mark Evanier
* Mark Mayerson
* Martin Hand
* Marvel.com 01
* Marvel.com 02
* Marvel.com 03
* Matt Wieringo

* Nerdvana
* NewsOK

* Pop Culture Safari
* popmatters

* Robot 6
* Ron Marz

* Sal Abbinanti
* Saladin Ahmed

* Tech Times
* The Beat
* The Kirby Museum
* Thomas Scioli
* timesunion
* Todd Nauck
* Tom McAuliffe
* Tom Spurgeon
* Tony Moore

* Vox

* Wil Wheaton

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posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Vintage Comics, A Designer's Report

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Bill Holbrook's Kevin & Kell turns 20 this week. That one is widely recognized as one of the first on-line strips of the modern variety, and the one that's run longest in continual fashion. Congratulationis to Holbrook. In an equivalent time in print comics history entire "ages" had passed and the only features still running continuously were books that featured characters like Superman.

* one thing I hadn't noticed with the relaunch of Trouble With Comics is exactly what Chris Allen would be doing for the site. I wondered, as he's the most associated with editor/publisher Alan David Doane and hasn't done a whole lot of writing at all since the last time Doane has an ongoing effort on the front burner somewhere. Here's my answer: a column called Journey Into Marvelry.

* finally, Gary Tyrrell provides commentary and context on Randall Munroe's latest mind-alterating cartoon, in a long series of such cartoons.
 
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If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Bum Wrap

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Pluto. Mark Dickson on Lady Killer Vol. 1.

* beach party covers!

* Chris Sims writes about the use of 9-panel grid page in the new Omega Men title.

* the thing that's fascinating about this superhero article is that there are more than five permutations of a pretty basic plot point: a "death" horseman for a villain called Apocalypse. If you want to argue that superheroes can be exhausted as a genre, this is the kind of thing you might point to.

* Christopher Butcher's Japan travelogues are a comics Internet classic.

* the Trouble With Comics crew writes about comics done by people other than the creator.

* Mark Evanier notes that San Diego's mayor is behind expanding the convention center as opposed to building a new, nearby facility.

* finally, I don't know that I've ever seen this print of Tony Millionaire's, a scene from the JRR Tolkien mythos.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Scott Shaw!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Paul Smith!

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September 3, 2015


Go, Look: Glenn Head's TCJ Diary

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OTBP: Outbursts Of Everett True

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Andrew Wheeler On Criticism

There's a nice piece up here at ComicsAlliance by the writer Andrew Wheeler about the value of criticism. It's argued in straight-forward fashion. You don't need to know anything about modern Internet parlance and argumentation for it to be an article of value, but there's a lot there for you if you are up to date on such things.

imageNo one's ever liked being criticized. I think an interesting thing that's happened recently that may be different is that as more rewards of status and finance are bled out of creative arts industries there's a lot of pressure put on artists to maximize their careers. Every dissenting opinion hurts, and every bit of attention, good and bad, is processed on a personal level to an astonishing degree -- a 24-hour-a-day ethos of seeing everything as a potential act of someone taking food off of your plate. This makes criticism extra tough because positive notices are seen as being part of the story of each project, and negative attention can make you a villain. It's generally more fun to be a participant than a contrarian, to have someone laud your getting it than crush you for being stupid and biased and failing to understand anything at all.

My own solution to all of it is to write what I want to write, decline to apologize for that writing nor inflate its importance, and to generally seek out connections within an industry of which I feel a part that aren't scrutinized according to brand advancement. I'm not sure I'm doing it right, but I'll continue to try to figure it out. It's very intriguing for me to read a point of view like Wheeler's, a different conception that takes criticism just as seriously.

Dan Clowes' Harry Naybors
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Beguiling

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posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Jack Kirby Day 2015

image

Links to articles, posts and other on-line entries regarding any and all celebration of the 98th anniversary of the comics-maker Jack Kirby's birth.

*****

Miscellaneous
* Interview With Charles Hatfield About Jack Kirby

Resources
* Comic Book Apocalypse Show
* Kyle Latino
* TCJ Interview
* The Australian
* The Jack Kirby Chronology
* The Kirby Museum

Tributes
* #JackKirby

* Brandon Graham

* Carol Tilley 01
* Carol Tilley 02
* Carol Tilley 03
* Carol Tilley 04
* Carol Tilley 05
* Carol Tilley 06
* Carol Tilley 07
* Carol Tilley 08
* Carol Tilley 09
* CBR 01
* CBR 02
* Chris Samnee
* Colleen Doran 01
* Colleen Doran 02
* ComicBook.com
* Comics Alliance 01
* Comics Alliance 02

* Dan Slott
* Den Of Geek

* Gerard Way
* Greg Araujo

* Inside The Cosmic Cube

* Jason Latour
* Jerry Ordway

* LiveAtNewChimeTrek

* Mark Evanier
* Mark Mayerson
* Martin Hand
* Marvel.com 01
* Marvel.com 02
* Marvel.com 03
* Matt Wieringo

* Nerdvana
* NewsOK

* Pop Culture Safari
* popmatters

* Robot 6
* Ron Marz

* Sal Abbinanti
* Saladin Ahmed

* Tech Times
* The Beat
* The Kirby Museum
* Thomas Scioli
* timesunion
* Todd Nauck
* Tom McAuliffe
* Tom Spurgeon
* Tony Moore

* Vox

* Wil Wheaton

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posted 7:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: A Bunch Of Darwyn Cooke Spirit Drawings

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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

* SPX has picked up Brandon Graham and Phoebe Gloeckner, a couple of heavy hitters, as late additions. Raina Telgemeier is unable to make it.

* there is an amazingly lengthy con report from Randy Golden that begins here, about a Wizard World Chicago -- a show that used to be the nation's second biggest not once but twice for stretches. It's really useful if you don't go to that kind of show anymore to sort of see what one's like.

* this is the kind of thing that only interests me, but September 19, 20 and 26 all have more than ten events on each date. Wow.

* here's Dustin Harbin's poster for the inaugural Cartoons Crossroads Columbus in early October. I am that show's festival director.

* here's some photos from Derf Backderf of a museum-sponsored 'zine fair that took place in Cleveland last weekend.

* finally, it's great to hear about an event featuring Bob L. Crabb. I had to scan the postcard in because I couldn't find a match on-line, so I want to use it more than once!

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posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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