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May 28, 2015


Go, Look: Joel Millerchip

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Go, Read: Laura C. Mallonee And Cartoonists' Plights, 2015

This article with a pair of publishers by Laura C. Mallonee provides a quick survey of some of the hits that international cartoonists have taken this calendar year. Its brevity might make it a good choice for a quick catch-up as to the shape of things out there. Cartoonists being murdered is its form of noxious evil, but cartoonists having their lives destroyed by court decisions involving money, jail time and physical violence against the person is just as real if a step back from that kind of severe sanction. I'm not sure what can be done: we've seen in Turkey that even focused attention on certain free-speech matters has limits, even with huge inducements at stake. We can never look away, though.
 
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Go, Look: La Sonnambula And The City Of Sleep

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OTBP: Black Sheep #3

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Bundled Extra: Icecubes Comic Crowd-Funder On Last Day

One of the more aggressive crowd-funder in my inbox in terms of asking for coverage has been this one for a project called Icecubes. I'm going to watch it on its last day for the reason that it seems like there's been a surge for projects on their last day. Now something as small as this one that could just be manipulate by a couple of outside players, but I think I'm seeing it with bigger projects, too. It seems like the Broken Frontier one roared past the finish line near the end, too, for example. For a model where conventional wisdom says that the two primary surges in publication are right at the beginning and then late when goals are met and stretch goals are being rolled out, an impulse to get people over the line playing a bigger role would be a key change for that whole culture.
 
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Hebdo Update: Anti-Islam Group Seeking Advertising Space For Muhammed Cartoon Generated In Texas

Here. I am not a fan of rights stunts, which I think are way, way, way, way, way more about participating in and profiting from a certain kind of political dialogue than they are seriously engaged with the rights themselves, let alone their nuances. No one deserves to be harmed from any expression of thought or artistic impulse; no one deserves to be exposed to upsetting imagery to prove an already self-evident point.
 
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Go, Look: Jack Brougham

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I always get a wide array of responses to the Denver Comic Con, the 2015 of which just happened. This year a lot of people were talking to me about the women in comics panel with no women, which sounds to me the kind of thing that happens when you're jamming panels in at the last second, and some disbelief of the 100K+ attendance figure. There's always a way to count that gets a show to just about any attendance number they want to hit, so I'm never worried about what conventions report because the standards are so wildly different. One hundred thousand people is a lot of freaking people, though, a mind-melting amount. I hope they had good numbers no matter what they were; I like Denver quite a bit.

* that's a lovely poster for the Festival BD De La Montreal. Sounds like a lot of fun D+Q stuff to do, too.

* I hadn't caught up to the final Special Guest list for Comic-Con in San Diego. There are a lot of people in here in whom I'm very interested. I will be front row for that Sam Glanzman panel, for sure.

* this is probably only me, but looking at those bios -- can we all just get real headshots by the end of this year? In particular, having a cartoon as your headshot seems so 1987 to me. Comics has so many great people in it and people want to function in this more public space or at least have the things that come to people there and it just looks so much better if there's an actual, reasonably professional quality photo representing you than a wacky photo or a piece of art. I know it sounds dumb, but I saw the effect of when comics people started doing real press in the 1990s, how well they came across, and this is a part of that. I look like a thumb with lips and it's still better to see my face than a cartoon.

* finally, I quite like this Will Dinski piece of art in promotion of the Autoptic show.
 
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If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through June 2015

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*****

May 29
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This

May 30
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con DC)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)
* If I Were In Spokane, I'd Go To This (Lilac City Comicon)
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Arundel Mills, I'd Go To This

May 31
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Dc)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Expo Dallas)
* If I Were Near Lyon, I'd Go To This (Fanzine Camping)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

*****

June 4
* If I Were In Munich, I'd Go To This (Comic Festival Munchen)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

June 5
* If I Were In Munich, I'd Go To This (Comic Festival Munchen)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This

June 6
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
* If I Were In Munich, I'd Go To This (Comic Festival Munchen)
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This (Memphis Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (New South Fest)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Grand Comics Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Special Edition)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (CECAF)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

June 7
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
* If I Were In Munich, I'd Go To This (Comic Festival Munchen)
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This (Memphis Comic Expo)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Special Edition)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

June 12
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

June 13
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

June 19
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (Heroes)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)

June 20
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (Heroes)
* If I Were In Ann Arbor, I'd Go To This (Kids Read Comics)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
* If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This (Derby City)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (ELCAF)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

June 21
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (Heroes)
* If I Were In Ann Arbor, I'd Go To This (Kids Read Comics)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
* If I Were In Louisville, I'd Go To This (Derby City)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (ELCAF)

June 25
* If I Were In Miami Beach, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

June 26
* If I Were In Perth, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
* If I Were In Miami Beach, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

June 27
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Perth, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
* If I Were In Miami Beach, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

June 28
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Perth, I'd Go To This (Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
* If I Were In Miami Beach, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

Events For July 2015 Onward Listed Here

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*****
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Go, Look: The Iron Skull

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Rob Clough passes along word of a comics-as-poetry anthology seeking submissions.

image* Sean Gaffney on A Silent Voice Vol. 1. Emily Greenhouse on The Secret History Of Wonder Woman.

* I'm just now catching up with this RC Harvey column describing his take on how mainstream comics moved from figure-drawing into more dramatically forthright storytelling techniques. I always listen to Bob Harvey. I also came late to this Michael Cavna piece about Harvey Pekar's appearances on David Letterman's television shows.

* not comics: I like the looks of these; I wouldn't have at the time they were being sold.

* what characters Marvel uses in what titles isn't really something I find interesting, but it's worth a reminder that many of the team books serves as character rehabilitation vehicles, very important given the fact that there's a level of demand for these characters in other media.

* not comics: if you had Woody Harrelson in the Wilson pool, you're lying, you had Paul Giamatti, too. That sounds like it could be a good film. Let's hope. I quite liked that comic. It was very funny.

* I did this when I was a kid.

* finally, that's a whole lot of superhero killing.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, Lynn Johnston!

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Happy 45th Birthday, Tony Consiglio!

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May 27, 2015


Go, Look: Greetings, Earthlings!

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All Best Wishes To Sam Hiti, Whatever's Going On With Sam Hiti

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If you missed yesterday's comics-culture Internet thing involving the very talented Sam Hiti, this sympathetic essay provides enough information for you to backtrack, I think. (I can't tell if it's by the artist Paul Pope or the person assisting with the site.) Basically: a shut-down of social media accounts belonging to Hiti suggested a death, and for a time no one knew if that death was real or if it was a "career death" until Hiti was reached by phone. Some folks had already memorialized him on Twitter and other social media platforms as if he had physically died. It'll be up to Hiti to speak out on the matter. This site and I assume several others are open to him if he wants a platform not of his own creation.

I think this is one of those things where people are fully justified in flashing anger at Hiti. I felt anger, too. People shouldn't do that to other people. The Internet stuff with Hiti flared up just as several folks were processing the very real death of the warm and generous wordless comics scholar David Beronä. I imagine many of Hiti's peers were also friendly with the late Seth Kushner, recently deceased and surely in the thoughts of several folks out there. At the same time, as the essay points out, comics can be devastatingly difficult. At some point anyone with the experience of trying to find recognition and reward for their own talent within comics will likely sympathize, at least a little bit, with wanting to kill off that whole aspect of their life.

It's okay to have both reactions. It's okay to have one more than other. I think the big story of comics right this moment is how to claw our way to an infrastructure and rewards system that honors the talent out there more than it exploits or ignores it. No culture and no industry can make everyone's dreams come true, but perhaps they can minimize casualties.
 
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Go, Look: Gravity Comix

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Bundled Extra: The Beat On Fantagraphics Publishing A Slipcased Collection Of Wimmen's Comix

imageHeidi MacDonald has a nice write-up here about Fantagraphics publishing a slipcased collection of Wimmen's Comix this Fall. That has a murderer's row of great cartoonists and like many of the anthologies such as Witzend and the later Kurtzman magazine has a reputation divorced from a significant number of people actually seeing the work.

I think it's a great time to publish that one, too, just talent-wise. Phoebe Gloeckner, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Trina Robbins (who will edit this edition), MK Brown and Diane Noomin have higher profiles right this moment than they did five years ago, at least to my eye, and there are bunch of cartoonists in there that will greatly reward re-examination. One thing that's great about that series was that unlike the boy-heavy anthologies it lasted over a couple of generations of cartoonists in a way that I'm not sure we have with any other anthology, not as dramatically, anyway, and not the underground/alt transition quite as fully (Weirdo comes close, but doesn't have the undergrounds in the more heavily underground era).

I look forward to this one.
 
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Go, Look: Seymour Chwast Archive

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Not Comics/By Request: Comics-Related Crowd-Funders

* Nina Stone, at one point in time a reliabe and compelling comics critic, performs for children as Miss Nina and is currently involved in a crowdfunder for a new album that has some comics-related incentives. So give that a look. She's a nice lady and I'm told that previous album was very good.

* this crowd-funder sent to me by Ed Kanerva features two things I know almost nothing about -- indie games and music -- but also a record sleeve by Michael DeForge. DeForge I know. The look of the game is cartoony, too, if that makes a difference.

* Stephanie McMillan is a little over halfway to an affirmation calendar, one day per affirmation. That is something with a proud background in terms of cartoonists doing them, as anyone who ever visited a post office window in the '80s or '90s can attest.
 
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Go, Look: Songs Without Words

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This Isn't A Library: 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.

*****

APR150977 POPE HATS #4 (MR) $7.95
This is a serial comic, even though it's priced like a small book. In my dream world mainstream comics would be $2 and alt-comics $4, but my dream worlds are always 20 years out of touch. I've enjoyed all the Ethan Rilly comics I've ever read and I'm sure to enjoy this one as well. As a fan of serial comic book, this would be my special buy of the week, the reason I went into the store.

imageMAR150332 YOU DONT SAY GN $19.99
The very prolific Nate Powell gets a collection that I think will allow us to track his development while at the same time expose as to a few rarities of the early to mid 2000s publishing wise. I would assume much of this IDW book is made possible by the success of March, and if that's the case, good for March.

MAR150594 SEX #21 CVR A KOWALSKI (MR) $2.99
MAR150595 SEX #21 CVR B NGUYEN (MR) $2.99
MAR150596 SEX #21 CVR C MAHFOOD (MR) $2.99
MAR150605 THEYRE NOT LIKE US #6 (MR) $2.99
MAR150713 ALL NEW HAWKEYE #3 $3.99
FEB151276 KING FLASH GORDON #4 $3.99
DEC141340 KING PRINCE VALIANT #2 $3.99
That's a real mixed batch of comic books, mostly stuff I want to try rather than stuff I'm already buying. I'm furthest in on Sex, actually, and I'm still interested where its mix of explicit comics and 1980s world-building is going. It's like Howard Chaykin's Mr. X. I've been buying They're Not Like Us for Simon Gane's art, and the narrative still feels to me like it hasn't fully started yet. I haven't seen any of the Jeff Lemire-written Hawkeye yet, but I like Lemire on those kinds of comics so this would be the week I will likely rectify that. I also have a fascination for these two King comics, as the narratives are so different. Big exploration week.

MAR151423 LOUISE BROOKS DETECTIVE HC $15.99
I'm charmed by the Amazon.com book description that includes the killer line "this graphic novel by Rick Geary is spun around her actual brief meteoric career as a smoldering film actress who popularized bangs," but basically they had me at Rick Geary. I've been reading all of his old-timey comics whenever I can. He has an interesting way of unpacking a story which works very well for historical crime narratives. Plus I'm fond of actors like Brooks; the churn of celebrity back then is almost wholly different than it is now.

MAR151357 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 02 SAMURAI $16.99
APR151853 YOTSUBA & ! GN VOL 01 NEWER PTG $13.00
These are the two reprints I'd explore if I hadn't started either. Volume 2 is where Sakai settled into more of the creator's voice he's used for the last 25 years. The Yotsuba&! is charming, and never more so than in the first volume -- in fact, I could recommend that as a sample, if you do that kind of thing.

MAR150862 INFINITE BOWMAN GN (MR) $15.00
I've only seen Aulisio's work in fits and starts, although the visual imagination and confident sense of humor seems like it's bigger-book ready. This is your newer talent blind purchase recommendation -- I think Aulisio's still 28. You can get an idea of what you're in for here, although the Infinite Bowman entries dance in and out of the others.

*****

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: Moose Lane

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Go, Look: Profile Of Dame Darcy

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Here. Dame Darcy is one of the more entertaining human beings to make a lot of comics, and this article reflects her current creative slate. I'm happy she's making work in whatever medium she chooses. Darcy was one of the few emerging cartoonists in the mid-1990s to keep a serial comic rather than shifting over to original graphic novel making. I thought the end result was ideal in Darcy's case in that she became a much more interesting cartoonist almost issue to issue, and I'm not sure the development would have been the same for a big burst of pages resulting in a 150- or 200-page book. Long live the Dame.
 
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Go, Look: Bumble Tales

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