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
















April 26, 2017


Go, Look: Bearing Witness At Buchenwald

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posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: James Hudnall Needs A Home

Here. The longtime writer's medical issues brought with them their own ask a couple of years ago. This is specifically for assistance in finding Hudnall a new place to live. I hope you'll consider giving.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Primetime Polly And Her Pals

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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.

*****

MAR171735 HOSTAGE HC (MR) $29.95
This is Guy Delisle's latest a shift from his politically inform travelogues into a bit of straight reportage on one person's experience being kidnapped while working for a charitable organization. it is equal parts fascinating and harrowing, and it builds its specific tone out of Delisle's skill with the fundaments of cartooning. I enjoyed it a lot.

imageJAN171778 CRICKETS #6 (MR) (C: 0-1-2) $8.00
FEB170032 LOBSTER JOHNSON PIRATES GHOST #2 $3.99
FEB170037 VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #3 (OF 5) $3.99
FEB170457 COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS #6 (OF 6) $3.99
MAR160556 BITCH PLANET #10 (MR) $3.99
FEB170581 BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #5 (MR) $3.99
FEB170657 KILL OR BE KILLED #8 (MR) $3.99
FEB170894 BLACK PANTHER #13 $3.99
A lot of books out this week that I'm interested in owning, including a nice group of serial-format comic books of one type or another. There's two up top from the Mignola-verse, including the one drawn by the great Paul Grist (Visitor). IDW's re-serialization of Comic Book History of Comics continues. A strong run of Image Comics includes the latest Bitch Planet, the most recent comic from that dour Jonathan Nickman illumnati-noir, and the latest from Brubaker/Phillips team. I'm still interested in the Black Panther series as a riff on the Marvel house formula of the 1990s structure and tone wise.

JAN170631 LOAC ESSENTIALS HC VOL 10 DAN DUNN SECRET OPERATIVE 48 $29.99
JAN170632 STAR HAWKS HC VOL 01 $39.99
It is a wondrous thing two such relatively obscure comics have big books coming out and how we don't even question how much of a miracle this is. The Star Hawks in particular might read far different all at one.

MAR171736 ONE HUNDRED DEMONS HC $21.95
JAN171110 BLACK WIDOW TP VOL 02 NO MORE SECRETS $17.99
FEB171163 PEARLS BEFORE SWINE TP PEARLS HOGS THE ROAD (C: 0-1-0) $18.99
FEB170714 STREET ANGEL AFTER SCHOOL KUNG FU SPEC HC $19.99
NOV160072 WB DUBAYS THE ROOK ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 (C: 0-1-2) $19.99
It's a strong week for collection/reprints. If you don't own the Lynda Barry book, you should; it's one of her bests and she's a colossal figure in North American Cartooning. I like Chris Samnee's art on the Black Widow comic; I think leaves with us one book to go. Stephan Pastis is on tour behind this latest book and someone smart in your family or friends reads it without you knowing. Jim Rugg has the skill to take your breath away every time out. The Rook Archives collects comics on the newsstand when I was a kid that slightly frightened me. Someday I'll read them again.

JAN170576 HER BARK & HER BITE TP $9.99
This is a new short book from an illustrator turned comics maker. I like the price point, and I like the book's general tone and look -- halfway between Eleanor Davis and Brecht Evans. I'm hopefully interviewing the artist this week or next.

DEC161682 DRAW OF SPORT HC MURRAY OLDERMAN (C: 0-1-2) $24.99
This is a delightful book of sports cartoons contextualizing their purpose and the time each was done. Great voice in both the cartooning and prose from its author, and a bunch of wonderful stories and sportsman are profile. A love letter from a different time in the world of cartooning.

*****

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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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Drew Friedman's Post About His Forthcoming SOI Exhibition Contains Tons Of Art

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Jim Demonakos Leaves ReedPop To Pursue New Ideas

Jim Demonakos announced on Monday that he'll be leaving his current position at convention organizer ReedPOP. Demonakos secured the position at ReedPOP secured after the 2015 sale to the company of the extremely well-liked Emerald City show he founded in 2003. Demonakos will continue to consult for the company.

I would think that this is a loss for ReedPOP and a near-certain gain for whatever entities with whom he decides to work in the future. I know enough people have expressed dismay over the impact that the one-time retailer just going from direct to indirect influence on ECCC has had on the show, something which I have taken to be a sign of their affection for Demonakos.

I look forward to seeing what Demonakos chooses to do next. I would imagine he would have one of the broader ranges of opportunities for a comics free agent of recent vintage, and we've had some superstar editors shift gigs. Apparently, Demonakos will take that next step in the Pacific time zone, moving back from the East Coast to Seattle.
 
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Go, Look: Food For Thought

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a re-run, but I will always consider running Al Williamson
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2017

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*****

April 27
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 28
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 29
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (FLUKE)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 30
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

*****

May 2
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)

May 5
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 6
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 7
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Ashville, I'd Go To This (Ashville Zine Fest)

May 12
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 13
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

May 19
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

May 20
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 21
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 23
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 25
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 26
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 28
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For June 2017 Onward Listed Here

*****

Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

*****



*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: The Gentlemen Of The Jury

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lurid, beautiful Russ Heath art
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* James Whitbrook on Batman '66/Wonder Woman '77 and Star-Lord #6.

* the latest era at Marvel Comics I would suggest begins when they brought the Inhumans to the forefront of the company. At the time it seemed like a pile-on: Marvel's deep bench included a little-utilized Jack Kirby concept! It hasn't gone well in its execution.

* Laurenn McCubbin pointed out to me something that sounds like it'll be true: if this WGA strike happens, comics companies are going to be crushed by an avalanche of writers seeking work. If you're an acquisitions editor, maybe volunteer for a different gig?

* people shit on Jack Kirby's scripting but I think his raw, emotional, bombastic approach works great here.

* finally: a discussion about taking a story unpopular with many fans right out of its appropriate continuity.
 
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Happy 87th Birthday, Bruce Jay Friedman!

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indulge me; i love that essay
 
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Happy 51st Birthday, Michael Kupperman!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Matt Dembicki!

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April 25, 2017


Go, Look: Three Commissioned Dave Cooper Posters

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A Few Late Thoughts On Gisele Legace Being Denied Entry At The US Border To Attend C2E2

imageDavid Pierce's report on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund panel at C2E2 contains a smart summary and additional context on the story of artist Gisèle Legacé not being to get into the US for C2E2, and her undergoing the shitty process that saw her rejected for entry, fingerprinted and put on a list.

I only have two thoughts of any substance and even that's debatable.

One is that I'm sorry Legacé had this experience. That's just awful. I wouldn't come back, either, and if I were from somewhere not the US I'd be hesitant to try. I think we'll see a bit more of that, particularly if it continues.

Two is that we all need to give this some more thought in terms of preparing those traveling wherever they're going. This includes artists, publishers featuring artists and festivals themselves. Most do an exemplary job; this set of issues has been around for as long as I've been in comics. I'm not sure preparation played any role here, but it can't hurt in these times to review this kind of information-sharing. At this point I would imagine there are few surprises as to potential questions asked, and a mostly clear picture on what most countries likely to have a comics show allow or don't allow in terms of people doing business from out-of-country. My guess is everyone's script now needs to include what to do if an artist is held and/or rejected at any border.
 
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Go, Look: Another Array Of BWS Conan Covers

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Artist Bill Sienkiewicz Wins Spectrum 24 Awards Ceremony's 2017 Grand Master Award

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You can see the giant list of winners here. The Spectrum Awards were created by Cathy and Arnie Fenner in 1994 to recognize art working in various out-there genres and thus a large number of their winners come from the comics world where skills with such art are in high demand. Congratulations to all recognized. The e-mail I was sent this morning indicates that Mr. Sienkiewicz was on hand to accept his honor.
 
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Go, Look: Will Eisner's 1977 Spirit Portfolio

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Bundled Extra: Another Week, Another Line-Wide Refurbishing

imageI have the same response to most line-wide initiatives, of which the new Marvel "Your New Friends + Your Old Friends" Legacy seems to be a prime example. I don't buy line-wide anything. I didn't when I bought a lot of of superhero comics, and I certainly don't now that they're a part of but nowhere near the majority of what I purchase at comics shops and conventions. I buy individual comic book series runs. Always did. When I can't understand them because I'm supposed to be buying other comics to do so, I just drop my original choice. I'm always more interested that there be four or five or six mainstream comics series worth reading than I am all of the comics publisher to publisher meet a certain standard or do certain things or pluck certain strings. I look at comics for my living and I could not describe qualities of any of the two dozen most recent calibrations undertaken by these companies if the fate of the planet depended on it. I do remember some comics series I've liked along the way.

This plan strikes me as sort of interesting because of the notion now being floated by some that diversifying the characters within your fictional universe can't push off to one side the original characters that for whatever reason a certain intense fanbase is willing to follow for decades at a time. This makes sense not as an assessment of diversifying characters -- again, my hunch is a lot comes back to the quality of any line book to book -- but the fact that they're playing with such thin margins now it's all hands on deck. Figuring these things out is why publishing can be an art, too. It should be interesting to see if Marvel can bring some sense of different creatives being involved when they start assigning books.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through May 2017

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*****

April 27
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 28
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 29
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (FLUKE)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)

April 30
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Planet Comicon)
* If I Were In New Jersey, I'd Go To This (East Coast Comicon)
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This (Calgary Expo)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

*****

May 2
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)

May 5
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 6
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Pen America World Voices Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)

May 7
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Ashville, I'd Go To This (Ashville Zine Fest)

May 12
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 13
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 15
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

May 17
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

May 19
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

May 20
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

May 21
* If I Were Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This (Three Rivers Comicon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 23
* If I Were In Calgary, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 25
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 26
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

May 28
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (MegaCon)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (FBDM)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brighton, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For June 2017 Onward Listed Here

*****

Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

*****



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

 
Go, Listen/Missed It: Gil Roth Interviews Ed Koren

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Cave Carson #5.

* I didn't get too far into this discussion over whether or not Team Valiant think Valiant is an indie comics publisher, but I suspect by the old definition you could argue that. Indie publishers were originally 1980s comics companies whose distinction was ownership independent of classic newsstand publishers like Marvel and DC. People felt that the switch in ownership was key in allowing a broader range of better comic books. Alternative comics, by contrast, came slightly later, and were mostly publishers that believed that there had to be further devotion to making material that contrasted sharply with the industry's dominant genres and modes. I don't know how useful either definition is applied to now, particularly in that Valiant's 1990s heyday was as a company that hoped for equal footing with the classic newsstand giants by operating in much the same way: company-owned, editorially-driven, shared-universe, creatively assigned serial comic books. The ownership of Modern Valiant, though, seems to be constructed differently, with slight variations in editorial emphases as a result, and like the 1980s companies they strive to derive advantage from that.

* the real answer, of course, is "who gives a shit?" Apparently, there was an award involved.

* by request extra: the Family Man crowd-funder nears its initial goals with rapidity. I quite like both of those creators, although I wasn't a fan of this collaboration in the mid-1990s and I don't remember a whole lot of people disagreeing with me in that reviews at the time weren't strong, its line didn't receive a boost from it, and since then it's been a cheap used-book staple. Still, that's a comic many people could enjoy; it's certainly one they're willing to support with pledged money.

* finally, French cartoonists react to the recent first stage of the two-stage election in France. You'll find some of the takes frighteningly familiar.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 90th Birthday, Albert Uderzo!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Peter Sanderson!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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