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
















May 6, 2015


Go, Look: R. Kikuo Johnson At The Bristol Board

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OTBP: The Secret Voice #2

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Go, Look: A Slime To Remember

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Collective Memory: FCBD 2015

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2015 edition of Free Comic Book Day, held May 2 at various comic shops throughout the world.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

*****

Institutional
* Event Site

Blog Entries
* Austin 360
* Heat Vision
* London Fuse
* Monkey See

Facebook
* Entertainment Web Site
* Holiday Web Site

News Stories And Columns
* Bay News 9
* Bloody Disgusting
* Bucks County Courier Times
* Burlington County Times

* Columbia Daily Tribune
* Connect TriStates

* iDigital Times
* IGN

* Edmonton.com

* Hattiesburg American

* io9

* KFYR
* Kotaku
* KSFY

* Money

* Newark Advocate
* News And Record
* NewsOK 01
* NewsOK 02
* NY Daily News

* Omaha.com

* Press And Guide

* scnows.com
* Siouxland Matters
* Stevens Point Journal
* Sydney Morning Herald

* Tech Times
* The Daily Courier
* The News Center
* The News-Herald

* Upper Michigan News Source

* WANE
* Winston Salem-Journal
* Wired
* WKBN
* WKYT
* WQAD
* WMUR
* WTVY

Photos
* AL.com
* Cleveland.com
* Indexed On Twitter

Twitter
* Event Account
* Photos On Twitter

* Francesco Francavilla
* Heroes Online
* Moms Read Comics
* thechrishaley

Video
* Hanford Sentinel
* Joe Eversole
* NFMUSON

*****



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Missed It: Ward Sutton On Mad Men

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through June 2015

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*****

May 7
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 8
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Queers & Comics)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 9
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Chicago Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Athens, I'd Go To This (Ratha Con)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This

May 10
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Jacksonville, I'd Go To This (Collective Con)
* If I Were Near Dartmouth, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 11
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

May 14
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were Near Basel, I'd Go To This (Fantasy Basel)

May 15
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were Near Basel, I'd Go To This (Fantasy Basel)

May 16
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Basel, I'd Go To This (Fantasy Basel)

May 17
* If I Were In Atlantic City, I'd Go To This (ACBC)
* If I Were In Portland, Maine, I'd Go To This (MeCAF)
* If I Were In St. Paul, I'd Go To This (MCBA)
* If I Were In Fort Wayne, I'd Go To This (Appleseed Comic Con)

May 22
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 23
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)

May 24
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This (VanCAF)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Puerto Rico, I'd Go To This (PRCC)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Spectrum)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures 2015)

May 25
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (Denver Comic Con)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Comicpalooza)

May 28
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Phoenix Comicon)

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)

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)

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)

*****

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

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

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)

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)

June 13
* If I Were In NYC, 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)

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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Go, Look: Tall Tales, Clipped

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Fight Club 2 #1. Sean Gaffney on No Game, No Life Vol. 1. Alex Hoffman on Let's Dance A Waltz.

* the site Broken Frontier is in the midst of a fundraiser for an anthology and some of those involved have asked me via separate outreaches for coverage. I'm always a bit confused by fancy anthology, big-money fundraisers, and the idea that a publisher doesn't bring capital to the table. I'm also told forcefully I'm full of shit on those topics: that it shouldn't matter where the money comes from and it's presumptuous to insert myself into the decision-making process of artists who participate. I like the Broken Frontier site and will take some time later today to check out their project, which features several comics-makers I enjoy and is paying them for their work.

* if I were a comics-maker looking for a home for my all-ages work, the numbers they move into the market indicate that Papercutz would be right up there with Scholastic and First Second in terms of desirable publishing partners. Congratulations to the authors.

* not comics: the writer/director James Gunn wrote a longish facebook post about the criticism focused at writer/director Joss Whedon for his new Avengers film. It's worth reading if you're super into these kinds of cultural moments. Again, what I find fascinating is the idea that a subset of fans are certain they know the correct way to use Marvel's property, a level of involvement with licensed properties that's astonishing for how it overreaches functional wisdom about how something like that works. People are writing about fictional characters as if someone writing them a certain way is the same thing as a demeaning act done a real person -- not just as a bad thing in and of itself in terms of cultural messaging. The coarse-dialogue aspect of this is a far distant second item of interest, at least for me. As far as the criticisms themselves go, I would imagine they would be less of an issue if there were a range of strong, prominent female characters in such films on a regular basis, and I suspect some of the energy here is that general criticism brought to bear in this specific circumstance. Whedon clears some accusatory elements floating around the Internet here.

* in the course of some post-dated linking I find a short piece from David Collier on growing up in Toronto, if you feel like scrolling down a bit.

* Tom Gammill noticed several Nancy strips were used as a Mad Men prop.

* finally, Mike Mignola draws the original Avengers and their first bad guy.
 
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Happy 67th Birthday, David Michelinie!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Craig Fischer!

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May 5, 2015


Go, Look: Maciej Sieńczyk

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Bundled Extra: Daniel Clowes To Do Patience Graphic Novel With Fantagraphics, Arriving March 2016

imageA long hinted-at announcement finally hit the Internet today in an interview by Ben Sisario with the cartoonist Daniel Clowes for the Artsbeat blog run by the New York Times. Clowes' next graphic novel, Patience, will come out from Fantagraphics in March 2016. It is described as "a 180-page time-travel adventure." Sisario later describes it as Clowes' longest work.

Clowes' last book was Wilson, which came out in 2010 from Drawn and Quarterly. Fantagraphics is in the process of releasing a slipcase-cover edition of the first 18 issues of Eightball as The Complete Eightball. The book is being snuck into signings and festival appearance and will hit standard channels soon.

As is always the case with Clowes' work, I very much look forward to reading the book.
 
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OTBP: Mother

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Alison Bechdel, Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman Among Those Sitting In For PEN Authors Tonight

Art Spiegelman has helped to round up a small group of prominent comics-makers to fulfill prominent roles at tonights PEN Awards, authors who declines to fill the seats in questions because of their objection giving Charlie Hebdo an award for bravery.

Alison Bechdel wrote what I thought was a very honest piece here, which underlines her uncertainty in fulfilling the role she's been asked to take on. I'm sure there are those that will be horrified by her choice to sit at the awards ceremony and I'm sure there will those criticial of her indecisiveness. People on both sides will likely make sweeping statements as to the artist's motivations in the matter. It's too bad. I think more people are in Bechdel's headspace than those possessed of a greater certainty would care to admit.

One thing with which I agree in Bechdel's statement is that it's better to be more informed than less, better to argue the reality rather than an abstraction, and this site can help with both of those things a bit. Another point of agreement is that what the authors contributing to Charlie Hebdo are up to is different in a number of significant ways from last weekend's noxious free speech stunt that led to deaths in Texas. In fact, just about all they share is that in neither case should people have died or been hurt or threatened with same for the drawing of cartoons. I also share Bechdel's gratitude that there's some additional discussion going on now, although I think the door to fruitful conversation has only been cracked a tiny bit this time out and may by the end of the day be closed altogether... at least until the next time something comes up.

Gerard Biard weighs in.
 
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Go, Look: Why They Call Them Mavericks

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Festivals Extra: Ignatz Submissions Are Now Open

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Submissions for the Ignatz Awards are now open. These are juried at the nominations level and then the nominees are voted upon at the show itself. I always suggest people involve themselves in awards programs and whatever vestiges of industry are left and then back out if they discover it's not something for them, and I'll suggest that here. The awards ceremony is fun; always a bunch of new names, it seems, picking up awards.
 
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Go, Look: Alex Ross Collaborations

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All Eyes Drift Up North: TCAF This Weekend

imageThe Toronto Comic Arts Festival is being held this weekend in and around the big reference library and nearby Marriott. They were announcing guests as late as last week and I'm not sure they've announced all of their programming even yet -- that's always the way they've played it up there, though, and it seems to work for them. That one has settled into places as one of the four or five big books of Spring and the Spring event for art and alt-comics. Their guest list is sublime. I would have killed to have met Killoffer and Hunt Emerson, but every single artists there could hold my attention for two to three hours at a time.

I don't have a ton of tips for this show, but I have a few.

If you're in the US, get your initial money at your bank rather than at an ATM or, god forbid, a money exchange. That's your best value, and every major bank will let you order some foreign currency at no charge -- at least every major bank I've used. Remember that your bank will likely accept back paper currency but not the $1 and $2 coins that Canadians love to saddle you with (and should). Make those last few coins your last couple of tips, or if you're using Pearson buy a meal at the airport.

Too late for this tip now, but I always suggest flying Porter. It used to be because it was much cheaper. Now it's still a little bit cheaper but it's way easier to get from the island where the little airport is to the neighborhood where the show is taking place than it is coming to that neighborhood from Pearson. If you took my advice there, you can take a cab from the airport to say the Marriott for about $22 including tax. Look around on the shuttle; there's likely someone with whom you can share that cab. One thing I didn't know until last year is that a shuttle bus will take you to subway system, which I've found really easy to negotiate. So you can get up there for about $3 or something, it's ridiculous.

This is the show that put Airbnb on the comics show map. Emerald City and the New York shows are a couple of the others that see a lot of business go through that service. Toronto's a good show for this because of the ease of the subways if one is nearby and the laidback energy of the show doesn't make heading back to a decently far-away room like some sort of horrible thing that's happening to you. I don't use this service, I stay at the Marriott when I go, mostly for those sweet, sweet points.

TCAF has really, really strong evening events that I don't think people use with a passion to match their quality. There are shows where evening events are to be avoided, but this isn't one of them. Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest. I always do the Doug Wright Awards for coverage's sake although that show is certainly at a manageable length for anyone with even a glimmer of comics interest.

As far as informal stuff goes, the hotel bars kind of blow so people tend to drift to a variety of places. The bar across the street from the Marriott I think is gone, which is too bad -- that was a nice place for the olds. The Pilot on Cumberland has been a traditional place for the youngs and for older people to send one of their number in before moving somewhere else. I think I've had late-night drinks at Burg's on the Bloor/Yonge corner when that was Burgundy's and now that one's moved down the street? Either/Both seem like a place where you can get a beer in a short walk from what is likely your hotel. The last couple of years I used a place on Charles called 7 West Cafe for post-drinking late-nights and a couple of breakfasts -- that's close without being a constant parade of comics people. I'm afraid I can't help you more than that, though. It's a good show to go with the flow.

I'd go about 30 minutes after opening at the earliest -- it gets a little jammed up right at first. The show floor is amazing; it's a great buying show, with lots of alt- and art-comics people breaking out a winter's worth of comics, prints and art. Make sure you do all of it. There was a windows area I actually just missed for a couple of years, and TCAF will stick people into the back and side rooms. One person I knew didn't realize there was like 80 people upstairs. Really scout out what's there. Kevin Huizenga last year was selling cheap original art!

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Food. There's a small market in the same building as the Marriott. Lunch is pretty solid right around the library, just the walk in off the street places. There's nothing special, but that sort of makes it easier, too: you can pick up a burrito and not have to worry you missed a sublime burrito up the way. Dinner I always recommend grabbing two or three friends and hightailing it via the subway to a destination restaurant, perhaps in Chinatown or over by The Beguiling. And yes, you need to see the Beguiling at some point, if you're not doing an evening program there. I did that with brunch one year, over in that neighborhood, and it worked out great.

The programming is good as a break from the show -- note that some of it is a far enough walk to be 15 minutes on each side. The programming last year went right up to show close, which caught some people I was with by surprise, so make sure you plan for that. The rooms are small, so if you're hoping to see someone, you'll get to see them up close and personal. I prefer spotlights over themed panels at this point, but that's just me. Go to anything Anne Ishii does.

The afterparty last year got great reviews from my fellow olds from Peter Birkemoe's effort to diversify the space so that young people could dance and old people could sit around and complain about young people. Don't be afraid to ask around for that. If you're not supposed to go, tell them you need to cover it for Comics Reporter.

Mostly: have fun. That's a good energy show because people are buying and cartoonists feel less horrible about themselves when people are into buying what they have to offer. Toronto is one of the great cities, The Beguiling is one of the great comic shops, and it's been a long, long winter. Enjoy!

*****

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You should buy some comics.

This may be the strongest line-up of debut books across the board I've ever seen for a comics show. The only thing I think might be there that's not list is a collection of Steven Gilbert's Colville, one of the great, lost comics of the 1990s. Gilbert is back now -- he won a recent Doug Wright honor -- and it'll be interesting to rexplore the work that made his comeback anticipated rather than ignored. That's treasure worth hunting down.

The Drawn and Quarterly book will be the book of the show for its size, for its content (I'm one of ten thousand in there, but trust me: you can cut my entry out with a razor blade and the value goes down .0001 percent), and for the central role that Drawn and Quarterly plays at the show and in Canadian comics. Enjoy being at the show where that one makes its debut.

I'm not kidding when I'm saying almost every book on the list is worth checking out if not buying outright without taking a look at the insides. So it's hard for me to pick a few more. SuperMutant Magic Academy strikes me as a potential major-league fun book. Joe Decie is giving this one out until 100 are gone. The Pigeon Press books look good to me: Burns/Killoffer, a graphic novella from short-story oriented Simon Hanselmann and new (officially self-published) Nick Mandaag. Dustin Harbin is a special guest, and people root for that guy and his work. Who doesn't like the Immonens? Who doesn't enjoy Ed Luce? The Pow Pow Press books look intriguing, there's a new Berlin... it's ridiculous. I can't cover all of them. I'm very jealous of those of you at this show with money for comics.

Remember that because of TCAF's giant guest list you can get a lot of these signed, and as always, remember your local comics shop, particularly if they might have ordered some of this stuff for you. The one great thing about that is that there is work and art to buy that has nothing to do with out weekly buying habits, if that's the direction you wish to go.

*****

The only tip that anyone cared to write the site as an add so far -- one person tweeted it at me -- is that the car service facilitator Uber is in full effect up in Toronto and is a way many folks up there save some money. I've yet to use that service, although like most people visiting New York I have some experience with favorite car services and the like.

******

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Not Comics: William Stout Draws Masters Of The Universe

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Go, Look: Three Sergio Aragones Mini-Galleries

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By Request Extra: Erika Moen's Second Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume

A half-dozen CR readers asked me to place the second volume of Erika Moen's Oh Joy Sex Toy into my next column on crowd-funders. I haven't run the column in a while, so I'll just take care of this with its own post. I imagine this kind of thing is a total slam dunk: a successful first volume, a known quantity, and a popular web iteration. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it's already funded although there are many stretch goals to come.
 
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Go, Look: Butch Guice Mini-Galleries

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Forever Vigilant

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Grant Goggans on March Vol. 2. Rob Clough on Palooka-Ville #21-22. Sean Gaffney on The Devil Is A Part-Timer! Vol. 1. Paul O'Brien on Wolverines Vol. 3. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. Ryley Moore on Daredevil. Alex Hoffman on Last Man Vol. 1. Mark Squirek on Weird Love.

* some poor person from France talks to Chip Zdarsky.

* more on autobio comics, a theme running through various comics places on Tumblr right now.

* here's a not-comics reminder that sometimes businesses go under because of bad business decisions as much as a change in context or the back and forth of the historical tides.

* Johanna Draper Carlson points out that Kate Beaton is going to have a two-book year. It's a very good year when we get multiple works from our best and most popular cartoonists -- we have such a broad array of pretty good ones with sizable followings that we forget the effect that bigger names can have on the excitement level.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco has three story names he'd like to see made part of the Avengers series.

* not comics: a famous writer/director closed down his Twitter account yesterday, perhaps because of backlash to his treatment of a character in a brand-new superhero movie. (I'm not naming names so I can ask my brother if he was aware of this until I mentioned it here. Hi, Whit.) The thing that most interests me here is the certainty of fans that they know not just good/bad treatment of characters they enjoy but correct/incorrect. That's such a victory for those companies, to have people involved with their properties on that level, particularly in that the argument for correct treatment seems much more convincingly whatever gets paid for and put out there by those companies.

* finally, Sean Kleefeld uncovered an old promotional booklet for Gasoline Alley on eBay.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 51st Birthday, Éric Ivars!

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