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
















July 27, 2017


Go, Look: MAD Movie Cops

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* there is a massive Osamu Tezuka retrospective planned for next year's Angouleme Festival.

* Comic-Con has made official its 2018 dates: July 19-22 with a July 18 preview night. I hope to be there early July 19 through late July 21 in my standard operating mode: exhaustion, sweat and confusion.

* between now and then it is likely we will see movement if not a conclusion in the Comic-Con case against other shows using "comic con" as a descriptive. As I've stated before, I'm of two minds: I feel like Comic-Con International really does have and has had shows draft behind it with similar models and building on the good word that Comic-Con International surged out of the '90s with even as just about every other show fell to shit. At the same time, the legal remedy of seizing "comic con" really does seem like they're laying claim to a generic word. That's late-nigh dormitory hallway analysis, though; I have no idea the strength of that argument legally and I guess we'll find out at some point.

* with Autoptic suspending things for 2017 I'm not sure most of my comics acquaintances have a significant show to do until September and SPX. That's one of the finest shows going, and the build-up will be beneficial for it, I think. I know there are others between now and then, and I hope to cover them all.

* not comics: I don't pay much attention to the movies and toys parts of Comic-Con as neither I nor anyone I bring in to work on the show (an elite crew... well, small) has much interest in that kind of hype or specialized shopping. Still, I was sad to hear about people counterfeiting Hall H wristbands to access that special part of the movie hype portion of the show. Genre media fans have a really ugly entitled, hustling mentality upon which we should shit at every single opportunity. I know that people think this kind of thing is no big deal because seeing celebrities at panel is a minor life event, but there's a sustained malice in this kind of screwing that strikes me as worse than crimes of incompetence or sudden mistake. I feel badly for the folks that played by the rules that didn't get in, and a four-day pass offer with a promise for better communication at the show, while also tightening things up security-wise, that seems a proper response.

* time is running out for applying to the CAKE Cupcake Award, which is their mentoring and support prize.

* finally, this was the other weird cultural reaction to CCI story from last weekend. That seems extra dumb, although I have to say I flew United and I didn't hear about this from anyone. I carried my bags, though.
 
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If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Ian Johnson Profiles Sonny Liew

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on The Wendy Project.

* festivals extra: Todd Klein reports on the SDCC just past.

* the artist and cartoonist Sarah McIntyre writes a post for those of us that have a hard time talking about drawing with kids. That's right, I am one of those people.

* in addition to everything else she does well, Liza Donnelly has made an additional name for herself as one of those cartoonists that livedraws, or draws quickly in reaction to something she's seeing. Her latest target is Stephen Colbert's late-night talk show.

* Ian Loxam talks to Darryl Cunningham.

* finally, don't forget Gabrielle Bell's July Diary.
 
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Happy 79th Birthday, Pierre Christin!

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July 26, 2017


Go, Look: Michael Deforge Images Mini-Gallery

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Go, Read: Musa Kart Releases Trial Statement

Here. That is a thrilling, heartbreaking read and I urge everyone to give it the four-five minutes it takes to read it all. I can't even imagine facing what Musa Kart has to face here, but that's the point: he couldn't either, until it happened, and it happened in a very matter-of-fact way. Believing it couldn't happen was no defense at all.
 
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Go, Look: Kel McDonald

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Editorial Cartoonist John Darkow's Staff Position Eliminated Amid His Newspaper's Cutbacks

Story at AAEC here; the newspaper is the Daily Tribune in Columbia. Darkow isn't as high-profile a fire as the recent Nick Anderson move that left the entire state of Texas without a staff position, but every such staffed job is significant. In a way, Missouri is the cradle of modern American journalism (schools, range of important newspapers, early partnerships across media), so what papers do there always ends up being a bit more important than same-level moves in similar states.

Darkow was let go at the beginning of the summer, and plans on continuing to draw. I can't tell if his latest two Cagle-syndicated cartoons represent post-staff work or not.
 
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Go, Look: Revolution In Our Lifetime

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This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into The 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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MAY170648 STREET ANGEL GANG HC $19.99
This is splendid-looking, as is a lot of what Jim Rugg does -- particularly with this character.

MAY170066 BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #1 $3.99
MAY170710 SAGA #45 (MR) $2.99
I could find very little in the serial comic book format this time out, but a new BPRD is always welcome by me, and a new Saga is always welcome by comics shops. This was the first Saga I read where I had a hard time remembering some of the narrative through-lines: much more likely a sign of senility on my part than creative decline in the comic book.

imageMAY170382 TMNT USAGI YOJIMBO CVR A SAKAI $7.99
MAY170383 TMNT USAGI YOJIMBO CVR B ARAGONES $7.99
MAR170064 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA LEGENDS LTD ED HC $79.99
MAR170063 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA LEGENDS TP $24.99
I will buy every thing that Stan Sakai makes. I extend this same courtesy to another natural cartoonist, Sergio Aragones, so I'll be picking up at least one variant cover book this week if I can help it.

NOV160071 HOW TO WIN AT LIFE BY CHEATING AT EVERYTHING TP $14.99
I'm not interest in the book, or cheating, but there are illustrations here by the popular proto-comics humor columnist Scott Shaw!. It's been a while since I've seen a lot of his work in one place, so I'd pick up this book in a shop for sure.

MAY171061 CLOUD STORIES GN (MR) $20.00
This is K. Thor Jensen's one-man anthology cycling around the idea of "clouds." Jensen was the youngest member of the Seattle cartooning scene of the 1990s and only rarely releases material so having a full book is great.

JUN171801 HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER AND EVER HC $25.95
JUN171802 HENRY AND GLENN ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR) $12.95
That's another 16 pages of Henry and Glenn material in the latest collection, followed by the latest in the I'm-guessing past-the-crest coloring book trend. I bet a significant percentage of people have tried to color at least one page of one of those books, even if, like me, they're not really coloring people.

MAY170645 SOLID STATE TP $19.99
This is the companion to Jonathan Coulton's new albums, bringing to it the talents of Matt Fraction and Albert Monteys. That makes it the highest curiosity book of the week for those of us lucky to go to stores that carry it.

JUN172265 COMICS ART IN CHINA HC $65.00
JUN172266 COMICS OF CHARLES SCHULZ GOOD GRIEF OF MODERN LIFE HC $65.00
JUN172267 COMICS TRAUMA AND NEW ART OF WAR HC $65.00
Three scholarly books priced for academia. The first one is probably the most interesting, another John Lent exploration of non-Japanese Asian comics. Lent owns that subject matter in English to the point I'm pretty sure he could make up artists and not get called on it for a few years. It's also one of the last areas of comics where I think there are major discovers yet to be made.

JUN172269 JIM SHOOTER CONVERSATIONS HC $40.00
This should be interesting because Shooter's interviews frequently serve a political purpose according to his position on an issue of the time. There's also a wide range of interviews stretching back to his boy-wonder days. Great choice for a volume from this series, although the content may thwart that appraisal.

MAY172122 KIRBY KING OF THE COMICS ANNIV ED SC $24.99
Happy 100th to the King. We're not talking about him enough this month.

APR172092 REED CRANDALL ILLUSTRATOR OF COMICS HC $49.95
I'm happy for every comics biography even when they aren't likely as grand or insightful as work by people like Patrick Rosenkranz and Bill Schelly because I fear a lot of mainstream work is about to fall off a cliff interest-wise, particularly interest in those artists not linked directly to a currently popular super-character. A lot of these artists weren't very well served by coverage at the time they were important figures or immediately after -- Wally Wood's TCJ obit, for example, was 1-2 pages long instead of the 15 it might have been a dozen years later. That price point says fans-only + art book, but it's still nice to have around.

MAY171676 QUEEN EMERALDAS HC GN VOL 02 (OF 2) (C: 0-1-0) $24.99
I don't cover manga very well because I don't read nearly enough of it. I know without reading this specific volume that it's worth picking up because of what seems like so little Leiji Matsumoto available in an easy way to the general public. I hope I remembered to cite the first volume in this column, but probably didn't.

*****

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 18
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)

August 19
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 20
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

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

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

*****

Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

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OTBP: Klaus Magazine 3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* John Seven on the latest from Retrofit.

* go, watch: Christian Adams makes a cartoon.

* Christopher Borrelli profiles Geof Darrow. I like this one: Darrow comes across as articulate, good-humored and down to earth.

* the Algerian man involved with a group of Philadelphia-area people in targeting artist Lars Wilks for death because of his post-Danish cartoons Muhammed-as-dog stunt has come to Philadelphia.

* a bit of not comics: there were a lot of fun feature articles about Comic-Con this year as more and more truly pop savvy writers come of age at various publications. This article about the first Star Wars panel at the show way back in the '70s was one of best of this year's crop.

* things come full circle for Singaporean officials and multiple Eisner winner Sonny Liew.

* remembering Naji al-Ali 30 years later.

* finally: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee on a Captain America comic sounds good to me. Waid's had a pretty good couple of run with that character and Samnee is at the top of his game.
 
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Happy 64th Birthday, Bob Pinaha!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Brannon Costello!

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July 25, 2017


Comics Workbook Announces Its Composition Competition

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Here. A lot of interesting work bursts out of this contest every year, and there are prizes beyond what you learn completing a project according to the Frank Santoro-established guidelines for comics creation.

image from Paul Daniel's 2016 entry
 
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Go, Look: Sara Kipin

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News Special Comic-Con And Pre-Con Announcements 2017

By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a ton more stuff to come, and if I can get my shit together I'll present what's left that seems worth noting in next week's column or as stand-alone. For now, here's what struck me as important in a classic publishing-news sense from Comic-Con International 2017.

image* there will be three new character-driven series in the Hellboy-verse, one of the great solid performers of modern times.

* here's one that seems a bit underplayed: one more volume of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen; one more volume of comics in the careers of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. That one starts next June. I like much of that work, and of course Moore in particular is a top 10 all-time comics-maker in terms of influence. This one sounds like a story to be developed and revisited in the months ahead.

* in my favorite announcements of Comic-Con 2017, Drawn and Quarterly confirmed they'll be collecting and publishing two great serials of the alternative comics era: Berlin in Fall 2018 and Clyde Fans in 2019. They will also be doing a kind of archival treatment of Dirty Plotte with a bunch of support material -- that book already sounds amazing.

* Ed Piskor will be doing a major story-of X-Men series for Marvel over the next few Decembers. That should be fun, and it's forward thinking for the company to let an artist like Piskor provide his take on characters for which I'm assuming he has some affection. It's sort of like DC talking about publishing sellable bookstore perennials, but a different company doing one and not through their serials and events.

* this is potentially interesting: Glenat and IDW partnering on original graphic novel creation. That's going to be all about execution given the crowded market, but the structure is there for support for sure. Nothing blows me away in the first group announced, although Mike Carey is a writer of interest, particularly working with Peter Gross.

* Fantagraphics I don't think announced anything at the show except the completion of the fourth volume in the Pogo series, which is announcement enough. Those are pretty glorious comics, some of the best looking of all time, and I think this is a nice time to place volumes like that into libraries because I don't think that great strip has had a second life even to the extent that a few other equally popular strips have.

* there will also be expansion in the Wildstorm imprint supervised by Warren Ellis. I think that's a good thing. I want to see where that model heads.

* on July 12 Lion Forge Comics expands its all-ages ClubHouse imprint with Glint: Loon's Army, from Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty.

* Frank Miller announced via panel drop-in that he and John Romita Jr. will be doing a Superman: Year One graphic novel. This fits into DC's asserted general strategy of the moment: emphasizing the jumpstart of potential bookstore perennials across several categories. Both of them can still be intriguing artists, although I have to say I can't work up much enthusiasm for another version of an old character.

* Superman to fight Dr. Manhattan soon, or whatever. Man, that thing sounds super-dumb.

* it doesn't get much more solid publishing new of the sweet, sweet books-to-come variety than details for lines arriving from two former DC/Vertigo stalwarts: Shelly Bond's Black Crown line at IDW: Karen Berger's Berger Books group at Dark Horse.

* so many, many, many comics hitting a market that can't handle the comics being published. We're France now.

* finally, Marvel continues to fill out its Legacy publishing slate. Like most of the DC launches this century, I can't tell the difference between these comics and random comics from 2008, say, but maybe I'm not supposed to.
 
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Go, Look: Bianca Xunise

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2017

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*****

July 27
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In Saint Paul, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

July 28
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

July 29
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 30
* If I Were Near Ft. Lauderdale, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

*****

August 4
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 5
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 6
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (WW)

August 11
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 12
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Safari Festival)

August 13
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Boston, I'd Go To This (Boston Comic Con)

August 18
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)

August 19
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)

August 20
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (Terrificon Comicon)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Pensacola, I'd Go To This (Pensacola Comic Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)

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

August 25
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 26
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

August 27
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (Amazing! Hawaii Comic Con)

*****

Events For September 2017 Onward Listed Here

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