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
















May 5, 2015


OTBP: Mother

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Why They Call Them Mavericks

image
 
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Ignatz Submissions Are Now Open

image

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.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Alex Ross Collaborations

image
 
posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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!

image

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!

*****

image

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.

image
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: William Stout Draws Masters Of The Universe

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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

Twitter
* Event Account

Video
* Hanford Sentinel
* Joe Eversole
* NFMUSON

*****



*****

image

*****
*****
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Three Sergio Aragones Mini-Galleries

image
1, 2, 3
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Butch Guice Mini-Galleries

image
1, 2
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through June 2015

image

*****

May 7
* 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 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 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 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

*****



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

 
Go, Look: Forever Vigilant

image
 
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!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, David Lloyd!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 33rd Birthday, Joseph Remnant!

image
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
May 4, 2015


Go, Look: Manifesto Items 003

image
 
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Two Suspects Dead After Shooting Outside Draw Muhammed Contest Event In Texas

The mind boggles in the course of writing such a headline, but there you go. I don't believe anyone should be the victim of violence due to making a cartoon, but I also hold free speech stunts in withering contempt and see them as the different-amendment equivalent of those ding dongs that walk into a Carl's Jr with assault rifles.

My heart goes out to the families of those threatened and harmed.
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Down The Shore

image
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: EC Comics Stories From The Fleagles

image
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
A Quick, Personal Note Regarding Con Attendance

For the very meager worth receiving the news has to a few of you out there, I won't be attending this week's TCAF due to personal matters. I will also not be attending HeroesCon in June. This will make the remainder of my convention year (hopefully): CAKE, CCI, Autoptic (this one is the most iffy), SPX, CXC and CAB. That seems like a ridiculous number of shows for someone not doing many shows, but that's the world we live in now.

I regret not being on hand to celebrate Drawn & Quarterly's 25th anniversary and to see all the friends I don't see anywhere else but in Toronto, or those I see only rarely, period. I hope everyone has a great time in that first-class celebration of the best the art form has to offer and I'll hopefully see you up there next year and for many years to come.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Steve Rude Draws Jack Kirby's Fourth World

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Ted Nasmith's 1990 JRR Tolkien Calendar

image
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Noah Berlatsky could use your advice about crowd-funding.

image* Richard Bruton on BPM #1. Rob Clough on Trash Market. Sean Gaffney on Log Horizon: The Beginning Of Another World. Paul O'Brien on Guardians Of The Galaxy And X-Men: Black Vortex.

* not comics: LA is the new Brooklyn.

* I don't think it's accessible to everyone, but there's a rare Charlie Hebdo discussion here that involves both general sides of that whole mess talking to one another in civil terms.

* one of those people that either hides their name where I can't see it or figures everyone knows them talkes to Robert McLiam Wilson.

* Julia Wertz is going to start teaching comics, and writes about that a bit here. A longtime comics teacher, Dave Lasky, has an intensive coming up in June. Applications are due May 25 for the summer session of Frank Santoro's correspondence course.

* Chris Ware draws a catalog cover. John Paul Leon draws in homage to Jaime Hernandez. Mike Mignola draws The Penguin. Jill Thompson draws Dream and Death. John Thompson draws a cover; I always look at John Thompson's stuff and want to know more about John Thompson.

* here's an interesting post from someone that's trans about how to better portray trans characters in comics.

* finally, I always enjoy looking at a process post, even if it's just images that build to a final cover image.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Daily Blog Archives
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
 
Full Archives