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

September 3, 2015

Go, Look: Glenn Head's TCJ Diary

posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

OTBP: Outbursts Of Everett True

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: Andrew Wheeler On Criticism

There's a nice piece up here at ComicsAlliance by the writer Andrew Wheeler about the value of criticism. It's argued in straight-forward fashion. You don't need to know anything about modern Internet parlance and argumentation for it to be an article of value, but there's a lot there for you if you are up to date on such things.

imageNo one's ever liked being criticized. I think an interesting thing that's happened recently that may be different is that as more rewards of status and finance are bled out of creative arts industries there's a lot of pressure put on artists to maximize their careers. Every dissenting opinion hurts, and every bit of attention, good and bad, is processed on a personal level to an astonishing degree -- a 24-hour-a-day ethos of seeing everything as a potential act of someone taking food off of your plate. This makes criticism extra tough because positive notices are seen as being part of the story of each project, and negative attention can make you a villain. It's generally more fun to be a participant than a contrarian, to have someone laud your getting it than crush you for being stupid and biased and failing to understand anything at all.

My own solution to all of it is to write what I want to write, decline to apologize for that writing nor inflate its importance, and to generally seek out connections within an industry of which I feel a part that aren't scrutinized according to brand advancement. I'm not sure I'm doing it right, but I'll continue to try to figure it out. It's very intriguing for me to read a point of view like Wheeler's, a different conception that takes criticism just as seriously.

Dan Clowes' Harry Naybors
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: The Beguiling

posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink

Collective Memory: Jack Kirby Day 2015


Links to articles, posts and other on-line entries regarding any and all celebration of the 98th anniversary of the comics-maker Jack Kirby's birth.


* Interview With Charles Hatfield About Jack Kirby

* Comic Book Apocalypse Show
* Kyle Latino
* TCJ Interview
* The Australian
* The Jack Kirby Chronology
* The Kirby Museum

* #JackKirby

* Brandon Graham

* Carol Tilley 01
* Carol Tilley 02
* Carol Tilley 03
* Carol Tilley 04
* Carol Tilley 05
* Carol Tilley 06
* Carol Tilley 07
* Carol Tilley 08
* Carol Tilley 09
* CBR 01
* CBR 02
* Chris Samnee
* Colleen Doran 01
* Colleen Doran 02
* Comics Alliance 01
* Comics Alliance 02

* Dan Slott
* Den Of Geek

* Gerard Way
* Greg Araujo

* Inside The Cosmic Cube

* Jason Latour
* Jerry Ordway

* LiveAtNewChimeTrek

* Mark Evanier
* Mark Mayerson
* Martin Hand
* 01
* 02
* 03
* Matt Wieringo

* Nerdvana
* NewsOK

* Pop Culture Safari
* popmatters

* Robot 6
* Ron Marz

* Sal Abbinanti
* Saladin Ahmed

* Tech Times
* The Beat
* The Kirby Museum
* Thomas Scioli
* timesunion
* Todd Nauck
* Tom McAuliffe
* Tom Spurgeon
* Tony Moore

* Vox

* Wil Wheaton




posted 7:45 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: A Bunch Of Darwyn Cooke Spirit Drawings

posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

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


By Tom Spurgeon

* SPX has picked up Brandon Graham and Phoebe Gloeckner, a couple of heavy hitters, as late additions. Raina Telgemeier is unable to make it.

* there is an amazingly lengthy con report from Randy Golden that begins here, about a Wizard World Chicago -- a show that used to be the nation's second biggest not once but twice for stretches. It's really useful if you don't go to that kind of show anymore to sort of see what one's like.

* this is the kind of thing that only interests me, but September 19, 20 and 26 all have more than ten events on each date. Wow.

* here's Dustin Harbin's poster for the inaugural Cartoons Crossroads Columbus in early October. I am that show's festival director.

* here's some photos from Derf Backderf of a museum-sponsored 'zine fair that took place in Cleveland last weekend.

* finally, it's great to hear about an event featuring Bob L. Crabb. I had to scan the postcard in because I couldn't find a match on-line, so I want to use it more than once!

posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: A Beautiful Steve Ditko Page From Spider-Man

posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Elk's Run #1. Abraham Riesman on Chicago. Michael Bround on COPRA. Andy Oliver on A Bit Of Undigested Potato.

* there is nothing more fun than an old comic-book cover done in wash.

* cartoonist Ed Piskor notes that Frank Miller's classic run of Daredevil was like many Marvel comics sold as a black and white in certain European countries. That would seem very much worth collecting if you were obsessively into those comics. I wouldn't mind seeing them, and save for the later Mazzucchelli run as collected by IDW I haven't read them in any format for years.

* I always like looking at David Lasky's work: here he posts a rough and a final for one of his more well-known works, a polar bear cartoon that appeared in the Chicago Reader.

* here's a peek at Kevin Necessary, one of a handful of cartoonists employed by broadcast news organizations.

* it's nice to see cartoonists enjoy enough cultural penetration that they're lauded for their work when they make appearances. It wasn't always like that.

* Mark Maynard talks to Phoebe Gloeckner.

* finally, I don't think I've ever seen this particular Jaime Hernandez commercial art from a couple of years ago.
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink

Happy 35th Birthday, Victor Cayro!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 58th Birthday, Paul Chadwick!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 41st Birthday, Ethan Van Sciver!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 52nd Birthday, Joe Matt!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 92nd Birthday, Mort Walker!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

September 2, 2015

Go, Look: Rina Ayuyang At

posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

Digital Service comiXology Announces Deal With Kodansha


Anime News Network has the press release up from digital comics platform comiXology about its deal with Kodansha, and the significant number of comics it will eventually allow them to offer. This includes a comic covered very thorougly in that release: hot series of the moment Attack On Titan.

The release went out yesterday afternoon.

I'll be interested to see how they do the discount structure on that one. A lot of comiXology purchases outside of New Comics Wednesday arrive in the company of sales, and this newest deal should involve enough backstock to potentially make that an interesting choice for a certain kind of manga reading experience.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Whack #3

posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

Police And Editors Discuss Milt Priggee Cartoon

This exchange between a local Fraternal Order Of Police head and a newspaper that ran a Milt Priggee cartoon that reference the Charleston AME murders -- I think this one -- has a respectful back and forth feel to it. What's weird is that the editor doesn't have to just address that particular cartoon but the context of the newspaper's general policy towards cartoons and towards supporting the police.

I find that kind of language fascinating because it show how much we process issues according to frameworks established by social media. A criticism of any public agency, including a police force, shouldn't somehow constitute a withdrawl or diminishment of support in the same way a positive cartoon shouldn't mean full endorsement. That's commercial language, that's not how we used to process ideas, and it's distressing to see that kind of thinking seep into what should be a standard, respectful enterprise: people disagreeing about the issues as presented by a media publication.
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: Bill Utterback's Celebrity Caricatures

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

This Isn't A Library: Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market



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.


JUN151313 CHICAGO HC $24.99
This one encompasses comics out on the stands today; there's one a bit down the page which is last week's. Glenn Head's autobiographical tale moves away from the recent trend towards issues-oriented memoir and explores two of comics' strengths in the area: the ability to depict small details of everyday living and the opportunity to display flashes of interior life along with those physical moments.

imageJUN150568 LAZARUS #19 (MR) $3.50
FEB150596 CASANOVA ACEDIA #4 (MR) $3.99
JUL150545 PLUTONA #1 (MR) $2.99
JUL150548 WE STAND ON GUARD #3 (MR) $2.99
JUN150847 RACHEL RISING #36 $3.99
Fun week for comic-book format comics. I enjoy Lazarus in a very direct, very surface-oriented way; I don't think I've even read the back material included issue to issue, which looks really fun. There's a Mignola-verse, of course. This time out with Casanova felt like one of those pacing-disruption issues, but that creative team does those kinds of stories better than anyone. I think that makes for another trade's worth of material for Bob Fingerman, although I could be wrong. Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox bring us Plutona; I would check it out for either and certainly will for both. We Stand On Guard is the one with giant robots and the US fighting Canada, which always delights me to type out. And with Rachel Rising at #36 I would urge fans to appreciate having productive cartoonists around that want to create work after they've laid their career-defining project to rest.

JUL150788 DAREDEVIL #18 $3.99
Twitter tells me this is the last of the Mark Waid-written, Chris Samnee-drawn comics featuring the Daredevil character. I thought that was an ideally entertaining superhero comic book of the kind I wished a million of when I was a teen. Congratulations to those creators.

Eighteen volumes of this material is interesting to me. I think it's varied a lot in quality, and I think that Conan suffers more than most characters in terms of finding a way for him to work when storytelling is spread out over dozens of pages that used to spend four to six. But they've certainly done well the license, and I like the thought that there are still people around waiting for adventures like these. It's a classic part of the overall comics-reading experience.

Alway, always, always Aragones.

I'm totally unfamiliar with the Donald Duck newspaper material and the team of Al Taliaferro and Bob Karp sounds promising to me. It'd be interesting to see how quickly that commercial crucible boiled the feature down to its core elements.

JUL151715 NARUTO 3IN1 TP VOL 12 $14.99
I'm always for manga being repackaged in a way that encourages more readers. I also like this particular feature for the idiosyncratic, special attention paid to fighting scene to scene.

JUN151380 HEAVY METAL #276 CVR A KIRBY (MR) $7.95
Jack Kirby on the cover of Heavy Metalis certainly something I'd love to see on the stands without having been warned. Of course, I've just now ruined that for you.

Jackie Estrada has a second crowd-funded work of photographs from over the years at various conventions but mostly Comic-Con International. If you spend any time going to cons that decade, to see Marty Nodell on the cover will definitely bring back a few memories.


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.



posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Bookmark: Thunderpaw: In The Ashes Of Fire Mountain

totally missed this one
posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: Warren Craghead Accepts Executive Director Position At Second Street Gallery

The cartoonist and artist Warren Craghead has accepted the position of Executive Director at the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia. Craghead has been involved at the gallery in a variety of capacities since moving to the that community a dozen years ago.

The accompanying PR describes the gallery as one of the oldest contemporary non-profit spaces in the US.

I don't have much to say about this, but I like Craghead as a cartoonist and one thing I admire his comics output is that it has this fine-arts context to it in a matter-of-fact way. This seems a perfect extension of a lot of what he's done with his admirable career. If he attends SPX this year, I hope you'll congratulate him.

Here's the PR: craghead_press_release.pdf
posted 7:45 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: The War Of The Worlds

posted 7:40 am PST | Permalink

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