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February 11, 2016


Late Congratulations To Ken Parille On Fifteen Years With The Daniel Clowes Bibliography

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In a recent post at his own site Blog Flume, the very fine writer about comics Ken Parille noted it has been 15 years since he launched The Daniel Clowes Bibliography. It remains one of the great, straight-forward, sensible and useful places on all of the comics Internet, and I'm grateful that he's kept it going.

I've worked on a similar project in another field. The great thing about something like that for me was that yes, it helps others to have this resource, but it also reminds your creative side that you can do something on-line that's not wrapped up in selling yourself to the biggest audience possible.

Congratulations and thank you to Ken Parille.
 
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OTBP: Take It As A Compliment

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Go, Read: Dave Filipi On Films Adapted To Comics Form

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Dave Filipi, who is the director of film/video at Wexner Center For The Arts here in my new hometown of Columbus is a great friend of comics and cartoonists. I'm not sure I've read him write on comics at any length, so I look forward to diving back into his piece on film adaptations for Film Comment after a cursory look this morning.

The stuff on the older adaptations is fascinating, particularly the idea of how scoring a Dell adaptation was a valued get by publicists because of the numbers involved, and how the production process of such comics meant that sometimes the comic would emphasize different scenes than the finished film.

Film adaptation are also something that I always think has a chance of being reinvigorated at different nexus points throughout the industry than the way it's done right now. I may be waiting forever, though. Without a lot of money involved it's hard to imagine some cartoonists taking those rare moments of freedom to work on their own stuff to pursue a gig that employs different skills in service, or at least related to, other artists' work. But all it takes is for someone to be creative enough to find a way that this is more regularly done.
 
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Go, Bookmark: What We Mean By Yesterday

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the application part of the Small Press Expo exhibitor registration process begins tomorrow. Not a lot of shows offer up a significant part of their exhibition space to an open process, but the new-artist discovery of that particular show wouldn't work with a fully curated festival. If you're a young person that makes comics, I encourage you to go for it.

* Nick Sousanis will soon be stomping around the grand small city of Champaign, Illinois. You should go see him.

* finally, this looks like a potentially interesting effort to do a virtual con via video presentation in comic book shop, although I'm still a little unclear what the final product looks like. There are so many conventions now. One outcome of that is people are going to find a way to present all of them as a thing in addition to all the little battles that are occurring. One concern I see emphasized is how the convention experience can tie into an experience the other 360 days a year, and this looks to be a half-step in that direction, too, at least conceptually.
 
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Go, Look: Denis Medry

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Go, Look: Yes, Krtek

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By Request Extra: Batton Lash Launches Another Kickstarter

I made some noise here the other day that I'm fascinated by older cartoonists that make use of crowd-funding mechanism. By older artists I mean those that are coming to that way of funding after more traditional ones. Comics has a really bad history of dumping creators while they still have good work in them, and crowd-funding may provide a way around that. Project to project, crowd-funding makes possible projects via reaching a small number of readers than just about any comics project that simply isn't a publisher providing blind support to a favorite artist or project. In other words, in the case of a small, core audience crowd-funding is a more efficient match than reaching out to those same fans through the inefficiencies of a multiple-play market. In addition, it's not like this is a either/or proposition; a project can do both, and perhaps pull an enthusiastic $20 payer into the role of a $40 payer.

It looks like indie veteran Batton Lash is exactly what I'm talking. He and partner Jackie Estrada have made crowd-funding what seems to be a permanent part of plans for publishing Batton's work. They have just announced a book called A Vampire In Hollywood, And Other Stories Of Supernatural Law, the seventh in that series overall and at least the third partially funded this way. They're seeking $9500.
 
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Go, Look: Sketch Portfolio From 1986 UKCAC

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2016

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*****

February 12
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

February 13
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Dallas, I'd Go To This (Dallas Comic Con Fan Days)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

February 14
* If I Were Near National Harbor, I'd Go To This (Katsucon)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This (LA Art Book Fair)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)
* If I Were In Phoenix, I'd Go To This (Amazing Arizona Comic Con)
* If I Were Near Dallas, I'd Go To This (Dallas Comic Con Fan Days)
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Festival Of The Photocopier)

February 15
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

February 16
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

February 17
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

February 18
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

February 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

February 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Macon, I'd Go To This (Middle Georgia Comic Convention)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)

February 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Portland)
* If I Were In Macon, I'd Go To This (Middle Georgia Comic Convention)
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Expo)

February 25
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This

February 26
* If I Were In Warren, I'd Go To This (GLCC)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This (MSU Comics Forum)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

February 27
* If I Were In Warren, I'd Go To This (GLCC)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were Near East Lansing, I'd Go To This (MSU Comics Forum)

February 28
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Cleveland)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (FZF)
* If I Were In Jersey City, I'd Go To This

February 29
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

*****

March 1
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

March 2
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This

March 3
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This

March 4
* If I Were In Princeton, I'd Go To This

March 5
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)
* If I'm Near Wherever I Have To Be Near To Do This, I'll Do It
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

March 6
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (STAPLE!)

March 10
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 11
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 12
* If I Were Near Ontario, Oregon, I'd Go To This (Border Town Comic Con)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

March 13
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 14
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 15
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 16
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)

March 17
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In Champaign, I'd Go To This

March 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 19
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 20
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (C2E2)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (SVCC)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Las Vegas)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (Nextcomic)
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This (Silicon Valley Comic Con)

March 23
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

March 25
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 26
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This (DINK)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 27
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (WonderCon Los Angeles)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Sakura Con)

March 29
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 30
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 31
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For March 2016 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: The Fighting Yank #29

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Swamp Thing #1.

* a civil case against Marvel for Iron Man designs the plaintiffs say were taken from their own armored superhero designs of several years earlier has been kicked out of a state court system when it was found there was no basis for having the case in that state's court system.

* Grave Bello talks to Daniel Clowes.

* the front half of this PW article on Angouleme you've seen in dozens of other places: all the controversies. The back half gets into the interesting rights scene, and is a bit more fun.

* there a couple of things to note about this comic shop profile, of a store in Cincinnati: the first is that the design aesthetic backs away from the overload of visual input mode that many stores favor; the second is that the store own as a business for someone late in their career doing a bunch of different stuff. I think that will be a significant percentage of comics retail outlets in 20 years.

* finally, Jason draws Lemmy.
 
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Happy 46th Birthday, Reinhard Kleist!

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Happy 48th Birthday, Mo Willems!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Drew Sheneman!

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February 10, 2016


Go, Look: Stream

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This One Summer Pulled From Multiple School Districts In Florida

imageBrigid Alverson is probably the best place to start with the ongoing news story of the award-winning This One Summer being pulled from school libraries in districts in Florida. I'd then move to Maren Williams for the usual, thorough, CBLDF write-up.

You should also watch a regional TV news report on the initial complaint and a follow-up story.

I think it's fair to say the basic storyline here is a mother making a complaint against the Caldecott Honor winning book based on profanity standards for an elementary school collection, local media driving a wider and not-deserved sense of alarm about the book, the combination of which led to removals not just in the original library or library-level, but in multiple libraries including high school collections. More challenges could take place, the process of which can be Byzantine and may even be problematic because except for that first complaint these aren't advocacy-based pulls and there therefore might not be a lot force to a complaint against which anyone can push back.

It's a textbook example how an act of censorship can be built out of policy that's lazy, or that favors a lack of engagement, as opposed to an evil cabal of unpleasant people or politically motivated lawmakers desperate to step between consumer and customer. It can be the difference between slugging it out with General Zod and picking your way through a Kafkaesque system of gentle denial that might disappear if you look away. Both are dangerous.
 
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Go, Look: Dorothy Dare

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Your Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics 2016 Nominees

imageThe Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics surges into its second year at a time when diversity in comics continues to be something championed and appreciated by just about everyone save a few bruised, possible damaged souls. McDuffie was a significant presence in comics and animation based on comics before his untimely death the day after his 49th birthday.

The awards announced their nominees today through I think Hollywood Reporter. If I'm not right about that, the show business publication had the article very quickly upon its announcement.

The nominees are:

* Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven, Brandon Easton And Denis Medri (IDW Publishing)
* Fresh Romance, Janelle Asselin, Editor (Rosy Press)
* Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder And Natacha Bustos (Marvel Entertainment)
* Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson And Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment)
* Zana, Jean Barker And Joey Granger (Emet Comics) (pictured)

Ms. Marvel was also nominated in 2015 for the inaugural award.

The winner will be decided by a committee consisting of Neo Edmund, Joan Hilty, Joseph Illidge, Heidi MacDonald, William J. Watkins and Matt Wayne.

Marc Bernardin will provide the keynote address on February 20 in conjunction with Long Beach Comic Expo. Congratulations to all of the nominees.
 
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Go, Look: Tara Booth

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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.

*****

NOV150469 RENEE GN (MR) $29.95
Top Shelf did Ludovic Debeurme's Lucille several years ago I think in part to expand on the part of their catalog that might remind one of Blankets: a very good-looking moments, full of romantic moments and a massive drop in terms of the number of pages involved. A lot has changed for the publisher since then, and I'm glad to see them go back to Debeurme with IDW's backing support and all the wisdom they gained with that previous work.

imageOCT151287 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #4 REG SMITH $3.99
OCT151288 TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #4 SUBSCRIPTION YOUNG $3.99
DEC151259 BADGER #1 (MR) $3.99
DEC151323 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #7 $3.99
NOV150583 AUTUMNLANDS TOOTH & CLAW #9 (MR) $2.99
OCT150566 THEYRE NOT LIKE US #11 (MR) $2.99
DEC150072 ABE SAPIEN #31 MAIN CVR $3.50
This is a solid if not exactly spectacular week in comic-book format comics. It's always a joy to get new Jeff Smith, and this issue of Tuki features a kind of restful repurposing and, on some copies, a variant cover by Skottie Young. Badger precedes even Jeff Smith's first book, Bone; the Mike Baron-scripted character is a war vet whose martial arts prowess is augmented by mental illness -- not exactly a concept for right now, although it seems like one from which you could squeeze a movie or a few more small runs. It's a tough market, though. Ed Pisko continues to climb Comics Mountain in a serious bid for top dog. Dogs are a big part of Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw; I liked this issue enough to mention it here because it seemed to bring with it a definite shift in terms of pacing, which I think will benefit the book if it's around for a long time. They're Not Like Us seems to have slowed down a bit pacing-wise, but I'm too busy looking at Simon Gane's art to care. Finally, here's your Mignola-verse comic book of the week.

OCT150048 ELTINGVILLE CLUB HC $19.99
This Dark Horse collection of the latest -- and last -- material featuring Evan Dorkin's sometimes-severe take on the stunted lives of geek culture fans comes hot on the heels of an all-in-one collection of the cartoonist's name-making Bill & Ted comics work to make this a great year for fans like me. I'm not sure how much this later Eltingville material hit with fans old and new, but I know Dorkin didn't flinch when it came to portray his awful, awful yet hilarious people.

NOV151335 WALT & SKEEZIX HC VOL 06 1931 - 1932 $44.95
DEC151270 WAS SHE PRETTY GN (D&Q ED) (MR) $19.95
A Walt & Skeezix volume is always cause for celebration, and my memory is that the next ten volumes will all demand immediate purchase and comic-strip worship, too. That's a powerful format, and great work. Was She Pretty is the other major offering from D&Q this week, bringing back to print the Leanne Shapton book based on the relationship built since that book came out with another publisher's name on it, I'm thinking about ten years ago.

NOV151315 PUBLIC RELATIONS #5 (MR) $3.99
I hope this comic was created just to make PR jokes about comics. Comics is obsessive about the idea of PR campaigns.

DEC151439 AS YOU WERE VOL 04 LIVING SITUATIONS $10.00
This is a small press anthology I believe to be -- not sure -- based mostly out of the San Francisco area. A bunch of the young people live here, like Ben Passmore and Liz Suburbia and we don't have enough anthologies catching comics at the moment between early expression and young maturity.

OCT150080 GIGANTO MAXIA TP $13.99
This is the manga out there this week that I'd choose to read; a return to comics by the creator of Berzerk.

DEC151325 CRICKETS #5 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) $7.00
NOV151393 LOVE & ROCKETS LIBRARY GILBERT GN VOL 06 COMICS DEMENTIA $19.99
OCT151450 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 08 $14.99
NOV151394 EC REED CRANDALL & FELDSTEIN HIGH COST OF DYING HC $29.99
AUG151472 UNDERWORLD HOBOKEN TO HOLLYWOOD HC $39.99
NOV151392 NOD AWAY GN $24.99
This is a massive week for Fantagraphics, good gravy. Starting with their distribution of Sammy Harkham's great one-artist anthology Crickets, which I think we may see more frequently now. The Love & Rockets library volume has a whole bunch of out-there Beto, and the new New Stories continues Jaime Hernandez's recent run of powerfully drawn and well-observed Locas comics. I don't know when the next format switch comes, but this is a nice ending point if it becomes one. Fantagraphics' series of EC books has been most beneficial to me as an avenue for reconsidering those great artists at EC that weren't one of the two or three super-iconic figures at the groundbreaking publisher. Crandall fits that bill for me and I'll enjoy that one like deeply hardy meal. That Underworld is my late-night reading choice right now, and is such an excellent book to have just fall from the sky without warning like this one did for me. Finally, Nod Away is Joshua Cotter's return to comics, and a welcome one, a suspenseful drama told with science fiction droppings.

*****

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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Go, Bookmark: Maps To The Suns

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Festivals Extra: ReedPOP Moving Away From Their NYC Show Focused More Explicitly On Comics-Makers

Heidi MacDonald had a nice catch here based on an idea she unearthed while talking to ReedPOP's Lance Fensterman and then tracking subsequent media appearance by the convention organizer. They won't be doing their "Special Edition: NYC" show this year. This was their NYC show focused on North American comics creators as opposed to the bigger spread of media properties that are the backbone of their popular New York Comic Con event.

I never quite caught the strategy of that one, but I assumed it was partly trying out a slightly different formula and partly staking claim to New York across the board, but I can't be sure. ReedPOP and Fensterman are certainly busy trying out specialized shows and shows out of North America; MacDonald suggests that a stand-alone manga/anime event may be in the offing. I'm pretty sure with the number of small events and the general costs of New York that a competing show featuring North American comics creators in the same way as the Special Edition event did isn't going to happen unless some comics fan out there gets into a Brewster's Millions scenario.

I'm generally worried about an industry overly reliant on shows as opposed to these being the icing on a digital/DM/bookstore cake, but I'm not sure I can articulate a compelling reason why I have those fears.
 
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Go, Look: Elena Casagrande Superpeople Portraiture

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Go, Look: Classic Marvel Bullpen Self-Portraits

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