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















August 14, 2018


OTBP: Minor Leagues #6

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Go, Read: Tim Hodler And Eric Reynolds Talk About The ComiXology Originals Announcement At Length

Here. Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds makes three really good points in a rambling conversation (in a good way) with TCJ editor Tim Holder.

The first is that Amazon is so huge that they do things and there's a result and some of their biggest moves have had a devastating effect on entire populations. (What's different about Amazon is they are a big company that wants to exist within Seattle city proper as opposed to a nearby, smaller city the way Microsoft did.) The second thing is that comiXology seems to be a good citizen of comics -- it's important to say that, both for how that matters and how it might not. The third is that the POD quandary they're discussing really does sound insidious, if only accidentally so, and is the kind of unintentional consequence that we used to talk about in the most powerful days of Diamond as a distributor.

Kudos to Tim and TCJ for giving us that entire conversation and paying attention to those issues as an industry leader like Reynolds begins to form his thoughts around them.
 
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Go, Look: Why We Don't Use Chemical Weapons

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied, Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* not sure when the book bearing this lovely cover is coming out, but I always keep an eye on Jim Blanchard's web site and try to see him at Short Run.

* this article from Mark Evanier has two pieces of publishing news in it: fifth volume of the Pogo series in the next six to eight weeks, his big Kirby book perhaps around Christmas 2019. One reason I'd love to see the Kirby book because I think there are three or four other Kirby books authors are waiting on doing until they see Evanier's.

* more signs of Marvel's publishing strategy floundering come in this piece about a random X-Men title having a name asserted to be more important than the others, being made weekly to start -- with all the headaches for retailers that comes with that -- and teasing death as a narrative emphasis. I am grateful that some nice people that work as artists will likely get a ton of variant cover work that one suspects will come with this effort, but this whole thing just looks like burnout. The problem is we all know these tactics work to the point that the publisher can move on to the next set of external tactics. But beyond that?

* great catch-up on two projects from the mighty Nina Bunjevac, including some astounding-looking art.

* a protected post by Drew Friedman has alerted me to a forthcoming career retrospective volume featuring William Stout. What a fun artist and inspiring career.

* finally, a look at the Jay Lynch anthology coming out for Christmas, the latest in Patrick Rosenkranz' formidable line of works about the underground greats.

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2018

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*****

August 15
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 16
* If I Were Near White River Junction, I'd Go To This (Comics And Medicine)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Cupertino, I'd Go To This

August 17
* If I Were Near White River Junction, I'd Go To This (Comics And Medicine)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 18
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were Near White River Junction, I'd Go To This (Comics And Medicine)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 19
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Flame Con)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 20
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 21
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 22
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 23
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

August 24
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 25
* If I Were In Boise, I'd Go To This (Boise Comic Arts Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 26
* If I Were In Boise, I'd Go To This (Boise Comic Arts Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 27
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 28
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

August 29
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

August 30
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

*****

September 1
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 2
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 3
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 4
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 5
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 6
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (SLCC)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 7
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (SLCC)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 8
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (SLCC)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (LBCC)
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (Staple!)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 9
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (LBCC)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

September 10
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)

September 11
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)

September 12
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)

September 13
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)

September 14
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Keystone Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Fandemic)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 15
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Keystone Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Fandemic)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 16
* If I Were In Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Keystone Comic Con)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Festival Day)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Fandemic)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)

September 17
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)

September 18
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This

September 19
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 21
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (AAEC)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

September 22
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 23
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (AAEC)

September 27
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)

September 28
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (BCC)

September 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (BCC)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

September 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (CXC)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (BCC)

*****

Events For October 2018 Onward Listed Here

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Go, Look: Nia Wilson's Death Was An Emotional Trigger For Me

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Daniel and Mark Oppenheimer dialogue about Michael Kupperman's All The Answers. I like these kinds of pieces because I get to learn about how people not used to reading comics read comics, but I also find some of the specific inquiries frustrating and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't let people interview opera or poetry out of a kind of slapped-together aesthetic. Matt Vadnai on My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.

* all my dreams are of the Billy Ireland book sale.

* this Noah Van Sciver bit of drama does nothing to dissuade anyone that complaining on-line won't help.

* that seems to me like a pretty good price for a Steve Rude print. No idea why that's in my feed, it could be up to 10 years old.

* not comics: this is one of my favorite Aretha Franklin videos to go look at, because it's not that great a song, or at least not a song you'd think of as matching her legendary strengths.

* finally: Bruce Worden ponders the "personal relationship with a bat" aspect of Batman.
 
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Happy 75th Birthday, John Costanza!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Jimmy Palmiotti!

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Happy 68th Birthday, Gary Larson!

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August 13, 2018


Go, Look: Emily Lewis

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Your 2018 Harvey Awards Nominees

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Here. They've been refurbished. I was asked at one point to be a judge but my life ability to cope with it is such that I didn't even find the time to give the invite e-mail a second read let along participate. People will like focus in on the lack of a humor category -- I thought it was nice to be able to win an award for one's humor named after Harvey Kurtzman -- and a straight-up, broad adaptation category. I understand both decisions to approach those things they way they're approaching them, even though neither would have been on my personal list of ways to do it.

I'm going to link to paper versions of these works, but I'm they're also all available on comiXology, given Chip Mosher's apparent involvement, or on one of the publisher-exclusive digital programs.

Winners are to be named at NYCC on October 5. Good luck and congratulations to all the nominees.

*****

Book of the Year

* Black Hammer: Secret Origins, Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse).
* Boundless, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn and Quarterly).
* Everything Is Flammable, Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Books).
* Hostage, Guy Delisle (Drawn and Quarterly).
* Kindred, Octavia E. Butler; adapted by Damian Duffy and illustrated by John Jennings (Abrams ComicArts).
* Lighter Than My Shadow, Katie Green (Lion Forge).
* Monstress, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image).
* My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics).
* Roughneck, Jeff Lemire (Gallery 13).
* Shade The Changing Girl, Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone (DC Comics).
* Spinning, Tillie Walden (First Second).
* The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui (Abrams Books).
* The Customer Is Always Wrong, Mimi Pond (Drawn and Quarterly).
* The Flintstones, Mark Russell and Steve Pugh (DC Comics).
* The Prince And The Dressmaker, Jen Wang (First Second).

*****

Digital Book of the Year

* Bandette, Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain).
* Barrier, Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente (Panel Syndicate).
* Check, Please!: #Hockey, Ngozi Ukazu (checkpleasecomic.com).
* Not Drunk Enough, Tess Stone (ndecomic.com).
* The Tea Dragon Society, Katie O'Neill (teadragonsociety.com).

*****

Best Children or Young Adult Book

* Brave, Svetlana Chmakova (JY).
* Real Friends, Shannon Hale and LeUyeun Pham (First Second).
* Spinning, Tillie Walden (First Second).
* The Prince And The Dressmaker, Jen Wang (First Second).
* The Tea Dragon Society, Katie O'Neill (Oni Press).

*****

Best Adaptation from a Comic Book/Graphic Novel

* Atomic Blonde, Directed by David Leitch for Focus Features. Adapted from The Coldest City (Oni Press).
* Black Panther, Directed by Ryan Coogler for Walt Disney Pictures. Adapted from Black Panther (Marvel Comics).
* The Lego Batman Movie, Directed by Chris McKay for Warner Bros. Adapted from Batman (DC Comics).
* Logan, Directed by James Mangold for 20th Century Fox. Adapted from Wolverine (Marvel Comics).
* My Friend Dahmer, Directed by Marc Meyers for FilmRise. Adapted from My Friend Dahmer (Abrams ComicArts).
* Preacher, Developed by Sam Caitlin and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for AMC. Adapted from Preacher (DC/Vertigo).
* Riverdale, Developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for The CW. Adapted from Archie (Archie Comics).
* The End Of The F***ing World, Written by Charlie Covell For Netflix. Adapted from The End of the Fucking World (Fantagraphics).

* Thor: Ragnarok, Directed by Taika Waititi for Walt Disney Pictures. Adapted from Thor (Marvel Comics).
* Wonder Woman, Directed by Patty Jenkins for Warner Bros. Adapted from Wonder Woman (DC Comics).

*****

Best Manga

* My Brother's Husband, Gengoroh Tagame (Pantheon Graphic Library).
* My Hero Academia, Kohei Horikoshi (Viz Media).
* My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, Nagata Kabi (Seven Seas).
* Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida (Viz Media).
* Your Name, Makoto Shinkai and Ranmaru Kotone (Yen Press).

*****

Best European Book

* Audobon: On The Wings Of The World, Fabien Grolleau and Jerémie Royer (Nobrow).
* California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & The Papas, Pénélope Bagieu (First Second).
* Flight Of The Raven, Jean-Pierre Gibrat (IDW).
* The Ghost Of Gaudi, El Torres and Jesus Alonso Iglesias (Magnetic Press).
* The Ladies In Waiting, Santiago Garcia and Javier Olivares (Fantagraphics).

*****

some entries were standardized

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Go, Look: Critical Hits In The Classroom

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* that nice lady Jackie Estrada wrote in to report on two crowd-funders she's supporting: the first is Jim Wheelock's in support of his recovery, and this one for the Cooksey Family who seem to have experienced some bad luck at least a portion of which came their way from people with bad intentions. The Wheelock strikes me as one where the comics community may need to play a significant role in getting the subject of the donations out of a not-optimal place, and I will try to mention it several more times on this site in the next few weeks.

* Adam Rosenlund is asking for money on behalf of breast cancer research after his wife's recent diagnosis, and for direct support. I don't know how those two separate things are being facilitated through the single ask presented, but I'll post it here for friends of the Rosenlund family and will write more when I know more and will donate myself to one or the other or both.

* finally: we featured Tic Toc Tom in a previous column, and it's still active.
 
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If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This

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Go, Look: A Really Fun Stan Sakai Cover Build

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* like tens of thousands of other people, I enjoy the superhero quick studies the artist Chris Samnee posts to his Instagram. I really like Wildcat.

* not comics: here's a piece of the Mariah Stokes Dillard character from the first two seasons of the Luke Cage TV show. That is an interesting character in the context of most TV, definitely so in comics TV. I sort of enjoy that show despite its dire pacing and artificially convenient moment-to-moment stakes. Like most later-period Marvel film and TV, it helps to have such skilled actors playing those supporting parts.

* I paused a moment when I saw this to remember the late artist Joe Kubert, gone six years as of yesterday. I think he was the last of his kind -- I remember scrambling around to figure out who was representative of a certain old guard in mainstream comics with Kubert gone and it wasn't any one person but kind of a split between Adams and Lee.

* here's what one-time student Steve Lieber wrote upon Kubert's passing.

* finally, some fun art: Marshall Rogers convention drawings. That great Bizarro cover rough from Daniel Clowes. JR JR draws the X-men. An energetic Alex Schomburg cover process.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Bret Blevins!

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Happy 52nd Birthday, Shannon Wheeler!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Donna Barr!

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August 12, 2018


Go, Look: Victoria Ying

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OTBP: Minority Monsters

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

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Happy 41st Birthday, Al Ewing!

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