* Nate Beeler was laid off from the Columbus Dispatch after seven year as its editorial cartoonist. The quality of cartoonist expressing outrage proves very impressive. Beeler's departure looks to be part of this Gatehouse Media general pruning: a series of strategic deep cuts -- in part because they're all deep cuts at this point -- that will mitigate the damage as it goes along by tossing in a number of newsroom shifts along with the cuts. I personally like Beeler and hope he ends up on his feet with only a little dust to brush from his shoulders; his best work is ahead of him. One thing that might play into it is that Columbus is one of those cities that looks at talent as a civic resource: the self-conception of how a city works when it's a first-class city involves being able to feature a working editorial cartoonist. I'll return to this one a few times, I hope.
The extremely talented and very nice Dash Shaw was nice enough to reach out yesterday in case my weekly look at comics failed to turn up his new book from IDW, featuring the "Clue" franchise. He was right, I did miss it, but I'm running out to buy this today and I hope you will consider doing so as well.
* not comics: I would assume there's some advice here about the declining magazine business if it weren't behind a firewall. That might be hilarious irony but the people that make the kind of call are looking for jobs at the declining magazine industry.
Creator: Frank Santoro Publishing Information: NYRC, 216 pages, hardcover, September 2019, $29.95. Ordering Numbers: 1681374048 (ISBN10), 9781681374048 (ISBN13)
This is more an appreciation than a review. For one thing, the book doesn't come out until mid-September and I hate the idea that I'm able to complete the hard work of engaging a book weeks before I get a chance to read it more than once, surrounded by my chattering peers. Also, the guy's staying in my guest bedroom while he finishes a research grant. Santoro and I have a brotherly relationship: protective of each other, vaguely sideways competitive and surprisingly cruel at full bloom to any witness. I read his Storeyville in the 1990s, a strong entry in a school where every other classmate was either David Mazzucchelli or European. I met him at a Heroes Con when Dustin Harbin was trying to alt-up Heroes Con. His first words were a shouted attempt to see if he could bludgeon from me which of our mutual peers I hated the most. It's a comics friendship, insufficient yet somehow perfect.
So while I'm out on a review for this one, I sure can appreciate Pittsburgh. It's beautiful: in the artist's always assured approach to color, in the meticulous, old newspaper strip like scene-setting (Captain Easy could brawl across these working-class yards and street corners with aplomb) and the heartbreaking depiction of people made unhappy by the inevitable damage from of a lifetime of resentment locking glacier-like into place. Santoro himself is a character, a child and then a young man attracted to seeing his own life as a continuity of narratives that were building and shifting and falling apart before he was born. Santoro plays it with admirable restraint, bruises rather than bullet-holes but 1000 instances of that yellowing skin. He's as doomed as they are. We're as doomed as he is.
He also need never make another comic. That's good, as it may take me that extra time to thank Frank for this one. Please consider a look when NYRC drops it into the English-language marketplace this September.
This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases From 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.
FEB191684 YELLOW YELLOW HC $15.95
This is early Mark Alan Stamaty -- maybe the first Mark Alan Stamaty. I'm not sure I knew it existed. I enjoyed the MacDoodle Street collection a lot and now want this very, very much. It looks great.
JAN190483 ELFEN LIED OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $24.99
This was my younger brother's favorite manga series during that initial surge of books, and my younger brother rarely like anything. I remember it being very attractive and don't remember it having much of a series life between that initial publication and this one. I'm curious for all of those reasons, and would definitely pick it up at the comics shop and give it a once- or a twice- over.
FEB198787 GHOST TREE #1 2ND PTG $3.99 MAR190728 GHOST TREE #2 $3.99 MAR190479 ACTION COMICS #1011 $3.99 MAR198622 DIE DIE DIE #6 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99 MAR198623 DIE DIE DIE #8 2ND PTG (MR) $3.99 FEB190059 EAST OF WEST TP VOL 09 $16.99
The Ghost Tree is Simon Gane on art and I will buy anything Gane publishes. The Action Comics is in that new Bendis one and I think those are very comfortable, settled-in, confident funny books. Die Die Die gives you the look at the ordering patters of the latest Image hit, multiple printings galore. The East Of West is an Image series in its late-afternoon. I hope to see its conclusion.
FEB190603 SANDMAN TP VOL 08 WORLDS END 30TH ANNIV ED (MR) $19.99
Thirty years? Ye Gods.
MAR191359 WASHINGTON UNBOUND GN $14.95
* I haven't seen work from Jason Lex in a while, so would take a peek at this volume.
APR192020 WHITE SNAKE HC $16.95
This and the comic below were both from recent drops by TOON; this is the more standard fairy tale seeming one. I don't remember a page from my earlier reading, but that's just the way my mind works now.
APR192017 COMICS EASY AS ABC SC $9.99
Here's an Ivan Brunetti book on comics for young makers, and I'm all warm inside just considering the possibilities. Anything Ivan wants to do, I'm there.
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.
* keep forgetting to pull these mentions of Rotopol on tour; hope I'll get around to individual entries of the shows.
* Joe Grunenwald joins many in the mainstream portion of the comics industry world to remember Justin Ponsor. Although the easiest-to-find stretch of the search engines don't seem to support it, it's easy to get at tweets about the economic ramifications of a working and respected industry craftsman working through cancer treatments or just simply working at all despite steady gigs for one of the bigger companies. I imagine this will have to happen 300, 3000, 30,000 times before making an impression, if then, but it's a conversation that needs to start happening.
* I guess Ironjaw on Netflix isn't the most depressing thing I've ever heard, but it's kind of up there. If there's not a creator being rewarded, and the work itself is forgettable, I don't know why anyone should care. That seems like a grim business.
* this seems like a lot of labor to get at four runs of key comics.
* I can barely figure out why video and film efforts want video and film sequels in this crowded market, let alone a comic book one. Still, as poorly as many comics sell IU would imagine ever set of eyes on something is important. Also holy crap that movie was 15 years ago.
* finally: they keep talking about things related to the San Diego Con experience in San Diego, although I'm not keeping up with the article. It would be very nice if they could figure out transit from the airport and into town. If there were something similar to Seattle, that would be a huge boon for that show. It's amazing they're so successful given some of these longstanding structural handicaps.