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















November 12, 2018


Stan Lee, RIP

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posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
An Initial Thought Or Two On Stan Lee's Passing

I don't have any personal anecdotes to share about the late Stan Lee. I know he didn't like the book I co-wrote about him, though it did come from a place of great affection.

imageLee's DNA is all over modern comics, to the extent that the way comics and comics creators approach things can frequently be traced back to something Stan wanted, or an ambition he had. The fact that comics are frequently boiled down to concepts -- where Fantastic Four is a "comic about family" instead of a a stupendously drawn science fantasy with endearing characters -- I might argue comes mostly from Stan and his desire to be a Hollywood ideas man.

I think Lee also perfected a way for fans to extend their relationships with a certain kind of comics story by presenting a second story marking their creation, with the comics' creators replacing the characters on the page as the heroes of the narrative. Eight-year-old Marvel readers wanted to be Spider-Man. 16-year-old Marvel readers wanted to be the guy drawing Spider-Man. Lee found a way to wink at readers that never felt like he was making fun of any potential serious devotion to the narratives.

It's also noteworthy that Lee had a hosting function with the work that unlike Walt Disney's similar efforts had to push against dismissive and disdainful attitudes about the material itself. As a kid in the 1970s with no comics-reading friends, it felt like Stan Lee was sticking up for me.

I could go on forever, and probably will. Lee's reluctance to advocate for his artists as co-creators isn't comics' original sin but is perhaps its most unnecessary and therefore extra-troubling. His not-unique orientation towards film and TV as a legitimizing force has had a unique ripple effect, not all of it good. His last years had significant elements of personal tragedy. There are lessons in those last three decades for every creator of anything.

As is the case for many comics creators and comics industry professionals, I owe Stan Lee. He is certainly one of those public figures that if he were absent from my life things would have turned out very differently. I appreciate his accomplishment and in ways both good and bad his example. Excelsior and RIP.
 
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Go, Look: Thomas Perrodin

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Go, Look: Johanna Schaible

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2018

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*****

November 13
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)

November 14
* If I Were In Birmingham, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 15
* If I Were In Asheville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Am On-Line, I Will Likely Go To This

November 16
* If I Were In Knoxville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)

November 17
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near White River Junction, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Zine Fest Houston)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 18
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Buckeye Comic Con)
* If I Were In Evansville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Abingdon, I'd Go To This

November 20
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 25
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)

*****

December 7
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 8
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 9
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 11
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

December 13
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

December 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

December 22
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This (Mumbai Comic Con)

December 23
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This (Mumbai Comic Con)

*****

Events For January 2019 Onward Listed Here

*****



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

 
OTBP: Tongues 2

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rich Barrett on The Provocative Colette.

* this Tim Blake Nelson interview gets briefly into Watchmen, the difficulty of reading comics, and Joanie Caucus-era Doonesbury.

* here's one of those New Yorker profiles, this time on Olivier Schrauwen.

* the way the site is set up I don't have a good way to make note of ongoing art exhibits, but since I didn't list the opening of San Francisco's Ralph Steadman exhibit, I thought I'd at least mention it here.

* Tom Tomorrow notes that Twitter was engaged with Matt Bors' account late last week. I don't see how this stuff ends with no real threat of any sort of ban harming the company.

* Karama Horne talks to Keith Knight.

* finally: a reminder that CAKE exhibitor applications are open. That is one of comics' strongest exhibition rooms.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Carl Potts!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
November 11, 2018


Go, Look: Tami Hopfgartner

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posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Vera Brosgol On Catherine, Called Birdy

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posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Belonging

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Durham, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This

image
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through December 2018

image

*****

November 12
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)

November 13
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)

November 14
* If I Were In Birmingham, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 15
* If I Were In Asheville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Am On-Line, I Will Likely Go To This

November 16
* If I Were In Knoxville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)

November 17
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Nashville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near White River Junction, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This (Zine Fest Houston)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 18
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Buckeye Comic Con)
* If I Were In Evansville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Miami, I'd Go To This (Miami Book Fair)
* If I Were In Abingdon, I'd Go To This

November 20
* If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

November 25
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)

*****

December 7
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 8
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 9
* If I Were In Delhi, I'd Go To This (Delhi Comic Con)
* If I Were In Paris, I'd Go To This (SOBD)

December 11
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

December 13
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

December 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

December 22
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This (Mumbai Comic Con)

December 23
* If I Were In Mumbai, I'd Go To This (Mumbai Comic Con)

*****

Events For January 2019 Onward Listed Here

*****



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

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Will Dinski!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, James Owen!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 42nd Birthday, Steve Ekstrom!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 41st Birthday, Derek M. Ballard!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
November 10, 2018


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Hedy Lamar Book Trailer
 
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
You Should Go To CAB Tomorrow And Do These Things

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* I am going to Comic Arts Brooklyn (CAB) tomorrow the 11th for about six hours and you should, too if you're anywhere in the region.

* You should buy as much stuff as you can stand. There's a year's worth of books out there on that floor, plus about a same-size entire group of books from cartoonists who are new or with whom most of us even close readers are as yet unfamiliar. CAB has my favorite expo floor in comics, and I think it's the strongest show we have for buying things booth to booth, top to bottom. I will be doing a lot of bending over and squinting at books.

* If you don't have a ton of time for a voyage of discovery like this and only a few other shows provide, there are some cheats. Olivier Schrauwen's Parallel Lives is the buzz book going in; you could do worse than walking out with only that book. Lauren Weinstein's September issue of Frontieir is still new and is one of the two or three strongest books of this year if not #1. She'll be there, so you can have it signed. I am interested the new Roman Muradov; Muradov is a really talented cartoonist that hasn't had a signature hit as of yet, and one hopes Vanishing Act might be the one that enters into enough imaginations that he has a strong book to book presence from here on out. And I guarantee you: even with certain books from established publishers from Drawn and Quarterly to Silver Sprocket to Conundrum to Secret Acres, there are going to be 17 more books just as interesting on that floor waiting for you find them. Dive in!

* although I think the show has taken on a more aggressive sales identity: this is New York. There is going to be worthy programming. Three spotlights jump out at me, and I'm going to try and see all three: Schrauwen's, Jim Woodring (Woodring has been great in interviews this year, and Poochytown is so, so good), and Ariel Schrag interviewed by Hillary Chute, which is a great pairing.

* enjoy yourselves, enjoy New York and I hope to see you in Brooklyn.
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: B Carré

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posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: DRT

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Santa Rosa, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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