Tales From Comic-Con '19; Notes From This Year's Show
Below are some observations, news stories and links to same generated by Comic-Con 2019. The pictures are from last year's show.
UP THROUGH MONDAY, JULY 22
* sitting here early in the morning on the Monday after SDCC, twitter is full of personal travelogue wrap-ups and think pieces about Marvel's movie slate. I'm sure those movies will be fine as long as they cast interesting actors and draw from the more intriguing story runs in that gigantic pile of comics from which they're ultimately working. Whether or not this has an effect on the comics being sold -- it will in the broadest terms of what gets published -- mostly depends on how the comics line chooses to do things. It might also be a time to see if the comics publishing arm is slow-developing any material in the Guardians fashion; my guess there is that there may be a lot of Young Avengers material from the last 15 years suited to film translation. The Shang-Chi film strikes me as a way to reclaim a kind of super Kung-Fu film that didn't quite work with the Neflix series group. I wonder if there's a sense they can try some things with Fantastic Four and X-Men as big-property back-ups.
* I spent more time than ever before sleeping during the show. I was tired, and not in good enough shape to be doing that much walking while trying to get some things down. That should never happen again, and I hope I can address that directly in the ramp-up to 20-20.
* congratulations to the show itself for its 50th anniversary, which it celebrate in a series of panels and supplementary acknowledgments. I'm told those panels were occasionally pretty entertaining, especially the small aside that as recently as the Clinton Administration someone like Mary Fleener could share a table with her friends and make costs back and some extra money selling mini-comics. This is true, and it'd be nice if I could be convinced that this generation's Jim Blanchard is out there warping minds and finding a stretch of floor on which to sleep.
UP THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 21
* as I was being driven out of town on Saturday -- new tip for 2020: ask the cars that fail to pick someone up how much they'd take for a quick airport run -- I noticed a lot more people than I though on the streets above the show. I think that likely has something to do with the perception that things are crowded but not super crowded in the "holy fuck reality is bending get me out of here" way. With a shift from the intensity of the big franchise days there's a lot more of the general fan more likely to want to go have a nice lunch between toy purchases. I just don't get that same must-see insistence, although of course it's still there.
* I really like the Chris Ware panel I saw yesterday, the spotlight moderated by Chip Kidd. They brought a few books and a ton of posters for the big fall book Rusty Brown, and gave away both to designees of a small handout according to proportional amounts available. I like Chris's demeanor, I think the nervousness and self-laceration is real but tempered in a public setting. He seemed genuinely touched by receiving an Inkpot and complimented the award on its handsomeness (it is a really good looking physical award!). I like all the stories about Kidd and Ware working together in the years he was first starting out, and Ware's various design jobs. It was interesting to hear Chris talk about the notion of comics-consumption as a huge sign of lack of social standing, why surrounded by a show where comics is a part of positive experience for so many fans.
UP THROUGH SATURDAY, JULY 20
The Eisners are a Comic-Con awards program, so I don't always agree with some of the In-Memory choices that don't go as deep on the artistic contribution as other factors. Ted Stearn wasn't as significant artists as some, or as part of SDCC, but he was an artist I liked very much and wanted to mention him here.
* I didn't think the Eisners was as long or difficult to sit through as last year's version, although in other ways it felt longer -- like last year I made my first "what the hell is going on?" check with seven awards left while this year there were 11. I think I agree with most people talking (some griping, some almost ruthlessly analyzing) that the only major cut to be made with a dramatic time impact in one shot is do something with the Hall Of Fame, but I'd also love to see an effort to get down to some of the iterations where it's been 24, 25, 26 categories instead of in the mid-30s.
* I saw all the goofery that annoyed many. No more commentary on whether or not you thought you'd win, please. Make notes for who to thank from your prepared professional side rather than your honest-reaction side, if you must. There's no way to play commentary on your getting a nice honor where you come across better ending self-reflective sentences than you looked beginning them. The wink-wink sexist stuff goes over like a lead balloon. I wanted to rush people off the stage that did "you're a hot chick at a comics convention" jokes and put them in a van to take them to a motel and talk them through some things. I was surprised there was almost nothing about all the stuff that faces the comics industry right now, and there's a lot upon which to comment.
* all that said, I'm glad Jackie Estrada made it though what must have been a really tough work. Good for her, and thanks for all of those in her circle able to support her more directly.
* the best thing I saw was Chip Zdarsky's scribbled acceptance-speech note, which was like five hastily scrawled words including "dildoes." I wasn't kidding the Billy Ireland needs that for their files, Chip.
* kudos to Gina Gagliano and Chip Moster for the power move of greeting friends with a hug as soon as they stepped away from the photo area. One weird thing I like is watching the winners walk by with their faces all lit up because of the excitement.
* Simon Hanselmann was this year's best yeller of funny things.
UP THROUGH FRIDAY, JULY 19
* I tromped a lot around town last night, much to my legs' chagrin. I only let out an audible moan, realizing walking about sixth I had no idea how far away Broadway was at some point. It was easy start to the evening. The Scholastic Party moved from Broadway to the Hilton Gaslamp, so that was convenient. I was standing on my balcony looking that crowd below and noticed Jenni Holm before I figured it out.
* saw Milton Griepp at the Scholastic shindig, too. He was kind about reading my Twitter feed. Milton is a big comic-con memory for me because of my first panel moderation, which was a panel with Larry Marder on it after Image had made the decision to thrown in their lot with a dominant Image as opposed to a Capital City with a fighting chance because of people wanting to carry Spawn. I worked with Kurt Busiek on a panel this weekend; he was in the audience for that panel. Man, we're just rocketing towards death.
* good to know it's still slightly insane
* got to talk to Maggie Thompson at the Scholastic function, someone to whom I rarely get to speak. Sorting through the Walt Kelly material kept by Carolyn over the years sounds fascinating.
UP THROUGH THURSDAY, JULY 18
UP THROUGH WEDNESDAY, JULY 17
* there's a good buzz for this year's San Diego show, at least from where I sit, despite or maybe because the changing shape of the various comics industries.
* Zdarsky and Loo go high-concept -- or the "please make a TV show" route if you're cynical -- with Afterlift. I like Zdarsky writing humor a lot, so i'll look at this for sure. At some point I'm going to sit down and trying to figure out industry veteran Chip Mosher as an editorial director, but this is not that day. That's a much higher profile creative team than most of what's been done so far with those comics.
* Jonathan Hickman and collaborators working on the X-Men comics is a big deal, just in terms of a potential point-and-buy prestige title with a still-potent amount of affection from different corners of its longtime readership. Its mega-story status is the story, at least this week. And then let's see where everything stands a few months in.
* okay, I should do better at this once I stop flying in airplanes. I'm also going to do a couple of comics publishing news stories as stand-alones that deserve then. See you tomorrow.
Lot of Tom King, a modicum of Jen Wang, and a lengthy ceremony. Congratulations to everyone. Winners in Bold.
BEST SHORT STORY
* "Get Naked in Barcelona," by Steven T. Seagle and Emei Olivia Burrell, in Get Naked (Image)
* "The Ghastlygun Tinies," by Matt Cohen and Marc Palm, in MAD magazine #4 (DC)
* "Here I Am," by Shaun Tan, in I Feel Machine (SelfMadeHero)
* "Life During Interesting Times," by Mike Dawson (The Nib)
* "Supply Chains," by Peter and Maria Hoey, in Coin-Op #7 (Coin-Op Books> * "The Talk of the Saints," by Tom King and Jason Fabok, in Swamp Thing Winter Special(DC)
BEST SINGLE ISSUE/ONE-SHOT
* Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, Emily Carroll (ShortBox)
* Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)
* No Better Words, Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket) * Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310, by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)
* The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils In Suits, Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)
BEST CONTINUING SERIES
* Batman, Tom King et al. (DC)
* Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
* Gasolina, Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter (Skybound/Image)
* Giant Days, John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julaa Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
* The Immortal Hulk, Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José (Marvel)
* Runaways, Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka (Marvel)
BEST LIMITED SERIES
* Batman: White Knight, Sean Murphy (DC)
* Eternity Girl, Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew (Vertigo/DC)
* Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Mark Morales (DC) * Mister Miracle, Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC)
* X-Men: Grand Design: Second Genesis, Ed Piskor (Marvel)
BEST NEW SERIES
* Bitter Root, David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Green (Image)
* Crowded, Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image) * Gideon Falls, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
* Isola, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image)
* Man-Eaters, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk (Image)
* Skyward, Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett (Image)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR EARLY READERS (UP TO AGE 8) * Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer, James Kochalka (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Petals, by Gustavo Borges (KaBOOM!)
* Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, Graham Annable (First Second)
* This Is a Taco! By Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley (CubHouse/Lion Forge)
* Tiger Vs. Nightmare, Emily Tetri (First Second)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS AGES 9-12
* Aquicorn Cove, Katie O'Neill (Oni)
* Be Prepared, Vera Brosgol (First Second)
* The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell (Knopf/Random House Children's Books)
* Crush, Svetlana Chmakova (JY/Yen Press) * The Divided Earth, Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR TENS (AGES 13-17)
* All Summer Long, Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)
* Gumballs, by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Middlewest, Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
* Norroway, Book One: The Black Bull of Norroway, Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image) * The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang (First Second)
* Watersnakes, Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION
* Get Naked, Steven T. Seagle et al. (Image) * Giant Days, John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
* MAD magazine, edited by Bill Morrison (DC)
* A Perfect Failure: Fanta Bukowski 3, Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
* Woman World, Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, edited by Shelly Bond (Black Crown/IDW) * Puerto Rico Strong, edited by Marco Lopez, Desiree Rodriguez, Hazel Newlevant, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz (Lion Forge)
* Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi (Image)
* Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, edited by Will Dennis, curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams (Image)
BEST REALITY-BASED WORK
* All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
* All the Sad Songs, Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet) * Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, Box Brown (First Second)
* Monk! by Youssef Daoudi (First Second)
* One Dirty Tree, Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)
Best Graphic Album -- New
* Bad Girls, Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)
* Come Again, Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1, Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)
* Homunculus, Joe Sparrow (ShortBox) * My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
* Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM -- REPRINT
* Berlin, Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Upgrade Soul, Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge) * The Vision Hardcover, Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)
* Young Frances, Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)
BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM
* Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Pantheon) * "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, adapted by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
* Out in the Open by Jesus Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero)
* Speak: The Graphic Novel, Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (Farrar Straus Giroux)
* To Build a Fire: Based on Jack London's Classic Story, Chabouté (Gallery 13)
BEST US EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL
* About Betty's Boob, Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!) * Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
* Herakles Book One, Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* Niourk, Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
* A Sea of Love, Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia
* Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition, Tsutomu Nihei, translated by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
* Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction, Inio Asano, translated by John Werry (VIZ Media)
* Laid-Back Camp, Afro, translated by Amber Tamosaitis (Yen Press)
* My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, Nie Jun, translated by Edward Gauvin (Graphic Universe/Lerner) * Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)
BEST ARCHIVAL COLLLECTION/PROJECT -- STRIPS
* Pogo, Volume Five: Out of This World At Home, Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959–1960), Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Ferran Delgado (Amigo Comics) * Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, edited by Dean Mullaney (Library of American Comics/IDW
* The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Words and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, Justin Duerr (Beehive Books
* Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT -- COMIC BOOKS
* Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, edited by Paul Levitz (DC) * Bill Sienkiewicz's Mutants and Moon Knights... And Assassins... Artifact Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Madman Quarter Century Shindig, Mike Allred, edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)
* Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, edited by Joseph Melchior and Bob Chapman (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
* Will Eisner's A Contract with God: Curator's Collection, edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)
* Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image) * Tom King, Batman, Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis, Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
* Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, Quantum Age (Dark Horse); Descender, Gideon Falls, Royal City (Image)
* Mark Russell, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig (DC); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
* Kelly Thompson, Nancy Drew (Dynamite); Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, Mr. & Mrs. X, Rogue & Gambit, Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers (Marvel)
* Chip Zdarsky, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One (Marvel)
* Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni)
* Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
* David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW); Stray Bullets (Image)
* Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW)
* Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge) * Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)
BEST PENCILLER/INKER OR PENCILLER/INKER TEAM
* Matias Bergara, Coda (BOOM!) * Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
* Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
* Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
* Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
* Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC)
BEST PAINTER/MULTIMEDI ARTIST (INTERIOR ART)
* Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned (DC)
* Carita Lupatelli, Izuna Book 2 (Humanoids) * Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
* Gregory Panaccione, A Sea of Love (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
BEST COVER ARTIST (FOR MULTIPLE COVERS)
* Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
* Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
* Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
* Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
* Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)
* Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)
* Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)
* Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)
* Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC): Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)
* Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways(Marvel)
* David Aja, Seeds (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
* Jim Campbell, Breathless, Calexit, Gravetrancers, Snap Flash Hustle, Survival Fetish, The Wilds (Black Mask); Abbott, Alice: Dream to Dream, Black Badge,Clueless, Coda, Fence, Firefly, Giant Days, Grass Kings, Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, Low Road WestSparrowhawk (BOOM); Angelic (Image); Wasted Space (Vault)
* Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
* Jared Fletcher, Batman: Damned (DC); The Gravediggers Union, Moonshine, Paper Girls, Southern Bastards (Image) * Todd Klein -- Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse); Batman: White Night (DC); Eternity Girl, Books of Magic (Vertigo/DC); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (Top Shelf/IDW)
BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICL/JOURNALISM * Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows) (tie)
* The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, columbusscribbler.com
* Comicosity, edited by Aaron Long and Matt Santori, www.comicosity.com
* LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter, edited by Ronald Wimberley and Josh O'Neill (Beehive Books) * PanelxPanel magazine, edited by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, panelxpanel.com
BEST COMIC-RELATED BOOK
* Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978, Keith Dallas and John Wells (TwoMorrows) * Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists, Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi)
* The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, Jon Morris (Quirk Books)
* Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without an Eraser, Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messer (TwoMorrows)
* Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography -- Beyond the Fantasy, Florent Gorges, translated by Laure Dupont and Annie Gullion (Dark Horse)
BEST ACADEMIC/SCHOLARY WORK
* Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, Aaron Kashtan (Ohio State University Press)
* Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, Marc Singer (University of Texas Press)
* The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics, Eddie Campbell (Library of American Comics/IDW/Ohio State University Press)
* Incorrigibles and Innocents, Lara Saguisag (Rutgers Univeristy Press) * Sweet Little Cunt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet, Anne Elizabeth Moore (Uncivilized Books)
BEST PUBLICATION DESIGN
* A Sea of Love, designed by Wilfrid Lupano, Grégory Panaccione, and Mike Kennedy (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
* The Stan Lee Story Collector's Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)
* The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley, designed by Paul Kepple and Max Vandenberg (Beehive Books)
* Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios/NYC (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs) * Will Eisner's A Contract with God: Curator's Collection, designed by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)
* not comics: I don't know what digital minimalism is, but I have my suspicions and I'd love to find a way to more effectively and more aggressively structure my life around my digital use. I mean, I work on-line for a living, I like this stuff, but I'm not sure I'm wagging the tail on it anymore. Anyone have a suggestion of books/articles on this matter
* while I'm just asking people to send me links, does anyone know how ComiXology did with Walking Dead #193 sales? I remember the first time I was convinced there was a place for digital comics in a paper-driven medium even if paper stayed on top was when they shot Captain America and suddenly no one could find that physical issue and more people than could find it wanted to read it. It's slightly different scenarios at work here, but I wonder about that kind of thing.
I was happy to hear that Kevin Czap was going to collect Four Years through the Czap Books label. I admire the publisher and am twice as fond of the cartoonist; efforts in both areas helped Czap become the 2016 Emerging Cartoonist at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. The new book should be lovely-looking, too, in full-color and at over 40 pages. I recommend any and everything you find on the site I sent along a few questions for something to read on this Comic-Con Friday and Kevin was nice enough to reply. -- Tom Spurgeon
TOM SPURGEON: Was it the plan to publish at this time, with this much material had been created? I'm always interested in the exact reasons things happen at one time over another.
KEVIN CZAPIEWSKI: I've been playing this one a bit by ear, making decisions as opportunity and necessity dictate. My original plan was just to serialize the story online, on my Patreon, and as mini-comics. Since there has been space available in the Czap Books schedule for the past several conventions, it made sense to use that chance to have my own work there. Over the past year I've released two issues of Four Years as small runs which are both sold out. I just finished the third issue and it ended up being more cost-effective to print them all together, and with SPX, CXC, and MICE coming up now would be the time to do it. It works out to being half of the overall story, and I think this package will give people a better overall experience.
SPURGEON: I know this has been a tough year for a lot of cartoonists; I think of our small press as a place for a lot of positives. How do things look from your perspective as a publisher, as a creator?
CZAPIEWSKI: Things have been pretty inwardly focused on both fronts for the past year or so as I work on making both my solo career as a cartoonist and Czap Books as an operation stronger and more resilient. I have a lot of worried thoughts about how the political atmosphere is dismantling some of the prospects of having a small business like this (for a minor example, I mean look at international shipping rates). Creatively it feels as exciting as it ever has, I'm seeing so much great work from newer names (new to me at least), and the cartoonists who I think of as being in my peer group are getting a lot of great opportunities. I guess my perspective in both cases is maturing.
SPURGEON: You had a really interesting statement or two about intergenerational differene and floated the argument at TCAF that it may be that younger cartoonists are due more respect. Is that fair, how would you like to see the broad range of cartoonists come together on those kinds of arguments?
CZAPIEWSKI: I'm not sure how true or fair it is, I just remember feeling that way at some point early on. When I pitched the panel I felt I didn't even need to necessarily be the moderator, it was just a conversation I wanted to see happen - a space to share perspective in good faith. To be perfectly honest, I've seen more good examples of how I wish things were in practice already than the opposite, which is usually just people sniping over Facebook. [Spurgeon laughs]