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

















July 1, 2016


Go, Look: Summer Vacation

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the cartoonist Katie Skelly wrote in to say that she posted the entirety of her Agent 73 comic, created with her Trash Twins podcast partner the critic and comics-maker Sarah Horrocks, here. CR had linked to both individual parts, but this might be a better way for you to read it.

* Tara Marie on Questionable Content.

* haven't seen one of these aggressive survey articles in a while. It's good to know what's going on out there even if you don't agree on the inevitability of any one result.

* finally, Monalisa Das profiles Saigo.
 
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If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through August 2016

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*****

July 2
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Anime Expo)
* If I Were In Glasgow, I'd Go To This (Glasgow Comic Con)
* If I Were In Florida, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 3
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Anime Expo)
* If I Were In Glasgow, I'd Go To This (Glasgow Comic Con)
* If I Were In Florida, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 4
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This (Anime Expo)
* If I Were In Florida, I'd Go To This (Florida Supercon)

July 6
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

July 8
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

July 9
* If I Were In Newark, I'd Go To This (#bettyzinefest)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

July 10
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)

July 12
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

July 15
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (The Shrewsbury International Comic Art Festival)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

July 16
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (The Shrewsbury International Comic Art Festival)

July 17
* If I Were Near This, I'd Go To It (The Shrewsbury International Comic Art Festival)

July 20
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI Preview Night)

July 21
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 22
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 23
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 24
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (CCI)

July 29
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

July 30
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

July 31
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Ohio)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

*****

August 12
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 13
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 14
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Otakon)
* If I Were In Kansas City, I'd Go To This (Kansas City Comic Con)

August 18
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 19
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

August 20
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 21
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Chicago)

August 26
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 27
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)
* If I Were In KC, I'd Go This (KC Zine Con)
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (BOUND)

August 28
* If I Were Near Palm Springs, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Palm Springs)

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Events For September 2016 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: July 1976 Splash Pages

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Batman: Gotham Adventures #13. Alex Hoffman on Skyscrapers Of The Midwest.

* check out this fun image of Derf discovering Richard Corben.

* I can hardly wait for 12-15 years from now when we start getting this avalanche of material from young people that enjoyed some kind of sexual awakening from Marvel Comics movies. In the meantime, Faith Erin Hicks provides nearly-chaste appreciation of a fine cinematic moment.

* Evan Narcisse would like you to know about the world-building in Descender.

* Darryl Ayo profiles Bob McLeod.

* now and forever I remain a fan of the Quintronic Man.

* things always get a little weird at Daily Bugle when the staff stays up 36 hours in a row.

* by request extra: Geneviève Elverum's crowdfunding effort went past $180K late this week. The Soto family pushed past 10 times their initial ask.

* finally, I'm all for anything throwing a spotlight on Aline Kominsky-Crumb. I always feel like we're four minutes away from just flipping out and showering deserved love on her.
 
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Happy 34th Birthday, Lee's Comics!

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June 30, 2016


Go, Read Or Download: The Iron Duchess

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The great Roger Langridge's serial comic begun last year is now completed, available to for downloading, reading and I think maybe being signed to a print publishing contract. You'd have to check with Roger.
 
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Go, Look: Whitney Allen

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Hellbound Lifestyle

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Life In The Suburbs

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* HeroesCon has announced its dates for 2017; it will be their 35th year. I wish that all shows would take up the old tradition of announcing next year's show at the conclusion of this year's show. I know Comic-Con International still does this, and that SPX and CXC are blocked out through 2019 in the latter's case; 2020 the former's. It makes it easier to plan to attend, if you have that impulse -- maybe not a year in advance, but certainly not too long after that.

* Heidi MacDonald previews Comic-Con International as a comics show. The basic thesis of the show is fine, I think: that is a very good comics show with a ton of comics-related guests and a number of publishers on-hand that are happy to take meetings with some of us that are happy to have those meetings. You can spend an entire show bouncing back and forth between all the comics-related panels -- most of which are better attended than they were 20 years ago, type to type -- and have a really satisfying time. I also like shopping for original art and cheaper Silver Age comics there, and that can still be done. Some of the things MacDonald reports on seem like areas of weakness, just spun as positives, and it would seem to me okay to report on those things as potentially negative changes, too. I'm sad NBM is gone. DC doing an entertainment booth doesn't seem like an automatically great thing for their publishing arm, despite Dan DiDio's claim to the contrary. Drawn and Quarterly or Fantagraphics making any year their last year wouldn't surprise anyone. Heck, the comics part of the show still feels different in a not-great way since the days when Rory Root was an anchor as a new-books retailer. I guess we'll see who covers those huge pieces of real estate left to the show by Top Shelf (moving) and Slave Labor (leaving). It's the positives and the negatives that make San Diego the most interesting comics show year to year, and one I will continue to attend every year I'm able.

* major Derf exhibit at Oberlin in 2017.

* one story I was surprised wasn't in the PW round-up as a comics positive: New Bone.

* finally, here's a story at The Beat about expansions at the big Marriott property right up on the show proper. There's something very, very San Diego Con about that article, the idea of this facility as a kind of pleasure resource for potential attendees of that show. Along with the North Bethesda Marriott into which the near-entirety of SPX settles, and the dependable Charlotte Westin, and maybe that big Marriott in Toronto, San Diego's hotels dominate the list of top 20 hotel property that are also a part of a North American show festival's culture. Seriously, places like the Hilton Gaslamp and the Omni and the US Grant are like giant floor booths in a way.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Christopher Sebela Interviewed At The Beat

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not a lot of major-site interviews with this writer yet, at least not many that I've seen
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Haunt Of Fear Cover Images Gallery

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* by request extra: the Sotos update on their crowd-funder concerning their youngest member.

image* Rob Clough on a bunch of different mini-comics. Robert Boyd on some different comics, created by friends. Alan Sepinwall talks to Brian Michael Bendis.

* Maddie Crum talks to Rich Tommaso. Michael Cavna talks to Lucy Knisley. Greg Hunter talks to Dean Haspiel.

* I found this superhero-comic close examination interesting in that I'm not a fan of those works and yet I found this dissection unconvincing. No idea what that means, if it means anything at all.

* not comics: I can't stop watching this slow-ass action scene Alex Getchell linked-to on Facebook.

* here's a passionate essay springing out of a Marvel comic book plot point. I don't have that level of interest in anything along the lines of the Marvel comic book universe or a specific movie franchise, so it's always sort of awesome to experience the rage of someone that does.

* it looks like Fearless Fosdick is appearing in the Dick Tracy strip, and that there's still a Dick Tracy strip.

* as expected, Dave's Comics will close after a final sale on Saturday. A store like that will have been a part of a bunch of different folks' lives. That's a lot of great Wednesdays.

* finally, that's cute.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Shawn McManus!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Christopher Priest!

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June 29, 2016


Go, Look: Alejandro Bruzzese

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posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Ann Telnaes On Social Media And Editorial Cartooning

The Ann Telnaes has a new article up at Columbia Journalism Review on the impact that social media can have on editorial cartooning. She veers away from the subject of most analyses that focus on promotion and dissemination and goes right into pushback. This article I believe also serves as the Pulitzer Prize winner's longest commentary on her own social media blowback encounter: where she summoned the ire of the Ted Cruz campaign and its highly developed social media arm over a cartoon that attacked the candidate's use of children as campaign props.

Telnaes makes a couple of strong points about how the economic uncertainty of opinion-makers including cartoonists makes them extremely vulnerable to social media-driven campaigns. She also talks about coverage of such controversies being covered in partial terms dictated by those who use social media tools most effectively, which I agree is a dangerous routine concession media reporters make.
 
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Go, Read: Summer 1976 DC Direct Currents Listings

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Missed It: Comic Art Tokyo To Walk In Same General Footsteps As TCAF, With Their Assistance

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That's my takeaway from this site. This whole thing looks amazing. Kudos to everyone involved. I want to go, and I bet yuo do, too.
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Agent 73, Part 2

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the whole thing is here
 
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: John Porcellino Won't Be Traveling Again To Any Shows, At Least Not Any Time Soon

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John Porcellino is an American art hero, both as a cartoonist for his always remarkable and soulful King-Cat Comics & Stories (I thought last year's #75 was one of the best comics of the year) and for his work as a tastemaker through his Spit-And-A-Half distribution company. I will never get tired of saying that, both because it's true and because I could use the reminder of how great it is to have a John Porcellino in comics. You should buy everything you can from him that he's done personally, and anything you're looking for that you can't find local from his company. I hope you'll consider it, anyway.

In this typically engaging blog post, Porcellino writes about the resurfacing of health concerns after some stressful recent show trip. They'll ground him for the time being. I will never second guess John Porcellino when it comes to taking care of John Porcellino; but as a fan of the work he does and the work he champions I'll miss his presence at some of the shows he'd been doing on the East Coast like SPX and the Gabe Fowler shows. Please stay healthy as best you can, John.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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.

*****

NOV150334 BEST OF DC WAR ARTISTS ED HC PI
The listing for IDW books this week is bigger than I've ever seen, or at least that's what my memory tells me. I don't do the job I should listing their best books, so I thought I'd use imagery only from that company's offerings this week. Up top is maybe the first anthology-style artist's edition book I've really wanted to own, as it features stories from DC's various war comics. War is comics most under-appreciated home for quality genre work, and a lot of the artists involved in the stories collected here were at the height or near-height of their powers. The format should be very flattering to them.

imageAPR160508 TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE #13 $7.99
APR160073 LOBSTER JOHNSON METAL MONSTERS OF MIDTOWN #2 $3.50
APR160755 EAST OF WEST #27 $3.99
APR160648 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR A QUITELY (MR) $3.99
APR160649 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR B LEE (MR) $3.99
APR160650 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR C MAYHEW (MR) $3.99
APR160651 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 2 #1 CVR D BLANK COVER (MR) $3.99
APR160775 SEX #29 (MR) $3.99
APR160932 HYPERION #4 $3.99
APR161197 HILLBILLY #1 $3.99
APR162173 SWEETNESS #1 (MR) $3.99
APR161562 BADGER #5 (MR) $3.99
Tom Scioli has created something strange and beautiful and very, very comics with his work on this series, partnered with John Barber. Scioli is one of the best artists in terms of finding texture in concepts and theories used by other artists: he's created significant works singing in the key of Jack Kirby and working from the songbook of 1970s psychedelia. Here it's 1980s junk culture that becomes the medium, to intriguing result. The Lobster Johnson is this week's Mignola-verse comic and gives us Tonci Zonjic. A lot happens in East of West this time out, months and years of anticipatory placing of piece erupting into a big violent setpiece. The Jupiter's Legacy comic is more high-concept, movie-ready superheroing from writer Mark Millar only this time working with that great creator of fleshy superhero figures Frank Quitely. Sex #29 made me laugh a lot. That comic boasts a 1980s indy-comics setting and a mid-2000s disdain for the people that inhabit those places; it's a fun combination. Hyperion is I believe recently canceled; I liked that character when I was a kid and I love abortive attempts at getting second-run superheroes over, like the Paul Di Filippo Doc Samson series from more than a decade ago. Hillbilly is the new series from Eric Powell, and thus worth our attention. Sweetness is Miss Lasko-Gross working with art by Kevin Colden, so ditto that attention from the previous sentence. Finally, Badger #5 because I told my friend Larry it'd be included. I like that character, though, and hope someone films some iteration of it so my brother and I can go.

MAR160684 SAGA TP VOL 06 (MR) $14.99
Gotta be a happy day in the comics shop when one of these trades shows up. Talking to a lot of the newer creators with hit series on their hands, they all seem to feel that a significant part of their overall readership are buying the trades like intermittent serial comics that just cost a lot. I imagine with all the material out there that this could be true.

MAY161627 SOUNDS OF YOUR NAME TP (MR) $18.00
This is early Nate Powell and I believe has been published a few times; it's now at Conundrum Press, where it will remain in print forever.

MAY161654 EINSTEIN HC $19.95
A straight up biography translated from the French by Nobrow. The pages from Corinne Maier and Anne Simon run here look like a lot of fun.

APR161691 GARYS GARDEN TP $7.99
This I assume is a collection or a reprint of a collection featuring the Gary Northfield comics from The Phoenix. That stuff looked terrific, and I hope this version settles into enough comic shops I can run across it and buy a copy.

MAY161628 THREADBARE TP (MR) $13.95
Politically-charged comics from Anne Elizabeth Moore and a formidable line-up of cartoonists, many of whom are not exactly known for politically-informed comics of this kind.

APR162087 ATTACK ON TITAN LOST GIRLS NOVEL $12.95
MAR161182 MOUSE GUARD ART OF BRICKS HC $34.99
I have no idea what these will be like, even if they're good or not, but I'm dying to know if Attack On Titan in other media has the same careening, up eight days in a row high as a kite demented sections that are sprinkled throughout the manga. The Mouse Guard book I'm going to assume is well-crafted and under-appreciate, like nearly everything the franchise has produced.

APR160643 FUN FAMILY GN $24.99
I love the fact that a fully-formed graphic novel can come out without a lot of fanfare or hype, although I imagine the PR people at the various publishing houses are less impressed by work that follows this basic model. Digging into Family Circus wins the cartoonist no prizes in terms of idiosyncratic target hunting, but it's still rich territory for all sorts of culturally relevant commentary.

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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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posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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