March 11, 2014
Always Fun To Look At A Set Of Esad Ribic Images
posted 1:40 am PST
By Request Extra: Dave Sim Starts Patreon Campaign In Support Of His Death Of Alex Raymond Book
. I think that's a good work, and one I'd like to see completed. I also think whatever Sim chooses to do is interesting enough to note and whenever any of the veterans of the Self-Publishing Era 1985-2005 choose to work with on-line mechanisms, I'm there as well. This might be interesting in that Sim is creating it for a series from IDW that will run in 18 parts after it's all done -- this was announced last summer. If I'm reading the Patreon correctly he won't be paid until the series starts, so you're basically supporting work for which, I'm guessing, he will also be paid in the future -- which is a slightly different model than some of the webcomics stuff I've seen floated. I'm also not seeing specific rewards, so it is straight-up patronage, it looks like.
I would think that Sim's fan base is a fervent one, not particularly invested in so many comics currently being published they'd be spread too thin, and generally eager to see that very talented creator make work. I suspect he'll be well-supported.
posted 1:35 am PST
Ibis The Invincible, Ibis The Best
posted 1:30 am PST
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News
By Tom Spurgeon
* the artist and cartoonist Tom Neely posted the cover image
to the final Henry & Glenn Forever And Ever
collection, and is offering some sales leading up to that publication, which should see its debut at SPX with an outside chance of copies appearing at Comic-Con International.
* I think I've run material on a free comics publication for Denver
; its second issue is imminent.
* Nate Powell marks the completion
of one his many forthcoming projects, working from a script by Rob Venditti. Nate Powell is a machine.
* the hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com notes
more concrete plans for new Lone Wolf And Cub
work released through Dark Horse starting this summer, and provides a few details on the omnibus editions of the already-published material.
* here's an excerpt
from what I believe is the first of Uncivilized Books' focused comics criticism work, this one on Chester Brown.
* Viz Media announced its intention
to publish Naoki Urasawa's Master Keaton
. This was a late 1980s/early 1990s work done with Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki. It will start in December; 12 volumes planned. Full PR available through that link. Urasawa is a superior comics-maker, and all of his works are of interest.
* Impossible Books will be working with the nice StudyGroup people to get those works out there.
* Josh Cotter continues to chop wood
in terms of getting a massive graphic novel project out there in the next few years.
* it is always a great pleasure when a new issue of s! comes out
. Those are my favorite to receive in the mail.
* it's likely I will run this as its own "Bundled Extra" post, but in case I forget: here is the rest of Fantagraphics' 2014
. I think they're off to a very strong start this year and I think they think so, too.
* Sean Gaffney walks his readers
through more license acquisitions. I'm grateful for Gaffney because he covers a bunch of different manga works about which I was hearing very little, if anything at all.
* Alan Gardner writes
he's heard that WuMo
has moved back 300 clients -- which is really impressive -- and suggests that the Doonesbury
may have be specifically helpful in helping that feature and some others get some try-out spots in newspapers around North America.
* an old post on Robert Boyd's arts-oriented site clues us in
as to a new edition of The Cage
has been released. You can scroll up for Boyd's endorsement of the work as it appeared in a previous edition.
* finally, Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great working cartoonists and everything he does is of interest. Certainly a second book with Drawn And Quarterly, Bumperhead
is an image that looks cover-ready as well as a first few pages of comics.
posted 1:25 am PST
If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This
posted 1:20 am PST
Go, Look: Li'l Abner #74
posted 1:20 am PST
Go, Look: Hang Dai Editions
posted 1:10 am PST
Random Comics News Story Round-Up
* ICAF Lent Scholarship information is up
. John Lent is a mighty figure in the field of comics studies, and it would be a great honor to receive support in his name. When I would publish him in the Comics Journal
20 years ago, Lent routinely knew about specific cartoonists in countries
I hadn't heard of.
* Rob Clough profiiles Victor Kerlow
* here's a nice list of creators working the mainstream-bleed-into-indy part of comics that one should know
* I think because of the Brandon Graham ECCC poster this post about a Madman 20th Anniversary poster
showed up in my bookmarks. I think I could have spent about four hours a day as a kid looking at pictures featuring some sort of comics or cartoon art and depicting a bunch of different characters.
* before you ask,
. I like that Graham fixated on the convention center's escalators as the central physical-space identifier because I hadn't thought about it before but it's very true. The only place for which I have a stronger escalator imprint is the Water Tower Place shopping center in Chicago, which was sort of like retail Disney World when I was in single digits.
* Sean Gaffney on Insufficient Direction
. Todd Klein on Green Lantern: New Guardians #27
. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Wolverine And The X-Men Vol. 4
* here's a mini-profile my NYT article allowance won't let me access about arguably the most important publisher in comics right now
* not comics: part of me doesn't want to pay any attention at all to the WWE wrestling network
because it seems like they should have done this years and years ago, but at the same time I have to imagine that Marvel and to a lesser extend DC are paying attention to any attempt to monetize something with a ton of media content like that... I could see it being a Marvel strategy six to eight years from now as they grind their way to a decent amount of broadcast material. All those toes are in the water in terms of generating support content and binding it to digital comics and animation expressions, too.
* hard not to fall in love with this short profile
of a year in the publication life of JB Handelsman, one of the better New Yorker
cartoonists of the hardcore William Shawn years and one of the few to flit successfully between multiple styles.
* I did not know about the comic or the fact driving the comic
* so apparently you can download a lot of older comics for free
. I don't know how I missed that article, which makes me think it's a re-posting of a super-old one, but I like the idea of this older material finding its way on-line into archives because maybe that will allow us ways archive material that is web-only.
* finally, here's a photo set
from a college lecture given by one of our very best cartoonists, Kevin Huizenga.
posted 1:05 am PST
Happy 37th Birthday, J. Caleb Mozzocco!
posted 1:00 am PST
Happy 50th Birthday, Lea Hernandez!
posted 1:00 am PST
Happy 38th Birthday, Simon Pierre Mbumbo!
posted 1:00 am PST
Go, Bid: Stan And Sharon Sakai Art Auctions Going On eBay
auctions here; explanation and direct donation possibility here
posted 12:05 am PST
March 10, 2014
CR Review: Snow Piercer Volume One: The Escape
Jacques Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette, Virginie Selavy, Gabriela Houston
Titan Comics, hardcover, 110 pages, January 2014, $19.99.
This very, very handsome presentation of the 1982 graphic album La Transperceneige
by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette likely owes its existence to a recent Bong Joon-Ho film adaptation starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and a cast of capable film veterans. That came out last year internationally and is currently held up in a bit of dispute by the Weinstein Company's unfortunate desire to want to cut work to improves its box-office chances; it will see a release in the summer, having made about $70 million in international markets. It's old-school science fiction: after a global weather catastrophe instigated by a weapon used during a nascent war, the planet's likely sole human survivors run a circuit on a massive train. A man from the lowly, tail end of the train moves towards the front where he instigates and uncovers in equal amounts a plot against the back half of the train. It's a giant, ponderous, and wholly blunt metaphor: class warfare played out on a limited stage where every player is thus important not just for the foregrounded situation but because they literally represent the future of humanity. It's easy to see a film here, and to project the original album's success, and to figure out why there were a pair of sequels (gathered into a single, second volume) by other talents working in the same mode of presentation. There's an audience for science fiction that's About Things, and this is certainly that.
While I imagine the reviews for the re-release will be mostly positive, the book had a hard time holding my attention. For as much as I can see people trumpeting its grim vision of human nature as a sort of left-turn from a heroic version of the same story, I find what was executed on the page to be cliches of a slightly more serious-faced type. Every time a character introduced themselves -- surviving man from the back of the train eager to see to his own interests, idealistic woman that wants to help him, pompous bureaucrat, weathered soldier, acerbic doctor -- it was hard not to respond, "Well, of course you are." That this was the kind of book where a string of characters introduce themselves was another sign I wasn't going to find a whole lot here that interested me except maybe the broadest, allusive strokes. Nothing any of those characters did after those introductions surprised, except in perhaps the central metaphor being so sturdy and obvious that I thought they would do more with those in the train just generally in terms of providing a variety of reactions to the basic situations that presented themselves. "Fascinatingly dull" comes close to what we got instead. The most interesting element of the setting was by far the way limited information was employed up and down the train cars. In strong contrast to the life we have now where a constant barrage of information must be sorted, and also in contrast to one moment in the narrative where a radio is employed to bring a moment of truth directly from one set of charcters to another, those on-hand cling onto such limited scraps of intelligence and such rudimentary narratives that they could manipulated in ways that were almost heartbreakingly child-like. The visual approach of varying three-tier pages in a way that suggests the emergence/push-through of walking through train cars I also thought cleverly employed.
The original work's ending reveals our hero's importance less for the the specific experiences he had than for its broader meanings, and then quickly suggests that even that's not crucial, that his primary function was to carry some sort of flu bug through the train, and then one more time suggests that he himself is some sort of virus whose basic presence on the train is enough, even as we wonder after its eventual end. It nearly makes the stock situations and central casting feel of the early chapters work, that this final rug can be pulled out from underneath the whole idea that any character has agency that means much of anything in the wider scheme of things. When your metaphorical construct is a stand-in for humanity, that's a depressing place to go, and it is underlined by some work the authors did throughout in making a value out of being alone on the train when the pressing horror of the human condition and the danger in the milieu presented stems from isolation. This also made the sequels very hard to read, as they seemed like sideways riffing on an original idea whose first outcome holding sway over possible others was the point, and that a second take on the same basic situation couldn't help but diminish the first. I did like the more tightly cramped pages, particularly on the interiors, and some of the individual ideas floated intrigued me, but the second, equally handsome book felt to me like planting mushrooms in a corpse.
posted 3:00 pm PST
By Request Extra: Noah Van Sciver Art For Sale
He's seeking a plane ticket to Charlotte for HeroesCon and the debut of his next book; these are nice pieces
posted 1:00 pm PST
Go, Look: John F. Malta
posted 2:20 am PST
Rumor: The Strangest John Campbell Story I've Received Yet
So I've been told by a source I trust that the cartoonist John Campbell walked into a Chicago comics store with what may have been one of the non-distributed-after-he-made-them kickstarter books actually on fire
and attempted to set a Chester Brown book on fire that was on the comic shop's stands. Campbell was apparently being filmed by someone with Campbell's phone; the story then goes that the person working the store defused the situation. The account continues that Campbell and friend left, against the store employee's desire they stay, with what may be footage we'll perhaps get to see.
I trust the person whose name is on the e-mail. I don't yet have independent confirmation -- an outside witness, or evidence in support. There's a chance this could all be an elaborate prank. I would not usually be open to being pranked in this matter, because I'd sit on the story until I heard more. This time I'm putting it out there because if it were my friend or someone I knew doing this I'd want to know immediately that it had come to this.
It goes without saying how not-acceptable and fucking bonkers -- not in an amusing sense where we're all delighted and entertained by the weirdness or happy to put some overlay of peformance art onto it but in a contemptible, what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you sense -- walking into a bookstore with something on fire would be. So let's hope the story is not true.
I've had two friends at two different times in my life that lost their ability to function in public in a way that led to increasingly indulgent behavior, in ways similar to this. In one case things worked out so that nothing happened except a bunch of us remain mad at this person for being a self-indulgent asshole. In the other case my friend's behavior became more and more peculiar and he finally shot at a mutual friend and some cops and he will be in jail for a long while yet, not being a dad to his kids in the way he'd hoped and not being a part of society in a way that I never thought a possibility. So if this is a thing, I'd like to see this stop now. Let me know if I can help.
For what it's worth, the person that told me the story has as their sole expressed concern worry for Campbell.
And if it's not true, let me know that, too, and I'll delete this the next second and we can all go back to work.
posted 2:19 am PST
Go, Look: Alex Toth Storyboards
posted 2:18 am PST
Capital City Comic Con In Austin Eschews Part Of Promotional Campaign Featuring Giant, Heaving Boobs
for the apology. Here
for write-ups on what happened. The story isn't that a convention did something stupid or that their initial defense was "hey, part of shows," or even that a lot of people are tired of this kind of thing -- people have been yelling at conventions to stop doing casually offensive stuff for decades now -- but that there is such an obvious mass of people that won't accept this in the audience now that this kind of acting out feels isolated in a way, it stands out a bit more than it did during the day where you could walk around and keep count Legolas Vs. Gimli at Helm's Deep style who saw more things you'd never expose your friends to that weren't acclimated to comics' pernicious, underlying misogyny. This isn't a now versus then thing in any other way, though, I should say; it was always wrong, and always made people feel uncomfortable. People that leer was never a market segment.
I will be interested to see how far this goes, as someone that has exactly zero interest in the playing-out aspects of cons, because I think there may be some conversation to be had over a lot of expresions at cons that aren't quite this open to slam-dunk criticism but are still things that might make some folks uncomfortable. It's worth keeping an eye on. I also wonder if the widespread availability of straight-up porn on the Internet has diminished the audience for sexualized mainstream entertainment to the point this has become a different conversation as well.
posted 2:15 am PST
Go, Look: Zodiac Layoff Spiral 2
posted 2:10 am PST
Go, Read: Reminder About The 1990s Winter Brothers Lawsuit
There's a very short on-line article here
that's little more than a reminder that the Winter Brothers once sued the makers of a Jonah Hex comic (Joe Lansdale, Tim Truman, Sam Glanzman) over two parody characters called the Autumn Brothers that looked like the striking blues-rockers but in no way acted like them being a) living the Old West, b) running around shooting people and being creepy and monster-like. As the article notes, it was earlier work using the same Jonah Hex character that instigated the comments by Harlan Ellison in his TCJ
interview about writer Michael Fleisher which in turn led to the lawsuit Fleisher brought against Ellison and the magazine. That's fun trivia, although the circumstances are very different. The article also notes that DC eventually covered the legal defense of the creators through their insurance, after -- to my memory -- not doing so at first and having the CBLDF pledge to assist with the case in the vaccuum of that initial lack of support. The case eventually went in the direction of the parody, and thank God, because that case was shit-stupid. MAD Magzine
would be public enemy #1 if this were reasonable law. (And of course, whether this is tasteful or not is a completely different issue.)
Where I'm a little bit confused is I don't know if DC Comics was ever sued along with the comics-makers and then just extended their defense to cover them, or if it was always and solely the creators at risk and DC extended their protection to them because that was the right thing to do. Does anyone out there remember? Because if it was DC being sued, I don't know why there was an insurance question or a question of the creators needing CBLDF support. If it wasn't DC being sued, we probably shouldn't call this case Edgar Winters Vs. DC Comics except in the broadest, most casual way. For one thing, the idea that you would sue creators and they might not be supported, that seems to me way more chilling than just lawsuits against companies, the same way that in other countries sitting officials suing editorial cartoonists is that much more horrible than papers getting sued, at least in terms of convincing people not to do things.
. I have to go to the vet and Charles Brownstein isn't at the office this morning. Was this a case of DC Comics being the named party in the lawsuit? Were they one of the named parties? Help me, Internet. I'm old and I can't remember the '90s.
Michael Dooley, who wrote the article, sent me here
. So DC was named as an actual defendant. Greg Stump, who covered for the Journal
also contacted me to his memory aligns with mine that there was some discussion as to whether or not the contract might allow the company to attempt to put this on the creators, but that they did step up as remembered. I still think it's important to note that the creators were named as well, as that's far more terrifying for me, at least, to consider as a consequence than a company being sued in a way that might lead to restrictive policy. Not every company will step up.
posted 2:05 am PST
Go, Look: Daily Stalinski
posted 2:00 am PST
Missed It/Not Comics: Cartoonist Criterion Top Tens
I can't tell from the interface when these went up or which ones might be newer than others, it could be years now, but if you're like me and haven't seen any of them you might want quickly bookmark a few while I've placed it in front of you. Also, since we're talking about classic films when it comes to criterion, it's not like there's a sell-by date with any of these anyway.
You can start here
or go directly to suggestions by Mike Allred
, Kazu Kibuishi
, Bill Plympton
, Frank Kozik
, Leanne Shapton
, Jaime Hernandez
and Scott Morse
. I'm sure I'm missing one or two people straight-up and there are a bunch of friends-of-comics (Dave Filipi
) and have-done-a-couple-of-comics (Anthony Bourdain
, Patton Oswalt
) people in there, too. Heck, you could certainly argue Shapton and Plympton's inclusions on that first run of comics-makers. Categories are tough, but movies are fun.
posted 1:55 am PST
Go, Look: Skin Deep
posted 1:50 am PST
Comics At SXSW = Deals, Deals, Deals
While I'm certain there are any number of digital happenings in Austin in conjunction with South By Southwest that may have a potential impact on comics, that market's digital players are making a certain amount of news by driving attention to their offerings through sales.
* comiXology is offering a SXSW Submit Starter pack until tonight for $10
; that their small-press/self-publishing program, and there's more than enough stuff in the starter-pack to justify a $10 purchase if you are in any way inclined to look at non-hardcore-mainstream comics material on-line, ever. I would have purchased the Matt Bors book for $10 that way.
* Chris Sims reminds us
that until midnight tonight you can also get to read multiple Monkeybrain-published comics for free. I very much like that company's Bandette
comics, and I'm sure you can find others to complete your experience.
* in fact, it looks like comiXology offered a bunch of stuff Saturday that expires tonight, and you should probably just go to their twitter account
and follow the links out if you're into getting free stuff (or access to free stuff, or however it should be stated).
* comic book publishing titan and licensing superhero Marvel is kind of re-orienting its digital offerings a bit more comprehensively in terms of making more support material and more bells-and-whistles
on the actual comics themselves avaiable, and available more widely. In support of that they're offeirng an all-but-free month to their lots-of-comics-at-once digital package
. I know a lot of happy adult superhero fans that buy this one for commutes to read comics on their iPads and the like, although my own exposure to their programs and their chosen interface is severely limited.
posted 1:45 am PST
Go, Look: Those Marvel Black Light Posters
posted 1:40 am PST
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