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December 12, 2017


Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Cullen Murphy

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Go, Read: A Brief Reconsideration Of Local Arts Connections

This profile of Guelph art dealer Renann Isaacs makes a big deal -- and should -- of her gallery's recurring partnership with the great cartoonist and illustrator Seth. I'm putting a spotlight on it with its own post because I think it encapsulate an underutilized strength available to comics-makers.

In the past, some local art scenes have been reluctant to include comics-makers in their efforts to spotlight what's being made around a specific city or in a particular region. That's less and less of the case now. You also have found cartoonists that have been reluctant to partner with local institutions because they want to avoid being strait-jacketed with a "local artist" reputation. In the era of social, local is international in a lot of ways, and there are changing attitudes about where good work can be found. I encourage all comics-makers settled into a community or region to make these contacts and enjoy these working relationships as part of what they do.
 
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Go, Look: Comics Available Over Christmas Break 1971

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Your 2018 Eisner Award Judges

Comic-Con has posted this year's slate of Eisner Awards judges and program administrator has sent out a piece of publicity in support of the announcement.

They are:

* Candice Mack, manager of system-wide Young Adult Services at the LA Public Library.
* Greame McMillan, international cat thief and longtime writer about comics.
* Tate Ottatti, Florida retailer of 25 years standing.
* Nhora Serrano, a visiting assistant professor of comparative literatures at Hamilton College.
* Alexander Simmons, a freelance writer and educator.
* Bill Wilson, longtime fixture in the southern California fan community.

Fuller biographies are available at the link.

Submission will be accepted until the deadline March 16. The Eisners are juried at the nominations level and then opened up to working professionals and past winners. The ceremony is held the Friday evening of Comic-Con International.
 
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Go, Look: Martian Press

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* with Spy Seal having finished up its first volume, fans of Rich Tommaso -- of which I'm one -- might hope for a higher profile for collections of his recent work like Dry County.

* this PW preview of the Spring comics and graphic novels category has some great tidbits about a number of what look like quality works. I had not known that Michael Kupperman's book on his quiz-kid father has gained the title All The Answers. That Kupperman book is probably one of the two or three curiosity pieces next year, as his obvious smarts and skills are being put to use for what I assume is an entirely different kind of book. Although, then again, if the sex blimps show up, I'm not going to complain. It's also the first time I've seen public recognition that the cartoonist known as Ethan Rilly will collect Pope Hats' major storyline Young Frances under his real name, Hartley Lin!

* finally: Bleeding Cool notes that Fantagraphics is reprinting Cannon in the new year. The success of Wally Wood publishing projects the last quarter-century is an intriguing story: I would imagine it's one winding down as the generation most taken with Wood is slowly shuffling off this mortal coil. Nothing like a really crackling Wood comics effort, though, still.
 
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Go, Look: Jean Wei

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2018

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*****

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

December 27
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This

*****

January 25
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 26
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

January 27
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

January 28
* If I Were In France, I'd Go To This (Angouleme Festival)

*****

Events For February 2018 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: 5 Worlds

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Bloom Into You Vols. 1-2. Garry Trudeau writes an article for the Times about Cullen Murphy's remembrance of the 20th Century southern Connecticut cartooning scene, Cartoon County. That's a nice get for that fine book. Rachel Cooke on Spinning.

* not comics: I know nothing about the context here, but it seems pretty self-explanatory and important enough to share. Our deepest sympathies go out to family and loved ones, as well as hope for the best possible outcome with every remaining, unresolved issue.

* Brandon Reynolds talks about his life in cartooning.

* this best of travel books list includes the new Roz Chast, a book I think has been under-discussed in the comics world.

* finally: Caroline Donahue talks to Fran Krause.
 
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Happy 42nd Birthday, Pat Lewis!

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Happy 64th Birthday, Mark Landman!

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December 11, 2017


Go, Look: An Equal Opportunity Lie

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Comic-Con International Wins Suit Against Salt Lake Comic Con Over Comic Con Trademark

Late Friday afternoon brought news that Comic-Con International won its trademark infringement case against Salt Lake Comic Con over use of the phrase Comic Con. CCI claimed that use of the term by the Salt Lake group violated their trademark; the Salt Lake group held that the term was generic.

CCI was awarded only $20,000 -- far shy of its $12 million ask -- because the court determined the violation wasn't a "willful infringement."

I've long been of two minds about the case. I actually doubted that CCI could find legal standing for their claim because of the ubiquity and historical nature of the phrase but I have always been 100 percent certain that newer shows like the one in Salt Lake use "comic-con" or a near-derivative to indicate the exact experience created by CCI if not the actual show itself, at least way more than they use the term to mean a generic comics show of some sort.

Where this continues is if Salt Lake appeals, which might itself depend on whether or not CCI uses the decision to seek an injunction against Salt Lake and other shows that use the term. It is also unknown if Salt Lake will continue to seek formal cancellation of CCI's claim at the trademark office level.
 
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Go, Look: Will 2018 Be The Year Of The Woman?

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Brian Bendis Recovering From Infection Episode

On Friday, mainstream North American comics icon the writer Brian Bendis revealed that a infection flare-up on Monday, December 4, had put him in the hospital for care and endangered his life. Apparently a recent attempt to become more generally healthy helped in response, and Bendis was home by week's end. CR wishes Bendis the best in his continued recovery and return to work.

Bendis' appreciation for friends in the Portland creative community and their support for him during the alarming period of this recent bout of infection are nice to read after a long and sometimes distressing industry year.

Best known for his revival of Marvel's "street-level" characters in the early '00s and his co-creation of Jessica Jones, Bendis recently made news by signing an exclusive contract with DC Comics believed to round into full effect schedule-wise in 2018.
 
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Go, Look: Comic Cavalcade #10

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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I hope that in the spirit of giving which remains one of the best parts of this hopelessly over-commercialized season that people will pay attention to charitable efforts like the campaign for cartoonist Kate Beaton's sister Becky, an effort to expand the family's ability to find appropriate clinical trials worldwide.

* this is a good time to put some money into traditional comics charities, most of whom have a specific holiday-related campaign going if you look around a bit, or ask. Those non-profits include the traditional comics charities CBLDF and Hero Initiative, many of our educational institutions and related enterprises like Center For Cartoon Studies and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Look around. Comics has a culture of maximizing consumption. Taking a step back and aiming your money in a different direction, in a considered, thoughtful way, there is really no more enlightening way to participate in comics, to be a part of things. I recommend it to everyone.

* if you're one of the wonderful people that donates to your favorite cartoonists and makers on Patreon and can afford to do so, you might wish to temporarily boost one or two of those recipients that's particularly important to you. Until alternatives are found and/or the policy change in question that has added a fee to small donations as well as large is reconsidered, some of your favorites, particularly younger artists, may be taking a hit in terms of money that's very important to their ability to continue making work. This was not up to the donors to correct, nor is it up to you to fix, but it's a definite structural shift that some of you may have missed and I figure worth mentioning here.

* finally, I'm so happy that there will be a round two of Creators For Creators, and the sizable grant they supply a working cartoonist towards completion and support of a project. I'm encouraged every day by comics' moves towards a more generous assistance and aid landscape, and this is about as high-profile and substantial a development as we've seen in the last 36 months. You have until the end of March.
 
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Go, Look: A Few EC Segar Charlie Chaplin Strips

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Go, Look: Sal Buscema Drawing The Avengers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Glenn Walker, RIP. Walker was a talented and well-liked writer about comics and pop culture more widely. Our condolences to family, friends, fans and peers.

image* Alex Hoffman on Stages Of Rot.

* here's an analysis on where the Matt Furie Vs Alt-Right over Pepe the Frog stuff stands. I don't think Pepe is known enough and the changes radical enough for a satirical defense to make a lot of sense. The alt-right's use is overwhelmingly transformative when it comes to that kind of use of the character. Even Pissing Calvin exists in a way where Watterson's use of the character isn't transformed and harmed to this extent.

* the writer Hannah Means-Shannon digs into what makes Elfquest a creation important to comics. I agree with not a lot of this mostly in that excessive declaration makes puffy some matter-of-fact points. For instance, a lot of comics properties of that era ended up moving from publisher to publisher over the years. Still, I like Elfquest as an historical effort, and believe its creators told stories in a way that entertained many and shaped the comics readership. It was the Saga of its day and Wendy Pini doesn't get enough credit as a storyteller breaking with several traditions of her era, particularly in the emotive character work.

* finally: best incidental band name in a while.
 
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Happy 60th Birthday, Peter Bagge!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Lewis Trondheim!

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December 10, 2017


Go, Look: Fun Silver-Age Spectre Cover Images

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If I Were Near Catford, I'd Go To This

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