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

















May 25, 2016


Go, Look: Tom Lechner

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Our Fractured Industry Needs To Put Aside Our Differences & Unite Behind A Single, Vital Issue

Noah. My God. Shave.
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Gary Brodsky's Passing Noted At The Beat

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this apparently happened May 9 and I totally missed it. I think. It's been a rough year for my memory in addition to a rough year for people passing away
 
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Marvel Responds To DC's Tossing Of Sadness Gauntlet

imageDescription of plot points in the new Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 here. Ew! It's like discovering film of your Mom making out with your elementary school principal, except for some reason it's trending.

These are corporate properties designed to move product, and sometimes that's a little more apparent than usual. It's really apparent this week! The way these companies occasionally seek to manipulate the affection and feelings of ownership that they themselves have encouraged in their fans is interesting to a point, but only a point.

Comics like these rarely satisfy. The focus on the characters as their own thing aggressively diverts from any insight into the human condition they might afford, even through amplification, and the attention paid to plot points and continuity almost always makes a low priority of the element of spectacle through which superhero funnybooks can be a beautiful thing to behold. What you're left with is static images declaring their own wikipedia entry updates. No thanks.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through June 2016

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May 26
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

May 27
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 28
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)

May 29
* If I Were In Erlangen, I'd Go To This (Internationaler Comic Salon Erlangen)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Anime North)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Festival BD de Montreal)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (DIY Cultures)

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June 2
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)

June 3
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

June 4
* If I Were In West Virginia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)

June 5
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Philadelphia)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This

June 7
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This

June 11
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)

June 12
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)

June 14
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

June 16
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

June 17
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (HeroesCon)
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Sacramento)
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

June 18
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (HeroesCon)
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Sacramento)

June 19
* If I Were In Charlotte, I'd Go To This (HeroesCon)
* If I Were In Sacramento, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Sacramento)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Toronto Art Book Fair)

June 20
* If I Were Phoenix, I'd Go To This

June 23
* If I Were In Berkeley, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

June 24
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

June 25
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

June 26
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

June 27
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

June 28
* If I Were In Orlando, I'd Go To This (ALA Annual Conference)

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Events For July 2016 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Archangel #1.

* Rebecca Bates talks to Aidan Koch. Alex Dueben talks to Dana Simpson.

* not comics: I will fight you, New York Times.

* hey, a Sacha Mardou comic.

* I have no idea why this set of Moebius illustrations is in my bookmarks, but I'm not displeased. Always fun to look at Moebius, a happy master.

* not comics: remember, if you're ever feeling sad about your own station in life, watch Peter Cook in the Ed McMahon role on a 1980s Joan Rivers show. Nothing more excruciating in show business history.

* here's Team Trouble With Comics on the recent funnybooks they like. They're trouble, it's right in their name.

* finally, Devin Feraci writes at length on DC Universe: Rebirth #1. I have no doubt there is a lot of meta-commentary in this reboot; I'm just imagining I'm not going to agree with a whole lot of it.
 
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Happy 63rd Birthday, Stan Sakai!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Sal Velluto!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Ken Avidor!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Barry Windsor-Smith!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Marc Hempel!

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Happy 59th Birthday, Terry Nantier!

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May 24, 2016


Mell Lazarus, RIP

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posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Brian Dionisi

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Festivals Extra: Book Con/BEA Definitely Happened

Torsten Adair has one of those nice first-person, tedium and touchdown reports on this year's Book Expo America and its commercial show within a show, Book Con. It took place in Chicago mid-May the same weekend as TCAF.

As you can tell from Adair's article, there were several comics people on hand, certainly enough for a comics fan to spend those days in a graphic novel wallow. It still isn't near what we thought it might become for comics 11, 12, 13 years ago. As long as comics remains a strong category for bookstores, it's going to have a chance to be a solid comics show, focused on reading and the act of selling to readers as opposed to artistic issues or spending time in the shared nerd culture that reaches across media.

But man, I didn't hear a peep from anyone excited to go, have heard in bare minimum fashion from people that went, and certainly this provided a sharp contrast to those once-upon-a-time hopes and what a huge deal TCAF has become. The fact that it's in Chicago after several years of trying to develop a recurring Springtime in New York feel with all the morning shows and late night shows stuffed with prose authors, indicates there's still some focus left to come.
 
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Go, Look: 1987 Kevin Nowlan Hand-Painted Color Guide

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Not Comics: Over-Valuing The Entreprenurial Class

Here. Comics has a version of this, in that it tends to see being paid for comics to the point it can be a primary profession as a key value, with all sorts of distortions and dysfunction spinning off from that central idea.. It's a myth from which we could back away a bit, I think, in the course of improving things for artists and getting more quality art out there.
 
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Go, Look: Kikuo Johnson On Latest New Yorker Cover

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

* here's some more news about Chinese versions of DC big three characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I don't have any dark, Trump-like thoughts on this: I think these are properties and it's probably smart to have properties directly attuned to the world's great markets. I have almost no interest in this in a story sense, though. I do sort of wonder if these are the kinds of characters will be killed five years from now in service to propping up the big-bad in a crossover mini-series.

* William Gibson, comics-maker.

* so I guess there's a new Wasp character. The Wasp is probably the only female Marvel character that really works in a distinctive way in the 1960s Marvel comics, although I have a soft space for Kooky Quartet-era Scarlet Witch. It's weird to read the Jarvis character yelling at people.\\

* finally, Tillie Walden cements her Next Big Thing status with a book from First Second announced. It's a skating memoir.

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Go, Look: Amazing 1964 S. Clay Wilson Sketchbook Page

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posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Linework NW 2016

imageLinks to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2016 edition of Linework NW, held May 21-22 in and around the Sons Of Norway Grieg Lodge in Portland.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

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Institutional
* Festival Site
* Physical Location
* Host City

Blogs And Personal Journals
* Hannah Means-Shannon

Facebook
* Organization Page

* Erik Nebel

News Stories And Columns
* Bleeding Cool
* Portland Mercury
* Willamette Week

Twitter
* Event Account

* Aaron Meyers

* Brian Lee

* Dave
* Dylan Meconis

* Jacob

* Kevin Czap 01
* Kevin Czap 02

* Laura Knetzger
* Laurie Pina

* Meg Hunt
* Melty Buddy 01
* Melty Buddy 02
* MK Reed

* Pam Wishbow
* Paul Tobin

* Sean Ford
* Suzette Smith

* Trillian!

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posted 7:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Kate Bingamin-Burt

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posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Two Heartfelt Con Reports

Ran across two emotionally-driven convention reports within ten minutes of one another: Dustin Harbin on TCAF 2016; Erik Nebel on the just-completed Linework NW. The Harbin piece might of slightly greater interest because Harbin has written about shows before and the contrast between those pieces and this one seems pretty strong. They're both pretty great in similar ways, though.

One reason it becomes compulsive for some folks to want all of the things about comics to stop being harmful immediately is because there are so many things that are great about working in comics, or being a close observer, or being a devoted and focused reader. There's no reason everything couldn't be that much better.
 
posted 6:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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