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

April 27, 2013

Let Me Make A Case For A Specific Book At Stumptown


There are bound to be a lot of fun, interesting comics available this weekend at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland. Some of them will come from the regional publishers Top Shelf, Oni, Dark Horse and Fantagraphics. Others will come from individual cartoonists and comics-makers. I hope to talk about several such books on Monday. For now, I want to ask for some consideration if you're on hand for Matt Bors' brand-new, self-published Life Begins At Incorporation, which I understand will be available from the cartoonist himself.

Bors is a young editorial cartoonist, which all by itself is a statement worth paying attention to. He's also a new-generation editorial cartoonist, which means he works in a style that is different than the Oliphant/Conrad/MacNelly clones by which that expression of comics is most easily defined during this age of its publishing decline. Bors does a lot of four-panel comics, and frequently if not always works in color, and has a bigger audience on the Internet than he does in newspapers. The reason he's self-publishing, it seems at least to me, is that there really isn't a place in traditional publishing for his work, nor is there a place for him right now in many of the traditional feeder markets that might make a book seem a good idea.

It's a good book, too, with a lot of cartoons and a significant essay component both on cartooning and the issues involved in individual pieces. It reprints a few that gained some traction, like his wonderful cartoon on Steve Jobs' passing or this stop-and-think-and-smile effort featuring the birth rate for non-Whites in North America. It could also be seen as a rigorous and uncompromising document from someone pretty solidly, across-the-board, operating from the Left during an election season and its immediate aftermath where that was a viewpoint that wasn't out there as much as you might think.

Bors is local to Portland and important to the further development of the editorial cartoon. He and his core readership have put themselves out there a bit in making sure he has a small number of books to get rid of over the next several months. I hope you'll stop by and check it out, or consider a purchase from a bit further away. It's the kind of book that would benefit greatly from your convention purchase.
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink

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