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September 30, 2014


Comic Arts Brooklyn 2014 Announces First Round Of Guests And New Split Schedule Approach

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You can see most of the pertinent information above. Julie Doucet strikes me as a significant get, she doesn't really do shows anymore I don't think. It's the usual strong guest list for a very good show.

Their statement about the split day scheduling:
"Comic Arts Brooklyn (aka CAB) will expand this year to both Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9. The indy-oriented festival is trying something new this year. Books sales and signings will take place only on Saturday at the Mt. Carmel Church in Williamsburg, with two floors of 100+ vendors. Panels and interviews will be held on Sunday at The Wythe Hotel, also in Williamsburg.

'We want to give more artists and exhibitors the opportunity to come to the presentations,' said CAB organizer, Gabe Fowler, 'Often the very people who want most to see creators speak are unable to attend. CAB wants to change that equation.'

For the second year cartoonist Paul Karasik is coordinating the programming. The guest list includes Roz Chast, Richard McGuire, Raymond Pettibon and Art Spiegelman. 'We have some cool surprises about the specific panels to be announced in the coming weeks," Karasik notes, 'But, let's just say for now, that if you are a Charles Burns fan, you might want to circle Sunday, November 9.'"
I'll be in attendance and hope you will be, too. I might have to come back into the city for Sunday, though.
 
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Go, Look: Hermit!

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* a limited-edition over-sized Olivier Schrauwen comic featuring the Mowgli character? Yes. Yes. Yes. (via David Aja) I posted that last, vaguely worded sentence a couple of weeks ago and kept delaying doing the column. In the meantime, a very thorough Zainab Akhtar reported through ComicsAlliance that an English translation of that book will come out from Retrofit in 2015 as Mowgli's Mirror. I agree that's a great get for them. You should read her article, though.

image* the great Gilbert Hernandez shared his immediate publishing plans with CBR:
"Dark Horse is going to reprint another book I did for Vertigo, Grip. Then they're going to do a reprint of Girl Crazy. That's been out of print. I don't have any plans with Drawn and Quarterly. Fantagraphics will have the new Love & Rockets -- as ever. Maria M. Book 2 was pushed back a little bit. I had planned that to be at the end of this year, but it's going to be early next year. I might have another graphic novel out at the end of the year that I plan to do. That depends if I can squeeze it out."
He notes in that same interview that Loverboys is also out this year, from Dark Horse, and the interview's main focus is the just-dropped Bumperhead. My understanding is that the Love & Rockets volume might be pushed into 2015. That series if of course a gift, and however long it takes for a new one to come out is worth it.

* I hope you didn't miss the Koyama Press Spring 2015 line-up announcement yesterday. It's four books, three by Koyama regulars, as much as that boutique publisher has been able to develop a standard roster in a short time. It's here -- lots of covers.

* although D+Q gave that major presentation on their next few years at this year's Comic-Con International -- which I remember mostly for them Tracy Hurren and Julia Pohl-Miranda doing trivia questions and then immediately apologizing for them being too hard -- somehow it seems more real when you see a bunch of talked-about books on the top of an Amazon.com publication date search. Their late Spring/early Summer looks ridiculous, with the SuperMutant Magic Academy book, the Melody and their 25-year special. There's even new Marc Bell, Anders Nilsen and another Anna & Froga.

* I actually went to Amazon.com because I was surprised when a copy of the NBM English-language translation of the Kerascoet & Hubert book Beauté showed up in my mailbox a few months before I would have guessed -- they didn't do anything, the months are just slipping away from me. That one's super good-looking, by the way. Anyway, it made me poke around and see if I was missing anything else on the horizon from NBM and I'm not sure I all the way knew they're continuing with their translations of the various Donjon series. I really enjoy those books.

* finally, this looks the final cover for Dylan Horrocks' new work, Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen. There had been some going back-and-forth over what that final cover might be, or at least that's what I recall. That should be out starting next month and rolling into the new year, depending on the country involved. I look forward to seeing it in print and reading it all at once.

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Go, Look: Those 20th Century Science Fiction Fanzine Covers

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Go, Read: Simon Hanselmann Interview At AV Club

imageOliver Sava has a lengthy interview up with Simon Hanselmann at AV Club. I'm sure there have been a lot of Hanselmann interviews, but I'm not sure how many of them have been done at kind of traditional places on the Internet one might see interviews with cartoonists. I don't know even know if that makes sense, but I'm sure a few of you follow me.

It's charming and funny, I think; that's also my sense of encountering Hanselmann in person. While it's supposed to be about various first times, and that material gets covered, there's a ton of stuff in there about right now, and how happy Hanselmann is being published at Fantagraphics and how much he enjoyed arriving on the scene and making it to SPX and doing things like hanging out with Charles Burns and making out with Gary Groth. It's great that as blasé as we can get sometimes about these matters -- particularly when you get older -- to encounter a cartoonist just waking up to the fact of belonging in that world and connecting with an audience and with peers.
 
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Go, Look: Love Me Forever! Oh! Oh! Oh!

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Collective Memory: Marvel/Kirby Family Settlement

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Links to stories related to the settlement announced by Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby encompassing various legal concerns, primarily a window of ownership for various comics characters created or co-created by Kirby and published by Marvel in the late 1950s through the early 1960s.

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

*****

Institutional
* Jack Kirby Lambiek Page
* Jack Kirby Wikipedia Page
* Marvel Comics

Miscellaneous
* Case Page On SCOTUS Blog
* Hollywood Reporter Article On Briefs In Support Of SCOTUS Pick-Up, Summer 2014
* Marvel Vs. Kirby In Hand Of Fire

Stories And Commentary
* Acts Of Geek
* AV Club

* Bam Smack Pow

* Comics Alliance
* Complex

* Deadline

* Escapist
* EW

* Geeky Universe

* Hero Complex

* International Business Times
* io9

* Mercury News

* Newsarama
* New York Times
* NY Daily News

* Polygon

* Reuters 01
* Reuters 02

* Tech Times
* The Beat
* The Comics Reporter
* The Hollywood Reporter
* The Wrap

* Variety

* Washington Post
* WXYZ.com

*****



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

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

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Not Comics: Michael J. Vassallo On Pulp Science Fiction

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* one of the loopier places on the Internet post-Kirby/Marvel settlement is the Byrne Robotics forum, which is a very old-school message-boardy space. I can't even comprehend most of these arguments, although Andrew Farago bravely wades in.

image* Dave Richards talks to Tom Brevoort and Jonathan Hickman about the latest Avengers cycle of stories, which involves a short "time jump" -- which means that you get a lot of abrupt plots shifts that are unpacked after they've already happened. It's not something unfamiliar to fans of those comics. Hickman is an interesting writer to have driving the main storylines of that fictional universe. He favors really baroque narrative construction, reasonably close to what was going on with that company in the 1970s or what Grant Morrison did at DC directly pre-New 52.

* not comics: Roman Muradov covers Best American Nonrequired Reading. Eleanor Davis illustrates female characters from Shakespeare.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Chris Eliopoulos!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Mahendra Singh!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Kieron Gillen!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Deni Loubert!

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Happy 37th Birthday, David Baillie!

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September 29, 2014


Go, Bookmark: The Weight

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Koyama Press Makes Official Its Spring 2015 Schedule

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This morning the beloved boutique publisher Koyama Press made available to some of the comics news web sites its Spring 2015 schedule. I'll run covers below this opening barrage of graphs along with their descriptions book to book, artist to artist.

It looks like a strong seasons to me. They'd previously announced the Degen book here, but the other three have at least escape my attention. They're all from artists with whom the publisher has worked before: Ginette LaPalme, with whom they did one of the Wowee Zonk anthologies; Dustin Harbin, with whom they've done previous iterations of the diary work; and Alex Schubert, with whom they did the first Blobby Boys book.

It's interesting to see Koyama kind of develop a roster of cartoonists with whom they can continue a relationship of a long period of time. I think that makes for a stronger presence in the market, and it makes for healthier cartoonists even if they want to take certain kinds of projects elsewhere. The line-up is:

*****

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* Mighty Star And The Castle of The Cancatervater, A. Degen, 9781927668160, $15, 172 pages, $15, April 2015.

Koyama Press Description:
Sci-fi superheroes eschew Gotham and Metropolis in favor of nightmarish neoclassical ruins in this surreal strip.

A. Degen has taken the superhero myth and put it in a baroque blender; the result is the cerebral, sensuous and uncanny Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater. Equal parts Dali and Astro Boy, Degen's mostly silent narrative is both metaphysical and mighty.

A. Degen was born in Brooklyn, New York. After a time in Tokyo, he now lives and works Connecticut. He is the author of the books Area CC (Snakebomb, 2011) and Soft X-Ray/Mindhunters (Astroplus/Futureshock, 2013), and his work has appeared in a number of anthologies.

"A. Degen is one of the smartest and funniest cartoonists in the game. Every page in the book is filled with about two dozen triumphs and upsets in humor, design, pacing... A real pleasure to pore over." -- Michael DeForge, author of A Body Beneath (Koyama Press, 2014), Ant Colony (Drawn and Quarterly, 2013), and many more.
*****

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* Blobby Boys 2, Alex Schubert, 9781927668207, 52 pages, $10, May 2015.

Koyama Press Description:
Imagine the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as pot-smoking punks.

The Blobby Boys are back and they've got acid tongues and acid on their tongues. The salacious and slimy Saturday Morning cast-offs haven't lost an iota of edge. In fact, the only thing sharper than the comedy in this book just might be the boys' switchblades.

ALEX SCHUBERT was born in Mascoutah, IL and is based In Los Angeles, CA where he works in illustration and animation. In 2014, the first collection of Blobby Boys was awarded a Silver Medal in the Long Form and Comic Strip category of The Society of Illustrators first Comic and Cartoon Art Annual.

"Alex Schubert's collection of bold, bizarre comics is short, sharp and shocking -- not unlike a quick stabbing." -- Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
*****

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* Confetti, Ginette LaPalme, 9781927668153, 200 pages, $20, May 2015.

Koyama Press Description:
A colorful celebration of cartoons, creativity and the culture of cute.

Confetti, like its namesake, is a fun and explosive mix of color from the fertile mind of multidisciplinary artist Ginette Lapalme. In comics, paintings, prints, sculpture, and jewelry, Lapalme uses cartoons and junk culture as raw material to make "cute" subversive and "pretty' punk.

Ginette LaPalme is a Toronto-based illustrator and artist. Lapalme is a graduate of the storied OCADU Illustration program, and is one third of Wowee Zonk, a Toronto-based illustrator collective and contemporary comic book anthology.

"It is a goal of mine to live alone in a big house surrounded by the work of Ginette Lapalme, kind of like a cat lady, but with drawings of cats instead of real cats... Utterly delightful but never too cute, the world Lapalme has created leaves me more attuned to the perverse beauty of the one around us." -- Tavi Gevinson, founder and editor of Rookie
*****

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* Diary Comics, Dustin Harbin, 9781927668177, 236 pages, $15, May 2015.

Koyama Press Description:
Comic and tragicomic, heartfelt and heartbreaking; these are the panels that make up a life.

Since 2010, Dustin Harbin has been sporadically documenting the ups and downs and sideways of his life in comic form. From their humble beginnings as a sketchbook exercise documenting the quotidian, oftentimes with hilarious results, Harbin's Diary Comics have grown into quirky existential examinations of life and living.

Dustin Harbin is a cartoonist and illustrator who lives and works in North Carolina. He's best known for his autobiographical comics, as well as many, many illustrations of people and animals, often mixed and matched.

"Dustin's willingness to push himself in these comics makes them special, opening his mind and life to the audience he's meant to connect to, taking what is at times the character of himself and revealing the man. That's always the best part of autobio comics, an ability to confront something true." — Kate Beaton, author of Hark! A Vagrant
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Sounds like an excellent build on this year's very good pair of seasons and a particularly rich TCAF are in store for Koyama next year.

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Go, Look: A Few More Photos Of Cartoonists

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Collective Memory: Marvel/Kirby Family Settlement

image

Links to stories related to the settlement announced by Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby encompassing various legal concerns, primarily a window of ownership for various comics characters created or co-created by Kirby and published by Marvel in the late 1950s through the early 1960s.

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

*****

Institutional
* Jack Kirby Lambiek Page
* Jack Kirby Wikipedia Page
* Marvel Comics

Miscellaneous
* Case Page On SCOTUS Blog
* Hollywood Reporter Article On Briefs In Support Of SCOTUS Pick-Up, Summer 2014
* Marvel Vs. Kirby In Hand Of Fire

Stories And Commentary
* Acts Of Geek
* Comics Alliance
* Deadline
* Geeky Universe
* New York Times
* Hero Complex
* The Beat
* The Comics Reporter
* The Hollywood Reporter
* Variety

*****



*****

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Go, Look: Frank Miller Daredevil Covers Gallery

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Not Comics: Wow, Those DC T-Shirts Are Clearly Repulsive

So unless we're being pranked, some forward thinker in the Warners licensing empire has started putting out clothing aimed at younger consumers with icky -- you know, I'd say "retro" but that's almost like these were cool in a different context and they're just sort of asinine across space and time -- messages. Here's a piece about a Superman t-shirt that rebrands one of their great iconic licenses as a piece of ass; here's one that asks young women to aspire to be the wife of someone actually important.

I don't know the current situation with DC and their licensing; at one point I remember hearing that a lot of it was brought in-house in part to help keep the division relevant in relation to other Warners companies that might push to have control over those characters. But whether that was all the way true and what's true now I can't tell you. It's hard to imagine even the densest hardcore comics people going, "Yeah, that'll play well." It's easy to imagine a scenario in which such people have no say at all.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what to tell you. A loathesome message is a loathesome message, even if portrayed in a "ha ha we're being 14-year-old boys" way. I would have to imagine it's disheartening if you're a fan of those characters and see them primarily in cultural-capital terms to see them utilized that way, and I have to imagine if you're a parent who enjoys those characters and/or enjoys them through your kids, this goes past disheartening to discouraging.

One of the problems with corporate-owned characters in today's hyper-capitalistic world is that they're subject to these kinds of whims and episodes of bad decision-making to an incredible degree. They're product, and any way to make money with product that isn't vastly illegal is on the table at all times. Forget cultural stewardship; even displayed, common-sense management that drives long-term growth can be put aside for short-term buzz or trying to find profit centers for a variety of perceived audiences. As we know to be the case with superhero narratives, you can sometimes goose sales by working directly against more enlightened versions. Because of this, I'm never surprised when an entire comics line turns into a depressing slog of near-pornographic violence and cynicism. I also cringe a bit when people do backflips when someone finds another kind of space in which to enact a less-repulsive vision. They're empty suits. I feel badly for everyone that has to negotiate this kind of nonsense at the behest of a child's earnest enthusiasm, but I'm never, ever surprised when it happens.
 
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Go, Look: Play The Graffiti Game With Superman

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I had this in a summer comic when I was a kid and stared at it a lot
 
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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I keep forgetting to mention this, but Last Gasp is doing a full-season Kickstarter. Last Gasp is a treasure of the American counter-culture, and I'd give Ron Turner the contents of my wallet were he to walk up the street and casually ask. I'll see what I can afford and hope you will, too.

* Chuck Forsman of Oily Comics has applied for one of those Chase Mission Main Street Grants, which requires voting from people via their Facebook accounts.

* Dan Vado is also participating, and I think he's further along. You can also support the longtime SLG publisher more directly.

* I don't always understand Dave Sim's kickstarter campaigns -- okay, I've never understood any of them -- but this latest one looks like it's doing well.

* finally, here's another successful Hope Nicholson project that you might want to join before time runs out.
 
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Go, Look: From Sex In The Comics

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