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

















May 6, 2016


Five For Friday #452 -- Reading Experiences

Five For Friday #452: Rank From One To Five Your Five Most Preferred Formats In Which To Read Comics, With One Being The Most Preferred. Use This Format.

*****

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1. Slightly Smaller Than Standard-Sized Alt-Comic Format (Black Eye Comics)
2. Newspapers As Comics (Smoke Signal)
3. Marvel's 1970s Giant-Size Format (Giant-Size Avengers #1)
4. Artist's Editions (David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition)
5. Standard 1970s/1980s Black And White Alt-Comics Magazine (Elfquest, Love & Rockets Vol. 1) (pictured)

*****



*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Rachel Suggs

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Zunar Accepts Cartooning For Peace Prize In Geneva

You can read about the award and the ceremony here. I wasn't aware that Kofi Annan was the honorary head of a cartooning anything, and I think that makes him the most storied person to head a comics organization, ever, since . I'm not sure that isn't more weird than the sitting president of the US writing a comics intro. Wait, I'm sort of sure it isn't. That one takes the all-time prize. Still.

That bit of levity aside -- truthful levity, mind you, that is astonishing -- Zunar has had an entire career's worth of very specific, very tenacious fighting for the right to be heard in unfettered fashion, and I hope that his oft-delayed current trial goes in his favor. There aren't enough awards to give him, and I'm grateful to every one of them for helping keep his personal cause a continued story of interest.
 
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Go, Look: Captain America Fighting People Cover Gallery

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Rick Friday: Man Of The Hour, Cartoonist Of The Week

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The Columbia Journalism Review -- the magazine most likely to be on the back of my Dad's toilet from 1974-1980 -- has a piece up on cartoonist Rick Friday being fired from a rural Iowa publication called Farm News after a late-April offering, reprinted above in the spirit of more people seeing a suppressed cartoon than would have ever seen it had it been left alone, brought an advertiser complaint followed by Friday's abrupt firing.

Friday self-announced the news through social media and it was borne through those currents through the first part of this week. I started to get e-mails on Tuesday. NYT ran a piece Thursday.

This most recent round of pieces note the ownership profile of Farm News, which goes to the one of the family conglomerates, Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, West Virginia. I suppose the pressures would be similar no matter the exact type of owner involved, with ownership closer to local likely to sacrifice wider corporate concerns but feel the departure of a single advertiser in a more severe way.

The notion that an expression of a political point of view as journalistic commentary should be punished by those with a dissenting opinion is a development of the commercialization of political opinion crossed Island Of Dr. Moreau style with the hyper-commercialization of the newspaper business. That's a tangled mess with some dire consequences for what remains of mainstream editorial cartooning. I'm already worried that a story like this one comes with a shrugged-shoulder ending, no matter how much we might be horrified by the longterm implications.
 
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OTBP: Two Sketchbooks By Andy Ristaino

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Big Brain's Michael Drivas: "I Can Just Stop"

And so he will.

Michael Drivas talks to the Star-Tribune in the above, linked-to piece about the closing of his Top 30 North American comics shop, Big Brain, in June. As I've written before, maybe even about Big Brain, a tightened cycle of store life is a reasonable expectation for the next generation of comic shop owners. I hope someone in the area opens up a similarly-focused store for the Big Brain clientele, and I wish Drivas every happiness with whatever he has planned next. Thanks for all the Wednesdays.
 
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Go, Look: All In A Day's Work

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Stuart Moore sent out an e-mail on Tuesday morning alerting people to the existence of his on-line work of self-published prose, Garter's Big Score.

image* Terence Toh talks to Ernest Ng. Alex Townsend talks to Gordon McAlpin. Eric Ratcliffe talks to Michael Kingston. Christine Marie talks to John Allison.

* explaining this is fine.

* finally, I suppose this could be the formal announcement of the next Allie Brosh book, because that information has been out there for a while now.
 
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If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In London (Ontario), I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through June 2016

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*****

May 7
* If I Were Near A Comic Shop, I'd Participate In This (FCBD)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 8
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Minneapolis)

May 10
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 13
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Santa Cruz, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 14
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cupertino, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Pickerington, I'd Go To This (Big Comic Show)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (MSP ComiCon 2016)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 15
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (TCAF)
* If I Were In Des Moines, I'd Go To This (Wizard World Des Moines)
* If I Were Near Detroit, I'd Go To This (Motor City Comic Con)
* If I Were In Merced, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (MSP ComiCon 2016)

May 17
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 19
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

May 20
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (Ting Festival)

May 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)
* If I Were In Vanouver, I'd Go To This (VanCaf)

May 22
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Linework NW)
* If I Were In Vanouver, I'd Go To This (VanCaf)

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)

*****

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)

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 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)

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

June 24
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

*****

Events For July 2016 Onward Listed Here

*****



*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Traps

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Jacked #5. Katie Skelly on Gorgeous.

* I greatly enjoyed Rebecca Wanzo's direct inquiry into the potential cultural impact of Marvel/Disney folding the Black Panther character created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee into their universe-spanning series of films. I wonder if the way Ta-Nehisi Coates writing the Black Panther comic book is being processed is the first movies-to-comics discussion of superhero comics' cultural value.

* I thought I mentioned this, but I can't find it, so here it is for the first or second time: Matt Badham interviews Tom Bondavand about his March cancer diagnosis.

* educator and industry veteran Stephen Bissette on the virtues of media that you can physically own and on which you can place your hands in a tactile sense. I remain interested in the pair of notions that seem, at times, to be at some odds: that as a consumer issue ownership is an advocacy issue but in a creators rights sense it might not be.

* Chris Stein on comics-related educational efforts in Nigeria.

* for weeks now I've been screwing up on placing the formal announcement of Top Shelf's Fun Family into its proper publishing news slot, so let me just skip that obsessive sorting act and mention it here. I'm not sure that for everyone Top Shelf has a line identity outside of March -- not a bad line identity to have! -- so every one of their releases for the next couple of years will likely at least subconsciously processed in terms of the publisher as well as on its own.

* finally, I love the directness of the emotional appeal here.
 
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Happy 68th Birthday, David Michelinie!

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Happy 53rd Birthday, Craig Fischer!

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May 5, 2016


Siné, RIP

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By Request Extra: Rob Clough Could Use Some Help

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Here. Clough is a nice man -- that's him on the left with AdHouse's Chris Pitzer on the right -- and provides the invaluable service of giving hundreds of young cartoonists their first review.
 
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Go, Look: Marina Julia

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Go, Read: Letters Archive In Support Of North American Visit For Artist Rokudenashiko

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There is a deeply encouraging and slightly troubling array of letters here in support of a forthcoming visit by the artist Rokudenashiko to Canada and TCAF, followed by a strip to New York. The deeply encouraging part is in the array of letters and the content involved letter-to-letter and the foresight deemed necessary to help pave the way for a smooth trip; the slightly troubling part is that they are anticipatory of potential trouble in the artist's visit.

As an expression of my view on comics and on art more generally, this site gives the fullest support to the unfettered, unencumbered expression of creativity and opinion without political consequence of any kind. In Rokudenashiko's case I feel any impediment would be that much more tragic because of the important subject matter and her righteous, humane take on the issues involved, both in the act of making and in the messages communicated. It would be ghastly if there were any problems, and I am very appreciative of any and all people from Team TCAF to anyone that just takes the time to read the letters to help advance the notion there should be nothing but smooth sailing here based on expressed principle.

You can buy the graphic memoir here.
 
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Go, Look: Bob McLeod-Inked 1970s Splash Pages

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Missed It: Max And Moritz Prize Nominees Announced, Career Award To Claire Brétecher

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I blew right past these about two weeks ago, but the Max And Moritz Prize nominees were posted, along with this year's special-award winners. Joining past winners like Pierre Christin, Robert Crumb and Albert Uderzo for that program's special lifetime achievement prize is the great humor cartoonist Claire Brétecher. Brétecher was in the news earlier this year during the "zero worthy female nominees" fiasco at the French-language festival in Angouleme as someone who was obviously, overwhelmingly qualified for their standard Grand Prix award and resulting festival presidency. Keeping in mind not everyone agrees on the value and utility of awards, I say give Brétecher all the awards there are to give. I was glad to hear she's going to get this one.

Other special awards look like they're going to the post-Hebdo Luz memoir Katharsis and to the Berlin-based publisher Avant-Verlag.

The standard awards program has its nominees list:

* Come Prima, Alfred. Translation By Volker Zimmermann (Reprodukt)
* Crash 'n' Burn, Mikiko Ponczek (Tokyopop) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Crissis Tagebücher, Joris Chamblain und Aurélie Neyret. Translation By Tanja Krämling (Popcom)
* Das Hochhaus. 102 Etagen Leben, Katharina Greve (www.das-hochhaus.de)
* Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof, Sarah Burrini (www.sarahburrini.com/Panini Books)
* Das Nichts und Gott, Aike Arndt (Zwerchfell)
* Der Araber von morgen, Riad Sattouf. Translation By Andreas Platthaus (Knaus Verlag)
* Descender, Jeff Lemire und Dustin Nguyen. Translation By Bernd Kronsbein (Splitter Verlag)
* Die Toten, Stefan Dinter, Christopher Tauber und anderen (Panini Comics/Zwerchfell) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Ein Ozean der Liebe, Wilfrid Lupano und Grégory Panaccione (Splitter Verlag)
* Ein Sommer am See, Mariko Tamaki und Jillian Tamaki. Translation By Tina Hohl (Reprodukt)
* Fahrradmod, Tobi Dahmen (www.fahrradmod.de/Carlsen Verlag) (nominiert durch das Publikum)
* Irmina, Barbara Yelin (Reprodukt)
* Junker. Ein preußischer Blues, Simon Spruyt. Translation By Rolf Erdorf (Carlsen Verlag)
* Kiste, Patrick Wirbeleit und Uwe Heidschötter (Reprodukt)
* Kleiner Strubbel, Pierre Bailly und Céline Fraipont (Reprodukt)
* Können wir nicht über was anderes reden? Meine Eltern und ich, Roz Chast. Translation By Marcus Gärtner (Rowohlt Verlag)
* Madgermanes, Birgit Weyhe (avant-verlag) (Erscheinungstermin: 20. Mai 2016)
* Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson und Adrian Alphona. Translation By Carolin Hidalgo (Panini Comics)
* Opus, Satoshi Kon. Translation By John Schmitt-Weigand (Carlsen Manga)
* Penner, Christopher Burgholz (Jaja Verlag)
* The Singles Collection (Vom Leben gezeichnet), Mawil (Der Tagesspiegel/Reprodukt)
* Tobisch, Joachim Brandenberg (Jaja Verlag)
* Von Spatz, Anna Haifisch (Rotopolpress)
* 78 Tage auf der Straße des Hasses, David Füleki (Tokyopop)

The award ceremony will be held during the festival later this month.
 
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Go, Bookmark: Pictures Mean Business

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double-dipping on Sarah McIntyre today; not sure I've ever directly sent people to the all-in-one PMB page
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events

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By Tom Spurgeon

* it's all TCAF right now in terms of what people I know are talking about, notably mostly for the fact it's more than a week away still. The festival has released its professional development and academic conference schedules. That money panel looks like it could be super-fascinating.

* spring tours announced for Patrick Kyle and Lisa Hanawalt.

* I enjoyed this article that ran over at The Beat last week about how movie studios plan for Comic-Con International and how they over other options now: focused-property events and single-company conventions. It has very little to do with the show that I attend, but it shapes its business and public profile for sure.

* NYCC would like you to submit panel ideas for this year's show.

* some of that excitement in the air is surely that we're in the middle of the Ting Comic And Graphic Arts Festival for 2016. That's the show that's a month of events in and around London, Ontario. I did my usual spectacularly shitty of providing it coverage, but I have the individual events up now.

* saw this 2013 essay by Jason Latour making some rounds, extolling the virtues of comics conventions as a place to put together sustaining human relationships that will serve you well as you try to work in a long-term sense, and also talking a few strategies to best negotiate that world. I think the crucial nature of personal relationships can be a true thing for a lot of comics people, a lot of comics careers, but we also still see people that are getting work in comics where no one knows what they even look like until they've reached a career-making threshold in terms of building readers for the long haul.

* I'll be at CAKE on June 11. Someone please have breakfast with me before, and someone please have dinner with me after. I'll figure out lunch.

* finally, MICE is accepting exhibitor applications until May 18. I'd like to see that show someday.
 
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