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July 23, 2012

One Last Summary Post On The Summer's Big Funnybook Show

I think this will do it for primary posting related to San Diego's Comic-Con International. I'm fully aware that most people get tired of posts about that show roughly four days before the show starts, as well they probably should. However, I think there was a fair amount of actual comics news at the show. As a lot of it gets lost in a haze of "I'm having fun/this is what it all means/here's the hype directly from the panel's mouth/here's some stuff not really comics that we have to report for some reason/costumes-costumes-costumes," it seems unfair to further obscure actual news developments by waving one's hands and declaring the whole thing over and done with, at least without an attempt at an accounting of what happened. So let's give that a shot as we sing the comics year's halfway point to sleep.

* I think it's important we note the passing of Twilight fan Gisela Gagliardi. My understanding is that Comic-Con is deferring to an expected police briefing on the matter, but that seems to me like an odd place to leave things and I'll continue to report on that as it develops. I'm primarily interested in any review of line policy or the like, because I know they're pretty rigorously self-critical there.

* This site guessed at some meta-stories here, and I think those predictions turned out to be pretty fair ones. If you're looking for storyline-type approaches, I think you could start there.

* Publishing-news wise, there were several announcements worth noting at the show. D+Q announced an Art Spiegelman book for 2013, and will be the first publisher to do a book-with-spine in partnership with young talent Michael DeForge. Neil Gaiman is doing a Sandman series with JH Williams III. Image announced a slew of series roughly modeled on recent hits like Saga and Fatale, including books from Matt Fraction (with Howard Chaykin) and Greg Rucka and a renewed line from popular writer J. Michael Straczynski. (CR spoke to NYT feature article profile recipient Publisher Eric Stephenson here and here.) Fantagraphics, Top Shelf and I believe Oni were among those publishers announcing significant digital initiatives or developments in same. Darwyn Cooke and IDW announced Cooke's next Parker book will be The Handle. Top Shelf named Nate Powell as the artist on March. IDW announced three new Artist's Edition books: Xenozoic Tales, Gil Kane-era Spider-Man, MAD. PictureBox announced a book from Blutch and an Anne Ishii-produced, Chip Kidd-designed tome of Gengoroh Tagame's gay bondage porn. AdHouse is working with Jim Rugg again; PictureBox will be releasing a limited-edition Renee French book for SPX. Kate Beaton confirmed at her panel she's looking to do a book of her recent, excellent, longer pieces. Informal news abounded: Jaime Hernandez suggested a lot of his Locas characters would return in future Love & Rockets stories, Linda Medley's return to Castle Waiting will result in a revamped Volume Two, the talented cartoonist Josh Cotter may be done with comics for now, Duncan The Wonder Dog Vol. 2 may be ahead of schedule, and so on. All in all, there was plenty of comics publishing news to be reported. I'm sure I've missed a ton here.

* The Eisner Awards were shorter than I think most folks expected, and every recipient in town seemed to show up to pick up their awards. Dylan Williams, perhaps the first major figure of the post-alternative generation to pass away when he died last September, was included in the honor roll. Bill Blackbeard made the Eisner Hall Of Fame. Writer Mark Waid won I believe his first awards from that program. Ditto James Kochalka and his kids-comic award. Full list of winners in context with nominees, all linked, here.

* As for the show itself: attendance remains at the full capacity level it's been for a few years now, basic logistics seemed to continue to improve, badge integrity issues continued, more of Hollywood and related businesses descended on San Diego proper as opposed to confining themselves to the show (and made it a bit harder for comics entities to find purchase at prime locations), and it seemed to these eyes at least that higher-end buyers for published material may have been weaker this year.

* This site's daily reports are gathered here; the summary analysis was here.
posted 3:00 pm PST | Permalink

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