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



















February 21, 2017


Publisher Annie Koyama Makes Significant Contemporary Original Art Donation To The Billy Ireland

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The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announced earlier today that they have accepted Annie Koyama's donation of more than 250 pages of original artwork featuring contemporary American cartoonists. Koyama is the founder, owner and publisher of Koyama Press.

Koyama founded the alternative comics company in 2007 and quickly became home to an under-published, emerging generation of cartoonists that had spent their entire creative lifetime in the milieu of unfettered expression and mutable styles that had become a growing force in the medium following the 1960s underground generation.

In addition to her publishing slate, Koyama became known as a general patron of the cartoon arts, supporting and looking after both her cartoonists and those that worked the same general landscape. One way of doing this was buying original art.

As the press release puts it, from Koyama: "I started purchasing work from some of my favorite American cartoonist as a way to support and offer patronage to predominately up-and-coming artists. Over time, I built a collection of art that is as unique and diverse as the cartooning community from which it is derived. I am excited to see these artists finding recognition and representation in what I consider a vital resource: the BICLM." This resulted in her beginning to more actively curate this collection in 2013 for eventual donation.

Not only does Koyama's donation reflect a stellar line-up of artists like Eleanor Davis, Hellen Jo, Katie Skelly, Noah Van Sciver and Lisa Hanawalt (you can see a rare and beautiful-looking Tim Hensley page below), but the collection provides a snapshot of a generation that might be otherwise difficult to nail down through original art because of that art's value to the artist as a commodity. Many modern cartoonist during their long gestation period in mini-comics and the small press will sell a significant number of their original pages these days, into collections of three, four, a dozen original art pieces held by a variety of purchasers. Koyama's decision to first help out, then collect in focused fashion, represents a gift to present and future scholars hoping for one place to find a bunch of this material.

This also makes that art eligible for exhibitions at the museum. An exhibition featuring the Koyama Collection itself will run from May 6 to October 21 in 2018, and will be a major focus of that year's Cartoon Crossroads Columbus comics festival.

Everyone likes Annie Koyama, and this is yet another reason to join them. I wish for everyone that loves comics some sort of purposeful giving relationship to the art form. Comics has run for decades on almost hyper-intense individual experiences like collecting that it might be a little difficult for us to think in other ways. Once again, Annie Koyama gets there a little bit ahead of the rest of us. We should all follow her example.

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Go, Look: New Group Of Sammy Harkham Originals Up And For Sale In His Shop

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Go, Look: John Severin Covers Cracked

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Top Shelf quietly announced their Spring season last week, or at least they announced it quietly enough it escaped my attention until now. Campbell Whyte combines the day-after-school and slip-into-fantasy-world subgenres in Home Time. That cover is very attractive. There's also a Nate Powell Omnibox on the way; this seems analogous to what they've done with the Eddie Campbell material, getting the work a second run on the marketplace with a box-set slipcover presentation. Everything Powell does is of interest.

image* the family Allred are behind a forthcoming series using a bunch of minor DC Jack Kirby characters, with the focus on Forager, The Bug. It's always nice and also sad when DC comics characters are employed, because they're usually great characters and you worry about the necessity of trotting them out again.

* Mark Waid takes on an expanded role at Archie. That seems a wise choice for both writer and publisher; Waid's done the core older-reader soap opera version of the Archie book for a while now.

* finally, Scott McCloud writes about his forthcoming book and how it will have an effect on his public profile. But it's on here for the forthcoming book part.


 
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If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This

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Always Happy To Look At Some Big John Buscema Images

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics from last week's new release.

* not comics: this is a long article that repeats some of its point for emphasis, but its analysis of where Matt Furie's Pepe The Frog characters fits into the Trumpian landscape is concise.

* this exhortation on behalf of the Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan character created by G. Willow Wilson, Sana Amanat and Adrian Alphona has a very sweet quality to it.
 
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Happy 40th Birthday, Jason Das!

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Happy 77th Birthday, Congressman John Lewis!

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Happy 38th Birthday, Bryan Lee O'Malley!

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Happy 9th Birthday, Desert Island!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Kurt Ankeny!

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February 20, 2017


James Stevenson, RIP

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Go, Look: Say Hi For Me

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Ezra Clayton Daniels Wins Third Dwayne McDuffie Diversity In Comics Award Over Weekend

imageHeidi MacDonald has an early, fully-written story here that Ezra Clayton Daniels emerged the winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Diversity In Comics Award from a strong finalists' list. Daniels won for his work on Upgrade Soul and was in attendance.

The Beat's story describes in great detail the ceremony, which sounds like a good one. I think that award has done a really solid job of establishing itself in a brief time. It's a fitting reflection of its namesake's extended run of significant work in both comic books and animation, and addresses what should be an issue of interest for everyone in comics right now that has a stake in how things develop over the next quarter-century.
 
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Not Comics: Roy Doty Illustration Work

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Bundled Extra: Editor Karen Berger Developing Berger Books Line With Dark Horse Comics

It was announced late last week via press announcement at this weekend's ComicsPRO gathering (I think) that Karen Berger, the founder of DC's influential Vertigo imprint, will develop a line of creator-owned comic books and graphic novels at Dark Horse. The line will be called Berger Books. You can read a bunch of very good articles perhaps structured after the very good David Hyde press release at places like PW.

Berger stepped down from Vertigo in 2012, and has taken on a number of eclectic freelance gigs since while kind of remaining the #1 free agent out there in terms of an editor with industry influence and no office with their name on it. A name like Berger's is increasingly important in comics as the North American market continue to surge forward with titles in a lot of different categories, comics that without a reason for folks to stop and look might appear on the racks briefly and fairly disappear.

In addition to bringing a great deal of talent -- most famously writing talent -- to English-language readers during her tenure with Vertigo, the imprint is also credit with providing a mainstream-comics weight and oomph to a lot of trends developed in comics during that period. Berger also seems personally well-liked to a significant degree by creators that worked with her before or merely read the comics she fostered into existence, so the talent roster she's able to assemble with Dark Horse backing her should be a fascinating story to watch.
 
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OTBP: Mineshaft #34

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I know I write a little bit of something for nearly every issue, but I greatly enjoy Mineshaft. I admire its unlikely existence and each issue seems to have a few more accomplished comics and/or sketches by members of the underground school -- both the original crew, and their generational successors. This one has fun work from Mary Fleener, Peter Poplaski, John Porcellino and the usual dash of Robert Crumb. I wish every tradition in comics had a similar publication.
 
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Comics By Request: People, Places In Need Of Funding

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By Tom Spurgeon

* here's an intriguing idea for a crowd-funding campaign: a fairly extensive, but still very targeted effort on behalf of travel expenses for creators to attend the Queers & Comics Conference. Because that's a community that is often marginalized because of artists' lack of fund to do things like travel, this would seem to take care of a specific need.

* Melissa Sayen's modest ask for Forgotten History looks like it's on its way to being fulfilled.

* Ivan Brunetti's auction-related efforts on behalf of his students with their Linework anthology is building up a decent head of steam. Brunetti's work is available very intermittently, and the big-ticket item here is as good-looking as anything he's done.

* the Simon Wiesenthal we mentioned in a past column has surged past its $5000 goal.

* don't forget the Garbage Pail Kids tribute pack that will support the healthcare costs rung up by underground great Jay Lynch!

* finally, I'm still rooting for the Treece family. It's great for them to reach 50 percent of their initial ask. A lot of campaigns don't get that far.
 
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If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through March 2017

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*****

February 21
* If I Were In LA, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

February 22
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

February 23
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

February 24
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

February 25
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Copenhagen, I'd Go To This (Copenhagen Comics)
* If I Were Near Destiny City Comics, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Brussels)

February 26
* If I Were In Copenhagen, I'd Go To This (Copenhagen Comics)
* If I Were In Brussels, I'd Go To This (Comic Con Brussels)

February 27
* If I Were In The Bay Area, I'd Go To This (2017 Comic Arts Fest)

*****

March 2
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 3
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)

March 4
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Tulsa, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Nigeria, I'd Go To This (Comic Connect Africa)

March 5
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (ECCC)
* If I Were In Nigeria, I'd Go To This (Comic Connect Africa)

March 11
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Con)
* If I Were Near Ontario, Oregon, I'd Go To This (Border Town Comic-Con)

March 12
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Big Apple Con)

March 15
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This

March 16
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 17
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 18
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 19
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (WW)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 22
* If I Were In Providence, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 23
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 24
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)
* If I Were In Linz, I'd Go To This (NEXTCOMIC)

March 25
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (SPACE)
* If I Were In Greenville, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

March 26
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (SPACE)
* If I Were In Greenville, I'd Go To This (SC Comicon)
* If I Were In Leipzig, I'd Go To This (Comics & Graphics Festival)

March 28
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Harper College, I'd Go To This

March 29
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

March 31
* If I Were In Anaheim, I'd Go To This (WonderCon)
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Dallas)

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Events For April 2017 Onward Listed Here

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Editor's Note: Some of you have questioned whether or not these listings count as personal endorsements; they don't. In the spirit of more information trumping less, I will continue to list a wide variety of events here for those that don't share my specific tastes and distastes.

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Go, Look: Four Color #39

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Shade The Changing Girl #3. Nick Jones on a bunch of different David Mazzucchelli books.

* Mike Lynch slams Glenn McCoy's idiotic and tone-deaf explanation for this cartoon comparing Betsy DeVos. It doesn't pass a sixth grader's logic test. Ruby Bridges wasn't being castigated for her beliefs, she was be threatened and harassed for the color of her skin. Even if those were conceptual equivalencies, the identity-based equivalency of directly contrasting a mature billionaire lurching after a position of power with pitiful results to a little girl simply trying to go to school and being dignified while doing so, that's just shameful. What a terrible, terrible, terrible cartoon.

* there are some pin-up posters floating around the Internet promoting the movie Logan; you can see the images here. I'd love to read a smart piece on why that character appeals. My theory of the comic character's appeal is that he was short and his power set directly embraced the new "realism" paradigm that settled onto a lot of fantasy literature. But the movie version gets weird. He's tall and handsome. He gets the girls instead of throwing his hospital flowers in the trash. He has always been grim and gritty so there's no juice in flipping the script on him, but there are enough characters like that -- the Punisher, Deadpool -- he doesn't seem totally unique that way, either. So what I'm left with is (Super) Man With No Name. Maybe that's the extent of it.

* finally, Drew Friedman draws Steve Bannon.
 
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