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

December 3, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* giant newspaper comics strip industry player Universal Press Syndicate has launched a blog featuring content from comics editor John Glynn. As the inner workings of strip syndication have been shrouded with mystery since they became a viable business decades and decades ago, any insight as to what goes on there or how the people there think is going to be very welcome.

image* the great mainstream comics artist Gene Colan's health has improved to the point where he's able to do a signing at Lee's Comics this Saturday, which is great news. He's a very nice man and of course was the massive talent behind one of the five most recognizable and compelling big-company art styles of the last 50 years.

* this is naughty but made me laugh.

* not comics: those of you in southern California might want to take note of this upcoming benefit film showing for Carla and Lance Hoffman. The better Star Trek movies offer villains played by actors that in some manner match the charisma of the featured captain, the best being this scenery-chewing battle between Ricardo Montalban and William Shatner.

* my original idea for Comics Reporter was a site devoted to comics and comics-related incidents that recall the film Cooley High. Unfortunately, this would have been my only post, as someone suggests via the posting of some lyrics that "It's Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" when it comes to the recently-announced end for Comic Foundry magazine.

* not comics: Alvin Buenaventura goes to a Liquid Liquid show.

* the retailer and old-school comics blogger Mike Sterling applies for comics reviewer sainthood by pointing out the good sequences from Heroes For Hope.

* not comics: when you see the page views for various newspaper sites, it's hard not to think that those big-name brands have some sort of viability in an on-line future increasingly dominated by familiar names, and that it's the infrastructure that has to adjust. I guess the worrisome thing is that all of these sites are as viable as they are only because the man hours spent on them far, far exceed the profits gleaned.

* finally, the prominent comics blogger Alan Gardner has been tracking an interesting story about how the talented cartoonist Ed Hall has lost a client newspaper due to the controversial nature of one of the cartoons with which he supplied them. In the latest entry, he notes why losing a paper like this is so maddening: you might lose papers for budgetary reasons no matter how your cartoons played there. One of the underplayed elements of cartoons losing traction in newspaper via the decline in staffed editorial cartoonist positions is that freelancers are treated much differently than a staffed cartoonist in a way that can make it much, much more difficult for that cartoonist. In other words, 50 years ago a cartoonist with Hall's talent would likely have had little problem finding a lifetime's worth of work with a single newspaper; these days he has to scramble to keep a viable client list.
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

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