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

December 19, 2011

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Stuck In The Middle will remain in the middle school/high school library where its status had come under fire. Good.

image* this essay starts out being the worst thing retailer/advocate Brian Hibbs ever wrote, but rallies at the end. For some reason, Hibbs continues to insist there was a bunch of bookstore triumphalist punditry back when bookstore accounts started to grow. I don't recall writing that essay, and I don't think anyone of lasting import and influence (such as it is in the world of blather) ever did. More importantly, even if it existed, none of this punditry ever took hold as working opinions by those that make actual decisions. Neither the Bob Wayne-ensconced DC nor the still mostly bookstore oblivious Marvel -- the market's dominant leaders -- could ever be said to be bookstore focused to the significant detriment of the shops. Not rationally. However, it's pretty undeniable that a number of the alt-comics companies we have now -- companies I think are valuable, and full of people like me that love comic shops -- would have gone out of business if left to depend on the DM as it was developing in the 1990s. They were dying until deeper bookstore interest came along; one of those companies was crushed by the peculiarities of the DM right before our eyes! I just don't understand this kind of revisionism with the comic book store owner as primary victim. It's weird. It's also not a very convincing springboard through which to denounce a still also relatively non-impactful and isolated on-line triumphalism. However, I do agree with Brian in his end point that more attention should be paid to fostering the opening of brick and mortar stores, wherever and however possible. I've been advocating for it for years, in between my "Bookstores Will Crush You All" jeremiads, I guess. One thing that might be helpful is if more of Brian's peers would stop automatically treating new accounts as competition.

* Alex Dueben talks to Jamal Igle and Danny Fingeroth. Rob Clough profiles Caitlin Cass.

* Scott Edelman defends the honor of comics-makers in the face of a new artist that is reproducing their work in a specific context and selling that reproduction as art. Edelman sent me an odd message linking to his post, tweeting "This bothers me. I wonder if it will bother you and what readers might think, should you care to share." To be honest, this kind of thing has never bothered me. I mean, I get how what the comics artists do is art and how what the pop artist using that art as the basis of recontextualized commentary is art. Further, I understand that how people might place value on those different instances and expressions won't have anything to do with one another. I'm slightly baffled that except in rare cases anyone sees as much value in the latter to pay millions of dollars for some of it, and in some cases I'm confused as to why it deserves any attention at all, but I totally get how these are two different and legitimate things.

image* Richard Thompson makes me laugh. Seriously.

* Sean Gaffney on The Drops of God Vol. 2 and One Piece Vol. 59. Sean T. Collins on MOME Vol. 21. Don MacPherson on Union Station. Grant Goggans on Penny Century. Greg McElhatton on Taroch #1. Johanna Draper Carlson on The Drops Of God Vol. 2, The Sugar And Spike Archives Vol. 1 and Nelson.

* did you ever notice how some TV/movie parodies arrive on the scene years later than maybe they should have?

* this is the most genially written article that's ever made me feel icky.

* finally, Vortex #1 is profiled at Squidface And The Meddler.
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink

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