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

October 19, 2014

Congratulations To Gary Groth On Winning The 2014 Stranger Genius Award In Literature

imageI saw this on some private Facebook postings, but here's the tweet from someone that was at last night's ceremony. Here's Paul Constant's profile of Groth when Groth was nominated for the prize, given out in yearly fashion by the major alt-weekly to people working in that region in various forms of expression.

This seems important to me for a couple of reasons. One is that I think this is the first career-spanning award Groth has been a part of, and if there's justice he should be a part of a bunch over the next several years. The world of adult, literate expression in comics owes much of crucial significance to that 14-year-old lining up the column spacing on his fanzines in his bedroom, night after night, and the man that teenager became. The other is that Fantagraphics has had a curious relationship to Seattle over its quarter-century there, and it's always nice to see that city recognize the cultural impact that this long-standing business has had both there in town and throughout the world.

I've long suspected Gary Groth was a genius in part because I'm 3-269 in two decades of arguments with him. So this makes me feel better. Seriously, though, thousands of lives would be different without his unique achievements, including my own. Congratulations to him on this nice honor.
posted 4:00 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Happy 67th Birthday, Giorgio Cavazzano!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

October 18, 2014

The Comics Reporter Video Parade

Jim Woodring Speaking In Seattle

The Reubens

Ali Farzat Interviewed About Being Attacked

Marjane Satrapi Profiled On Sundance TV

Cartoonists Live In Herne Bay

Her NYCC 2014 Experience
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink

CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from October 11 to October 17, 2014:

1. Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? makes the National Book Awards shortlist for non-fiction, the first comics work to do so.

2. NYCC concludes its 2014 with a strong claim for the most-attended show in North America, so much so it's weird that it still gets qualified as a claim. As far as I know, it's the most-attended show now.

3. Last Gasp concludes a successful book-season fundraiser.

Winner Of The Week

Losers Of The Week
Not sure, but there's probably a number attached to them here.

Quote Of The Week
"So why do we hate this book? Every time I hear about how important the Fantastic Four are, it’s always lip service in articles about how the team will be destroyed or the book is getting canned. The two major arcs I can think of off the top of my have all revolved around death: Jonathan Hickman brought the book into the spotlight by killing off Johnny Storm, and Matt Fraction upped the ante and threatened the whole team with cosmic radiation poisoning. Robinson is now systematically destroying the family unit, along with its credibility. Fantastic Four #5 was difficult to read, as Reed and Sue were taken to court, losing their home and their children due to endangerment. We all know being a superhero is dangerous, but to take matters into the “real world” and penalize Marvel’s First Family for being fantastic is just sad. Maybe preparing to cancel the book is a small mercy." -- Carla Hoffman
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

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

posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink

Happy 45th Birthday, Sam Henderson!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

Happy 72nd Birthday, Larry Pickering!

posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

October 17, 2014

Go, Look: This Water Will Be White

posted 8:40 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics: Bizarre, Perhaps Fictional Ukrainian Cartooning Story Involves Lurid Photos, Martial Law

It's here, and the reason it's "not comics" is that it involves a cartoon rather than comics.

It actually sounds like a not-real story to me, which is a possibility raised. That might actually be more terrifying in the long-term than if the story as written is true right down to the ugly parts. It used to be the comics depended on scholars like John Lent to tells us about cartoonists in far-away countries, with the hope they wouldn't make something up. Now people making stuff up seems to be a part of the news.
posted 8:35 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Tiina Lehikoinen

posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Call For Papers On "The Comics World"

imageI am not up on academic jargon to the point I had to go look at what a "CFP" was: call for papers. In this case, it's apparently a call for chapters to a book about comics as a series of social spaces, which seems a fun idea and worth exploring in an academic sense. I hope you'll consider participating if this is the kind of thing you do.

The other thing that hits me is the use of my decade-plus acquaintance Dr. Bart Beaty in the introduction as a major figure in the world of figuring things like this out, which of course he is.
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Torture Castle Intro

posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

Not Comics But Still Sort Of Comics: A Ton Of DC Superhero Movies Get Announced

I didn't have a ton to say about the news itself that Warner Bros has announced a bunch of films related to DC Comics-owned superhero characters. Not my area. I'm sure some will be good, some will be bad, and I'll enjoy watching them starting about ten years from now on various Saturday afternoons via whatever the equivalent of free cable TV exists by then.

A few comics-related things have come to mind since.

imageThe first is that when I looked for articles that put the DC superhero movie announcements in the context of all of the Warner Bros announcements, the DC superheroes seemed to come in third interest-wise behind JK Rowling and Lego. I didn't look a ton, mind you, just a few articles, but I think it's interesting to note it's an announcement wider than DC.

The second is that I don't think as many people question a Wonder Woman movie anymore, which is a victory for a lot of the geeks that kept advocating for one and kept slapping down all the stupid arguments against one. That character is a potential gold mine, but even if it isn't, it won't be the character's gender that is the reason a movie fails. I think that change in attitude could be beneficial in terms of seeing certain kinds of publishing projects to fruition.

Finally, DC Comics does a fine job of matching up single volumes or just a few volumes for the Warner Bros movies that feature their characters. In part because of that one to one (or nearly so) relationship, they move a lot of copies of those books. So this slate of movies does have that likely direct publishing impact. I have no idea what book that could be for the Cyborg character.

Someone at the comics-oriented news site Newsarama I think here pointed out that it was worth noting this announcement was made to investors directly rather than at NYCC. I don't know how that works, but that does seem kind of interesting. I'm also curious as to how this chart become the primary graphic from that PR event -- that just seems like leading with paint color samples, a shame given all the snappy art out there with these characters, or that could be created.

One last thought I had is that I hope that they reinvigorate some version of significant payment for the creators involved, if what's been rumored is true about that avenue for payouts being diminished over the last few years. There's so much money there.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: A Selection Of Bob Powell War Comics

posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

Go, Read: Fantagraphics Selling Gary Arlington's Warrens

Here. I think I knew this already, but it's worth mentioning again. I'm all for the idea of comics having pedigrees according to who had them previously, and I would love for this to become a thing on a more regular basis. I don't have a compelling argument for this, it would just amuse me. Also, there are some really great comics in the described stash and you should get on that.
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink

OTBP: Tiny Pencil IV

posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

Collective Memory: NYCC 2014

posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Go, Look: Scribblings

posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* is going to run the Leslie Stein diary comics, for what I hope is eventual print publication somewhere. I like those comics very much.

* this new Winsor McCay fellow whose work is being published at is promising.

* Gary Tyrrell catches us up with KC Green and Kris Straub. The Green stuff is interesting because you rarely got a mostly-web perspective on publishing in print, and because the coverage fits Tyrrell's conception of the webcomics community as a community to be followed into whatever projects they want to do.

* finally, I forgot to say so closer to the actual end date, but congratulations to Ben Towle on finishing Oyster War.

posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

Daily Blog Archives
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
Full Archives