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
















August 29, 2014


Happy 37th Birthday, Jason Latour!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 54th Birthday, Mark Heath!

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August 28, 2014


Please Consider A Small Donation To The Hero Initiative On Behalf Of Jack Kirby And The Kirby Family

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The donation page is here, and they ask you write in Kirby4Heroes in the "special instructions" slot. The Hero Initiative is the comics industry's charitable organization that is devoted to the care of creators in need, and it is the choice of Jack Kirby's family in that they hope that any impulse to celebrate that great comics-maker's birthday might include a donation to the organziation.
 
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Jack Kirby, The King Of Comics, Would Have Been 97 Today

Jack Kirby, the mighty heart of the American comic book industry, would have been 97 years old today. Below, for your ruminative and reflective pleasure, is a tiny, even insignificant sample of his awesome image-making power. Long live the King.

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posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Please Consider Making A Donation To The Hero Initiative And Other Kirby Day Notes

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It would have been the pioneering, powerful and prolific comic book creator Jack Kirby's 97th birthday today. There are several things going on in his honor.

image* the Kirby Family has put their emphasis on this day serving as a vehicle for remembering their family patriarch but also honoring him through donations to the Hero Initiative, a charity that focuses on support for older comics creators in need.

* the Kirby4Heroes Campaign was organized by Kirby's granddaughter Jillian in 2012 and she's been able to expand things a bit every year. The Facebook page is a great place to read about the various goings-on. There have also been some fine summary articles as to everything planned.

* several artists are drawing something today in Kirby's honor. Many of them will be found through the twitter hashtag #WakeUpAndDraw.

* Phil Hester is attempting to draw 97 pieces of Kirby-related art today.

* there was a story on NPR this morning.

* I've noticed these Kamandi books are still on $.99 sale over at comiXology. That's a fun series Kirby did in the 1970s, where an ecological catastrophe changes the world into a planet dominated by sentient animals and explored by a shirtless teenager. The issue #10 in particular has all the wild, powerful art that anyone could hope for. In terms of physical collecting, I've noticed over the last few years that issues in the issue number 70s, 80s and 90s of the original Fantastic Four run are findable at less than $5 a pop. That comic had lost some steam by then in terms of narrative build, but the art is wonderful. It's fun to collect Kirby in any format, and he did so much that there are entry points no matter your taste.

* finally, there is a birthday party with special beer.

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posted 2:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Some Very Attractive Sports Cartoons

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the Fall convention season kicks off this weekend with Dragon Con, which no longer has a star in the middle of its name. That is a broadly-conceived con, still old-school a bit, with an "adult playground" reputation -- deserved or not, I couldn't tell you. It is a very successful regional show, although from the comics perspective it's no longer in the top five perception-wise, I don't think. Still, some people are I'm sure in for the weekend of their lives. I hope everyone stays safe.

* for the mainstream-comics oriented part of the community, it's Baltimore right now, with a hint of New York on the horizon. For the indy crowd, it's two weeks until early arrivals at the Marriott in Bethesda for SPX weekend. I will hopefully be among the crew in the DC area for show #3; I've yet to do Baltimore (though hope to) and haven't done New York for a few years.

* I bet we see more and more events framed as mini-cons, and not just with people being funny.

* here's a lovely set of photos from this month's DCAF -- the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival.

* you can tell SPX is in a comfortable place right now because of how much time they focus on driving attention to and facilitating various refinements, like map aids to find food in the general vicinity of the show.

* here's a new, planned-on festival still in the rough stages of development.

* one of the favorite European shows for North American cartoonists, Lucca Comics & Games, continues to add guests. I'm always happy when some of the underground comix generation take those opportunities.

* the twitter feed belonging to an at-a-convention Jon Rosenberg was the funniest thing on-line last weekend, but only if you're into dark humor. This is typical. August 21-24 should about do it, if you want to spend some time there.

* here's a convention with a novel twist for comics shows, anyway: they want to hold it in different states as they get going. ICAF moves, and the AAEC annual meeting moves, but that's about it right now.

* finally, a young fan reviews RIPExpo.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2014

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August 29
* If I Were In Decatur, I'd Go To This

August 30
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Decatur, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto I'd Go To This

August 31
* If I Were In Decatur, I'd Go To This

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September 3
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near A Computer, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 4
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Stockholm, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

September 5
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 6
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Paper Jam Small Press Festival 2)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 7
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 8
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

September 10
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 12
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)
* If I Were In College Park, I'd Go To This

September 13
* If I Were In Rockville, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New Hampshire, I'd Go To This

September 14
* If I Were In Rockville, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)
* If I Were In Montreal, I'd Go To This (Montreal Comiccon)
* If I Were In New Hampshire, I'd Go To This

September 15
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Harvard, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Charlottesville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

September 16
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

September 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were In Asheville, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 21
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This

September 23
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

September 24
* If I Were In Pittsburgh, I'd Go To This

September 25
* If I Were In Kenosha, I'd Go To This

September 26
* If I Were In Kenosha, I'd Go To This

September 27
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Kenosha, I'd Go To This

September 28
* If I Were In Long Beach, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

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Ongoing
* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cartoon Art Museum (Through September 14)

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This post is designed to list events through the month after this one, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Another Tom Raney Images Mini-Gallery

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I keep on forgetting to say so, but it looks like the writer Zainab Akhtar is settling in at ComicsAlliance. That's a good hire for them and they've been admirably proactive recently in terms of gender and hiring. I don't know if Akhtar's first piece is this Dustin Harbin interview, but I look forward to more of the same.

image* Tim O'Shea talks to Jesse Jacobs. Two people named Luke and Sean talk to Megan Kelso. Patrick Hess profiles Benjamin Marra. Joe Berkowtiz profiles Lisa Hanawalt. That photo may be the best publicity photo for a cartoonist I've ever seen.

* not comics: I like this poster; I don't think I saw it when it was first put out there. I'm not one of the obsessive fans of that movie, but I remember I laughed when someone described it as Blade Runner for little kids in terms of the long-term effect it might have.

* Todd Klein on Detective Comics Annual #3. Henry Chamberlain on The Fade-Out #1. Johanna Draper Carlson on Buffy The Vampire Season 10 #6. Bob Temuka on the Kick-Ass series. Joe Gordon on The Boxer. Richard Bruton on Alone Vol. 2 and Red Baron Vol. 1.

* finally, that's some shirt.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 43rd Birthday, Joann Sfar!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 39th Birthday, Elijah Brubaker!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Benoît Peeters!

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August 27, 2014


Go, Look: Katie Wheeler

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posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Dean Haspiel On Helping Seth Kushner Without Using GoFundMe

I had a few cartoonists ask if there was a way they could help the photographer and comics-maker Seth Kushner without contributing through his GoFundMe campaign, as some people have developed objection to their role in facilitating money raised for Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. I asked Dean Haspiel, a close friend of Kushner's at the heart of fundraising effort on his behalf, and he sent the following response:
With all due respect: are the people who wish to support Seth Kushner going to pay with American currency? Because I'll bet the same people who are supporting that abhorrent Ferguson cop are also using American currency. If they have a problem using a system that supports people they don't support (lord knows I'm not excited about the fact that a lot of people I can't stand get paid with the same currency I get paid in), then they need to not worry about Seth Kushner. He and his family will survive without their qualified support.

I'll bet there is a direct pay pal or something like that and if "they" want to find out what that is, "they" can email Seth and his wife directly.
This was followed by a second response, which indicated that Seth Kushner was offended by the nature of that request.

For those still interested in pursuing a non-GoFundMe option: as per Haspiel's response, Seth Kushner is at Most paypal payments can be made directly to a person's e-mail.

The GoFundMe page for Kushner is here. I encourage people to consider giving.
 
posted 8:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mat Brinkman At Loyal

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Cartoonist And Author Mimi Pond Wins 2014 Literary Award From PEN Center USA In Graphic Literature

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The author, artist and cartoonist Mimi Pond took home the 2014 Literary Award in the Graphic Literature category from PEN Center USA, according to this announcement. Special attention was given to Pond's recent memoir Over Easy, according to the citation. That book has just gone back to a second printing, says a post at publisher Drawn And Quarterly.

The winners are honored at a banquet in November. Pond will receive a $1000 cash prize.

This is the second year in a row that an author won during a year where a special citation went to their recent work with D+Q, with 2013 being Gilbert Hernandez's year for Marble Season.
 
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Treasure Island 2

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posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: SPX Posts Its Ambitious 2014 Programming Slate

Here. Bill Kartalopoulos does the programming for the Small Press Expo, and I think his work over the years has exceeded anyone's expectations for solid, rewarding, challenging programming show to show, year to year. So I always look forward to see what he has planned. He's a great moderator, too, so it's nice to see him doing so many of the heavyweight spotlights and the Fremok panel.

It's also worth walking through that list just to see what's out there. I mean, you get the heavyweights and their spotlight panels, sure, but one of the first panels is Katie Skelly moderating Meghan Turbitt, Eleanor Davis and Julia Gfrörer, all of whom are funny and articulate and intelligent. That's just not a panel you would have seen five years ago because of the relative progression of each panelist's career (also because Davis tends to avoid doing shows). Like comics in general, well-run comics panel programming can offer a massive return on your time investment.
 
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Daniel Schaffer

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Short Run Announces Its 2014 Exhibitors List

Short Run, the popular Seattle-based one-day arts comics show, has posted its exhibitor line-up for the 2014 iteration, coming mid-November.

It's one that's worth looking at if you're going, sure, but also if you're not just for the snapshot aspect of what a show like that can bring to bear in terms of a mix of local talent, regional arts-comics stars and a few arriving from far away. Also, you have to be pretty hardcore attentive to either that scene or comics more broadly or both to recognize everyone on that list. I think the one-day shows like that represent a model that's really sustainable for the major cities with significant cartooning communities. Also, that Denny Eichhorn isn't even on-line, at least not in an official capacity, made me laugh.
 
posted 8:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Some Fun Superhero Work From Steve Ditko, Gil Kane

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
I Had To Re-Read The Release Three Times To Make Sure They Weren't Talking About The IDW Web Site

Here. I like the International Monetary Fund -- or really any agency, really -- explaining policy and news events through comics. It is one of the best ways to teach. I am sure there are many objections that can be made to the points of view presented in the comic; as always, I trust on all of you being smart enough to process any ideas presented with your own tools for doing so.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: A Set Of 1990s JR Williams Collector Cards

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posted 7:50 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Andrew Todd On Gaming Culture Misogyny

I know almost nothing about gaming culture and care about games basically not at all, but I found this survey-the-recent-landscape article by Andrew Todd an interesting one for its ruthless focus on misogyny, abuse and acting out within that larger community. It might help some folks that have a hard time processing the awful behavior that takes place in comics culture to see the same kinds of things taking place to another group of people coalesced around an entertainment medium. There's a lot about it that's familiar, and nearly all of it is distressing.
 
posted 7:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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