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January 24, 2013


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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Stan Lee has canceled a planned appearance in Arizona due to health concerns. All wishes for improved health to The Man.

* the MoCCA Festival named Bill Griffith its Guest Of Honor. That should be an interesting show. I think there was a window for someone else to do a show in the first half of the year in New York, but I also think that window closed really quickly and it would be a lot harder to do one from scratch now with the difficulty only increasing. I hope to be on hand. New Yorkers can be pretty relentless when it comes to putting the best face on their events/happenings and applying informal pressure in that direction, so I'd like to see this year's event with my own eyes. At any rate, any honor that can go to Griffith is a great thing.

image* I would say most people are orienting themselves towards Angouleme at the moment, with a significant North American contingent of comics people still ignoring that show altogether even in the collective imagination and kind of splitting their attention between Phoenix and maybe Emerald City even by now. There are a ton of English-language cartoonists that do the giant French-language festival, though, and you see them all over the place posting anxiously about the forthcoming trip. It's still a comics bucket list item if not a do-every-year tradition. Here is a festival preview that looks at one publisher's decision to not do the show for several years, at least not officially, in part because of the unhappiness of their authors there.

* Rich Johnston's site has a short write-up on The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which looks to be a continental-style, spread-out-in-several-locations-in-one-town show. I approve.

* believing they were being asked to choose between the Emerald City show and the Wizard show in Portland the week previous to Emerald City, one on-line publication chose.

* Janice Headley will be helping with this year's Short Run in Seattle, which I guess is also confirmation there will be a Short Run in Seattle this year. Seattle deserves a good small-press show to go along with its good mainstream comics show.

* writing that last bulleted point made for the first time I checked out the ECCC guest list from a comics perspective, and it's a good one, comparable to Heroes and Baltimore in terms of a solid group of quality, mostly-but-not-exclusively mainstream comics pros. There are a lot of people in that area, of course, and a lot of people down the coast that make the trip up out of fondness for the show and its organizers. I think that show has settled into a nice sweet spot right now.

* a comics and poster show in Leipzig? One that seems to be raising needed funds by drinking in bars? Yes, please and yes, please.

* finally, a colorist addresses the convention that won't admit her as a professional because they're just a colorist.
 
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