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



















December 9, 2016


Go, Look: Paris In The Summer

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Brooklyn's BookCourt To Shut Down

I think Derf had this on his Facebook feed, because it escaped my attention entirely that key indie bookstore BookCourt in Cobble Hill is closing down. A bookstore will rise in its place, but it won't be the same for many of those customers and the community served.

Two things. One is I think it's likely that retail of all kinds will have a shorter life moving forward, which will change comics culture as a successful shop will be one that lasts 15 years rather than 40. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it will be different. The other is times may be tough for any business that doesn't have huge profit margins, and anything that depends on folks' loyalty above simple economic forces.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: The Jaundiced Eye

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posted 1:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Pair Of Excelsior Awards Short Lists Released

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The Excelsior Awards announced their short lists this week. That's an awards program selected by school students, sort of like a few of the awards given out at Angouleme but in this case I believe constituting the entire program.

The older kids (11-16 years old) picked:

* Audubon: On the Wings of the World, Fabien Grolleau And Jeremie Royer (Nobrow Press)
* Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Ta-Nehisi Coates And Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
* Captain America: White, Jeph Loeb And Tim Sale (Marvel)
* Clear Blue Tomorrows, Fabien Vehlmann And Bruno Gazzotti (Cinebook)
* Shuirken and Pleats Vol. 1, Hino Matsuri (Viz Media)
* Superman: Lois and Clark, Dan Jurgens And Lee Weeks And Scott Hanna And Sergio Cariello (DC Comics)
* We Are Robin: The Vigilante Business Lee Bermejo And Jorge Corona (DC Comics)
* Yona of the Dawn Vol. 1, Mizuho Kusanagi (Viz Media)

The younger kids (8-11 years old) picked:

* DC Superhero Girls: Finals Crisis Shea Fontana And Yancey Labat (DC Comics)
* Luna the Vampire, Yasmin Sheikh (IDW Books)
* Mega Robo Bros, Neill Cameron (David Fickling Books)
* Nightlights, Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow)
* Tamsin and the Deep, Neill Cameron And Kate Brown (David Fickling Books)

I have no idea reading these articles if a winner gets selected or if this is the final accounting, but it's always interesting to see what kids react to.

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posted 1:33 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: LB Cole Images Gallery

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posted 1:32 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled Extra: Fantagraphics Announces All-Time Comics

imageI saw a tweet about Fantagraphics marshaling some of the younger mainstream-conscious alt-talent and pairing them with older artists and existing work into a series of books under the umbrella All-Time Comics. I imagine there's a brokered announcement article out there somewhere. Josh Bayer will be writing the stories, it looks like.

It's certainly an area that these artists are exploring already in their own work and minis and on-line commentary, with concurrent interest in a variety of more mainstream sources, so a formal series makes sense. I look forward to seeing it, even though I don't ascribe the same kind of value to the referenced work. Lost/last work by Herb Trimpe interests the historian in me, that's for sure.

As a side note, one item I saw says they'll be publishing Rich Buckler, who once sued All-Time's publisher for characterizations made in The Comics Journal. That lawsuit was unsuccessful.
 
posted 1:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Various Lale Westvind Comics

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Odod Books Kickstarter Makes Strong Move Into Its Final Phase

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Uncivilized Books' campaign for its kids line Odod is heading into its final three days in much better shape than previously, climbing past the 70 percent point. The remaining amount of fundraising seems difficult but achievable to me. The books, of course, look extremely nice.
 
posted 1:27 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2017

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*****

December 10
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This (EBABZ)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)

December 13
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 29
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 30
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 31
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

*****
*****
2017
*****
*****

January 1
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

January 21
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

January 26
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 27
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 28
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 29
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

*****

Events For February 2017 Onward Listed Here

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posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Guns Of Fact And Fiction #13

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on The Unworthy Thor #1. Rob Clough on More Heroes Of The Comics. Glen David Gold on Krazy and George Herriman more generally. James Yeh on Sequential Drawings.

* didn't catch this before now: 2dcloud has another crowd-funder going. That's a company for whom crowd-funders are a leg on the stool.

* finally, Mike Dawson and Zack Soto talk to Rina Ayuyang. Robert Newman profiles Drew Friedman.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Kelly Alder!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 38th Birthday, Nate Neal!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 58th Birthday, Jack Ruttan!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
December 8, 2016


Go, Look: The Bridge

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: Event Photos From CALA 2016

I attended the Saturday afternoon of a two-day Comics Arts Los Angeles, at Think Tank Gallery -- that's in downtown LA on Maple. I had a really good time. I believe it was a successful show, although I only have a limited sample from which to project.

I think one thing that CALA has in common with Comic Arts Brooklyn in that both are really good selling shows, with a lot of unique artists due to the wider industries available in each city, artists that are looking for a place to ply their paper wares and related items. It's an extremely young show, both in terms of its own growth (this is year three) and in terms of its exhibitor base. There seem to be a lot of makers in the audience. It feels like an end-of-the-year show, people wrapping things up, talking about 2017 in broad terms, creative pushes, sabbaticals, re-calibrations.

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My brother Whit took a bunch of photos at the show. He lives on the fissure line between Burbank and North Hollywood, a space occupied by a lot of comics people. We took the Red Line down to the Pershing Square shop, where you go to hit The Last Bookstore. We got brunch at Little Easy, a bar+kitchen with two spaces carved into the city block that are intended to be reminiscent of two kinds of New Orleans drinking establishments: the big old bar, curtain-heavy kind, and the courtyard-oriented kind. The brunch was good. The clientele was younger than the two of us, but not in an accelerated fashion.

There was a line outside CALA at 1 PM Saturday. Because it's in a gallery space that isn't obviously a comics show from the street, this gave the moment a hilarious clichéd LA feel. Chip Mosher cut in line to go in with us. It took about 20 minutes. It was not so crowded upstairs it felt like a show that would have a line, but I remember 2014 being hot and cramped and am happy they were doing what it took to not repeat that experience. That third shot is neighborhood shot; there's a lot going on down there on a random Saturday afternoon, and I enjoyed the walk through all the clothing- and fabric-focused stores. Super-bummed the nearby Starbucks shut down their bathroom, but totally understand.

****

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This is a few shots of the inside while we were there, and a fair representation of the show's audience and crowd-level while we were in the second floor space. They had a nice balance: people were busy, but if you stopped and talked to someone for 90 seconds or so it didn't feel like you were jamming up someone else's day. I don't know if they need to relocate the major part of the show or not.

*****

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The map gives you another look at the show's size and if you can read it an idea of the quality of the exhibitor. It was high for a show like this one. I didn't see a single person that felt strongly out of place and only a few that maybe seemed they could have made a stronger showing a year or two down the line. Good shopping room. Books and paper mostly, but plenty of t-shirts. The books were mostly handmade and small. A couple of shopping highlights for me were John Pham selling his latest and beautiful-looking books and Lisa Hanawalt had a bunch of original art going of various sizes and intensity, some just art and I think some pages.

*****

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There were more people here I recognized than in 2014, I think because the show is slightly more attractive and I've gotten to know a few more younger cartoonists at such events. This is an inconsistent and incomplete sampling in threes for the bulk of the rest of the pages. That's Lisa Hanawalt, Dustin Harbin and Charles Hatfield. Hanawalt's in the middle of her animation work year, but seems happy with the rollout for her 2016 book. Harbin had his pile of wares. My brother was wearing a Harbin t-shirt. Charles and I talked briefly of Comics Studies Society doings. It's always great to see him, and he was one of the contributing writers during my era of TCJ.

*****

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Kevin Czap and Cathy G. Johnson at their tables right next to one another seemed to be doing brisk business, as did creative partners Rebecca Mock and Hope Larson (on Compass South), seated next to one another. I got a chance to tell Hope I've enjoyed her public posts about vocational issues, which I think a lot of creators feel reluctant to address.

*****

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My brother and I have taken enough photos of Chris Pitzer to do a coffee table book and this is one of the Pitzeriest photos ever. He had AdHouse t-shirts for those of us that ordered them. I liked that Ryan Sands looked like a somewhat sleepy, van-driving Dad on his way to pick up salted Irish butter at the drive-through convenience store. Ben Sears was located next to Harbin. I don't know him all that well except to recognize I probably shouldn't introduce myself again, but I've enjoyed the last few comics of his I've seen.

*****

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Ryan Cecil Smith was selling a loose-leaf explanation of how to best employ Risograph printing methods on behalf of your own work. It was the only publication I physically bought at the show. He is also in the NoHo area. I've enjoyed his comics for years and it seems to me he's been ready for several years to take that next step in terms of finding a bigger, more trenchant audience. Sophie Yanow was a long way from her teaching gig in Vermont. She's a great add for them up there. Malachi Ward had an Image book there, which I don't think anyone else did even though there was a smattering of folks' book-publisher books on seemingly every table. Good book, too.

*****

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After introducing me to Cecil Castellucci, Chip and my brother an I went in his car -- my brother apparently took pictures of us gossiping from his back-seat perch -- and over to the remodeled and restored Clifton's for cafeteria-type dinner. Both the original place and its restoration have a place in LA's heart, and Chip talked about living in Los Angeles as a now-veteran member of the local community: vital, scattered, professionally-oriented. We also talked about areas of potential growth for comics people in the next few years. It was a really good time.

And so was CALA, really. That's a pleasing show that isn't running ahead of itself. I hope that in the next few years it might find ways to plug and play a few more socially-driven events around town -- there have been strong satellite events both years I've attended but not core-show stuff -- and that it will continue to get a crowd of people that just want to come to Los Angeles for a few days. It hasn't quite figured out that component, but I think it will get there. There's a lot of energy in that room, and a professional sheen that says of those mostly young cartoonists that they are going to do the comics they want to do and they're not asking for permission, access or for a specific outcome.

*****

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Let's end with Sam Alden, who de-aged 15 months during the two hours I was in the room with him and will one day win a major comics award he'll be too young to lift over his head. Sam seemed happy with the new work he's doing, and as one of the first cartoonists in his age group to make a bunch of people decades older take notice I'm glad to see him challenging himself and ensconced in a community that can find him work and multiple creative outlets.

I hope Sunday went as well, and I hope the show will be back next year. With more and more people moving to Los Angeles, there are chances to grow strictly according to their own desires, which is an exciting thing for comics. I'll return every time I can and one day I hope to burn through the room buying something from every table -- a modest comics dream, likely achievable.

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*****
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Gotlib Gallery

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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 Society Of Illustrators has announced their MoCCA Festival for April 1-2 of 2017 and a nicely-selected group of special guests in terms of range of style: Blutch, Cliff Chiang, Becky Cloonan, Drew Friedman, David Lloyd and Gene Luen Yang.

* nice catch by Heidi MacDonald and The Beat that two of the "Amazing" comics shows have been canceled, with two left going. It's indeed a crowded market and we're going to see some of these local-to-regional shows take a pass on moving forward. I think in the short term the market saturation for such shows is going to be felt in the way the shows function.

* I'd take art lessons from Howard Chaykin. I expect to see something like this at every show by the beginning of 2018.

* finally, I don't think I announced all of them, but you can read about WonderCon's six waves of special guests announced through Thanksgiving weekend over at the Comic-Con site. I'd like to do that show next year, and I think people are going to start finding reasons to do the Southern California shows more generally.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through January 2017

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*****

December 9
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In London, I'd Go To This

December 10
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)
* If I Were In SF, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Oakland, I'd Go To This (EBABZ)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

December 11
* If I Were In Melbourne, I'd Go To This (Women In Comics Festival)

December 13
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This

December 29
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 30
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

December 31
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

*****
*****
2017
*****
*****

January 1
* If I Were In Dallas, I'd Go To This (NYE)

January 21
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

January 26
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 27
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 28
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

January 29
* If I Were Anywhere In Europe, I'd Make My Way To This (FIBD)

*****

Events For February 2017 Onward Listed Here

*****



*****
*****
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Superboy Cover Gallery

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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