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











July 31, 2006


Dupuy and Berberian: Article, Comic

The French TV guide Telerama, a publication that frequently features articles about cartoonists and comics, has a profile of Dupuy and Berberian up on their site, as well as a four-page comic. Check out the way the text pops on the comics page when you roll over it with your mouse -- I can't tell if that's really cool or really annoying, but it sure is different.
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Sean Phillips’ Blog

image

Via Matt Maxwell
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
What Editorial Cartoonists Do Now

An interesting article by David Astor on the expanded duties embraced by many staff editorial cartoonists, particularly concerning newspaper on-line strategies, has been posted at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists site with Astor's permission.
 
posted 10:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Dilbert’s Scott Adams Ties the Knot

Congratulations to Scott Adams on becoming a husband and stepfather, although I imagine the primary interest most comics people will have in this article about the successful cartoonist's recent wedding is its informal march through some of his business dealings.

If you prefer your news of connubial bliss to be of the small-press, comic-book variety, try this.
 
posted 10:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Kevin Frank Profile
Miami Loves Civil War
Ambassador Quesada
Andrew WK, Cartoonist
Montreal Gazette on Classic Julie Doucet
Local Comic Scene Profile: McAllen, Texas

 

 
Cartoon Leads to Official Complaint

imageThe conservative blog Brussels Journal is on its way to becoming comics news source of the year, following up its close attention to the Danish Cartoons controversy by tracking in English the complaint filed against a recent cartoon about the military conflict in southern Lebanon using imagery from the movie Schindler's List. According to the blog entry, Miryam Shomrat, Israel's ambassador to Norway, filed a complaint at the Pressens Faglige Utvalg, a body set up to receive complaints about press articles. Shomrat's complaint focused on the lack of historical understanding about the Holocaust that fueled the imagery. The editor initially responded by saying the cartoon is clearly within the bounds of freedom of expression. The piece goes on to contrast filing an official complaint with a violence-filled series of protests demanding government intervention, and points out a little less directly that both this incident and the Danish Cartoons Controversy exist in the context of some violence that has nothing to do with freedom of expression issues.
 
posted 2:59 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Alan Moore Sounds Project

image

via Jog
 
posted 2:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: On-Line News Trend Slows?

A new survey by Editor & Publisher indicates that the general shift from print to on-line news sources has perhaps stabilized. This is pertinent to comics because of the current, ongoing massive shift to on-line reportage and additional resources for existing on-line bodies taking place this summer.

Speaking of shifts to on-line reportage and Internet magazine-type presences: Todd McFarlane is launching such a site.
 
posted 2:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Eisner Interviews: Benjamin Herzberg

imageBob Andelman's ambitious series of on-line interviews with various Will Eisner fans, peers, and students in support of his book A Spirited Life moves onto the late cartoonist's collaborator for The Plot (French version pictured) and Fagin the Jew, Benjamin Herzberg. There's a lot of interesting back and forth about Eisner's relationship to European comics, Herzberg's reaction to some of Gary Groth's writing on Eisner, and the nature of the work Herzberg did for Eisner on each of the two books. There's also mention of a completed 30-page introduction to Fagin that was scrapped that one hopes might see the light of day at some future date.
 
posted 12:46 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 30, 2006


Comics Registry: Anne Cleveland

In our latest attempt to get this site firing on all cylinders, our ongoing bibliography project "The Comics Registry" returns with an entry on Anne Cleveland.

Shaenon Garrity is posting some Anne Cleveland and Jean Anderson cartoons on her LiveJournal. Cleveland is the looser of the two artists.
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Chris McLoughlin

image
 
posted 10:40 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Prominent Paris BD Shop to Close

I apologize as my French pulled a major Vinko Bogataj trying to sort this out, but this article indicates that one of the more historically well-known Parisian BD shops may close at the end of September. This would be the shop on the corner of Rue St. Jacques and Boulevard St. Germain, which once went by the name "Librairie Dupuis" -- it does in this New York Times travel article -- and may go by a different name now. The original article also seems to give multiple dates all of which end in a three -- 1963, 1973 and 1983 -- so I'm not exactly sure of the store's background. If someone can help unpack this for me, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Xavier Guilbert Writes To Save Us All:
Here is a short summary of the article you refer to -- which, to reassure you on your mastery of French, is not very clear with some puzzling points.

The bookstore (under the name "Librairie Dupuis") exists at this location since 1963. It seems that it hosted quite a few major "dedicaces" with some major franco-belgian authors, among which Tillieux (pictured signing there in 1973), Franquin, Greg, Pratt, Peyo.

According to the article, the bookstore is on the brink of closing down because of an impending expulsion, following rough litigation with their landlord and the real estate manager who represents them. They are to clear the premices by September 30.

The fuzzy part regards the 1983 date -- they mention that "Glenat Editions created the bookstore" at this date but in another location, and that they operate the current store with the Album company. The relation to the rest of the article is not clear, and there is an asterix that indicate that it could be a footnote to some part of the text that didn't get reproduced there.

I suppose this has to do with legal stuff, and that they relocated at some point the store to this location, which used to be called (if memory serves) "Glenat - Librairie d'Images," and is now part of the Album network of comic-book related stores (US Comics accross the street, another franco-belgian BD shop around the corner, right by the manga store and accross the DVD store).

Thank you!

Thomas Ragon at Dargaud Pipes In to Say the Original Story's Wrong:
BD Zoom is wrong. The Comics bookshop being about to close is not the famous "Librairie Dupuis" at the corner of rue St-Jacques and boulevard St-Germain, but another "Album" shop in rue Lafayette, near by the Galeries Lafayette, in the Opera Garnier neighborhood. It's a really old shop as well (where I myself have been working for a year some ten years from now), and I guess the premises got too much a value in this very expensive area for the landlords not wanting to sell it...

It seems people at BD Zoom just read French as well as you do (sorry for you!), as the right address is clearly readable within the article!

Sorry for me indeed! I regret linking to the erroneous story, although it's worth noting any prominent BD shop being forced out of its premises so I'll leave the whole thing up so that you may all experience my Monday Morning bafflement. Thank you, readers!
 
posted 10:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Floyd Gottfredson Interview

image
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Tintin and Detournement
Profile of DJ Coffman's Contest Win
Local Cartoonist Profile: Eric Teitelbaum
Who is the Customer for Comic Book Creator?
Stan Lee Comes Around on the Costumed Folk

 

 
July 29, 2006


CR Sunday Magazine

Preview -- Project: Romantic

image

*****

Go, Listen: Matt Madden Interview

image

*****

Collective Memory: Comic-Con International 2006

image

photo by JR Williams

*****

Go, Apply: CCS Scholarship

image

*****

Not Comics: Design Invitation Back and Forth

image

*****

What Comics Look Like After A Flood

image

*****

First Thought of the Day

You know you're getting older when your "convention season" consists of partial attendance at a grand total of two conventions, and you're still thinking about cutting back.
 
posted 10:26 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

image

The top comics-related news stories from July 22 to July 28, 2006

1. Teguh Santosa faces up to five years in prison for his publication on-line of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed, cartoons that were originally published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten and led to worldwide riots.

2. San Diego's Comic-Con International shatters attendance and heat records.

3. Teshkeel adds DC to its content/gateway deal package for its comics entry into Middle East and North African markets; they already have Marvel and Archie.

Winner of the Week
Top Shelf, for reportedly selling some $35,000 in Lost Girls books at the San Diego show. Some people probably think I should list "comics retailers" as the loser of the week because potentially some retail sales can be taken away by convention sales, but Top Shelf has made it really, really clear for years now how they intend to pursue direct sales at conventions and unless there was a specific promise with this book of which I'm unaware I can't imagine any smart retailer didn't already know this.

Loser of the Week
Martha Karua, threatening to sue the cartoonist Godfrey "Gado" Mwampembwa and his editor for a cartoon that if nothing else was clearly political in nature, not personal. Totally ludicrous.

Quote of the Week
"You're not covering this convention at all." -- Tom Devlin on my less than aggressive reporting manner during last weekend's Comic-Con International.

Little Lulu has the right idea
 
posted 2:17 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Week’s Five For Friday

Results for this week's Five For Friday entry, "Name Your Five Favorite MAD Magazine Creators," have now been posted in the appropriate section. Thanks to all that participated.
 
posted 2:06 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 28, 2006


If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

image

Happy 1st Birthday, Rocketship.
 
posted 10:44 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

image
 
posted 8:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Conversational Euro-Comics

image
 
posted 7:37 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Tilting at Windmills With LAWs

image

The Turkish-German (!) humor magazine (!!) Don Quichotte is hosting a series of cartoon expressions against the newly-minted war in the Middle East. I find many of these cartoons bizarre, some intellectually dishonest and a few guilty of making unfortunate use of Nazi imagery in a way that at the very least is a crime against allegory. Diving in proves greatly fascinating, though.
 
posted 12:51 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Last Day For Harveys Voting

The deadline is a received deadline, not a postmarked deadline, so you're pretty much down to downloading a ballot, filling it out and then e-maling it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 
posted 12:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Drink Me & Company Inc.

image
 
posted 12:03 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 27, 2006


Newsarama Auctions Convention Coverage Sponsorship to Benefit CBLDF

Exactly what the headline says, actually; I just thought it was a nice move and worth noting.
 
posted 11:56 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Last Week’s Five For Friday

Results from last week's Five For Friday -- Name a comic and a person, place or thing that comes up in your memory when you think of that comic -- are now up. Thanks to everyone that participated.
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Scott McCloud on Superman

image

These tend to be sharp, concise interviews.
 
posted 10:23 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Ali Kokmen to Del Rey
Go, Read: Abby Denson Profile
The London Free Press Loves Civil War
The Jewish Museum Braces For Masters Exhibit
Jewish Museum Will Also Host Jerry Robinson Exhibit
 

 
PW: Fanta To Publish Bill Mauldin

image

This is the unexpected of the two forthcoming Fantagraphics announcements I hinted at in my San Diego convention report: Fantagraphics will publish a series of books featuring Bill Mauldin's cartoons from various points in his career. Although the late cartoonist was best known for his World War II era "Willie and Joe" cartoons, he was also a powerful editorial cartoonist, and I think people will be surprised at how lively his work from various periods could be. In addition, there's some work of his I don't think anyone outside of archivists has seen since it was originally published. This is great news.
 
posted 4:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
DC and Teshkeel Announce Deal

It seems like a pretty straight-forward content/gateway deal to me, although everything here bears a second look. Teshkeel already has deals with Marvel and Archie.
 
posted 2:24 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Floro Dery’s Har-Magedon

image
 
posted 2:02 am PST | Permalink
 

 
John Bush, 1954-2006

John Bush, a self-taught artist who did the cartoon Bush League for the St. Paul Pioneer Press died Sunday from lung cancer. The cartoonist, who also did cartoon work for magazines and painted a popular map mural, did not smoke. He leaves behind a wife of 18 years and three children.
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The British Press Loves Comics

image

The BBC explores translated high-end French comics through a variety of media available through this page, The Independent talks to Marjane Satrapi as she moves into film and Paul Gravett discusses Alan Moore's career.
 
posted 1:44 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Site Accuses DHC WotW Comic Book

imageA few CR readers have e-mailed me a link to this site, probably because it was posted at the blog maintained by the comics news site Newsarama, although I can't be totally certain. The site in question compares a bunch of still shots from a film version of War of the Worlds to a Dark Horse comic book version of same, arguing that the comic displays too many similarities in design, composition and staging for there not to have been some active appropriation of these elements. I have no idea if this is true, and I'm not totally convinced by the site; some of the assertions seem strained. In fact, the clearest appropriation seems to me the "ooolaa" noise from that rock opera version of HG Wells' story that came out in the 1970s.

Where I get confused is what purpose such a site serves in the first place. The site talks about putting Dark Horse on legal notice in advance of a pending lawsuit. I have no idea what that means; I picture lawyers leaning out of '64 Dodge yelling insults at Mike Richardson as he climbs into his sportscar on the Dark Horse parking lot, or sending planes with message banners over the Dark Horse picnic. But all that aside, why not just sue? There's no court of public opinion aspect to any of this. I can't imagine there's a mass of people out there thinking the movie ripped off some comic -- I can't imagine there are many people who are even aware of both iterations on the old story. I'm even more confused by this than I am by the Martians' loyalty to tripod technology.
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Editorial Cartoonists Win Press Awards

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has posted that two of its members have won two what I would call regional awards. Stephen Templeton won a 2006 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Philadelphia Society of Professional Journalists for his work at The Intelligencer in suburban Philly. SW Parra of The Fresno Bee took first place in the editorial cartoon category of the 2005 Better Newspapers Cartoonist held by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. The AAEC has linked follow-ups.
 
posted 12:52 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Guy Gilchrist Event Raises $3000

An event coordinated by cartoonist Guy Gilchrist and his academy raised $3000 for a wounded soldiers-related charity, Editor & Publisher reports. The centerpiece looks to have been an auction of original art by various newspaper strip heavy hitters.
 
posted 12:22 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 26, 2006


Quick hits
The Hub Loves Fetus-X
Go, Look: It Happened In Canada
Go, Bookmark: Comics Film Series in DC
Powers Begins Serialization at Newsarama
Go, Look: Matt Dembicki's Monster Sketches
 

 
If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

image
 
posted 10:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Europe’s Jews as Nazis Cartoons

image

One of the odder political eddies to spin out of the tidal wave that is the escalation of violence in southern Lebanon in the past couple of weeks has been the occasional, unfortunate tendency of some of Europe's cartoonists to use Nazi imagery to depict the Israeli forces or Israeli figures in a negative light. It's the kind of thing where you can sort of see the logic there, especially if you've been drinking, where someone wants to make a real strong statement using elements that to Western Society post-1935 would count as an "ultimate irony," but really it's always a horrible idea and usually ends up being executed in horrible fashion.

This article talks about the above cartoon, using imagery familiar to viewers of Schindler's List.
 
posted 2:53 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Cartoon America

image

As I understand it -- although it hardly takes a genius with that subhead -- this will spotlight the Library of Congress comics art holdings, which I believe include a lot of Jules Feiffer and some of the early political cartoonists in addition to a select few modern masters.
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Alexa Kitchen in the New York Times

In this quiet period between conventions, you might want to catch up with your feature reading starting with this massive New York Times piece about elementary school cartoonist Alexa Kitchen in advance of her Drawing Comics Is Easy! (Except When It's Hard). I'm not sure there were that many luminaries on the record when they profiled Chris Ware.
 
posted 2:09 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Dick Tracy to IDW

image
 
posted 1:56 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CBG: DM Potential For $400 Million ‘06

Comics Buyer's Guide has their numbers up for June, including a six-month tally that indicates 12 percent growth over 2005 in the widest category the company's John Jackson Miller tracks. Pretty much anything else I mention detracts from his hard work, so I recommend you look at the concisely written article here.
 
posted 1:51 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: J. Bradley Johnson Site

image
 
posted 1:36 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
DHP: We're 20
Ottawa Loves Civil War
Pilot Dislikes 9/11 Comic
Halo Comic Goes Monthly
Use of Term Gay in Zits Noted
Jewell's Legal Jihad Included NY Post Cartoon
Least Among Us Spotlights Clerical Sex Abuse

 

 
July 25, 2006


Go, Watch: Eisner Awards Red Carpet

The fact that Tim Leong at Comic Foundry has a microphone with a little Comic Foundry box on it may be funnier than everything else in this video combined, but that's just because I found the microphone really, really funny.
 
posted 8:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Editor Charged Over Danish Cartoons

The BBC reported as early as last Friday that Teguh Santosa, the online editor at Rakyat Merdeka, has been charged with inciting hatred towards a religious group. This is because Santosa posted the cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammed, cartoons that originally ran in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten and as a result drove riots throughout the world. Indonesia was one of the focal points for rioting and political protest. Santosa faces up to five years in prison.
 
posted 3:37 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Secret Origin of Comics: 1827

image

Via afNews comes the above link to Rodolphe Topffer's 1827 strip that many say basically created the comics form from whole cloth.
 
posted 3:18 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Gado Threatened With Legal Action

Hitting the wires starting yesterday comes this story that Godfrey "Gado" Mwampembwa from The Daily Nation and his editor received a letter from Martha Karua, minister of justice and constitutional affairs in the Kenyan government, threatening legal action if a correction regarding a cartoon fails to be made. The cartoon shows the mininster digging up a grave, an allusion to opening up old issues for political gain. In Europe, Asia and Africa, multiple cartoonists and their newspapers have been threatened with or suffered from legal intimidation by government officials not happy with the content of a cartoon.
 
posted 3:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Harvey Awards Voting Deadline Looms

image
 
posted 3:01 am PST | Permalink
 

 
KFS: Zits Hits 1500 Client Point

According to this brief at Editor & Publisher, King Features Syndicate claims that Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman's family-with-a-teenager strip Zits has reached the 1,500 client mark; writer Scott's other strip has over 1,000. Newspaper strips are paid according to fees from newspapers, fees that vary by circulation size and which become highly lucrative as they accumulate. At this rarified level Zits has become extremely lucrative for both syndicate and creators.
 
posted 2:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 24, 2006


Quick hits
Mercury-News Reviews Halo GN
Manga Program Promotes Literacy
Platinum Names Challenge Winner
Morocco Times Profiles 9/11 Comic
Financial Education Comic In Singapore
Vladimir Kazanevsky Exhibits in Tehran
 

 
Bob McCausland, 1916-2006

Bob McCausland, a cartoonist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the artist behind Seattle's popular Hairbreadth Husky sports cartoon, died Friday evening, apparently while attending a performance of Garrison Keillor's in Woodinville. Hairbreadth Husky ran from 1959 to 1981 and as a throwback to that era where sports teams -- in this case the University of Washington's -- and comics in the newspaper more naturally served as rallying points for a community. It's hard to imagine a modern audience laughing at the Harry cartoons, but as the bearer of a positive, humorous message on something for which local audience had great enthusiasm, it proved to be a popular and much-beloved feature. A book collecting some of the best samples came out in 1982. The artist worked for the Post-Intelligencer from 1945 until his retirement. He is survived by a wife of 65 years and two sons.
 
posted 12:36 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Romeo Tan Togonon, 1951-2006

imageEditorial cartoonist Romeo Tan Togonon, best known as "Boy Togonon," passed away Thursday after a cardiac arrest. He was 55 years old. Togonon worked as both a cartoonist and art director, winning numerous awards for both aspects of his career. Most recently a cartoonist at Manila Times, obituaries in that region mention his time with Daily Express as important to his cartooning career. He advocated for press freedom through several organizations.

Togonon is survived by a wife, two sons, a sister and several other relatives.
 
posted 12:13 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Final San Diego Con Update

Here are my final thoughts on the largest North American gathering of the comics industry and comics readers, Comic-Con International. I apologize if they don't make a lot of sense, of if they're too self-indulgent. I'll do a Collective Memory entry and post it later this week.

1. It was a successful show. Huge crowds, most people selling well, lots of formal and informal meetings, people trying and mostly succeeding in having a good time.

2. The weather was a big deal. It was muggier than usual down there, which made moving around in the crush of people that much more difficult. I was constantly sweating in a not-charming Albert Brooks-in-Broadcast-News fashion. More like King Kong Bundy in Broadcast News, to be honest.

3. I talked to about eight to ten people on the train to Los Angeles about their show experience. These were people there for various reasons -- a couple of comic book people, a guy who was into illustration, a 20-something manga fan, and some general all-media types. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. There were complaints about long lines and a general lack of communication when those long lines presented themselves -- "Where am I standing?" "For how long?" -- but most of those complaints were of the type where you could sort of tell the show was pretty well-organized and rolled with most of the punches. The size of the show was seen as an advantage; most of these people felt like they had attended an event.

4. I asked these same people if they had any suggestions for the show, and one I heard that made sense was from a couple of people that didn't attend the show at all but kind of wanted to. I'd never thought about this before, but if I were in town while a big show like that was going on, I'd want a chance to buy a t-shirt or something, too. So maybe sidewalk boutiques as far away as the Omni and the Marriott? Maybe satellite boutiques in participating hotels? I don't know; it seems like those people could be reached in some small way.

5. I've never seen a show that's an unqualified success. Qualifications make sense, though, and not in a bad way, for two reasons. The first is that there several gathered factions in attendance. What works for some people isn't always going to work for others. The second is that a show like San Diego exists as a continuity. There's going to be some ebb and flow to how people make use of the show. Not everyone is going to have a peak year at the same time.

Because of the institutional nature of the San Diego show, what you're most likely to see is people simply ajusting their relationship to it. For some people this means "No, thank you" or "Screw that place." For others, it may mean just going one or two days when they used to go all four -- I think that will start to happen. Or maybe people will attend in select years, like many authors orient themselves towards BEA. For yet other people, it may mean getting a booth, or dropping a booth. Publishers adjust what they bring to the show (Fantagraphics used to bring a ton of porn, for example), and comic book retailers adjust what they sell (there are differences between what many bring here and what many take to a show like Chicago, I'm told). It make senses that they and others will adjust to the size and orientation of the show, too.

6. I'll be interested to hear how the small publishers did overall. I get a sense that the big business days were Wednesday/Thursday this time, and that things kind of trailed off over the weekend, but that's my hunch as opposed to a conclusion based on any sampling.

7. Fantagraphics sold 100 copies of Linda Medley's Castle Waiting hardback by a little more than halfway through the show. They have two reprint projects that should be announced soon that should please a lot of fans. One was a total surprise to me.

8. Hotel Watch: I heard a few from-left-field horrendous things about the Radisson, the Hyatt and the Wyndham Emerald Plaza. I heard unsolicited positives about the Omni and the Hilton. The US Grant looks nowhere near opening back up.

9. I stayed at the Westgate and liked it very much. For one thing, the rooms are huge, which was nice because you could actually have people up to your hotel room for pre-dinner cocktails and not feel like teenagers stuffed into a room drinking at the Motel 6 before a basketball game (your choice of sport; I'm from Indiana). The staff was nice, and they have a fine, expensive but well-stocked hole-in-the-wall bar in back with a piano. It's one of those places Uncle Seymour and your dad escape to from the wedding reception and no one can find them for hours. One of the Westgate's musicians sang "Miss Otis Regrets" for my party on request, and if that made you projectile vomit, it's probably not the place for you. The hotel distributed a unintentionally funny letter to hotel guests describing the convention and preparing them for the costumes and promising the parties the hotel was hosting for the show would not go too late or be too noisy. If you want a nice, quiet hotel with big rooms and a well-appointed bathroom in that general neighborhood, I'd certainly recommend the Westgate.

10. Best diet ever. Me: "You look 15 pounds lighter." Cartoonist: "I was audited."

11. Publishing news seems full speed ahead; book publishers adding to the relentless mix of new offerings and musical chairs from the established publishers. I'm not sure the framework is there to support all these books or help them find their proper audience, but that's a story for a different time. Several cartoonists I talked to were able to rattle off a variety of projects with a variety of publishers, which is a huge change from the lean years around the turn of the century, where if you had one thing planned you seemed to be doing really well.

12. I heard more people talk about Geof Darrow than ever before, which makes me think he's working his way into wider consciousness in that way that Mike Mignola did around '98-'99. Jordan Crane's a fan, as are a lot of artists.

13. Ted Rall was there to fulfill his function as a kind of a new talent coordinator for United Media, and was giving out business cards. Well, okay, he gave out one that I saw. Could United Media become the Nickelodeon of newspaper strip syndicates?

14. Everyone I talked to was reasonably pleased by the programming options. Some of the spotlights were sparsely attended, but that's always the case. I did a spotlight panel with Roger Langridge and it went about as well as those kinds of things can go, I thought. There were multiple fans there that were really into Roger's work, who seemed pleased by being able to ask more than one question. Roger is a thoughtful cartoonist and seems a very nice guy.

15. James Sturm says that things at the Center for Cartoon Studies are crazier than ever, despite my reading last Friday of their press, but he seems genuinely excited about the school's progress thus far and their immediate outlook. I heard Jason Lutes will be teaching there for a year. I await my opportunity to coach the CCS football team some years down the road.

16. I don't think people in town were more hateful towards the show as much as it had a higher public profile so it was a topic of conversation from both the positive and the negative directions. My initial cab driver said his con fares were "loud, they were in costumes, they smelled bad and they DID NOT TIP!" which is the angriest response I've ever received from a cabbie about the convention (I always ask). But I also overheard a conversation in the Westgate bar between two managers talking about how much they enjoyed the bar the night before, and the interesting people that had settled in. That kind of thing worked out about 50/50 for the weekend.

17. One of the funniest things I saw was a haggard con-goer at the end of the day walking towards his hotel suddenly given a dollar by a man in the suit, and the congoer realizing what it was and then yelling back, "I'm not panhandling!"

18. My backpack was stolen; my own fault. I always wondered what kind of person attended panels about comic book blogging, and now I know: thieves! Fortunately, I had a phone and a camera so old and cheap they don't even make them like that anymore. I will miss the sunglasses, though. I hope whoever nicked it enjoys them and they weren't dumpsterized.

19. Batton Lash and Rory Root both expressed appreciation to readers of this site for tracking down their respective booths according to the CR Comic-Con Guide.

20. I had a Truman Burbank moment when I opened the back door at the Picadilly and the Pickwick was gone, replaced by a kind of backroom. I hadn't noticed they were renovating until that moment. The bartender at the Picadilly on Saturday night was great. The place needs the ability to move in a few more chairs, though.

21. It was a great meet and greet show. In terms of comics I saw tons of people I hadn't seen in years (like Tom Devlin, Souther Salazar and Dan Clowes), saw a bunch of regulars (everyone from Sammy Harkham to Joel Meadows), and met many people for the first time (Todd Hignite, Kevin Huizenga, John DiBello), and met other people out of the blue I wasn't aware of before. I even get to meet some art heroes. San Diego still has that effect on me where I'm not visually disciplined enough to keep from looking away a lot of the time or keep from being distracted -- cons turn everyone rude in that way -- and there were loads of people I saw either briefly or not at all that I wish I had. It was that big of a show, though.

22. Surprise book of the show for me: a Jeremy Eaton collection from Drink Me Press, which I guess debuted earlier this year at APE. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Patrick Rosenkranz's Greg Irons book had come out. Lost Girls was selling well and was paid the ultimate compliment by a friend of mine. He went back into the show just to buy a copy.

23. I don't know what they're going to do about the size of the show. It could be that people will naturally adjust and that faced with the heat and long lines this year a significant chunk of con-goers will now attend fewer days or go every other year, I'm not sure. If superhero movies begin to tank the size of the movie exhibits may scale way back. Panel size and my general impression of the comics end seems to indicate that the growth is not reflected in as rapid a way with the comics part of the show, and although there are few complaints, all commerce is local, and eventually decisions will be made on that level as opposed to the lines to see the Lost preview.

24. I didn't see a single Klingon.

25. Did I mention I had a real good time?
 
posted 9:52 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 23, 2006


Quick hits

 

 
Quick hits
AP Takes In Anime Expo
Go, Read: Profile of Lambiek
Local Shop Profile: Baseball Cards & More
Cumberland Readers Love the Classic Strips
Review Cleverly References Dennis Travelogues
 

 
July 22, 2006


CR Sunday Magazine

A Short Interview With Comic Art Editor Todd Hignite

image

*****

Your 2006 San Diego Con Update

I'm pretty certain that at this point I no longer cover the show in any official sense, but here are some brief notes from my second and final day at Comic-Con International 2006:

1. It's still incredibly crowded. On-site and and on-line registration were shut down, and people were giving up while still on the highway coming down to San Diego.

2. That being said, it really wasn't all that crowded in the alternative-arts section of the comic book part of the floor. In fact, this is the first time I can remember not being reprimanded at some point for taking up space in the middle of an aisle. Jean-Claude Mezieres noted the size of the crowd but also immediately seized on its desires, saying "Maybe some of them are here for comics."

3. I think I may have ruined the Picadilly.

4. Although I'm not 100 percent certain, I swear I saw Don Rosa.

5. Yoshihiro Tatsumi received an Inkpot award during his spotlight panel and touched a lot of hearts with the gratitude displayed in accepting it.

6. There's nothing like ending a day of walking around a comic show by going to a Brazilian grill and devouring a patchwork cow's worth of meat.

7. I have never seen so many kids at the show. There were even kids at the Masters of Alternative Comics panel, causing Jaime Hernandez to decline to tell a story he had planned on relating about Robert Crumb.

8. People were not only not taking tours of the entire floor, but many people were deciding on what to do and what not to do based on how far they would have to travel to do it. If the booth was beyond your ability to see it, you might just stay where you were.

9. I was luck to do a really fun panel with Roger Langridge -- no visuals, just a laid-back discussion about the artist and his art with multiple questions from some really great fans.

10. Arlen Schumer was the talk of the Eisners.

For supplemental coverage, particularly of the publishing news emerging from the show, I recommend my peers at The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse.

*****

Go, Look: Piromi.com

image

*****

Go, Look: Kasper Stromman

image

*****

First Thought Of The Day

I am probably on the train as you're reading this. I love trains. In fact, I love trains for all the reasons people generally hate trains. We need to nationalize the rails and get rid of Amtrak, sure, but I still love trains.
 
posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2006 San Diego Con Update

I did make it down to the comic book convention for the weekend. A few random observations.

1. It is incredibly crowded down here. I talked to about 12-15 con regulars -- not professionals who seemed for the most part to enjoy the extra business, but con-goers -- all of whom said something along the lines of not coming back or severely limiting their exposure to the convention in future years. Preview Night in particular was crammed like a Saturday morning.

2. At a panel about the universality of the graphic novel, the artist Jean-Claude Mezieres confirmed something that we've been debating here for a while -- the big change in the French-language comics market because of the crush of new books and manga is turnover. Books show up on the shelves, they stay for a scant time, and they leave. Mezieres noted this isn't particularly the kindest model for new artists; we've discussed it here at CR on the basis of it being a tough market in which to find more alternative-type books, the kind you don't necessarily show up and buy the first week.

3. His fellow artists in the alternative/arts realm are abuzz with what a lovely man Yoshihiro Tatsumi seems to be; I've never seen this many artists concerned with making sure an artist and his wife are taken care of and have a good time.

4. I haven't really checked booth by booth, but Fantagraphics seems to be selling a lot of Linda Medley's Castle Waiting volume.

5. The blogger panel went okay. I noticed that Jay Kennedy from King Features Syndicate was in the audience, and I kept wanting to say something I thought he might be interested in hearing. It is always nice to see my blogging peers both on the panel and in the audience. This year's trends seem to be video blogging, more content instead of links, and more aggressive podcasting-type services.

6. It was great to meet the writer John Wagner, one of the great, underappreciated careers in comics.

*****

The cancelled Solo looks to me like the big winner at last night's Eisner Awards, and it stirkes me that other than Chris Ware and maybe Charles Burns it doesn't look like any alternative comic beat out a mainstream superhero comic when it had the chance. Just sayin'.

Congratulations to my peer and colleague Calvin Reid.

Your 2006 Eisner Winners (In Bold)

Best Short Story
* "Blood Son," by Richard Matheson, adapted by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood, in Doomed #1 (IDW)
* "Monster Slayers," by Khang Le, in Flight, vol. 2 (Image)
* "Nameless," by Eric Powell, in The Goon #14 (Dark Horse)
* "Operation" (story #5), by Zak Sally, in The Recidivist #3 (La Mano)
* "Teenage Sidekick," by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
* The Bakers, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ex Machina #11: "Fortune Favors" by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* The Innocents, by Gipi (Fantagraphics/Coconino Press)
* Promethea #32: "Wrap Party" by Alan Moore and J. H. Williams III (ABC)
* Solo #5, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Serialized Story
* Desolation Jones #1-5: "Made in England," by Warren Ellis and J. H. Williams III (WildStorm/DC)
* Fables #36-38, 40-41: "Return to the Homelands," by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
* Ex Machina #12-14: "Fact v. Fiction," by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* Y: The Last Man #37-39: "Paper Dolls," by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudzuka, and Jose Marzan Jr. (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series
* Age of Bronze, by Eric Shanower (Image)
* Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
* Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* True Story, Swear to God, by Tom Beland (Clib's Boy Comics)

Best Limited Series
* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ocean, by Warren Ellis, Chris Sprouse, and Karl Story (WildStorm/DC)
* Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison and various artists (DC)
* Smoke, by Alex de Campi and Igor Kordey (IDW)

Best New Series
* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
* Desolation Jones, by Warren Ellis and J. H. Williams III (WildStorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* Young Avengers, by Alan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and John Dell (Marvel)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
* Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Renaissance Press)
* The Clouds Above, by Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
* Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius, by Chris Eliopoulous and Mark Sumerak (Marvel)
* Owly: Flying Lessons, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)
* Spiral-Bound, by Aaron Renier (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology
* The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, edited by Scott Allie (Dark Horse Books)
* Flight, vol. 2, edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Image)
* Mome. edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
* 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005, edited by Nat Gertler (About Comics)

Best Digital Comic
* Copper, by Kazu www.boltcity.com/copper
* Jellaby, by Kean Soo, www.secretfriendsociety.com/archive.php?cat=2
* ojingogo, by matt forsythe www.comingupforair.net/comics/ojingogo.html
* PVP, by Scott Kurtz, www.pvponline.com/

Best Reality-Based Work
* Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
* Epileptic, by David B. (Pantheon)
* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Pyongyang, by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)
* True Story, Swear to God (Clib's Boy Comics), True Story, Swear to God: This One Goes to Eleven (AiT/Planet Lar), by Tom Beland

Best Graphic Album--New
* Acme Novelty Library #16, by Chris Ware (ACME Novelty)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore and Gene Ha (ABC)
* Tricked, by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)
* Wimbledon Green, by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album--Reprint
* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
* Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
* Feast of the Seven Fishes, by Robert Tinnell, Ed Piskor, and Alex Saviuk (Allegheny Image Factory)
* Ice Haven, by Dan Clowes (Pantheon)
* War's End, by Joe Sacco (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Strips
* The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)
* The Complete Peanuts, 1955-1956, 1957-1958, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)
* Krazy and Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics. by George Herriman (Fantagraphics)
* Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
* Walt and Skeezix, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Books
* Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (DC)
* Buddha, vols. 5-8, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
* The Contract with God Trilogy, by Will Eisner (Norton)
* DC Comics Rarities Archives, vol. 1 (DC)
* Fantastic Four Omnibus, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Marvel)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material
* Cromartie High School, by Eiji Nonaka (ADV)
* Dungeon: The Early Years, vol. 1, by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, and Christophe Blaine (NBM)
* Ordinary Victories, by Manu Larcenet (NBM)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Six Hundred Seventy-Six Apparitions of Killoffer, by Killoffer (Typocrat)

Best Writer
* Warren Ellis, Fell (Image); Down (Top Cow/Image); Desolation Jones, Ocean, Planetary (WildStorm/DC)
* Alan Heinberg, Young Avengers (Marvel)
* Alan Moore, Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)
* Grant Morrison, Seven Soldiers, All Star Superman (DC)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC); Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
* Geof Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman)
* Guy Delisle, Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze (Image)
* Adrian Tomine, Optic Nerve #10 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Best Writer/Artist--Humor
* Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); The Bakers (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Paige Braddock, Jane's World (Girl Twirl)
* Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Oni)
* Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)
* Seth, Wimbledon Green (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Penciller/Inker
* John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC)
* Gene Ha, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)
* J. G. Jones, Wanted (Top Cow/Image)
* Frank Quitely, All Star Superman (DC)
* J. H. Williams III, Promethea, Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
* Paul Guinan, Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate (IDW)
* Ladronn, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image)
* Kent Williams, The Fountain (Vertigo/DC)

Best Cover Artist
* Frank Espinosa, Rocketo (Speakeasy)
* Tony Harris, Ex Machina (Wildstorm/DC)
* James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)
* Jock, The Losers (Vertigo/DC)
* Eric Powell, The Goon; Universal Monsters: Cavalcade of Horror (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring
* Jeromy Cox, Teen Titans (DC); Otherworld (Vertigo/DC)
* Steven Griffen, Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort (Image)
* Steve Hamaker, Bone: The Great Cow Race (Scholastic Graphix)
* Jose Villarrubia, Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering
* Chris Eliopolis: Ultimate Iron Man, Astonishing X-Men, Ultimates 2, House of M, Franklin Richards (Marvel); Fell (Image)
* Todd Klein: Wonder Woman, Justice, Seven Soldiers #0 (DC); Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC); Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, Tomorrow Stories Special (ABC); Fables (Vertigo); 1602: New World (Marvel)
* Richard Starkings: Conan, Revelations (Dark Horse); Godland (Image); Gunpowder Girl and the Outlaw Squaw, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* Chris Ware: Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition
* Dawn Brown (Ravenous, Little Red Hot)
* Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)
* Zak Sally (Recidivist)
* Ursula Vernon (Digger)

Best Comics-Related Periodical
* Comic Art, edited by M. Todd Hignite (Comic Art)
* Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (Top Shelf)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth and Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics)
* Draw!, edited by Michael Manley (TwoMorrows)
* Following Cerebus, edited by Craig Miller and John Thorne (Aardvark-Vanaheim/Win-Mill Productions)

Best Comics-Related Book
* The Comics Journal Library: Classic Comic Illustrators, edited by Tom Spurgeon (Fantagraphics)
* Eisner/Miller, interviews conducted by Charles Brownstein (Dark Horse Books)
* Foul Play: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (Harper Design)
* Masters of American Comics, edited by John Carlin, Paul Karasik, and Brian Walker (Hammer Museum/MOCA Los Angeles/Yale University Press)
* RGK: Art of Roy G. Krenkel, edited by J. David Spurlock and Barry Klugerman (Vanguard)

Best Publication Design
* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon) TIE
* Little Nemo in Slumberland, designed by Philippe Ghuilemetti (Sunday Press Books) TIE
* Promethea #32, designed by J. H. Williams III and Todd Klein (ABC)
* Walt and Skeezix, designed by Chris Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Wimbledon Green, designed by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Floyd Gottfredson, William Moulton Marston
Voters chose four:
* Matt Baker
* Vaughn Bode
* Wayne Boring
* Reed Crandall
* Creig Flessel
* Ramona Fradon
* Harold Gray
* Graham Ingels
* Robert Kanigher
* Russ Manning
* Mort Meskin
* Marty Nodell
* Gilbert Shelton
* Jim Steranko

*****

Other Award Winners

Bill Finger Award: Alvin Schwartz, Harvey Kurtzman
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Calvin Reid
Russ Manning Award: R Kikuo Johnson
Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award: Zeus Comics

For supplemental coverage, particularly of the publishing news emerging from the show, I recommend my peers at The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse.
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 21, 2006


Go, Read: Mazen Kerbaj’s Blog

image

The musician and cartoonist is blogging from Beirut.
 
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
PR: Verizon Gives Building to CCS

imageI don't have much to add to this press release about Verizon giving the 1922 telephone building in White River Junction, Vermont to the Center for Cartoon Studies. But I think it's worth noting as it's been a remarkably quiet summer for CCS as it heads into its second full year. I have to imagine that exuding business-as-usual attitude so early in its institutional life is a good thing as far as the school goes. Heck, I was more of a noisy, needy mess when I was trying to go to school my sophomore year, as opposed to operating an entire school. Also, if you're looking to expand you physical plant, and you can make use of a building when it's given to you, you must be doing okay in terms of both administrative skill and operational expenses. Lets hope I'm reading those signs correctly.

From the "news you can use if you're of a certain inclination" department, the Center has also announced a scholarship in partnership with Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
 
posted 4:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2006 San Diego Con Update

The year's biggest gathering of professional cartoonists and comics industry folk as well as an increasingly popular showcase for television, film, genre prose and toymakers, Comic-Con International, celebrated its first -- and some say the best -- day Thursday in a frightening business-as-usual sense.

You know, while I enjoy going to the San Diego Con, I'm never quite sure how it should be covered. There is usually some angle of covering the show as a business, like registration issues and the yearly rumors that the convention may move to Los Angeles; there is publishing news, although it's mostly of the pr-driven "Creator X Doing Comic Y" variety; the Eisner Awards are certainly a legitimate event, but they make a strange impression -- although I remember two people told stories about comics pros in bathrooms I couldn't tell you who won a single 2005 Eisner by name and category; and being more interested in art and business than people and personalities, I have a hard time working up much enthusiasm for "comics culture."

So what's left? There are still backroom discussions and some deal-making, and a lot of the kind of socializing that can later lead to work. It certainly has a touchstone quality, being a convention that's run the length of comics growth out of dead-end obscurity into a vital art form and along the life paths of that great generation of fans-turned-pros. But beyond, I'm kind of lost. Is this just a PR stage? Is covering it a waste of time? Is CCI a commercial event that people wish meaning onto in order to inject some status into an extended social occasion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

*****

Live Blogging
* Man of Action

News Reports
* Associated Press Preview
* Augie De Blieck Day Zero
* Chat With First Guy in Line by Union-Tribune
* Local SD Fox Affiliate Preview
* LA Times on How to Get Swag
* Newsarama: DC Nation Panel
* Newsarama: Marvel's Civil War Panel
* Newsarama: New Avengers Title
* Newsarama: Preview Night Finds
* Newsarama: Samurai Comic Sequel
* Wizard Universe Interviews Mark Siegel

Blogs and On-Line Diaries
* Bully Says on Preview Night
* Irene Gallo on Preview Night
* Irene Gallo on Thursday
* Kushi Tan on Preview Night
* Louie Del Carmen on Preview Night
* Matt Maxwell Day Zero
* Meticulous Nonsense Skips Preview Night
* Newsarama's Blog First Hand Reportage Report One
* Newsarama: James Lucas Jones Report One
* Newsarama: Overall Con Preview
* Newsarama on Preview Night
* Oni: San Diego Virgin Day 1
* Schlock Mercenary on Preview Night
* Tempura-Chan: Steve Purcell and Glen Danzig
* Newsarama: Wolverine News

Photos
* Big Time Attic on Preview Night
* Comic Book Resources' Preview Night Photo Parade
* ComingSoon.net Display Photos
* Group Pool Started by Kelly Sue DeConnick

*****

For supplemental coverage, particularly of the publishing news emerging from the show, I recommend my peers at The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse.
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Hurry!

image
 
posted 12:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 20, 2006


Go, Read: Masters Show Review

The comics writer Will Pfeifer provides a heartfelt, succinct review of the Masters of American Comics show, which is nice for two reason. One, since it's on his blog, you get a lot more in the way of personal reaction than the contextualizing of the initial bigger reviews of the original installation in Los Angeles. Two, it's nice to be reminded this will be around for a while. I believe New Jersey is its next stop.
 
posted 11:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Filipe Abranches

image
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Bonus Guest 25-Word News Analysis

Chris Mautner of Panels and Pixels pointed me towards something about this press release, which to my eye was just another soldier in the everyday army of manga company press releases. The property cited is the English-language East Coast Rising, and most manga deals tend to favor the huge, juggernaut titles. That has to reflect something about the company's emphasis these day, perhaps enough to file that fact in the back of your mind.
 
posted 11:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Andrew Lin

image
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Hampton Brothers Interview

Bob Andelman's excellent interview series focused on Will Eisner and his biography A Spirited Life continues as he talks to Bo and Scott Hampton.
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Look Who Launched a New Site

As expected, Tokyopop has launched a new, ambitious on-line portal, emphasizing a lot of feature and lifestyle-focused content.

This is one of several moves in the on-line efforts of the comics world this summer as comics orients itself to the Internet, moves that included but were not limited to Comic Book Resources and Newsarama picking up blogs, Wizard Universe re-launching, Heidi MacDonald moving The Beat to PublishersWeekly.com, and an anouncement that The Comics Journal will upgrade its on-line package by re-launching its "Journalista" column, putting together a more aggressive a complete on-line archive and hosting an updated message board.
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Richard Gehr on Can't Get No
New GN Line Focused on Movies
Rustomjee Profiles Virgin Comics
Portsmouth Reader Poll Results on Strips
French Editorial Cartoonists Portray Israelis as Nazis?
 

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

image
 
posted 10:28 am PST | Permalink
 

 
The Trouble With Print…

Hidden in this article about a superhero-driven magazine advocacy campaign are a couple of dire points about print that should in one way or another have an effect on comic books, magazines about comic books, and newspaper comics. The first is that advertising in magazines is way down; the second is that the automobile industry may be shifting away from print. As for the former, I think it's safe to say that comics and print magazines are likely to be affected by strong consumer magazine trends in this or other areas, although they're also more strongly branded as subscription-type services which most people think is th future for such publications. As for the later, I don't know the last time you read a newspaper, but they're highly dependent on auto ads. If that consumer magazine trend represents a more general ad strategy, things could get a lot uglier for newspapers over the decade or so, and newspaper comics because of their upfront costs should be greatly affected.

In a completely unrelated and much more specific but not-comics point, Steven Grant says that print comics magazines are having a hard time staying relevant given what most people want from their comics news and what the Internet does well.
 
posted 1:19 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Dylan Horrocks’ Blog

image
 
posted 12:37 am PST | Permalink
 

 
NJ Remembers Homer Davenport

The Newark Star-Ledger profiles the muckraking cartoonist Homer Davenport and efforts to honor him in his hometown.
 
posted 12:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Isaac Klunk Cartoon

image
 
posted 12:33 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 19, 2006


Go, Read: Eric Orner Profile

Bay Windows runs a lengthy profile of the cartoonist and animator Eric Orner. The hook is the new film version of Orner's now-completed strip, The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, but unlike most movie-related profiles there's a ton of stuff here about what it was like to do the strip.
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Silent Strip Exhibit

image

Bart Beaty passed along the link to this photo gallery of a silent comics exhibit at this year's Stripdagen Haarlem.
 
posted 10:56 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2006 San Diego Con Update

Comic-Con International unofficially kicked off last night at the San Diego Convention Center with its Preview Night, an added attraction as of three or four years ago now whereby four-day badge holders, pros and press can hit the convention floor and do some early buying and mingling. Most of those not exhibiting seem to like it. Many exhibitors like an extra day of sales and some like it for strategic reasons: for instance, if they find out Wednesday night a certain publication goes missing or is in high demand they can more easily get additional copies with a Thursday-Friday window than they could finding out by Thursday afternoon. Some exhibitors initially complained about Preview Night as a needless imposition to an already full weekend, and I imagine some still feel that way.

Registration was an issue going into the show. Professional registration took three to four hours on Wednesday afternoon in 2005, and new measures were imposed that confused a lot of people and had people thinking they'd be paying the fee for not registering early despite their best efforts. Heidi MacDonald seems to have heard second hand that the registration process was going smoothly. The one person I talked to -- I'm not there, or I would have, you know, gone and looked -- said the pro line was "ridiculous" when she got there, so she took the option of registering on-site as press in a line only two or three people long. This guy says that people were lining up for no reason. My hunch is that lines were still long but moved more quickly.

****

News Reports
* Associated Press Preview
* Chat With First Guy in Line by Union-Tribune
* Local SD Fox Affiliate Preview
* LA Times on How to Get Swag
* Newsarama: Preview Night Finds
* Newsarama: Samurai Comic Sequel

Blogs and On-Line Diaries
* Bully Says on Preview Night
* Irene Gallo on Preview Night
* Kushi Tan on Preview Night
* Louie Del Carmen on Preview Night
* Meticulous Nonsense Skips Preview Night
* Newsarama's Overall Con Preview
* Newsarama on Preview Night
* Schlock Mercenary on Preview Night
* Tempura-Chan: Steve Purcell and Glen Danzig

Photos
* Comic Book Resources' Preview Night Photo Parade
* ComingSoon.net Display Photos
* Group Pool Started by Kelly Sue DeConnick

*****

For coverage throughout the day, particularly of the publishing news emerging from the show, I recommend my peers at The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse.
 
posted 10:46 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
LA Times Weighs in On CCI
Hooray! Another Comics Line
Candorville Discusses Press Freedoms
Not Comics: Stamp Offering Includes Postal Cards
Pantheon Puts A Scanner Darkly on Mobile Network
 

 
July 18, 2006


June Harper’s Sells Well in Canada

Sequential picked up on this TheStar.com article stating that early indications say the June issue of Harper's has sold very well in Canada. That issue, featuring Art Spiegelman's article on offensive cartoon imagery in the wake of last winter's protests over cartoon depictions of Muhammed in a Copenhagen newspaper, was refused distribution by the company Indigo. That this increased demand for the magazine, that customers were anecdotally grateful to those who did carry the issue, and that no riots seemed to break out despite its wide readership, all combine to make the original move by the magazine distributor look misguided if not outright goofy.
 
posted 11:53 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Your 2006 WCCA Winners

image

from best new comic Gunnerkrigg Court
 
posted 11:33 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

image

It starts later today with a Preview Night.

The latecomer links include a section on general media previews.

My thanks to everyone that linked to the CCI Guide, and to these postings. My apologies to everyone to whom I failed to link: it was not an intentional snub.

*****

Here at CR
* My panel schedule
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

CR PDFs
* CCI_Comics-Only_Programming.pdf
* CCI_Indy-Arts_Comics_Programming.pdf
* Welcome_to_Nerd_Vegas.pdf

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

San Diego Union-Tribune Coverage
* Business Article
* Dan Clowes Profile
* Geeks Decide What's Cool
* Glossary of Terms
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events
* Shel Dorf Profile

Other Mainstream Press Coverage
* Donna Barr Profile
* Hollywood Reporter
* Not Comics: Frank Miller to Discuss Spirit Movie at Con
* Reuters
* Tax Revenue: Big Deal for San Diego?
* Variety.com

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* NBM's San Diego Plans
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 1
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 2
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 3
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 4
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 5
* Slave Labor Graphics Attending Pros
* Oni Press
* Slave Labor Graphics Panels
* Slave Labor Graphics Table Events
* Sparkplug's New Comics and San Diego Plans
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
* Welcome Party
* Auction Preview
* Late Press Release
* Premiums Available
* Release About Auctioning Lunch With Terry Moore and Dan Didio

Other Resources
* Mangacast's Guide to Manga at San Diego
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comic Relief's Signing Schedule
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Matt Maxwell's Tips
* Newsarama on Portfolio Reviews
* Newsarama on Wowio
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
* Scrapyard Detectives signing
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Herblock Exhibit: Art, Themes, Sketches

Here's a nice review of the current Herblock exhibit, made possible by the foundation's gift of the late editorial cartoonist's art to the Library of Congress. It's divided by theme, has a number of preliminary sketches displayed and one of the subjects dealt with is privacy issues during wartime -- the war being World War II.
 
posted 10:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Word Balloons: Europe Vs. America

image

found via afNews
 
posted 10:50 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
The Beguiling is Selling Art at CCI

I've had enough e-mails from movie and television PR people to last me a lifetime, but I still love the comics and the comics art. Chris Butcher wrote this site as he was heading out the door to remind potential San Diego con goers that in addtion to buying original art from the various dealers and from the artists themselves, The Beguiling will have the fruits of its massive brokership on-hand at the Drawn and Quarterly booth for your perusal. Works will be available from:
Jessica Abel, Ho Che Anderson, Chester Brown, Jeffrey Brown, Jeffrey Brown & James Kochalka, Genevieve Castree, Scott Chantler, Becky Cloonan, Dave Cooper, Farel Dalrymple, Kim Deitch, Julie Doucet, Phoebe Gloeckner, Tomer Hanuka, Sammy Harkham, David Heatley, Paul Hornschemeier, Kevin Huizenga, Christopher Hutsul, Jason, Jason Lutes, Matt Madden, Kagan McLeod, Anders Nilsen, Paul Pope, Brian Ralph, Ron Rege Jr., Graham Roumieu, Sean Scoffield, Jay Stephens, James Sturm, Peter Thompson, Maurice Vellekoop, and Chip Zdarsky.

The D&Q booth is #1529.
 
posted 10:47 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
ICv2.Com: Marvel Announces the Departure of Rothwell and Maglione

A kick-ass report from the comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com details the just-announced departure of former President of Worldwide Consumer Products Tim Rothwell and President of Marvel International Bruno Maglione. Unlike the departure of Avi Arad, whose obvious value to the company on the film end of things was compounded by his unstated influence on the comics business, the loss of these two executives hits mainly at one area: marketing. The big difference -- I would say the biggest different -- between Marvel now and all its previous iterations has been its ability to capitalize on their movie success with a series of cash-rich, no-risk deals. Also please note their killer compensation packages.
 
posted 10:40 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Planetwide Games Profiled

It's all about Marvel's licensing today -- here is an article profiling a company that stands to benefit greatly from a Marvel deal.
 
posted 10:22 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
This Makes Me Cry
ScrippsNews Loves Halo
Jim Lee, Batman Co-Creator?
Oni Licenses My Name is Earl
But Teacher, I'm Reading About You
Write Comics The Danny Fingeroth Way
Mallard Fillmore Swipes Wing at NY Times
 

 
Cagle Concerned By Orphan Works Bill

The prominent blogger and cartoonist Daryl Cagle warns that the "Orphan Works Act of 2006" (HR 5439) is a bad deal for cartoonists. That bill allows companies to reprint "orphaned" art work via greatly weakened requirements regarding the search for that art's copyright holder and reduced fees for copyright infringement.

Editor & Publisher features a summary piece and the editorial was reprinted in full at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists site with Cagle's permission. There is at least one comics-community message board discussions on this piece thus far, here.
 
posted 4:42 am PST | Permalink
 

 
People Are Writing About Others’ Comics

image"What really makes Sloth haunting, though, is Hernandez's artwork. In his other books (including his previous graphic novel, Luba: The Book of Ofelia, published only a few months ago), he's usually gotten over on his mastery of exaggeratedly 'cartoony' facial expressions and body language, and his gift for finding individual images that encapsulate an entire scene. For this book, though, he's developed a new drawing style, built around patterns and textures made by meticulous stippling and compulsively repeated brush strokes. Every page has its own dominant visual motif, a way of suggesting shade and depth that alters the story's tone and pacing -- sometimes it's even echoed in the design on the hat that one character wears." -- Douglas Wolk at Salon on the best of this summer's trade onslaught.

image"We're meant to see Edison as a mutant, at least initially, a specter of something appealing. The presumably desired effect is binary repulsion, first at Edison for his physical iniquities, then at ourselves for conflating fact with meaning. Conversely, Edison sees the world around him as breathtakingly clinical. It's a heartbreaking condition, one that remains intangible throughout the book. You continue to sense that there's something wrong with Edison (other than his appearance), but it's difficult to say what. At some point it becomes clear that his problem is the same as yours, presumably, an inability to appreciate the nature of things beyond what they appear to be. The Ticking is scattered with Edison's drawings, careful diagrams of his environment, cross sections of a little world." -- Chris Tamarri's lengthy interpretation of Renee French's The Ticking (Top Shelf).

image"The problem is the wordplay isn't quite as peppy (or bountiful) as before, and the action is colored a bit too dimly (Lovern Kindzierski handles the lion's share of the hues, though letterer Peter Doherty steps in to 're-jig' a single page). I understand that this is an affirmative creative choice, as the issue's final page brings up back up into the sunset and fully popping hue, but I couldn't help but feel the dankness of the beast's belly was overpronounced to the point of detracting from the all-important action." -- Jog on issues of 52 and Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman).

image"My theory is that Hawkman got really drunk on Thanagarian ale one night while he was waxing his chest and he decided to try to shape his eyebrows. He fucked up and ended up giving himself creepy thin Joan Crawford eyebrows, and had to wear this helmet to cover them up. Can you imagine all the crap Green Arrow would give Hawkman if he had girly eyebrows?" -- David Campbell on The New Teen Titans #19 (DC Comics, 1982).

image"Despite the lack of respect given most of these authors -- Spurgeon has some acclaim for Goodwin and Moore, but more often credits the others for popularity and sales rather than skill or individual styles -- one thing that does come through in the book is that these writers, to a man, come off as more thoughtful than nearly any current comics writer, though whether some of the blame lies in TCJ rarely doing interviews with superhero comics writers anymore, leaving it to lesser magazines and fawning websites is certainly an argument that can be made. -- Chris Allen on my own The Comics Journal Library Volume 6: The Writers (Fantagraphics Books).
 
posted 4:04 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Modern Tales Re-Launches

image
 
posted 3:59 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Karen Berger Promoted at DC

DC Comics sent out a press release yesterday announcing that Karen Berger has been promoted to Senior Vice President -- Excecutive Editor, Vertigo. Berger is a 27-year employee of the company, and is credited with creating DC's Vertigo imprint in 1993. ICv2.com summarizes and explains Vertigo's importance here. The Berger promotion is the first of two Vertigo-related announcements expected this summer.
 
posted 3:43 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Mega-D&Q Blogging News Explosion

image

New blog or not, Drawn and Quarterly's site is stuffed with news items, both big and small.

* a "Daily Moomin" feature in advance of their new series.

* the cartoonist Joe Matt has a comic book coming out and a name for his 2007 collection (scroll down).

* the cartoonist Yoshirio Tatsumi is in the middle of a summer west coast swing, appearing with Adrian Tomine.

In fact, there's a ton of good stuff on there; please go and enjoy.
 
posted 3:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Editorial on Comics Ratings

I think this is brand new, but I could be a wrong: a massive, aggressively argued on comics lack of a rating system, that quotes everything from the Jesus Castillo case to the nip-slip cover on Intimates #4. Although I'm concerned by the understated homophobia potentially at play in using an Outsiders scene of implied man on man sex as a flash point, this is probably as good an unpacking of the pro-ratings position as you're likely to find.

I still don't buy it. Books aren't labeled; they seem to do okay. Comics is no longer a mass medium with a lot of accidental discovery to reckon with. Ratings or "mature readers" labels are a fine tool for many publishers, and many publishers use them. I'm sympathetic to those retailers that wish they had better, more consistent information, but taking care of this through a ratings system seems to me to play to some of the worst, most dysfunctional aspects of the comics industry's direct market: not holding publishers to certain standards of professionalism, the ludicrous rush to throw massive amounts of product on the shelves the moment it arrives, and yes, even the cynical manipulation of children's literature for prurient effect.
 
posted 2:49 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

image

Even as you read this, people are making their way to partly cloudy San Diego: some in dresses, some not. Comic-Con International starts tomorrow -- unofficially -- with its Preview Night. Bookies in Vegas will accept bets on how quickly tomorrow's professional registration line will move until midnight tonight.

As always, there are new links below, including NBM, Sparkplug, Matt Maxwell's tips and the Union-Tribune's glossary of terms. Oh, and go here for some funny and fairly accurate depictions of Comic-Con character types.

*****

Here at CR
* My panel schedule
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

CR PDFs
* CCI_Comics-Only_Programming.pdf
* CCI_Indy-Arts_Comics_Programming.pdf
* Welcome_to_Nerd_Vegas.pdf

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

San Diego Union-Tribune Coverage
* Business Article
* Dan Clowes Profile
* Glossary of Terms
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events
* Shel Dorf Profile

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* NBM's San Diego Plans
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 1
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 2
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 3* Slave Labor Graphics Attending Pros
* Oni Press
* Slave Labor Graphics Panels
* Slave Labor Graphics Table Events
* Sparkplug's New Comics and San Diego Plans
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
* Welcome Party
* Auction Preview
* Premiums Available
* Release About Auctioning Lunch With Terry Moore and Dan Didio

Other Resources
* Mangacast's Guide to Manga at San Diego
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comic Relief's Signing Schedule
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Matt Maxwell's Tips
* Newsarama on Wowio
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
* Scrapyard Detectives signing
 
posted 2:01 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Mickey Spillane, 1918-2006

Mickey Spillane, the hard-boiled crime writer with roots in the pulp era of American comic book publishing, died yesterday at his home in South Carolina. He was 88 years old.

imageBest known for an approach to hardboiled crime fiction and his Mike Hammer character, a significant element of Spillane's writing career was a period contributing text pieces to comics magazines for publishers like Marvel, Novelty and Bonanza. Spillane was late in his career one of the creators that contributed a character concept to the Hindenburg-like Tekno Comics line, in Spillane's case a Mike Hammer precursor intended for the comics named "Mike Danger."

Nice catch by Heidi MacDonald to notice that manga author Yoshihiro Tatsumi talks about Spillane as an influence in a recent profile.
 
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Makoto Tateno in LA
CHUD.com Loves Iron West
Independent Explores 9/11 Project
52 Adds First In-Run New Feature at #12
If Movies Are History Aren't Comics Ancient History?
 

 
July 17, 2006


Tom Frame, RIP

image

Tom Frame, whose distinct lettering for decades on the Judge Dredd series in 2000AD made him a largely unsung but vital part of a cultural phenomenon and allowed him a platform for one of the most unique contributions in the crafting of comics in the last 30 years, passed away on July 14. In a touching on-line journal entry on Frame from that day, writer and ex-2000AD editor David Bishop gave the cause of death as cancer.

Frame's unique approach to lettering, both rough and imposing, was as much a visual signifier of the Dredd series as the character's costume or rich background illustration. "There are only four names that mean Judge Dredd to me -- [writer John] Wagner, [artist Brian] Bolland, [artist Mike] McMahon and Frame," Richard Starkings of Comicraft told Comics Reporter. "Not to be funny, but I always thought of Tom as a Capital Letterer -- his work stood tall in the pages of 2000AD because his strong, narrow no-nonsense letters fit the tone of the Judge Dredd strip to a tee. Dredd and Death never 'sounded' quite right if Tom wasn't putting the words near their mouths. When I was lucky enough to letter Dredd when Tom happened to be on holiday, I'd look at the work I'd done and thought how much better it would have looked if Tom had lettered it."

Bishop remembers his longtime workmate as a "kind-hearted grouch" and notes his contributions to the early coloring of the 2000 AD covers and center spread. Says Starking, "I would often see Tom in the 2000AD offices of IPC's dusty and musty King's Reach Tower in the '80s; he had a somewhat grouchy air about him, but would be hard at work and, on the odd occasion that he spoke to me, always had an encouraging word." Comics writer Andy Diggle wrote after noting Frame's professional accomplishiments, "More importantly, he was a hell of a nice bloke, much loved, and he will be missed."

Donations to cancer research may be directed here.
 
posted 1:11 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Herblock Exhibit at LOC Opens Today

A small but still substantial exhibit of sketches and cartoons by the late Herb Block is scheduled to open at the Library of Congress today. This nudges into the comics-news radar for a few reasons. One, Herblock was one of the great cartoonists of the 20th Century and I would encourage anyone with the time and inclination to see the show. Two, the article notes that this is a precursor to a much bigger exhibit to take place a couple of years down the line. Three, because Herblock was wealthy at the time of his death, the foundation bearing his name should make it so that the editorial cartoonist will end up one of the most thoroughly exhibited and as a result warmly remembered cartoonists of his era.
 
posted 12:59 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 16, 2006


ICv2.com: 18 June Comic Books 100K+

The business news and analysis site ICv2.com has put out their suite of articles on the June Direct Market (comics and hobby shop) sales numbers. According to the site, an unprecedented number of comic books selling over 100,000 copies led to only slight gains in the market overall when compared to last year, and a slowdown from last month's hugely positive numbers. The performance of comic books makes up for a modest decline in graphic novel sales. The site assures us in a couple of place that numbers for the quarter are still pretty boffo.

Analysis/Overview
Dollar Trends
Top 300 Comic Books
Top 100 Graphic Novels

imageAccording to my own scientific analysis of holding my thumb toward the computer screen at arms length and thinking grumpy thoughts, what's going on seems a continuation of last month's numbers on a slightly less ridiculous scale. The Direct Market has long been primed to handle "event" comics at the top of its ordering limits, and new events sit on top of the old events (like All-Star Superman, pictured), crushing them slightly and pushing them down the charts. We have a lot of event comics right now, so the top of the market is loaded. As the market this month doesn't seem to be enjoying a surge that would match so many six-figure books, worries that these sales a) come at the expense of midlist sales (which many retailers deny), b) supplant reader desires for a diversified group of mid-range books (which many readers deny), or c) indicate a bit of market exhaustion beyond the events where things actually seem to be happening (which a whole range of people denies), seem to have some traction.

DC and Marvel combined have an unprecedented market share right now, more than they did when people were horrified by the combined market share in the late '80s, and what they choose to pursue in terms of what kind of sales they want does a lot to shape the Direct Market. And what they seem to want right now is top of the line performers of the limited event variety. Although DC recently sort of claimed to be doing the last couple of years of identity-related event comics in order to reinvigorate their main lines, I wouldn't be surprised if they were already doubtful of continuing such a boost past a #1 or a #2 or a relaunched regular title, and it would hardly be shocking if the next round of mega-events was already in some rough form in editorial.

Also, it seems to me that maybe DC's 52 in this month started what seems likely to be a sustained drop, while Civil War is performing ahead of expectations, although that's only a hunch. I like making that hunch because it kind of parallels the fortunes of the film industry, where Time Warner's Superman Returns seems to lack legs while Marvel would represent all the studios with poorly reviewed blockbusters that people like anyway.
 
posted 10:50 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

image

This is Comic-Con International convention week, and the links here have swelled. Late arrivals of note: the Shel Dorf article in the Union-Tribune section is a fascinating read, under "Publisher News" Newsarama is doing a nice series where they give smaller publishers a platform to pitch, and there are various PDFs of resources from this site in their own section.

If you have a moment, please do me the favor of checking out a pair of the below links:

First, Comic Relief is doing multiple signings with Jean-Claude Mezieres, and select signings with some very good writers about comics.

Second, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund section has a bunch of stuff worth noting. Please see if you can support that group at their party or through their auction. Supporting that group's First Amendment advocacy is my favorite of comics' many fine charitable causes.

*****

Here at CR
* My panel schedule
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

CR PDFs
* CCI_Comics-Only_Programming.pdf
* CCI_Indy-Arts_Comics_Programming.pdf
* Welcome_to_Nerd_Vegas.pdf

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

San Diego Union-Tribune Coverage
* Business Article
* Dan Clowes Profile
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events
* Shel Dorf Profile

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 1
* Newsarama on Non-Panel Publishers 2
* Slave Labor Graphics Attending Pros
* Slave Labor Graphics Panels
* Slave Labor Graphics Table Events
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
* Welcome Party
* Auction Preview
* Premiums Available
* Release About Auctioning Lunch With Terry Moore and Dan Didio

Other Resources
* Mangacast's Guide to Manga at San Diego
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comic Relief's Signing Schedule
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Newsarama on Wowio
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
* Scrapyard Detectives signing
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Trudeau Humbled by Veterans Award

As reported in advance of the event, Doonesbury Garry Trudeau received the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Vietnam Veterans of America at the group's national conference last week in Tucson. In addition to the award, Trudeau and his soldier character B.D. received lifetime memberships in the organization. This article describes both the cartoonist's comments and the way the veterans involved look at his work.
 
posted 10:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
This Woman Loves Garfield
Edmonton Journal Profiles Webcomics
Local Cartoonist Profile: Terri Libenson
LAT: Cartoonists Tackle Press Freedom
Cindy Jackson: Full-Time Comics Librarian
Local Cartooning Team Profile: Ventresca and Beckett

 

 
CR Sunday Magazine

******

I Read This Book Six Times This Week

image

*****

Go, Read: Washington Post on Lost Girls, Lee Case

This article provides a clear summation of the Gordon Lee case and a concise appraisal of the dangers facing retailers who might choose to sell Lost Girls. What I like best about the article is that it reminds me that if for some reason a retailer doesn't take special steps in selling Lost Girls, or doesn't take the right steps, or something happens and the special steps don't work, and as a result said retailer runs afoul of some stupid law, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will likely defend them anyway because that's what the CBLDF does.

*****

Go, Look: 1st Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Report

image

Gerry Alanguilan's massive report at his great Komikero Komiks site even includes the video presentation of every major Filipino cartoonist ever that Alanguilan unveiled at the show.

*****

First Thought of the Day
For some reason, perhaps as a sign that from this point forward I'm to retain less information than I had the day before, I stood in a grocery store this morning and realized I forgot what barley is.
 
posted 4:04 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 15, 2006


Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

image

Here at CR
* My panel schedule
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

CR PDFs
* CCI_Comics-Only_Programming.pdf
* CCI_Indy-Arts_Comics_Programming.pdf
* Welcome_to_Nerd_Vegas.pdf

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Slave Labor Graphics Attending Pros
* Slave Labor Graphics Panels
* Slave Labor Graphics Table Events
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
* Welcome Party
* Auction Preview
* Premiums Available
* Release About Auctioning Lunch With Terry Moore and Dan Didio

Other Resources
* Mangacast's Guide to Manga at San Diego
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
* Scrapyard Detectives signing
 
posted 10:53 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

image

The week's most important comics-related news stories, July 8 to July 14, 2006.

1. Johnny Hart and his syndicate flatly deny any insult to Islam in July 3 cartoon.

2. Musa Kart wins a Press Freedom award.

3. Anjem Choudary receives a small fine for his role earlier this year in improperly organizing a march against the Muhammed cartoons run last Fall by the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Some aren't happy about this.

Winner of the Week
Zapiro. Court cases can turn winners into losers in the thirty seconds it takes for a decision to be read out loud, but the South African cartoonist has received international support after being sued by politician Jacob Zuma, and he has clearly won the war of words.

Loser of the Week
The Canadian magazine distributor Indigo.

Quote of the Week
"It's a monkey on your back." Dan Vado compares comics to heroin in this movie trailer.

Fat Albert and Rudy have the right idea
 
posted 3:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

image

Here at CR
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Slave Labor Graphics Attending Pros
* Slave Labor Graphics Panels
* Slave Labor Graphics Table Events
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
* Welcome Party
* Auction Preview
* Premiums Available
* Release About Auctioning Lunch With Terry Moore and Dan Didio

Other Resources
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
 
posted 3:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
This Week’s Five For Friday

The responses to this week's Five For Friday, "Name Five Comics You've Read But Never Owned" are now up.
 
posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 14, 2006


Your Doug Wright Award Nominees

The 2nd annual Doug Wright Awards' nominee list. The awards will be given out September in Toronto.

imageBEST BOOK
* Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly Books)
* Wimbledon Green by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly Books)
* Dragonslippers: This Is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like by Rosalind B. Penfold (Penguin Canada)
* Paul Moves Out by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly Books)
* Scott Pilgrim Volume 2 by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Oni Press)

imageEMERGING TALENT
* Skim by Mariko Tamaki
and Jillian Tamaki (Kiss Machine)
* Northwest Passage Volume 1 by Scott Chantler (Oni Press)
* Nil: A Land Beyond Belief by James Turner (Slave Labor Graphics)
* Dark Adaptation by Lorenz Peter (Pedlar Press)
* The Unexpurgated Tale of Lordie Jones by Marc Ngui (Conundrum Press)
 
posted 4:02 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Conversational Euro-Comics

image
 
posted 3:53 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Musa Kart Wins Press Freedom Award

The New Anatolian reports that the Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart has won the 2006 Freedom of the Press Award on behalf of all cartoonists in Turkey. Kart was legally antagonized by Turkey's Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan for drawing the political figures as a cat. An award also went to Judge Mithat Ali Kabaali for ruling the cartoon did not constitute an attack on personal rights. The awards will be presented to the winnners at Dolmabahce Palace on July 24.
 
posted 3:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Jim Woodring Interview

image
 
posted 3:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Anti-Islam Comic Rights Battle

I feel some sympathy for the writer who penned this article of a struggle between a Christian publisher and author over an anti-Islam comic book. The work in question seems repulsive on a lot of levels, and the motivations involved are fairly obvious. It would be extremely difficult not to interject and rip into both actors at several points in the piece; the author gives into this temptation.
 
posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
New EC Comics Collections Unpacked

image

Am I an ungrateful idiot if I respond to the what should be great news of new, archived editions of EC Comics in full-color featuring letters pages and everything with concern a) that the covers will be cluttered with new information like the sample images distributed (above) and b) worry that the coloring process as described may not live up to its hype?

Probably.
 
posted 2:41 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Brian Hibbs on Rate of Turn

Retailer Brian Hibbs' latest at Newsarama, on how books sell and when and how this has an effect on inventory, offers up one of those perfect snapshots of comics industry dysfunction. I think the standard reply from comics companies as to why they break the collection of series down into counter-intuitive multiples rather than logically-conceived single-volumes is not just heat but price point. Yet by capitulating to market forces in this manner, they're not living up to how much the big companies can shape buying habits if they endorse the long-term habits of quality retailers over the short-term profiteering of unstable retailers. Why do they do this? Because there's a cost in short-term profits and, potentially, market-share.
 
posted 2:24 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

Here at CR
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Parking and Transportation Services
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

Publisher News
* Ait/Planet Lar Signing Schedule: AiT_SDCC_signing.pdf
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Other Resources
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Man of Action Re-Launch

imageNewsarama's story yesterday about the San Diego plans of the writer-driven studio "Man of Action" brought my attention to the group's new site, focused on the blog found here. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it's worth noting because Casey, Seagle, et al have been enthusiastic adapters to on-line avenues of promotion, even though this latest permutation was long overdue. Second, I would have to imagine a group blog from comics writers could be very busy -- the members are natural writers, and writers have more projects on their plate than artists -- so it will be worth tracking their ability to generate content. Third, if they do produce content, we're at a point where there are so many linkbloggers that content is certainly appreciated.
 
posted 1:49 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Virgin Comics Profile
For Virgin: Woo Starts, Ennis Finishes
Vancouver Mag Profiles Comics Scene
Marvel Looking at Portfolios in San Diego
Con = Spotlight on Anchorage Manga/Anime
Not Comics: Feiffer Book Set for Huge Staging
Virgin Teams W/Panini for Europe, Latin America

 

 
July 13, 2006


Moebius?

image

This release I got from Diamond indicates Moebius will be at Comic-Con International. Did I miss this? Is someone pulling my leg? Has Moebius been downgraded from potential Greatest Living Cartoonist status and nobody told me? Is Dark Horse going to casually announce a Hayao Miyazaki panel tomorrow? Does Moebius go every year and I elbow him in the head rushing to the Scholastic reception buffet table? I'm confused.
 
posted 8:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
RSF: Mana Neyestani Part of Trend

The Reporters Sans Frontieres release hitting the wire services this morning spotlights the latest arrest of a journalist in Iran, Ramin Jahanbegloo, in this case for allegedly fomenting revolution on behalf of the United States. According to the article the 12 journalists and bloggers arrested recently include cartoonist Mana Neyestani, whose cartoon of a cockroach speaking Azeri was blamed for rioting by a significant Iranian minority group and led to the cartoonist and his editor being arrested.
 
posted 3:41 am PST | Permalink
 

 
People Are Talking About Their Comics

image"What made me think of this particular story was my experiences of knowing lots of people who were living there. I just found the different ways the people engaged or didn't with the society that they were living in really interesting. I saw that right from the very beginning because when I arrived I didn't know how to speak Spanish and our friends were some Mexican intellectuals and a bunch of expat journalists. When I saw the way that they lived it was just really interesting to me that there were people who had Mexican friends in their own lives but whenever we would get together in a group it was almost exclusively expat journalists." -- Jessica Abel on La Perdida at SuicideGirls.com.

*****

image"A lot of people have brought up that comparison but not in a bad way. But I'm sure there's going to be some fat man at Comicon that yells at me. It was an inspiration but in that Santa's the bad guy and in our book Santa is the hero. There's a reason for the mayhem in our book. But I'm not going to slam that book anymore." -- Brian Posehn at SuicideGirls.com on people comparing his The Last Christmas to the Lobo Christmas Special.

*****

image"Ultimately any decent artist can draw the hell out of a panel -- adding this bit of texture, that bit of background detail -- but to be able to get the 'essential' information across in the panel with no extraneous detail, and only what is needed to tell the 'story' of that panel -- that is something only an experienced artist can do." -- Neil Vokes at Toon Zone on a lesson learned from drawing Superman Adventures.

*****

image"I will be making Maakies until my dying day. I'll be looking across the hospital room at an old man's ass as he shoots diarrhea all over the floor and that will inspire my last Maakies in 2055. Maakies is my life story, my personal diary." -- Tony Millionaire to Kioskerman at Comiqueando.
 
posted 2:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Minneapolis, I’d Go See This

Scott McCloud lecture tonight for free.
 
posted 2:38 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Newsarama on Ignatz Line

image
 
posted 2:33 am PST | Permalink
 

 
ICv2.com: Novel Graphics Part Two

ICv2.com has a nice story on Novel Graphics' projected second wave of books, including a book about the Beats to be written by Harvey Pekar. Listing all of the books would be doing ICv2.com a disservice so please go look at their story. It is interesting that they have a J. Edgar Hoover biography planned. That biography will have to be very good indeed to scale the heights of comics' previous Hoover bio effort (not only not work-safe but maybe not human dignity safe).
 
posted 2:26 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

Here at CR
* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Sean Dulaney's Culled UT List of SD Events

On the CCI Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site

Publisher News
* Buenaventura Press Signing Schedule
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* DC Comics Staff and Creators On-Hand
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Last Gasp Signing Schedule
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books

Other Resources
* Marc Mason's Five Tips
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* DC Vs. Marvel Softball Fundraiser
* Diamond's Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Baseball Toaster on Tintin

I rather liked this short essay on one person's experience reading Tintin albums as a child, particularly how the sensual experience of reading these albums was locked into a certain time and place. Before rejuveniles restored comics to prime household real estate, comics' role for Americans as disreputable junk literature gave their appearances in any form a kind of shocking incongruity that impressed upon a lot of readers the context of their discovery. In other words, I think comics fans of a certain age all remember a bookshelf with Peter Arno and Charles Addams books, or a wicker basket of old Marvels at a lake cottage, or a stack of Archies at the dentist's office or a clothes drawer filled with DC Super-Specials. Do you have a comics "place" memory? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 
posted 1:43 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Visiting Cartoonist Profile: Jay Hosler
Local Cartoonist Profile: Derek Hunter
Homer Davenport Wants Your Five Bucks
PR Reach: Article Hypes Marvel's Western Comic
Of Course Covers Matter Less: No Mass Audience
Harper's Was Refused South Park Muhammed Image

 

 
July 12, 2006


Conversational Euro-Comics

image
 
posted 2:08 am PST | Permalink
 

 
RSF Writes Open Letter to Jacob Zuma

The press advocacy group Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has weighed in on on former high-ranking South African official Jacob Zuma's barrage of defamation lawsuits against various press outlets including the cartoonist Zapiro, by writing an open letter to Zuma and releasing its content to the world press. Basically, RSF warns Zuma that if successful, his suit could lead to a blank cheque for authoritarian regimes to use their country's courts to control and manipulate what should ideally be an independent, empowered press. RSF further argued that any move in South Africa would trigger similar moves across the region in which the nation sits.
 
posted 1:52 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: John Holmstrom’s Bosko #1

image

I had no idea this comic existed until I read this review. I think it's brand new, but I could be wrong.
 
posted 1:48 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Hart, Syndicate Deny Islam Insult

Editor & Publisher has a nice follow-up on the suggestion that a July 3 installment of Johnny Hart's comic strip B.C. featured an obtuse criticism of Islam by linking star and crescent imagery to the notion of lunacy and violence. Hart has denied this, his syndicate has denied this and stated that the joke was a play on the word lunatic ("luna" as in moon and "tic" as in "tick") and nothing more. It's worth noting that only two papers on Hart's approximately 1200-paper client list asked for substitutes on these grounds. Hart has been accused of criticizing Islam in this fashion in the past, and has a well-known penchant for stringing together visual iconography and symbols, an interest that has in the past led to controversial cartoons on world religions.
 
posted 1:26 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Indigo and Free Inquiry

imageVia Sequential comes a link to this article declaring that the Canadian distributor Indigo first blocked the magazine Free Inquiry from appearing on its clients' shelves and then declared it a mistake and deciding to carry the magazine. That magazine had in a previous issue printed four of the famed Danish Cartoons from the Copenhagen newspaper Jyllands-Posten, cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed blamed for riots across Europe, Asia and Africa earlier this year. The distributor had recently decided not to carry the June issue of Harper's because of an Art Spiegelman-penned article delving into those cartoons. While catching and punishing Western Standard for carrying some of the cartoons, Indigo's crack staff failed to notice that Free Inquiry ran some of the cartoons and been carried by Indigo. This was pointed out to them in the wake of the Harper's story. The editors of Free Inquiry suspect that an editorial about Peter Singer could also have been the cause for the since-rescinded move.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that despite the fears of the distributor, the Harper's issue in question seems to have worked through its full sales cycle without causing massive riots or violence in North America, indicating that either Indigo customers inclined to buy Harper's as opposed to Free Inquiry who were denied an opportunity to buy the issue just happen to be the key players when it comes to image-based rioting and the distributor did a great public service via the smartest surgical strike regarding provocative material in the history of print, or that the distributor's concerns were ridiculous.

This Baltimore paper's editorial indicates how the Danish Cartoons controversy will likely enjoy relevancy in panel discussions and university debates for years to come.
 
posted 1:03 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Zdarsky in New Orleans

image

Found on The Engine.
 
posted 12:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Lengthy Collecting Article

As much as I find back-issues collecting a bit frustrating on a certain level in that I believe that certain classes of books are artificially propped up and could be put to better use as a used-books type of market allowing easier access to a certain kind of fan, I remain somewhat fascinated by the high-end collectibles market, that weird mix of auction houses, celebrity buyers and slightly disreputable pulp. This is a long article on the subject. There are a lot of interesting figures bandied about in there, too.
 
posted 12:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 11, 2006


Go, Read: Village Voice on Fun Home

image

Also, this article indicates that Bechdel's work will be serialized in the French publication Libe starting later this month with a collection date set for October.
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Denis Kitchen Interview

image
 
posted 11:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books
* Dark Horse Panel and Signing Schedule
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
* Impact Books at Comic-Con
* Steranko to Appear at Comic-Con
* Mark Evanier Previews the Kirby Panel
* Panels Mark Evanier is Moderating at Comic-Con
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Fran Matera Site Updated
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em
Will There Be a Report in F.O.O.M.?
Local Cartoonist Profile: Dave Coulson
Why, It's A New Comic Book Company!
Thank God: Another Comic Book Company
 

 
Finally!

Drawn and Quarterly, the blog
 
posted 8:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
High-Quality Distractions From Work

image

* Chic Stone-illustrated article on objects as radio receivers. (thanks, Dirk Deppey)

* Chris Tamarri colors an issue of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.

* Wild, fully costumed wrestling video from the performance art space -- and comics art collective -- Fort Thunder.
 
posted 6:34 am PST | Permalink
 

 
UK Danish Cartoons March Leader Fined

Anjem Choudary, who organized a march outside London's Danish Embassy in February in protest of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in cartoon form, has been fined £500 (approximately $920) for his actions. The official charge had to do with proper advance notification oif the event. The story has some political heat because of the extreme nature of the rhetoric used at the protest.
 
posted 3:23 am PST | Permalink
 

 
That Cover Right There

image

image

image

I like the general look of these covers from small publisher Ca et La.
 
posted 3:08 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Crisis On Infinite Farming Collectives

image

* There's probably a fine article to be had about Hugo Gellert's art as a potential influence on early comic book superhero art, particularly the John Henry iconography. This article isn't sharply realized enough to be it, though.

* Another article sure to be dissected today by astute comics folk, this piece in Book Standard does that weird thing you see sometimes where it puts an interesting subject out there -- how longstanding comics companies will compete with bigger New York book houses -- and then just sort of repeats its assertion a few times with some really broad solutions offered up by an arbitrary cross-section of publishers.

* Apparently there are wish-fulfillment aspects to Superman. Who knew? It's another basically by-the-numbers piece, albeit one that gets points for calling Batman a "trustafarian" and for using my favorite British put-down, "weedy."
 
posted 1:58 am PST | Permalink
 

 
We Are All Dan Pussey

image

You have to scroll down a bit, but Jog talks smart about the re-release of Daniel Clowes' Pussey!. Not only does the comic, about the rise and fall of a relentlessly self-unaware mainstream cartoonist, have a lot to say in a re-read about how little certain aspects of the industry have changed in 12 years, but the hapless and even ugly nature of its protagonist exists in a much different context today, where creatures equally unpleasant and nowhere near as interesting anchor films and television shows. It's almost like a brand-new book.
 
posted 1:29 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
* Chris Butcher on Events of Special Interest to Gay Creators/Readers
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Had A TV, I’d Watch This

image

And since I do have a television, this works out great. Here's the preview of the film about the Tintin comics album series and its creator; here's the supplemental material and here's the accompanying series of interviews.

Remember that PBS stations enjoy some leeway on when to program certain things after their debut, so check your local listings.
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 10, 2006


Quick hits
Blogcritics.org on Lost Girls
Jim Starlin's Kid Kosmos OGN
The Stan Lee Profile Is Eternal
India Loves The Graphic Novel
Gren Enters Journalist Hall of Fame
SLG Goes Back to Press on Gargoyles #1
WashingtonPost.com Chat: Terri Libenson
Marshall Ramsey Plans 10-Year Collection
Ken Tucker Loves Adaptations (This Week, Anyway)
 

 
Zapiro: “Public Figures Are Fair Game”

Here's a reprint of the best article profiling the cartoonist Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro) after he was sued last week by former high-ranking South African government official Jacob Zuma. Zapiro definitely has a point: when your background includes wearing disguises to avoid the apartheid-era security police forces that are looking for you, you're not likely to be shaken in any way by news of a lawsuit.
 
posted 2:57 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Summer Rains Bring Rivers of Blood…

image

There's a fine round-up of Arab-created editorial cartoons on the recent violence in Gaza available here. Due to the relatively vital role cartoons play in that region's publications, I think this brief survey is worth checking out no matter where you stand on the issues involved.
 
posted 2:43 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tony Millionaire Interview

image

Among many other things in a really quality chat, Mr. Millionaire talks about drawing drunk.
 
posted 2:32 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Listen: Studio 360 on Superman

imageIf you're like me and forgot to listen this weekend, there is a big suite of Superman-related pieces up at the Studio 360 site. The belle of the ball looks to be the Gerard Jones / Jules Feiffer / Art Spiegelman material about the early comics and their creators, but much of it looks worth exploring if you're into the subject matter.

I don't know if I'll get to the latest Superman movie, but I like reading Superman comic books during the summer. I look forward to buying copies of the new All-Star Superman series when I get to a comic shop or a big convention, I have this book nearby for beach and hammock reading, and, as always, I recommend what may be the greatest trade paperback in modern comics publishing.
 
posted 2:03 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Updated San Diego Comic-Con Links

* CR's CCI Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* Updated Artists' Alley List at Comic-Con Site
* Portfolio Review Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* Autograph Area Schedule at Comic-Con Site
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews
* Comixpedia's List of Things to Do in San Diego
 
posted 1:41 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Much Easier Than a Mattotti Joke

image

Thousands of BD-reading, soccer-loving French children were surprised late yesterday evening when copies of the above comics album flew from shelves all over Europe and inexplicably head-butted their owners in the chest.
 
posted 1:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 9, 2006


I Stole This Image From Fantagraphics

image

But you should want to see the trailer for Chris Brandt's Independents anyway.

(That's Jim Woodring pictured.)
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Denis Kitchen on Will Eisner
Digital Manga Efforts Profiled
Local Cartoonist Profile: Tunde Soyinka
Manga Experts Recommend For Newbies
There's Actually a Store Called Fanboy Comics
Journalists Discuss Danish Cartoons, Eat Unhealthily
Former Resident Cartoonist Profile: Sharon Sprague
 

 
July 8, 2006


CR Sunday Magazine

Go, Look: Wunderground: Providence Preview

image

Available in both Full-Screen and Widescreen.

*****

Various San Diego Convention Stuff

I will by next weekend have all of this resource material in one commentary post for your easy access and potential printing out, but for now here are some links to follow if you're interested in the forthcoming Comic-Con International in San Diego, which kicks off with a preview night a week from Wednesday.

* CR's Comic-Con Guide, with growing readers' tips section
* Full programming list at Comic-Con Site
* Comics-Only programming list here at CR
* Indy/Arts comics programming list here at CR
* David Glanzer on Registration and Housing Issues
* Fantagraphics' massive debut list and signing schedule
* Drawn & Quarterly at Comic-Con International
* Various small arts publishers' line-ups and books
* Katherine Keller on sexual harassment at conventions
* Comic Foundry's Restaurant Reviews

*****

Go, Look: Milton Caniff's How To Spot A Jap

image

Another historical comic of interest posted by Ethan Persoff. I saw it mentioned here.

*****

Not Comics: Gaming Industry Contrasted with Book Publishing

Kenneth Hite describes his industry in a way that makes me think of comics, only without it being like comics. The notion that certain publishing efforts demand adherence to a specific model is an interesting one to ponder. I think most people in comics assume that publishing model doesn't matter as long as the execution is there.

*****

Go, Look: A Connecticut Ice Cream Man in King Arthur's Court

image

*****

First Thought of the Day

The minute you get tired of arguing, you start getting yourself into more arguments.
 
posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

image

The week's most important comics-related news stories, July 1 to July 7, 2006.

1. The cartoonist Zapiro among those sued by South African politician Jacob Zuma over various depictions of Zuma during a recent rape trial.

2. ComicsPro to offer its members the opportunity to buy health insurance, an important milestone for that kind of professional organization.

3. Johnny Hart may be taking shots at Islam again; then again, he may not be.

Winner of the Week
Rory Root of Comic Relief: just look at that store. It's like the first comic shop you could be locked in overnight without it turning into an Eli Roth movie.

Loser of the Week
Jacob Zuma. People filing lawsuits can rally with fantastic weeks depending on a few words from judge or jury, but this week the former South African government official and cartoon litigant took a "Jennifer Love Hewitt on The Daily Show promoting Garfield"-style snark beating from cartoonist Zapiro in the international press.

Quote of the Week
"Would that be your reputation as a disgraced chauvinistic demagogue who can't control his sexual urges and who thinks a shower prevents Aids?" -- Zapiro's response to Jacob Zuma's claim that the cartoonist caused damage to his reputation.

HULK HAVE RIGHT IDEA
 
posted 12:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 7, 2006


Conversational Euro-Comics

image
 
posted 6:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Johnny Hart: In the Outhouse Again?

image

This July 3 strip from Johnny Hart's B.C. feature: a pun on "luna tick" or another of Hart's obtuse shots at Islam through the star and crescent symbol? Or both?

The folks at the Comics Journal's message board noticed this; I sure didn't. This blog did, too. In the end, I'm kind of with Mark Martin on the TCJ.com thread that people should be allowed to be critical if they'd like; it's not like Hart can be said to be springing this material on people at this point, and even though in a sense the momentum of syndication makes it hard for papers to switch features it's certainly possible for papers to take this step if they no longer feel B.C. warrants support.

Strips like these will almost certainly give Hart's cartooning legacy the oddest endgame spin since Al Capp's later-career political transformation.
 
posted 12:27 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 6, 2006


Go, Look: Comic Relief Photos

image

The great Rory Root let slip on The Engine that he had some slightly out-of-date photos of his elite comic shop Comic Relief up at the store's site. I love photo sets like this. Some of you reading may remember there was some drama about Comic Relief moving from its previous location to this one, mostly because of the tremendous effort involved.
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Agnes: Character Now Openly Catholic

There's not a lot to this article in Editor & Publisher about the character Agnes in Tony Cochran's syndicated strip of the same name being openly Catholic now, but the idea that cartoonists frequently mask cultural specifics like this in order to potentially appeal to a wider audience intrigues me enough to want to mention it here.
 
posted 11:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: KC Artists Draw Superman

image

That is a part of Rob Schamberger's piece. Mr. Schamberger brought the article to my attention. Thanks, Rob!
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
ICv2.com: Scholastic’s OGN Slate

This company-wide update for Scholastic's graphic novel efforts at ICv2.com has the expected information on which artists are going to get different anthology assignments (gigs for Kyle Baker, Jill Thompson and Dean Haspiel), which is all well and good. More importantly, I think, we finally get a slightly broader take on Scholastic's other track: original graphic novel work building on the Jeff Smith/Bone model as opposed to reworking Scholastic core properties. Cartoonists involved on that side of things makes for a promising list: Kazu Kabuishi, Aaron Renier, Scott Morse (with his Magic Pickle), and Greg Ruth.
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mike Bertino

image
 
posted 10:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
CCI Programming Begins ‘06 Roll-Out

Comic-Con International has begun its yearly roll-out of its programming schedule. You can read the full programming starting here, while we've made a comics-only and an arts/indy focused schedule which we will add to and finally put in PDF form.
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Go, Look: SPX Poster Rough Cut
Broad Gays in Comic Books Article
Go, Read: Interview with Kazu Kibuishi
Go, Read: Wizard Interviews Johnny Ryan
Go, Read: Huge Local Profile of Dark Horse on 20Y
 

 
Lost Girls Articles Fail To Take?

imageIt's too soon to conclude there won't be some sort of sustained news cycle of complaint regarding Top Shelf's publication of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's massive Lost Girls when the book gets out there into wider circulation, but it sure looks like the first run at one based on the Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children's nebulous expression of concern -- resulting in a BBC article, radio story and subsequent wire pick-up -- has thus far failed to steamroll into a huge, nettlesome concern for the project. Even an article like this one seems more clueless and grumpy than potently opposed, and even the (I think false) assertion that Alan Moore failed to consider the hospital's point of view totally pales next to the extremely rational statement on Moore's part that no one is going to read this massive, sprawling and elaborately produced work that doesn't absolutely want to. Kudos to Top Shelf and Moore for remaining forthright on the subject.
 
posted 2:49 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Anime Expo ‘06 Sets Attendance Record

Anime Expo concluded on July 4 with a record 40,000-plus walking through the doors. Here's what I think is the con's official release on those numbers and the monies raised for charity. Here's a PWCW piece by Ian Brill, and a rumination by that writer on his own blog.
 
posted 2:27 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Web Cartoonist Wins Contest, Contract

image

Here's a nice story at Comixpedia about the cartoonist Michiel Van de Pol winning "The Stripstrijd" competition organized by the newspaper Het Parool in Amsterdam.
 
posted 2:21 am PST | Permalink
 

 
It’s Been a Pretty Good Year So Far

image

(These are decent books that popped into my head this morning, not a brief on "best books" filed in nerd court. Relax. I'm sure I forgot tons of work, and a couple of these are on here because pals of mine liked them. I'm just sayin' it's pretty cool to have a lot of readable books come out from a wide variety of sources.)
 
posted 1:56 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Company To Drop 24 Books in August?

This article at ICv2.com covers one strange publishing circumstance, a company releasing two dozen "graphic novels" in one month. A company plopping 24 titles at once into the Direct Market of comic book stores and hobby shops would cause a huge market rejection reflex and perhaps even turn noted crowding opponent the retailer Brian Hibbs into a Godzilla-sized version of himself that would go and jump up and down on the publisher's headquarters. The bookstore market, I don't know, but I can't imagine this is an effective long-term strategy anywhere. In fact, one of the ongoing behind the scenes discussions seems to be how book publishers and distributors may be asking that graphic novels come out more slowly in order not to crowd a company and system's ability to promote and sell it. So this sounds sort of crazed and aberrative to me.
 
posted 1:06 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 5, 2006


Site Features Slowly Updating Update

* The Collective Memory for Heroes Con continues to slowly swell as the July 4th weekend kind of robbed the events of the usual convention post-mortem reportage momentum. Included there now are some bigger articles like this site's own report, AdHouse Books' Messageboard thread with photos, Patrick Sun's photo album, and Kelly Sue DeConnick's astounding, name-soaked love letter to the show; DeConnick had more positive, lovely experiences in three days than I've had in the entirety of my convention-going life, which makes me very jealous.

* The CR Guide to San Diego Con keeps adding your tips. The majority of informal letters received about the article mention the e-mail writer having read the post during a hangover. I hope that says more about this site's readership than it does about CCI, or that's going to be one cranky pro registration line.
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Things Only I May Have Noticed

Out at nearly the same time:

Perhaps the best comics thriller title ever.
Perhaps the worst comics history book title ever.
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Dino Draws Cap
The Comics Waiting Room Awaits
Jamie Coville Interviews Kurt Busiek
The Beat (UK) Interviews Peter Bagge
Bill Baker Reviews Rick Veitch's Latest
Brian Hibbs Is Not Very Happy With Avatar
Robin Green's Rolling Stone Article On Marvel On-Line
 

 
Go, Read: Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

image

As many e-mails as I received, this has to be up everywhere, and I apologize for not being able to credit every site that noticed this first. But, you know, enjoy.
 
posted 5:48 am PST | Permalink
 

 
SA Journos React to Lawsuits: Yawn

If this follow-up article on a South African politician suing several media outlets is any indication, then journalists in that country lead the world when it comes to hilarious, laid-back dismissals. Moegsien Williams, editor of the primary media outlet for cartoonist Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro, basically labels the whole thing a publicity stunt, says "Good luck with that, dude" when it comes to silencing his award-winning cartoonist, and then name drops former Prime Minister PW Botha as a former, unsuccessful opponent of Shapiro's. Yow. Not a good day to be former Deputy President Jacob Zuma, whose rape trial coverage is at the heart of the dispute.

Of course, now I want someone to organize a bunch of South African journalists to come over here on tour and teach American cartoonists and their editors how to talk smack.
 
posted 2:49 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Paul Levitz on Superman

imageI've already had one friend tell me I'm nuts for thinking this, but I sort of liked this short interview (Part 1, Part 2) with Paul Levitz about Superman. I'm not sure I can say why. The President of DC Comics seems a bit more relaxed than usual, I guess, openly admitting the modest audience for superhero comic books. He also conveniently lets fly with two pieces of well-known but always worth repeating DC Comics 101: 1) many of the people there feel like caretakers of these iconic properties, a key to understanding the company's culture, and 2) they are also responsible for the merchandising of their characters, a key to understanding how they operate within the larger Time Warner media giant.
 
posted 2:28 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: The Beat Moves To PW

Major changes in the on-line comics coverage landscape this summer, including but not limited to:

1. Wizard Entertainment relaunches site.
2. Comic Book Resources adds Comics Should Be Good.
3. The Great Curve Becomes Newsarama's Blog.
4. TCJ Announces Dirk Deppey to Re-Start Journalista as Focus Point of New, More Aggressive Web Presence.

Today, we get number five. Heidi "The Beat" MacDonald is due to join Publishers Weekly today as their new comics blogger. The industry veteran already works for the company as a co-editor of their PWCW newsletter. As soon as I'm aware of the new URL, this sentence will become a link.

Also remember a projected #6, Tokyopop relaunching its site with more original content, including some lifestyle material.

For those that keep asking, I don't plan on changing much around here. I've had no offers to join anyone's team. I want to tweak the structure of the site by summer's end to make things easier to find, and I'm only at about 10 percent of where I should be by year's end in terms of original content on a daily basis, so hopefully that will happen. I'm a comics guy, not a movie guy or a sharing guy, and plan to have new stuff up on every type of comic from every world tradition every single morning from now until I find something else I want to do as much as I like doing this.
 
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR News: Heroes Con ‘06 Report

image
 
posted 2:09 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Montreal’s BD Shops

Brought to my attention by Sequential, Hervé St-Louis provides Comic Book Bin with a brief but solid tour of places to buy Euro-comics in Montreal. Read, follow links, and bookmark.
 
posted 12:32 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Neurone Pipero

image
 
posted 12:11 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 4, 2006


Quick hits
Translating Manga Into Russian
Newspaperman Remembers Schulz
Not Comics: Nick Anderson Goes 3-D
Alison Bechdel on Fun Home Reaction
Local Comic Shop Profile: Mondo Atomica
Let's Hope It Ends Better For Storm and Black Panther

 

 
ComicsPro to Offer Health Insurance

image

I've been told this was next to impossible for a comics guild to achieve, but the retailer organization ComicsPro has announced a partnership with Assurant Health to provide health insurance for its members and their families. I'll upload the full press release below in Word and until I can find a proper link stick it in my letters column for your full reading pleasure, and will come back to it myself on a non-holiday, but this sounds quite impressive to me.

ComicsPROPR.doc
 
posted 2:12 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Zapiro Sued By Former SA Official

The cartoonist Zapiro is among the targets of $125 million (approximately $18 million US) in lawsuits filed by former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma. Summons were given to at least two newspapers, a radio show and the cartoonist. The claims against Zapiro total $15 million (a little of $2.1 million US).

The cartoons in question relate to the politician's rape trial from earlier in 2006, where Zuma was found not guilty. Zapiro claims to have been sued only once before now.

You have to like Zapiro's forthright, ballsy quotes in these articles, such as, "I'm not losing any sleep over this." And when your editor says you can't be stopped by a tsunami, that's saying something, too. Zapiro is a well-known national figure and an internationally published and awarded cartoonist.

The trend of lawsuits against cartoonists by sitting and ex-government officials in Africa, Europe and Asia has been a compelling one for the international community of cartoonists and, perhaps more importantly, for those interested in how press freedoms are treated on a country by country basis.
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Comics on Walls in Cubao

image
 
posted 12:52 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 3, 2006


July 4 CR Feature Article Updates

* As expected, several links have been added to the Collective Memory: Heroes Con 2006 entry since yesterday AM, including the second of Mike Manley's always-excellent reports, a funny write-up at Avitable-isms, Wizard's link round-up and Newsarama's quality summary article.

* With Heroes Con out of the way, please don't forget our spotlight on the next big show, the CR Guide to San Diego.

* I've managed to keep up with reviews the last few weeks. I'm not sure the reviews are all that great, but I'm hoping it's one of those things where I have to get used to the routine and then make incremental improvements in the quality of the pieces according to that routine.
 
posted 11:40 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: The Road To Serfdom

image
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Feature Articles I Hate, Episode Nine

I quite hate "Comics For Your Girlfriend" types of articles, of which the Platonic ideal may be up right now at IGN. How do I count the ways?

1. I find the idea that you have to browbeat the one you're dating into sharing your hobbies kind of silly. I can't imagine comics getting in the way of a single thing that a disinterested person would want to do, unless the comics fan's behavior is really extreme, in which case it's the excess not the hobby that's become a problem. I mean, it's just reading. People still read.

2. I hate the assumptions they make about the tastes of female readers. A lot of women don't like comics like Strangers in Paradise, Blankets, and Bone. Some women like Judge Dredd and Horny Biker Sluts. You never see Warren Ellis books on these lists, and that guy has plenty of female readers, probably because he doesn't treat that portion of his fanbase like emotion-driven simpletons.

3. I don't think you can always trust the assumption that if there is a comics reader in a couple that it's the male. Where are the "comics for your boyfriend" articles? Why do these articles assume different-sex couples?

4. Finally, I don't like what these articles say about the comics they list. Cartoonists like Jeff Smith and Craig Thompson do have a lot of female readers, but it's not because they make girly books. They make human books. Everyone should read them. I always get the impression these articles assume that the baseline for comics is violent, costumed soap opera and these bizarre aberrations exist to fool the rib so we boys can continue to high-five each other and grunt approval to the latest peregrinations of Form-Fitting Bodysuit Man.

I don't begrudge anyone selling a feature article, and it's easy to see the appeal of such an article to an editor because it goes against conventional wisdom, no matter how unfortunate that wisdom may be. I still don't like the end result, and hope that we can all strive to write pieces with less problematic views.
 
posted 11:12 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
I Love (Captain) America (Covers)

image

Who doesn't love this comic? I've never heard much praise for the cover, but I enjoy this one. The protagonist is slightly hunched forward in a way that makes him look compact and explosive. I like the little scenes around Captain America, how they support the cover's theme and give a preview of what's inside without this becoming a "story" cover. They're imaginatively staged, too -- look how Captain America is placed. There's a compelling swirl of energy to the visual stops and starts on this cover, which anchors the center figure.

*****

image

Marie Severin's covers are hit and miss for me. I tend to like them when she concentrates on a single image, like the body here, or when a graphic element interrupts the stereotypical late '60s/early '70s Marvel staging of two (or more) bodies facing off against one another. I like the way the bottom of the logo reinforces the line created by Captain America's shoulders.

Note the weird way the flag colors are tiered here. I can't find this particuar order of colors on any other Cap cover. In general, I've always found it odd that when you look at a bunch of Captain America covers how little difference a multi- vs. single-color logo makes in one's initial inventory of how well it works. Even Daredevil's logo makes more of an impression, and that guy's blind.

*****

image

I like the idea more than the execution, mostly because I don't quite believe the fist. I admit the way Captain America looks in real trouble here goes a long, long way to selling the idea, though. Most cover text seems unecessary to me, but when you're selling to little kids as Marvel probably still it was at this point it's good not to count on their catching the visual cues by themselves. It's enough for a little kid to think, "Wait, is that the Hulk?" look down and find out, then think, "It is the Hulk. Holy crap."

*****

image

This one's a lot better looking in one's hands than as a jpeg onscreen. I always liked the way Captain America's colors popped against the subdued background color here. The secondary design elements are extremely well-realized and intriguing; check out that creepy Bucky, or that weird face in the bottom left hand corner. Also, that Red Skull depiction kicks ass.

*****

image

I'm not a fan of most of the 1940s Captain America covers. I find them way too busy, without the compensating virtue of lurching over into the gonzo fury the best "fighting boys" covers offered. Like Golden Age Daredevil, Captain America sure did like parachuting in on people, except hanging in the air kills Captain America dead as a compelling action figure and his costume is wat too goofy a graphic element to look good just placed onto the page. I'm not sure why there wasn't more simple replication of the panel-breaking action for which the character was best known.

I like the above cover okay. Characters looming over a city is easy visual shorthand to communicate dominance in one's endeavors. It's almost always used for villains, although speaking of Captain America I remember a cover in the 1970s I think drawn by John Romita where Spider-Man plays this role over Captain America and the Falcon. Unlike most heroes, I think this works for Captain America if you don't oversell it. Part of his "sentinel of liberty" image means Captain America doesn't always have to play the plucky underdog. You have to assume if he's fighting crime, crime is being fought. Another thing I like is the way the drawings of the criminals reinforce the feeling of turmoil they must feel as Cap lords it over them. When heroes are confronted with giants looming over buildings, their reaction is usually just to put up their hands up like it burns them. You gotta respect the guy who shoots back.

Those thigh muscles are pretty crazy; I have no idea who this artist is, but I don't think it's one of the super-prominent ones of that era.
 
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Another Comics Reporter?

So am I being impersonated or am I sharing the name?
 
posted 10:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
20 Comics With George Washington

image

* "John Honeyman," True Comics #5, October 1941.
* "Wilderness Adventures of George Washington," True Comics #7, December 1941.
* "Washington's Only Defeat," True Comics #8, January 1942.
* "George Washington's Advice," True Comics #9, February 1942.
* "The General Wouldn't Listen: An Adventure of George Washington," True Comics #10, March 1942.
* "First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen" True Comics #34, April 1944.
* "A Cure For The World," All-Star Comics #22.
* "Forgotten Hero," Real Life Comics #38, March 1947.
* "George Washington, Hope of the Patriots," Spy Smasher #4, April 1947.
* "George Washington's Drum!" Superboy #2, May/June 1949.
* "How Krypto Made History!" Superboy #75, September 1959.
* "Supergirl's Three Time Trips!" Action Comics #274, March 1961.
* "The Bizarro Who Goofed Up History!" Adventures of Superman #297, June 1962.
* Star Trek #9, February 1971 (I'm guessing, anyway)
* "Superman, You're Dead... Dead... Dead..." Action Comics #399, April 1971
* "Cataclysm!" Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2, August 1974
* "One of Our Imps is Missing!"Superman #283, Jan 1975.
* Time Masters #4, 1990.
* Money Talks #1, 1996.
* Graphic Nonfiction: George Washington, February 2005.

Thanks to Bryan Munn for pointing this out
 
posted 10:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
Hayao Miyazaki Not Dead
Fell Not Canceled With Issue #8
Superman Movie Not a Huge Blockbuster
DC Comics Not Done With The Cosmic Cross-Overs
 

 
Go, Read: Cartoonists Talk Art, Tintin

This looks to be a feature put together to help promote the POV show's playing of Anders Ostergaard's Tintin and I but who cares? It's several of comics' heaviest hitters talking about Herge and the art of cartooning: Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Jessica Abel, Phoebe Gloeckner, Jason Lutes and Seth.
 
posted 2:12 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: GEM Pushes Back Opening

imageGeppi's Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards, the comic book and pop culture museum owned by Diamond Comic Distributors head honcho Steve Geppi, has pushed back its July 4 launch to open in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. The museum had been set to open this week. This means Geppi's project will miss out on any expected summer visitors, but will likely receive a boost from the surge of interest and potential hardcore attendees the convention should provide. The article's most interesting section unpacks brutal early attendance figures at museums sharing GEM's space. The new opening date is September 8, which means the museum's launch will kick off the convention weekend.
 
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: SDCC Registration Q&A

David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for Comic-Con International, sat still for this brief interview on registration rumors and housing issues as rumors about both reach their usual pre-show crescendo.

Also, don't forget CR's newly updated Welcome to Nerd Vegas: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying Comic-Con International in San Diego, 2006!
 
posted 1:03 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Reminder: It’s Still Naruto’s World

image

It's not exactly news to note the performance of Naruto, but familiarity shouldn't keep us from keeping track of the more astonishing aspects of the title's bookstore sales performance. Not only is the ninja story at the top of the Bookscan charts, but every volume is in the top 17. Also, Fun Home cracks the top 20.
 
posted 12:58 am PST | Permalink
 

 
ICv2.com Covers ALA, New Orleans

The comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com covers the recent American Library Association show, with time out to make a few observations about the most underreported story in America, the permanent damage to New Orleans. There's nothing in this reportage that leaps out like Neil Gaiman's recent take might have, but it's a decent summary of events and impressions.
 
posted 12:46 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Heroes Con, 2006

image

With the July 4 holiday and people still traveling, a full accounting from various sources should be slow in its development, but I've had multiple requests already from people interested in the Charlotte-based show.
 
posted 12:31 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Tom McCarthy on Tintin

"To confuse comics with literature would be a mistake, and even more so with the groundbreaking work of Herge, in which, as Numa Sadoul points out in Entretiens avec Herge (Encounters with Herge), the set of interviews he conducted with Tintin's creator in the mid-70s, the medium "takes up an original and autonomous ground between drawing and writing". Packed with significance, intensely associative, overwhelmingly suggestive, it still occupies a space below the radar of literature proper. Which leads us to the second paradox: this below-radar altitude, this blind spot, this mute pocket is, as we already know, the zone where the real action takes place." -- excerpt from the excerpt from Tintin and the Secret of Literature run by the Guardian on Saturday.
 
posted 12:16 am PST | Permalink
 

 
July 2, 2006


Newsarama Remembers Mike Parobeck

image
 
posted 10:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Anime Expo 2006 Attendance Report

Initial reports of attendance at Anaheim's Anime Expo 2006 impress, although it will be interesting to see how the show will develop over the holiday weekend, and you always have to compare these things with reports from the floor and see how the sources arrived at the number, which I don't think this article does. That probably sounds hostile toward the anime/manga show, but those are standards that gets applied to all shows particularly when used for comparison. These initial impressions will likely hold up. I'd be interested in reading a more complete version of the kind of sub-reporting this article does on numbers at a CLAMP panel, as I wonder if convention behavior is different enough at an anime/manga show to make for a different make-up by event.
 
posted 10:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bookmark: MDN’s Manga Feature

image

Thanks, Gus
 
posted 10:06 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Quick hits
DC Vs. Marvel
Greatest Story Ever?
Bagge: Best Since Crumb
Jann Jones Promoted at DC
Montanans Flip Over Lee and Crew
Scotsman: Satrapi, Madden, Medley
Guardian: Bechdel, Moscoso, McCay
Eisner Interview Series: Abraham Foxman
 

 
July 1, 2006


CR Sunday Magazine

Welcome to Nerd Vegas: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying Comic-Con International in San Diego, 2006!

image

Updated and Improved for 2006: More tips! More advice! More jokes! More photos!

*****

Chatty Chat Chat

* This thread about "gateway comics" interests me for the concept of "gateway comics." Is broadening one's taste in comics really dependent on an interactive experience with a single comic book, or even set of comic books, or does it happen over time as one's interests change in general? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

* I too have enjoyed this discussion of chairs.

* Abhay Khosla holds court.

*****

Go, Read: Peter Whalley Illustration Described

image

*****

Congratulations, Zander Cannon

Cartoonist completes his first marathon at 3:25:33.

*****

Alison Bechdel and Craig Thompson at Powells.com

image

*****

Go, Download: 1962 Peanuts LP

Good grief.

*****

Go, Look: Rick Froberg Art

image

*****

Go, Revisit: Andertoons

I'm not totally up on this kind of stuff, but it seems like cartoonist Mark Anderson has slipped a pretty aggressive automatic sales function into the fabric of his site. He says it's already doing work for him.

*****

Not Comics: Live Action Cromartie High School Review

image

Richard Corliss and Manohla Dargis liked the film, too.

thank you, Matthew Esposito

*****

First Thought Of The Day

It's July?
 
posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

image
 
posted 4:16 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

image

The week's most important comics-related news stories, June 24 to June 30, 2006.

1. Jailed Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani may make bail. Situation so bad that Neyestani's brother quits cartooning from fear.

2. ADV gets a Popeye/Spinach-like infusion of capital.

3. Diamond Comic Distributors takes a pass on carrying product from small arts publisher PictureBox, Inc., throwing a spotlight on Diamond's relationship to new comics publishers in general and new arts comics publishers specifically.

Winner of the Week
Retailer and con organizer Shelton Drum, celebrating the anniversary of his Heroes Con with a big guest list and hope for the future once threatened by direct competition with an Atlanta show by Wizard Entertainment on the same dates.

It was a pretty good week for positive news, like Jeff Smith working out an arrangement to start publishing the one-volume edition of his Bone series in the midst of the Scholastic color series, and Ted Rall getting a choice gig at United Media.

Loser of the Week
Mike Luckovich, whose recent cartoon recognizing American atrocities in the worldwide effort on terrorism was so poorly received an advertiser apologized for appearing in the same paper. This is a bigger story in usual in that Luckovich is the current Pulitzer and Reuben prizewinner.

Quote of the Week
"The format you have chosen for your title is unpopular with collectors and retailers." -- Diamond rejects the PictureBox title Cold Heat #1

Daisy has the right idea
 
posted 12:28 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Daily Blog Archives
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
 
Full Archives