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











October 31, 2010


CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Richard Sala’s Unmasked

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: I Remember When The Monsters Started Coming For The Cars

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: King Frankenzilla

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Andrea Tsurumi’s Thirteen Witches

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Horror Manga Image Gallery

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Gil Kane’s The Little People

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: One By Ghastly Graham Ingels

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Stay Spooky

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: A Shrunken Head Story

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I swear there was one of these in every other comic I read when I was a kid
 
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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: From Weird Dead Comics

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Gill & Ditko’s Ghostly Haunts #47

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein 04

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Evan Dorkin’s Monster Gallery

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Brain, Brain, Go Away…

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Monster-Maker Earl Otus

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Junji Ito Flickr Images Set 02

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Weird Tales Cover Gallery

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Monster-Maker Pablo Marcos

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Creepy Gahan Wilson Cartoons

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: The Wolfman Meets Goldenman

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Emily Carroll’s His Face All Red

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: From Web Of Horror #3

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Ray Rue’s Lullabye Of Bedlam

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein 03

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Color The Creature Book

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: The Gashlycrumb Tinies

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Mike Diana’s Convicted For Cartoons

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well, it scares me
 
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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: From Melvin Monster #1

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Monster-Maker Jack Kirby

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Johnny Craig’s Vault Of Horror

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Adventures Into Darkness #12

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Wayne Boring’s The Nightmare

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: From The Twilight Zone #1

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Patrick McDonnell’s Frankenstein Tribute

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein 02

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Punkin & Boo

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Witch Gallery At My Delineated Life

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Monster-Maker J. Chris Campbell

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Junji Ito Flickr Images Set 01

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Haunted At Top Shelf 2.0

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Mike Ploog’s Marvel Monsters

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Imagery From Boris Dolgov

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: History’s First Zombie Comic Unearthed At La Carcel De Papel

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: The Witch In The Woods

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: From Web Of Horror #1

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Walking Dead Sketches

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein 01

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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Josh Simmons’ Harrowing Cockbone

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not safe for anywhere
 
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CR’s Halloween Eve Nothing But Treats: Superman Vs. Jesus Vs. Halloween

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Missed It: Gabby Schulz Sexism Comic

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Go, Read: Massive Process Post From Will Dinski On Making Fingerprints

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* part one: the idea
* part two: the art
* part three: bookmaking
* part four: translation
* part five: finishing
 
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Go, Read: A Charles Schulz Letter

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Go, Read: More Paul Tobin On Cover Designers He Missed In His Recent Survey Of Great Cover-Makers

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Go, Read: Creating Mo-Bot High

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Go, Look: Mat Brinkman Show Photos

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Go, Look: Winter Men Facebook Gallery

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The Most Terrifying Comics-Related Costume I’ve Ever Seen (Facebook-Only)

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Go, Look: Fantagraphics At Flickriver

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If I Were In Lucca, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Long Beach, I’d Go To This

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Happy 1st Birthday, Heeby Jeeby Comix!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Yoshiharu Tsuge!

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Frank Stack!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Ludovic Debeurme!

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Happy 32nd Birthday, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey!

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Happy 44th Birthday, Jeff Lester!

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FFF Results Post #233—Rogues

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Members Of A Rogues Gallery NOT Batman's, Dick Tracy's Or Spider-Man's And Don't Identify The Hero." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Rhino
2. Doc Samson
3. Leader
4. Abomination
5. General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross

Please note: when I was reading it, when Herb Trimpe was drawing it, Rhino was indeed part of the Big Green's bad guy crew, so get off my back

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Tuck

1) Bluto/Brutus
2) Sea Hag
3) Chizzleflint
4) Emok
5) Famous Studios (sorry, couldn't resist)

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Tuck

1) Kafka
2) Mr. Big
3) Skuba
4) Crime Cabal
5) Psuedo People, Inc.

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Tuck

1) Princess Zanda
2) Yeti
3) Ogar
4) Killmonger
5) Jakarra

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Tuck

1) Blackmaas
2) Lightning Lady
3) Usan the Unclean
4) Parnax the Fighting Fetus!
5) Bloody Marrien

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Tuck

1) Skullus
2) Artemus
3) Simius
4) Kordon
5) Gemini

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Andrew Mansell

1. Velcro
2. Mordillo
3. Brynocki
4. Razor-fist
5. Fu Manchu

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Henry Edwards

1. bizarro
2. general zod
3. parasyte
4. brainiac
5. metallo

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Mark Coale

1. Gen
2. Lord Hikiji
3. Lord Hebi
4. Jei
5. Kurokaze

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Douglas Wolk

1. Sunspotter
2. The Cosmic Corsair
3. Mr. G
4. Agent Arrhyner
5. Master-Tek

Editor's Note: Twenty minutes. I'll have my revenge, Wolk.

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Joseph Elliott-Coleman

1: Taito Magatsu
2: Makie Otono-Tachibana
3: Shira
4: Giichi
5: Kagehisa Anotsu

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Joe Keatinge

1. Overlord
2. Mako
3. Powerhouse
4. Skullface
5. Damien Darklord

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Grant Goggans

1. Max Bubba
2. Lord Sagan
3. The Stix Family
4. Nelson Bunker Kreelman
5. Mr. Sun and Mr. Moon

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Marc Arsenault

1. Para-Man
2. Scarlet Beetle
3. Doctor Nemesis
4. Trago
5. Jason Cragg

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John Parkin

1. Kurse
2. Grey Gargoyle
3. Destroyer
4. Surtur
5. Crusader

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Jim Kingman

* The Red Baron
* The Cat Next Door
* Frieda (those awkward rabbit hunts)
* Spike (he did steal our hero’s bride to be)
* Lucy (on occasion; definitely during the arm-wrestling incident)

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James Langdell

1. The Blotch
2. Dekko
3. Zybox
4. 9-Jack-9
5. Bellows

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Michael Grabowski

1. Lord Julius
2. Astoria
3. Viktor Davis
4. Cirin
5. Elrod

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Robert Martin

* Derek Almond
* Peter Creedy
* Eric Finch
* Helen Heyer
* Adam Susan

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Philip Smith

1. Cheetah
2. Ares
3. Circe
4. Baroness Paula Van Gunther
5. Egg Fu

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John Vest

1. The Purple Man
2. Stilt-Man
3. Mister Fear
4. The Owl
5. The Jester

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Chris Arrant

1. Anotsu Kagehisa
2. Shira
3. Sosuke
4. Maki
5. The Ittō-ryū

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Dave Knott

* Nightmare
* Dormammu
* Umar
* Baron Mordo
* Shuma-Gorath

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Chris Duffy

1. Diamondhead
2. The Sphinx
3. The Condor
4. Powerhouse
5. Megaman

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Jones

1. Jei
2. Lord Hikiji
3. Lord Hebi
4. Kagemaru
5. That weaselly stool pigeon guy

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Chad Nevett

1. Midas
2. Exterminatrix
3. Hexus the Living Corporation
4. The Bannermen
5. A Mindless One

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Johnny Bacardi

1. Lion-Mane
2. Ira Quimby (I.Q.)
3. Shadow Thief
4. The Robbing Raven
5. The Shrike

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Stergios Botzakis

1. 9-Jack-9
2. The Devoes
3. Dekko
4. Bellows
5. Zybox

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Eric Newsom

1. Banshee
2. Lady Shiva
3. Butch & Sundance
4. The Psychopomp
5. Syd Starr

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Eric Knisley

1. Dormammu
2. Aggamon
3. Dagoth
4. Baron Mordo
3. Lurking Unknown

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Uriel A. Duran

1) Dr. Cobra
2) Plaster of Paris
3) Mr. Carrion
4) P'Gell
5) The Octopus

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Fred Hembeck

1. Gregory Hungerford Gideon
2. Kurrgo
3. The Invincible Man
4. Yogi Dakor
5. Morrat

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Gary Usher

1. Computo
2. Mordru
3. Time Trapper
4. Validus
5. Khunds

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Justin Colussy-Estes

1. Dormammu
2. Baron Mordo
3. Shuma Gorath
4. Nightmare
5. Mindless Ones

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Michael Dooley

1. the Undertaker
2. the Rodent
3. the Moth
4. the Leper
5. He-She

Editor's Note: Kudos to Mr. Dooley for completely stumping me.

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Tom Bondurant

1. Multiplex
2. The Hyena
3. Slipknot
4. Tokamak
5. Typhoon

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Jamie Coville

1. The Absorbing Man
2. Mangog
3. The Wrecking Crew
4. Loki
5. The Destroyer

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J. Schwind

* Red Stick
* Bigfoot Mason
* Little Harpe
* Big Harpe
* Santa Anna

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Michael May

1. The Brass Bishop
2. Deadly Ernest
3. Pink Pearl
4. Dreamqueen
5. The Master of the World

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Tony Collett

1. Westside Boys
2. Wilbur Van Snobbe
3. Gloria Darling
4. Alvin Jones
5. George Moppet

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Jim Caldwell

1. The Prankster
2. The Toyman
3. Terra-Man
4. Vartox
5. Muto

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Bill Matheny

* Shen Kuei
* Brynocki
* Zaran
* Razor-Fist
* Shock-Wave

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John Platt

1. Batroc ze Leaper
2. Baron Zemo
3. Madame Hydra
4. Crossbones
5. The Red Skull

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Richard Bensam

1. Chairface Chippendale
2. Dinosaur Neil
3. The Breadmaster
4. Mr. Mental
5. El Seed

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Evan Dorkin

1. The Space Turnip
2. S.O.O.F.I.
3. Hellcow
4. Doctor Bong
5. The Kidney Lady

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Shannon Smith

* Ape-Man
* Bird-Man
* Cat-Man
* Leap Frog
* The Owl

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Sean Kleefeld

1. The Destroyer
2. The Wizard
3. Xemu, Ruler of the 5th Dimension
4. Paste-Pot Pete
5. The Acrobat

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Michel Fiffe

1) Ammo
2) Bullet
3) Bushwacker
4) Wildboys
5) Typhoid Mary

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Greg McElhatton

* Rockjaw
* Kingdok
* The Hooded One
* Lord of the Locusts
* Moby Dick

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Paul Stock

* 176-671
* 716-176
* 617-761
* 167-716
* 671-176

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Justin J. Major

1. Black Pete
2. Sylvester Shyster
3. Doctor Vulter
4. The Phantom Blot
5. Eli Squinch

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Roger Langridge

1. The Beagle Boys
2. Magica de Spell
3. Flintheart Glomgold
4. Soapy Slick
5. Chisel McSue

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a couple of folks out there misunderstood the assignment and wrote out random rogues rather than ones that connected to a single hero; I apologize for any confusion. Also, I'm going back to enforcing the real-name rule, so if you're sporting an internet handle rather than a name I'm going to delete your entry unless you're at least as well as known as Seth

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October 30, 2010


The Comics Reporter Video Parade


SPX 2010 - Spotlight - Jaime Hernandez from Small Press Expo on Vimeo.






Izumi Matsumoto, digital manga pioneer - mastersofmanga.com from Masters of Manga on Vimeo.
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Your 2010 Lulu Awards Winners

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The Friends of Lulu announced winners for their Lulu Awards on October 29 in conjunction with the Long Beach Comic Con. They are:

* Leah Adezio Award for Best Kid-Friendly Work: Diana Nock, The Intrepid Girlbot
* Best Female Character: Ramona Flowers, Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley
* Kim Yale Award for Most Talented Newcomer: Kathryn Immonen: The Runaways
* Lulu of the Year: Kate Beaton
* Woman of Distinction Award: Lauren Sankovitch (editor, Marvel Comics)
* Female Cartoonists Hall of Fame: Alison Bechdel

You can read more about a big weekend for the girls-reading-comics advocacy group here.
 
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CR Week In Review

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The top comics-related news stories from October 23 to October 29, 2010:

1. Another publishing permit denied Zunar.

2. Satirical magazine held by printer on objections to its satirical content.

3. St. Louis comics retailer surrenders to the police on multiple charges after armed stand-off.

Winner Of The Week
Garry Trudeau

Loser Of The Week
Jose Varela

Quote Of The Week
"Don Donahue was more than a publisher of note -- he was, without ever knowing it, a teacher and guide along the path to discovering the art and history of comics." -- Dan Nadel

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today's cover is from the 1940s-1950s mainstream comics publisher Avon

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If I Were In Concord, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Keene, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Toronto, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bath, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Lucca, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Toronto, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Manchester, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Long Beach, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Salem, I’d Go To This

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Happy 30th Birthday, Chrissie Harper!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Joe Dog!

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Happy 59th Birthday, P. Craig Russell!

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October 29, 2010


Your 2010 Eagle Awards Winners

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The Eagle Awards, the awards that use the word "favourite" and "comicbook" just to drive the Yanks nuts and the first awards program that an entire generation knew because of the label appearing on X-Men comics back in the late '70s, has announced its newest slate of winners. Batman & Robin and The Walking Dead are the big winners; Brian Bolland was inducted into their roll of honor. The new winners are:

Roll of Honour -- Brian Bolland
Favourite Newcomer Writer -- Jonathan Hickman
Favourite Newcomer Artist -- Jamie McKelvie
Favourite Writer -- Warren Ellis
Favourite Writer/Artist -- Darwyn Cooke
Favourite Artist: Pencils -- Frank Quietly
Favourite Artist: Inks -- Kevin O'Neill
Favourite Artist: Fully-Painted Artwork -- J.H. Williams III
Favourite Colourist -- Ben Templesmith
Favourite Letterer -- Todd Klein
Favourite Editor -- Axel Alonso
Favourite Publisher -- DC/Vertigo
Favourite American Comicbook: Colour -- Batman & Robin
Favourite British Comicbook: Colour -- 2000 AD
Favourite American Comicbook: Black and White -- Walking Dead
Favourite New Comicbook -- Batman & Robin
Favourite Manga -- Fullmetal Alchemist
Favourite European Comicbook -- Requiem Chevalier Vampire
Favourite 2009 Single Story -- Phonogram -- The Singles Club 4: Konichiwa Bitches
Favourite 2009 Continued Story -- Walking Dead #61-65: "Fear The Hunters"
Favourite 2009 Cover -- Batman & Robin #4
Favourite 2009 Original Graphic Novel -- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century
Favourite 2009 Reprint Compilation -- Captain Britain Omnibus by Alan Moore & Alan Davis
Favourite Magazine about Comics -- Wizard
Favourite Comics-Related Book -- The Insider's Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels (Andy Schmidt)
Favourite Comics-Related Movie or TV Show -- Watchmen
Favourite Comics-Related Website -- Comic Book Resources
Favourite Web-Based Comic -- Freak Angels

This year's awards were for work done in 2009. They were given out in conjunction with the MCM Expo going on this weekend in London.
 
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Friday Distraction: Steve Willis’ Blog

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I didn't know until this morning that Steve Willis even had a blog, and he's reprinting a ton of stuff. Lynn Hansen interview!
thx, Steven Stwalley
 
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Go, Look: Muslim On A Plane

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Celebrating 39 Years With Don Carlton

imageA couple of people have e-mailed me to wonder after why longtime Doonesbury finishing artist Don Carlton hasn't been a bigger part of the celebration of that strip's 40th anniversary. It's Carlton's 40th year on the strip, having started in 1971 I believe for the most part -- I'm not super-familiar with the story -- to relieve pressure of the daily deadline variety suffered by the extremely young cartoonist. I couldn't possibly tell you why one interview or another fails to inquire after Trudeau's partner-in-art -- I assume for some there's a severe space limitation and for others there's a decided lack of interest in how the strip is created beyond the Trudeau's writing of it -- but there are a few pieces out there that are Carlton-inclusive.

Carlton was interviewed as part of a Doonesbury episode of Up To Date With Steve Traske, a program that includes a biography of Carlton in its listing (I'd never seen one). Carlton's contributions are a part of the new 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective book, and Douglas Wolk walks through Carlton's role and the one-time mini-controversy surrounding it here. Brian Walker talks about Carlton in the context of his new art book on Trudeau here. Tom Tomorrow's piece on Trudeau in Yale's alumni magazine also mentions Carlton, but seems more noteworthy for mentioning that Trudeau was only in his mid-30s when he took that initial "break" from newspaper cartooning, at time when he felt like he had already enjoyed an entire career.
 
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Go, Look: Flu Hartberg

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Some End-Of-Week Employment Notes

* according to PR at DC Comics storehouse for things The Source, Nairi Gardiner has been named Senior Vice President for Finance at both WBCP [Warner Bros. Consumer Products] and DC Entertainment. She held a similarly-conceived SVP title at the WBCP division only before now, a place she's worked for 20 years. Ironically, this is the kind of drawing-from-Warners hire some of us expected but have certainly not seen in editorial.

* according to e-mails received this week, although I suppose one or both could be practical jokes, Charley Grafton-Chuck and Elyssa Lynch have left their PR/publicity-related positions at Rebellion and Diamond, respectively. Grafton-Chuck sent his note personally; he's moving to London for another publicity position. The news about Diamond's Lynch was communicated by a successor to at least some of her duties there. I'd like to thank both of them for working with me, and each of them the best of luck in the future.
 
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OTBP: New Books Or Books Rediscovered At USS Catastrophe Shop

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Comics Retailer Surrenders On Charges After Three-Hour Police Stand-Off Ends Without Shots Fired

According to multiple stories in St. Louis-area media, Legend Comics & Sports Cards owner Kenneth McClure surrendered to police short after 9 PM after a three-and-a-half hour armed standoff beginning short after 5 PM. Police had entered his business -- also listed as McClure's residence -- to arrest the 57-year-old man on charges of first-degree statutory rape, third-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. McClure was armed and refused to comply, leading to the stand-off, which included the presence of St. Louis' SWAT team and a negotiator and involved closing down a section of street in the area.

Police told the local media that incident for which McClure was arrested involved a 13-year-old girl not related to the retailer. Bail was set at $75,000.
 
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Go, Look: Walking Dead Shooting Targets By Alt-Comics Luminaries

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Your Prix du Journal de Mickey 2010 Winner: Les Amours compliquées de Roméo et Juliett

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The Fall season in the French-language comics market tends to be stuffed with various awards as part of a long, industry ramp-up to January's Angouleme Festival; the latest sees the prize from the readers of the magazine Journal de Mickey, which goes to Rodrigo Erroc's gag-driven, kids-version comics version of the classic young lovers story. This is apparently the eighth time the award has gone out.
 
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Go, Look: Author Dave Eggers Sketches World Series Game One

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Missed It: Judge Issues Injunction Against Problematic Massachusetts Internet Obscenity Law

According to reports in regional media and at the CBLDF news blog, US District Judge Rya W. Zobal granted an injunction against a broadly-defined Internet obscenity law that was signed into law last June. The opponents of the law generally thought it granted far too wide a definition as to what constitutes obscenity by linking it to material potentially harmful to minors. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was one of several organizations that opposed the law. Internet obscenity laws can be difficult to oppose politically because of the signifying elements involved and because there is a legitimate need to update the laws through which police can go after actual obscenity, factors that may also lead to overreaching, tossed-together legislation.
 
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Go, Look: Kelly Freas Halloween Cover

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If I Were In Lucca, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Toronto, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Long Beach, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Phantom Of Disaster

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Go, Look: Geronimo Jones #7

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Go, Look: Four-Color Comics #519

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Go, Look: Planet Comics #22

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Mark Fiore talks about his Pulitzer win and related issues with Michael Cavna.

image* Jeet Heer objects to Lynd Ward being considered on a continuity of cartoonists rather than one that emphasizes woodcut novels more specifically.

* here's a nice, long interview by Jeffery Klaehn of retailer Gail Burt that should be read if you're interested in the opinions and mindset of one of those folks that sells book through the direct market channel. I found a lot of interesting stuff there, just the way Burt see certain things. For instance, I usually ascribe the contribution of the Direct Market vis-a-vis comic books for older readers to the non-returnability of the Direct Market, which allowed smaller publishers with a range of interest to enter the field without having the gigantic capital reserves necessary to routinely take returns. Burt sees it in terms of keeping such titles from a wider marketplace that would have rejected them.

* Sean Kleefeld meditates on another super-rare comic book find.

* the man at the crossroads is also a man of mystery, at least when it comes to his age, but in addition to those listed in the usual happy-birthday secton of this blog's morning roll-out, Paul Gravett celebrates his birthday today.

* not comics: a recently released survey of those under 24 years of age suggests that the media consumption habits of young people come with a significant portion of capriciousness.

* Johanna Draper Carlson uses a Boom! press release that actually provides sales number to muse on the number of copies necessary to hit certain industry sweet spots for which kind of player.

* nice catch by Brigid Alverson: one of those questionnaires featuring Bryan Lee O'Malley that seems a lot more completely answered than those kind of things tend to be.

image* Matt Seneca uses a much-better-than-usual example to make a point that's been batted around for years that the 1970s were an important time for comics because of that decades reinvention of comics for more sophisticated readers through its then genre-soaked present: a Ben Katchor strip for Heavy Metal. Heck, you might just want to go look at that strip.

* if you're looking around for pretty comics at which one may stare, you could do much worse than Jaime Hernandez drawing Silver Age Marvel Comics babe The Enchantress.

* Alan David Doane drives our attention to this talk from Tim Hodler about basic strategies for reproducing comics art.

* not comics: what the movie version of Captain America will look like, in his costume and with his mask off. I also like how the cover insinuates Peter Jackson looks really terrible now.

* Ivan Brunetti covers The New Yorker.

* not comics: a post at Robot 6 reminds that there's still a few days to buy horror-related art by Johnny Ryan from a recent show.

* finally, I have no idea how an article like this springs into being, but I enjoyed reading about 10+ hotel rooms decorated with comics-related art, and I can't imagine most folks not at least enjoying a peek at the pictures. Heck, I enjoyed the article even though I'm pretty sure that if I rolled into a hotel room decorated with comics art I'd take one look around and burst into tears.
 
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Happy 72nd Birthday, Ralph Bakshi!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Batton Lash!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Nicola Cuti!

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Happy 42nd Birthday, Barry Deutsch!

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Quick hits
Craft
Shintaro Kago Inking
Variation On A Theme
Women In Blue Blouses
Colleen Coover Sketches
A Few Words About Logos
Ben Towle On Sketchbooks
Understanding Graphic Novels

Exhibits/Events
Previewing Yaoi-Con
RIP MD Signing Photos
Go See Leanne Shapton

History
Man-Thing Gets Ninja'ed

Industry
Ask Mike Lynch
On The Cost Of Comics
The Art Of Pitching Without Pitching
Isn't Every Day Support Your Retailer Day?

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: J.T. Krul
CBR: Eric Wallace
CBR: Ed Brubaker
On Point: Scott Stantis
TCJ: Harriton Pushwagner
Newsarama: Charlie Adlard
Comics Alliance: Robert Kirkman
Huffington Post: Sergio Aragones
Comics Worth Reading: Eric Hobbs
The Daily Cross Hatch: Drew Weing 01
The Daily Cross Hatch: Drew Weing 02
The Daily Cross Hatch: Drew Weing 03

Not Comics
Whoa
Walking Dead Premiere Reviewed
Robert Kirkman's Red Carpet Face

Publishing
On Street Fighter Gaiden
Hope You Liked The Comic
The Littlest Pirate King Previewed
Let Me In: Crossroads #1 Previewed
Incognito: Bad Influences #1 Previewed
BPRD: Hell On Earth -- The New World #4

Reviews
Rob Clough: Various
Johnny Bacardi: Various
Matthew Brady: Dragon Puncher
Sean T. Collins: Heartbreak Soup
Johanna Draper Carlson: Various
Andrew Wheeler: Tonoharu Vol. 2
Todd Klein: The Complete Dracula
Richard Bruton: Mo-Bot High Vol. 1
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Soldier Zero #1
Greg McElhatton: Morning Glories #1-3
Michael C. Lorah: Nexus Archives Vol. 11
Tom Crippen: The Thanos Imperative #3
Johanna Draper Carlson: Rocket Robinson
Johanna Draper Carlson: DC Universe: Legacies #6
J. Caleb Mozzocco: The Muppet Show Comic Book #11
Johanna Draper Carlson: Butterflies, Flowers Vols. 3-4
Grant Goggans: The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For
 

 
October 28, 2010


Go, Listen: Lengthy Interview With Roz Chast At New Yorker Podcast

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thx, Gil Roth
 
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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows & Major Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* this weekend the major shows are the Long Beach Comic Con, and the Lucca Comics and Games Festival over in Lucca, Italy. As I recall, the Long Beach show is basically run by ex-Wizard show people. I haven't been, but it has the air of one of those fun regional majors, and judging from the number of people in that part of the country that aren't in comics that wrote me asking if I was going, I'm guessing local press coverage is pretty strong. The Lucca show has been around for years and years, since the mid-'60s, and has always been friendly to American mainstream creators -- when you see a photo from the 1970s of a bunch of grizzled comics pros and their wives at a European festival, 80 percent chance they're in Lucca. I don't know if it's still Europe's second-biggest show of its kind, but it's very sizable.

* I almost forgot: London's MCM Expo -- complete with Comic Village -- is also this weekend. As is the Bay Area's Yaoi-Con, which has a significant manga component.

* this site is still collecting links for its APE, NYCC and Festival of Cartoon Art "collective memory" entries. I'm slowly working through e-mail already sent.

* another announcement made in last night's missive from Comic-Con regarding Monday's ticket sales is an initial guest list. The comics folks announced were Jordi Bernet, Jo Chen, Alan Davis, David Finch, Dave Gibbons, Jonathan Hickman, John Higgins, Charlie Huston, Jamal Igle, Richard Kyle, Bill Schelly, Frank Stack, Mark Tatulli, Roy Thomas and Maggie Thompson. That's a pretty good list. Frank Stack is a wonderful choice from the underground comix generation. Jordi Bernet is of interest to a wide swathe of comics fans, including me. Jordi Bernet! From a industry standpoint, it's nice to see Jonathan Hickman get the guest special designation after the work he's put in on various Image series and his recent writing for Marvel. And whatever panel or panel historian Bill Schelly ends up doing will see me in the back row, taking it all in.

* finally, due to venue problems, Dublin City Comic Con is pushing its next full event into 2011 and having a drink-and-draw style event in the meantime.
 
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Go, Look: On Joe Maneely’s Covers

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Zunar Sees Publishing Permit Denied

According to a wire story emanating from regional sources earlier today, there's been another setback for the Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar. A publishing permit for his Gedung Kartun has been rejected by authorities. This rejection brought with it a statement from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, repeating the government's assertion that Zunar's work could harm public order and national security and declaring that the work violates guidelines from the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984.

I'm a tiny bit confused as to where this latest news fits within Zunar's overall story. Gedung Kartun was among three publications denied permission to publish in June of this year. Zunar's most recent travails came in conjunction with a new book, Cartoon-o-phobia, whose imminent publication led to the cartoonist being arrested and hit with sedition charges last month. I believe what may be going on here is that this is either an alternate path for permission that's now been denied, or that this was something of a formal political back and forth, that a representative named N. Gobalakrishnan asked after this specific publication and what we're seeing here is the Home Minister's formal response to that member of parliament.
 
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Go, Look: Marvel Horror Pin-Ups

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Zapiro Joins Protest Against SA Protection Of Information Bill

There's not a whole lot to this story other than the usual, "well, there it is," but I think it worth noting that the cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro aka Zapiro participated in a march against ongoing attempts to pass a "protection of information" bill, whereby the South African government would be able to classify a broad range of information as being of interest to national security and out of the hands of that country's press. That so much of the coverage of this bill has mentioned Zapiro along the way gives you an idea of his place within that country's medial landscape -- it's hard to imagine any North American cartoonist afforded that kind of status -- and suggests that he may be oriented towards his role differently than many of his peers in other countries. I mean, I can't imagine this protected information directly interfering with Zapiro's job, but it's clear he feels a solidarity with the reporters rather than stands at a remove.
 
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Go, Look: Curse Of Werewolf

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Go, Read: Rolling Stone’s Coverage Of Garry Trudeau’s 40th Anniversary

imageOf the many things that distinguish Doonesbury in the long history of North American comic strips, one of the least-appreciated and little talked-about is how its been covered with admiration and general curiosity by a fellow iconic franchise of the baby-boomer generation: the magazine Rolling Stone. While I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a rough equivalent to the RS/Doonesbury relationship exists with an older strip and a same-era magazine, I sure can't think of one. Rolling Stone steps up on the comics feature's 40th anniversary of syndication with a very pleasurable interview by comics-savvy Chip Kidd with the cartoonist (there's some repetition of talking points, but a lot of new material, including brief appreciations of 1960s Marel and Phoebe Zeitgeist) and a modest slideshow of Trudeau's favorite comics. They say the print magazine has more, but I honestly couldn't tell you what that means.
 
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Not Comics: Dominique Corbasson

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Comic-Con International To Start Selling 2011 Passes On November 1

imageAccording to a press release sent out yesterday evening quickly picked up by comics and local press, Comic-Con International announced it will start selling four-day passes and single-day memberships November 1 to its 2011 iteration, starting at noon ET. That event is scheduled for July 21-24. Although four-day passes sold out in about a month and single-day passes disappeared a cluster of weeks into the new year, it's hard to imagine this year's bunch lasting that long. Although you never know. Comic-Con has jacked up prices a tiny bit, to $105 for the four-day passes to $37 for the single-day version, less than that for seniors and kids.

The biggest impact deriving from the fact that these passes go on sale and are sold so relatively early in the cycle between shows is that you get attendees of the kind that can and are willing to plan this far in advance -- an obvious distinction, but one of potential importance to those exhibitors that may feel they appeal to a potential customer that would not plan such a trip this many months in advance.

The sale marks the first major step taken by the show since announcing it would remain in San Diego until at least mid-decade; how officials on all sides perceive demand for tickets is a major factor in how the relationship between con and city continues to develop.

The con also announced its first 20 special guests, which will be discussed in today's "Festival" column.
 
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Go, Look: Little Thunder Gallery

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If I Were In Montreal, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Mightymite

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Go, Look: Sherlock Holmes Drawings

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Go, Look: Bitchin’ Sam Glanzman

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Go, Look: Scary Bill Everett

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the cartoonist Rob Tornoe has launched a print humor magazine with a stellar comics line-up.

image* I've been running links to Paul Tobin's fun series on great comic book cover artists and will continue to do so. In the meantime, he put up an equally fun post of quality cover designers that didn't make his list, a post that includes this fun image from Gill Fox.

* Mike Rhode talks to the Luna Brothers. I like those guys, and I like that I work in proximity to an industry where there are people named "The Luna Brothers."

* not comics: there's a series of posts and tweets in the on-line comics world right now riffing on Kate Beaton's suggestion that making a romantic overture, no matter how clumsy or sweetly-intended, at a cartoonist as the words and actions that fill the space where other folks might simply praise the work is creepy, insulting and shouldn't happen. I don't really understand where the room is to argue with this point, as when someone tells you something is creepy and shouldn't happen and makes them uncomfortable the necessary response is some form of "I'm sorry" or nodding one's head rather than to debate the minutiae of related issues, but I guess some folks out there took varying levels of umbrage. It also feels dumb to me to spend a microsecond arguing that this kind of thing happens woman to man (or via same-sex permutations) at anywhere near the same rate it does man to woman.

* not comics: webcomics cartoonists flex their on-line muscle and push a specific prose anthology into a #1 on-line sales position.

* things you'll never unsee, chapter 851.

* finally, it's only in recent years that comics- and cartooning-related passings started regularly making the TV news: here's an area New York City piece on Leo Cullum. (thx, Ben Schwartz)
 
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Happy 38th Birthday, Joel Meadows!

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Happy 65th Birthday, Gary Hallgren!

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Happy 85th Birthday, Leonard Starr!

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Happy 58th Birthday, Jim Valentino!

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Happy 46th Birthday, Henrik Rehr!

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Quick hits
Reviews
Christopher Allen: Young Lions
Andrew Wheeler: 120 Days Of Simon
Jason Green: Ryder On The Storm #1
Sarah Boslaugh: The Simon And Kirby Superheroes
Seth Peagler: Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine #1-3
 

 
October 27, 2010


Handsome Man With Mustache Heaven: Gilbert Hernandez Draws Iron Man

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Don Donahue, RIP

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received via e-mail; there is nothing on-line that is a natural link; full obituary to follow
 
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Go, Look: Indiana Jones As Popeye

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or go directly here
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I've been in the bad habit of forgetting to visit the Top Shelf 2.0 site. Some of the latest includes offerings like Life In Low Resolution and a constant tossing-back-up of stuff from the archives, like an on-line representation of that Kevin Cannon comic that he did on planks that can be assembled to form a toy car.

image* the blogger, artist, historian and cartoonist Gerry Alanguilan is gauging interest in a stand-alone reprint of his Humanis Rex!.

* nearly everyone and their mothers will have written a story about a Walking Dead reprint weekly starting in 2011 by the time this rolls out some 30 hours later. I'm all for any format jiggering anyone wants to try if they think it will move copies and is executed in an up front way, and this sounds like it meets both criteria. Of greater potential impact in the reaching-new-audiences kind: a devoted on-line app.

* speaking of Robert Kirkman's well-received comic book turned who-knows television series, the good folks over at Robot 6 point out that the simultaneous digital/print release of The Walking Dead is a go. Neither the earth nor the heavens ripped open to reveal the mad, industry-destroying scramble of a million demons or angels, so that's something.

* missed it: Questionable Content has a print trade out. Also, Peter David is writing digital comics for I guess Disney.

* no one talks about Lords Of The Planet-targeted magazine Monocle as a comics-friendly publication, but it sort of is -- they've serialized at least one long story and have run comics-related articles at least a few times. Their general tendency towards sponsored content meets comics content as described here.

* the writer Kurt Busiek provides a preview of the cover and some of the interior art to The Witchlands #1. At least I think that the "1" means "#1."

* it occurs to me that this is the kind of thing that kills the direct market in the one of a million tiny cuts sense. I don't understand why DC wouldn't be better served in the long term canceling that title with its current high-profile creative team's departure, particularly if it means they're putting people on it who are overworked. On the other hand, the fill-in team seems popular with a certain kind of DC Comics fan, and Paul Cornell is a potential star writer in the making.

* this post dissects changes at British comics market stalwart Dandy.

* the Chicago Tribune has picked up two Creators Syndicate strips.

* in other strip news, Bill Hinds is ending his all-ages sports feature Cleats.

* as Julia Wertz and her kickstarter.com campaign promised, Fart Party Vol. 1 is back in print.

* finally, check out that cover on the imminent David B. all-ages work The Littlest Pirate King. For that matter, Bleeding Cool had a couple of nice publishing news posts about my long-ago employer: they'll be releasing a David B. book of short stories late next summer, and they're going to do a 2010 Jacques Tardi release around that same time.

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Go, Bookmark: American Barbarian

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brought to my attention by Mr. Joe Casey
 
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Satirical Magazine Printed To Coincide With Pope’s Visit Held By Its Printer

imageIn a story that's hit Spanish-language news sites, the satirical Galician magazine Retranca has apparently stated on their web site that a special issue of their magazine published to coincide with a papal visit to the region has been held by its printer Godoy Jimenez because they disagree with its contents. (Galicia is an autonomous region of Nortwestern Spain with its own language, and, we learn now, its own cartoon-driven satirical magazine.) Some of the contributors to that issue are also regulars of Barcelona's El Jueves magazine, which I think helps makes it a national story. If I'm reading the sites correctly the printing was done but the magazines themselves are being held, and that one reason the printer feels it can do this is because they don't have a formal contract with the publisher.

While the details of the magazine's content remain unclear, it's obvious from the cover that the cost of such visits is something that's on the table. (The word balloon on the cover seems to feature Pope Benedict saying something along the lines he's not bringing the usual loaves and fishes or the miracle of the host but making it rain dollars.) The idea that a printer might hold up comics content due to moral objections isn't something unfamiliar to comics publishers worldwide, although in many cases there's not a timeliness element to the publication added into the mix and the only qualms I've heard expressed about comics from printers used by North American publishers is a worker or two objecting to the visual representations of sex that they're seeing. Certainly the potential audience for the publication has expanded because of the printer's actions, and the magazine's cover image has now been seen by many more people.
 
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Go, Read: Cardy’s Covers

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Belgian Authorities Reportedly Closer To Learning Identity Of Victim In 2007’s Manga Murder Case

Anime News Network has been paying close attention to blogs with a focused interest in and greater proximity to police matters like 2007's "manga murder" case, where a victim was found in a public space near a note that carried a misspelling of a phrase from the Death Note series. Their latest missive, on the heels of the September arrest of four men on charges related to the crime, indicates that the victim may be identified soon and that identification may place him squarely into the social circle of the accused. It's an interesting story, and while the manga tie provides it with a lurid hook, what compels is the range of possible pathologies that may have been work -- or a lack of them altogether.
 
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Go, Look: Haunt Of Fear Gallery

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There’s Something Sort Of Wholesome About An Editorial Cartoon That Runs Afoul Of A Football Coach

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In an era where most controversial campus cartoons touch on understandably open-nerve issues of race, religion or sexual misconduct, it feels like a throwback to an earlier time when a cartoon gets criticized by a football coach. At his weekly press conference held Tuesday, Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen criticized a Morgan Noonan cartoon that ran in the Diamondback intended as a commentary on tackle Pete DeSouza breaking his legs in a motor scooter accident. The accident involved a trip to intensive care and surgery on both of DeSouza's legs. The cartoonist has added commentary to the on-line home for cartoon to indicate that it was not intended to make light of the student's injuries but to comment on the dangerous nature of scooters on campus, and also said as much to the reporter from her newspaper when asked for comment. An editorial also engaged the issue. It is unknown whether the cartoon was a subject of discussion at the local soda shop and/or during any fraternity semi-formals.
 
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Go, Read: A John Stanley Top Ten

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Industry Members Politely Object To CR’s Characterization Of Superman: Earth One Rollout As Quiet

I received a couple of notes yesterday about a wisecrack I made that what I found fascinating about the arrival of the original graphic novel Superman: Earth One is that its roll-out seemed relatively quiet to me, that where I expected the full grapefruit to the face treatment whereby one almost gets sick of a work before it comes out, I'd been made aware of the publication but not driven to distraction by its imminent appearance on the stands. I even made the crack that it only registered a .3 on the Millar Scale, Mark Millar's ceaseless and occasionally shameless flogging of his own comics being the gold standard of modern, personality-driven PR. Not everyone agrees with me, and one person even sent along a list they assembled of ongoing press about the book, which in the interest of fairness and because I think it's intriguing to see it all in one place I'll run all linked up at the end of this post.

What I find compelling about this is that I still sort of feel that the arrival of Superman: Earth One didn't have the bloated, insistent quality that comes with a lot of major releases despite my rational mind telling me there's been a ton of publicity even before I was slapped across the face with the cold mackerel of those objecting e-mails. Why is this?

imageThree things come to mind. First, our standard for what constitutes a major PR campaign on behalf of a comics effort has changed irrevocably since the time when certain kinds of placement -- just one or two or three of the following list -- would be an astonishing thing. It's a universe removed from the time a few mentions in industry magazines sufficed (and, ironically, may have driven more actual purchasers to the targeted projects, a story for another day). Second, the splintering of media coverage into a billion social networking avenues and a million news sites of stratified legitimacy seems to both clash with and facilitate the exponential growth of interest in such articles. Third, an individual's relationship with the insistent drone and occasional raised-voice of modern publicity is just that, but I'd suggest a lot of our sensitivities have developed to the point that we kind of feel our way through our impression of each one on a project-to-project basis, and as much as people want to boil that down in flippant fashion the way I did, as much as people want to pontificate on message boards like they're million-dollar experts in modern media, no one really knows how these impressions are formed. Maybe the one thing about which I have no doubt these days is the extent to which this arena of comics and for comics has changed.

Anyway, here's that list, focused on coverage between 10/20 and 10/25 to which there's an on-line link. A lot of it, you'll note, is dependent on the existence of a few, major articles to drive interest to the outlying sources, which indicates to me the desire if not an outright attempt to massage coverage so that it turns into other coverage. You may also find it interesting that mentions on fan sites and commentary blogs are cited as placement right alongside news articles, previews and reviews. This is what comics PR looks like in October 2010. God help us all.

* Coverage at CBS News related to other coverage
* Coverage at Celebrity Cafe related to other coverage
* Coverage at CNN blog related to other coverage
* Coverage at Comic Book Resources blog related to other coverage
* Coverage at Entertainment Weekly related to other coverage
* Coverage at Fox LA related to other coverage
* Coverage at Movieline related to other coverage
* Coverage at NPR blog related to other coverage
* Coverage at PopCrunch.com related to other coverage
* Coverage at The Beat related to other coverage
* Coverage at Twilight-focused fan site related to other coverage
* Coverage at Twilight-focused fan site related to other coverage
* Coverage at Twilight-focused site related to other coverage
* Coverage at Twilight-focused site related to other coverage
* Coverage at Twilight-focused site related to other coverage
* Coverage including interactive poll at On The Red Carpet
* Feature at Another Fruit Loop
* Feature story on AOL News
* Feature story at Geeks Of Doom
* Feature story at Hollywood Reporter
* Feature story at New York Post
* Feature story at Obsessed With Film
* Feature story at The Daily Mail
* Feature story on SliceOfSciFi.com
* Feature story at Screen Crave
* Feature on Thaindian News news portal
* Interview with Dan DiDio at New York Post
* Opinion piece at comic book movie site ComicBookMovie.com
* Preview at Aint It Cool News
* Preview at ComicBookMovie.com
* Review at Ain't It Cool News
* Review at IGN
* Segment On CBS Evening News
 
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Go, Look: Castle Of Frankenstein

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If I Were Near This, I’d Go To It

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If I Were In Montreal, I’d Go To This

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Missed It: Kate Beaton’s Dracula

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Go, Read: Trash On Star Wars

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Go, Look: Tiger Girl #1

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Go, Look: Creepy Gene Colan

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Shaenon Garrity's comics-related manifesto focusing on emerging audiences is a lot of fun even if, like me, you don't agree with a lot of it. I can tell you one thing for sure about people younger than 30: they sure take their sweet time getting off of my lawn.

* not comics: IMDB is hosting the first trailer for the comics-milieu Frost/Pegg comedy Paul.

image* always a delight to read an interview with Kevin Huizenga, one of the most thoughtful and articulate cartoonists out there in addition to being one of the art form's best.

* I can't imagine anything more horrible than being caught in a Bill O'Reilly e-mail crush except maybe every other thing in the world that has something to do with Bill O'Reilly.

* Alan David Doane has a few more comics sets left in his rent sale.

* comics has had its share of weird couplings, and Mike Sterling takes a look at one: Bill Sienkiewicz inking Jim Aparo.

* I enjoyed this interview on NPR with Garry Trudeau while running errands yesterday morning. Trudeau has a nice voice, and I'd never heard that stuff about Joanie Caucus and law school before.

* the retailer and industry advocate Brian Hibbs always gets mad when I use the various tags to describe posts at his Savage Critics so instead I'll point out that this piece by Hibbs makes distinct but seemingly reasonable objections to two new, major comics offerings.

* the formidable Ng Suat Tong talks about some recent criticism of The Comics Journal's legacy. I don't understand a word of it, which is probably one of the problems. Sure beat working at QVC, though.

* I mentioned briefly the Marvel covers feature in ESPN's magazine iteration featuring NBA teams crossed with classic covers and/or situations -- seems the Cleveland Cavalier fans don't like the way the way they're portrayed. Or something, I don't know. It's Cleveland. I like going to Cleveland but I don't have a lot of patience for the Cleveland-as-Cleveland thing.

* and some days the end of comics can't come quickly enough.

* the inimitable Chris Sims profiles the wackiest of mainstream comics' "spooky" characters, including the magnificent Dell monster character that weren't really monsters in the way we think of monsters. You used to be able to buy those in every quarter bin across the land -- I think Green Lantern Comics in Seattle had 58 copies of those books.

* finally, Calvin Reid profiles a resurgent, digitally-focused Wowio.
 
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Happy 80th Birthday, Leo Baxendale!

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Happy 62nd Birthday, Bernie Wrightson!

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Paul Hornschemeier!

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Quick hits
Craft
On Book Spines
Colleen Coover Sketches

Exhibits/Events
Go See Simon Gane
Go See Michael Kupperman
Go See Brick And Darryl Cunningham
Matt Dembicki's Comic-Making Workshop

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Chris Roberson
Robot 6: Brian Chippendale
Talking Comics With Tim: Jill Thompson

Not Comics
This Made Me Laugh
Andrew Wheeler On Stories
Hey, They Got Deadpool Over

Publishing
On Doppelganger
Superman: Earth One Previewed

Reviews
Dave Ferraro: AX
Matthew Brady: Various
Brendan Wright: Various
Don MacPherson: Various
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Various
Dave Ferraro: Artichoke Tales
John E. Mitchell: The Sanctuary
Sean Kleefeld: The Reconcilers
Todd Klein: Brightest Day #7-8
Win Wiacek: Great British Comics
Colin Panetta: Strange Tales 2 #1
Tom Crippen: Thor: For Asgard #1-2
Chris Allen: Thirteen Going On Eighteen
Paul Montgomery: Superman: Earth One
Augie de Blieck Jr.: Superman: Earth One
Colin Panetta: THB: Comics From Mars #2
Sean Gaffney: Dragon Girl Omnibus Vol. 1
Richard Bruton: At The Mountains Of Madness
Colin Panetta: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: New World #3
Sean Gaffney: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan Vol. 1
 

 
October 26, 2010


Go, Look: Tales Of Charlotte

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my thanks to the great Carlton Hargro
 
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Congratulations To Garry Trudeau On 40 Years Of Major Strip Syndication

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all the best to one of the great strips. historical footnote: a precursor to Doonesbury called Bull Tales ran starting in September 1968 in the Yale Daily News; some of those gags were repeated in the syndicated strip roll-out, including, I'm almost certain, this one
 
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Go, Read: Long, Thorough Post On Enduring 1980s Oddball Series Thriller

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This Isn’t A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

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*****

Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. But if I were anywhere near a comic shop, I would certainly create for myself a shopping experience that included opening and shutting various titles of interest.

*****

AUG100025 BEASTS OF BURDEN HELLBOY ONE SHOT JILL THOMPSON CVR $3.50
SEP100106 USAGI YOJIMBO #132 TAIKO PT 1 (OF 2) $3.50
AUG100475 BULLETPROOF COFFIN #5 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99
APR100475 WEIRD WORLD OF JACK STAFF #5 $3.50
AUG100577 CAPTAIN AMERICA #611 $3.99
JUL100652 INCOGNITO BAD INFLUENCES #1 (MR) $3.50
These are the standard-sized, traditional comic books that attract my attention on today's list. Standard-sized, traditional comic books are the lifeblood of the Direct Market and the special thing they offer that places like Amazon.com tend not to, so they get a special mention. The Beasts of Burden one-shot seems like it would be pretty fun, at least as fun as previous offerings in the Dorkin/Thompson series have been. The Incognito book is the latest Brubaker/Phillips collaboration, which I love reading in serial comic book form.

JUN100127 SUPERMAN EARTH ONE HC $19.99
This book isn't for me, although now that I think about it I'm not sure there's been a Superman book for me (outside of the wonderful Tales Of the Bizarro World) collection since Alan Moore stopped writing them. I did like a lot of All Star Superman, I suppose. Anyway, this modern reboot of the Superman concept fascinates me because it seems like it's hitting the market without tremendous hype -- say at best a .3 on the Millar Scale -- and I thought they were going to flog this one a lot harder. Plus "Hoodie Superman" is fun to say.

AUG100379 FALLING FOR LIONHEART GN $19.99
Superhero by day, emotionally overwrought mini-comics artist by night. Fun concept; I'd at least pick it up and give it a once-over.

AUG100594 FANTASTIC FOUR #584 THREE $2.99
AUG100686 FANTASTIC FOUR BY JONATHAN HICKMAN PREM HC VOL 03 $19.99
The latest issue of Fantastic Four, which I guess is shipping in a plastic bag to protect against spoilage of the plot-point variety, and a hardcover of recent work in this current run by writer Jonathan Hickman. I've enjoyed the Fantastic Four comics I've read from Hickman.

JUL100729 DUNCAN THE WONDER DOG TP VOL 01 (OF 9) SHOW ONE (MR) $24.95
This is a giant book that came from nowhere about (I think) the relationship between humans and animals using the science-fictiony conceit of the animals gaining speech and a more human-like sentience as a hook for the cartoonist's examination. It's an impressive-looking thing, but I'm only about halfway through and I don't want to say anything else. But yeah -- if you're in a full-service comic book store where you can place your hands on one, check it out.

JUL101071 DUNGEON MONSTRES GN VOL 03 HEARTBREAKER $12.99
The latest in the consistently strong NBM translation of the various Donjon series. I have a feeling that five years from now there won't just be one book series on this list.

SEP101065 HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER GN (MR) $6.00
If you're a fan of Tom Neely, you probably already have one. I enjoyed reading mine. If you haven't already read about it 10,000 times, the publisher's description of the book seems fair enough.

SEP100918 XKCD TP VOL 00 (MR) $18.00
I imagine this is a repeat of the first XKCD trade from the second half of 2009, although it occurs to me it could be a second trade and its creator is numbering them with double zeroes just to make me feel really old and out of touch. That's why comics shops are awesome; you don't have to guess, you can see the damn things.

JUL101011 ZABIME SISTERS GN $16.99
This is the entry that had me blinking, because I didn't know it was coming out. This is an English translation of Les Soeurs Zabime by the late European alt-comics giant Aristophane Boulon, and I can't imagine it being anything other than very, very worth every comics fan's time. I'm very excited to see it, and I'm jealous of all of you that will get to touch one tomorrow.

APR100938 WRONG PLACE GN (MR) $24.95
Brecht Evans has a very potent visual style, and I'm dying to read one of his works. This is the first of a couple of recent releases to make it to North American publishers.

SEP101104 H DAY HC $30.00
A book of loosely constructed comics/tightly wound imagery from the always-to-be-treasured twisted mind and talented wrists of Renee French.

SEP100742 LONE PINE GN (MR) $15.00
A debut graphic novel from a cartoonist named Jed McGowan -- you can read a preview here, and I think a preview will communicate most of what you'll need to know before you decide if it's for you or not.

SEP101290 DOONESBURY AND THE ART OF G B TRUDEAU HC $49.95
The other prestige Doonesbury-related book of the fall, this one an art book-type presentation edited by the reliable Brian Walker.

SEP101251 FOUNDERS OF COMIC FANDOM PROFILES OF 90 LUMINARIES $35.00
One of my favorite comics historians, Bill Schelly, returns with a book focusing on his great strength: the 1950s and 1960s wave of fandom that took over the comics industry from the World War II generation. This should be a blast.


*****

The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I didn't list your comic here, that's because the devil made me do it.

*****

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Go, Read: Crossfader

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Leo Cullum, 1942-2010

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Leo Cullum, one of the premier modern cartoonists working in The New Yorker, died on October 23 in Los Angeles. He was 68 years old. A family member told the New York Times the cause of death was complications due to cancer.

imageCullum was a son of New Jersey: born in Newark, raised in North Bergen. His father ran a trucking company, and a family friend was James J. Braddock. Cullum's mother studied fashion illustration, and encouraged her son's talent. The future cartoonist attended catholic prep school and later his father's alma mater, Holy Cross, graduating in 1963 with a degree in English. A profile in an alumni magazine revealed that Cullum did very little art at the school -- he did some work for a student publication and designed a few posters -- primarily because Cullum couldn't afford to take a not-for-credit course. After college, Cullum served in the Marine Corps and learned to fly as an officer, a set of skills he later employed in over 200 missions in Vietnam (he was stationed at Da Nang and Chu Lai), and later as a commercial airline pilot for more than three decades. He chose TWA among prospective employers for the then-rare opportunity to pilot international flights. It was during the frequent stopovers that came with that job that Cullum, always a devoted doodler, renewed his interest in cartooning.

Cullum broke into the New Yorker in a roundabout way. His initial cartoons were rejected, but in a longstanding practice that was becoming less of a standard procedure at the magazine as younger cartoonists both wrote and executed gags, Cullum's jokes were purchased for illustration by Charles Addams. His first cartoon joke, illustrated by Addams, appeared in the publication in 1975. He also began placing his work into other gag-market publications, before finally placing something in the New Yorker in 1977. By this time, Cullum had been transferred to Los Angeles and had taken up residence in Malibu, although he remembered well the experience of hitting the Manhattan-based cartoon editors with his peers in the tradition of selling work directly to such clients.

In terms of the cartoons themselves, Cullum's work was very heavy on absurd gags, frequently taking a clearly discernible tableau such as the administration of certain professional duties or some sort of relationship common to nature and then infusing it with a twist based on the reader's initial expectations for such a scene. Cullum might blend human and animal behavior, or in whimsical fashion play to the worst stereotypes of a certain profession, or simply take the joke in some odd, fanciful direction. Some of his best gags were twists on standard gag set-ups: man at desk, doctor with patient on table, man addressing animal. In a significant way, Cullum was a modern standard-bearer for a potent New Yorker tradition of cartoon making where a caption wrenched a humorous drawing in a direction that emphasized the marriage of word and image by making the joke absolutely dependent on their partnership. He was known as one the consistently best and most accessible gag-men in the publication's history; he was certainly one of its most popular cartoonists in the 1980s and 1990s, a favor that extended to his relationships with its editors. Although he was never known as one of the magazine's powerful visual artists, Cullum's cartoons were frequently separated from their caption and employed as the art portion of the popular caption-writing contest feature.

The Times said that Cullum was published 819 times in the magazine, with work appearing in yesterday's edition (how much, if any, Cullum work there is in reserve is unknown). As is the case with most modern New Yorker contributors, Cullum's work in print in book format splits between being one of many cartoonist in certain group efforts and a variety of single-themed books: Scotch & Toilet Water (2003), Cockatiels For Two (2004), Tequila Mockingbird (2004) and the recent Suture Self (2009). The first three were from Abrams; the fourth from Andrews McMeel. The Times also notes that a Cullum cartoon was the first post-9/11 cartoon that appeared in the magazine, in the early pages of a publication two weeks later.

Other regular cartoon market for Cullum were Barron's and Harvard Business Review. He retired from TWA eight years ago, after which he pursued opportunities in advertising in addition to his cartoon output. Cullum was diagnosed with cancer five years ago.

Cullum is survived by a wife, a brother, and two brothers.

The Cartoon Bank's collection of Leo Cullum cartoons may be found here. An animated Cullum cartoon can be found here.

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Go, Read: Eisner’s Covers

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Expressed Support For Arifur Rahman?

This post, which is in English, leads to an interview with the long-suffering cartoonist Arifur Rahman that's definitely not in English. Still, I thought the fact of the interview and the way in which the post supporting it was written might indicate something worth noting about the cartoonist's situation. Rahman's story is heartbreaking: being jailed on the basis that his presence in public would lead to violence because he labeled a character in a comic with the name Muhammed, losing his job and most vocational opportunities because of the resulting hardship, seeing members of his family fall sick without the resources of such a job to fall back on. This is one of the first media reports from that part of the world that seems to recognize those elements of Rahman's story and further sees his actions during that time as responsible and laudatory, which I hope indicates there may be some way to restore him to the profession he hopes to pursue.
 
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Go, Look: Dick Briefer Splash Pages

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Go, Read: Scott Kurtz On Garry Trudeau

Scott Kurtz has a short essay up on comments made by Garry Trudeau in his Slate interview about the general prospects for cartoonists, which is a subject that today always includes the prospect of webcomics cartooning. I always enjoy reading Kurtz on the subject of webcomics -- he knows his subject, as that's how he makes his living; he's frequently funny; and he's passionate to the point of pissing people off. These are all great qualities, and they're put to good use here.

imageI think this post shows off Kurtz's strengths and weaknesses on this particular subject. Kurtz is right, here and in general, that webcomics cartooning provides a multitude of options for a lot of cartoonists to pursue publication and see rewards from it. He's further correct that this includes many cartoonists that wouldn't have those opportunities otherwise, that this a good thing in comparison to limited opportunities elsewhere, and that while these new avenues will see some cartoonists who are going to do very well the fact that it won't include everyone at those compensation levels isn't an indictment of those opportunities. His best bit of analysis is that Trudeau's off-hand comment about newspaper comic strips offering pop-culture tenure can be seen as a damning criticism of that field, an accretion mechanism that wraps certain cartoonists in a hard-to-penetrate armor made up of hundreds and hundreds of clients that runs the huge risk of perpetuating mediocre work in newspapers and making it hard for better, less-established work to find purchase.

However, I'm not sure that the benefits and opportunities of webcomics and some of the problematic aspects of newspaper print cartooning always have to be placed into gladiatorial combat with one another. Just the fact that Kurtz had people egging him into writing this mini-essay betrays an odd cultural mindset, no matter how nimbly Kurtz plays against it. I very much doubt Trudeau meant to be anything close to provocative with any of his statements. I also remain unconvinced about some of the more extravagant language that comes with Kurtz's analysis. It seems to me that we have yet to reach the point where the newspaper strip field is "crumbling down" around anyone's ears to the extent asserted. It's always been difficult to forge a career in that field, and it's indeed more difficult right now at various stages, but there are still a lot of cartoonists that are doing just fine in that arena, both established and new. If you abandon the standard of "how things used to be in comics when Ham Fisher walked around punching people in the face while wearing solid gold shoes" for a standard of "how things are for all cartoonists generally" the newspaper strip field remains a successful corner of comics, even with these recent structural changes.

I also think Kurtz misjudges Garry Trudeau's ability to do well on the web if he had to. Trudeau's partnership with Slate seems to me one of the more successful and reliable comic strip platforms on the Internet. I would assert that it's Trudeau's on-line presence that drives a lot of the interest in his books these days, and that this is reflected in how they're presented, formatted and assembled now as opposed to, say, the Holt paperbacks of long ago. My hunch is that if Trudeau was shorn of his newspaper income, he wouldn't necessarily be dependent on his syndicate having a monetized model for him to plug into, he would be in what seems to me a pretty solid position to find a magazine partner that could help support him, or provide him with a platform so that he could be more aggressive with licensing, or any of the options other cartoonists more focused on the on-line avenues are able to pursue. In other words, Trudeau's point that this wouldn't be the same living he's making now and that he might be better off as a writer on Stephen Colbert's staff doesn't necessarily lead directly into Kurtz's suggestion that this would be no living at all. We can't know, of course, because the model Trudeau employs right now depends crucially on that still-existing income he makes from syndication, and it's nearly impossible to project around it.

I make a significant chunk of my living by self-publishing on-line, and I hope that no one takes my statements here or elsewhere as some sort of Defending Print stance. I mean, I'm fine being kicked in the nuts when I say something stupid -- which is nearly all of the time -- it's just that I think this particular framework is misapplied and counterproductive, both in this case (for the most part) and in cases like it. Print doesn't need defenders; it needs people that know how to work within that changing market according to the opportunities it presents today as opposed to chasing the shadows of the past. I feel similarly about webcomics and prophets and their orientation towards an unknowable future. I believe in whatever works, and will continue believing in those things until they all-the-way don't. Garry Trudeau has never been a model for anyone other than Garry Trudeau, but that model's worked out pretty well for him so far and continues to do so. In that way, he resembles the best webcomics cartoonists more than he stands in natural opposition to them.
 
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Go, Look: Jerry Grandenetti Covers

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Newspaper Circulation Falls Five Percent

I can't tell if people are shocked or inured to news like that provided here: the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers show that the circulation for 635 of U.S. newspapers fell five percent over the last six months. This is compared to decreases of nearly nine percent for the six months preceding that and eleven percent for the six month period before that. On the one hand, these continue to be pretty crappy numbers, a continuing shock to a system buffeted by the loss of a long-time monopoly over display print and local business advertising. On the other hand, these declines are one of the few reliable, recurring measurements in an industry that's had to scramble for the first time in decades to find models that work in a severely problematic landscape. In other words, for everything that newspapers haven't been able to foresee, this is the one thing they should.

If there's anything particularly worth noting for the comic strip business, it's that a couple of really good, major regional markets for comics features over the year, Denver and Houston, experienced more than a 10 percent decline.
 
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Go, Look: More Little Nemo

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Go, Look: Detective Comics #135

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Go, Look: More Early Steve Ditko

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Go, Look: Vintage Joe Maneely

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Go, Look: Vintage Don Newton

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the artist Jillian Tamaki writes at length about an arts-related proclamation she made on Twitter that became a top tweet.

* the longtime writer-about-comics Alan David Doane updates folks on his discount comics rent sale, and lists the lots he has remaining. #s 11, 15 and 31 in particular seem like good deals to me.

image* Timothy Callahan talks to CBR's sizable audience about two major releases from PictureBox: If 'N Oof and Powr Mastrs Vol. 3. I would love to see more matter-of-fact writing about great books like these on as many sites as possible. They're a part of comics, too.

* Kate Dacey divulges her top 10 spooky manga.

* the writer and comics historian Mark Evanier puts all of the most recent Garry Trudeau links in one place so no one else has to.

* Pat Lewis has drawn a very nice poster for an upcoming event at the Toonseum.

* the writer Sean Collins ends his recent look at the work of Jaime Hernandez with a review of the recent Love & Rockets: New Stories #3, whose centerpiece story is a comic of the year frontrunner.

* this is potentially interesting: Gary Groth is selling some original art. Gary has never been a focused collector, but he has some random pieces that are pretty weird and awesome. That link shows you one.

* Fantagraphics' blog hypes its contribution to that free Halloween giveaway mini-comic thing where certain comics stores are carrying certain ashcans and minis in preview of bigger works.

* without knowing for sure, I bet whatever article that accompanied this illustration by Rob Ullman was full of piss and vinegar.

* this is deeply upsetting and very funny.

* longtime comics reviewer Johanna Draper Carlson talks about what people that want you to review stuff shouldn't do to you. I sympathize. For the most part, I feel out of necessity, anyone that tries any avenue of communication other than what's outlined on the site -- trying to engage me in a dialogue before they send me a comic, trying to get me to talk to them after I've received it, seeking promises of coverage -- usually just gets ignored. I know how horrible that sounds, but there's only so many hours in the day and to use some of that acting as a delivery confirmation service or letting a publicist try to direct my coverage somehow aren't ways I can afford to spend them.

* I would have hired him.

* not comics: I like how honest Warren Ellis has been about the relief he's felt that RED didn't bomb. I hope that kind of thing never makes or breaks someone's entire life, but it would have to be a bummer/source of additional happiness depending on how things turned out.

* the retailer and prominent blogger Chris Butcher takes some photos, mostly of an airport bookstore's graphic novel offerings. Sean Kleefeld also spent some recent quality bookstore time.

* finally, Jared Gardner writes about the new serial book format through a review of two recent books by alt-comics heavyweights.
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Mike Cavallaro!

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Happy 79th Birthday, Larry Lieber!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Glynis Wein!

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Quick hits
Craft
The Sluts Of Dracula
Colleen Coover Sketches
On A Mat Brinkman Panel
More On Comics And Space
Tim Lane Covers Seattle Weekly

Exhibits/Events
MTV-Related Launch Party Benefits CBLDF

History
The Greatest Insult Ever?

Industry
Rall Wussed Out

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Frazer Irving
CBR: John Romita Jr.
Newsarama: Shane Davis
Newsarama: Dirk Manning
CBR: Jane Wiedlin, Bill Morrison
Graphic Novel Reporter: Alex Robinson

Not Comics
Roger Kats, RIP
Dio Sanchez, RIP
Gambling With Todd Klein

Publishing
Parasomnia Part One
Beasts Of Burden/Hellboy Previewed

Reviews
Rob Clough: Various
Ken Parille: X'ed Out
Rich Kreiner: Various
Paul O'Brien: Various
Dan DeLuca: X'ed Out
David Welsh: March Story
Win Wiacek: Fire & Water
James Hunt: Kick-Ass 2 #1
Richard Bruton: Superior #1
Matthew Brady: Temperance
Todd Klein: Irredeemable Vol. 3
Michael C. Lorah: The Broadcast
Win Wiacek: Twin Spica Vols. 1-2
Rob Clough: Tales From San Papel
Greg McElhatton: A Drunken Dream
Andrew Wheeler: Parker: The Outfit
Andrew Wheeler: Odd Is On Our Side
Lori Henderson: Ghost Hunt Vols. 1-2
Matthias Wivel: L'Ascension du haut mal
Michael C. Lorah: Nexus Archives Vol. 10
Johanna Draper Carlson: Tiny Titans #33
Andrew Wheeler: Werewolves Of Montpelier
Bill Sherman: The Simon And Kirby Superheroes
Sean Gaffney: Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Vol. 1
Johanna Draper Carlson: Kingyo Used Books Vol. 2
 

 
October 25, 2010


Please Consider Buying Comics From Alan David Doane So That He Can Make This Month’s Rent

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Longtime writer-about-comics Alan David Doane is selling comics for one of the primary human needs: to make rent on the home where he and his family live. I've bought comics from Alan before, and the savings he offers on his serial comics packages tend to be particularly awesome.
 
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Go, Read: Short, Smart Interview With Garry Trudeau At Slate.com

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Missed It: Steve Rude Takes The Rude Family Home Off Of Auction

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It's an aside in a post about bidding on his recent CBLDF effort, but it appears as if the recent auctions the first class comic book illustrator and painter Steve Rude ran on behalf of saving his family's home from a foreclosure auction had the desired effect. That's great news, although I imagine it's still a fortuitous time to look into Rude-related original art and commissions.
 
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Go, Look: Dark Day

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Mike Esposito, 1927-2010

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Mike Esposito, a workhorse of the second half of the 20th Century in mainstream American comics, died Sunday morning according to reports emanating from his home community of Lake Grove, New York. He was 83 years old.

Esposito was born in New York City, and attended the High School of Music and Art. One of his classmates was the artist Ross Andru, with whom Esposito would partner to great commercial and artistic effect at various points in his comics career to come. Like many young artists he was enamored of Milton Caniff's work on Terry And The Pirates. Esposito and Andru dreamed of going to Disney and finding work as animators, but Esposito's father spoiled those plans. Esposito was eventually drafted and sent overseas.

Esposito pursued work in the vibrant post-War comic book field upon his release from the military in 1947. He attended Burne Hogarth's Cartoonists And Illustrators School, which had been set up in large part to facilitate the training of art-interested serviceman like Esposito. While there he re-established contact with star student Ross Andru. Esposito initially found work at publishers such as Standard, Key and Martin Goodman's publishing company (eventually Marvel), where he provided pencils and inks on a few comics stories.

He and Ross Andru co-founded a studio in the early 1950s and set about finding work that Andru could pencil and Esposito could ink. Their first major collaboration was apparently a story in Mister Universe #2, which came out in the second half of 1951. Mikeross Publications came about in 1953. They published 3-D comics (the trend of the moment), more traditional romance comics (with the great title Heart and Soul), and perhaps most famously the humor publication Get Lost. Esposito told an interviewer in 2008 that the pair was sued for Get Lost by EC for its similarities to MAD, that the suit was tossed out of court, and that the publication cost them any shot at future gigs with MAD. Mikeross published its last comic in 1954; the Esposito and Andru studio was a casualty of the late 1950s Comic-Code and distributor-collapse era.

imageBy this time, Andru and Esposito had started to steamroll into regular work at industry giant DC and reliable stalwart Marvel, more DC than Marvel as the decade wore on. At DC they worked on that company's array of war titles and enjoyed a significant run on the Wonder Woman character. Other titles that received the solid Andru/Esposito treatment in the Silver Age were Rip Hunter, Brave and the Bold, and the Metal Men feature in Showcase. Esposito described working on Andru's pencils in 2008. "Ross was a difficult guy to ink. First of all he'd dig into the paper so much that if you had a pen or a brush the grooves would stop your line. He was really hard to ink. But good. His stuff was so beautiful when you looked at it, you wanted to ink it. But when you tried to ink it, it's not easy." Esposito developed a style of inking that remained completely faithful to the effect of Andru's pencils despite the difficulties in routinely achieving that effect, and their work together remains among the best of the mainstream comic book Silver Age.

Esposito began to branch out in his inking duties in the 1960s, supporting the prolific Mike Sekowsky at DC on several comics and inking a number of books at a rising Marvel under various pseudonyms so as not to to tip his hand to his employers at DC: "Mickey Demeo" and "Mickey Dee," which I believe were holdovers from the 1950s, and "Joe Gaudioso," which I think was a new one. In his remembrance at News From Me, writer and comics historian Mark Evanier notes that Esposito enjoyed fruitful collaborations with Jack Kirby on Hulk and John Romita Sr. on Spider-Man.

imageAlthough they had largely gone their separate ways by the end of the 1960s, Andru and Esposito reunited for a few projects, two of which were notable. One was a run on Marvel's Spider-Man title that gave the character rock-solid craft appeal following the extended, initial 1960s/1970s run of Lee/Ditko/Conway/Kane/Romita and kept it near the top of the company's best-looking titles. The other was another effort reminiscent of MAD, only this time the super-successful magazine of the 1970s as opposed to the comic book from the 1950s. Taking their title from a semi-obscure Johnny Carson catchphrase, Up Your Nose And Out Your Ear was a kind of hyperactive cousin to MAD drenched in more overtly liberal political sensibilities. The Andru/Esposito comics in the publication certainly looked terrific; digital copies of a number of that publication's features can be found here. It never took off, although Esposito later claimed it did well with college students and even sold quite a few t-shirts to that crowd.

By the time Up Your Nose faded, Esposito had become one of those unsung industry figures that knew everybody, worked on any number of projects with any number of pencil artists, and then very likely unofficially worked on even more by pitching in a hand on this job or that job for a peer or a younger artist. His resume of titles worked on is one of the grander such lists in comics artist. Like his peer John Romita, Esposito was an important player in some of the less glamorous but crucially important projects in Marvel's expansive 1980s and 1990s, such as some of their commercially licensed comics.

Esposito was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall Of Fame in 2005. A book about his collaborations with Andru, Andru And Esposito: Partners For Life, was released by Hermes Press in 2006. An Andru/Esposito Wonder Woman drawing was part of a DC Comics related stamp series released that same year.

He is survived by his widow, Irene.

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Go, Read: Steranko’s Covers

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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* this seems a fine summary article on the main political takeaway for many from one-time plotter against Jyllands-Posten David Coleman Headley's testimony to Indian officials about the nature of his advance work for the 2008 Mumbai shootings: basically, that the Pakistani spy apparatus was deeply involved in the planning of the attack.

* I totally missed this, but I guess Zachary Chesser pleaded guilty to charges of making threats related to April's South Park episode featuring Muhammed, along with other charges of communicating with international terrorist organizations. Ironically, I would imagine there are free speech advocates that might feel uncomfortable about criminal charges that could be argued relate to language and expression. Any way you want to look at the result, it's no secret that Chesser has danced like a drunk uncle at a wedding right on that line between outright making threats and being an unctuous, inflammatory douchebag for quite some time now. That a plea was made suggests a certain orientation towards those actions that by itself a conviction might have side-stepped.

* the ultimate fallout from the atmosphere of fear generated by people like Chesser in the case of that South Park episode was the fade from public view of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris. Matt Welch kidney-punches journalistic organizations for not being more invested in the story.
 
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Go, Look: Blutch Gallery

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Does It Matter That Marvel’s January Prices Maybe Didn’t Quite Match Their Vague NYCC Announcement?

I'd say in the immediate sense, it doesn't matter too much that Marvel's January price points as since announced don't quite match the positive interpretations given their rascally, vague New York Comic Con announcement regarding a scale-back in pricing. I mean, if this is how things will stand, I think it makes them look bad that they had to follow up on DC's more substantive pricing announcement that way. I can count on one of Nightcrawler's currently deceased hands the number of times Marvel has chased a DC announcement since, I don't know, 1976. And I think anyone that combined the headlines of those two announcements and didn't make a distinction between the scale of the DC initiative and Marvel's asserted one did Marvel's bidding on that one: Marvel got the benefit of softening DC's announcement but also maintained enough space there to get to criticize its rival for dropping pages in the current freelance market and to subtly underline its point before DC made its move that Marvel's books just might be worth that extra coin.

Still, the importance of the DC announcement wasn't to my mind ever properly interpreted by looking at the competitive relationship between the two companies, or even in terms of it being some sort of potential windfall for DC. Clearly DC's ability to benefit long-term depends primarily on their making comics their retail partners want to support in a significant, passionate way, and secondarily but importantly on their being a better publishing partner in a variety of ways. I think industry health was a different set of concerns here. To my mind, the greater importance of DC scale-back is that it reduces the number of $3.99 books on the market, a growing fact of today's comics shopping that I think was grinding against the goodwill of longtime serial comics buyers in part because the standard purchase isn't one such book but four or five of them. No matter how it turns out in execution, Marvel's move -- and its unannounced reduction of titles generally -- seem it will also contribute to hedging against the generally less appealing marketplace of individually-built combination purchases that I think poses the larger danger to a certain way of comics buying.

None of this is very sexy; it's like someone changing a diet that will almost certainly kill them to something that reduces that risk and maybe only reduces that risk. And although we won't likely give such moves credit, if the Direct Market rallies I think it will do so partly because the end result is there is less pressure on the market to continue their appeal to individual customers at a likely higher overall price point while it undergoes its current, necessary transformation. Whether or not there ends up being positive change within this window of opportunity, that's going to be the tough part.
 
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Go, Look: Three By Alex Toth

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Cartoonist Best Known For Hostage Situation Gets Beat Up And Arrested

There's a squirm-inducing photo of cartoonist Jose Varela squatting on top of this news story concerning his latest arrest, on a combination of battery and resisting arrest charge last Thursday. Varela is best known as the decade-plus cartoonist at Miami Herald Spanish-language newspaper El Nuevo Herald that had a breakdown in November 2006 related to personal difficulties and held his editor hostage for hour causing the evacuation of the newspaper complex. He worked out a plea deal for that incident, getting two years of probation.
 
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OTBP: Inkstuds, The Book

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Go, Look: Freedom Agent #1

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Go, Look: Spider-Man Vs. The Torch

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Go, Look: From Nugget, 1956

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I Always Forget About Ben Katchor

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Mike Lynch reminded me
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Chris Mautner tells you where to start with reading Kevin Huizenga, one of the best cartoonists going.

image* Mike Lynch caught that last week was the 75th anniversary of Sidney Smith's death, and wrote about it here.

* that smile on the young man is nice to see.

* I can't remember if I've already drawn attention to this or not, but here's an Inkstuds podcast about criticism featuring Jeet Heer, Ben Schwartz and Gary Groth. Those three guys are all bright and, more importantly, extremely articulate, so I'm sure it's good and look forward to whatever day at the guy it rolls to the front slot on the listening device.

* the writer Matt Seneca describes a certain sequence in The Outfit that contains within it a call back to a similar moment in The Hunter.

* here's a longish thinkpiece on the future of print comics that I'm not quite prepared to process.

* not comics: the writer Warren Ellis talks about the appeal of the older hero.

* the cartoonist Kyle Baker has published the entirety of his sports-persona-as-superhero illustration that saw print in the latest issue of ESPN's magazine. No shock that it's striking-looking.

* I'm beginning to look forward to these Frank Santoro mini-lectures on the construction of comics pages with a significant amount of glee.

* yesterday was Wonder Woman Day, where eBay auctions of drawings featuring the Maid Of Might benefit three domestic violence shelters. If the money went to tearing down domestic shelters instead of fortifying them, the day might still be worth it if only because Jaime Hernandez drew Wonder Tot.

* finally, here's an excerpt from Art Spiegelman's introduction to the Lynd Ward volumes from the Library Of America, surely one of the three or four prestige comics-related gift items out this Fall season. Spiegelman describes having met Ward in the early '70s, and talks a bit about the inherent gravitas of the woodcut line.
 
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Happy 50th Birthday, June Brigman!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Taiyo Matsumoto!

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Quick hits
Craft
Kiss
Removed Centerfold
Steve Lieber Draws Avengers
Scott Chantler Draws A Cover

Exhibits/Events
BICS Report 01
BICS Report 02
Listen To Dan Nadel Interviewing Dan Clowes

History
On Dream Of A Rarebit Fiend

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: James Robinson
Superitch: Jen Sorensen
Newsarama: AJ Lieberman
Comics Alliance: Paul Cornell
CBR: Janet and Alex Evanovich
CBR: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
The Comix Claptrap: Megan Kelso
Schulz Library Blog: José-Luis Olivares
Panel Borders: Peter Gross, Charles Vess

Not Comics
Vote
Tony Millionaire Can Hear You Now

Publishing
Sleepyheads Previewed
Here, Have A Free Comic
Mega Man Megamix Vol. 3 Previewed
Please Consider Buying My Awesome Book

Reviews
Deb Aoki: Various
John Seven: Various
Caroline Small: Voyage
Chris Murphy: Kick-Ass 2 #1
Nina Stone: Make Me A Woman
RC Harvey: No Cartoon Left Behind
Shaenon Garrity: Phoebe Zeit-Geist
Greg McElhatton: Make Me A Woman
Greg McElhatton: Justice League Of America #50
 

 
October 24, 2010


Mike Esposito, RIP

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Please Consider Buying Something For 5th Annual Wonder Woman Day

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Go, Watch: Eddie Campbell Interviewed


Eddie Campbell @ POPstore (Parma, Italy) 1/2 from mind the closure on Vimeo.

Eddie Campbell @ POPstore (Parma, Italy) 2/2 from mind the closure on Vimeo.
 
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Go, Look: Greatest Comics Photo Ever Or Greatest! Comics! Photo! Ever!

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Go, Look: Koyama Press Kick-Ass Annie Gallery On Flickr

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Go, Read: The Birth Of Wonder Woman

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Go, Look: Denis Kitchen Lecture

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Halloween Costumes For The Rest Of Us: A Few Comics-Related Ideas Semi-Easy To Throw Together

Halloween is coming up next Sunday, which makes this Friday and Saturday prime Halloween party season. If you're like me, you'll be begrudgingly invited to at least one sizable party at the last minute, or you'll be invited early on and blow off doing a costume until two hours beforehand.

Here are ten suggestions for comics-related costumes that are either very easy to pull together last-minute or could be done with a few days planning to awesome effect, or both. There are dozens of other possibilities, of course. Comics is full of costumes. Go figure. -- Tom Spurgeon

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Tubby

I'm putting this one first because it's one that I never got to do. So easy, so comfortable, so classy. If you can convince your significant other to go as Little Lulu, all the better. In general with Halloween costumes for those of us who aren't characters on a TV sitcom or that don't go to conventions all dressed up, I suggest scouring your memory for little kid characters -- those tend to be easy costumes and more frequently relate to real-world clothing. Execution-wise, it's more important you nail one or two key visual details than get the whole thing right. Never worry if not everyone knows who you are -- you know who you are, the pictures will outlast the party and lighting up one person out of a hundred can be worth the whole evening.

*****

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Richie Rich

This was a go-to in my twenties because it was so easy to do, especially if have a blue blazer and white oxford somewhere in your closet. About a half-dozen friends and acquaintances have pulled it off in the years since, one of them even convincing his girlfriend to wig it up and short skirt it as Gloria, the party known as "The Night We All Stared At Lisa." The key, strangely enough, seems to be to get the hair color right -- you should be able to find some ridiculously bright yellow hair dye somewhere right now. Two easy and fun props to make are a "diamond" glitter dollar symbol attached to your lapel and green Xeroxed million dollar bills with your face on it.

If you've done this one before, go again but make your friend or girlfriend go as Jackie Jokers.

*****

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Bob's Big Boy

I pulled this one together one year very, very late on a Saturday afternoon for a 9 PM party. I used a set of orange coveralls from Home Depot that I painted with white paint. I did the shirt with a magic marker, and I slicked my hair. Not pictured is the most important prop -- a giant hamburger, which you can make with an appropriately circular loaf of sourdough bread purchased from any full-service grocery store and about two pounds of belief. You won't be asked to carry it around the whole evening, but you will need it for the photos.

*****

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Wilson Fisk, Kingpin Of Crime

This is a surprisingly easy costume, and any time you shave your head for Halloween you get tons of points with your fellow party-goers. I did this once about... wow, a dozen years ago now. I was surprised how many people knew the character. I spray-painted a thrift-store jacket white, which looked great under the lights. You'll need a diamond cane, which you can make with any sort of stick/cane and the top of a thrift-shop decanter. One great thing about being the Kingpin is you get to smoke cigars all evening. Another is that no one knows what he sounds like so you don't have to do a funny voice. If God smiles on you, your accountant's kid will show up dressed as Spider-Man and you can spend the evening intermittently scaring the great responsibility out of him.

*****

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Mr. Tawky Tawny

This is the holy grail of comics-related Halloween costumes. I think you could get away with face paint instead of a mask, but only if you nail the tail and paws. The fun part would be the clothes. My father had a closet full of this stuff. I would also love to do Mr. Mind at some future party, as wearing a radio around your neck just sounds funny. Plus I bet you could find a way to get your voice to come out of the radio. Unfortunately, it would probably also require going without arms for an entire party, which is the kind of thing that sounds more fun than it actually is, and it doesn't sound that fun.

*****

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Kamandi

Well, I'm certainly not the one to pull this off, and there's so little going on there you pretty much have to nail the hair, shorts and the boots. Still, one of the Twenty Primary Rules Of Suburban Existence says that as naked as you can get on Halloween, the more fun you'll have. If you can convince your date to go as Flower, you'll be a very popular couple and no one will care about who you're dressed up as. Plus, if you see me in my Tawky Tawny outfit, we can have a fight.

*****

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Prez Rickard

I always thought Prez would make a really good costume for a skinny person. You can scream in someone's ear "I'm Prez -- first teen president" and most people will understand what you're going for or laugh because it's so stupid. It's good to have the hair, and I think you need some hair, but if you nail the sweater everything else falls into place. If you have leftover dollar bills from your Richie Rich costume, they can be employed in your Prez outfit.

*****

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The Beagle Boys

I've done this one twice, and found it to a fairly straightforward, fine group outfit. Way more people than you'd expect will recognize you and your crew. We did the shirts both times by dying long underwear uppers orange. I thought the key was going to be the mask and nose, for which I'd advise grease paint. Instead, it was the hat. We used painter's hats dyed blue. Giant bags of dough are an awesome accessory, and can be had with crumbled paper, canvas and paint/magic marker.

*****

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Little Lotta and Little Dot

I don't think a whole lot about Halloween in terms of female-first costumes because why make that effort when the underwear usually suffices, but it occurs to me that these two outfits would be adorable and weird. I think you'd need the pair of them to make it work, because if you just did Little Lotta you'd really have to nail the hair and if you did them both I bet you could do a broad approximate and still have the same impact. Little Dot can hand out playing cards covered in dots (price stickers); Little Lotta can walk around with a deli-grocery turkey leg.

*****

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Forbush Man

I've spent about a dozen days of my life drunk wearing nothing but a red union suit and big boots, and although that's never involved Halloween I recommend the experience wholeheartedly. Forbush Man holds power for really old comics fans who got into reading Marvel comics when the fan culture was aimed at bearded dudes 15 years older than they were, and was thus wonderfully confusing. It's also one of those costumes that's so stupid-looking that it doesn't need explaining.

*****

That's ten off the top of my head. According to your willingness to work on them and the ability of your friends to parse what it is you're doing -- if that's an issue -- a whole world of comics-related costumes is open to you. Most manga series have achievable costumes if you have a day or two to ramp up, and I've always wanted to go as Volstagg with pals or siblings playing two other members of the Warriors Three. I hear about people going out as Scott Pilgrim characters, and I've seen with my own two eyes two very different but equally admirable Spider Jerusalems. I always liked this Modok costume and this Prison Pit costume. Dressing up as Stan Lee can be fun, too, in the right circumstance. Be creative, nail the broad strokes, have fun. Trick and treat: why limit yourself?
 
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Go, Listen: David King Interview

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Go, Bookmark: Susie Cagle’s I’m Here From The Government Strips

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A Visit To Dan Wright’s Studio

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Go, Look: Gene Kannenberg’s Ties Gallery—Facebook-Only, I’m Afraid

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i'm hoping that if a few folks visit, Gene will put up more ties
 
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Go, Bookmark: Draw-Bridge

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If I Were In BC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Albany, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In DC, I’d Go To This

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Happy 27th Birthday, Austin English!

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Happy 57th Birthday, Mindy Newell!

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Happy 85th Birthday, Al Feldstein!

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FFF Results Post #232—Top Shelf

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Favorite Top Shelf Projects." This is how they responded.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon:

1. Alec: The Years Have Pants, Eddie Campbell
2. Abe: Wrong For All The Right Reasons, Glenn Dakin
3. The Ticking, Renee French
4. Swallow Me Whole, Nate Powell
5. Lost Girls, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

*****

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Joe Decie

* Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown
* Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed by Liz Prince
* Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell
* SuperF*ckers #1 by James Kochalka
* Essex County Complete by Jeff Lemire

*****

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Ramon de Veyra

* From Hell by Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell
* Alec: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell
* Lost Girls by Alan Moore/Melinda Gebbie
* American Elf by James Kochalka
* 2 Sisters by Matt Kindt

*****

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Marc Sobel

1. Johnny Boo
2. Super Spy
3. Swallow Me Whole
4. Dang!
5. Top Shelf Asks the Big Questions

*****

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Chris Baker

1. Alec: The Years Have Pants, Eddie Campbell
2. Blankets, Craig Thompson
3. Essex County Complete, Jeff Lemire
4. American Elf, James Kochalka
5. Comic Diorama, Grant Reynolds

*****

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Marc Arsenault

1. From Hell, Alan Moore
2. Good-Bye, Chunky Rice, Craig Thompson
3. All Flee! Simon Gane
4. Spiral Bound, Aaron Renier
5. American Elf, James Kochalka

*****

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Ali T. Kokmen

1. The Playwright by Eddie Campbell & Daren White
2. Too Cool To Be Forgotten by Alex Robinson
3. Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson
4. AX: A Collection of Alternative Manga edited by Sean Michael Wilson
5. Lost Girls by Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore

*****

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Jeff Newelt

1. Alec: The Years Have Pants, Eddie Campbell
2. Lost Girls, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie
3. The Playwright, Eddie Campbell & Daren White
4. Superf*ckers, James Kochalka
5. Less Than Heroes, David Yurkovich

*****

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William Burns

1. Hey Mister: The Fall Collection, Pete Sickman-Garner
2. Bighead, Jeffrey Brown
3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
4. Top Shelf Asks the Big Questions
5. Lowlife, Ed Brubaker

*****

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Alan David Doane

1. American Elf, James Kochalka
2. Voice of the Fire, Alan Moore
3. The Complete Essex County, Jeff Lemire
4. Strangehaven, Gary Spencer Millidge
5. Hutch Owen, Tom Hart

*****

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Eric Knisley

1. Shuck Unmasked
2. The Barefoot Serpent
3. From Hell
4. Far Arden
5. Spiral-Bound

*****

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Rob Clough

1. Bughouse, by Steve Lafler
2. Super Spy, by Matt Kindt
3. Good-bye, Chunky Rice, by Craig Thompson
4. Death By Chocolate: Redux, by David Yurkovich
5. Lower Regions, by Alex Robinson

*****

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RM Rhodes

1. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
2. Three Fingers by Rich Koslowski
3. Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie
4. Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson
5. The Playwright by Eddie Campbell and Daren White

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Hey Mister: After School Special, Peter Sickman-Garner
2. Will You Still Love Me if I Wet the Bed?, Liz Prince
3. Superf*ckers, James Kochalka
4. The Essex County Trilogy, Jeff Lemire
5. Blankets, Craig Thompson

*****

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Johnny Bacardi

1. Superf*ckers -- James Kochalka
2. The Surrogates -- Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele
3. Blankets -- Craig Thompson
4. Super Spy -- Matt Kindt
5. Owly: Flying Lessons -- Andy Runton

*****

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Jonathan Baylis

* Clumsy -- Jeffrey Brown
* Blankets -- Craig Thompson
* Keyhole -- Dean Haspiel
* Man Who Loved Breasts -- Robert Goodin
* Yearbook Stories -- Chris Staros

*****

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John Kovaleski

1. Lone Racer, Nicolas Mahler
2. Speechless, Peter Kuper
3. Grampa & Julie: Shark Hunters, Jef Czekaj
4. Swallow Me Whole, Nate Powell
5. Blankets, Craig Thompson

*****

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Scott Cederlund

1. Three Fingers, Rick Koslowski
2. Far Arden, Kevin Cannon
3. American Elf Book 1, James Kolchaka
4. The Barefoot Serpent, Scott Morse
5. Essex County Volume 2: Ghost Stories, Jeff Lemire

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Blankets, Craig Thompson
2. Creature Tech, Doug TenNapel
3. Owly, Andy Runton
4. Korgi, Christian Slade
5. B.B. Wolf & The 3 LPs, J.D. Arnold & Rich Koslowski

*****

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Sean T. Collins

* Blankets, Craig Thompson
* Unlikely, Jeffrey Brown
* From Hell, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
* The Troll King, Kolbein Karlsson
* Owly, Andy Runton

*****

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Grant Goggans

1. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
2. Super Spy, Matt Kindt
3. From Hell, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
4. Owly, Andy Runton
5. Tricked, Alex Robinson

*****

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John Vest

1. 24 X 2, David Chelsea
2. Same Difference & Other Stories, Derek Kirk Kim
3. The King, Rich Koslowski
4. Mephisto and the Empty Box, Jason Hall & Matt Kindt
5. Comic Book Artist, Jon B. Cooke

*****

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Charles Brownstein

* Hutch Owen: Unmarketable -- The smartest post-9/11 comic, and Tom Hart at his peak.
* The Mirror of Love -- Jose Villarrubia's finest hour, and a marvelous, strident statement for equality.
* Lost Girls -- Chris Staros' most heroic effort in terms of managing risk, in the legal, financial and artistic realm, and in all realms an apparent triumph. The centerpiece in what I consider to be Alan Moore's Sexual Freedom trilogy of Mirror, Lost Girls, and 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom
* Blankets -- A game changer, insomuch that it solidified the large,self-contained brick of a novel as comics, and foisted Craig Thompson in full flower into the world.
* Happy -- Josh Simmons is one of the last cartoonists working in the pure underground idiom, and I loved this series, and wish there was more of it.

*****

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Chris Arrant

1. Alec: How To Be An Artist by Eddie Campbell (first Top Shelf book, sold personally to me by Chris Staros)
2. A Complete Lowlife by Ed Brubaker
3. Moving Pictures by Kathryn & Stuart Immonen
4. American Elf by James Kochalka
5. Staros Report (R.I.P.)

*****

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Justin Colussy-Estes

1. Swallow Me Whole -- Nate Powell
2. Far Arden -- Kevin Cannon
3. Micrographica -- Renee French
4. Ax vol. 1 -- various
5. From Hell -- Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell

*****

My apologies for the excision of answers that tried to get more than five choices in there (I was soft on trilogies, collections and series; I may have even missed one or two) or that emphasized some accomplishment that wasn't work-first -- it's never personal, I don't even see the name on them when I delete them. On the other hand, we've done 232 of these now. I hope it won't keep you from participating in the future.

*****
*****
 
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October 23, 2010


The Comics Reporter Video Parade
















 
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CR Week In Review

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The top comics-related news stories from October 16 to October 22, 2010:

1. Direct Market numbers for September 2010 indicate a horrible 3Q for that segment of the comics market.

2. David Coleman Headley's influence over the investigation into certain terrorist activities -- including the desire by some to blow up the Jyllands-Posten building -- continues.

3. A Cleveland-area blog reveals that the coroner in charge signed Harvey Pekar's death certificate in September to indicate "natural causes," with the exact cause of death believed to be an accidental overdose of anti-depressant prescription drugs.

Winner Of The Week
Paul Gilligan

Losers Of The Week
This crew of thieves.

Quote Of The Week
"I've always been an Al Capp man." -- Dan Clowes

*****

today's cover is from the 1940s-1950s mainstream comics publisher Avon

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If I Were In SC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Western PA, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bury, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In BC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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Happy 36th Birthday, John Pham!

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Happy 40th Birthday, Blake Bell!

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Happy 47th Birthday, Eric Shanower!

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October 22, 2010


Friday Distraction: Theo Ellsworth On Flickr: Thought Cloud Museum

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Gene Payne, 1919-2010

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Gene Payne, the first editorial cartoonist hired by the Charlotte Observer and the staffer that brought the publication its first Pulitzer Prize in 1968, died on October 14. He was 91 years old.

imageEugene Gray Payne Jr. was born in Charlotte and grew up just three blocks of his eventual newspaper employer. His father died when he was a toddler, and Payne's mother earned the family's living while Gene was cared for by a relative. She also encouraged him in his artistic endeavors, and like many children of his generation Payne was fascinated with newspaper comic strips and aimed to become a cartoonist. He went to school at Syracuse University, and enlisted in the armed services. He flew a B-29 in World War II, and was discharged in 1945.

He would later say that he was denied in his first (1946) attempt to find work at the Observer. He was employed in the immediate post-war years as a commercial artist and as a sales manager for a local dairy concern. He began submitting freelance cartoons to the Observer in 1957 and was hired in 1958 to a variety of tasks including cartoons. After a brief dalliance with the Birmingham News, Payne became a full-time Observer staffer in 1960, a position he held until 1971. It was during that time he won the Pulitzer and a number of other awards, including one from the journalism fraternity Sigma Delta Chi.

His winning Pulitzer submission, of work printed in the Observer during 1967, included cartoons that took on the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the country's absolute fascination with those two crucial points in American history. Remembrances at the Observer note that it was a 1965 cartoon featuring Winston Churchill after that towering figure's death that was likely his most popular. I believe Payne may have been the third cartoonist honored for a wider selection of work as opposed to a single cartoon, following the example set by Bill Mauldin (1945) and Paul Conrad (1964).

Payne left for seven years to fulfill the same role at a local television station before returning to the paper in 1978, first on on a four cartoons-per-week schedule and later on once-per-week status. His final cartoon was published in 2009.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. He was buried October 22. Images from his Pulitzer-winning submission as well as photos of Payne looking very much like a mid-Century newspaperman are here.

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Go, Look: Kaluta Draws The Shadow

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Creators Of Pooch Cafe And Dogs Of C-Kennel Come To Understanding

imageThis week's remarkable accusation in the form of a slam post by Pooch Cafe's Paul Gilligan on similarities between several of his strips and early offerings by the creators of Dogs Of C-Kennel netted a personal response from the newer strip's creators, described in this follow-up, conciliatory post from Gilligan. It includes this line, "There are no hard feelings, being a daily cartoonist is a tough haul, and I respect anyone who's doing it."

While I pooh-pooh the idea that comic strip cartoonists regularly recycle jokes from peers and look on the kind of red-faced accusation that usually gets made about one random joke being similar to another with some derision, I thought this instance was interesting because the general subject matter of each individual strip clearly overlaps and Gilligan was able to cite multiple examples of what he thought were shared ideas. I do find it odd that you wouldn't read the other dog strips out there when doing a dog strip, but I know people that avoid similar work when working on something of their own, so that's not totally out of my experience. Anyway, it looks Gilligan's at peace, and his coming out and speaking and plain language is what really set this one apart.
 
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Go, Look: Gone To The Freezer Duct

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Collective Memory: 2010 Festival Of Cartoon Art At Ohio State University

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this article has been archived; click through the image for the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Boy On The Moon

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Collective Memory: APE 2010

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this article has been archived; click through the image for the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Batman Sunday Strips

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If I Were In BC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SC, I’d Go To This

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I’m A Sucker For Really Tall Panels

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it's from Gang Busters #4
 
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Is It Wrong That I Find These Creatures Slightly Terrifying?

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Go, Look: Satan The Great

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Go, Look: Air Man

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it's the 1940's pirates dressed in classic pirate garb that make this one
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* oh, comics.

image* one of the great pleasures about constantly looking for comics-related material on-line is that you'll get someone talking about a worthy comic right out of left field, as is the case with this review of Vaughn Bode's The Man.

* not comics: I totally whiffed yesterday on a new Alan Moore story being published on-line, so here is one of the more concise write-ups that places this work in context.

* most successful cartoonist day-job ever?

* this guy loves Hellblazer.

* Derek Kirk Kim still has some beautiful original art for sale.

* people keep sending me links to this Joe Queenan mini-essay on Peanuts, which I'd avoided because I didn't think it all that interesting. A few even sent it telling me it wasn't all that interesting. High-profile venue, though, and it's hard to fault someone for describing why they love something.

* not comics: this sci-fi con masquerade footage is amazing long before the naked ladies show up. There's a guy in there that sells his vampire beating like he's a young Ricky Morton. Mark Evanier's introduction makes the naked ladies part less weird. A little less weird.

* Joost Swarte shelf porn!

* it's always fun to compare one's taste to the taste exhibited by the very superhero-conversant writers at The Cool Kids Table. I only liked about four of the covers reprinted. The other thing that struck me is that there's apparently a Wolverine title called Wolverine: The Best There Is which gives me hope for series with other Wolverine spoken catchphrases and one-liners like Wolverine: Are You A Beer?.

* there are all sorts of explanations for the current direct market sales slump, and this is one that's depressing if it's true and maybe more depressing if it's not.

* you know, when Chris Sims wrote that he went speed dating at NYCC, I thought he meant he participated in one of those writers-meets-artists program. No, he meant actual speed dating at NYCC.

* finally, the last time superheroes were used to promote a professional sport, it was baseball that was the beneficiary and it just reminded everyone that we were in the declining years of the Age of Steroids. The first thing that springs to mind here is that this another high-profile gig for Marvel -- you can argue that even more than the movies it's the licensing end of Marvel that's the biggest different from the bankruptcy days.
 
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Happy 57th Birthday, Steven Grant!

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Quick hits
Craft
Bad Dog
Art For Mom
Evan Dorkin Pencils
Chris Samnee Draws
Colleen Coover Sketches
Simon Gane Draws Joey Ramone
David King Draws Richard Deacon

History
Yaoi/Yuri Manga Panel Transcript

Industry
I Was Hoping For Dann Florek

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Johnny Ryan
CBR: Grant Morrison
Comic Riffs: Dave McElfatrick
Comics Alliance: Kate Beaton
Graphic Novel Reporter: Barry Deutsch
The Long And Shortbox Of It: Shane Davis

Not Comics
Win A Tomine Print

Publishing
Migraines And H Day

Reviews
Bill Sherman: Saving Life
Todd Klein: Brightest Day #3
Todd Klein: Green Lantern #55
Jason Thompson: Futaba-kun Change
Todd Klein: Green Lantern Corps #50
Todd Klein: Absolute Promethea Vol. 2
 

 
October 21, 2010


Can You Solve The Case Of The Stolen Kramers Ergot Volume Sevens?

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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows & Major Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* to kick things off, there will be a Nationwide Live Art event on January 22 to benefit the Hero Initiative. Details here.

* big convention weekend last weekend, with the Festival Of Comics Art at Ohio State and the Alternative Press Expo drawing powerful and enthusiastic crowds to their two very different events. Those links go to the collective memory pages of links; I'm still actively collecting them as well as links for the already-archived New York City Comic Con, so .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you got them.

* last weekend was also the debut of a Pittsburgh small press show, the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo. There is no better way to see a show like that than through the eyes of someone on the ground that writes about it in full a few days later. This is the best single such report I've seen so far. The general concept of citizen journalism makes my skin crawl, but I love casual event reportage like this and always will because it gives equal weight to things like the friends met and meals devoured as it does the comics show.

* another fun kind of con report is the thorough, picture-filled attendee/press filing, like this two-parter on the 2010 British International Comics Show from the always-reliable Richard Bruton.

* Wizard Entertainment announced that a New Orleans show will kick off its aggressive 2011 slate of regional, minor celebrity-driven, pop culture events. New Orleans is an interesting site for a comics show because almost everyone likes to visit New Orleans. On the other hand, New Orleans has never developed a noteworthy show of its own -- although I'm sure there are fans for all of their recent and historical events, none of those shows has ever made a national impression. Then again, we're talking about a Wizard show, not a show that needs the kind of enthusiastic, well-developed patronage pool upon which other shows might depend, nor the kind of enterprise that would inspire most folks to fly in.

* Heidi MacDonald caught that Wizard's revised slate of shows for 2011 moves their New York and Boston shows a full month away from New York Comic Con and that this marks an end to Wizard's battle with Reed for convention dominance. I cover comics as part of my living, and Wizard's 2010 New York show was such a non-factor that I forgot it existed. This post may be the first time I've given any thought to their Boston show. So I can't imagine it really matters except as trivia when those shows are scheduled. If rumors are true that Wizard had a shoe-on-the-podium confidence about their ability to take out NYCC, I guess that'd be worth noting on some sort of cosmic sadness scale. But as actual comics events? Wizard's shows barely register on their own, let alone in relation to a legitimate event. I hope everyone that attends has a good time, and that everyone on the other side of the table is treated fairly, but that's about the extent of my interest in what they do. That said, I still think a network of smaller, more modest shows is a sustainable strategy for Wizard if executed with skill and discipline.

* finally, this weekend offers a heady mix of regional/local events of interest, both of "the book fair with a comics person attending" and "well-liked area show" variety. Check the forthcoming events calendar to see if something is near you.
 
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Go, Look: Ernie Bushmiller Gallery

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Analysts: September 2010 DM Estimates

The comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com offers their usual array of lists, estimates and analysis regarding the performance of comic books and graphic novels in the Direct Market of comic and hobby shops, this time for July 2010.

image* Overview
* Analysis
* Top 300 Comic Books
* Top 300 Graphic Novels

John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has begun his analysis of the month here.

The Direct Market ends its stellar performance against general discretionary spending trends with a Chuck Jones ker-splat, as September caps off a brutal third quarter of decline: comics and graphic novels down a combined 12 percent, with component figures of comic sales down 14 percent and graphic novel sales down six percent. As ICv2.com puts it in the above-linked overview: "This is the largest year over year quarterly decline we've seen since we started tracking these numbers in 2004."

More troubling from my perspective is that this market failed the last three months to do what this market has been designed to do: drive readers to big hits that balance against a somewhat wobbly book-to-book base of modest to even marginal performers. Whereas in some cases the failure to meet certain ostensible goals could be seen as a market shift to different points of emphasis, it's difficult to build an alternative narrative here. The top serial comic topped out at just over 100,000 copies sold, and only 22 single comics sold over 50,000 copies -- and of course that's sell-into, not sell-through. Not only do such numbers indicate a malaise in terms of sales, there's a potential secondary effect where the lack of comics firing the imagination of fans risks making those fan intermittent or perhaps even only occasional comics shoppers. In other words, I think the biggest companies have oriented themselves towards a hit-driven market, and when the hits go away they are less likely to muddle through effectively than even the overall numbers indicate. My hunch is that the market would be better off with a few hits and less of a dependency on them to spike interest. It's hard to say which effort brings with it greater difficulty.

One positive note for an individual creator is that writer Robert Kirkman has six of the top 25 trade paperbacks sold in this month. Retailers tell me that Kirkman's work arrives in their shops on such a regular basis they have many people buying the trades in traditional serial comic fashion, which is not something I've sure we've seen before for a series also widely available in comic book form.
 
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Not Comics/OTBP: Rian Hughes’ Lifestyle Illustrations Of The ‘60s

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Coroner Determines Harvey Pekar’s July Passing Due To Accidental Prescription Drug Overdose

imageAccording to a variety of industry reports circling around this blog posting at Cleveland.com, Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller ruled the writer Harvey Pekar's July 12 death as one natural causes, due to an accidental ingestion of fluoxetine and bupropion. Both drugs are prescribed for depression. Pekar, whose initially self-published, mostly autobiographical stories of quotidian details set in his native Cleveland influenced a generation of comics-makers and brought the writer a measure of celebrity in comics and without, suffered from clinical depression. That same blog post notes that the coroner signed off on Pekar's death certificate on September 27.
 
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Go, Look: Gjdrkzlxcbwg

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Go, Look: Jordi Penalva Gallery

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Go, Look: Gray Morrow’s Essays Into The Supernatural Series

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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Strange Terrors #6

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Go, Look: Action Comics #58

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Go, Look: Funny Dick Ayers

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Go, Look: More Battle Report

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the Superman legal battle has been delayed. Delaying the final outcome of legal matters almost always favors the status quo, so no one should be surprised when it becomes a tactic or at least looms into a view as a desirable mid-stream outcome for one side or another.

image* I'm not sure why I keep bookmarking this Paul Gravett article on the current state of comics in India; maybe all that substance and keen insight frightened me.

* Marvel sues a power tool company for trademark infringement. If the power tool company wins, somebody tell me, because I will commit a crime just to hire that lawyer.

* not comics: J. Chris Campbell writes in to inform that you can buy a new Dan Zettwoch t-shirt here.

* making a United Way superhero.

* the fact that there's a Red Hulk now reminds me of decades ago when one of the wrestling federations had a new guy show up in the territory and they'd work their way through the various faces (or heels) on the roster and there's a little charge with every new match-up. It also shows how hard it is to introduce a credible threat into those shared-universe superhero funnybooks.

* I think we all need to wear Jon Vermilyea buttons.

* this article where a bunch of Portland-area comics retailers are interviewed about price points and digital comics proves fairly fascinating on a lot of levels, not the least of which is the "bring it on" attitude that many of the businessmen convey.

* Secret Identities: Shattered is seeking submissions.

image* this picture of the 1980s X-Men as they might have been drawn by EC Segar shouldn't work, but it sort of does. I've been intermittently puzzling over the nature of the iconic status of those X-Men characters, and I can't quite figure it out.

* the actor Tom Bosley died. Bosley got a big boost from starring as Fiorello Laguardia in the musical Fiorello!, maybe the most successful musical that's never been revived, and if I remember right it opens with the famous scene of the mayor reading the funnies over the radio. I'm not saying this is the thing for which the longtime character actor will be remembered, but it's the first thing that popped into my head.

* "we'd like the bukakke Spider-Man honeymoon suite, please"

* finally, I think Gary Tyrrell's kidding that he wishes someone would provide him with a Tuesdays With Morrie opportunity, but don't you kind of wish someone out there had written such a book with Bob Kanigher?
 
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Happy 41st Birthday, Steve MacIsaac!

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Happy 54th Birthday, Paul Levitz!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Geof Darrow!

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Quick hits
Craft
New Lettering Blog
Steve Bissette Sketches
Colleen Coover Sketches
Jim Woodring Makes His Pen
A Lion In The Drawing Room

Exhibits/Events
BICS 2010 Report
Go See Lea Hernandez
Boston Book Festival Report

History
The Story Of Comics
Talking About Little Orphan Annie

Industry
CBR's Mail Pile
Defending The 99

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Matt Smith
On Boody Rogers
CBR: James Robinson
Forbes: Jerry Robinson
Newsarama: Alex Ross
CBR: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Newsarama: Adam Beechen
CBR: Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá

Not Comics
This Sounds Amazing
In The Footsteps Of Tintin
Walking Dead Premiere Episode Reviewed

Publishing
H Day Video

Reviews
Don MacPherson: Various
Richard Bruton: Scarlet #2
Win Wiacek: Prison Pit Vol. 2
Todd Klein: Brightest Day #2
Todd Klein: Brightest Day #4-5
KC Carlson: Beetle Bailey, 1965
Michael C. Lorah: A Drunken Dream
Douglas Rushkoff: Al Jaffee's Mad Life
Greg McElhatton: Johnny Wander Vol. 1
Sean T. Collins: Love & Rockets Vol. 2 #20
Chris Allen: House Of Mystery Annual Vol. 2
Andrew Wheeler: The Good Neighbors Vol. 2
Sean Gaffney: Seiho Boys High School Vol. 2
 

 
October 20, 2010


“Thanks For Buying My Book”—Pooch Cafe’s Paul Gilligan Fires Shot Across Bow Of Dogs Of C-Kennel

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thx, Devin Crane; bonus points to Mr. Gilligan for the turn of phrase "fallow skill set"
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked

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By Tom Spurgeon

* here's something I didn't know at all: the well-liked Elfworld anthology is making a comeback as a series, and the first issue apparently debuted at last weekend's Alternative Press Expo. You can learn all about it here at this site with no permalinks.

* another week, another artist meeting their Kickstarter goals before this column can mention the project exists.

image* Mike Catron has sent out a press release saying a group for whom he volunteers, the Grand Comics Database (GCD), has uploaded its 300,000 cover image -- the Captain America one here. The GCD is a lovely resource, and would be if all it did was put all those covers into one general place.

* Alan Gardner has a lengthy post up on what he consider the the strips that gained the most with the retirement of Cathy and why. Those strips, incidentally, are Dustin, Stone Soup and Pickles. No surprises there: #s 2-3 are similar-tone replacements, and #1 is a "new, hot strip we've been waiting for an excuse to add" replacement.

* when it comes to Krazy Kat-related projects, Kim Thompson has bad news and good news.

* the manga licensing game is supposedly a very tough game, and any time you announce licenses you do so with a significant amount of risk.

* Jef Mallett will be providing this year's NEA holiday offering, which used to be a big deal if you lived in a small town with the kind of small-town newspaper that employed NEA's features. Heck, I'm old enough to remember being excited about the vaguely-cartoony "x days left until Christmas" box on the front page of the evening paper. Although, now that I think of it, there's no reason a devoted-to-Christmas comics feature shouldn't be cool.

* here's an article on the cancellation of a Marvel superhero book called Young Allies, which is interesting because it goes into much further detail than these kinds of announcements usually receive. It's sort of refreshing that way, although for the bulk of comics readers they will have never heard of Young Allies nor mourned its passing.

* looks like Stephen Weiner is working on a comics encyclopedia for Salem.

* DC's January titles will all carry covers featuring the lead -- or one of the leads -- posing in proximity to the representative logo. That's the kind of thing you do in traditionally light-selling January. The kind of thing you don't do is launch major initiatives, although it would be nice if someday it started to become apparent what they're going to do with the line that's different than what they've done the last 7-8 years. I'm beginning to think there is no new editorial direction in the offing.

* this doesn't count.

image* Dark Horse makes multiple manga announcements, all from authors with whom they've enjoyed some level of past success, like Kohta Hirano here.

* and when they come out, those Dark Horse series will likely be reviewed at this new manga review site. Speaking of comics review sites, Don MacPherson is back with his after a longish sabbatical.

* there's one problem with the strategy of taking an ongoing superhero comic book series and turning it over to another character for a while in order to raise their profile -- the story probably shouldn't outright disappoint fans of that character unless in doing so it creates a bunch more fans. I'm not seeing step #2 here, although obviously managing superhero properties isn't my thing.

* as another step in make this week's edition of "Bundled" almost entirely about mainstream comics, Sean T. Collins notes that Marvel does best in bookstores with their Ultimate books, which makes sense to me except that I thought they might have done okay with their crossover stuff because those sprawling series tend to dominate their section of the bookstore when I see one.

* copies of Fart Party Vol. 1 are back in print. Wait, is that even how you say that?

* this is the most I've seen Grant Morrison speak of the forthcoming Charlton Heroes project he's doing.

* speaking of DC, here's the latest on the line-up of their Weird Worlds anthology, a book announced this summer.

* finally, Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield continue their print trade paperback serialization of their on-line Freakangels early next year, and have released a cover to volume five.

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Go, Look: EC Segar Love Letter

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thx, Devlin Thompson
 
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Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* seems like a lot of David Coleman Headley stuff recently. Headley, you may remember, is the US citizen that did advance scouting for the Mumbai attacks and noodled around vaguely with plans to blow up the Jyllands-Posten newspaper offices -- the offices that facilitate the publishing of the original Danish Muhammed cartoons back in 2005. He has since been turning evidence on his activities, which has been of huge interest to Indian officials seeking to find out the extent of the plot that led to the shootings in Mumbai. While officials seem to be very much into every detail revealed by Headley, I've been a bit suspicious -- apparently I believe myself to be George Smiley now -- that someone who worked so hard to destabilize a region isn't still doing so.

* the most recent story is found in the Guardian, where two British men have been identified as Headley contacts. Here's another article on the British connection, with the bonus of one terrorist plotter being described matter-of-factly as "one-eyed," which we all know means "extra evil."

* bunch of different news stories about Headley's wives taking information to the FBI up to three years before the event, which is bothersome only in that I think the original time-line provided by Headley when he pleaded guilty did not go back three years. Here's one. Here's another. Another article suggests the revelation isn't meant to slam the FBI but to suggest that Headley was a double-agent working for the US, which is something that's come up from time to time.

* India is renewing its claim that Headley's testimony indicts Pakistani secret service as being deeply intertwined with the Mumbai shootings.

* one of the three men arrested in Norway in part for a planned attack on the Jyllands-Posten office was released on October 15 after it was determined he wasn't a flight risk.

* I have a feeling we'll be seeing editorials like this one for years to come.

* Matt Welch thinks newspapers are just flat fearful of publishing anything Muhammed-related. I agree with him, for the most part.

* finally, either a Denmark official apologized for all of this or they didn't.
 
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Go, Look: Ginette Lapalme

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A Pair Of Quick Zunar-Related Notes

There were a couple of pieces of commentary related to the ongoing crisis facing Zunar, the Malaysian cartoonist facing sedition charges for publishing cartoon work government officials claim threaten the public good, a potential final act following years of harassment and book-banning. This piece spotlights the troubling, conflicting messages that's coming from Malaysian officials regarding basic press freedoms we in the West take for granted. Zunar's case is brought up as someone who worked primarily in on-line portals in recent years. An editorial here takes a novel view of the political consequences of the matter using a conception that comics fans sometimes find distasteful: the fact that the government is spending resources to curtail the actions of a cartoonist may paint them in a ridiculous light, as an un-serious government when compared to others on the world stage and a ruling body that has its priorities all out of order.
 
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Go, Look: Strongly, Wrongly, Vainly

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Go, Look: Rich Richmond

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Go, Look: A Day In The Life

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Lee Hunter, Indian Fighter

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Go, Look: Early Gene Colan

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Go, Look: Lordly Murphy Anderson

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Go, Look: Vintage Dick Briefer

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I'm not sure I have half a clue as to what's going on here, but it made me laugh. Dibs on the band name "Piss Hergé." Unless that's not what it is, in which case I want dibs on whatever it's called.

image* I don't think I'd seen the cover to the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen effort yet. No surprise that it's fairly striking.

* Jim Kingman takes a long look at one of the enduring, recurring sequences in comic strips: Linus' annual pilgrimage to the pumpkin patch.

* Stan Lee taking bare-bones prom-style photos with Dragon*Con attendees is as good as it sounds.

* I promise you I'm still adding entries to the now-archived NYCC collective memory because I won't sleep well until I get it caught up. One reason is that articles like Chris Butcher's thorough and step-back dissection of the show still need to be read by as many people as possible. I don't always agree with what Chris writes, but this one sounds the most like it would have been my reaction had I been in attendance. One reason that Chris doesn't mention that makes me think it's fair to have expected a more book publisher focused industry show is that when it started Reed was heavily identified with comics people as the folks behind BEA -- the remarkable thing since 2006 is that the SDCC model is still ascendant and the BEA model is seen as quaint if not an outright waste of time for a lot of people. Also, I'd suggest that a show it may resemble more than SDCC is the Wizard Chicago show before that one began to experience hiccups, in its mainstream comics focus and general party atmosphere. (Chris kind of suggests this but not as strongly as I would.)

* this how-to-build-a-cover post from the little-discussed Dark Horse blog is a lot of fun -- that material is always attractive, and those books seem to employ nothing but first-rate modern comics craftspeople.

* pssst, David... they kind of always were.

* finally, doesn't Best Sketchbook In Brooklyn sound like one of those obscure Simon & Garfunkel songs you still like a lot even though you once heard Paul Simon castigate it in an interview?
 
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Quick hits
Craft
Fumetti World
What Propels You
Colleen Coover Sketches
Thinking Outside The Box
Charles Burns Influenced By Tintin

History
Remembering The 1990s
Reading Batman With A Four-Year-Old

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Blake Bell
CBR: Brian Bendis
CBR: G. Willow Wilson
Avoid The Future: Lucy Knisley

Not Comics
Did This Come Out Here?
I Bet You Mike Really Hadn't Forgotten It

Publishing
Manga In December
Graphic Novels In December

Reviews
Kate Dacey: Various
Tim O'Neil: Thor #616
Tucker Stone: Various
Johnny Bacardi: Various
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Various
Win Wiacek: Knights Of Pendragon
David Welsh: Grand Guignol Orchestra
Grant Goggans: Nikolai Dante: Amerika
Sean Gaffney: Stepping On Roses Vol. 3
Brian Hibbs: Best American Comics 2010
Johanna Draper Carlson: Tower Of Treasure
Robert Greenberger: DC Comics Year By Year
Elizabeth Schweitzer: American Vampire Vol. 1
Christopher Allen: The Amazing Screw-On Head
Andrew Wheeler: Supreme: The Story Of The Year
 

 
October 19, 2010


Go, Look: Batman Is A Hoarder

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This Isn’t A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

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*****

Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. But if I were anywhere near a comic shop, I would sprint inside and engage the comics rack with helmet to helmet contact.

*****

JUN100244 ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE HC BOOK 02 BROTHERS IN ARMS $29.99
I've been intermittently reading these in serial comic book form, and it seems like a very consistent comic book series to me. I like 'em a comic books, though.

AUG100493 WALKING DEAD #78 (MR) $2.99
JUN100155 BATMAN AND ROBIN #15 $2.99
Two well-regarded serial comic book efforts, just the kind of thing you're still shopping at a store to buy.

AUG100139 BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME CATWOMAN #1 $2.99
AUG100140 BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME COMMISSIONER GORDON #1 $2.99
Dude, just go home already.

AUG100339 STAR TREK CAPTAINS LOG JELLICO (ONE SHOT) $3.99
Jellico was the twitchy, slightly psychopathic captain in the "four lights" episodes of Next Generation, right? I would totally look at this. Especially in a light serial comic book week.

JUL101319 40 DOONESBURY RETROSPECTIVE HC $100.00
This should be around for quite some time, available at different moments at an array of discount points and therefore not exactly something I'd pick up at a comics shop for full price. You may approach such things differently. This should be one to own, though, or at the very least deeply consider.

AUG101112 CHARLES BURNS X ED OUT GN $19.95
Charles Burns!

AUG100986 PICTURE THIS HC $29.95
Lynda Barry!

FEB108450 DRAGON PUNCHER HC BOOK 01 $9.95
MAY101137 DRAGON PUNCHER HC BOOK 01 $9.95
APR101090 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 04 MEAN LITTLE BOY $9.95
FEB108449 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 04 MEAN LITTLE BOY $9.95
The latest kids' comic from James Kochalka. I'm not certain why they're each listed twice.

AUG101176 CHI SWEET HOME GN VOL 03 $13.95
JUL101175 KINGYO USED BOOKS TP VOL 02 $12.99
Here's a couple of broad-audience appeal manga series, one I tried and liked but had no desire to continue and one I've been meaning to try.

JUL101191 VAGABOND TP VOL 33 (MR) $9.95
And here's the latest in a sterling adventure series.

AUG101270 ALTER EGO #97 $7.95
You know, that's a lot of issues. I would have guessed 65 or so if you had asked me cold.

AUG101284 DODGEM LOGIC MAGAZINE #4 (MR) $7.00
AUG101285 DODGEM LOGIC MAGAZINE #5 (MR) $7.00
Is this any good? Are people reading this? I have a suspicion I'd be a fan if I were near a comic shop that carried it but that there's no way in hell I'm ever going to see it since I don't.

*****

The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I didn't list your comic here, that's because I didn't want to. Tired fingers.

*****

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Go, Look: New Tom Gauld

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Your 2010 Isotope Excellence In Minicomics Award Winner: The Possum And The Pepper Spray

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Pete Hodapp's The Possum And The Pepper Spray won this year's Isotope Award For Excellence In Mini-Comics, given yearly to a mini selected by its group of judges from a large batch of entrants. Along with submitting for the prize comes the promise that you'll attend the giving out of the award at Isotope's party during Alternative Press Expo should you win.

The book is previewed here.''

This year's judges were Jann Jones, Brett Warnock, Kristen Baldock, James Sime and Ed Luce. Past winners include Danica Novgorodoff, Will Dinski and Josh Cotter.
 
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Go, Look: Simon Gane LP Cover

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Two Men Charged In Case Of Man Dying Of Heart Attack After Attempt To Steal His Comics Collection

I don't know there's anything to add commentary-wise in the case of a Rochester man who passed away after receiving a beating from thieves looking to steal his comic book collection, as the story seem pretty straight-forward, other than to note that it made me feel sorrowful in about five or six different ways. The incident took place last July, and the suspects were in court yesterday morning. From what I gather, the comic-book collection angle is either new or the local press hit it harder this time around. Homer Marciniak was the victim's name; the suspects are 17 and 40. More arrests and charges may be forthcoming. It looks like the 40-year-old ran a collectibles business as a sideline to running a Rochester-area club, and that Mr. Marciniak was targeted for robbery based on the perceived value of his collection. Marciniak had a pre-existing heart condition, so those involved won't be charged with murder.
 
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Go, Look: Colleen Coover’s Batman

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Go, Look: Steve Rude Visits The CBLDF, Leaves A Painting Of Superman Behind

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Go, Read: Night Olympics

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1, 2
 
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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: More Evans Romance

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Go, Look: Early Steve Ditko

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Go, Look: Classic Wayne Howard

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Go, Look: More From Escapade

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* if you couldn't at APE and thus in the audience to hear Dan Nadel and Dan Clowes nerd out over age-old, "who's stronger"-style questions such as "Burne Hogarth vs. Gil Kane," the next best thing is someone making a very faithful panel report out of the affair.

image* speaking of Nadel, he goes knives out on the new Jerry Robinson book -- not on Jerry Robinson, on the book. I haven't read the book yet, and I think more of Robinson as a superhero artist than Dan does by a tiny amount. Still, strategies like not engaging Gould when it comes to grotesque villains is the kind of thing that drives me nuts.

* I'd like to think people all over North America will read this article and immediately quit their current jobs. "Stuff it, losers! You can manage a home shopping jewelry returns warehouse if that's what you really want, but I'm making manga!"

* not comics: 1) I'm not all that familiar with this writer's work. 2) I agree with everything he says about the role of the critic and how that has little to do with spewing funny insults. 3) I'd still kill to have written the turn of phrase "face like a haunted cave in Poland."

* if you were looking to buy some books, you might want to buy some from Evan Dorkin.

* not comics: Mike Sterling makes a funny point that one problem he has in watching the long-running television show Smallville is that he was trained by the comic books to think of Superboy's adventures as being in the past and Superman's being the present, not Superboy's adventures being in the present and Superman yet to come.

* sometimes really old jokes are still quite funny.

* there's a bunch of obscure and semi-obscure material at Los Angeles' Family for sale right now, including all six issues of Raw Deal.

* this guy loves him some Xombi.

* one retailer paints a picture of the current market landscape and immediate prospects -- with paint created from toxic waste on a diaper stretched out as a canvas. I don't know this particular retailer, and it's always a bad sign for fair shake possibilities when someone says, basically, they're well known for saying stuff like this, but I do believe there's a deep pessimistic streak out there right now for many in the Direct Market, a way of thinking that's not very difficult to tap.

* not comics: I imagine it's important to Disney to have all the Avengers-related movies under their roof, although why beyond the obvious of wanting these profitable franchises generating money for them instead of someone else I couldn't really tell you.

* finally, people seem to be flipping out over that Wolverine story in the new Strange Tales effort.
 
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Quick hits
Craft
Going Hiking
The HMS Hornblower
On A Seth Fisher Panel
Steve Bissette Sketches
Comics Hanging On The Wall
Sean Phillips Draws From Life
JH Williams III Makes A Bookplate

Interviews/Profiles
CBR: Paul Cornell
CBR: Charles Burns
CBR: Marv Wolfman
Avoid The Future: Rui Tenreiro
Talking Comics With Tim: Nat Gertler

Not Comics
Love You Forever
Lizz Hickey Please Feel Better

Publishing
Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes

Reviews
Richard Bruton: Five
Rich Kreiner: Various
Paul O'Brien: Various
Todd Klein: The Flash #3
Andrew Wheeler: Various
Erin Jameson: Prime Baby
Bill Sherman: Hetalia Vol. 1
RC Harvey: Arguing Comics
Greg McElhatton: Market Day
Curt Purcell: The Walking Dead
Michael C. Lorah: The Sanctuary
Johanna Draper Carlson: Various
Sarah Boslaugh: Spirits Of St. Louis
Sean Gaffney: Dengeki Daisy Vol. 2
Dave Ferraro: 7 Billion Needles Vol. 1
Brian Warmoth: Strange Tales Vol. 2 #1
Andrew Wheeler: Drinking At The Movies
Sean T. Collins: The Education Of Hopey Glass
Richard Bruton: The Summit Of The Gods Vol. 1
Grant Goggans: Love & Rockets: New Stories #3
 

 
October 18, 2010


Go, Look: New Eleanor Davis Sketchblog

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thx, Brian Moore
 
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Velma Melmac Has Left The Park

imageIf you're looking for a testament to the power of comic strips big and small, you could do worse than this long article about Phil Frank's nature-phobic character Velma Melmac -- that's an all-time name, too -- who parked her air-conditioned trailer at Yosemite and beat nature into subservience for most years in the late cartoonist's long-running Farley. Even if you know nothing about Velma Melmac or Phil Frank or Farley it's hard not to see that at least for the reader who wrote this article the national-turned-local comic strip loomed large in his imagination. That's what comics do for a lot of people, they come to represent ideas or certain ways of thinking, giving faces to the voices inside of our heads.
 
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Go, Read: Jack Kirby And Mike Royer

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Jonny Rench, 1982-2010

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Jonny Rench, best known for his prolific output providing color for a wide variety of books published through the Wildstorm line at DC Comics, has apparently passed away over the weekend due to complications from a heart attack on Saturday. He was 28 years old.

Rench was born in Medford, Oregon, and attended school there, graduating from North Medford High. His father was a pastor at First Church of the Nazarene. While a teenager, he showed a significant proclivity towards art, and was encouraged to pursue a career in art by professors from whom he received supplemental training. He moved onto Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego to further his education, and targeted comics publishing with an extensive portfolio including self-published comics pages.

imageRench launched his career with Wildstorm Productions on books that began to hit the stands in 2006. In the course of his coloring career he worked on such projects as The Programme, Gen13 and Wetworks. An on-line biography says he also provided cover illustration work on such titles as Claw The Unconquered and Friday The 13th, although whether that means illustration or color work is unclear. Fans remember a color artist that worked hard to flatter the pencil artists and ink artists with whom he worked, and who employed a wide spectrum of basic color palettes and effects.

An obituary in the Medford newspaper noted a growing sideline in leather work, that Rench had been in Medford for about two years to be closer to friends and family, and was planning a move to cartoonist-rich Portland.

You can see samples of Rench's work in a blog devoted to showcasing his artistic skills here, a blog that looks like it was left behind in late 2009. A trip to Japan early that same year is documented in photos and diary-style postings here.

On-line bibliographies and indexes say that Rench also worked for Dark Horse, Aspen and Devil's Due on various projects. "He was an incredibly talented artist, and also an amazing, kind, joyful man," the writer of Wildstorm's twitter feed remembered this morning.

Jonny Rench is survived by his parents, two brothers, a sister, and various nieces and nephews. He was remembered in a memorial service on October 20, and was further profiled in the Medford newspaper here.

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Go, Look: Tom Sutton’s Covers

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Go, Look: Nexus Art Gallery

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Go, Look: Frazetta/Corben Gallery

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Go, Look: A Day Of Reckoning

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1, 2, 3
 
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Go, Look: Dan Spiegle’s Sindbad

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Go, Look: Animal Comics #12

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Go, Look: A Great Toth Panel

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Former CMX Director of Manga Asako Suzuki has joined Tokyopop in the position of Manga Line Editor. DC's CMX imprint was closed mid-summer, and its parent division has since closed.

* this ought to be good: Ng Suat Tong on some original Love & Rockets art.

image* long interviews with Lynda Barry are such fun that I don't even care to look if I linked to this one last week already. Equally fun to read are longish interviews with writer Neil Gaiman when he seems in an expansive mood.

* speaking of interviews, there aren't a ton of them out there with Roy Thomas, so this two-parter sticks out.

* if you're looking for one quirky comics-related must-read this morning that's not an interview with some personality-strong veteran creator, you could do much worse than checking out the adorable photo-fan project related to Guy Delisle's Pyongyang book.

* love for Mary Perkins.

* not comics: one discovery made in the last five years is that I have a seemingly insatiable appetite for black and white photos of newsstands like this one.

* the Schultz/Schulz one still irritates me a tiny bit, but I've let most of the others of this type go.

* not comics: this is almost hypnotically appealing/terrifying.

* silly Batman one; silly Batman two.

* Johanna Draper Carlson has advice on how to use Kickstarter, the group-funding mechanism/web site.

* not exactly comics: here's a well-traveled link of advice to PR people on how to work with media people covering whatever it is you do. I'm a terrible, moody, person that makes arbitrary decisions about coverage based on the order of cartoons I read in this week's New Yorker or how many times I step on a crack in the sidewalk walking the dog, so none of these sensible suggestions really apply to working with me. But I'd bet they'd help with most folks.

* the weird thing is, Wal-Mart makes you fill out almost the exact same job application.

* Professor Frank Santoro dissects the comics pages of Chester Brown.

* not comics: I don't really follow the Hollywood end of things, but this article by Warren Ellis made me laugh because I imagine you would very much not like material derived from stuff you created to flop.

* finally, backseat driving Best American Comics.
 
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Go, Look: Six By Rina Piccolo

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Quick hits
Craft
Little K
Drawing Reverend Zip
Drawing Wonder Woman
That Really Is A Funny Costume

Exhibits/Events
Mike Bertino Goes To Alumni Night

History
On Al Jaffee
On The Shadow
Babes With Big Bazookas
On Notes For A War Story
On Unus The Untouchable
Scott Pilgrim = Peter Parker + 50 Years

Industry
Setting The Terms Of Your Success

Interviews/Profiles
Inkstuds: Dave Cooper
Comics Alliance: Greg Pak
Newsarama: Adam Warren
Blog@Newsarama: Jen Wang
Wired: Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis
Ventura County Star: Sergio Aragones

Not Comics
Ming Patch
Tastes Like Musty Pulp
Eyeworks Animation Festival
Analysis Of Marvel's TV Plans
Benoit Mandelbrot, 1924-2010
He Saw It Advertised One Day
Dan Clowes Covers Samuel Fuller
A Funny Tony Millionaire Anecdote
Keep The Notebook, Kill The Shoes?
LinkedIn Better Than Anyone Expected

Publishing
On Eden
Black Panther #513 Previewed
Anne Ishii Recommends Lala Albert

Reviews
Rob Clough: Various
Jason Thompson: Jesus
Matt Seneca: Dear Logan
Greg McElhatton: Sisters' Luck
Don MacPherson: Soldier Zero #1
Christopher Allen: Deadpool MAX #1
Rich Kreiner: The Storm In The Barn
Alexander Hoffman: The Color Trilogy
Sean Gaffney: Chobits Omnibus Vol. 2
Andrew Wheeler: Omega The Unknown
Vom Marlowe: Dungeons & Dragons #0
 

 
October 17, 2010


Not Comics: Peter De Sève Blog

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Go, Read: Ward Sutton’s Review Of Boozehound At Barnes And Noble

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Can You Help? Another Scott Edelman Comics Panel Mystery Unfolds…

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Go, Look: Richmond Zine Fest Gallery

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Go, Look: Inking George O’Connor

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Go, Watch: Flipping Through Some DC Superheroes Pop-Up Book


 
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Go, Look: Jean-Claude Götting

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If I Were In Algeria, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Boston, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Western NY, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Pittsburgh, I’d Go To This

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FFF Results Post #231—Re-Reads

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Comics You've Re-Read This Year." This is how they responded.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. 1970s Peanuts, Charles Schulz
2. 1970s Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau
3. Hicksville, Dylan Horrocks
4. Early Prince Valiant, Hal Foster
5. Sick, Sick, Sick, Jules Feiffer

*****

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Jude Killory

1. Rubber Blanket -- D. Mazzucchelli
2. Understanding Comics/Making Comics -- S. McCloud
3. Green Lantern/Green Arrow Collection Vol. 1-2 -- D. O'Neil & N. Adams
4. Captain America 100-113 -- J. Kirby & J. Steranko
5. Fun Home -- A. Bechdel

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. "Won't Be Licked! The Great '37 Flood in Louisville" by Dan Zettwoch
2. Ganges #1-2 by Kevin Huizenga
3. Sshhhh! by Jason
4. Citizen Rex #1 & 2 by Mario & Gilbert Hernandez
5. the various strips reprinted in R. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics

*****

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Jones

* Queen and Country, Greg Rucka et al.
* Plastic Man Archives, Jack Cole
* Drifting Classroom, Kazuo Umezu
* Buddha, Osamu Tezuka
* House, Josh Simmons

*****

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Rich Tommaso

1. X-Force Peter Milligan, Mike Allred
2. Louis Riel Chester Brown
3. The Human Target Peter Milligan, Javier Pulido, Cliff Chiang
4. The New Frontier Darwyn Cooke
5. Penny Century Jaime Hernandez

*****

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Karl Stevens

* From Hell
* 80's Crumb
* David Chelsea In Love
* Peanuts '65-70
* Hate

*****

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Tom Mason

* Krazy Kat by George Herrimann
* The Shadow by Howard Chaykin
* Conchy by James Childress
* Peter Arno's Sizzling Platter
* Jeremiah: Frontier Zone by Hermann

*****

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Uriel A. Duran

1) Creature Tech, Doug TenNapel
2) DC:The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke
3) Sin City:Family Values, Frank Miller
4) Paper Biscuit, Ronnie del Carmen
5) My Faith In Frankie, Mike Carey, Sonny Liew & Marc Hempel

*****

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Max Fischer

1. Jack Survives, by Jerry Moriarty
2. Powr Mastrs, by CF
3. Everything by John Stanley
4. Scott Pilgrim, by Brian Lee O'Malley
5. Luba, by Gilbert Hernandez

*****

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Lee Leslie

1. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
2. Savage Sword of Conan by Roy Thomas, John Buscema et al.
3. Casanova by Matt Fraction
4. Batman Adventures by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
5. Heavy Liquid by Paul Pope

*****

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J. Colussy-Estes

1. King City vol. 1
2. Very, Very Sweet vols. 5-7
3. The Hookah Girl & Other True Stories
4. Wonton Soup vol. 1
5. Bloody Benders

*****

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Brandon Graham

1. Twilight X, Joe Wight
2. Appleseed, Masamune Shirow
3. The Woman Trap, Enki Bilal
4. Finder, Carla Speed Mcneil
5. Albedo, Steve Gallacci

*****

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Russell Lissau

1. The Far Sides, vols. 2 and 3 and The Prehistory of the Far Side
2. Doonesbury, "And The Kid Goes For Broke," and other 1970s-era collections
3. The various Bloom County collections
4. Darwyn Cooke's Parker: The Hunter
5. 100 Bullets

*****

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Michael May

1. Artesia
2. The Killer
3. Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne
4. Okko: The Cycle of Water
5. Boneyard

*****

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Isaac Cates

This one's pretty easy for me, because I'm teaching a graphic novel class this semester, but I'll try to go off-syllabus some.

1. Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons
2. The Alan Moore run on Swamp Thing
3. Alison Bechdel, Fun Home
4. Conway & Swan, Superman #311
5. Jack Kirby, The Eternals #3

*****

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Eric Knisley

1. Dal Tokyo (Gary Panter)
2. Good-Bye (Yoshihiro Tatsumi)
3. Why I Hate Saturn (Kyle Baker)
4. Black Hole (Charles Burns)
5. Furlington Mackelthwaite in the Awful Truth (Eric Knisley)

*****

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Danny Ceballos

1. Kramers Ergot #4
2. The Jungle Book, H. Kurtzman
3. Sandman #19, Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess
4. I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!, Fletcher Hanks
5. Nine Ways To Disappear, Lilli Carre

*****

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Andrew Horton

* Justice League (The Giffen/DeMetteis years)
* Bloom County ( I can't believe how much I realized I missed this strip)
* Tales of Woodsman Pete (Lilli Carre is probably only a book away from being a superstar)
* Prison Pit One (Because awesome)
* Batman (i think think think I've figured out what Morrison is doing. And I love that I'm probably wrong)

*****

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Thomas Scioli

1. Shade the Changing Man, Steve Ditko
2. Micronauts #1-12, Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden
3. Captain America, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee
4. Daredevil Born Again, Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli
5. Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 28, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima

*****

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Joe Schwind

* Fresca Zizis, Melinda Gebbie
* the Guindon collections, Richard Guindon
* King of the Royal Mounted (FC363), Jim Gary
* Mister X 1-4, Motter, Rivoche, Los Bros Hernandez
* Spacehawk 1-5, Basil Wolverton

*****

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Rob Clough

1. Hicksville
2. Bughouse
3. Acme Novelty Library #19
4. Supermonster: Gloriana
5. Late Bloomer

*****

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Matt Seneca

1. Fantastic Four: Big In Japan, by Seth Fisher and Zeb Wells
2. The Complete Walt & Skeezix, by Frank King
3. Black Hole, by Charles Burns
4. Paradax, by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Milligan
5. Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby, by Takashi Nemoto

*****

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Rodrigo Baeza

* Black Kiss, Howard Chaykin
* David Mazzucchelli's solo work (decided to re-read his short stories before reading Asterios Polyp for the first time)
* The sections of Jacques Tardi's It Was the War of the Trenches that Drawn & Quarterly published in the 90's (re-read in the new Fantagraphics edition)
* Rip Kirby, Alex Raymond (the strips reprinted in the first IDW volume)
* Grant Morrison et al.'s Batman comics (from Batman and Son up to Batman R.I.P.)

*****

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David Jones

1. Inhumans (90's, Jenkins/Lee) 1-12
2. Prez 1-4 (also the Canceled Comics Cavalcade issue)
3. Sub-Mariner (70's) 55-72
4. Flex Mentallo 1-4
5. Adventures of Bob Hope 95-105

*****

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Mark Coale

1. Terminal City (both volumes)
2. Walt Simonson Thor
3. Ostrander Suicide Squad
4. Sandman Mystery Theatre
5. 1970s Claw the Unconquered

*****

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Fabio Antibas

1 - Doom Patrol (Grant Morrison's run)
2 - Doom Patrol (Drake and Premiani's run)
3 - Doom Patrol (Paul Kupperberg's run)
4 - Doom Patrol (Rachel Pollack's run)
5 - Doom Patrol (Grant Morrison's run; yes, again)

I had to compare Morrison's run with the others just to be sure it was as good as I remembered it to be. It's better. And I am not counting Byrne's...

*****

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Chad Nevett

1. Transmetropolitan, Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson
2. Dark Reign: Zodiac, Joe Casey & Nathan Fox
3. All-Star Superman, Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
4. Warlock, Jim Starlin
5. Sin City, Frank Miller

*****

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James Langdell

1. The Heart of Jeremy Mith, Steve Ditko
2. The Last Flower, James Thurber
3. Little Nothings 2, Lewis Trondheim
4. Alec stories (as represented in The Years Have Pants), Eddie Campbell
5. Private Beach, David Hahn

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. Walt Simonson's run on Thor
2. Lum
3. Dark Knight Returns
4. Sleeper
5. Lone Wolf and Cub

*****

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Joe Keatinge

1. The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon/Explorers On The Moon, written and illustrated by Herge
2. The Airtight Garage, written and illustrated by Moebius
3. The Invisibles, written by Grant Morrison and Illustrated By A Whole Lot Of Artists
4. The Walking Dead, written by Robert Kirkman and Illustrated by Tony Moore & Charlie Adlard
5. Casanova, written by Matt Fraction and Illustrated by Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Captain Easy Sundays 1933-1935
2. Fables 1-90 (for a panel prep)
3. The Long Road Home/The War Within by Trudeau
4. Johnny Hazard Sundays 1958-1964
5. Astro City: Confession

*****

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David Brothers

1. Flex Mentallo, Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely
2. Hellboy In Mexico, or A Drunken Blur, Mike Mignola/Richard Corben
3. Gunsmith Cats, Kenichi Sonoda
4. Preacher, Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon
5. We3, Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely

*****

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John Vest

1. 1970's Fantastic Four, Roy Thomas issues (including the parallel worlds storyline with the two Things)
2. Howard The Duck, Steve Gerber
3. El Borbah stories, Charles Burns
4. Harold Hedd comics, Rand Holmes
5. Conan The Barbarian, Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith issues

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Popeye, Elsie Segar
2. Barry Ween Boy Genius, Judd Winick
3. Space Family Robinson a.k.a. Lost In Space, Dan Spiegle
4. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Dick Calkins
5. Doofus, Rick Altergott

*****

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Sean T. Collins

* The Locas material from Love and Rockets Vol. 1, Jaime Hernandez
* The ACME Novelty Library #20, Chris Ware
* Batman R.I.P., Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel
* Pluto Vols. 1-3, Naoki Urasawa
* The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Phoebe Gloeckner

*****

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Grant Goggans

1. 2000 AD progs ~1330 to 1450
2. 1970s Doonesbury
3. 1970s Defenders
4. I guess about the first half of Brian Bendis's run on Daredevil
5. All the Avengers that have been reprinted in the Essentials

*****

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John Platt

1. Every issue of Usagi Yojimbo
2. The complete Hellboy and BPRD series
3. Early Saga of the Swamp Thing issues
4. Peanuts (1966-1970)
5. Most of P Craig Russell's Opera comics

*****

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Eric Newsom

* Tintin in Tibet by Herge
* Super Spy by Kindt
* The Palomar collection by Gilbert Hernandez
* Human Target: Final Cut by Milligan & Pulido
* Mad's Dave Berg Looks Around by Roger Kaputnik

*****

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Jamie S. Rich

1. Mage: The Hero Discovered by Matt Wagner
2. The Complete Rocketeer by Dave Stevens
3. Black Kiss by Howard Chaykin
4. The Amazon by Steven T. Seagle, Tim Sale, & Matt Hollingsworth
5. Time2 Vols. 1-2 by Howard Chaykin

*****

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Anthony Acri

5. DC comics spotlight 36, i think, the origin of the justice society vs. Hitler
4. Essential Nova
3. the run of power of shazam by Jerry Ordway.
2. the national lampoon funny pages special
1. Action comics/Superman 1

*****

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Brian Moore

* Omac, Jack Kirby
* Sinner Munoz and Sampayo
* Black Blizzard, Yoshihiro Tatsumi
* The Grasshopper & The Ant Harvey Kurtzman
* You Are There Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest

*****
*****
 
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October 16, 2010


The Comics Reporter Video Parade







thx, domingos



via



Interview with Comics Letterer/Writer Richard Starkings from The Comic Archive on Vimeo.
via


Interview with Comics Writer Steve Niles from The Comic Archive on Vimeo.
via


The Sanctuary Promo #2 from Andrew Perrine on Vimeo.
via




via







via
 
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CR Week In Review

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The top comics-related news stories from October 9 to October 15, 2010:

1. Zunar and his publisher will be allowed to challenge his books being banned.

2. WaPo criticized by ombudsman for not running Non Sequitur cartoon that mentions Muhammed.

3. New York Comic Con concludes.

Winner Of The Week
Kuang Biao

Loser Of The Week
Washington Post

Quote Of The Week
"The show is a huge success, obviously, good for them, but it's overstuffed, I mean, they have exhibitor tables right outside the friggin' bathrooms, fer corn's sake, and fate forbid a fire ever breaks out while the cattle drive is in the halls." -- Evan Dorkin

*****

today's cover is from the 1940s-1950s mainstream comics publisher Avon

*****
*****
 
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If I Were In MN, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Algeria, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In MN, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Boston, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Pittsburgh, I’d Go To This

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October 15, 2010


Friday Distraction: Ken Parille’s 35 Short, Illustrated Essays About Comics

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Idaho Man Pleads Guilty To Owning Cartoon Images Of Sexual Acts Including Simpsons Characters

The disturbing trend of people being convicted for possessing imagery of sexual acts considered obscene by the court with jurisdiction, images that don't involve actual people in their production or depiction, continues in Idaho.

Thirty-three year old Steven Kutzner pleaded guilty on Wednesday to "Possession Of Obscene Visual Representations Of The Sexual Abuse Of Children." He will be sentenced in early 2011 and faces a maximum of ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to a quarter million dollars. A former teach that resigned about his arrest, Kutzner's arrest came about by cooperation between German and U.S. police forces. Kutzner's IP address was identified from activity he engaged in on October 4-5.

Seventy images were found during a 2009 search on Kutzner's computer of cartoon pornographic images including scenes involving the children characters from The Simpsons.

I find this slightly terrifying, as not only does this mean he's going to be convicted for an idea of something, there are things I can conceive of owning that have a clear satirical purpose -- Disneyland Orgy kind of stuff -- that I might not even think of as naughty in this way let alone deserving of a stint in the federal pokey. Heck, when I was in kindergarten I spent some time in Mrs. Sollenberger's class drawing naked pictures of my classmates peeing on which I placed the imaginative caption "This is you peeing." I wasn't exactly Steve Rude, naturally, but maybe the federal courts wouldn't have cared. I find the whole thing baffling and troubling.
 
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And Then Some Days You Click On Things At YouTube Until You Find Something You Hadn’t Seen Before…



... even if everyone else has.
 
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Go, Read: Cartoon-Style Billboard In Colorado Garners National Attention For Its Insight And Nuance

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I don't have any comment on this, because it seems to me a non-story and any issues it raises are so painfully broad so as to almost deflect further inquiry, but I thought it was worth bringing to your attention. Also, that the artist said it was too partisan because he hates the other party, too, made me laugh despite myself.
 
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Go, Look: DC Comics Photos

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Go, Read: Retailer Brian Hibbs On Production Issues In The DM

Brian Hibbs' article on how the mainstream comics publishers can be suppliers to the Direct Market stores they service is well worth a read. It would be nice if there was a bunch of attention paid to production issues in terms of how to maximize sales through those channels, and that the companies stop stabbing themselves in the face is the most we can expect is one of those things that makes you shake your head. But seriously, they are so many years into servicing those markets that there should probably be a bigger list of no-nos by now.

Hibbs also makes a pretty good point that the price changes will make for rocky 1Q of 2011, because the price reduction will be immediate and any sales gains that mitigate those profits lost will be gradual, which is a great point.
 
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Go, Look: Top Ten ‘70s Marvel List

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someone make me this t-shirt
 
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Collective Memory: NYCC 2010

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this article has been archived; please click through the link to go to the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Classic Bruce Jones

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Algeria, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Manchester, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Boston, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Plastic Man’s Odd, Market-Dictated Drift Into Horror Material

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Go, Look: Fight Comics #53

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Go, Look: Classic Golden Age Curved Panel Borders Page Layout

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Sean T. Collins explores why the lack of a strong alt-/arts- presence at the New York Comic Con kept his butt at home. People in comics get mad when someone makes an outright declaration of values in terms of the comics like Collins has here. I think it's fair to judge a show by their ability to attract all of the kinds of comics and comics makers they set out to attract, and NYCC itself has acknowledged they could be a better show by the presence of that arena of comics.

image* that is one striking Alex Nino panel at the bottom of this page.

* well, yeah.

* I wanted to post this if only for the novelty of a Filipino art post coming from someone other than the great Gerry Alanguilan.

* it's funny because it's topical. And because it's funny.

* Lea Hernandez draws Vincent Price. One of the great used bookstore gets is the Vincent Price cookbook, if you can ever track one down.

* David Brothers discusses sex and the superhero via a sequence in Flex Mentallo.

* I like those shoes.

* go, buy: Derek Kirk Kim is selling some attractive art.

* I'm going to look into this a bit further if I get the chance, but I always figure everybody sells everything, including e-mail lists.

* so maybe digital distribution will save the comic book, in a sense.

* not comics: Chris Butcher recommends an article on how to be a good PR person from the vantage point of a busy journalist.

image* St. Louis is lousy with good cartoonists -- nearly all of them qualifying as young cartoonists -- and Matt Kindt is a fine one, for sure.

* not comics: hearing about St. Louis reminds me that I don't know exactly what former one-time (briefly) Fantagraphics art director -- he also worked for that Chicago comics company whose name I can never remember -- Evan Sult is up to these days.

* Mat Brinkman beer.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald explores via massive linkage the issue of price points in mainstream serial comics right now. I don't agree with the analysis generally or in some of the specifics, but it's fun to noodle along and see where you agree and/or disagree. That headline is somewhat irksome -- I don't think anyone on the planet thinks that dropping the price point is going to save comics and as I explained one of the tough things about selling the price drop is that at best you're solving a problem that could crop up if the price point continued -- but I think it's an overall positive to see people react to an issue by bringing in complicating factors such as perceived value rather than just rejecting/accepting what's in front of them.
 
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Happy 38th Birthday, Cayetano Garza!

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Quick hits
Coming Up To Speed On Derik A Badman
* On BACC
* On Mushishi
* On Secret Prison
* On Asterios Polyp
* On David Bordwell
* On Abstract Comics
* On R. Crumb's Genesis
* On Proper Well Go High
* On Two Panels By Herge
* On Class And Criticism Links
* On Masereel's Leaps In Time
* On Art Comics And Indie Comics
* On The BACC Roundtable At TCJ.com
* On RC Harvey's Take On R. Crumb's Genesis
 

 
Please Keep In Mind The Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Fundraisers

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*****

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October 14, 2010


The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows & Major Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* another big convention weekend, right after the New York Comic Con: Alternative Press Expo (APE), Wizard World New England (or however they're phrasing it) and the inaugural Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo (PIX). There's even a small show in the gorgeous western part of New York.

* the Festival of Cartoon Art at OSU is this weekend as well. It starts today. That one for some reason runs under the average comics reader's radar, but imagine a stellar comics convention panel line-up -- I believe Art Spiegelman and Matt Groening are speaking, and Gene Yang wrote into CR during the final stages of preparing for talk he'll give Saturday -- preceded by a small but effective academic presentations slate (that's what's going up today) and from what I understand, no commerce. All on the grounds of those amazing comics holdings. Alan Gardner's in attendance as are any number of comic strip-focused journalists, and I'll scan the sites to see what was discussed, although the networking in that focused a group of comics superstars and key industry figures must be amazing as well. And if you're already upset you're not in attendance -- as I am -- I believe this year there's a focus on the dispensation of Jay Kennedy's world-class underground comics collection.

* the big focus, I'd say, is on APE, a show that of all the major comics shows I suspect will have the most interesting 2010 to 2012 as it settles into a place on the calendar and benefits from their organizer, CCI, having all its eggs in a row with its shows and what it hopes to accomplish with each one. This year offers up a pretty stellar special-guest list: Lynda Barry (who would be worth attending if the show were Lynda Barry con, and she were the only guest -- if she's doing any kind of public presentation or panel climb over the bodies of your friends to attend it), Dan Clowes (potential book of the year candidate with Wilson), Megan Kelso, Renee French, Tommy Kovac, Rich Koslowski and Tony Millionaire. Note the amazing female cartoonists on that list, which will make a great follow-up to CCI's stuffed guest list of arts-comics talents like Vanessa Davis and Carol Tyler.

* I keep on forgetting to post this, although if you're hearing it from me, that would be sort of weird: eligible folks (8-12) that want in on some of that sweet prize jury action at Angouleme can apply through information provided here.
 
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Shintaro Miyawaki, 1942/43-2010

imageAnime News Network reports that the cartoonist Shintaro Miyawaki passed away on Saturday, October 9 from complications following a heart attack. He was 67 years old.

Miyawaki was best known for creating the satirical Rapeman series, which ran from 1985 to 1992. Credited as a collaboration with a writer named Keiko Aisaki, later revealed to be a fictional creation in order to soften potential criticism of the series, Rapeman involved a contractual-service businessman that handled cases brought to them by employing rape techniques by the penis-masked, pants-less titled character. "Despite regretting some of the contracts he fulfills," intones the series' wikipedia page, "he always does the job."

Thirteen volumes of the manga were released, followed by nine live-action film adaptations, a computer game with sequels and an anime version.

imageThe name and surface character attributes of Rapeman were probably better-traveled than the manga or its spin-offs because of their obviously controversial nature. Maybe most famously in American pop culture circles, the name Rapeman was at appropriated by engineeer/musician Steve Albini as the name of his late-1980s band. "You open up this comic book and there's this superhero who rapes people, as his profession. It's pretty amazing," Albini said in a 1994 interview. "So Ray Washam and I -- the drummer from Rapeman -- he and I were both sort of obsessed with this comic book for a while, we just thought it was the most amazing thing and kept looking at it, and we just realized that we should call the band that."

The character and concept also fueled the occasional sweeping declaration about the nature of manga/anime expression, as seen in this Roger Ebert column.

Miyawaki was also a gekiga cartoonist, and the ANN obituary names Hatsukoi Album and Pai no Oto Stories as works in that area of comics.

Services were held this morning. He is survived by his wife Kumiko.
 
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Go, Look: Hunger Games

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don't know how this got stuck in my links folder, but it's pretty good
 
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Ma Maman Wins Frankfurt Prize

The hobby-business news and analysis site ICv2.com notes that Ma maman est en Amerique, elle a rencontre Buffalo Bill, Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo's internationally well-received graphic novel (published in English by Fanfare/Ponent Mon), picked up the German Youth Literature Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair just past. The article notes the book has been honored in North America (with Eisner nominations) and France (by making the Essentials list at Angouleme). I think Emile Bravo is one of those creators that should be on the short list of North American favorites even for those that don't know but about five such cartoonists, so I'm happy to see this work thus honored. The German version was published by Carlsen.
 
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Go, Look: C’est L’Hiver

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Collective Memory: NYCC 2010

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this article has been archived; please click through the link to go to the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Early Tumbleweeds

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people forget how quickly this one was a hit
 
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If I Were In Algeria, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Frank Miller Marvel Covers

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Go, Look: Classic Bob Powell

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Go, Look: Dark Mysteries #5

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* there's always something extremely distasteful about marching out strips into some sort of contest in order to keep their positions in the newspaper. It's not difficult to see why papers do it, but I think we were all better off when editors made decisions on what a newspaper would run based on their professional decision-making prowess rather than acquiesce so constantly and fully to an imperfect system of "approval" from the readers. My father was fond of pointing out that if he had listened to the readers, they would have stopped running Calvin and Hobbes a month in.

image* you know, I always forget that Tom The Dancing Bug is out there, and my life is poorer for that.

* TCJ.com is re-running a fascinating interview with William Gaines that was published in the magazine 9700 years ago. They're splitting it up into component parts, and so you may have to poke around a bit for subsequent installments (I'm posting this on Tuesday), but here's the first chunk.

* not comics: this might be good if they get James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal to play the leads. Oh, you've wondered.

* not comics: Mark Evanier describes a golden era for air travel where you could hop on and off airplanes much more easily and with a greater selection of travel times than you can now. Heck, I'd settle for the relative ease and cheapness of the system we had 1998-2000 before the airlines began to vigorously grind down on their regional flights. I once flew from Seattle to Washington, D.C. for a Small Press Expo for $116 round trip.

* on Cyril Pedrosa and his use of white space. You know what Cyril Pedrosa-related space I'm interested in? The space on my bookshelf where more Cyril Pedrosa English-language books might go. Someone translate more of his books, please.

* not comics: our condolences to longtime friend of this site Buzz Dixon on the loss of his father.

* Sean Collins reviews Perla La Loca. I'm enjoying this series a great deal.

* not comics: Zack Soto is right: this may be the greatest comics-related t-shirt ever. (Facebook only)

* here's a solid interview with Eric Reynolds, associate publisher at Fantagraphics, on the achievement that is 20 issues of the anthology MOME. I was hoping for a second that Eric would go ahead and just slaughter two or three cartoonists that somehow failed him, but I have to admit, I couldn't think of anyone who's done really bad work for that publication, either.

* finally, I hope you're looking for one more good comics-related chat because here's a fine interview with the always-compelling Renee French.
 
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Happy 32nd Birthday, Vanessa Davis!

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Happy 66th Birthday, Cam Kennedy!

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Quick hits
Coming Up To Speed On Sean Kleefeld
* On Smile
* On Athena
* On Box 13
* On Tales Of Woe
* On Underground
* On Ode To Kirihito
* On Bakuman Vol. 1
* On A Wealth Of Fable
* On 20 Out Of 30 Days
* On Fantastic Four #570-574
* On Comic-Con Survival Guide
* On Finding Frank And His Friend
* On The Complete Ouija Interviews
* On Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk
 

 
Please Keep In Mind The Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Fundraisers

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*****

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October 13, 2010


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked

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By Tom Spurgeon

* Mike Bertino has published a preview of the wraparound cover for Trigger #2, and I like the way it looks. So many pretty colors!

image* via John Vest comes word of this blog posting containing details on Steve Ditko's latest.

* I keep on wanting to mention this and forgetting, but in the spirit of the great blog Covered comes Repaneled, which will do for interior comics images what its forebear has done for covers. Well, that's the idea, anyway. Gotta love that Wolverine image. Bookmark it now, if you haven't already.

* the Batman Beyond title will be an ongoing in 2011. I guess it makes sense if they're going to work in greater harmony between the various non-comics businesses featuring DC characters and print publishing that this series would become an ongoing.

* the hobby business news site ICv2.com predicts that Scott Pilgrim will be the #1 book property in comics by the end of the year. They also have a nice preview up of the forthcoming Fanfare/Ponent Mon effort Farm 54.

* Proof, the Bigfoot hunting other monsters comic book series from Image, is returning.

* the team of Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee are working together again, on a title called Batman: Europa -- or an issue of that title, I can't tell. Man, there are a lot of Batman comics right now.

* here's one I hadn't heard of at all, coming out in April as the debut book of something called Neoglyphic Media: Emergence.

* not comics: Dean Haspiel provided the illustration used on the cover of The Dangers Of Dissent.

* here's a Facebook page for the new issue of Studygroup 12, which I think means it has to come out.

* I ran a link to this on its own last Sunday, but this interview with Scott Chantler is about his new book Two Generals, which drops in two weeks. It's stuffed with supplementary information and images.

* finally, if I'm reading the table of contents correctly and not just jumping to a rash conclusion, Aviv Itzcovitz's Stupid Snake Comics is getting close to on-line completion.

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Now That The Dust Has Settled And The Hangovers Have Faded, A Few Notes From Afar On NYCC 2010

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I didn't get to attend New York Comic Con (NYCC) this year. I regret not being able to go. In many ways 2010 is the year of the convention as much as it's the year of the digital comic. NYCC offered both.

NYCC has been an influential show since its inception. It helped shove Wizard down the path to their current slate of slightly seedy, celebrity-focused pop-culture shows. NYCC's identity as a Reed show has both legitimized the weird pageant/garage sale elements of funnybook conventions and helped call into question the longtime Reed effort BookExpo America's (BEA) identity as an industry rather than a consumer show. NYCC's struggles and successes have placed into relief the accomplishments of Comic-Con International (CCI). NYCC's basic model has given credibility to mainstream-focused regional shows like Heroes Con and Emerald City Comicon. Reed's show has been a boon for the NYC comics scene and has given a lot of creators on the East Coast and in Great Britain either another show they can attend or perhaps a new primary show. Not bad for a first half-decade. Not being there disappoints.

NYCC is also an odd show. While it draws guests from places around the country and abroad -- and from various corners of the world of comics -- it relies heavily on New York and its major publishers for many of its professional attendees and the city's significant comic book fan community for its audience. NYCC exudes a musky mainstream comics aroma. The arts comics publishers mostly don't attend, and the projected influence of the book publishing crowd at the show's conception has never quite materialized. As of noon on Monday, I'd yet to see a single big news story or Internet posting that revolved around a book publisher. Even Artists Alley and the Top Shelf-led indy/alt portions of the floor get mentioned more than such publishers in con reports. NYCC has grown very quickly, with drips and drabs of drama along the way, mostly focused on the first year ticket sales fiasco and the comics community's initial, super-snotty, scene-making "I got mine" response to it. I would have liked to have seen what the con was like up close: how wide the aisles were, how many people were clogging it, how well-attended certain panels were, how much of the show seemed focused on the general pop-culture flash of comics and how much on an actual reading experience, who was buying what from where. There's nothing like being on the floor of a show to learn about a show.

In addition, the 2010 iteration of NYCC was apparently a well-lubricated event, with packed parties galore. It was a blowout. A confluence of factors contributed to this: New York City's generally wonderful Fall season, an exhausting 2010 mainstream con schedule coming to an end (there are arts shows and regional shows of import yet to come this calendar year), release from the worry about a wholesale DC Comics' relocation to Burbank, the drama of people being let go or transferred from that company in the partial relocation, and a general uncertainty as to how big-company involvement will continue to have an impact on the comics-making future five years down the line. NYCC also puts some swagger into certain steps because it seems a more comics-focused show, and that's important to a lot of people. If there's anything we know about conventions, it's that people like to be as close to the center of attention or some variation of it -- even simple recognition! -- as possible. I don't think making sure the pros have a good time and everybody gets to see their comics buddies is the primary value of conventions, let alone the end goal of the entire comics industry, but I'll grant you that a hopping social scene can have a dramatic impact on the desirability factor in attending a show and in the general mood of many professionals.

Here's what came to mind sitting in a room very far away from the New York show, swinging at what got thrown my way.

*****

image* One thing right up top that I haven't seen reported too many places -- one Facebook page, actually -- that I only know about because I was supposed to be on-hand is that Mort Walker received the Cartoon Art Museum's Sparky Award at the show. He was informed with a camera present during a Saturday panel he did with Andrew Farago. You can read about the award here. Congratulations to Mr. Walker, and a personal thank you to Mr. Farago.

* Let's talk about the show itself first. Attendance-wise NYCC 2010 fell somewhere between partial and full sell-out. The total as of Monday afternoon was 95,142 -- I'm not being funny, that's the figure Lance Fensterman sent me. That could and should go up as NYCC's retail partners report back in with how many tickets they sold. NYCC forgoes turnstyle counting: as best as they are able, each attendee is counted once. That means someone with a three-day pass is one person, not three.

* Those attendance figures are good news for organizer ReedPop, as is the generally positive first round of reaction from fans in attendance and a what seem mostly like warmth from those exhibiting or attending as professionals.

* The downside to having your con well-attended is that you have crowding and security issues. Evan Dorkin talks about the overcrowding Saturday here. He's right in that order to remain a first class show you can't have people routinely jostled and pushed around; it's a very thin line between "not being able to get around the show" as an amusing side-comment in one's write-up and "not being able to get around the show" as the focus of an everything-that's-wrong-with-the-con diatribe. In other words, I think there was enough goodwill in the air and good times to be had to override these concerns for 2010 but that's not always going to be the case. They need to hit this hard.

* I'm not a fire expert and I fell asleep during Backdraft, but it also seems to me that the show's many traffic bottlenecks are a bad thing. I would imagine this gets better as construction at the Javits Center concludes, and I'm sure the con organizers and facility personnel are well aware of this.

* What the attendance figures and generally positive reactions mean for future years is unclear, and will have to wait until at least after ReedPOP's post-show self-analysis. The show could grow. NYCC apparently has a bit of room to expand at the Javits Center. They could also conceivably add a day, although attendance was at its highest on Saturday and a four-day show brings with it a certain level of drag that you only start to get at a three-day event.

* It looks like the choice of placing the show permanently in the Fall is a hit. I thought NYCC would be successful there. Who doesn't want to go to New York City in the Fall? Which citizens of Geek Nation already in New York aren't looking for something to do besides watching football or raking leaves on a random October weekend? Still, there's always the chance folks are going to be too burnt out to go to any major event on the calendar that's later in the year. That may be one key way the New York setting helps the show. New York is one of the few cities that can generate a six-figure audience to a show all by itself. It doesn't count on people flying in. New York can be a national show just by being New York.

* Given the generally positive word-of-mouth, I can imagine NYCC taking the place of San Diego's CCI for a certain type of comic book fan, particularly mainstream superhero comic book fans located on the East Coast.

* Programming. I'm not hearing much of anything in terms of how they stuck the landing. That's a good thing: no one jumps on-line to report a smooth-running set of panels. I have yet to hear any "Oh My God" reports about any particular panel beyond the size of the Walking Dead panel crowd. That's less of a positive sign, although it's not necessarily a damning one. My guess is that programming went reasonably well on the ground.

* One reason that's worth mentioning is because programming was a bit of a mess in the scheduling and announcement phase. A Kodansha USA panel was listed that wasn't supposed to be. Colleen Doran and Ted Rall were two pros announced as being on panels when they had no intention of attending the show. Companies that had gone out of business were hosting panels. There were a number of panels announced without details as to who would be participating. There's just no excuse for this kind of thing in a convention's fifth year.

* Perhaps the most surprising development in the days leading up to NYCC is that programming ran until 9 PM. The Javits Center is kind of off by itself. It's not super-close to anything. If you decided to stay through, you're going to miss events in the city, and if you go to see something outside of the convention, you run the risk of missing something at the show. If you wanted to see Drew Friedman sign in Brooklyn, for example, you were basically cutting yourself out of three hours of programming. There's a significant commuter element to the show, too, which means some people are going to have to leave early. Even if you grant NYCC's claim that there was so much awesome programming that they couldn't find a space for it all, and I'm not sure I do, I think they can find a better solution than the one they have now.

* At future shows, many of this year's potential problems will be ameliorated because people will now expect late-night programming and build in the appropriate wriggle room vis-à-vis other plans. (Or continue to ignore potential conflicts altogether; your mileage may vary.) Two dangers that will remain are 1) NYCC running the risk of creating two classes of programming, based on the time of day they're being held. If I were a PR person, I know I'd want my panels to go off before 6 PM. 2) NYCC may end up discouraging organizers from having events outside the show, events that add to the city-celebration aspect of many a great convention.

image* In the same general vein, I thought that the ICv2.com Conference On Comics And Digital was put on the schedule later than it should have been if organizers expected people from out of town to have a fair shot at attending. I'm not sure why that couldn't be announced with at least some certainty much sooner than it was. Even if reporters from out of town knew the intention was to have some sort of conference, it would help in planning a trip.

* Granted, I may be the only reporter from out of town that needs this kind of notice. But hey, I'm people, too.

* Another recurring theme in what people are telling me that seems to be buttressed by what people are writing -- not hearing back from the show definitively about table space. As in "I did try to get a table but never heard back from the con."

* More press (I'm sorry): I hate to say it, but if NYCC really let in 2900 press people as I've heard, they did not get 2900 press people's worth of coverage.

* Don't get me wrong: I understand the strategy of having a liberal press pass policy. I do. You're buying the entirety of the coverage with those passes, and it's better to overshoot than undershoot. CCI does this, too. I also understand that twitter and Facebook have bled off some of the matter-of-record reporting that people used to do on blogs and through sites. Still, with the exception of the usual suspects it seems like we're getting weaker and weaker cumulative efforts at these events, even as more reporters from different fields descend upon these mega-events. With all the attention being paid, we should be getting better and more varied and fascinating portrayals of conventions. We're not. It wasn't that long ago when you could find 20 thorough blog posts, a baker's dozen worth of news stories and two or three columns that, when combined, built a compelling picture of any show you'd care to name. I miss that.

* It's funny, though, how much press involvement at conventions has changed in general. I remember one of the Chicago Cons in the late 1990s, when it was still by acclimation the #2 show, and I caught a glimpse of the entire expected press list as I was added to it: eight people.

* In case you were wondering, the Super Bowl in 2009 gave out 4500 press passes. Slightly more coverage resulted.

* The best summary of the numbers and issues discussed at the ICv2.com digital comics conference is here.

* My first reaction? The industry trending numbers provided were alarming. I don't know how that couldn't be your first reaction. Graphic novel and manga sales way down, in both bookstores and the DM, and that's even discounting the anomaly that was Watchmen's flurry of sales before and right after the movie adaptation came out.

* Second reaction: I'm not sure that the actual numbers provided for digital comics prove to be any more encouraging than the obvious growth potential for that market. It's that early in the move towards digital comics.

* Third reaction: the price point for mobile content is going to want to be really, really low, at a time when comics providers are just now playing around with the upper end of price points that might make digital comics reasonably viable for computers and notepad-type computers. In other words, if you nearly had a heart attack reading about Dark Horse offering $1.49 comics across various platforms, wait until there's pressure for $.20 comics from those targeting mobile devices exclusively.

* Fourth reaction: I'm amazed that no one of significant size and weight and non-rascally nature has swept in with a plan to create new content across digital platforms, print be damned, with a price point to beat the band, featuring a roster of right-now top-name creators. It seems like there's a desire for comics in these formats. It also seems like you could come up with a decent strategy merely by embracing everything the other companies aren't -- $.99 downloads, for a start. Why should we look to existing companies to create all of it? Is a comics company looking to serialize first digitally and maybe only ever publish via digital platforms really a worse idea than a revived Atlas Comics?

* Fifth reaction: I don't think anyone knows anything as to how this all plays out. The samples are too small and many contradict each other. For years my hunch has been that comics people just need to wade forward and commit wholeheartedly to non-binding plans and see where things fall. The bone they should toss comics stores -- if a bone must be tossed -- isn't blowing the kneecaps off of digital publishing or some vague promise of future customers, but to become super-responsible print publishing partners. Of course, that's hard.

* No matter how you feel about digital comics, you should at least read Kiel Phegley's report linked-to above in order to get a sense of the room.

* I still think DC's pricing move, scaling all of their comics back to $2.99, is a pretty big story. If nothing else, it's the first actual strategic publishing move I can recall from DC Comics in some time, which I think significant all by itself. It'd be good to have DC back in something of a proactive role. Those companies shape the still-important direct market, and I'd rather have them doing so consciously than via the absence of clear choices being made.

* As far as the effect of the pricing move, that's difficult to say. Certainly there's a publicity benefit that hits wide and quickly dissipates. Beyond that, reducing prices has never been the kind of thing by which a publisher can expect to reap some definable reward -- or at least it hasn't been since the early '70s. There are many reasons for this, but mostly it's that people don't want to buy a bad comic at $2.99 any more than they want to buy a bad comic that cost $3.99. DC Comics has a ton of work remaining to build consistent, strong sales performers out of anything other than a few key titles at a time. The work has to be there, and I'm not sure it is.

* The reason why this price reduction remains a big deal despite no direct benefit likely accruing to DC is because it drives down the overall number of $3.99 comic books in the marketplace. The more $3.99 books there are on the stands, the greater the possibility you have people giving up on serial comics buying altogether as generally too expensive.

* I continue to hope that retailers reward DC through reciprocal acts of good will, such as giving DC sales reps more time to pitch certain books and giving second consideration to anything being pitched that might possibly work for them. I would never suggest that stores buy more DC comic books because they're cheaper. That way lies madness. And really, really big quarter bins.

* One thing I didn't catch the first time through is that page counts on DC Comics are going to be reduced by two pages. This gave Marvel a PR opportunity to bash the news, although I think it took them maybe a day to catch up to it as well. A major reason that $3.99 comic books pose a market danger is because of perceived value, especially when the basic unit of purchase is more frequently four or five books instead of one. Reducing the page count can also be a issue of value for readers. Monkey's paw! However, I suspect a dollar more per issue is a bigger assault on perceived-value sensibilities than two pages being dropped. Now, I can't say that's true for everyone and I can't say any comics company benefits from being seen in a negative light value-wise right now. But I will suggest if there's a trade-off, DC is on the positive side of this one.

* I also wonder if cutting pages doesn't put DC at a hiring and talent development disadvantage, because they have fewer pages to offer professionals on a by-title basis. This is important because DC needs every talent development advantage it can hang onto. It looks like their conception of it is that professionals who are able to work at 22 pages a month can simply do another issue this year, although I'm not certain it's all that easy to add a single issue of something if you have 12/13ths of your page production committed elsewhere. I mean, it is if you're Jim Lee -- he has 22 pages of room on his calendar someone's going to find some work for him to do -- but I'm not certain it's easy for developing talent to pick up work like that.

* Marvel's own price point announcement -- new books to feature the $2.99 price point -- is nowhere near as big a deal as DC's. It was effective gamesmanship for them, though: a lot of people combined the headline. I have no idea why. I always imagine the little puffs of steam shooting out of the ears of the DC people when Marvel does stuff like that and people enable them in doing so.

* Marvel's pricing announcement does indeed contribute -- if only in a minor way -- to the overall good of there being fewer $3.99 books in the marketplace, which I think is important because every consumer's tipping point is different. So that's a good thing.

* The bigger piece of Marvel news is that it's been suggest they may not be publishing as many comics, perhaps chopping away a bit at the current mid-list. I think it's important from a creative point of view that companies like Marvel have a viable mid-list. It's a place to put new and developing talent; it's a place to develop series and characters. That doesn't mean that a fourth Captain America or a fifth Thor comic has to play that role in the overall publishing effort. In fact, that may be a less than desirable thing.

* It seems like Dark Horse had their usual effective show. Mike Richardson's fondness for NYCC as a major publicity and business platform for his company has been well documented on this site, mostly by him verbally cuffing me about the head and body about what a great show they had in '08.

* The Dark Horse digital strategy announcement I thought worked PR-wise. The general distinction that they're going off in independent fashion, whether or not that's even technically true, is a solid ploy. It sounds cool, and you can wrap your mind around it -- "I need to find out what they're doing because what they're doing is different." I also like the proposed $1.49 price point. Heck, I might start buying things from Dark Horse at that price point every so often, because I could snap up entire mini-series for less than $10. I also like that one of their talking points is maximizing profitability for the creators.

* I have no idea if the actual program will work, though.

* As far as other digital news, I talked about the Longbox/ADAM announcement here. I also think it's a fairly big thing that there wasn't more drama about digital issues outside of the conference. I think in a matter of fact way everyone knows widespread digital distribution is coming.

* In industry hiring news, Hank Kanalz of Wildstorm was named senior vice president-digital of DC Comics. This seems like another keep-the-band-together hire, as Kanalz has a broad resume with direct experience at DC division Wildstorm and as a liaison to DC's efforts with various amusement parks rather than a background with specific ties to digital media. Maybe that's their perceived need, a generalist like Kanalz. I couldn't possibly say.

* The other DC hiring news of the weekend, Bob Wayne's promotion and news of his sales department remaining in New York seems the same on the face of it a few days after the show as it did when initially announced: really no other person for the job, natural to keep him connected to the print publishing division, a bit of institutional memory for a part of the industry that traffics in institutional memory. The PR tells us he reports to John Rood, that he'll be doing something for the digital division as well (?) and reminds us he's been with the company since 1987. It is another safe and sensible hire, for whatever that's worth. I'm still wondering if they'll get any new blood at all.

* I can't tell what the hell is going on with Vertigo. I've had a few people send me e-mails over the last two weeks with completely different suggested outcomes for the imprint. Naturally, these conflicting models of the future are communicated with the same grim Nostradaman certainty. I looked forward to some clue from their presence at NYCC.

* Unfortunately, I've read that Vertigo didn't have a presence at NYCC -- not in the traditional way. They did have a panel, reports from which I would call massively inconclusive. It's a strange time for that imprint. On the one hand, having your sub-editors mostly shit-canned and having key company figures talk openly about how awesome it is to be reinvigorating these great DC characters and mumble mumble Vertigo something seems to me to indicate a rocky road ahead. On the other hand, I can't see DC print dumping its historically useful access point to all of the potentially super-profitable Vertigo-branded material, or losing the option to publish new versions of that kind of a material through an established imprint. Frankly, there isn't an outcome here that would surprise me, which usually means an extension of the status quo.

* Here's the thing that baffled me about the Anthony Bourdain announcement. Why on earth is this expressed fan of Harvey Pekar, a good writer with a distinct voice whose television show format would lend itself to comics very well, doing some goofy science fiction thing rather than an anthology mini-series of food encounters in the American Splendor style? It could be that's what he wants to do, and clearly the time commitment helping shepherd into existence a one-off book with a friend is much, much lighter than working with a ton of artists on the kind of comic I'm talking about, but it still seems to me a lost opportunity.

* To pick up on a thread I started to pick at earlier, one thing that strikes me as strange about all these DC announcements is how relatively unsophisticated they've been in terms of stressing the positive aspects of certain publishing initiatives and how they're going to work long-term. The fact that people are openly musing on the fate of Vertigo without a strong counter-narrative from DC Comics as to what Vertigo is and where it will be going seems slightly insane to me. In fact, I'm not sure I get a positive, firm answer and direction from much of anything DC is doing. I think this is about the company's culture, because they have really competent PR people. My guess is they assume that people "get" them. If I'm right, that's a bad assumption. I learned more about what's going on with Richie Rich reading the con reports than I learned about the immediate future of Green Lantern, which seems to me a pretty important character for them right now. Shouldn't the movie-focus work both ways? What's so hard about that? If, as I think multiple pros suggested, one of new Editor In Chief Bob Harras' big strengths is identifying core concepts and communicating those concepts to an audience, he may end up perfectly suited for his position at DC. Historically well-suited.

image* There are a few announcements that struck me as bizarre because people took them on their face and I'm not sure they should. New comics for characters like the aforementioned Richie Rich and Strawberry Shortcake seem like dubious propositions to me, and I don't know who on earth is expected to buy new comics with those ridiculous Atlas characters. God bless all those creators, for real. A surpassing achievement in art is always a possibility. There are sweet spots out there to be hit, and there have been less likely comebacks. For certain there have been. It's just that it seems like these are moves designed to goose interest in various properties rather than real publishing strategies designed to move copies of whatever book is being discussed. At least from where I sit. Hey, I hope they all prove me wrong.

* In that light, Stan Lee announced he's creating about 10 billion characters for 23,000 different comics companies and every sports team in seven major sports. I can't imagine any of these creations being memorable, and that's kind of sad, but it's fascinating how productive Lee is as a brand and in terms of the kind of creation he's facilitating. Lee looks equally at home standing next to the NHL commissioner and a Japanese pop star. He goes with everything. I'm not sure much of it has anything to do with comics publishing, but, as always: God Bless The Man.

* It's nice to know they still sell comics at a comics convention, even if this article is sort of a mess -- I can't believe that some of the projects they list sold out of anything more than a modest amount of copies. There are no numbers or even approximations of numbers provided. I hope they sold a ton of The Outfit. That's a good-looking, fun book and since Darwyn Cooke's con sketches are almost always worth it, and they were pushing a limited edition, I imagine they did.

* There were a significant number of content-related announcements at NYCC. Few stuck in memory. Here's all of them I can remember without notes -- I'll do the links later -- by which I mean these are the ones that made enough of an impression on me that I can recall what they had to say without looking at someone's report.
+ Marvel's apparently doing both another round of its "ultimate" and a "astonishing" version of Captain America. Both of those lines were at one time looked at as jumping-on points for non-initiates, of which there may be a few after next year's movie. On the other hand, I never understood why they just don't point people to their fine ongoing when they have one, and in this case they do.

image+ Daniel Way is doing an arc on the "astonishing" version of the X-Men characters that promises Kirby/Ditko Atlas-era monsters galore. That sounds way more fun than vampires.

+ IDW is doing a Godzilla title. There are a lot of pretty good monster artists out there, so the Big Green would seem like a promising candidate for licensed comic books. There's a bit of nostalgia out there for the Marvel Comics version, and this definitely wouldn't be that. I think Dark Horse took a shot for several years, too.

+ IDW is also doing a crossover between various licensed comics featuring zombies, the kind of property boundary-slaughter that gives pop culture scholars a transmedian stiffy. That's the very definition of a comic book not for me, but it'll be interesting if they can find a way to give that one enough juice that it sells. I'd say that if I were 12 years old I'd be reading comics like this all the time, but if I were 12 years old right now and had the option of watching the Battle Of Helm's Deep on a 52-inch TV every afternoon, I'm not certain I'd be reading many comics at all.

+ I remember reading a Rich Johnston article -- here it is -- that suggested that there will be more of Alias from Brian Bendis and Michael Gaydos. That was a fine little superhero comics series, and although I'm not aware of what's been done with the character since the close of the second series in which she starred, I'll try to pick those new comics up.

+ That same Rich Johnston article has news that Zander Cannon is still plugging away on his Top Ten project.

+ Dark Horse will be working with Chris Hastings on his Dr. McNinja collections, another brick in what is the rapidly growing wall of the webcomics partnership portion of their publishing slate. Thankfully, Dr. McNinja is much better executed than the previous sentence.

+ Another Brian Bendis/Skilled Collaborator reunion finds the writer with Powers teammate Michael Avon Oeming on an all-ages book called Takio, profiled here. It'd be nice if more of the comics of the kind that Brian Bendis writes were all-ages comics so that making the distinction would seem odd, but it'd be nice if I owned a magic crockpot, too. Anyway, it's hard to complain about Marvel affording creators in whom they have an interest a platform for doing a comic book they want to do. There should be a place for that at every comics company.

+ Dark Horse is gearing up for more Joss Whedon-related material. This makes sense considering how strongly the Buffy comic has sold for them. I'm not sure all of those concepts are rich with material for loads and loads of new comic book adventures -- barring a Manara issue, I can't imagine reading a single page of a comic based on that tedious Dollhouse show -- but it occurs to me I might have said that ten years ago about the chance for Mike Mignola's Hellboy franchise to expand past its awesome solo-creator roots and Dark Horse has done a great job facilitating a constant stream of quality material there.
* That's all I remember. Kevin Melrose has a fantastically complete list of the announcements made at the show.

* Overall, I was kind of under-whelmed by the content announcements. I think NYCC can do better in terms of encouraging exhibitors to make announcements at the show and the publishers can do better about how they utilize such platforms. I could be misremembering but I believe the only company that e-mailed me during the show as they made their announcements was IDW, and although sometimes I'm not on all the lists, this seems like one of the bare minimum things you should be doing in conjunction with a comics show where you're announcing stuff.

* I guess that this MTV comics thing that I only heard about by reading about it in passing on someone's blog could work as a digital-only project, although bizarrely I can't tell from their own story what is launching and in what format and when. Nothing really jumps out at me about any of the titles announced or the creators involved -- I certainly like a few of those people, but nothing jumps out -- which I'm going to suggest is a bad thing because there's like 18 billion titles out there, many of them from creators with larger followings. But hey, if the comics are good, the rest follows. Maybe. Well, one hopes. It's entirely possible.

* (Between you and me, I'm not 100 percent convinced that the MTV comics thing is real.)

image* One thing I do know for sure is that John Kerschbaum's work is consistently excellent, so if moving his Cartoon Boy to an MTV site gooses his traffic and provides him with a bigger audience, I'm happy about that. He's one of those two dozen or so creators that just seems criminally under-served by today's comics industry. I think he's a considerable talent.

* Of all the NYCC reports I read, a few were more memorable than others. I mentioned Evan Dorkin's above. Brian Heater provided a slightly mournful look at the show at Daily Cross Hatch. Gary Tyrrell has reprinted the content of the webcomics/print panel, the one that was going to be a Scott Kurtz/Ted Rall battle royale and ended up being something else. I thought this blog post was almost zen-like in its summary nature. Another short one I liked was this "well, that was interesting"-style statement from an Archaia booth worker.

* Speaking of Archaia, I keep thinking about them as I process these new-publisher announcements. Read this description of their panel and tell me if that doesn't sound roughly like every new publisher's initial publishing slate announcement. I know if some intern at CBR changed a few of the proper nouns and stuck in the nouns associated with some of these new efforts, I'd be fooled. So maybe we don't need these companies because Archaia was there first. I'm reading a bunch of their books right now -- Secret History, The Killer, Tumor -- and they're very pretty.

* You know what the hardest thing to do at a show might be? To catch the energy of all the creation that's going on there -- all the drawing in particular. There should be something life-affirming about being in the same room as Brian Bolland as he draws stuff, but it's hard to catch that frequency with all the garishness on display. But think about it, you're standing there and someone like Bolland is drawing stuff like ten feet away from you. We don't get to be near Jeffrey Wright when he's doing voice exercises before he goes out to kill it in Angels In America, or watch out of the corner of our eye as Paul McCartney noodles his way through a melody, or see how Sally Mann sets up her lighting, but we get to be around when all these magnificently talented people ply a major part of their craft. How great is that? It's like those hippie shops we used to go to as a kid and watch a guy make a coffee mug times a billion.

* The dates for the 2011 NYCC were announced on the floor through banner ads; however, I didn't read anyone mentioning this until the official announcement that came at the end of the show. Those dates are October 14-16. That becomes interesting only if it conflicts with another show of importance, by which I mean APE. That said, I imagine the convention world could handle separate events with disparate sets of focus on opposite coasts, if it comes to that.

* What else...? It's weird to me that NYCC still doesn't have badges with names on them, at least not for everyone (it could be that some of the badges have names on them; I know for a fact that some of them didn't). It's not necessary, and some people like it -- I don't know anyone in New York, so it was nice to be anonymous a few years ago -- but if you have a show where one of the strengths is networking opportunities, a way to facilitate better networking is to have names where people can see them. You can always turn your badge around if you're shy.

* To conclude my analysis of New York Comic Con, the consensus seems to be that everything in comics is pretty terrible but everyone wants in anyway, and that cons with lots of parties are awesome. So we got those things going for us. Goodbye, mainstream comics convention season 2010. You were weird and frustrating. See you in Seattle.

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For a variety of other perspectives, please check out the links in this site's Collective Memory entry on the show, running the 9 AM slot all this week.

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Go, Look: Gags From Nugget Magazine

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Your 2010 Leeds GN Awards Nominees

A new program, the Leeds Graphic Novel Awards focuses on titles for young readers and has announced its 2010 slate of nominees. Like many European awards aimed at kids' comics, this one has roped in a number of kids and school classes to share in the process, although I'm not sure exactly what role they play. The nominees are:

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Beasts Of Burden: Animal Rites, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson

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Good Dog, Bad Dog, Dave Shelton

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Mezolith, Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank

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Silverfin, Charlie Higson and Kev Walker

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The Spider Moon, Kate Brown

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The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, Eric Shanower and Skottie Young

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The winner will be named on November 19th, in conjunction with Thought Bubble: The Leeds Sequential Arts Festival.

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Go, Bookmark: Anouk Ricard

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doesn't look like this was kept going for very long, but there's some cute art
 
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Collective Memory: NYCC 2010

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this article has been archived; please click through the link to go to the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Impossible Man

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I'm not familiar with Charles Voight, but this comic has several moments to die for.
 
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If I Were In Algeria, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Records

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Go, Look: Shazzan!

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Go, Look: Nobody Loves Nightro

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I had no idea until I stumbled across it that there was a place to see a new Aislin cartoon every day. Well, most days.

image* while we're on the subject of anniversaries that maybe only matter to me -- and we were, I swear -- it occurred to me the other day that 2010 is the 15th anniversary of Roger Corman's Cosmic Comics. At least I think it is: someone will correct me if I'm wrong. If you're ever near a quarter bin with that company's Death Race 2020 in it, you should snap it up. Not only do you get what are basically the lost episodes of Marshal Law, Editor Robert Boyd had top alt-comix talent of the day doing one-pagers of famous celebrity car crashes. If you stop and think about it, RCCC was years ahead of its time as a studio-related funnybook company with a mandate to tweak existing properties in order to see if there's more life in them -- you could announce this line today as an imprint of IDW or Dark Horse and no one would blink an eye.

* speaking of Robert Boyd, here's a nice write-up from his blog on Seth's installation work.

* I'm enjoying these witches.

* not comics: no idea why this William Grimes obituary of Barbara Holland is still in my bookmarks, but re-reading it just now reminds me that it's a pretty good one: concise and charming, as well as a pretty good advertisement for Holland's work. Maybe it's because the description of hers reprinted in the piece of the after-work social hour is such a big part of the comics community ethos? Probably not. It's more likely I was trying to bookmark something else.

* wait a minute... Fred Basset?

* not comics: I actually like the Superman one of these quite a bit.

* the Montreal Gazette profiles that city's vibrant cartooning and comics-making community. This article's a bit different than most in that it attempt to paint a picture that connects the alt-/arts- community with those creators that are working for the North American mainstream publishers.

* a million miles away from comics: I'm sort of tempted.

* power ring: yes, someone proposed to his girlfriend at New York Comic Con.

* two-part 1980s coloring techniques extravaganza at the The Comic Company.

* finally, here's a fine review of Al Columbia's devastating Pim & Francie, a book that only grows in memory as the months fly by.
 
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Happy 47th Birthday, Tom Devlin!

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Happy 36th Birthday, Jason Thompson!

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Quick hits
Coming Up To Speed On Matt Seneca
* On Kirby
* On BP, RIP
* On Man Of God
* On Gwen Stacy
* On Dick Sprang
* On Marvel And DC
* On Various Comics
* On Various Comics
* On Various Comics
* On Various Comics
* On Various Comics
* On Various Comics
* On Plagiarizin' Paul
* On The Late Mr. Kent
* On Comical Weekend 01
* On Comical Weekend 02
* On Spider-Man: Fever #1
* On Various FCBD Comics
* On Cutting Up Comic Books
* On DC Universe Legacies #1
* On Covering Batman: Year One
* On Interviewing Michael DeForge
* On Checking Out The Weird Comic He Found
 

 
Please Keep In Mind The Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Fundraisers

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October 12, 2010


This Isn’t A Library: New And Notable Releases To The Comics Direct Market

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Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. But if I were anywhere near a comic shop, I would walk inside and demand my right as a citizen of Comics USA to put my dirty paws on some.

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AUG100027 BPRD HELL ON EARTH NEW WORLD #3 (OF 5) $3.50
JUN100038 HELLBOY TP VOL 11 MASKS AND MONSTERS $17.99
I think you can look at the way Dark Horse has handled the various Mignola-verse material to get a clue as to what it will be like to have more Joss Whedon-related books in 2011 -- it's a constant presence, keeping people coming back to the comics store, in a way that production at the big companies doesn't allow until they're doing like 11 books a months with a character.

APR100047 HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS TREASURY TP VOL 02 HOT STUFF $14.99
Please no one buy Hot Stuff for modern comics adventures, please. This is in that new, smaller-size series, I think.

AUG100146 KNIGHT & SQUIRE #1 (OF 6) $2.99
That's Paul Cornell's mini-series about British Batman and Robin approximates, spinning off their appearances in recent Grant Morrison-penned Batman books.

AUG100270 NORTHLANDERS #33 (MR) $2.99
You know, that's a lot of comic books. Good for the creators.

AUG100373 BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 03 $39.99
This is definitely the comic strip you enthused over in the back of 8th grade studyhall -- well, if you're near my age, anyway. The contextual notes from Breathed continue to be kind of funny all on their own.

JUL101009 DAWN LAND GN $19.99
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would, from an artist with whom I'm completely unfamiliar named Will Davis. It's kind of a YA fantasy book set thousands of years ago in tribal North America.

JUN100384 DICK BRIEFERS FRANKENSTEIN HC $21.99
An IDW/Craig Yoe production, I can't quite figure out if this how the comics in here were selected. I would hope it's a complete republication, but if it's a greatest hits kind of thing, well, that's generally very strong work so I guess that's okay, too. I guess it comes down to how it's selected and presented. Definitely one I'd look at in a comics shop.

JUL100986 MAKE ME A WOMAN HC (MR) $24.95
I was super-charmed by this one. Book of the week.

AUG100656 STRANGE TALES 2 #1 $4.99
Marvel's indy-talent-doing-our-characters book. Loads of interesting cartoonists, from Huizenga to Beaton to Santoro to Shaw.

AUG100661 CASANOVA #4 (MR) $3.99
Continuing the full-color republication of the formerly single-toned series.

AUG100626 THOR #616 $3.99
AUG100628 THOR MIGHTY AVENGER #5 $2.99
Who had "Marvel Will Have Two Readable Thor Comics" in the "Events of 2010" poll? Oh yeah, right. Nobody did.

JUN101014 EVERYBODY IS STUPID EXCEPT ME & OTHER ASTUTE OBSERVATIONS GN $16.99
I'm guessing this is a re-release or O/A or something? Whatever it is, it's funny.

JUL101061 FOOTNOTES IN GAZA SC $20.00
Whoa! Surprise softcover drop! I thought this was the book of 2009 in terms of new releases. Joe Sacco's look at a nearly-forgotten atrocity in the Middle East is remarkable for the story told and the way Sacco tells it. An uncomfortable work in a lot of ways, Sacco drops at lot of the nice-guy asides and joking nature of past works for an intense and uncompromising dissection of the story he's chosen to tell -- you can almost feel the force of his will emanating from the meticulously drawn pages. I can't imagine this will be a lot of folks' favorite comic in the years to come, but it's a mighty one.

JUN101007 COMICS JOURNAL #299 (O/A) $11.99
They should just star offering these again from the first Groth/Catron issue. I'd buy 'em.

*****

The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I didn't list your comic here, that's because I'm sick with con crud despite not having been to a con.

*****

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Les Gibbard, 1945-2010

Les Gibbard, once the youngest staff cartoonist in Guardian history and a forceful critic of government policy at home and abroad, died on October 10 due to complications following a routine operation. He was 64 years old.

imageGibbard was born and raised in New Zealand. He first learned about cartooning from the artist and former New Zealand Herald cartoonist Gorodon Minhinnick. He worked in New Zealand and Australia before moving to London, where he was initially employed by The Daily Telegraph.

He would switch offices after being hired by the great Alastair Hetherington to assume duties at The Guardian, and eventually become the longest-serving political cartoonist in that publication's history, starting in 1969 and working until 1994 in that role. The 23-year-old Gibbard replaced Bill Papas.

Perhaps Gibbard's best-remembered period was the Falklands War, when a reworking of a World War II-era Phlip Zec cartoon was criticized for its lack of proper fealty to British causes. That cartoon was even held up as proof in the House of Commons that the British media did not support taking military action in the region. He was also a noteworthy critic of Israel when he felt the need to be, as seen in this 1982 cartoon.

Among his long list of clients as an illustrator and cartoonist were The Sunday Mirror, The London Evening Standard and Melody Maker. He seemed to have employed a much simpler style in some of his illustration work, particularly later one, whereas his political cartoons were more traditionally and fully rendered. Gibbard was also an animator, producing a political cartoon series called Newshound and contributing work to a smattering of cartoon features and television shows. His static cartoons appeared on the television show On The Record between 1988 and 1995.

A retrospective of Gibbard's Guardian years was mounted in 2005.

Les Gibbard is survived by his wife of 32 years.
 
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Go, Read: Strange Tales #87

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Kuang Biao Posts Liu Xiaobo Cartoon

According to various wire reports and stories picked up on blogs I believe originating from a report filed at BBC, the cartoonist Kuang Biao apparently was one of the few Chinese media members to comment directly on the jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo's recent Nobel Peace Prize win. That report mentions that Biao posted a cartoon to his blog on Friday. What makes this even more interesting is that Biao was punished by his newspaper -- an independent newspaper, for what that's worth -- for posting a cartoon about the situation facing an imprisoned reporter. I can't imagine that posting something on Xiaobo, whose situation and prize win is enough of a concern for the Chinese government that there's been a massive crackdown on people communicating about the prize-winner, will go over well. Although admittedly, I have no real read on these things. At any rate, my thoughts are with what seems to me a very brave cartoonist.
 
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Go, Read: The Kidney Thing

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Collective Memory: NYCC 2010

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this article has been archived; please click through the link to go to the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Escapade Magazine Gags

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Go, Look: Padlock Holmes

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Go, Look: House Of Mystery #179

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Go, Look: Love Tales #39

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I hope this means that Josh Neufeld gets to blow off parking tickets now, or that a cartoonist could punch a cop and then seek asylum in Neufeld's apartment. Actually, it's hard to think of a better person for a gig called "Ambassador of Free Expression" -- Neufeld is as smart and articulate and personable as anyone in comics, and is well-traveled to boot.

image* if you have a few minutes today, you probably couldn't do much better than drinking in Marc Arsenault's personal take on the history of his Wow Cool DIY clearinghouse and distributor, focusing on the 1998-2002 years. There's a whole element to tactile comics culture that I think we forget about. I did an interview with a grad student recently about webcomics culture and how it relates to print and talking about 'zine culture and whatnot it always sounds like I'm talking about the late 1940s as opposed to 12 years ago, it's so removed from most of our daily comics experiences now.

* a note from the fine cartoonist Dave Lasky:
Just a note to let you know that Greg Stump and I will be contributing the 'graphic novel' portion of a very ambitious novel tomorrow night (Tuesday) from 6 to 8pm, Pacific Standard Time, in front of a live audience and streaming on the web. For two hours, we'll write and draw roughly two pages (?) of The Novel: Live, a Seattle7Writers event to raise money for literacy in our community.

You can watch online as 36 Northwest authors take their turns in the hot seat, picking up where the last author left off, and, we hope, by Saturday, bringing the story to a riveting and satisfying close at 6 p.m. PST.

This event takes place live in front of an audience as well at Richard Hugo House, Seattle's literary center. If you're in the neighborhood, please drop by! If you're far far away, please tune in. If you want to hit that "donate" button on their website, please do, and know that your money will be going to a great program here called "Writers in the Schools."

Learn more and tune in here: www.thenovellive.org. Or just show up! Anything could happen...
Here's that web site again. And here's the sponsoring group.

* as a general rule, is there any better subject for a comics-related essay than Russell Johnson and Mr. Oswald? I think not.

* here's a sneak peek at the forthcoming Hive 5.

* the writer JM DeMatteis is leaving his gig as Editor-In-Chief of Ardden Entertainment, citing creative differences. They're the one doing the revival of the '70s imprint Atlas Comics. Meanwhile, Associate Editor Nathan Cosby is leaving Marvel.

* Frank Santoro wonders if this is the first time Harry Lucey has been given on art credit on an Archie publication.

* finally, if you're going to sketch something, why not make it characters from The Wire? Best custom Tarot deck ever.
 
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Happy 45th Birthday, Dan Abnett!

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Happy 63rd Birthday, Pat Brady!

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Quick hits
Coming Up To Speed On Caroline Small
* On Lilli Carre
* On Barbarella
* On Asterios Polyp 01
* On Asterios Polyp 02
* On John Vassos' Ultimo
* On John Vassos' Phobia
* On Anke Feuchtenberger 01
* On Anke Feuchtenberger 02
* On The Interview As Criticism
* On Ivan Bilibin's Russian Folk Tales
* On Alternatives To Crumb On The Bible
* On Henri Langlois' Cinematheque Francaise
 

 
Please Keep In Mind The Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Fundraisers

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*****

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October 11, 2010


Go, Look: Dave Stevens Covers

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it's not like there's a lack of attention to Dave Stevens' cover work on the Internet, but this is well-selected and the scans are of reasonably high quality throughout
 
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Zunar And Publisher Allowed To Challenge Legal Barring Of Collections

If I'm reading this Malaysia-focused wire piece correctly, it looks like there was a positive development in the increasingly distressing struggle between the cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque, better known as Zunar, and forces within the Malaysian government. According to the story the publisher of his books 1 Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun, a print arm of the popular online news site Malaysiakini.com, has been granted permission by the High Court to challenge the court ban.

It was that ban back in May that led to the politically charged situation of last month where Zunar was to release another book in roughly the same vein as those that were banned, which led to the cartoonist's arrest and being charged with sedition.

As Zunar himself has said in interviews, the representative for the publisher pointed out that all of the material in the books and one of the books were available to Malaysian readers on the Malaysiakini.com web site, and that no incident of civil unrest developed despite this widespread availability.
 
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Go, Read: Moon Mullins Serial

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Ombudsman Criticizes Washington Post Decision To Drop Non Sequitor Cartoon That Mentions Muhammed

In a very polite article that nonetheless strongly satisfies the ombudsman's role as a critical voice concerning editorial decisions made by his client, Andrew Alexander fairly crushes the Washington Post's decision not to run a cartoon by Wiley Miller that made a reference to Muhammed in a text part of the cartoon that was satirizing the Danish Cartoons Controversy and all of its subsequent madness.

It's actually no surprise that the Post would join in with several other papers in not running the cartoon -- the Post is almost always on the side of not running something that could conceivably problematic. Two specifically troubling aspects arise, though. The first and foremost can be found several graphs into the story, where Alexander mentions that the Post not only ran the new Miller cartoon on-line and didn't realize they'd done so until informed, they'd actually run a cartoon with a similar verbal reference a few years back. If you think the dialogue around this issue is devolving, there's your Exhibit A. The second is that they decided the cartoon was needlessly provocative as opposed to an expression of an idea that they found troublesome in its execution. This is a line of inquiry I generally applaud because I think it's important, but 1) it seems really, really harshly and poorly applied to this cartoon and that cartoonist, and 2) it seems like it should matter that he didn't depict Muhammad in making his point. The cartoon they ran in 2006 would also fall under this criticism, which means this is a newer way of thinking as well.
 
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Go, Look: Tanino Liberatore Drawings

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Collective Memory: NYCC 2010

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this article has been archived; please click through the link to go to the archived article
 
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Go, Look: Hugo #1

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In addition the craziness of the comic itself, that blog posting contains information about Milton Knight's animation project, for which there is a Kickstarter page.
 
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Go, Look: Classic Pat Boyette

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Go, Look: Little Archie #3

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Go, Look: Art Saaf Spotlight

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* does this sound like the worst comic ever or what? Seriously, even with a week off and an unlimited expense account to shower on fellow writers in a concerted team effort, I doubt we could do as well.

image* I went back to this post by Bully of comic book covers featuring the Empire State Building thinking I could do something with the percentage of the ten covers selected that were clearly phallic symbols except that upon that second glance I'm pretty sure it's all of them.

* if you ever wanted to know what it's like to work in Portland's Periscope Studio, or if you were just curious about what Erika Moen and Ron Randall look like, here's the video for you.

* I was severely tempted to post that for a $25 donation, the CBLDF would let you use their office's restroom.

* not comics: on the one hand, I don't do any of this stuff. On the other hand, my career is sort of a wreck.

* Frank Santoro talks grids.

* finally, Gary Tyrrell recommends this CulturePulp cartoon, and he's right: it's a good one. Three hundred years from now, pop culture historians will continue to be baffled by the arc of Dan Aykroyd's career.
 
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Happy 58th Birthday, Jim Woodring!

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Happy 95th Birthday, Joe Simon!

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Quick hits
Coming Up To Speed On Hillary Brown And Garrett Martin
* On Sloth
* On Afrodisiac
* On Like A Dog
* On Bodyworld
* On Incognegro
* On MOME Vol. 17
* On Strange Tales #1
* On Wednesday Comics #1
* On King Of The Flies Vol. 1
* On Incredible Hercules: Dark Reign
* On Love Is A Peculiar Type Of Thing
* On Tales Designed To Thrizzle Vol. 1
* On Nomad: Girl Without A World #1-4
* On You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation
 

 
Please Keep In Mind The Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Fundraisers

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*****

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October 10, 2010


Longbox Announces Partnership With Notion Ink And Their ADAM Tablet

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Bleeding Cool has a nice, short interview up with Rantz Hoseley, the developer of the reading-comics-digitally application Longbox and a comics industry veteran of several years (he edited that big-ass Tori Amos tribute book Comic Book Tattoo, and was a presence as long ago as the late 1980s, when as I recall he illustrated a Denny Eichhorn story). Longbox announced a deal with Notion Ink, the company behind the heavily anticipated ADAM tablet computer.

Ironically, the ADAM and Longbox are both things that some members of their potential audiences have already half fallen for without actually having the final product yet, and both come with worries about their long-term viability because of the delay in getting them to market: iPad will have a gigantic head-start in terms of units sold (and the consumer commitment that comes with it ), while some comics companies have entered into deals with other reading method providers in a way that might Longbox critics wonder if it could catch up. Double ironically, one of the delays with ADAM is due to an investor wanting to have a holiday-season launch, while one of the delays with Longbox was a bad partnership dalliance that finally had to be scuttled. Those ironies aside, I get the sense that Hoseley is playing the long game, banking on the effectiveness of what he's developed and the way the market is eventually going to shake out in terms of general preferences for getting at digital comics work to see him through. It doesn't seem to me a bad way of going about it.

Anyway, I've been trying to write something about Hoseley and Longbox all year and I've totally failed, partly because of personal failure to get it done and partly because whenever Hoselely started talking to me about the various issues surrounding digital comics all I heard is that wah-wah voice the adults have in Peanuts cartoons. I am struggling to catch up with this part of the field, but for now -- for today! -- I gladly defer to Mr. Johnston.

It looks like they've also announced their 1.1 release.
 
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Go, Look: Strange Tales II Preview

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Go, Look: Thank Canada!

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Why Is This Man Completely Terrified?

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Go, Look: A Brief History Of Highwater Books With Jef Czekaj

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thx, paul d
 
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Go, Look: Scott Chantler Interview

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thx, Diana Tamblyn
 
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Go, Read: Pizza Island Profile

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Go, Watch: Jim Rugg On Tour


 
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Go, Look: Chicago Seed Gallery

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Go, Look: Walt Simonson’s Some Pencils… Some Inks… Facebook Page

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Ravenna, I’d Go To This

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Happy 51st Birthday, Paul Nagy!

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FFF Results Post #230—Custom Jump 02

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Existing (Completed Or Ongoing) American Comics Serials (Or Books That Could Be Made Into Serials) That You Would Put In A Japanese-Style, Big Ol' Phonebook-Sized Anthology Of American Comics, Made Just For You." This is how they responded.

*****

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Chris Arrant

1. Love & Rockets
2. King City
3. Terry & The Pirates
4. Transmetropolitan
5. Calvin & Hobbes

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Wash Tubbs
2. Fantastic Four
3. Hate
4. Multi-Force
5. Barnaby

*****

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Dave Knott

* Kane
* The Mourning Star
* Doonesbury
* Usagi Yojimbo
* The Age Of Bronze

*****

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Marc Arsenault

1. New Gods #6 "The Glory Boat", Jack Kirby
2. Marvel Comics adaptation of the movie The Deep
3. Peter B. Gillis fill-in issues of Captain America and Super Villain Team Up
4. Freakwave by Milligan & McCarthy
5. Adventure Comics 360 by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan "The Legion Chain Gang"

*****

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Jason Michelitch

1. Sugar and Spike
2. Mage: the Hero Discovered
3. Finder
4. Bone
5. Giffen/DeMatteis' Justice League

*****

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Gary Usher

1. Jordan Crane "Vicissitude"
2. Jaime Hernandez Locas
3. Frank Santoro et al Cold Heat
4. Richard Sala Delphine
5. Kate Beaton Hark! A Vagrant

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Kona, Monarch Of Monster Isle by Sam Glanzman
2. Magnus, Robot Fighter by Russ Manning
3. Space Family Robinson a.k.a. Lost In Space by Dan Spiegle
4. Archie & Related Titles by Dan DeCarlo
5. Fantastic Four #1-#100 by Jack Kirby

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. Prince Valiant -- the Murphy Run
2. Master of Kung Fu
3. Midnight by Jack Cole
4. Mickey Mouse by Paul Murry
5. Gordo by Arriola

*****

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Tom Mason

Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse
The Walking Dead
Rob Hanes Adventures
Fred Toole & Al Wiseman's Dennis The Menace

*****

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Scott Cederlund

1) James Robinson's Starman
2) Baron & Rude's Nexus
3) Moore's Tom Strong
4) Allred's Madman
5) Brian Wood's DMZ

*****

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Marc Sobel

1. American Splendor
2. Stray Bullets
3. Eightball
4. Hate
5. Love & Rockets

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Doonesbury
2. New Teen Titans
3. Amazing Spider-Man
4. Fantastic Four
5. Green Lantern

*****

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Michael May

1. Bone
2. Pogo
3. Boneyard
4. Casper
5. Buddha

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Dungeon
2. Stray Bullets
3. Bacchus
4. Monsieur Jean
5. Crumb's Genesis Illustrated

*****

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Justin J. Major

1. The Legion of Superheroes
2. Kim Deitch's Waldo the Cat
3. Carl Barks' Scrooge McDuck
4. Lynda Barry's Ernie Pook's Comeek
5. Dorothy Gambrell's Cat and Girl

*****

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Aadi Saliman

1. Sandman Mystery Theatre
2. Preacher
3. Cerebus
4. Love & Rockets
5. The Amazing Spider-Man

*****

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Joe Keatinge

1) Madman
2) Everything By Moebius
3) Little Nemo in Slumberland
4) Casanova
5) Savage Dragon

*****

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Fabrice Stroun

1. PWRMASTRS (CF)
2. The Fourth World (Kirby)
3. Jimbo (Panter)
4. Birdland (Gilbert Hernandez)
5. Ditko's ongoing b/w rambling ("A ditko Act", "Oh, No! Not Again, Ditko", etc.)

*****

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Alan David Doane

1. Warren Ellis's Complete Stormwatch/The Authority run
2. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing
3. Eightball
4. Miracleman
5. American Splendor

*****

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John Platt

1. Mutts
2. Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen
3. Uncle Scrooge
4. The Spirit
5. Mr. Monster

*****

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William George

1. New X-Men
2. Walt Simonson era Thor
3. Love and Rockets
4. Claremont and Sienkiewicz era New Mutants
5. The Walking Dead

*****

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Jill Friedman

1. Strangers in Paradise
2. Preacher
3. New X-Men
4. She-Hulk (2005 reboot)
5. Lucifer

*****

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Sean T. Collins

* Locas
* Palomar
* Ultimate Spider-Man
* The Fourth World Saga
* Big Questions

*****

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Austin English

1. Usagi Yojimbo
2. Barney Google
3. Tank Girl
4. Nowhere by Debbie Dreschler
5. Kane

*****

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Tuck!

1 THB (Paul Pope)
2 Jack Kirby's Fourth World (all of the various books woven into one contiguous storyline)
3 Pirate Corps (Evan Dorkin)
4 Astounding Space Thrills (Steven Conley)
5 Bravo For Adventure (Alex Toth)

*****

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Jim Kingman

1. Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth #1-36
2. Peanuts
3. Preacher
4. House of Mystery #174-321
5. Planetary

*****

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Danny Ceballos

1. Lynda Barry's Ernie Pook's Comeek
2. Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol
3. The Complete George Carlson's Jingle Jangle Tales
4. Don Martin's Captain Klutz
5. Everything Gabrielle Bell has done up to this point

*****

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James Langdell

1. Batman (early 1980s Doug Moench run that flowed between Detective and Batman issues)
2. The Heart of Juliet Jones
3. Starstruck
4. Rare Bit Fiends (by Rick Veitch)
5. Rex the Wonder Dog

*****

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J.E. Cole

1. Criminal
2. 100 Bullets
3. Planetary
4. Sleeper
5. Joe Casey's and José Ladrönn's Cable run (Cable #48-70)

*****

although I was pretty liberal with what constituted a single choice, I deleted a few with ties -- it's five for friday, not six+ for friday; nothing personal, and I hope it won't dissuade you from responding in the future

*****

thanks to all that participated

*****
*****
 
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October 9, 2010


The Comics Reporter Video Parade




ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO 2009 from chris anthony diaz on Vimeo.
from here


via


via









 
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CR Week In Review

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The top comics-related news stories from October 2 to October 8, 2010:

1. Kodansha USA makes their move.

2. Mainstream comics pricing announcements at NYCC: one major, one not, one interesting.

3. New York Comic Con gets underway in New York City, one of the last few big shows in a long calendar year and one celebrating its fifth year.

Winner Of The Week
Steve Rude, around whom many folks have rallied.

Loser Of The Week
Malaysia

Quote Of The Week
"My plan is to finish the fourth one for my 50th birthday." -- Darwyn Cooke on his Parker series.

*****

today's cover is from the 1940s-1950s mainstream comics publisher Avon

*****
*****
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Dublin, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Ravenna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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Happy 72nd Birthday, Russell Myers!

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Happy 67th Birthday, Mike Peters!

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Happy 61st Birthday, Jim Starlin!

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Happy 55th Birthday, Mike Netzer!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Bob Andelman!

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Happy 49th Birthday, Matt Wagner!

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Happy 39th Birthday, Simon Gane!

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October 8, 2010


Friday Distraction: Maris Wicks’ Doodles

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CR Newsmaker: Lance Fensterman

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Lance Fensterman is Group VP of ReedPop and is the public face of their two major comics shows, the NYC-based New York Comic Con and Chicago's C2E2. Today marks the beginning of NYCC's fifth show. It's now in what seems to be a permanent slot on the convention calendar, as one of the last big shows of the year and a major Fall event, a kind of New York-centric pre-Holiday season launching point for its publishers, pros, and attendees. I was pleased he agreed to speak to me during the busy final run-up to the show's launch. -- Tom Spurgeon

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TOM SPURGEON: Lance, congratulations on your fifth NYCC. Did you have a five-year plan at any point during the show's development? In general, are you where you expected to be? Is there an area you can point to where you've maybe exceeded expectations if terms of how you thought the show might develop? Has there been an area maybe harder than some of the others in terms of a learning curve?

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LANCE FENSTERMAN: Thanks for the congrats. Honestly, five years ago this was an untested idea and unlike anything Reed Exhibitions had ever done. This year, we have formed a new arm of the company, ReedPOP, that is solely focused on pop culture events. We ran nine shows this year with some of the leading brands in pop culture like Star Wars, UFC, Penny Arcade. So while I can't lie to you and say we envisioned this five years ago, we do have a three-year strategic plan for ReedPOP going forward and it includes pretty aggressive expansion into new genres of pop culture and new regions around the world. It's exciting. And exhausting!

Broadly speaking, I think we've succeeded for NYCC and all of our events in putting the fan at the center of all that we do. Ultimately, no matter what event or what community, if we respect, understand and cater to the fans, we will enjoy success. As for the steep learning curve, on NYCC specifically its been how to best work with the film studios to consistently deliver the content the fans crave. I think we are solid in this area, but we still struggle to break into that next level of a must attend even with that audience.

SPURGEON: What is the difference between running a Fall show and running a Spring or Winter show? Does coming near the end of the convention calendar bring with it specific challenges and opportunities?

FENSTERMAN: Well for one, I don't look at long term weather forecasts fearing a blizzard, that's a plus for my mental health! One challenge is dealing with customers budgets, being at the end of the year means that at times, budget have been exhausted, but I'm not overly worried about that, we are on their calendars.

SPURGEON: Are you settled into Fall for a while? How many years ahead are you committed, and how many would you like to be committed? Is the goal to put on two big shows that begin and end the heart of the comics convention schedule?

FENSTERMAN: NYCC will remain in October for years to come, this is our permanent home. As the show grew so dramatically in years 2-4 we worked hard with the Javits Center to find permanent dates where we could take the entire building (this is not an easy feat considering the Javits is booked every weekend of the year), now that we have the dates and the entire building, we won't be moving. As far the larger con calendar, when talking with our exhibiting customers, a three-pronged approach was one that they really supported -- C2E2 early in the year, of course San Diego right in the middle and NYCC at the end of the year. We certainly had an eye on how we balanced the overall calendar of large scale national events.

imageSPURGEON: How difficult is it from your perspective to put together programming that appeals to the wide variety of people attending your show? I get the sense there were some struggles with the programming this year: it went up a full week late, there were panels without named participants, and panels featuring at least one person that said they weren't attending and two companies/imprints that are no longer publishing. If I could, I'd like to ask about a couple of quirks of programming -- quirks to my eye, anyway -- on this year's list. First is that your programming is going later than I'm used to for shows like this, until 9:00 PM or just after 9:00 PM. Second is that you don't seem to have programming that features all of your special guests. What is the thinking there?

FENSTERMAN: Honestly, it's one of the hardest aspects of the creating the event. We have an exceptional team that pulls together the programming, but it is just three people. There is such massive amounts of content concepts that trying to create a balanced, enticing, inclusive roister of panels is a massive job. I'm proud of the content we've created for the fans and our team that created it, but for sure, there are challenges, some of which you highlight. We always do our best to reach out to the community at large for submission ideas and feedback on what we have created, but ultimately, its a big massive puzzle of ideas, logistics, schedule, etc that has be put together.

Programming went out a bit later this year because we had such a high demand for events and quality submissions. We tried to include as much as possible, which meant later night events. We try to include special guests in panels but as there are hundreds of guests, we can't accommodate all of them within the time frame of the event. By the way, what guests are on there incorrectly? I am unaware of this and this concerns me.

SPURGEON: It was a singular guest, not guests: Colleen Doran. She talks about it here. I'm not aware of anyone else, but I also haven't really scoured the programming. The two companies/imprints that I was thinking of were Del Rey Manga and WildStorm, although that was off the top of my head and that could have been changed since.

To take this in a different direction, how has your relationship with city and convention center officials changed and developed over the last five years? How are things different now than they might have been when the con was an unknown quantity?

FENSTERMAN: NYCC is now the second largest event that takes place in NYC, but honestly, city officials are still largely uninvolved. Being in NYC has a lot of advantages, but being easy to notice is not one of them. This is a major media market that makes it tough for any one event or happening to really stand out and take over the city. Every year we improve, though. Stan Lee ringing the bell on the New York Stock Exchange this year is a pretty cool development and illustrative of the city's embrace of the show.

As for our relationship with the Javits, do keep in mind that Reed is the single largest customer to the Javits Center, this helps us a great deal, but further keep in mind that none of those other events look like NYCC! I have to admit, I do feel a bit like the kid throwing a party when the parents are out of town. Every year, after the show, we sit and discuss how the event went with Javits officials and that sometimes feels like the moment when the parents return and find beer cans in the bushes and a broken vase I tried to hide. In all, though, they are an awesome partner. We would not have these permanent dates and the entire building for the foreseeable future without the support of the Javits Center.

imageSPURGEON: With Comic-Con making a decision to stay in San Diego, that leaves two cities and two sets of organizers without a show. Does Reed have any interest in Anaheim or Los Angeles?

FENSTERMAN: In short, no. I really can't see ReedPOP launching another domestic "con" style event. Our exhibiting customers have made it clear that they are looking for quality, not quantity of events. We are not in the business of launching shows for us, our bottom line or our egos, we launch events because the fans and the exhibiting customers have a need. I see other style events being launched or acquired domestically in the future, but most likely not in the NYCC/C2E2 style, we feel very good about the businesses we have in that space.

SPURGEON: Was it a boon for the New York Comic-Con to have DC Comics retain its print publishing business operations in New York City? How much have you come to rely on the local and regional comics communities and organizations in terms of providing the show with a specific tone?

FENSTERMAN: I'm pleased that DC's publishing arm will remain in NYC first for those staffers that need not disrupt their lives by moving. Many of those folks have become friends as well as customers. It also certainly helps us maintain and build those critical relationships in that typically once a month I'm in one of the New York City based publishers office just to catch up on one thing or another.

As for the regional flavor, we've always tried to keep NYC central in the con. We joke that it would be so much cheaper (for everyone) to run the show somewhere else and just call it "New York Style Comic Con," but NYC is too central of a character in the story that is NYCC to ever do that.

SPURGEON: You're halfway along in your preparations for next year's Chicago show. In what area would you like to see the biggest improvement from year one, and what steps have you taken in that direction thus far? Is there anything that surprised you about the way that show worked once it was on its feet?

FENSTERMAN: We have to deliver a bigger audience. For a lunch, I am pleased with the turn out and ticket sales, but in year two we need to really establish the brand and bring in more fans. We do very deep research after every show that is conducted by a professional research team and the learning that struck me were that the fans were wowed. It was one of the highest rated shows we run by the fans.

Additionally what was fascinating is that we drew fans from 100 plus miles away significantly better than from 15 miles away, this tells me we've got to get people from the Loop and the neighborhood down to the show. More busing, cheaper parking, better promotion of the available mass transit at McCormick Place are all good starts. The last point I found interesting, and this was from doing focus groups with fans that did not attend, was that the audience was jaded, they were hesitant to buy a ticket for a first-year show after hearing many promises for many years about events and being disappointed so they took a wait and see approach.

SPURGEON: Five years from now, what is different about NYCC? What's the thing that will be most familiar?

FENSTERMAN: In five years, comics and comic creators will still be at the center of the show. Maybe in different forms -- digital? -- but we will not stray from that central pillar that our show is built on. From there though, what will look different is all of the various forms of popular culture the event will branch into. Some of this will happen naturally as more people and creators and artists of all different genres are attracted to the magnet that is NYCC and some will be seeded by us in a very strategic way. You'll see a bigger, broader event more vibrant and diverse show but still with comics and comic creators firmly entrenched in all that we do.

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* all images related to exclusives available at, and art from advertisements for, NYCC 2010

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Go, Look: Dicky Short’s Flickr Page

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Bob Wayne Promoted To Senior VP

imageIt was apparently announced at the DC Comics retailer breakfast this morning that Bob Wayne will receive a promotion from vice president of sales and marketing to senior vice president of sales. That division will remain in New York City with the print publishing operations. Wayne's held a ton of titles over the years but he's basically their Direct Market guru, a former retailer with loads of connections and someone the company trusts in that arena. I suppose this is where I should add some analysis about What It All Means, but basically I can't imagine someone in-house or, really, out of house better qualified to head up that part of their business and both the promotion and the grafting of that department to the New York part of operations make perfect sense to me. The only thing I wonder about is if DC's print publishing operations will have any new blood in it at all, as I'm sort of baffled as to what they've done the past few years that's so awesome it deserves an across-the-board thumbs up.

It also sort of feels like New York DC has become that title with all of the fan favorites in it and West Coast DC is going to be the new series with a bunch of new characters and only a couple of hold-overs done with slightly more stylized art, but that could be the lack of coffee talking.
 
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Go, Bookmark: Richard Sala Unmasked

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Matt Davies Sued For $1 Million

Alan Gardner caught this, which I appreciate: the cartoonist Matt Davies is among nine journalists being sued by an angered congressional credit for defaming his character. A particularly brutal -- although still to my eye obviously protected -- sample of Davies' treatment of the liberal media-hating candidate can be found through the link. A rational person's eyeball tests suggests these suits aren't of any merit, and I assume a reasonable court would agree -- although we live in dangerous times regarding politically charged expression and all it takes is one lousy outcome to have a chilling effect on cartoonists and the papers that hire/protect them. Certainly countries outside of the U.S. have felt the sting that aggressive lawsuits from those covered in stories, prose editorials and in editorial cartoons can bring to various time-honored journalistic enterprises.
 
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Go, Look: Jin & Jam #1

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Dark Horse To Price Its Digital Comic Book Offerings At $1.49

imageAccording to a brief item at the hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com, Dark Horse Comics will be offering its comic-book sized digital efforts at $1.49 a pop as part of a to-be-unveiled general digital strategy. With further announcements expected today, and companies like Boom! making similarly aggressive announcements as part of the New York Comic Con, I expect this news to be part of the wider wrap-up next week. It's just that with Dark Horse doing their announcing later today I didn't want to miss out on this key bit of news. The reason this is key is because it's fifty cents lower than a much bandied-about $1.99 figure as a potential standard for this sort of offering.

imageOne reason I've long thought Dark Horse could be an important player in the developing digital comics marketplace for a certain kind of reader is because I think their recent catalog might work more effectively than those offered by the standard mainstream superhero companies in generating ongoing business, this due to the aggressively unfolding serial soap opera nature of the men in tights crowd and the mostly stand-alone or reasonably self-contained nature of the Dark Horse series. While I have a hard time generating enthusiasm for what was going on in the Spider-Man titles in 2005 as opposed to what might be happening in them right now -- the 2005 comics are literally old news -- I think I'm just as interested or close to being just as interested in a mid-decade Conan mini-series featuring work by P. Craig Russell, say, or to use an overarching serial one of the BPRD series from that year, as I would have been at time of release.
 
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Go, Read: Dan Nadel Interviews Steve Brower About Mort Meskin

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Conrad E. Day, 1919/1920-2010

imageConrad Day, a longtime grocery store employee that drew cartoons for the local Cleveland Daily Banner for more than 30 years, passed away on October 5 in a hospital serving the southeastern Tennessee region where he lived. He was 90 years old. Once common to many local communities, cartoonists like Day, whose work was primarily seen and appreciated within the reach of his local newspaper, are widely considered a fading phenomenon. He was 90 years old.

In addition to his cartooning exploits, Day was well-known in Cleveland as a fixture of area grocery stores. He worked in father's A&P as a child. After being turned down for service in the military during World War II, Day eventually found his way back to the grocery business. He owned a Minit Check for a long period of time, and then went to work at stores in a chain owned by a schoolmate. The cartoon By Ned, featuring the folksy sayings of a gossipy, information-soaking old-timer, developed from a relationship with Daily Banner owner Lee Walls Sr. built at the grocery store. Walls suggested that Day take some of his cartoons to then-editor Beecher Hunter, and thus began the multiple-decade relationship between man and newspaper.

Day's cartoons seem to have primarily served as a delivery system for the lead character's wise sayings, making it one of those rare strips appropriately recalled in terms of its words rather than its pictures or a combination of the two. One such nugget: "I don't figger any idea that can be put in a nutshell can be much of an idea."

Day apparently self-syndicated the strip for a time to publications in and out of Tennessee but told an interviewer a decade he discontinued his relationship with clients other than the Banner because of the work involved. When he stopped producing new work, the Banner re-ran older cartoons under a "classic" banner.

In 2001, he self-published a collection of the strip, The Absolute Best Of By Ned. He held a signing in Cooke's Grocery Store.

Conrad Day is survived by a wife of 69 years and two sisters. He is preceded in death by a daughter. A funeral will be held today.
 
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Go, Look: Lion Annual Covers

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Scranton, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Ravenna, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Roland Coe Cartoons

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OTBP: The Whale

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Go, Look: A Little-Updated Jeffrey Jones Documentary Site?

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don't know exactly what's going on here; newer posts are below older posts, btw
 
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Go, Look: Meet Tiger Boy

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not sure how this ancient post ended up in my bookmarks folder, but wow
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* if you're dying to be at a big, mainstream-focused comics show this weekend and can't go, one of CR's readers says that Mike Sterling's journey through the lower intestine of the Previews catalog is sort of like going to such a show. If you're being mean about it.

image* Gene Luen Yang discusses Fu Chang, International Detective.

* if you're dying to be in the middle of a comics experience that's everything a big, mainstream-focused comics event tends not to be, you can spend a few minutes immersed in the latest Vanessa Davis cartoon. That's always a few, good minutes.

* if you go to Drew Friedman's signing tonight in Brooklyn, you'll also get to meet Larry Storch.

* not comics: this article at The Atlantic discusses the course of three different magazines serving two different sets of community insiders with advertising concerns, as each limps forward in the digital era. I'm not sure how it relates to comics, or even if it does, but it seems like a fascinating subject with a few ideas splintering off of each paragraph.

* a viewing of God's Cartoonist sends Gil Roth around the office to see how many of his co-workers are familiar with the Jack Chick comics -- turns out not as many as he thought would be.

* the way the King Features strips are being run on-line makes a direct link either impossible or beyond my skill set, but if you want to go look it up the throwaway panel to Mutts on September 12 was a call back to this cover by Jack Kirby. The sad thing is I recognized it immediately just from the position of the guy in the panel.

* finally, I completely missed this last week: that college cartoon that set officials of Saginaw, Michigan complaining because of its unflattering depiction of that small city? It won an award.
 
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Happy 53rd Birthday, Richard Thompson!

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Happy 45th Birthday, James Sturm!

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Sean Bieri!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Tom Hart!

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Don’t Forget Steve Rude’s Auctions

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October 7, 2010


Marvel To Keep New Series At $2.99

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I think that's good, too. Click through the image for the CBR story. I'm not exactly sure the impetus behind selecting new series, although I have to imagine they'd be more likely to be hurt by the disinterest that may result from higher prices. I also imagine that some of this is adjusting the line in a way that digital initiatives are possible without obliterating a title's possible movement in the shops. It's funny that Marvel will probably rest top of site in a lot of places for a less comprehensive announcement than DC made, but that's the way the game is played, I guess.
 
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DC Comics Announces Roll Back To $2.99 Price Point For Ongoing Comics Series

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Click through the image for the press release. I think this is good news because a) I think the $3.99 price point is kind of an ugly thing for a certain kind of comics business, and the fewer comics that sport that price point the better things are overall, and b) this is to my mind the first substantive press release regarding an actual publishing business move DC's made in a long, long time, and it would be nice to have them back in the game.

My worry is that there's a long-time conventional wisdom among certain folks -- I don't know if it's fair or not -- that Direct Market retailers and fans say they want something, DC gives it to them, Marvel pretty much doesn't, and then DC doesn't receive any benefit for making the move/providing a certain kind of support/enacting a certain kind of policy. Hopefully the maturity of the Direct Market that has led Diamond to try a day-before distribution program will also result in a positive response to this move. I'm reasonably hopeful.
 
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Little Nemo Comes To The iPad

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Go, Look: Cloud Mountain

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The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: News On Cons, Shows & Major Events

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* this weekend is the New York Comic Con. It's a mostly mainstream-oriented show -- few of the traditional arts comics publishers or their cartoonists are on the premises -- but also, whether by purposeful design (that's what they'll swear) or by accident (some folks feel they would have a bigger movie presence if they could), has kept its other-media presence in enough of a check it feels like a comics show more than it does a pop culture show. If I were you, I'd go see the Darwyn Cooke spotlight panel, the Scott Kurtz/Brad Guigar versus someone who's likely to get their ass kicked web/print debate, the Chip Kidd/Dash Shaw discussion, the Kodansha USA panel if there is one, and everything that hints at being about digital comics.

* the combination of juice that comes with being at a show where folks feel comics is the star, the ongoing DC Comics crisis that wasn't as bad as some people feared but much worse than others hoped and the long convention season should make for one heck of an industry party weekend. Joy, relief, grief and release can each by themselves call for the booze gods; all four of them clustered in the same time and place could be something else. You should check out The Beat for the site that will pay the most attention to various public/semi-public party listings.

* it could also be a pretty good weekend for publishing news announcements, seeing as it's perfectly situated on the calendar for immediate holiday news and longer-term through-2011 type news. The only reason I'd hesitate to say outright expect a lot of announcements this weekend is that it usually takes publishers a while to grow accustomed to announcing things at certain shows and I'm not sure they're there yet with NYCC. I'll play catch for what's out there and hope to provide a decent round-up. A couple of the interviews out there have hinted at major digital announcements, with perhaps someone new entering that field in a significant way.

* most of art comics will be staying home this weekend or dashing to the copy shop in preparation for next weekend's APE. Dan Clowes and Lynda Barry could headline any show in North America and/or Europe, and the rest of the guests are great, too. The OSU Cartoons festival is up next weekend as well, and Alan Gardner needs a roommate.

* finally, it's worth reading some of the local coverage on Comic-Con's recent decision to stay in San Diego, such as this summary editorial or this article that's basically the Mayor taking some credit for convincing the show to stay. Here's an article from a source that covers trade shows. They're fairly straight-forward, but I think it's a straight-forward story. I can't imagine anyone at CCI isn't enjoying having this decision off the front burner, although with APE coming up they may be too busy to realize it. I think the best thing that can happen for the entire convention calendar is that it settle into place for a few years so that people can figure out how best to take advantage all the opportunities out there for them. Even a show like San Diego I think could be utilized to much greater effect. Another thing that's really odd is that the one show with a comics component that's now most in flux used to be the most stable: BookExpo America, which is trying to figure out how to bring in a greater consumer show element.
 
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Go, Look: Pat Lewis’ Halloween Print

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the distortion's my fault -- this is just a tiny part of the overall image
 
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Zunar Legal Travails In Context

I'm not sure there's anything news in this Asia Times On-Line article that mentions the legal difficulties facing Malaysia's Zunar, who looks to be tried for sedition under a 62-year-old set of laws for making satirical cartoons. Still, I appreciated it's triple-play of contextual analysis -- where this crackdown on a single cartoonist fits in with upcoming events (there's an election in 2011), where it fits in in terms of publishing generall (bloggers are being harassed as well), and where it fits into Zunar's own admirable career (depending on how you count, I believe this latest is his fourth book to be subject to some sort of action). Worth a catch-up.
 
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Go, Look: Highwater Performance


Performance Highwater Books from Jose Rui Fernandes on Vimeo.

From Tom Devlin: "We're all sick of Highwater but Greg Cook just found an old video that someone took while Highwater was in Portugal. We actually had no idea this existed. He is correct in that the music was added later. And evidently this is an edit because some things look looped."
 
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Reminders: Steve Rude And Arifur Rahman Could Still Use Your Help

Steve Rude and Arifur Rahman are still seeking assistance from you in their times of need. It looks like Steve Rude had another pretty good day yesterday. The Beat, Comics Alliance, Robot 6 and ICv2.com are among those comics news-type organs that have devoted time to his story.

imageOne of the things that tends to happen when someone says they need help is that there's blow-back in the form of "Why does this guy get help when nobody helps me with my problems? He had all the chances in the world and instead did X, Y, Z thing that didn't put him in all that great a position for this financial crisis." And so on. I've seen a little bit of that here. It's easy to understand the bitterness. Times are tough all over. If you have problems, and you probably do, it may be difficult to watch someone getting helped because they have a name and reputation that if they were yours might have helped you out immensely in avoiding your problems altogether.

When someone comes forward with a specific problem, particularly when they're offering to sell you something (as opposed to asking that you give them something), I'd suggest it's better to meet that person at their point of need in a non-judgmental way. At least that first time. No career counseling backwards or forwards. If there's a deeper, more systemic problem involved -- and I think it's important to report on these, too -- it usually comes out and at that point you're maybe not helping someone and it becomes an entirely different thing. But second-guessing someone's career or life choices in reactive fashion is a tough gig. When someone faces a problem, it's likely they have not led their entire life in virtuous preparation to conquer that problem. If a request rubs you the wrong way, I'd suggest just moving on. No harm or foul or dishonor in taking a pass.

Luckily, if you're oriented towards right and wrong that way, you couldn't do much better in terms of finding a cause to get behind than Arifur Rahman and his mother's kidney operation. Rahman's "crime" was to name a cat Muhammed in one of his cartoons, a creative choice for which he lost his job and was shoved in jail for several months in order, they say, to circumvent civic unrest. His mother supported her son while he was in jail, despite emotional and physical cost, and now faces an awful set of circumstances. It's a heartbreaking story, and you may be able to help.
 
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Go, Look: Matthias Lehmann Gallery

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Terrifying Digital Future Revealed At Today’s ICv2.com Conference



Okay, I couldn't go.
 
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OTBP: Kuŝ! #8

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If I Were In Vancouver, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Toronto, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Real Gone Cartoons

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Go, Look: Val Mayerik Splashes

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