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











June 30, 2015


Go, Look: Ripple

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This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

FEB150413CORTO MALTESE GN BEYOND THE WINDY ISLES $29.99
There are a lot of comics you could put top of post this week, including four or five of the comic books. Kate Beaton also has a work out, and that's worth going to the comics shop all by itself. I wanted instead to spotlight the new volume in the Corto Maltese series. We live in a time of impossible riches for comics, and I would argue the bulk of that is in making sure we have great comics of the past to go along with all the good work, and occasional great work, of right now. That probably puts me in the opposite quadrant of most of my peers, but I'd rather have all the work reprinted since 2000 than its volume equivalent of the best new work. This is glorious work, paced and positioned like no comics before or since, and it's fun to enter into that mindspace.

imageMAY151302 BERLIN #19 (MR) $5.95
APR150669 SATELLITE SAM #15 (MR) $3.50
MAY150473 MINIMUM WAGE SO MANY BAD DECISIONS #3 (MR) $3.99
MAY150480 WE STAND ON GUARD #1 (MR) $2.99
MAY150086 BALTIMORE CULT OF THE RED KING #3 $3.99
APR150499 8HOUSE ARCLIGHT #1 (MR) $2.99
MAY150459 AIRBOY #2 (MR) $2.99
APR150522 CHEW #50 (MR) $3.50
MAY150471 HUMANS #6 (MR) $2.99
It's a big week of Image Comics in advance of their Expo and San Diego Con, but the one that all by its lonesome might get me over to Laughing Ogre is the nineteethn installment of Jason Lutes' Berlin. There's something where you're just happy with yourself that you're still reading comics when you hear about a long-lost friend like that series. Satellite Sam winds down the kids sic-fi part of its existence and will come back with a second installment on a different coast and bouncing around a different genre (westerns). I look forward to going back and reading a bunch of this at once. I wonder if Bob Fingerman has done as many issues of Minimum Wage as there are issues of Berlin despite having walked away from the project for a dozen or so years. A friend of mine very much into the Image Comics tells me US robots vs. Canadian robots We Stand On Guard has an excellent chance of being their next big thing; we'll see, but there's a lot of goodwill from readers aimed at writer Brian K. Vaughan. 8House Arclight #1 isn't the name of the theater where you're seeing the movie version of the aforementioned giant robot comic, but the first installment in a shared universe project featuring work from Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland. That sounds like a hit, too. The first issue of Airboy was interesting, using the author stand-in trope in a way that just kept going and going and going until you either accept it or bail. I think that's the only way you can do a story like that anymore, so good for those creators. Chew! 50 issues! Congratulations to those creators on one of the most unlikely successful comics ever -- by concept and by approach, not by skill of creator. Finally, the Humans are lurking around again. I like this cover.

DEC140420 ABSOLUTE Y THE LAST MAN HC VOL 01 (MR) $125.00
I read this in serial form and I'm not sure I've given it a lick of thought since. Coming out today is a break for We Stand On Guard if retailers are smart. I think if I were super rich I'd buy all the comics that were offered in these super deluxe formats.

APR150416 MIKE ZECK CLASSIC MARVEL STORIES ARTIST ED HC PI
Speaking of which, here's a collection of Mike Zeck work in the Artist Edition format, original art at size photocopied in color. I don't really know what his originals look like or even what I think of his work overall, so sitting down with this one might be fun even I'm not sure there's a bunch of stories he ever did that I liked.

MAR150098 LONE WOLF & CUB OMNIBUS TP VOL 09 $19.99
MAY151467 ASTERIX OMNIBUS SC VOL 09 $22.99
FEB150046 USAGI YOJIMBO LTD HC VOL 29 TWO HUNDRED JIZO $59.99
MAY150468 CRIMINAL TP VOL 06 LAST OF THE INNOCENT (MR) $14.99
APR151503 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 03 1955-1956 $22.99
MAR151352 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 11 1957-1958 $34.99
None of these comics really go together, but they're all worth at least the consideration of a buy which is interesting because 1) my god, what a financial commitment you could make to comics if you could afford, just by being a reader; and 2) I think the formats and how they're done and priced has a real effect on how I view each series with the possible exception being the Prince Valiant, which I think would be worth buying at $15 more. But there's a whole bunch that can be said about the other books. I have no interest in buying Usagi Yojimbo at a high price point, for example, not when cheaper ones are available. The Criminal I'd probably prefer to have in loose individual issues than as a book with a spine, but I really like this new series of books. The pricing on the Complete Peanuts strikes me as pretty high in terms of what I'd guess it might be if I were attacked by comics-geek hoodlums and interrogated, but those are lovely books and of course worth three times as much on merit. I wish I had known about them from the start.

imageAPR150573 AUTUMNLANDS TP VOL 01 TOOTH & CLAW (MR) $9.99
I just wanted the price, which is at that entry point level. Image is very smart in identifying trades as jumping on points for a lot of people looking to get into a continuing serial. I thought the pacing was interesting in this comic in that it never quite settled down for me but at the same time it reflects the discombobulation that is at the story's center.

MAY150481 WICKED & DIVINE #12 (MR) $3.50
MAR158209 WICKED & DIVINE #12 CVR B BROWN (MR) $3.50
APR150619 WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 02 FANDEMONIUM (MR) $14.99
I've read these off and on; I liked the 11th issue, so I'm looking forward to the 12th in order to further make up my mind if it's something for me. One thing these comics and past ones involving Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have is a comfort with their own way of unfolding a story. There's a very appealing confidence in one's creative choices in all of their work. I also find it interesting that they're publishing a trade right on the heels of the last issue, but I suppose everyone does that now. I'd love to get a sense of the economics where that makes sense, but it seemingly does.

APR151490 LAST MAN GN VOL 02 ROYAL CUP $9.99
This is the second volume in the mainstream series involving Balak and Bastian Vives; it's the one I've read. I liked it even though I have a very small appetite for robust takes on classic genre tropes. One thing they have down is a kind of self-aware joy from the characters in being start of a story. They also seem happy when lots of things are happening. That's a big part of what makes them heroes, I imagine.

MAY151443 DIARY COMICS GN $15.00
A big ol' collection of Dustin Harbin's diary comics. Harbin is super-suited as an artist to this kind of everyday project; he can draw just about anything at multiple distances of remove and have it be scannable, and he has an easygoing sensibility that skewers but doesn't savage an individual's personal appearance. In the past I've wondered if he has the self-criticism necessary to make compelling art out of a string of experiences, but many readers will be happy to take that burden onto themselves.

APR151954 PRINCESS & THE PONY YR HC $17.99
Kate Beaton's ceiling is Matt Groening and that's if she has one. We shouldn't get too wrapped up in our perception of anyone's career to forget to enjoy the artist themselves, and between this new book, the new Hark! volume and a bunch of interesting online material Kate Beaton has made as many good comics pages happen in 2015 as anyone in the world. I enjoyed my quick read through of this volume at a friend's studio. The art is quite evocative in an endearing, humorous way.

*****

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 failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

*****

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

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Go, Look: Odd, Lengthy, Educational Comic About Food

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Richard Bruton on The Penned Guin: Out & About and Thread Bear/Attic Space & Other Stories. Shawn Starr on Lydian and Palm Ash. Todd Klein on Fables #150 and Fables Vol. 22. Paul Gravett on Death Of The Artist.

* Frank Santoro muses out loud about the famous Ghost World color switch.

* Michael Cavna selects ten cartoons of note about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage. The Mike Lester makes no sense to me, and the Nate Beeler might not make sense to people that don't know all the iconography. There certainly isn't a great cartoon among them. I'm baffled that we don't have more "nailed it" cartoons for some of these big historical moments. There wasn't one for the last entire presidential election.

* Steve Foxe talks to Marian Churchland. Someone at Inside/Within talks to Jessica Campbell. Gary Panter and Leslie Stein talk. Those are two really interesting artists. Here's a two part interview with Michel Fiffe.

* finally, there's a super-cool fold-out effort from the great Tom Gauld available here.
 
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Leonard Starr, RIP

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Go, Bookmark: Ice Cream

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new Alex Fellows
 
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Assembled Extra: Strangers In Paradise Joins Thrillbent

imageThe writer and digital publisher Mark Waid announced earlier today that digital versions of Terry Moore's foundational self-publishing work Strangers In Paradise will be added to the Thrillbent site that he and John Rogers own. I think that could end up being a great get, and that the work sounds like it will be employed in a way that flatters the comic and the site. If you value Moore's work in a way you'd like to read it digitally, weekly issues accelerates the value for a monthly subscription to the site. There is also a significant audience that might want to read the work beginning to end this way that missed out on it first time around and finds a commitment to paper daunting. A lot of the values of Moore's work are values that have come to define a lot of work that's come since.

I greatly look forward to seeing what happens, and I root for Thrillbent generally to find its readership. What we don't know is things like the number of people who feel that way about SiP as they intersect with Thrillbent's potential readers. I like the move a ton, though, and I think that's a great way to make use of existing content.
 
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Go, Look: Jane Mai Goes To ELCAF

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Gary Varvel Named To Indiana Journalism Hall Of Fame

There's nothing I dislike about this article on Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel going into the Indiana Journalism Hall Of Fame. If nothing else, I like that there's an Indiana Journalism Hall Of Fame. Varvel's had an interesting career. He's a conservative cartoonist, which is a subsection of cartooning where your praise tends to come from the severity of your positions rather than your skill as a cartoonist. My memory is that he's really quick on breaking news stories, like if I look around for what editorial cartoonists are saying on an issue I almost always encounter a Varvel cartoon. He came up from a entire system of newspapers that's basically gone now. He's also done some long-form comics work for his paper on broad social concerns that I always thought could be a model for other papers putting their staff-position cartoonists to work.

Heck I'm even fascinated that the other two cartoonists in the Hall Of Fame are the great Kin Hubbard and Charles Werner, who was a baby when he won the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning in '39 but worked in Indianapolis for like a hundred years.
 
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June 29, 2015


Go, Look: Carl Barks Prelim Lithographs

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Stan Lee Hospitalized On Sunday; At Movie Premiere Monday

The idea of Stan Lee being sick enough to call for help in getting to the hospital and then the very next day making an appearance at a Marvel movie premiere should make for an unimpeachable set of feature news articles today. Here's one such piece.

Lee is in his early nineties now, on the cusp of his mid-nineties. It struck a lot of people I know when he appeared at this year's HeroesCon that such engagements are likely to be very limited now, a thought to which multiple generations of comics fans for whom Lee has been a ubiquitous presence at shows and events have been slowly awakening for the past half-decade. Travel at a certain age becomes difficult even for someone as robustly healthy as a longtime take-the-stairs fitness icon like Lee.
 
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Go, Look: Larry Todd Mini-Gallery

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* you can't always trust far-frontier Amazon.com listings, but it's 3:24 AM and I gotta run with something in the arts/alt category. I sure hope Fantagraphics is doing a collection of cartoons that appeared in The Realist. That was one of the treasures of the 20th Century, that publication, and I'm not all that familiar with the best of its cartooning. I know the famous Wood "everyone at Disney having sex" illustration, and I know the Bhob Stewart cartoons, but that's about it. Of all the joys in the world with which I'm familiar, I may be most familiar with finding out about new comics and cartooning that I haven't seen before. The line-up sounds terrific.

image* Josh Cotter is close to finishing the first volume of his comeback effort Nod Away.

* the talented cartoonist Noelle Stevenson announced last week she'd be taking a step back from the full extent of her current duties with buzztastic series Lumberjanes.

* Steve Bissette writes about a forthcoming project. The world can always use some more Steve Bissette, in any form he wishes to work.

* there's a lot of superhero news out there, mostly driven by Marvel as they every-few-days announce a book that will spring to life or spring back to life following their "Secret Wars." I thought we already knew that an all-female A-Force title would survive the Secret Wars event, but maybe that hadn't been made official until last week. Marvel has a lot of pretty good female characters that could use some time on the page no matter how it comes to them. This article ponders the return of the Spider-Gwen comic with the same creative team, but also dwells on what this might for the layered "universe" in which the book exists. Or not.

* Mr. Richard Sala would like to remind you that Violenzia will be here soon.

* Zainab Akhtar informs us that a big collection of the Freddy Lombard work is on the way. That should be freakishly lovely.

* finally, behold the final cover for the new Abrams edition, content much reworked, of Derf Backderf's Trashed.

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If I Were In Scotland, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Rackman

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Richard Bruton on Valerian And Laureline Vol. 9. Paul Gravett on Death Of The Artist. Abhay Khosla on Lumberjanes Vol. 1.

* Lynn Johnston, Mike Peters and Tom Richmond are among the cartoonists participating in a cruise that is designed to raise money by encouraging fans to come on the cruise with them. It will benefit the NCS Foundation.

* Chris Eckert uses the opportunity of discussing some shots he took in Mark Waid's direction to discuss the wider issue of being critical of older white male creators for simply being older white male creators. It does get a little weird out there when certain arguments are applied. It's a sign that those companies have been so, so, bad about hiring a diverse creator line-up that these issues even come up.

* finally, Michael Cavna has a round-up of artistic reactions to last week's SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, including some well-received comics efforts.
 
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Go, Look: The Marriage Defense

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Go, Look: Goodman Presents Fun With Flags

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

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By Tom Spurgeon

* it looks like Steve Rude and Mike Baron will be launching a Nexus project through Kickstarter. That will bear watching. I'm greatly fond of that comic as it was a big one for me in my early teens; something that kept me interested in reading comics. I'm also a fan of Steve Rude's work more generally, its Andrew Loomis in a Sunday Supplement properties. I also wonder if it's not time for a project at this point in its creative cycle to reach out directly to fans, as it may not have a wider marketplace appeal that enables it to get over hurdles being published that way. Very intriguing.

* Mike Peterson digs deeply into recent conventional wisdom on the idea of crowdfunding, with some helpful links and a superior summary of Brian Hibbs' most recent article on same. He notes that Hibbs seems to be saying that if you exploit your core fandom directly, there's no occasion for anyone else to exploit that fandom in a way that can lead to a broder sales success.

* Matt D. Wilson's collection-enabling Kickstarter has a few hours left. It has made its goal, but that doesn't mean you won't want to participate.

* finally, I requested via Twitter if anyone had any favorites out there. Here's a Mike Ploog crowdfunded art book recommended by Mike Meltzer. That's crushed its initial goals but I imagine people just might want that one. He had a very interesting and slightly out of step art style... a style that was served by mainstream comics because at that point there were very few safe harbors for cartoonists that wanted to work in comics.
 
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Go, Look: Vintage Johnny Hart BC Strips

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June 28, 2015


Go, Read: A Bunch Of Posts On Money And Cartooning

I'm only now catching up on recent discussions of money made in the comics industry. Heidi MacDonald had two good summary posts here and here. The three primary sources from which she's working, all worth their own read, are this one from Brian Churilla, this one from Kieron Gillen, and then any number of articles on this new site.

imageIf you're thinking of making comics a significant part of your life, you should bookmark the Sktchd site to read a bunch of stuff there and then work your way through Heidi's articles going back and reading all of the linked-to pieces.

It's very, very tough to make a living in comics. Several people that want to will, with a few exceeding their expectations. Many more people than that first group, people that want to make a living or become successful just as much as that first group of people, they will not make a living, with a few barely seeing any return at all.

Some of it is just the way things are. Some of it I feel is not. My hunch for a long time has been that the talent of the people making the comics has outstripped the talent of the non-creatives who are the primary folks responsible for fashioning an industry that can reward that talent. What you have left is an assemblage of people doing okay to great: superior talents and/or talents that had good timing in terms of finding something that works; those who were present for a moment in history that matches up with a market opportunity; those inclined towards a genre effort that speaks to a specific cultural need, a few with something undefinable that resonates with people in a way that can't be denied. Everyone else is in survival mode. Because some of the traditional structure is exploitative, a good deal of the best talent out there serves that system rather than another, more equitable one.

I think it behooves all of us who choose to stay here to work very hard to help fashion comics industries that are much more ruthless in terms of truth telling, but also a lot more ambitious in terms of bottom line. We need the same push on the non-creative side these next ten years that we've seen on the creative side for the last 35. The dozen or so non-creatives whose talent and accomplishment exceeded their position in the years between the Direct Market's creation and the Digital Market's creation needs to in this next cycle much better match the hundreds of unique and intriguing artistic voices that this art form fosters in increasing numbers.

I worked in the comics industry at the tail end of a period where the whole thing might go right in the toilet on a month to month basis. What a lot of leaders from that generation did to keep the industry alive and give us multiple, esteemed generations of cartoonists is a remarkable thing. A cartoonist in a home making comics largely directed by their own artistic impulses, that is a victory. It always will be. The fact that things seem to be getting worse for almost everyone 10 to 20 years younger than that generation, that we still talk of young cartoonists that are in their late 30 and early 40s because we're waiting for their careers to progress, this indicates to me a troubled landscape onto which the desire comics-makers will have to work in comics rather than pursue opportunities in other industries and media will be bled from them multiple cuts at a time.

There's a ton of work work yet to do: maintaining, building, rebuilding. It won't be easy, and it may be impossible to see through without a hefty dose of self-criticism followed by real action that shows some people the door and affords the most capable new talents a seat at the table. We need to start doing better.
 
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Go, Look: Steed’s Holiday

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I Don’t Follow The Charts But I Did Notice The Complete Eightball Hit The Top NYT Slot

imageI don't pretend I understand let alone trust the NYT comics charts, or really any charts that aren't backed up by royalty statements. I assume that with books like Scott McCloud's The Sculptor up there and Raina Telgemeier basically living there that books that chart are at least doing pretty well and potentially extraordinarily so. Therefore I was happy when someone e-mailed me that the Clowes collection The Complete Eightball hit the top slot. I would like for people to buy that book. It's really good, and it's put together with a lot of integrity and care.

I don't know what the percentage is of reprint projects charting, even though it looks pretty strong on that linked-to chart. I'm glad in this age of immediacy whenever people seem happy to indulge themselves with books across a wide spectrum of ages.
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Rainbow Boy

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Steve Ditko answers a kid's letter. There's a lot that's admirable about the way Steve Ditko conducts his professional life.

image* Joe Gordon on Airboy #1. Todd Klein on Positively 4th Street. Rob McMonigal on Murder Mystery Superfan. James Kaplan on The Disciples #1.

* this article from retailer Brian Hibbs is interesting because it looks at Kickstarter through the prism of a bunch of assumptions derived from his role in the marketplace. In other words, I think it's more interesting as what a retailer thinks of as being wrong with a crowd-funded project than what people that are really invested in crowd-funded projects would think of as being wrong.

* here's a site to watch, and I can't remember how I found out so apologies to that person: Helene Parsons has written gags for several cartoonists; I don't know that I've read much from someone working that very specific cartooning job.

* that is a couple of honorable, dignified human beings trading books right there.

* Ken Parille on that recent New Yorker cover from Chris Ware to which many people had a strong, mostly negative reaction.

* I would never think of dissecting a superhero line based on the looks given the characters, but that's a perfectly reasonable give how much the look of a character reflects the general creative direction of one of these properties. It's hard for me to remember a good run of a superhero comic where the character also looked ridiculous.

* finally, Andrew Wheeler talks to Asaf Hanuka. John Parker profiles Alex Toth.
 
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This Site Is Undergoing An E-Mail Change

This site is now comicsreporter@gmail.com. The hotmail and yahoo import mechanisms for gmail are kind of untrustworthy, so a full and direct switch is probably best. If you're been e-mailing tom@comicsreporter.com, that should still work as we've redirected to the gmail account.

I didn't think I'd ever have to change again, but there are some regional office and networking things here in Columbus that gmail makes easier. Thanks for your patience.
 
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June 27, 2015


Go, Look: Murder Mystery Superfan

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The Thing I Owe Garrison Keillor

So I hear that Garrison Keillor has a retirement plan now. The author and radio host will be phasing out of performing duties on his traveling stage program Prairie Home Companion and turning things over to a musician named Chris Thile.

imageKeillor's art is not art I like. I don't have a lot of patience for the kind of humor and sketches that his show provides. I don't like the surface qualities of most of it, its construction and delivery, and I reject its underlying message of a superior Midwestern Anglo-Saxon temperament and way of looking at the world. While Prairie Home Companion features talented musicians, it doesn't do so in a particularly flattering way other than the size of the audience to which they're delivered. My dad had me read a couple of his books maybe 25 years ago, and I cared for them even less.

Garrison Keillor was useful to me, though, when I was trying to sort out my own relationship to art. Keillor is nearly universally hated and ridiculed in both my age group and in those below; he is equally despised in what is probably my most accurate placement on the alt-culture tribal landscape. He's a great punching bag, too: pompous-seeming and omnipresent within his world, but also insulated and mega-successful. I've taken my fair share of shots and I bet some of them were funny.

The thing is, my mom's a fan. A great thing about the last ten years of my life is I got to hang out some with my mom as an adult. This meant a lot of things, its own essay's worth, but it included taking her to movies occasionally and maybe driving her someplace after church. There was a PHC movie we saw together. I didn't care for it; she loved it. And of course Keillor's show is all over the radio airwaves on Sunday afternoons so driving in the car in the mountains to a restaurant we both liked or down the highway to Las Cruces and its clothing stores there was a lot of that show we listened to together.

I liked it less the more I listened, but the bile and kind of easy, alt-culture triumphalism with which I lorded over the show as a cultural object seemed increasingly silly and labored and ungenerous given my Mom's honest, not thought-out pleasure in the man's work. So I checked myself. What I found out is that over time my opinion didn't change of the work but it was nice to be free of the expectation that I would punch the performer right in the kidneys every time he lumbered out onstage. I even came to respect the fact that he was employing multiple "dead" forms of media (prose, radio, concert-hall performance) to personal advantage even if I cringed a tiny bit in aesthetic displeasure every time I heard the name "Guy Noir" (I cringed just now typing it).

We say "some art isn't for you" a lot. We say it mostly, I think, in order to justify the consumption of frivolous art for which we have an appetite even though someone else -- sometimes an imaginary person -- might disapprove. It's a gift we provide others so that we may receive it in return. We rarely flip that phrase around and explore what it means for the people who are simply not on board for certain kinds of art, that have values that run contrary to the work of specific artists. The big thing for me over the last ten years for which Keillor was illuminating was in my being able to uncouple my personal presentation -- this kind of consumerist stance where I'm defined in certain public spaces by my collective likes and dislikes -- from my interactions with art itself. Those interactions as a whole have become sharper and I think less dependent on cultural shortcuts; the opinions accumulated and the insights collected are more entirely my own. I did this with a lot of things, not just Garrison Keillor, but he was in there, too. I'm grateful, and wish him a happy transition into the retirement of his choice.

image from the Chris Monroe comic strip, an intersection of interests that I think is justified for use here; any objection and I will gladly take it down; you should go read the strip
 
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So I Guess There Is A Pride Sale At Comixology Submit Today

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I know people get frustrated when I randomly point out sales and I apologize but hey 50 percent
 
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Comics Workbook Presents Its 2015 Composition Competition

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It's a bit different this year, so pay attention. I always like looking at the comics that result. First prize is cash; second/third prizes involve significant credit allowances at Copecetic Comics.
 
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Go, Look: Embarrassing Moments

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

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If I Were In Perth, I’d Go To This

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

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FFF Results Post #422—Comics’ Special Things

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Things You Love About Comics That Aren't A Character, A Specific Work Or A Cartoonist." This is how they responded.

*****

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Tim O'Neil

1. Superman's triangle numbering from the 90s
2. Quarter boxes
3. Video game ads from the early 80s
4. Marvel's Hunk of the Month (pictured)
5. Sam Henderson's goofy drawing of Tom Spurgeon on the masthead of THE COMICS REPORTER, long may it reign.

*****

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Mike Baehr

1. 3-D! (pictured)
2. Hand lettering
3. Sound effects
4. The thrill of discovery digging through dusty back issue bins
5. Keeping my collection organized

*****

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Jones

1. The sheer improbability of making great art in tiny daily installments over years or even decades (pictured)
2. The dream (literally, dream-that-you-have-while-you're-sleeping) that every single comics reader used to have, at least once in their lives, of finding a new comic shop with all the comics they'd never been able to find in the real world
3. The changes in publication models over the last decade that have made that dream increasingly irrelevant
4. The idea that, on top of what we've already got in print in English, and what we know is still to come, there's still so many great comics we don't know about yet
5. My three year-old daughter always asking me to read comics with her (her favourites are Herge, Barks and McCay -- good taste)

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Oversize treasury/absolute editions with oversize artwork
2. Special effect sounds drawn as part of the artwork (pictured)
3. Painted covers
4. Small inset panels showing motion or time lapse
5. Catchy letter page titles (back when comics had letter pages)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Covers With Little Heads Of Guest Stars In Circles Or Squares Down The Side
2. Superheroes Enjoying Recreational Activities Like Poker Or Softball
3. The Ubiquity Of Ninjas
4. Movie Adaptations (pictured)
5. Hero Fights Other Hero; They Team Up To Fight A Villain

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Covers featuring a solid background color that merges the primary figure(s) and the line art has been removed (pictured)
2. Sound effects consisting of three or more syllables (Brakaakkthwooommm!)
3. Background details that are only included for the artist's own amusement
4. Meta-textual discussions among the creative and/or editorial teams
5. Sound effects for silent actions (~stare~)

*****

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Philippe Leblanc

1. All the different paper stocks
2. The spine of larger comic books, tradepaperbacks and collected edition
3. Supervilain team-up (we must band together to be more evil) (pictured)
4. Anthropomorphic characters
5. Fold out splash pages

*****

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Tom Cherry

1. Back up stories
2. Kid gangs (pictured)
3. Letter columns
4. Celebrities and other famous people that guest star in superhero comics
5. Fight clouds

*****

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Michael Buntag

1. That so many characters can get away wearing clashing spandex costumes when portrayed on the page
2. Universe-crossing team-ups (pictured)
3. Genre mash-ups
4. Educational comics capable of tackling complex subject matter
5. Even with the rapid proliferation of digital colouring, creators can still produce astonishing black and white art

*****

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Tom Bondurant

1. Sound effects
2. Anniversary issues
3. Time manipulation
4. Impossibly plausible costumes and/or gadgets (pictured)
5. Intercompany crossovers

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. Experimental layouts, typography, collage, etc. that enhance and enrich the narrative.
2. Literature adaptations that add new perspectives.
3. Illustrations that purposefully reference other art forms.
4. Comics parodies that offer basic insights into their subjects.
5. Processes that take advantage of the medium’s physicality. (pictured)

*****

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Danny Ceballos

1. saddle-stitching
2. those old-timey ads for GRIT (pictured)
3. dynamic action poses
4. splash pages
5. pin-ups

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. A content accessibilty to some extent, even if the comic is in a language you don't understand.
2. The rotten smell of acidic paper preserved by mylar sleeves.
3. T. M. Maple. (Not a character, not a cartoonist, not a specific work.) (pictured)
4. The enduring popularity of ducks, no matter if they are named Donald, Howard or Destroyer.
5. Former sidekicks or minor characters, that become the star of their own series (Captain Easy, Popeye, Winter Soldier).

*****

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Michael F. Russo

1. New Comic Book Day on Wednesday is like a weekly holiday.
2. Nothing ever really ends. Your favorite character can return in completely different circumstances with an entirely new creative team and be even better than before. Also, your favorite creator can return with a new idea and be better than before.
3. Comics can be really smart and they can be really dumb and they are really good at both.
4. Comics printed when I was a kid have aged (sometimes better than I have) so that the paper is browner and the colors seem richer. (pictured)
5. People who love comics, even people who hate the comics you love and love the comics you hate, are members in a (less and less secret) society that spans generations and continents. Maybe worlds.

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. Villains Cutting Off Conversation by Declaring "Silence!"
2. Advertorial/Promotional Comic Books Starring Mainstream Characters (pictured)
3. Romance Comics Involving Early-'70s Feminism
4. Numbered Parallel Earths
5. Convention Sketchbooks

*****
*****
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Dissident Cartoonists In Harare






Sampling Of HeroesCon 2015 Videos


Tom Scott At TEDxAuckland


Conversation With Filmmaker Dan Mirvish Based Around A Bernard And Huey Film
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from June 20 to June 26, 2015:

1. Cartoonists struggle and occasionally triumph with the harrowing and potentially transformative events of America's last 15 days.

2. comiXology signs a deal with Dark Horse. While there are some critics of the signing as a triumph in terms of what's actually offered at this time -- I haven't written CR's version of that article yet -- the symbolism of the digital comics reading giant having books to offer featuring iconic figures from longtime holdout Dark Horse like Hellboy is a big, big deal.

3. HeroesCon ends the Spring portion of the convention calendar year. (Summer is CCI, Autoptic and WizardWorld Chicago; Fall starts with SPX and ends with CAB.) Conventions are bigger than ever and the fissures that are appearing are only appearing way on the outskirts, at least so far. Heroes has become an interesting show beyonds its identity as a monster regional like Baltimore and Emerald City. It's become a place where folks can announce new comics and receive just as much press attention as any bigger show publishing news bomb being dropped. It's also become less a strange yet delightful "Composite Con" of mainstream and alt-comics interests fused together with delicious gravy from Mert's and more of a show that reflects the growing indie-comics portion of the funnybook industry: that is, a wide variety of expression within genres one might think of as mainstream comics territory.

Winners Of The Week
These Guys

Losers Of The Week
Paul LePage

Quote Of The Week
"Life passes into pages if it passes into anything."-- the late James Salter

*****

the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas

*****
*****
 
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Kaja Saudek, RIP

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I believe this is Saudek; he's an artist a lot of people "do" in their own drawings...
 
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June 26, 2015


Go, Look: Donald Trump Is A Goddamn Fraud

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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In Perth, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: 1980s Contest-Winning Spider-Man Story

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Collective Memory: HeroesCon 2015

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this article has been archived
 
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Go, Look: Zap Comix Covers

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June 25, 2015


Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* here's David Lloyd at Tripwire about his Aces Weekly, a digital anthology of repute that I've not examined nor explored in great enough detail.

* the long-running on-line column House Of 1000 Manga is coming to an end.

* finally, this piece talks about changes with comiXology that maybe got lost in their Dark Horse announcement.
 
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Go, Look: Where To Go In Mexico City?

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Governor Jokes About Shooting Cartoonist… To Cartoonist’s Son

It seems like 80 percent of the news is about people being caught saying something and then someone else showing frowny-face disapproval, but I guess a public figure like Maine Governor Paul LePage wishing for another regional public figure like cartoonist George Danby to be shot is worth noting because of the context of some recent violence against cartoonists. That he made the joke to the cartoonist's son seems even weirder. I imagine there's a small chance this could later be seen as someone's inciting incident, but let's sure hope not.
 
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If I Were In Miami Beach, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Perth, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Demon Bear Saga Extras

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Kleefeld pays attention to a certain cabbie.

* Michael Buntag on Avatar The Last Airbender: Rift. James Bacon on Constantine: The Hellblazer #1. Laura Hudson on Mad Max: Fury Road -- Furiosa. Todd Klein on Astro City #22 and Positively Fourth Street.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco notes that a lot of the character creation done for Kingdom Come has already been folded into the DC Universe.

* Ming Doyle draws Street Angel.

* I wonder about this with McDonald's and hamburgers sold, too.

* here's a survey for comics creators that live in Columbus, Ohio.

* Balak responds to Zainab Akhtar's review of the Last Man series. That's actually pretty rare to hear back from a creator like that.

* finally, Bob Temuka has love for fanzines.
 
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Not Comics: CR Photographer Whit Spurgeon In Herman The Monkey


full crowdfunder here
 
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Go, Look: Seven Cartoonists Discuss Charleston

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Festivals Extra: Billy Ireland Announces Next Exhibits, On World War I And Puck Magazine

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Yesterday the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announced its next two exhibits, opening in late July and remaining open through most of January 2016. The first is "Seeing The Great War," curated by Lucy Caswell, about the work generated during the First World War and popular work in cartoon form generated afterwards, both of which contributed to how we've come to understand that world event. I know Caswell has been gearing up for that one for quite a while, and it should be make for an impressive showing of the museum's holdings.

The second is "What Fools These Mortals Be! The Story Of Puck," curated by Richard Samuel West and Michael Alexander Kahn from work done during their making of the 2014 book from IDW of the same name (well, that opening phrase, anyway). If that's anything like the book, it should be stupendous looking.

These will also be the exhibits open during this year's launch of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, a festival I'm running.

More information through the link, including the wholly impressive word "chromolithograph."
 
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Go, Look: Skull Comics

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June 24, 2015


Go, Look: Alex Nall

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* it's Comic-Con International that's on everyone's minds now, or at least the bulk of the comics people thinking about conventions. It's not the panic it used to be, I think mostly because Comic-Con has stopped changing from year to year so much and also there's been some turnover in the industry part of the comics industry. If you're left, SDCC is either sort of normal, at least compared to last year's show, or you're really confident in your ability to handle it, or both. I'm looking forward to three days and two nights in the beautiful souther California weather, a bunch of meetings and many meals out. I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the mind of pals of mine out of the small press part of the industry.

* the next small press show with a reasonably big presence comes in early August with Autoptic. They have an Event Page up now on Facebook.

* The Beat picked up on a "hassles at a con" story that I totally missed: apparently a show had a hard time organizing its artist's alley section and responded with confusing steps and a lot of nasty insults far from the public eye that were made public because that's what happens now. Comics is kind of a broken vehicle on the talent end, and cons are one of the few things that work at different levels, so there's going to be some real tension when something gets messed up.

* here are a few photos from the Queer Comics Expo.

* finally, if someone could kickstart an extra weekend for April, September and October, I'm sure the people who run comic conventions would support this. No links, I'm just thinking out loud now.
 
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If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Three Mort Meskin Stories Inked By George Roussos

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Mike's Place. Jeff Lester on Demon. Nick Smith on In Search Of Lost Time: Swann's Way. Rob Clough on some different comics. Todd Klein on Hark! A Vagrant. Sean Gaffney on Wandering Son Vol. 8. Brian Nicholson on Blubber #1.

* Frank Santoro breaks it down.

* not comics: at some point someone's going to make some meaningful connection between comics culture and maker culture.

* Jeffrey Renaud talks to Bryan Hitch.

* not comics: I didn't know that Jim Davis was working on a musical version of Garfield. Or I knew it and forgot. Either way, good for him. That's a big deal for cartoonists of his generation to have that specific kind of adaptation done. Davis is also a talented actor, at least my parents always said so.

* hard to believe that Todd McFarlane's run on the Spider-Man character was a quarter-century ago. I'll leave it up to you to decided in which direction.

* "Benoit Crucifix" is the best name ever for a writer about comics.

* not comics: some advice for creators.

* finally, Sean Kleefeld writes some more about those longboxes he found.
 
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Go, Look: Levi’s Story

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June 23, 2015


This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

JAN150495 DON ROSA LIFE & TIMES SCROOGE MCDUCK ARTIST ED HC VOL 01 PI
Don Rosa is a cartoonist greater than the sum of his craft-level parts and his duck work is one of the great, pleasant, overall surprises of the last five decades. Seeing the work at this size and in this format strikes me as fun; but just about every encounter with this work is fun.

imageMAY151312 STROPPY HC (MR) $21.95
No better way to mark the new regime at Drawn and Quarterly than a big, fat, sure-to-be-lovely Marc Bell book. I think this is Bell's first significant book in four, perhaps five years, and this one promises something of a continuing narrative -- enough to make note of it on their web site. You should go look at a few pages to see if it's something that you might want to give a try; I find that work deeply rewarding.

FEB150117 KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE TP VOL 14 (MR) $12.99
This is the best of the mainstream ("known to fans of translated manga) works out this week. It's amazing to me they're up to volume fourteen.

APR150022 RESIDENT ALIEN SAM HAIN MYSTERY #2 $3.99
APR150256 BATGIRL #41 $2.99
APR150252 SUPERMAN #41 $3.99
APR151254 ADVENTURE TIME #41 $3.99
APR158439 KAIJUMAX #1 2ND PTG $3.99
APR150672 SEX #22 (MR) $2.99
It's an interesting week for comics periodicals. I've liked all the Resident Alien comics I've read and will likely enjoy this one when I catch up. The books starring Batgirl and Superman listed here are going to be among the DC books of highest interest coming out of the summer: Batgirl as more and more people see it as a paradigm-changing book, Superman to see if writer Gene Yang can match his very effective personal work and solid licensed work with one of the bigger properties ever. There's an Adventure Time comic book out this week; might be a good week to try one of those if you haven't. Zander Cannon's first issue of Kaijumax is in a second printing; he's always a fun cartoonists. Finaly, Sex #22 is in full-on layered storyline mode now, a bunch of previous groundwork beginning to pay off even as they build to the next work

APR150984 HIC HOC JOURNAL OF HUMOR VOL 01 UNITED STATES (MR) $10.00
Interesting young publisher; great price point. That's a nice line-up of younger talent, too. I'm pretty sure this is a reprint or retry of some kind, as I'm sure I've seen a version in stores.

APR151830 ON THE ROPES GN $17.95
This is a softcover reprint of the Kings In Disguise sequel from 2013; I liked the book, and it was fascinating to read something done in a style that was so common 25 years and isn't used all that much anymore. I wish James Vance had done more comics like this, with a variety of artistic partners, but I kind of wish that were a true thing more generally.

MAR150857 RUSSIAN OLIVE TO RED KING HC (MR) $24.95
Stuart and Kathryn Immonen are two of the best comics citizens. One thing I like about their non-mainstream work is that it seems stridently different than the work each one does for corporate superhero comics. This is a sharp-looking book from that publisher of sharp-looking books, AdHouse.

*****

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 failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

*****

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

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Go, Look: Feature Comics #47

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Richy Vegas Comics #8-9. Matt D. Wilson on Prez #1. Jason Wilkins on Louise Brooks: Detective.

* Leela Jacinto writes about the timeliness of Riad Sattouf's The Arab Of The Future.

* Zainab Akhtar writes about the use of sound effects in Frank Quitely's work.

* Michael Hill lines up various statements by Jack Kirby over the years to show that his story about working at Marvel was reasonably consistent. A criticism of Kirby's position is that Gary Groth or the situation with the original art had caused him to change a longstanding view of the events.

* I can't imagine it's a lot of people that wanted to know what Jake Tapper's drawings look like, not really, but you can count me among their number. We are now satisfied.

* Steve Morris talks to Sonny Liew. Patrick A. Reed profiles Wally Wood. Brian Andersen talks to Sophie Campbell.

* finally, this is good news. I look forward to reading that comic book.
 
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Go, Look: The Brazen Bull Corporation

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Go, Look: Sneaking Out

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Go, Look: Closing The Circle

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June 22, 2015


Festivals Extra: Eisners Annnounces Sponsors, Event Details

imageThe Eisner Awards announced the details of its 2015 awards ceremony and its major sponsors for this year's honors on July 10th in conjunction with Comic-Con International weekend.

Showtime will serve as title sponsor. Arch Enemy Entertainment will be the major sponsor. Principal sponsors are comiXology and Gentle Giant Studios. Supporting sponsors are Alternate Reality Comics, Atlantis Fantasy World, Diamond Comics/Geppi Entertainment Museum, Flying Colors & Other Cool Stuff, Marquis Book and Strange Adventures.

Comic-Con International continues to underwrite and support the program.

The doors will open at 7:45 PM (with advance seating for nominees, sponsors, presenters and pro badges at 7:00 PM). The ceremony starts at 8:00 PM with a hoped-for conclusion around 10:30 PM. There are 29 categories this year. The ceremony also encompases other awards: the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award and the Bill Finger Award For Excellence In Comic Book Writing. DC Comics is the major sponsor for the Finger Award; Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson are supporting sponsors.

The ceremony's theme will involve the 75th anniversary of Will Eisner's The Spirit.

I hope to be there, three rows from the back. My title sponsor is Budweiser.
 
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Go, Look: Four Images From The Divine

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* not sure I knew about a third Billy Hazelnuts book on the horizon.

image* this Paul Pope cover will adorn the next iteration of The Badger, a reasonably popular 1980s indie-superhero character that never quite found its creative footing back then and hasn't in a few relaunch tries since. I wish them luck. I have a younger brother who is very fond of the character.

* they may be running out of titles.

* Marvel will be doing a new Doctor Strange comic with Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo. I don't know everything about mainstream comics, but those are super-solid creators and rank even higher on an available talent scale with some of the talent hours that Marvel has lost to Image Comics recently. That indicates the character is a priority, which makes sense with a movie coming out. That's not a character with which Marvel has done all that well compared to the rich assortment of stories in the bank for the other 1960s characters. There's a lot of untapped potential there which is really odd considering how exhausted most Marvel/DC characters seem these days.

* far bigger news for Marvel is that they'll be doing a comic about the Miles Morales character in the standard Marvel comics "universe." That's a popular character, and the way he connects with a certain fanbase that sees themselves in him is quite admirable.

* I'm not exactly sure why I have the information in this form, but that indicates a new series from Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire. That's something to look forward to.

* Drawn and Quarterly has gone more than a day without announcing anything.

* finally, Z2 Comics has announced a number of releases through an announcement in PW, a combination of stand-alone trades and periodical series. Here's a story just on the periodicals. Judging from the prices it is getting through abebooks.com, that Pekar/Remnant Cleveland book might prove to be a particularly smart pick-up.

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Go, Look: A Dr. Strange Image Gallery

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Go, Look: Cathy G. Johnson

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Go, Look: Mainstream Covers 35 Years Ago This Month

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Aw Yeah! adds a third retail location. Congrats to them. I like the Muncie location, and try to stop by every time I'm in town.

image* Bob Temuka on what is best in comics. Brian Nicholson on Shaolin Cowboy.

* this idea of paying authors according to how many pages are read strikes me as fundamentally wrong, but I suppose we're way past any system I might prefer. I think artists or publishers to whom artists cede control in this specific area should set a price according to however the hell they want. People can either sell it or not, buy it or not. That's not what we have now except in a few broad circumstances, and it sounds like it will lurch even further in the other direction. It should be interesting to see if there's a different reaction in comics than there has been in prose.

* Matt Bors draws Donald Trump as Cable. Trevor Alixopulos draws after Bob Lubbers. David Mazzucchelli draws Daredevil. Al Columbia draws a house at Salmon Falls.

* Derek Royal talks to Tillie Walden.

* finally, another bit of not comics: a couple of folks sent in links to this piece, where an artist suggest a donation to charity of a discount on art work rather than a donation of art work outright.
 
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Comixology Announces Deal With Hold-Out Dark Horse

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Here's the press release from Comixology about their now working with Dark Horse, a longtime holdout in terms of doing their primary digital work themselves. This is for collections, graphic novels and manga -- stuff with a spine -- and seems to have worked through the digital supplier's position as the digital comics of Amazon, which includes Kindle.

comixologydarkhorse.pdf

I'm told this was fairly spoiled by a recent ad campaign's visual signifiers, but it's new to me! This is the significant direct market player that as of yet wasn't with the digital company, so it's a big deal in a kind of foundational way. For customers, I imagine it means more. I don't know what the deal is yet with previous customers and what transfers, so I'm going to play catch on that and report back to you later.
 
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Go, Look: The Eternal Flame

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Bundled Extra: D&Q Picks Up Key Back Catalog Works

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On Friday, Drawn and Quarterly announced they've acquired reprint rights to four solid-performing books featuring key comics authors. They are:

* Blankets, Craig Thompson, softcover and hardcover, Fall 2015
* Was She Pretty?, Leanne Shapton, softcover, Winter 2016
* How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Sarah Glidden, softcover, Fall 2016
* Spaniel Rage, Vanessa Davis, softcover, Spring 2016

I would say all of those books have sales life, significantly so in a couple of cases, and all potentially fit into future publishing plans. Thompson to my memory hasn't announced a book to follow his Scholastic all-ages book this year, Space Dumplins, and Glidden's reprint will support her new book at D&Q also due sometime in the next 24 months.
 
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Go, Look: Feed The Wife

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Go, Read: Jaime Weinman On Comics And Continuity

imageI had fun reading this Jaime Weinman article on continuity in comics, which I think is fairly and pretty deeply engaged with that phenomenon as its exists within a lot of those comics, particularly superhero ones. I particularly like the section on Don Rosa's Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck using continuity a tool to create a personally meaningful and fun comic book story, and I think looking at Jonathan Hickman's comics as really only interested in Jonathan Hickman-created continuity is a smart way to go.

Continuity as it is used in comics is such a weird thing that there's a lot of stuff only somewhat touched on to outright passed over in the Weinman piece that could make for their own articles. This includes but is not restricted to: the way that these characters resist continuity just from sheer story density shoehorned into a character's timeline that can't progress too far, continuity as a way to upgrade a character's modern appeal, the creative appeal of re-visiting old and potent storylines, no-continuity as continuity where comparison between versions is part of the point, lightening up on continuity as a way to lessen the burden placed on editors (and get better value from them), lightening up on continuity as a way to maybe get creators with options elsewhere to work on characters not their own, and continuity as something to be corrected in order to better realize a larger corporate goal. Corn products are to processed food what Continuity is to conceptions of mainstream comics.

I liked continuity when I was invested in Marvel Comics. It was one of the things most appealing to me, this idea of a story that was unfolding over several years and the commitment on the part of the company that they would try to make it one story. Then again, I was near enough to the beginning of that company's modern existence that the overall story sill sort of made sense with only a little compression of time needed, and there were really good concepts that sold well enough to stick around but not well enough they couldn't be played with (Daredevil, the X-Men), so I got some new in there, too. Since I love the Rosa and really love the Jaime Hernandez Locas comics, I would assume that most of any objections I make to comics that seek a sense of continuity is when corporations are the one in charge of it.
 
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Go, Look: The Gallery Section Of EarlNorem.com

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Go, Read: Robert Boyd With An Historical Mainstream Treatment Of Creators Primer

Not like I've gone through and vetted this point by point, but writer about the arts Robert Boyd put in his comics time with dedication and aplomb and I trust that what he has to say about creators' rights and comics industry history to be worth reading. That's even though we live in an Internet age where I will now likely get an e-mail from some strident person in full Skip Bayliss mode declaring this article to be the worst thing ever.

I don't know how you get past the broader points in these cases, and the broader points indicate a mindset and general strategy enacted over decades that has rarely suited creators. We still live in that time. Even if things are slightly better now, the fundamental orientation seems clear to most creators to whom I speak, nearly all of whom are overjoyed to find a place for their own creations free of creative hierarchies and branding strategies.
 
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Go, Look: Sargon The Sorcerer

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Go, Read: Let’s All Be Careful Out There

Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has an interesting post here about art on eBay claiming to be original Calvin & Hobbes strips. While making clear the Billy isn't in the business of appraising art in any way, and that her post is no substitute for seeking that out, she uses a few examples to suggest that it might behoove those finding an art buy too good to be true to be very, very careful. We live in an age where a lot of people have a lot of basic art skills, and a significant subset of those people know how to use digital in ways that might obscure the provenance of art they'd like you to buy for what it resembles rather than what it is.
 
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Go, Look: Giorgio Comolo

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By Request Extra: Annie Mok Facilitating A Comics Bundle To Benefit Emanuel AME Church

This sounds like a great idea, even though I bet there are people out there that cringe a little bit every time there's a new bundle because they've done so well with one themselves. Still, as I wrote earlier today in the regular column: giving to them seems like a great idea to me for the sake of the good that might be done and for the sake of giving that church and its parishioners more to do in this time of shock and grief.

".(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)."

 
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Not Comics: Random Science Fiction Illustration Imagery

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Bundled Extra: Two From Kelly Sue DeConnick

imageThe writer Kelly Sue DeConnick made two announcements over the weekend at HeroesCon in Charlotte well worth noting.

The first is that after the sprawling Secret Wars event series at Marvel, she will no longer be writing the Captain Marvel character in whatever form its solo comic is currently taking or due to take (my apologies; I have a hard time tracking comic book series at Marvel). In other words, she's done writing the character, which she's done since July 2012. During that time, Captain Marvel moved from intermittent and solid supporting character to intellectual property first-teamer, including a planned solo movie. The Carol Corps, an emerging group of fans devoted to the character primarily but not restricted to this most recent iteration, was another aspect of DeConnick's run which made business folks, fellow creators and pop-culture historians stand up and notice.

Given the recent thrust of DeConnick's career towards creating work that she owns with corresponding creative and financial benefit, it's a surprise that she's continued with the character for as long as she has.

DeConnick also announced a project with artist Bill Sienkiewicz called Parisian White, or at least that its title for now. That would be for Image Comics, and should debut in 2016 according to what I heard, but I could be wrong.
 
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Go, Look: A Mike Ploog Mini-Portfolio

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June 21, 2015


Go, Look: Jack Kirby’s Colored Argo Art

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* the latest DMP/Tezuka project will likely have met its goal by the time this rolls out as well.

* it doesn't seem as if this Nikola Tesla-related comic will need all that much help from CR readers to meet its goals, but that doesn't mean some of you won't be interested in participating in the crowdfunder.

* the Molly Danger team would like help reducing production costs on the publication of their comic. That one seems to have a significant fan base, so I bet it does okay. Because they have a publisher who cannot supply the entirety of production costs, all the usual issues regarding that kind of thing are in play.

* I see the crowdfunder for The Sunday Comics has started up. That's a considerable list of comics-makers involved. I learned about that project -- or was reminded -- from this dissenting opinion by Mike Lynch.

* here are three from folks that wrote in and ask that I go look at what they're doing: Tesla: Stormborn #1, How To Be A Supervillain And Love Life Doing It and The Collected Element Of Surprise. My apologies to anyone I missed.

* by my math, the writer Jim Hundall could still use several hundred dollars to meet his final fundraising goal on an extended period in his life that involved losing a foot.

* my not-comics request of the week is the Emanuel Church folks in Charleston. My experience is that AME churches are really good at returning value to the community on donations, and that's a church that will be looking for ways to perform service after the shattering murderous spree of last week.

* finally, just a couple of days left for Robyn Chapman's annual report on small-press doings, The Tiny Report.
 
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Go, Look: Tomorrow I’ll Ge Gone

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Not Comics: Minus Five And The Mountain Of Gold

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Grant Goggans on Strontium Dog: The Stix Fix. Sean Gaffney on Lucifer And The Biscuit Hammers Vols. 5-6. Mathew Meylikhov on Copra.

* totally missed this report about an exhibit including Eric Stanton that was in LA this year.

* on the pleasures of reading role-playing game material. It's like they're writing articles just for Dylan Horrocks.

* Patrick A. Reed remembers the writer and editor Mark Gruenwald. Gruenwald's was the first obituary I wrote for The Comics Journal, and I remember the magazine's relationship with a significant swathe of comics was such that a friend of Gruenwald's listened in on my conversations with the widow in case I tried to pull something sneaky. I thought of Gruenwald a great deal a couple of years back when Kim Thompson passed away. They were letter-circle peers, and Kim was quite sad to learn that Gruenwald had passed away. He said that Gruenwald was as perfect a fit working at Marvel as Kim was at Fantagraphics. I heard once Gruenwald had an adult-sized teeter-totter at his home and occasionally conducted meetings on it, which I really, really hope is true.

* Jim Rugg draws Wolverine. Ron Rege Jr. draws Beyonce.

* the best part of any series of articles about movies based on comics is 80 percent likely to be all the movies that predate the 1970s Superman film.

* finally, I love this photo from Kids Read Comics that has a kid with their hands balled underneath their chin in glee.
 
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Earl Norem, RIP

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June 20, 2015


Reminder: Gasoline Alley Is A Great Strip About Fatherhood

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I've thought a lot about Gasoline Alley this weekend, as a result of Ben Schwartz's New Yorker essay on the great strip, spotlighted below. I thought I'd provide several weeks for similar consideration by any of you so willing. It's a really great strip to read, although it took me seeing the strip in its pre-Skeezix incarnation for me to fully get what King was doing later on.

In a way, the comic strip is the best form for exploring things that happen to us day to day and primary relationships within one's family are one of those things. Life and serial-narrative comic strips are collections of moments, some profound and many incidental. There is a quiet deliberation and an almost invisible quality to their nature.

I wish for you the time and mood and mindset and resources to do a similar exploration of Frank King's work somewhere down the road. I'm very grateful for Gasoline Alley, and for all of those that have done some work of their own on its behalf. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, no matter when and where and for what audience they became one.

*****

* An Old Comic Strip About Modern Fatherhood, Ben Schwartz, The New Yorker, 2015.

*****

* A Bright, Well-Lit Alley, Andrew Arnold, Time.comix, 2005.
* A Poor Investment: Frank King's Gasoline Alley, Ng Suat Tong, Hooded Utilitarian, 2012.
* Growing Old In Gasoline Alley: 94 Years And Counting, RC Harvey, TCJ.com, 2013.
* Survey 1 Comic Strip Essays: Wade Simpson on Gasoline Alley aka Walt and Skeezix, Frank King, Center For Cartoon Studies Site, 2010.

*****

* Walt Before Skeezix by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1921-1922: Volume 1 by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1923-1924: Volume 2 by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1925-1926: Volume 3 by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1927-1928: Volume 4 by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1929-1930: Volume 5 by Frank King
* Walt and Skeezix 1931-1932: Volume 6 by Frank King

*****

Here are some strips. In the old days this used to be a bad thing because you were "illustrating" your article with someone else's work, but I hope that these can be treated as destinations to visit. I'll take down any link asked. I'm also not 100 percent sure every page/strip is from King, as I'm not familiar with all the permutations of the strip. But this should give you an idea as to its offhand visual strength and its lovely pacing.

* 01
* 02
* 03
* 04
* 05
* 06
* 07
* 08
* 09
* 10
* 11
* 12
* 13
* 14
* 15

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Knights And Scavengers

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Not Comics: Virgil Finlay’s Weird Tales Portfolio

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If I Were In London, 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 Louisville, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Sydney, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Ann Arbor, I’d Go To This

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

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FFF Results Post #421—Mid-Major Super-Baddies

On Friday, CR asked readers to "Name Five Superpower-Having Villains (Individuals Or Pairs) You Enjoy That Aren't/Weren't Published By Marvel, Image Or DC Comics. This is how they responded.

*****

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Mike Pfefferkorn

1. Plutonian (Irredeemable)
2. Lord Saker (Elementals)
3. Judge Death (Judge Dredd) (pictured)
4. Magica De Spell (Uncle Scrooge)
5. Caliginous (Hero Squared)

Wow, that was tough!

*****

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Matt Emery

1. Torquemada (Nemesis The Warlock)
2. Judge Mortis (Judge Dredd)
3. Max Bubba (Strontium Dog)
4. Masterman (Zenith) (pictured)
5. Artie Graber (Harlem Heroes)

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. Dr. Dinosaur (Atomic Robo)
2. L (Death Note)
3. Kizaru (One Piece) (pictured)
4. Red Basher (Destroy!!)
5. Mean Machine Angel (Judge Dredd)

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Michana Loomis (Nexus)
2. The Entropy Twins (E-Man)
3. Toyo Harada (Harbinger)
4. 9-Jack-9 (Zot!)
5. Turm Garten (Mai, The Psychic Girl) (pictured)

*****

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Ryan Sands

1. Old Cho (Domu: A Child's Dream)
2. Gotou (Parasyte)
3. Zapan (Battle Angel Alita) (pictured)
4. Chicken George (Fourteen)
5. Shampoo (Ranma 1/2)

*****

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Dave Knott

* Two-Tank Omen (American Barbarian)
* Argent (Grendel)
* The Black Flame (B.P.R.D.)
* Jei (Usagi Yojimbo) (pictured)
* Sathanas (Next Men)

*****

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Marty Yohn

1. Dr. Dinosaur (Atomic Robo) (pictured)
2. Baron Heinrich van Helsingard (Atomic Robo)
3. The White Violin (Umbrella Academy)
4. The Plutonian (Irredeemable)
5. Briar (Bone)

*****

image

Michael Buntag

1. Vegeta (Dragon Ball)
2. Dekko (Zot!)
3. Baba Yaga (Hellboy) (pictured)
4. Pluto (Pluto)
5. Chojiro Uchida (Domu)

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Shark's enemy Von Lougg
2. Marvelman's nemesis Kid Marvelman
3. Vitas from Copra (pictured)
4. E-Man's Stringpull Schmaltz
5. Mikros' villain Super-Termitor

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. Andor (Dynamo / T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents)
2. Necross the Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha Mad (Cerebus)
3. Magica DeSpell (Scrooge McDuck)
4. Mad Dr Doom (Little Archie)
5. Captain Krym (Kona, Monarch Of Monster Isle) [okay, he so didn't have a superpower, but he had a crew of pirates riding mutant dinosaurs and that's EVEN BETTER!] (pictured)

*****

Thanks to those that replied. I realize I am letting a lot of people get away with stuff on this one, but this was a hard question. Five times out of six, I'd just delete, so don't ever be surprised if that happens.

*****
*****
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Art Of Comic-Con Exhibit Previewed


Cartoons & Comics


Not Comics: Fat Day At Fort Thunder, 1998


The French Just Get Chip Zdarsky


Ted Rall Appears On A Show To Talk Rachel Dolezal


TV Station In Vegas Covers Local Show
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from June 13 to June 19, 2015:

1. Murders in Charleston: comics responds.

2. Bongo slips away from comiXology as it announces the development of its own app.

3. Marvel renews and expands its agreement with comiXology.

Winners Of The Week
Fans of Drawn And Quarterly

Losers Of The Week
the X-Men, on the Moon, 35 years ago

Quote Of The Week
"We had a dead period in terms of photos. We had no photos from the mid-2000s... before camera phones. We had all these early beautiful ones and then we'd have all the convention photos of the last couple years and then nothing in between." -- Peggy Burns

*****

the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas

*****
*****
 
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June 19, 2015


Go, Look: Sam Dakota

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Go, Look: Breadcrumb Comics

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via
 
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If I Were In Sydney, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Columbus, 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 Houston, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In DC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In San Francisco, 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 Louisville, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Ann Arbor, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Zosia Dzierzawska

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A Few Cartooning Notes Re: The Charleston Murders

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* due to my schedule I'm writing this pretty early on Thursday evening. I haven't seen a bunch of cartoons yet. There's the Dave Grunland, above, from the Cagle site. They have a bunch of cartoons and likely by now a bunch more. Gary Varvel is always pretty quick to respond.

* this already-existing cartoon was posted a lot both as a genuine statement of anger and also in antcipation of the political arguments to come. The two impulses overlap, of course.

* there were some angry tweets out there comparing the emotional outburst that greeted the Charlie Hebdo murders in a disparaging way with perceived or even projected shortcomings in reactions to this act of horrifying terror. I sympathize with the anger, although I think the differences are important enough that it's hard for me to see them on a continuum. My heart was far more broken about South Carolina 24 hours after each dismaying act, but I can see where other people in other situations might find the Hebdo murders specifically affecting. They are both certainly horrible.

* of the folks I follow for comics purposes, it looks like Jeremy Whitley was the most prolific tweet maker about the murders in the day following, if you want to scroll back.

* Annie Koyama points out that sometimes there is solace in beauty.

* finally, to show you how smart it was for Medium to start The Response I'm already refreshing the site waiting to see what it has to say on this matter. If this rolls out when I'm not around, hopefully there's something there. Or a bunch of things.
 
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Go, Look: A Visit To Frank Santoro’s Studio

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Missed It: Drawn And Quarterly Rolling Out A Bunch Of High Profile Book Announcements

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This is on me and speaks to the fact I haven't made Drawn and Quarterly's still new to me web site the recurring source for information I should have by now, but the publisher that's been in the news all summer for its 25th Anniversary and change at the top has been announcing a series of big books for the next several months. Some of this is stuff I've heard about and some of it is stuff I haven't.

It looks like a typically great lineup for them, featuring a ton of artists with whom they've developed effective relationships and a couple of newbies that seems to fit right in. It's a big enough list I apologize in advance for missing someone, and I'm sure there are more announcements to come. I'll do it by artist, alphabetically.

* Fire!! The Zora Neal Hurston Story, Peter Bagge, Winter 2017.
* Mary Wept Over The Feet Of Jesus, Chester Brown, Spring 2016.
* Big Kids, Michael DeForge, January 2016.
* Carpet Sweeper Tales, Julie Doucet, 2016.
* Beverly, Nick Drnaso, February 2016.
* Panther, Brecht Evens, March 2016.
* Mooncop, Tom Gauld, No Date Given.
* Uncomfortably, Happily, Yeon-sik Hong (translated by Hellen Jo), Fall 2016.
* Kitaro (New Format), Shigeru Mizuki (Translated by Zack Davisson), Starting In March 2016.
* Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream, Laura Park, No Date Given.
* Art Comic, Matthew Thurber, No Date Given.

As a group that's just a really formidable bunch. Wow. There's no bad entry point for analysis or for just reading.

The Chester Brown strikes me as the most notable in a publishing-news sense, just because his work with Bible stories has been a big component of Brown's hall of fame career and hasn't seen book format publication yet. The publisher's continuing relationship with Julie Doucet as she redefines her approach to art greatly benefits and delights this reader and fan. There is no talent more at the heart of that company than Doucet. The Laura Park announcement is really welcome. That's a great publisher for her. She's a world-class drawer of things and fun comics-maker that really hasn't had that one platform that this could be. If we can get Park working within the main thrust of altcomics like with this opportunity and with her PFC/Autoptic participation later this summer, I couldn't be happier.

The remaining books include three of my five personal favorite cartoonists, so trust me when I suggest it's all good.

I'll continue to cover these announcements, hopefully in a more timely and per-article basis.
 
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Go, Look: Marvel’s Timeslip Universe Portraits

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never seen these before; what strikes me is that nearly all of them are really uninteresting, at least from my perspective
 
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Marvel Expands/Extends Their Agreements With Comixology

You can read the press release here. They're renewing the agreement they had to make comics available on the Comixology and Marvel sites, but now this gets expanded to Marvel work being available on Kindle because Comixology is Amazon's digital comics arm, and that means Kindle.

I'm all for comics being as widely available and on as many platforms as possible online, so this is good news as far as I'm concerned. I enjoy reading individual comic book issues this way, particularly in the superhero genre which isn't a genre I follow in a lot of other ways.
 
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Go, Look: Inspector Dayton

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Go, Read: Brigid Alverson At Robot 6 On Tintin In Winnipeg

imageBrigid Alverson has a nice write-up here about the Winnipeg Library returning Tintin In America to its shelves. The stories about a challege to the book first surfaced in March. The twist is that it's being returned to a shelf where an adult can get it, but not I guess kids just reading through things.

I think this is interesting set of issues, and I'm not sure that my impulses in terms of absolute free speech encompass all that I find compelling about what's involved here. There are a lot of older books, including a lot of classic comics, that don't meet the bare minimum of what you and I might expect in terms of attitudes towards different races and sexes and cultures where we would be automatically delighted to see them in a young person's backpack. I'm actually surprised we haven't seen more scorched earth rhetoric about simply leaving such books behind, but I certainly don't want that, either. I suspect we muddle through.
 
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Go, Look: Tor The Magic Master Fights Nazis

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Heroes Con Gets Underway In Charlotte Today

Good luck to those attending Heroes Con and an extra wish of same for those running the long existing regional show of import and, for most folks in comics, great affection. I'm sad I won't get to see Shelton Drum, Rico Renzi and the Odin of volunteers Andrew Mansell until this time next year.

imageThat's a show that has a formula that works. It's focused on comics, and primarily creators of comics. It's very generous in terms of its guest list, which it gets back in terms of the loyalty people feel to the show and the willingness to participate in its profitable art auction. The days are reasonably long, but the nights are satisfying: as a regional business hub, Charlotte is stuffed with good restaurants and the show is still of a size where the professionals can haunt the same bar in a boisterous, industry wide way. At the end of the show, those staying over on Sunday night crowd into the show's host store and eat from food trucks and drink beer under tents.

If you're going, and I think this is one you should attend at some point if you have an interest that can be met there, the rewards are for the most part derived from the basics of con attending. It's a show where a lot of dealers show up with cheap comics; it's by far the show where I see the most pros buy comics. It has a significant drawing culture, fans paying for pinups that were made in advance, commissioned in advanced, or arranged at the show. It's also a show where people build relationships over several years, and love checking in, and love talking and catching up. It's a show with underrated panels, many of the best only lightly attended.

It's very sweet, really, and I always missing not attending when circumstances prevent me from doing so. Have fun, everyone.
 
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On Recoloring The Batman Year One For Trade Collection

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June 18, 2015


Go, Read: The Mary Sue Is Seeking A Senior Editor

Here. I like how specific they are in their instructions to potential candidates, and I like thinking about all the way that people will proudly ignore those instructions and get round filed. As always: stay empowered, keep your personal ethics about you and good luck.
 
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Go, Look: Tyler Cohen At Mutha Magazine

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Matt Bors announces the first major permutation of the revamped The Nib: The Response, a collective of cartoonists of color discussing "race, class, gender and culture." That sounds like it could be really good. There are three Rachel Dolezal strips up as I write this, all from cartoonists I enjoy reading.

* someone sent me here, which indicates that Dave Kellett will be doing some shared universe stuff with people contributing to stories set in the same milieu as his Drive comic. I'm surprised there isn't a bit more of that, although maybe I'm just not seeing it.

* Lauren Davis recommends The Seven Deaths Of The Empress.

* finally, there's apparently an online English translation of Esther Verkest, a decade plus strip in Belgium and the Netherlands.
 
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If I Were In Sydney, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Charlie Poppins

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* another student sent home for class for wishing death upon his classmates and writing their names down in a notebook. Neither one will get you sent home on your own. Is it weird that I can see the school's side with this one? I don't think these are serious death threats but it's a pretty straightforward act of disruption. Then again, kids lives are so tough, and anyone writing in a notebook like this is probably a victim in 98 percent of cases.

image * Todd Klein on the Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle series. Sean Gaffney on Kimi ni Todoke Vol. 21. Johanna Draper Carlson on Long Distance #1. Alex Mangles on Baddawi. Richard Burton on Tracks. Joe Gordon on Le Train De Michel. Johanna Draper Carlson on a bunch of non-fiction comics from TCAF. Mike Dawson and Box Brown talk The Cute Manifesto and BORB. Greg Hunter on Pope Hats #4.

* David Harper talks to Eric Stephenson. Jeffrey Renaud talks to Patrick Gleason. Alex Dueben talks to Peggy Burns. Michalis Limnios talks to Gary Panter. A Comics Taverner talks to Joe Matt.

* a few paragraphs from Jules Feiffer, a kind of "in his own words" thing. It's going to be fun to see Jules Feiffer at shows and the like over the next several years.

* IDW will do a crossover between two nearly similar versions of Ghostbusters. I've seen that done, but maybe not as closely as these two different versions are.

* Erica Friedman reports in from Flamecon.

* Tim Hodler writes about the severe reaction Chris Ware's comics frequently receive, how they seem to be a combination of external factions and genuine dismay/hatred at/for Ware's approach. Hodler writes like the best liver paté spreads across a slice of a bread, and I wish we got more of it.

* finally, Richard Bruton presents thoughts on two works by a high school aged cartoonist.
 
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By Request Extra: Please Consider A Donation To Emanuel AME Church

imageTotally not comics.

There's a lot of comics news out there today, and hopefully I'll get to it by the end of business hours. Right this minute I'm a little heartbroken, and thus paralyzed, that we've had one of those national shooting tragedies, this time at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. I went to school with a number of AME clergy, and they were the best of us. Emanuel is one of the great holy sites of America, a church that served those that suffered worst at the hands of an American conception of liberty that allowed for the evils of slavery.

I'm not one to leap to political positions in immediate fashion, so I don't have a reaction that way. I do know that a church like Emanuel can always put to good use donated money. I think they'll want to be out there doing what they can as a way to honor their fallen members, our citizens and neighbors, because that's what a church does. I hope you'll consider giving.
 
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June 17, 2015


Go, Look: Lize Meddings

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* look at the sweet space they found to put on Flamecon.

image* looks like there's a focused programming track at Heroes Con related to the 10th Anniversary of Center For Cartoon Studies. I would likely attend all of these were I there, except for maybe the movie which I've seen more than once.

* Robyn Chapman writes a review and runs a photo of this year's Grand Comics Fest.

* PW starts beating the drum for ALA 2015 with a brief but broadly aimed look at the state of comics in libraries.

* Joe Gordon breaks down everything comics to be featured at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

* here are photos from an Ed Luce signing in London.

* CAKE reminds that the annual award they do where someone gets sponsored and set up at the show is still accepting applications for few more days. That sounds like a fine little program, and I urge people to participate if they're eligible. Speaking of CAKE, while I did hear a range of experiences from the exhibitor end, that higher-end people were very enthusiastic, not just politey so. John Porcellino said it was his best show ever by a double-digit percentage-point number, which is astonishing considering how many shows that guy has done.

* here's a photo-stuffed report from Comicfestival Munchen.

* finally, here's the Fantagraphics crew in Oslo. Speaking of Fantagraphics, here's what they'll debut in San Diego at Comic-Con International this year.
 
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If I Were In Toronto, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Various Early EC Segar Efforts

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Lobster Johnson Vol. 4. Rob Clough on a bunch of different autobio comics. Sean Gaffney on So Cute It Hurts Vol. 1. Zainab Akhtar on Soft. Stergios Botzakis on Oregon Trail: Road To Destiny. William Evans on Southern Bastards #9.

* here's a piece exploring the value of online sales for small press people. I know some folks that have done fairly well on the handmade comics level of things with digital comics sales, and people buying physical comics through online means has been with us about 20 years now.

* yes, indeed.

* finally, someone whose name I can't figure out has a few words for the new direction they're taking with Superman. I am all for unique stories being told with these characters, but they all seem exhausted to me.
 
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Go, Look: Leila Abdelrazaq’s Illustrations Of Book Smuggling

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June 16, 2015


This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

JAN151442 COMPLETE EIGHTBALL HC BOX SET ISSUES 1 - 18 (MR) $119.99
This is almost certainly one of the half-dozen must-haves of the year, the comic-book formatted issues of one of the great series of all time, featuring the work of Daniel Clowes. The packaging is super thoughtful and thought out, and of course the comics are great. It's nice to be reminded as we become more of a graphic novel culture how many short comics are in here and how many hit hard. It's also hilarious to learn that everything that Clowes wrote about Dan Pussey, which was a feature his editor Kim Thompson apparently loved leading Clowes to make more of them than he might have otherwise, was true except for the final fade into obscurity. It's all NYT obits now.

imageFEB150911 CLOVER HONEY 20TH ANNIVERSARY ED GN (MR) $14.95
This week's argument for feeling really old, this is Rich Tommaso's career jumpstarter (after the Eros title Cannibal Porn. As I recall, it was early enough in the big book era that a talent as young as Tommaso doing a standalone without serializing first was considered a very strange thing. It was also one of the early recipients of a television development deal -- that's my memory, anyway -- and one can see the appeal this might have had in that medium. Expanded and revised.

FEB150051 AW YEAH COMICS TP VOL 02 TIME FOR ADVENTURE $12.99
This is a second volume of the kids comics by those nice men that do tiny versions of DC superheroes as comics and are also retailers. It's not something I'm interested in now, but they're very snappy, cute comics and I've seen plenty of kids devour them like Edmund Pevensie pounds down Turkish Delight.

APR150038 GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #6 $3.99
Everything Sergio Aragones does is important and if that encompasses something to buy, I will buy it.

APR150041 USAGI YOJIMBO #146 $3.50
FEB150045 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 29 TWO HUNDRED JIZO $17.99
Double ditto Stan Sakai and his Usagi Yojimbo books, a book for children (well, whose audience includes children) that has a quality to the cartooning that interests me enough I'm a reader. I buy these in comics form in chunks when I'm able, but the trade series is where most people should start. While some people may not want to read the entire saga, I can't imagine too many folks not having some fun dipping into the series and experience what he does with tone and mood and pacing.

APR150066 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #132 $3.50
APR150313 ASTRO CITY #24 $3.99
APR150183 BLACK CANARY #1 $2.99
APR150189 DR FATE #1 $2.99
APR150199 MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 $2.99
APR150205 PREZ #1 $2.99
MAR150572 LAZARUS #17 (MR) $3.50
APR150167 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 $5.99
APR151230 LUMBERJANES #15 $3.99
APR150682 TREES #10 (MR) $2.99
APR151621 KAIJUMAX #3 $3.99
This is a fairly extensive list of comic book format comics for the week. We have your Mignolaverse comic right up top, mostly because Dark Horse is listed first of all the big publishers. Astro City is now two dozen into this latest iteration; that's a comic I also do in big chunks as I'm able to find them at slightly less than full price, but it strikes me as working the same basic vein of material the much lauded 1990s iteration of the title did. What follows is four well hyped comics from the DC running soft reboot. I think Prez is the most interesting choice there: it seems the least DC superheroish title and the most like kids literature hits more generally. I enjoy that Lazarus book when I see it; it reminds me of the Vertigo series of the 1990s in a good way, even though I wasn't always a reader for those titles. The JLA book I'm just pointing out the price point. Lumberjanes is still early on enough in its run that you can catch up with only a little effort, but that won't be true forever. Trees has been for me the most interesting of the recent Warren Ellis genre books: there's a real slowness to those early issues that reminds of recent prestige TV. And finally, you have Zander Cannon drawing monsters, so you want that.

imageAPR151507 COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS TP VOL 16 1980S MORE STRUGGLE $19.99
FEB151419 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 23 1995-1996 $29.99
MAR151350 EC GRAHAM INGELS GRAVE BUSINESS & OTHER STORIES HC $29.99
Two books from two of Fantagraphics' strongest reprint lines. I know the Peanuts is past this point; not sure about the Crumb. Crumb's work in the 1980s was also sort of a running soft reboot. I can't tell with the EC stuff if I'm just not into horror comics or if there's something about their plan to reprint by author that makes some volumes less interesting. I want them all on my shelf, and find this strategy so much better in so many artists' cases, but I'm not sure if a few of them I make little to no attempt to read.

APR151602 DUNGEON MONSTRES GN VOL 05 MY SON THE KILLER $14.99
NBM finished the main Donjon series translations, but there are still some of the periphery albums to come. This one features work by Blutch, Frédéric Bézian, Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar (the later two writing), and those are some pretty gigantic names, or at least the three I know are. I will own this book.

MAR151400 REDHAND DLX HC (MR) $34.95
Started by one creative team (including writer Kurt Busiek) and concluded by another, this is a kind of European genre comic we don't see a lot of in North America these days, or it's at least a kind of book to which less attention might be paid than is warranted. I would certainly stop and look at this were it to appear in my comic book shop, although that's a price point that might exceed my enthusiasm for such series.

DEC141505 COLLECTED POEMS HC THEROUX $39.99
I very much liked Theroux's work with Edward Gorey and Al Capp as subject; could not penetrate the novel that Fantagraphics subsequently published but that is totally me. His prose indicates a love for words and an economy of use that might make him a very good poet. God bless Fantagraphics for publishing something this decidedly uncommercial.

FEB151449 SUMMIT OF GODS GN VOL 05 $25.00
APR151804 FRAGMENTS OF HORROR HC JUNJI ITO (MR) $17.99
APR151803 MASTER KEATON GN VOL 03 $19.99
This is an extremely deep week for potentialy compelling work, and even includes three manga works from artists I don't have to explain or contextualize: Jiro Taniguchi (with the last volume in that series), Junji Ito and Naoki Urusawa (art only, but still). The Ito I can imagine being someone's first or perhaps even only purchase this week, dependent on taste and the number of books they choose to keep; I think that's all short stories, and Ito is a formidable talent whose work really shines in bursts like that.

APR150986 ME LIKES YOU VERY MUCH GN (MR) $14.00
Someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this work has been around for direct order for a little while and this is more just the book now being available to Direct Market comics retailers. This Hic & Hoc published work spotlights webcomics from Lauren Barnett.

FEB150457 LOAC ESSENTIALS HC VOL 07 TARZAN ORIGINAL DAILIES $29.99
FEB150109 EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN HC $19.99
FEB150110 EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN LTD HC $49.99
FEB150111 EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS TARZAN OMNIBUS TP $24.99
It's highly unlikely we'll ever be as crazy about Tarzan as people 70, 80, 90 years ago were crazy about the guy, but people used to say that about Sherlock Holmes and there's like six of him running around right now. The choice here is the LOAC Essentials book of dailies from a specific Hal Foster year. Foster's work was fascinating on that character even if you don't see it in the context of the forthcoming, legendary Prince Valiant run. The originals are ridiculous, too, if you ever get the chance.

*****

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 failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Peace Brother

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Mark Waid: X-Men #137 Came Out 35 Years Ago Today

He says so right here.

imageX-Men #137 was the climactic point of the long Chris Claremont/John Byrne partnership on Marvel's X-Men characters, which along with Frank Miller's work on Daredevil became foundational comics for everything that's come since. I've also heard it called the last fan-favorite newsstand comic, although I'm not sure that's 100 percent true.

To my memory, no superhero book did or has since done the superheroes-as-underdogs thing any better over a sustained period of time than that series did. With most superheroes and superhero teams there are fans that derive an uneasy amount of self-worth from one or more of the characters and therefore can't stand seeing them struggle. The X-Men line-up was new enough that dragging them through the mud was still possible. These could be dour, deathsoaked comics in a way that really appealed to a lot of kids I knew: it isn't just identification with characters that bonds a comic to a kid, it can be a whiff that the journeys are much the same; teens love doomed romanticism, or at least I did.

I stopped comics for a while and my first buy back was X-Men #125, so I basically owe this series the shape of my entire life. By the time #137 came around I was a big fan again and bought a lot of different comics and had enough momentum in doing so that I would never again stop, not even really in college.
 
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Go, Read: Chris Ware In New Yorker On Minecraft

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Bundled Extra: First Second Announces Winter 2016 List

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First Second Books has just shipped out the basic information on its Winter 2016 season, its tenth anniversary year. In an appropriate way given that the line is in a place of maturity, the books announced rely heavily on sequels in series: books featuring the Delilah Dirk character, the Last Man setting and the Glorkian Warrior, and another book in the Olympians line.

imageThere is also one reprint, Sara Varon's Sweaterweather, which will get a new cover and be expanded.

The sole book from a series we haven't seen before, The Nameless City, is the first in a trilogy.

It does look like one of their seasons without a book aimed squarely at the adult market first and foremost, although they may disagree.

* The Nameless City, Faith Erin Hicks
* Delilah Dirk And The King's Shilling, Tony Cliff
* Apollo, George O'Connor
* The Glorkian Warrior And The Mustache of Destiny, James Kochalka
* The Show, Bastien Vives And Michael Sanlaville And Balak
* Sweaterweather, Sara Varon

I look forward to seeing all of the new books and translations. Congratulations to the authors on placing their work and to First Second on its forthcoming anniversary.

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Go, Look: Love Song

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Go, Look: Hooks Devlin, Special Agent

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Go, Look: A Pair Of Jae Lee Superhero Image Galleries

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Andre The Giant. Andrew Colman on Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out. Paul Buhle on Doggy Style. Sean Gaffney on Umineko: When They Cry Vol. 10. Ginnis Tonic on Swords Of Sorrow #2. Andy Oliver on Hangover Farm

* lettering summit.

* over the weekend, Whit Taylor responded to the initial Rachel Dolezal news story.

* here's a report with photos of this year's Industry Day at Center For Cartoon Studies, including a return to campus for graduate Jen Vaughn.

* not comics: Chris Schweizer is back from exactly the kind of vacation one would image Chris Schweizer would take.

* Johnny Ryan, en Francais.

* Kiel Phegley talks to Tim Seeley. Reed Beebe talks to Paul Grist.

* there's a really appealing line of thinking in this Tom Bondurant post about DC continuity and the difficulties of writing characters like Batman and Superman, or at least one that leaps out at me. I like the idea that the longevity of these characters means that the differences and shifts have more weight and power than they might otherwise, or that they might when this artificially done.

* Chris Ryall shows off a pretty lovely primetime Miller/Janson piece of original illustraiton art.

* finally, Richard Sala celebrates 30 years of Night Moves. We'll all be dead soon.
 
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Go, Bid: Hellboy 100 Hero Initiative Covers Going Up

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Your 2015 Shuster Award Nominees

imageThe Joe Shuster Awards, a program that focuses on a broad range of cartooning expressions from Canadian comicsmakers, has announced its most recent slate of nominees.

To qualify, creators "must be Canadian citizens -- living at home or abroad, or a recognized as a permanent resident of Canada and been living in Canada for at least three years."

Final winners will be selected by a jury and announced this Fall at an as yet unnamed location.

*****

Webcomics Creator

* Sophie Bedard -- Glorieux printemps
* BOUM -- Boumeries
* Nicole Chartrand -- Fey Winds
* Michael DeForge -- Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero
* Canaan Grall -- Max Overacts
* Kate Leth -- Little Ghost
* Tara Tallan -- Galaxion
* Ty Templeton -- Bun Toons

*****

Writer

* Ed Brisson -- 24, X-Files/TMNT (IDW), The Field, Sheltered (Image), Robocop: Beta, Robocop: Last Stand, Sons of Anarchy (Boom!)
* Brenden Fletcher -- Gotham Academy (with Becky Cloonan), Batgirl (with Cameron Stewart) (DC)
* Alexandre Fontaine-Rousseau -- Les cousines vampires (Pow Pow)
* Jeff Lemire -- Animal Man, Green Arrow, New 52: Future's End, Teen Titans: Earth One (DC) The Valiant (with Matt Kindt) (Valiant)
* Ryan North -- Adventure Time, Midas Touch (Boom!), Original Sins (Marvel)
* Yves Pelletier -- Le pouvoir de l'amour (La Pastèque)
* Mariko Tamaki -- This One Summer (Groundwood Books)
* Kurtis Wiebe -- Peter Panzerfaust, Rat Queens (Image)

*****

Cover Artist

* Darwyn Cooke
* Mike Del Mundo
* Karl Kerschl
* Ken Lashley
* Francis Manapul
* Francois Miville-Deschenes
* Julie Rocheleau
* Cameron Stewart

*****

Artist

* Adrian Alphona -- Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
* Nick Bradshaw -- Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers (Marvel)
* Leonard Kirk -- Fantastic Four (Marvel)
* Mikael -- Promise Tome Two: L'Homme souffrance (Glénat BD)
* Julie Rocheleau -- La colère de Fantomas Two: Tout l'or de Paris (Dargaud)
* Jillian Tamaki -- This One Summer (Groundwood Books)
* Chip Zdarsky -- Sex Criminals (Image)

*****

Cartoonist

* Blonk -- 23h72 (Pow Pow)
* Nina Bunjevac -- Fatherland (Jonathan Cape)
* Emily Carroll -- Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
* Michael Cho -- Shoplifter (Pantheon)
* Meags Fitzgerald -- Photobooth: A Biography (Conundrum Press)
* Jesse Jacobs -- Safari Honeymoon (Koyama Press)
* Bryan Lee O'Malley -- Seconds: A Graphic Novel (Ballantine)
* Richard Suicide -- Chroniques du centre-sud (Pow Pow)

*****

The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids)

* Agent Jean Tomes 6 Et 7 (Presses Aventure) -- Alex A.
* Three Thieves Books 4 And 5 (Kids Can Press) -- Scott Chantler
* A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories (Koyama Press) -- John Martz
* Midas Flesh (Boom!) -- Ryan North
* Maddy Kettle: The Adventure Of The Thimblewitch (Top Shelf) -- Eric Orchard
* Ariane Et Nicolas Tome 8 (Vents d'Ouest /Premières Lignes) -- Paul Roux
* This One Summer (Groundwood Books) -- Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

*****

Gene Day Award (Self-Publishers)

* "Nominees for the Gene Day Award will be announced in early July 2015 along with the date and location of the award ceremony."

*****

Harry Kremer Award (Retailers)

* Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)
* Another Dimension (Calgary, AB)
* The Comic Hunter (Moncton, NC)
* Comic Readers (Regina, SK)
* Conspiracy Comics (Burlington, ON)
* Expert Comics (Montreal, QC)
* Galaxy Comics And Collectibles (Winnipeg, MB)
* Imaginaire (Quebec City, QC)
* Paradise Comics (Toronto, ON)
* Stadium Comics (Brampton, ON)

*****

The T.M. Maple Award

* Michael Hirsh (1948-) And Patrick Loubert (1947-)
* Robert Charpentier (1960-2014)

*****

Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame

* Doris Slater (1918-1964)
* James Waley

*****

I believe those last two are recipients rather than nominees, and of course the Gene Day Award is listed as forthcoming. To read more about the various award sponsors and the awards themselves, go to that initial link.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees.

*****

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*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: John Buscema Fantastic Four Splash Pages

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June 15, 2015


Congratulations To John Martz On His Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator In Residence Gig

This press release seems pretty self‐explanatory, but I wanted to mention it here because a) that's a nice news story, b) I enjoy John's work and think whatever program that has him wil benefit, 3) I hope that comics people will apply for everything and win their share.
 
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OTBP: Unflattening

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I Haven’t Written About The Tara Shultz Story Yet

Sorry. It's this right here. It was hard for me to get my arms around that much stupid.

imageIn a nutshell, a 20-year-old Crafton Hills College student complained about the comics used in an English course and protested them with the help of her friends and her parents. She wanted them eradicated from the course. Her objections were to lurid content as presented through the comics medium: an enduring classic. The college said no, except that they'd put a disclaimer on they syllabus because of no good reason anyone can articulate. The father of the student vows to fight on.

There was one interesting thing I guess in that this was presented to me by friends as a trigger warning story gone wild, when in actuality it just seems like a straight up attack on content. The other interesting thing I've noticed in these stories is that the student's parents are that involved. I would have had to have paid my parents $40,000 each to take up one of my campus crusades, and mine were much less dumb.

I'm one of those cranky dudes that believe that our national obsession with going to college has allowed that entire segment of our society to adopt significant boondoggle elements. This shows another side, that in certain sectors you have so much competition now for students that students can assume that the education they're about to receive will suit them and whatever proclivities and desires they bring to bear exactly as they would like to see their wishes fulfilled. In the end, a significant segment of our popular may be better off in the long run buying a house rather than paying tuition.
 
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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the Library Of American Comics has announced an edition of Beyond Mars for the second half of 2015. That should be something to see.

image* a collection of Robin Malone would be largely unexpected and I bet a lot of fun.

* the great Ron Regé Jr. is participating in a newspring project sponsored by Crushed Crustaceon.

* I am not the last authority on publishing deals, obviously, or I would be making them rather than reporting on them. That said, it's hard for me to imagine a scenario in which these comics involving Bill Jemas will survive the initial investment period. I've been wrong before.

* Johanna Draper Carlson notes the cancellation of the Image title A Voice In The Dark. That one has a fascinating backstory, and I wish the creator in question the best of luck.

* the "lost" Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale superhero series, Captain America: White, will finally be published after a long delay. I like those stand-alone stories that they've done just fine, and I'm sure I'll catch up to this effort at some point down the line.

* Colleen Doran writes about her involvement with the forthcoming graphic memoir featuring Stan Lee, including the speed with which that project has come together.

* finally, here's some good news I didn't know about at all. The Bob Weber/Jay Stephens strip Oh, Brother! is set to have a book from Andrews McMeel. I had not counted on that. That was a well drawn, well-executed piece of entertainment.

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Go, Look: The Young Crumb Story

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Go, Look: The Arrow #2

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Angie Bongiolatti. Robert Boyd on Nat. Brut #5 and Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America. Brianne Reeves on Springheeled Jack. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Exquisite Corpse. Abhay Khosla on a few comics he's read recently.

* not comics: Nimona to animation. That one should work very well in animated form.

* I like the John Constantine character, and I like that aspect of his character. It seems more broadly played in the excerpt (the light-hearted inner dialogue) than I think it would have been in the comics with the character I read as a kid, but that's something I would imagine adheres more closely to the character as he's become refashioned and reblended into the DC superhero universe. I had not been aware they blew that off for the TV version.

* Andrew Weiss on the Atari Force character nobody liked. I remember teen-me hating that guy, too.

* Bully discusses Marvel crediting the creators of certain characters. It's not perfect -- there are characters that aren't credited this way, the creation of characters that use an accrual of characteristics over decades is a fair thing to call into question, and some of the assignments might be problematic, but I'd rather be having this discussion than one about creator credit being used as a tool to disperse funds or all the other potential pitfalls. Keep going, Marvel.

* Nancy Kahlo.

* I've come to greatly appreciate these lengthy personal notes from Evan Dorkin as to the current state of his career. There's a balanced portrait there in terms of the ups and downs of maintaing a long-running freelance career.

* finally, there is something genius-y about an event where you can set adventures told in a comic sold at an event about toys exclusive to the event.
 
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Go, Look: Silo

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Bongo Slips Quietly Away From comiXology; App Imminent

This is one of the things that happened quietly, at least in terms of my vantage point as a listener: apparently Bongo has ended its relationship with the digital comics provider comiXology. Both Bongo and comiXology commented as if each letter in response to my query cost them $10 million. Chip Mosher of comiXology told CR, simply, "Bongo is no longer available on comiXology." Susan Grode a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, speaking on behalf of Bongo, said, "Thank you for your email. My client has no response regarding Comixology. Bongo has created the Simpsons Store app for its comics and trade books on iTunes, to be released shortly."

The fear with digital sites that offer an incomplete or favor a kind of access model to works as opposed to full ownership of digital copies as the primary arrangement has been when a company ends their relationship with the provider, people will no longer be able to access those comics. I am told that is not the outcome here, that people are still able to access the Bongo comics to which they paid access through the part of the comiXology interface that features that person's purchases and store of accessible comics. What they can't do is buy more comics (obviously), or get at the comics they do have through a more general search. I use the general search interface rather than one geared towards the comics I own, so I understand that mechanism.

I also think the reply from Susan Grode was interesting in that it pivoted to an iTunes app. While it seems we've been moving more and more towards having as many ways to access material as possible, it is certainly an option for publisher to move toward preferred alternatives, either directly or cross-category. No one really knows what they're doing yet, so none of this has been set in stone.
 
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Go, Look: Matthew Brady Updates His Groo Sketchbook

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Bundled Extra: Kramers Ergot #9 Announced, Cover Unveiled

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The cover's by John Pham and where/how people found it is all right here. This is obviously good news. KE is still to my mind the reigning champion of serial anthologies, even though it feels like it's in the late afternoon of its lengthy day in the sun. Mostly, though, this should just yield a bunch of good comics. That Fantagraphics is doing it is interesting; it is due in March.
 
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Go, Look: Fran López

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June 14, 2015


Your Danish Cartoons Controversy Hangover

Indian politican Yaqub Qureshi made a not-unexpected call for New Delhi to cut off diplomatic relations with the Netherlands after their version of a right-wing political grinder, Geert Wilders, announced plans to show Muhammed drawings from the recent cartoon contest in Texas. Qureshi you might remember as the politician who said he would provide a cash reward to the Charlie Hebdo killers and put a bounty on the head of Kurt Westergaard.

I like this story because it mixes a bunch of the flourishes of Muhammed imagery stories into one giant Mulligatawny of political opportunism. It's also good to suss out the implications of what's being asked for. The line for acceptable behavior is placed at such a rudimentary point that there is no space in the world for anything other than simply barring that kind of speech at every level. This is significantly different than criticizing -- even savagely -- the use of such imagery.
 
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Go, Listen: Gavin McInnes And Gabe Fowler On The Best Cartoonists In The World

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derf's on the list!
 
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Go, Look: Open Call For Atena Farghadani-Related Comics

imageComic Riffs is repeating something it did when Ali Farzat was injured in Syria, this time on behalf of the young cartoonist Atena Farghadani who was recently cruelly sentenced to a dozen-plus years in jail for drawing a cartoon that dared to question sitting authorities. That something is calling on as many cartoonists as possible to draw something on her behalf.

That is a horrifying decision, and every bit of spotlight that can be thrown on what happened may or may not be useful in having that sentence reduced, commuted or vacated, but will certainly be helpful in creating a public expectation that she be taken care of no matter the outcome. In other words, it's hard to see any attention-getting mechanism failing; if it doesn't work right now it will almost certainly have a positive effect later on. I hope you'll consider reading up and perhaps joining in.
 
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If I Were In Birmingham, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Roger Langridge’s CECAF Drawings

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Not Comics: Roy Krenkel Illustrates The Seven Wonders

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* congratulations to Leon Avelino on his new marriage. I wish the newly-wedded couple every happiness, and I'm sure everyone that knows the Secret Acres co-publisher wishes the same.

image* Jeremy Nisen appreciates Cartozia Tales. Rob Clough on various comics and some more various comics. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics.

* Sean Kleefeld suggests that in lieu of real-world realationships, comic strips can be used to give us a taste of perspectives not our own.

* I will never tired of the berserk qualities of a lot of Golden Age comics material. I can't imagine how lurid work like this must have seen in a time that is so much less visually overloaded than ours is.

* not comics: a lot of folks are still passing around this blog post -- or the clickbait rewrites -- for Ursula Leguin's latest thoughts about Amazon.com as an overwhelming commercial force. I think what you do with this information is going to vary greatly by person, but I think there's great virtue in thinking about the implications of your work as a commoedity plugged into system that only has commodification as a value.

* I have a weak sport for little, gathered-together galleries of superhero imagery.

* the team at Comix Experience has recorded one of their ordering sessions. You have to have a pretty deep interest in how comics shops work to be interested in that one, but I can imagine people for whom this will be an eye-opener.

* not comics: Jerry Smith salutes a cosplaying Martian Manhunter.

* the writer Sean T. Collins gives us a glimpse at one of his Grand Unified Theories, using an unpopular 1990s Green Lantern storyline as a springboard.

* Aidan Johnston talks to Nina Bunjevac.

* finally, all best wishes and continued health to writer Warren Ellis.
 
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June 13, 2015


Go, Look: The Fall Of Zhou Yongkang, Illustrated

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Missed It: Green Leader

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this has been everywhere, but I think I forgot to put up my own link here
 
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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Video I Hadn't Seen Before Of Jack Kirby's Exhibit At 2010 Fumetto


Profile Of Win Phay


Chris Riddell Becomes Children's Laureate


KAL Explains Hyperinflation


Evan Dahm Profiled


Missed This Lynda Barry Footage Of A Commencement Address
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from June 6 to June 12, 2015:

1. In a decision no one expected and some people had a hard time believing until they read about it a couple of times, a court in the Hague decided that a 1942 assignment of rights by Hergࡕ to Casterman means that Moulinsart, the business set up by the estate to manage the iconic characters and its resulting works and properties, no longer had the right it thought it had.

2. Calls for Zapiro's job re-emerge as a new wave of objections arrive, this time bolstered by social media.

3. Not exactly comics, but huge for one cartoonist and significant for comics in a paradigm shifting way: the theatrical preentation based on Alison Bechdel's Fun Home wins multiple Tony Awards, including best musical. This puts Bechdel's best-known work in the cultural firmament for what should be years to come, and suggests yet another path that talent comics-makers might take to engage with opportunities afforded them by well-received work.

Winner Of The Week
Alison Bechdel

Loser Of The Week
Nick Rodwell of Moulinsart

Quote Of The Week
"This was a bolt out of the blue -- like waking up to learn that the sky is orange." -- Bart Beaty, on the Moulinsart decision.

*****

the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas

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Go, Look: Dana Jennings’ NYT Profile of Drawn And Quarterly

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June 12, 2015


Go, Look: Sick #45

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Go, Look: A Fun Ivan Brunetti Page

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If I Were In Los Angeles, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In San Francisco, 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 NYC, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Warnings And Instructions

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Go, Look: The Spy Fighter

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Go, Read: Richard Bruton On New Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell

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I don't think I knew that there was a Children's Laureate in the UK, and I have a grumpy older man's disdain for honoraria, but it's hard to hate on the act of setting a cartoonist like Chris Riddell on the course of making a lot of cartoon drawings aimed at kids, in service of a philosophy that calls for drawing daily in a sketchbook and reading for pleasure.

Lucky, lucky kids.
 
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Not Comics: 1949/1950 Gnome Press Calendar Images

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June 11, 2015


Collective Memory: CAKE 2015

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2015 edition of CAKE, held June 6-7 in and around the The Center On Halsted in Chicago.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

*****

Institutional
* Con Site
* Host Building
* Host City

Blogs And Personal Posts
* Brettisagirl
* Busy Beaver Button Co.

* Drawn And Quarterly

* Fantagraphics

* Jeremy Onsmith

* Kevin Budnik

* Quimbys

* Robin Ha

* Sean Kleefeld
* Sparkplug

* The Beat

* Uncivilized Books

* Warren Peace

Facebook
* Event Page

* CAKE Afterparty
* Charles Cake
* Comic Reading
* Gula Gila
* Ladydrawers
* Quimbys
* Qviet

Miscellaneous
* Art By Roman Muradov
* Matthew Brady's Groo Sketchbook
* Post-Con Survey

News Stories And Columns
* Brian Cremins

* Chicago Arts & Culture
* Chicago Now
* Chicago Reader 01
* Chicago Reader 02
* Comp

* DNAInfo

* Gapers Block

* New City

* Quilt

* The Mary Sue
* Timeout Chicago

* Windy City Times 01
* Windy City Times 02

Photos And Other Images
* 2DCloud

* Allison Felus

* cakechicago
* celinabarajas
* crepusculine

* elliot junkyard 01
* elliott junkyard 02

* hibdonkaiju

* Joel Alter
* jukeboxcomix

Twitter
* #cake2015
* #cakechicago2015

* Event Account

* Andi C.
* Ariadne Humpnal 01
* Ariadne Humpnal 02

* Cara Bean
* Celina Barajas
* Comics Reporter 01
* Comics Reporter 02
* Comics Reporter 03
* Comics Reporter 04
* Comics Reporter 05
* Comics Reporter 06
* Comics Reporter 07
* Comics Reporter 08
* Comics Reporter 09
* Comics Reporter 10
* Comics Reporter 11
* Comics Reporter 12
* Comics Reporter 13
* Comics Reporter 14
* Comics Reporter 15
* Comics Reporter 16
* Comics Reporter 17
* Comics Reporter 18
* Comics Reporter 19
* Comics Reporter 20

* Elliott Junkyard 01
* Elliott Junkyard 02

* Joel Alter
* John Gregory
* Julie Finch

* Lucy Knisley

* Sara Lee
* Sean Flannagan

* Tyrrell Cannon

* Windy City Times 01
* Windy City Times 02

Video
* Sizzlefruit
* WTTW

*****

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Not Comics: Space Heroes

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Not Comics: ICv2.com’s Short Report On The Doom That Came To Atlantic City FTC Settlement

The hobby business news and analysis site ICv2.com has a short report on a FTC settlement regarding a case where someone running a crowd-funder came nowhere close to making good on the promises made in asking for money, and then was unable to return the money. I imagine this will keep a few folks in check and have absolutely no effect on other people who do this kind of thing out of irresponsible compulsion. I'm actually more interested in how the specific monies in this case get move around or not, if contributors get anything back or if that's only according to the ability of the person involved to make it so.
 
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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Los Angeles, I’d Go To This

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Not Comics: Never Get Tired Of The Wrightson Poe Portfolio

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Heidi MacDonald reports on Reed's "Special Edition" New York show, claiming a 40 percent lift in attendance.

image* Henry Chamberlain talks to Mike Capozzola. Van Jensen talks to Noelle Stevenson. Steve Foxe talks to Steve Orlando. Dean Mullaney profiles Don McGregor.

* Greg McElhatton on Starfire #1. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Louise Brooks: Detective. Tom Murphy on Sea Urchin. Tyler R. Kane on Batman #41.

* not comics: time to start that Patreon.

* Mike Dawson tells a sad story from 2002. It's certainly not a tale restricted to 2002, though.

* not comics: that is one fine actor to play a mostly forgettable comic book character. The appeal of these parts to really good actors is primarily an economic story about Hollywood right now, but there is something to a lot of what was created at that company once upon a time that gives actors like that material into which they can dig. I imagine you'll get a lot of fans complaining the lead and the villain should have been flipped for this movie, and maybe so.

* finally, RC Harvey on L'Affaire Hebdo.
 
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Go, Look: Georgia Webber

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June 10, 2015


Zapiro Back In The Middle Of A Cartoon-Related Controversy

There seem to be only two stories about South African cartoonist Zapiro: those with a lawsuit in them and those that you have to double-check to make sure there isn't a lawsuit somewhere in them. This latest seems to be the latter, about a criticized comment or two in a cartoon that has a number of broad shots against Jacob Zuma.

The two things that are different this time, at least to my eye, are 1) that this time social media will support the act of criticism in terms of providing it some punch and extending its life, and 2) this is the first time I've seen a direction-of-culture argument used specifically against him, that his work is foundationally underinformed and biased.

It should be to see how he negotiates both, or fails to.
 
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Go, Look: I’ve Got It Made

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I actually have this weekend as being free of major shows. I'm sure I'm missing something, and I'm sure there are local/regional shows. The next weekend offers a bunch of stuff, including Heroes and ELCAF.

* here are the exhibitor hall map and list for Comic-Con IInternational 2015.

* this article is a fine reminder to make sure you're complying with local/state tax laws when you go to a convention to sell things, and that if you forget you can still do some good by donating work to be sold through a charity.

* here are some reasons you may not be selling well at cons.

* finally, Mattias Adolfsson draws a comics show in Copenhagen.
 
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OTBP: The Worrier’s Guide To Life

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everyone probably knows about this but me, but I sure didn't
 
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Go, Look: Dennis The Menace #6

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* here's some folks drawing for a good cause: justice for the young Iranian cartoonist recently jailed.

image* Sean Gaffney on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Vol. 2. David Press on American Born Chinese. Mark Dickson on Death Vigil #7.

* Challengers Of The Unknown is an excellent concept but it needs to remain pared down; it resists embellishment. You can mess with the line-up, though.

* more costumes for the Batman. This is another thing where I don't quite understand the last five years of DC Comics. Because this is the kind of thing that reads totally differently if Batman's been around a few years as opposed to several.

* Mark Evanier drives attention to a summer Kirby exhibit.

* area man launches comic strip.

* it's not a stretch to suggest that Al Williamson is the most talented comics-maker in comics history assigned to the number of odd projects that he was. What that means, though, is that there are a bunch of beautiful pages with familiar characters drawn by Williamson, like this one.

* Guy Thomas talks to Eric Roesner. Paul Gravett profiles Hervé Di Rosa.

* finally, this article about Franklin Richards being kind of a goofy character touches on a weakness of the Unending Serial form of comics. A kid of two superheroes that is immensely powerful is a pretty good concept. But if you do 700 issues, everything gets used, and its in the use that it become a much less interesting concept.
 
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Go, Listen: Gil Roth Talks To Lorenzo Mattotti

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Festivals Extra: CAKE Estimates Go As High As 5000 People

It's in Heidi's round-up here. CAKE organizers were giving out stickers as a way to count attendees, and we'll probably hear from them at some point, but 1800-2400 each day might fair given what I saw Saturday. On the more subjective scale, it was busy but never fucked-up busy, I think they could host a lot more people in that space before it get uncomfortable or scary.

Sales reports I heard table to table both on the floor and checking back in via e-mail were actually all over the place as opposed to the wholly positive view that comes through that round-up. People seem more comfortable giving me "this wasn't as good as I thought it would be" reports than they were five years ago, for whatever reason. It seems like a successful show, though, overall, and the attendance figures and sales anecdotes overall have to be very, very encouraging. The last thing a good show does is develop a sizable audience that's willing to buy.
 
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Go, Look: Predators & Prophets: A Comic History Of Pacific Northwest Cults

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OTBP: The Oven

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A book from AdHouse usually isn't "off the beaten path" material, but publisher Chris Pitzer wrote in to inform me that he thought Goldstein's book may have been lost a bit in the Direct Market shuffle and may have even come out over two weeks instead of just one -- a practice that some deny happens, although tons of people seem pretty convinced of it and it routinely shows up as a factor in Jog's shipping news columns at TCJ.

I thought this was a sharp-looking book, and an important one in terms of Goldstein's growth as a cartoonist. It was an early sell out at CAKE. I wish Goldstein and her publisher luck in getting it out there in front of potential customers.
 
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OTBP: Revenger #4

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June 9, 2015


This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

*****

FEB150411 JACK KIRBY KAMANDI ARTIST ED HC VOL 01 PI
Leave it to IDW to have the most anticipated book of the week and have it be something that's around four decades old in terms of the material in it. I cna't imagine this collection of several issues of Jack Kirby's post-apocalyptic, "not just talking apes" movie on paper fails to deliver in its original art form. If you had told me ten years ago about these books being done and asked me to consider it for a few hours and come back with three sets of comics I wanted to see treated that ways (oversized, color Xeroxes of black and white art), Kamandi would have been on my list. So look forward to spending several summers where flipping this grand thing open is a part of it.

imageAPR151504 BLUBBER #1 $3.99
APR150668 SAGA #29 (MR) $2.99
APR150684 WALKING DEAD #142 (MR) $2.99
MAR158545 UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #1 HENDERSON 3RD PTG VAR $3.99
MAR158546 UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #2 HENDERSON 3RD PTG VAR $3.99
MAR158547 UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #3 HENDERSON 2ND PTG VAR $3.99
MAR158548 UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #4 HENDERSON 2ND PTG VAR $3.99
APR150953 RACHEL RISING #34 $3.99
It's an interesting week for comics. The belle of the ball on this short list is a new comic book by Gilbert Hernandez I didn't even know was coming out until I heard a rumor and asked Gilbert and he gave me a copy of this book. Some of Gilbert's best work has been wilder, short material done in the comic book format, so this one has a high bar to meet. Beto rarely disappoints. The Saga and Walking Dead books are to major players of right now in genre comics; I read both. If you wanted to pick up and catch up with the Squirrel Girl comics Marvel has been doing -- I know a ten year old that likes them very much -- this seems like it might be a good week to do so. And finally, I keep meaning to catch up with Rachel Rising, now 34 issues in! This will probably be that week.

MAR150864 ISLAND OF MEMORY GN VOL 01 (MR) $11.95
This is Todd Bak's first attempted at collected naturalist comics, and was one of my favorites when I bought it. If our tastes are alike, I bet you'll like it, too. One thing where you might break with me is this seems very much like a part of a larger work, and you can never tell with artist-directed work the likelihood of seeing that work completed. I also don't know what kind of release this is, because I read this a looonng time ago.

DEC141549 TERRY & PIRATES GEORGE WUNDER YEARS HC VOL 02 1948-1949 $60.00
This is likely to be gorgeous according to my memory of George Wunder's work. Unfortunately, my memor doesn't remember enjoy an unlimited number of the storylines in the post-Caniff Terry. I would find a place on my library shelf if I could afford it, though, for sure.

JAN150364 BATGIRL HC VOL 01 THE BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE (N52) $24.99
DEC148636 BATGIRL TP VOL 01 THE BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE (N52) $14.99
MAR150313 WAKE TP (MR) $17.99
MAR150527 EAST OF WEST TP VOL 04 WHO WANTS WAR $14.99
FEB150070 BPRD 1946 - 1948 HC $34.99
FEB150099 GRIP STRANGE WORLD OF MEN HC $19.99
Solid week for series trades and stand-alones taht remind me of series trades. Those first three represent two heavy hitters of the New 52 era, the third of which is the rare modern Vertigo story that seemed to penetrate into a broader version of public awareness. East Of West continues to grow on me. Even though I collect it in comics form, writer Jonathan Hickman as a longstanding love affair with trade design.

MAR151354 ADVENTURES OF TAD MARTIN #SICK SICK SIX $6.66
I'm going to assume this is the continuation of the Caliber comics from the early to mid 1990s and then I'm going to go straight to bed because the thought that this is the first I'm hearing about it has broken my heart. I went looking and found this sympathetic Brian Nicholson review. And now I want this comic.

imageMAR150866 SECRET VOICE #2 (MR) $8.00
MAR150869 TITAN #1 (MR) $4.95
MAR150865 IT WILL ALL HURT #1 (MR) $8.00
Three comics from Study Group Comic Books, from three talented comics-makers: Francois Vigneault, Zack Soto and Farel Dalrymple in order. In a perfect world -- for me, screw you -- these would be solid citizens in a diverse, fascinating world of physical comic book format comics. As it is, these are the first books Study Group has released through traditional Direct Market distribution. Of the three I'm only really familiar with the Soto work, which is fussy and frustrating a bit as Soto feels a bit unsettled in how he wants to work, but overall fun.

OCT140403 ABSOLUTE TRANSMETROPOLITAN HC VOL 01 (MR) $125.00
I was never the audience for this comics, now a full generation or more in the rear view window. I'm going to imagine that if it's printed in even the same neighborhood of the original comics that this will make quite the attractive fancy edition.

APR151309 TOWERKIND GN $15.00
This is well-liked small press work -- apparently amenable to all-ages -- now smartly collected by Conundrum, a publisher that's had consistently good taste in its recent publishing lifetime. It seems well-described here.

APR151165 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #17 (MR) $5.99
All respect to Rich Johnston and his employers, keeping it alive in print.

APR151491 MIKES PLACE TRUE STORY LOVE BLUES TERROR IN TEL AVIV GN (MR) $22.99
I read this book, about a cosmopolitan blues club in Tel Aviv that suffers a terrorist attack as a filmmaker is trying to figure out things about the place that don't necessarily have much to do with that kind of dramatic bloodshed. I thought one thing it did pretty well was stayed patient so that the more intense acts of the last third of the book played out as both an evil and a banal act. I'm surprised by the price point; patient or not, it doesn't loom as a large book in my memory.

*****

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 failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

*****

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posted 11:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Michael Dooley Profiles Alex Maleev

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Not Comics: Reflections On Working In Proximity To Art

There's an article here my friends and are passing around about working in the arts, 2015, from a relocating Nathan Rabin. First of all, my heart goes out to that guy. It's a pretty sunny article, but I don't know that anyone likes to lose a job for whatever reason, and transitioning is difficult. I thought the article was interesting and maybe worth reading for all the people that aspire to working whin the comics industry, like I used to when I was at Fantagraphics Books, or in the same neighborhood, like I do now.

The main lesson may be that we all have limited shelf lives. This is true of artists and this is increasingly true of industry folks. This may turn out to be true of writers about the comics form. Placing an expectation of return on these kinds of gigs seems to me just as dangerous as thinking that your art will sustain you.
 
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Go, Look: Frank Frazetta Luana Artwork

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Go, Look: Of Mice And Men

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Go, Look: Dr. Synthe

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on the Convergence: World's Finest series. Libby Hill on Calvin And Hobbes.

* there's a terrific, lengthy, local history post here from the cartoonist Derf Backderf about a public area in Cleveland that may or may not be renamed after the late Harvey Pekar.

* this profile of Joan Cornelia's comics could just be a "go, look" there are so many cartoons in there.

* what Jennifer de Guzman is up to these days.

* I'll make note of this piece of art in the appropriate collective memory, but it's nice enough I wanted to show it off here. We need to invite more cartoonists to visit all of us so that flattering pictures can be drawn.

* John Kovalic praises a gallery opening featuring the work of Steve Sack.

* a link to this Green Leader cartoon has been sent to my inbox four times now, which is a lot in this era of social media over direct engagement. I like the cartoon just fine, although I like the anonymous heroic moments in the various Star Wars movies even better when they happen. It's a reminder the universe doesn't totally pivot on these eight people we've been following around, which is a slightly healthier way to look at war.

* finally, Ron Regé Jr. draws Liszt.
 
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Go, Look: How We Ride

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via
 
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June 8, 2015


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* good news from the small reprint house Hermes Press. They'll be publishing one of those giant history books that also serves as an art book -- a hybrid format used by Fantagraphics and IDW a bunch over the last half-decade. Their subject is Alex Raymond, and their historian is Ron Goulart. It's fully licensed from King Features and should be 300 pages with 400 illustrations. Alex Raymond: An Artistic Journey: Adventure, Intrigue and Romance wil be out in October and will retail for $75. Please get me one for Christmas.

* here's an interesting story I didn't catch; we don't get a lot of distribution news because of the dominance of Diamond as pretty much the Direct Market distributor of note. Apparently, Study Group Comic Books will be releasing their first three books through that system: Titan #1, It Will All Hurt #2 and The Secret Voice #2. I think there's a lot of work to be done if we express a desire as a sales sub-culture to bring the alt-comic, but this is a step in that direction. I think it's a really great way to read comics, but I'm very old.

* the writer Geoff Johns talks about plans for the forthcoming Justice League storyline "Darkseid War." There's some interesting stuff in there that's not just PR teaser: Johns talks about doing an event title without the overlapping series sprawl, and about the New Gods characters more generally. Those are great characters, and despite being used pretty much all the time the overall concept is still something of a hidden strength for that company. I think Johns is on the right track when he talks about a character set up to oppose Darkseid that does so by avoiding combat and conflict, which sounds to me closer to Kirby's conception of those characters as an anti-war parable than what's been done with them by a lot of creators since.

* finally, the previous version of this post's final subgraph was deleted for the sake of accuracy, after about four to five hours of being up. We regret any confusion that's resulted. Here instead is an image of Francois Vigneault's Titan #1 cover.

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Go, Look: Marie Dakar

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If I Were In Paris, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Kit Colby, Girl Sheriff

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* many Daniel Clowes fans, myself included, have been waiting patiently for Ken Parille's report on the new Complete Eightball set before continuing on their own explorations.

image* Rob Clough on Bunny Man. Lindsey Morris on Nonplayer #2. Paul Tumey and Tom Van Deusen explore Garden.

* here's where you follow Francois Vigneault if you want to see the drawings he's making this summer, one a day.

* Team Comics Alternative talks to Peter Bagge.

* totally missed that the Zombie Walk incident at Comic-Con International last summer had gone to the preliminary hearing stage. Although I'm sure the particulars will be the subject of the legal inquiry and has probably already been the subject of people yelling at each other on the Internet, this involved a deaf man accused of a car-related crime while attempting to move past the event. One element that's tough about this that won't be covered at the trial is that CCI gets stained with something that happened at an event over which they had no control or authority.

* Chris Sims pays tribute to Larry Hama. Benito Cereno pays tribute to Neal Adams. I don't know that I've ever seen a photo of Adams at that age.

* Heidi MacDonald and Calvin Reid write about kids comics at BEA/Book Con. Here's an even broader report comics-wise on such works at the show overall.

* finally, I've seen a randome image here and there from this weird set of naughty, superhero-informed Steranko drawings, but not this many.
 
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Go, Bookmark: The Simone Lia Cartoon

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Moulinsart Lost A Legal Case At The Hague Over Tintin Rights

imageThe best article I've read this morning on what seems to be an astonishing decision in the Netherlands over Tintin rights is found here -- with an image of a key court document and a link to the actual decision made.

As I understand it, a Netherlands-based Tintin fan group founded back in the 1990s was sued by longtime assumed Tintin rights holder Moulinsart in a way that people have come to expect of Moulinsart: aggressively, and not just for commercial use but for what some countries and persons living there would hold are obviously fair use circumstances because they are specifically utilized to illustrate study or commentary.

What came out in that court according to these reports is a 1942 document where Hergé assigned rights to his publisher, Casterman. This is sort of like finding there's a tape of a lengthy 1962 conversation between Martin Goodman and Jack Kirby just sitting around somewhere.

I asked Bart Beaty what he thought of the case, and received back this thoughtful response from the knowledgeable observer of the European comics industry.
"This is a legal decision that comes almost completely out of left field with absolutely no warning. There relatively little online chatter about the lawsuit that resulted in this decision, and the surprise piece of evidence -- straight out of a 1940s courtroom melodrama -- was not something that was on the radar. The ownership of Tintin was not something that I think many people thought was in question. This is not like the Kirby family suddenly winning the rights to his creations (indeed, it would be the opposite because this ruling takes the rights from the family and gives them to the publisher) but is in many ways a bigger deal. We knew that the Kirbys were fighting for the rights and that there was always a chance, however slim, that they might win them. There wasn't much of a struggle going on here.

"Reaction in my social media has been a mixture of pure shock -- my own first reaction -- and a good deal of joy. It is important to bear in mind that Nick Rodwell, who runs Moulinsart, is one of the most disliked people in European comics amongst fans. The husband of Hergé's second wife, he has taken hold of the Tintin empire and consistently reined over it in a way that antagonizes fans and scholars (Moulinsart is relentless in the protection of the Tintin copyrights even to the point of discouraging academic study of the Tintin books). More than a few people feel that Casterman would be better stewards of the Hergé legacy than the man who married his widow.

"Ultimately, I have no idea how this will play out. Expect appeals and counter-suits, naturally. This was a bolt out of the blue -- like waking up to learn that the sky is orange. It's just completely unexpected."
We'll continue to report on this as more news come out.
 
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Go, Look: Kim Hoang

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Festivals Extras: Robert Boyd’s New South Festival Photos

Robert Boyd attended the New South Festival in Austin over this last weekend. This is what he saw.

I'll write short descriptions for the photos according to how they've been labeled.

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the banner

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Nat. Brut

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Melinda Boyce

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Kayla E.

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Josh Simmons

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Jim Rugg

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Peach Fuzz

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Jason Poland

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Calvin Wong, Hellen Jo

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Eeyore Statue

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Brendan Kiefer and Josh Simmons

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Brendan Kiefer at the Afterparty

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Biscuit Press

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Emily Parrish

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Raw Paw

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Tom Van Deusen at Afterparty

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Tiny Splendor

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Rough House

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I asked Robert Boyd to comment more generally, in that his pictures made it look like the audience was smaller than what I'd heard it was. He responded:
"It looks sparse in the pictures partly because the tables were spread out along walkways in this expansive grounds of the French Legation Museum. All the lawns in between were empty. It was an unusual set-up. And when I took photos, I made an effort to wait until they weren't crowded, so that probably contributes to the look of light crowds.

"To me, if felt pretty busy based on the fact it often took me a while to get to the tables to look at the goods -- too many people in front of me. But it was a small show in terms of the number of exhibitors (50 according to the program). And I'm going to guess that few visitors stayed the whole time (to hear all the panel discussions and stuff). I stayed a couple of hours -- long enough to hear the Josh Simmons panel and wander through all the booths, and I was melting by the end."
our thanks to Robert Boyd; full-size photos here
 
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Go, Look: Marvel Splash Pages, June 1975

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Best Wishes On A Long Recovery To Lauren Weinstein

A very talented and one of comics best people, Lauren Weinstein makes note of last week's spinal surgery to correct some growing difficulties. It looks like the operation was a success. I'm sure we join everyone that know her and/or her work in wishing her a rapid recovery with every positive result.
 
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Go, Look: Keara Stewart

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June 7, 2015


Go, Look: Mateusz Skutnik

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Congratulations To Alison Bechdel And The Cast/Crew/Staff Of Fun Home For Multiple Tony Wins

It's the definition not comics, but that doesn't alter one bit the happiness I imagine most folks deeply involved in comics share with me for Alison Bechdel, whose graphic memoir Fun Home has now become a Tony-award winning, ambitious, powerfully-received musical. Bechdel is one of our great ambassadors, and one imagines her lifelong interest in the stage has made this particular path for this work particularly meaningful. Read the New York Times coverage of last night's awards, because that's where accomplishments like this are covered, top of page.

The play's done very well, if you haven't been following -- the Tony wins are a capper to the play's success, and a line or two in pencil in the future history books, not one of those occasional efforts you see with that program to salvage something that hasn't hit with audiences. With the weight of the Tony Awards behind them, it's much more likely that the play will have a long run on Broadway, and a life afterwards as a touring piece and then as a piece done by other companies for decades to come. I can't even imagine how satisfying that must be for Bechdel. It will put some comics into people's hands, too.

The show won five awards: Best Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Michael Cerveris), Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre (Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron), Best Book of a Musical (Lisa Kron) and Best Direction of a Musical (Sam Gold).
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Fraser Irving Mainstream Comics Images

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* there are several left to support the Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning, one of the few significant small-city shows we have, and one that's made use of crowd-funding throughout its short history.

* the cartoonist Dan Wright has a Patreon up for his educational Paint By Monster series. I worked with Wright in the early 2000s and I don't know anyone more talented. I've enjoyed his video series so far, and I think it could really make use of an old-fashioned patron if there's one out there.

* you know one thing I found interesting about CAKE? I made a point to notice if anyone pointed me personally in the direction of their Patreon. No one did. In fact, I don't remember this at any show since that service has started. I don't know that that means, but I can imagine a way that part of culture developing where it would be something someone might mention to people. I'm also a little bit at a disadvantage in a fact-finding mission like that, as I only interact with about half of any show's tables as an unknown quantity.

* the writer James Hudnall is on the last 50 percent of a last push to get everything back together after a horrific episode with a lost foot. It's all in update #11 there. Another fundraiser we followed more closely for a while, from Dan Vado, is also still ongoing.

* finally, it's done funding, but I totally missed this Jack Katz project reaching fruition. It's great to see someone of Katz's age taking on new projects at a time when some artists hedge their bets about their ability to complete work and others retire altogether.
 
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Go, Look: Tommy Dorsey, Sentimental Gentleman

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Go, Look: Superchick

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* remember that story where Spider-Man lures Juggernaut into wet cement in order to stop him? You're remembering it wrong.

* Sean Gaffney on Dorohedoro Vol. 15. Henry Chamberlain on Harrow County #1. Jade Sarson on Cafe Suada Vol. 5. Paul Mirek on Broken World #1.

* you have to love Steve Rude's insistence on fashion from the 1960s Joe Simon heyday.

* Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso talk about the forthcoming Marvel soft reboot/relaunch/whatever to the audience of devoted fans that read such articles.

* not comics: Robert Kirkman securing a favorable TV development deal is important because he and Mark Millar and Matt Fraction/Kelly Sue DeConnick are a powerful model for creative careers that start with comics. You're going to see more creators model themselves after that foursome as they find more success.

* Bob Temuka looks at the definitive Fantastic Four of his youth: the Big Little Book version.

* not comics: Martin Dupuis talks to Milton Glaser.

* finally, check out this great photo of Barry Windsor-Smith by Vince Colletta. We always forget how young that 1970s generation was at Marvel; something to remember in the era of the 38-year-old young cartoonist.
 
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June 6, 2015


Go, Read: Dr. Michael Vassallo On The Sunday NY Daily News Comics Section Of His Youth

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Not Comics: Quentin Blake’s Seven Golden Rules

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Go, Look: Krystal DiFronzo

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Go, Look: Emix Regulus

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

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If I Were In Columbus, 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 Memphis, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Munich, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Chicago, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Memphis, I’d Go To This

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Canada's First Comic Book Store
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Bob Bindig Profiled
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Michael Leunig Interviewed


Khalid Albaih Draws A Recent, Very Popular Cartoon


Reubens 2015 -- Jay Kennedy Scholarship Award Portion Of Evening


Tom Gammill And The 2015 Reubens
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from May 30 to June 5, 2015:

1. Cartoonist Atena Farghadani sentenced to 12 years, nine months in jail for a picture of lawmakers with animal heads.

2. A combination of editorial goofs and the publication's policy against publishing any depiction of Muhammed resulted in Art Spiegelman withdrawing a cover from New Statesman after a cartoon inside wasn't included.

3. Phoenix-area provocation including drawing Muhammed outside of a mosque ends without serious mishap.

Winners Of The Week
Those that showed up at the Phoenix mosque event pushing for calm and understanding.

Loser Of The Week
The much-criticized judge in the Farghadani case.

Quote Of The Week
"i am so tired we are so tired chip is the best he’s the very best i love u chum" -- Matt Fraction

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the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas

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June 5, 2015


Go, Look: Star Hunters Splash Pages

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Go, Look: Andrew Waugh

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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Memphis, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In Columbus, 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 Brooklyn, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Austin, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Munich, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Chicago, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Memphis, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Wallis Eates

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More Details On The Atena Farghadani Case Emerge

I hadn't run anything on the noxious sentence levied at Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani for drawing politicians as animals since first hearing about it. At the time, I had a few French-language reports; nothing in English had been filed yet.

The bulk of English-language articles have hit since then, like this one. What was originally thought a 14-year sentences, looks like it's "only" 12 years and nine months. The judge has throughout been portrayed as a very harsh one, and some of the blame for what seems like a ridiculous sentence would appear to lie at his feet.

In the linked-to article the cartoonist Nikahang Kowser notes another contributing factor that hasn't been examined: that Farghadani lacks social connections in a way that might have protected her from an overly harsh sentence.

It still seems horrible all-around, and one hopes that she becomes enough of a cause so as to mitigate all the harm that's been done to her and all the harm that's yet to come.
 
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Go, Look: Emma Raby

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Go, Read: Michael Cavna On Current Editorial Cartoon Plagiarism

Michael Cavna at Washington Post has a fun article up here about a depressing subject: the current state of plagiarism regarding editorial cartooning.

Cavna and the folks to whom he speaks make the point that on-line tools make this kind of thing very easy, which leaves it to Cavna to describe how many one-time taboos are being broken with regularity now. He does so very well. There's also a bunch of entertaining secondary ideas here, such as the notion that an unpaid newspaper employee need not be held to a higher standard -- that's not explicitly stated, but a response from one of the newspapers involved suggests that kind of noxious reading.
 
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Go, Look: Drawdoer Comics

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June 4, 2015


Missed It: University Of Chicago Announced It Acquired Daniel Clowes’ Papers

The story was here. This is a story because Clowes is one of the best cartoonists going and a complete collection of all of his work is an amazing thing to think about, because a big institutional like that university getting into the comics-papers acquisition business is worth noting, and because of the general trend for comics-makers over 50 beginning to find a home for all of their work and supplementary material.
 
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Go, Look: M. Dean

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* Gary Tyrrell celebrates the community part of the webcomics community.

* so apparently Chris Arrant has been made Editor over at Newsarama; I've enjoyed working with Chris as the subject of a news piece or two, and congratulations to him.

* Cornelia Tzana talks to K. Lynn Smith.

* finally, Lauren Davis recommends Headless Bliss.
 
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If I Were In Los Angeles, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Austin, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Chicago, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Munich, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Stars And Stripes Comics #3

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Carla Hoffman on A-Force. Sean Gaffney on Ranma 1/2 Vols. 15-16. The Ancient Magus' Bride Vol. 1. Bob Temuka on Multiversity #2. Michael Buntag on Archie Vs. Predator #1. Todd Klein on Justice League #40. Paul O'Brien on Spider-Man And The X-Men. Henry Chamberlain on Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency #1. Johanna Draper Carlson on Prophecy Vol. 3. Grant Goggans on Strontium Dog: The Stix Fix. Michael Buntag on a pair of comics. Andy Oliver on Hotel World and Beast Wagon #1. Kim Jooha on Backyard. James Kaplan on Broken World #1.

* Mike Sterling talks variant cover orders. If you ever think that retailers have an easy job, talk to one for five minutes about ordering and make sure you get into the variants thing -- baseline ordering is difficult enough, but you throw in the various cover offers and it gets ridiculously difficult.

* not comics: Sean Kleefeld wonders after the general absence of strip-based cartoons, and suggests that one reason people reacted poorly to that one Denver Con panel about women that lacked women was their response. I agree with Kleefeld on that second point, but more from the perspective that just letting something like that happen was so goofy that there's nothing to do about apologize and laugh at your own poor decision-making. Comics doesn't reward that kind of the move for the most part -- Internet argumentation turns anyone's else's admission into a "they even admit" moment. It still would have been a far more human response.

* Rachel Stevens talks to Josh Perez.

* finally, I missed the debut of MagnEmo.
 
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Go, Look: Katriona Chapman

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Go, Look: Anna And Evan

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June 3, 2015


Bundled Extra: Fraction And Zdarsky Provide Sex Criminals #11 Extras

This pair of tumblr/blog posts from Sex Criminals creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are probably pretty well traveled by the time this post rolls out, but I thought it still worth noting. If you're going to have a hit book that you yourself control, you might as well maximize the fun you're having with it. Variants and special copies can be a particularly joyless undertaking, too.

It's always awesome to see creators fall in love with having their own work out there in a way that they seem to be performing for the audience that is reading the work, in a way that they seem to not want to let them down.
 
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Go, Look: The Fantasy Worlds Of Alex Nino

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I almost totally forgot about these Mike Lynch photos from the NCS weekend retreat/celebration.

* this weekend is one of those ridiculous ones, of which there are three or four on the schedule right now. Here's what I have just for Saturday:
+ If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This (CAKE)
+ If I Were In Munich, I'd Go To This (Comic Festival Munchen)
+ If I Were In Memphis, I'd Go To This (Memphis Comic Expo)
+ If I Were In Austin, I'd Go To This (New South Fest)
+ If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Grand Comics Festival)
+ If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This (Special Edition)
+ If I Were In London, I'd Go To This (CECAF)
That's sort of amazing.

* here's a profile of New South Fest.

* this is a nice line-up for the Helsinki Comics Festival, celebrating its 30th year.

* the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival is selling tickets right this moment.

* the show with which I'm involved, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), launched its web site last night. Announced were special guests Kate Beaton, Jerry Beck, Bill Griffith, Francoise Mouly, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman and Craig Thompson. You can also discern the rough shape of the festival and apply to be an exhibitor. Twitter here. Facebook here. Tumblr here.

* finally, check out the wonderful poster Jim Woodring did for Short Run.

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Munich, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Lightning Comics #5

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This Isn’t A Library: Notable Releases Into 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. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

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MAR151283 D&Q 25 YEARS OF COMTEMP CARTOON COMIC & GRAPHIC NOVEL HC (MR) $49.95
Of course you want this. That's a really good price point, too. I wrote one of the profiles. I imagine my subject excitedly checking the table of contents for his name and then moving his finger over to the right and then sighing. But yeah, this is one of the few books guaranteed to be a book of the year the moment it came out. Lots of new stuff. Lots of weird stuff. Lots of good stuff.

imageAPR150537 HUMANS #5 (MR) $2.99
MAR150616 WICKED & DIVINE #11 (MR) $3.50
MAR158540 WICKED & DIVINE #11 CVR B STAPLES (MR) $3.50
There's very, very little in the way of comic-book format comics that I read, so I can direct you to the latest issue of The Humans and the 11th issue (already!) of Wicked & Divine. Those are both solid crowd-pleasers, good summer comics.

DEC140130 COMPLETE PISTOLWHIP HC $27.99
This is a reformatting of two, maybe three different publications from creators Matt Kindt and Jason Hall. It has to be at least 300 pages, and I'd guess closer to 350 pages. This is a big, quirkily visualized, elaborate mystery -- and you don't see people doing books like anymore.

JAN150171 FRANKENSTEIN MAD SCIENCE OF DICK BRIEFER TP $49.99
I'm a fiend for Dick Briefer and the Frankenstein work in particular. It's one of comics' most underrated runs, even though you wouldn't say underrated if a presence on the Internet counts for anything.

JAN150136 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA LTD ED HC VOL 03 $79.99
JAN150135 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA TP VOL 03 $24.99
Stan Sakai is a good man and a better cartoonist. I'll buy anything he makes, in just about any format.

APR150576 CRIMINAL TP VOL 05 THE SINNERS (MR) $14.99
I very much like these Image re-releases of the Criminal trades. It's kind of like those L&R trades, the paperbacks, where the only thing that works about it is how well the acutal books feel in your hands -- they don't make sense as a pitch, in other words. This is typicallyi solid work.

APR151805 NARUTO GN VOL 70 $9.99
70! I'm old and just impressed by numbers now. I had two periods of reading Naruto: once when it first came out and was being serialized and one later on after they fast-forwarded the narrative quite a bit. My lingering memory is a pretty good grasp of how teens value peer-to-peer relationships and really imaginative fight scenes. It's

MAR151345 VERITY FAIR GN $24.95
This is one of those eyeballs I saw, the latest in a long list of contenders for a comics from the UK that recalls classic Love & Rockets with its large cast, mostly-but-not-entirely quotidian focus and soap opera style overlapping storylines. I will have to settle for reading it in its full glory rather than sampling an issue.

APR151899 AL PARKER ILLUSTRATOR INNOVATOR HC $44.95
I enjoy looking at Al Parker's work, and would stop and look at this book in a store for sure. Parker seems to me represented by that one overwhelming style, but I've read articles that point out he worked in a number of styles, mostly for commercial advantage. I'd love a book that instructed me well enough to figure out his variations on different styles.

APR151789 BORB GN $19.95
Jason Little's book contrasting old-timey joke set-ups (including those seemingly reserved just for alcoholics) with everything horrible we know about alcoholism now.

APR150475 BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE HC $34.99
There certainly won't be any more handsome book out this week, nor more handsome leading man. I only have a surface knowledge of this work. Toth's resurgence in popularity in the '80s and '90s came with a bit of a quandary in that he didn't have a great work out there that might fall in line with a growing appreciation for long-form, seriously-intended work: the graphic novel movement. This was one of his sustained efforts, so it got a bunch of the attention that was out there. I'll enjoy looking at it with eyes that are perfectly fine with beautiful trifles.

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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 failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

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Go, Read: First American Detective

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* some genre fans are apparently freaking out a bit about a change/addition in Star Wars story canon that's coming out of a Marvel comic. We don't know if it will stick, but I guess it's sort of interesting if true and those stories are important to you.

image* Tintin is very resilient, which I think is a big part of the character's appeal and thematic resonance.

* Angela Boyle remembers David Beronä.

* Grant Goggans on Phoebe And Her Unicorn and ABC Warriors: Return To Mars. Jerry Smith on Avengers Epic Collection Vol. 1. The Secret History Of Wonder Woman. Rob Clough on a bunch of comics. Sean Gaffney on Emma Vol. 1. Paul O'Brien on Storm Vol. 2. Johanna Draper Carlson on What Did You Eat Yesterday Vols. 7-8 and Apartment Hunting. J. Caleb Mozzocco on A-Force #1. Richard Bruton on The King In Yellow and Dirty Rotten Comics Vol. 4. Joe Gordon on Resident Alien Vol. 1. Alex Hoffman on Lovers Only #1 and Flocks. Andy Oliver on The Man Called Uncle Tim #2.

* Caitlin McGurk talks to Maureen Donovan.

* finally, and along those same lines, Sean Kleefeld underlines the role that library collections will have on our understanding of world comics traditions.
 
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Go, Look: Joe Sparrow

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Go, Look: At The Earth’s Core

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June 2, 2015


Go, Look: Folding Kimono

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Art Spiegelman Cover For New Statesman Was Pulled After A Dispute Involving A Muhammed Comic

Maren Williams has a really thorough write-up here about an Art Spiegelman cover for a Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer guest-edited magazine. You should read it for the particulars. The cover in question is here big as life. The comic that was left out of the issue and the subject of negotiations that resulted in the cover being pulled is here.

That's a pretty incredible series of events. Two things I find interesting: 1) the magazine had apparently made a decision at the editorial level that made Spiegelman's comic unusable by them because of its arch visual evocation of Muhammed, and 2) for some reason this couldn't be communicated right away to Spiegelman, Gaiman and Palmer.
 
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Go, Look: Rocky, The Stone-Age Kid

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Go, Look: Introducing Melba

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver on Miseryland. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Henry Chamberlain on Mercy: Shake The World. Richard Bruton on Meanwhile Vol. 3. Jerry Smith on a bunch of different comics. Rob Clough on a bunch of comics. Sean Gaffney on Umineko: When They Cry Vol. 10 and A Certain Magical Index Vol. 3. Paul O'Brien on X-Men Vol. 5. Johanna Draper Carlson on Metazoa. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different books.

* Philip Smith pulls at a recent Wonder Woman re-design.

* to my eye Brian Nicholson is right in thinking that this art looks very compelling. One of the great things about looking at superhero comics is applying a really refined series of choices in what you read and why. The way that superhero fans single out issues and the reasons involved seem to me way more highly and specifically evolved than the way hardcore fans of other media pick at mainstream expressions.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco likes Kyle Baker.

* not comics: Bob Temuka looks at Philip Jose Farmer's connective-universe work in terms of how much money works like that make now, how they hit with people now.

* finally, Sean Kleefeld suggests some of the basics.
 
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Go, Look: Adam Vian

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Go, Look: Classic Spider-Man Pages With Color-Guide Information

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June 1, 2015


Go, Look: Kelsey Borch

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I'm a bit late on catching up to this, but Calvin Reid had a very nice article several days ago describing Metropolitan's English-language publication of Riad Sattouf's L'Arabe Du Futur. That book is award-winning and much-lauded, so I greatly look forward to it.

image* there will be a bunch of small press material debuting at this weekend's CAKE festival. You won't find a comic from a nicer, harder-working creator than Will Dinski; this new one is called An Honest Performance. The best way to catch a gander at the group of debuts is probably through this tagged index.

* Erica Henderson will join Chip Zdarsky in the connected-universe version of Jughead that's in the works.

* Dark Horse is planning to publish one more cycle in the Paul Tobin/Juan Ferreyra Colder series starting in September with Colder: Toss The Bones #1.

* Colleen Doran writes about working on the forthcoming Stan Lee comics-format memoir.

* a sneak peek of a work coming from AdHouse.

* I missed that Marvel is going to do a fast-forward trick on their line continuity in order to set their post-Secret Wars narrative reality in stone a bit. Marvel usually does this kind of standard baseline reset very poorly, so we'll see how this one goes. I'm worried a bit about the talent levels there in a way I haven't been for a while and I'm generally worried about these companies keeping stand-alone titles at a high level the way the infrastructure of the industry works now.

* finally, I love this old-school Lampoon-tribute cover for the forthcoming gag collection of Charles Rodrigues' work, coming out from Fantagraphics. Just the fact that there are Charles Rodrigues books is astonishing to me, and a testament to how deep some of the publisher will go to find excellent work to reprint.

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Go, Look: Fascinating-Looking Late 1930s Comic Book Story

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Go, Look: A Classic Golden Age Pierce Rice Story

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Greg Hunter on Trash Market. Henry Chamberlain on This Is Cezanne. J. Caleb Mozzocco on Avengers: Rage Of Ultron. Jason Sacks on two stil-recent Retrofit comics.

* the cartoonist and convention organizer Francois Vigneault will be in Montreal this summer, and one thing he'll be doing is making a drawing a day about the experience. You can see the first and figure out how to follow the drawings starting here.

* this article at Editor & Publisher reminds that next year will be 100 years for that award. The editorial cartooning category began in 1922 with a win by Rollin Kirby.

* not comics: here's another article about Jeff Bezos' various tactics to revive the Washington Post using strategies that worked at Amazon.com. It's an important story to watch because both of those companies are significant players in comics, and the eventual form that newspapers take will be crucial for figuring out the next 30 years of the comic strip form -- if it exists, what it looks like. I think if you read it and you have any familiarity with the comics business at all, you'll notice a shared willingness to work content in a number of formats.

* Maria Popova profiles an illustrated version of Song Of Myself.

* one seemingly fruitful strategy that we've seen with digital comics is taking a current sales-hook for serial comics and then slightly in advance marking down a bunch of material that could be in the same ballpark as those new comics, featuring similar storylines, featuring some of the same characters, maybe even previous cycles in a big storyline. It's an interesting move because the sale acts as an advertisement for the new comics, but it also focuses readers on older material in the direct "you should buy this" sense that really seems to work with digital right now. Here's Kevin Melrose with DC's latest attempt at such an effort.

* finally, Jess Fink thanks her former teacher Tom Hart.
 
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