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











November 30, 2015


Go, Look: Kevin J. Fagan

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posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Algerian Cartoonist Sentenced To Jail Term And Fine

I missed this until a reader pointed it out, my apologies: the Algerian cartoonist Tahar Djehiche was convicted on appeal of charges insulting the president and inciting a mob, charges on which he was acquitted in May. The end result is a six-month prison sentence, a fine of approximately $4600 USD (or about three months of an Algerian average salary) and a call from Reporter Without Borders for an overturned conviction.

The cartoon in question depicted the president a collapsing under sands in an hourglass as commentary on a desert town's protesting of shale gas exploration. As tends to be the case with these things, the cartoon in question sounds like the kind of daily content that in many country goes almost with notice as opposed to some dire, severe take on an issues. The lawsuits and court cases, then, come across as political maneuvers rather than applications of principle.

The cartoon was posted on various social networks. The cartoonist's Facebook feed is extremely active.

The article points out that political pressure on Algerian media has been on the upswing since before the 2014 elections, and Algeria has been the subject of previous attention by the press rights group.
 
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Go, Read: Thanks, Gib!

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It’s One Piece’s World And The Rest Of Us Are Selling Fewer Copies Than That Series Does

An article running yesterday at Crunchy Roll indicates that Eiichoro Oda's One Piece has once again taken the crown in terms of series sales into the Japanese book market, something that gets measured December 1 to November 30 and something One Piece has dominated since 2009. If I'm reading the article correctly, the popular series seems to have all but guaranteed its positioning when four volumes came out this year rather than three.

The article makes a significant deal of Attack On Titan slipping to #3 behind Nakaba Suzuki's The Seven Deadly Sins. The article asserts that Hajime Isayama's series was poorly served by two live-action movies, and by a spacing between seasons of its more well-received anime adaptation. In fact, the interplay between the animated versions and the book series is a significant an intriguing part of that entire analysis.
 
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Go, Look: Never Press

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Go, Look: Robin, The Teen Fashionista

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Go, Look: Magical Character Rabbit

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posted 3:40 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled/By Request Extra: Frontier ‘16 Subscription Drive

Here. I don't usually run posts where an advertisement would have the same effect, but in this case being able to manage cash flow this way is a key part of Youth In Decline's ability to publish. Good line-up, too.
 
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: James Montgomery Flagg Illustrations

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* the cover to Hillary Chute's January volume Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, And Documentary Form is beautiful and terrifying.

image* I'm not sure how I get this into my bookmarks, so apologies for what is likely a swipe from a better blog run by someone with a memory, but here's a look at a book-illustration project by Hayao Miyazaki, a former up-and-coming cartoonist that I think did movies or something for several years.

* Johanna Draper Carlson notes that Akiko Higashimura's Princess Jellyfish manga is coming to North American, English-translated shores, via Kodansha; good news for the many fans of the anime version. We'll get at least 12 volumes.

* totally missed this straight-up publishing news announcement of a kind I wish we saw more: Stone Bridge Press will be doing a 900+ page, one-volume The Osamu Tezuka Story in 2016. Translation by Frederik L. Schodt. I have very little information on that book's provenance, although it looks like it has an official stamp on it from Tezuka Productions.

* here's something I hadn't noticed, having missed Scott Dunbier's heads-up e-mail: the role of the San Diego Comic Art Gallery in rolling out an Artifact Edition of the early Marvel Star Wars comic. It makes sense in the same way that a publisher with a store might have an initial signing at the store, or a book released in proximity to a festival or can might debut there. I guess we've seen something similar with the way that Scot Eder Gallery coordinates a show with Comic Arts Brooklyn and perhaps a release making its debut there. At any rate, there's a show for you to go see if your holiday plans have a Southern California element.

* an article at The Beat notes another extension for the Secret Wars series. As the article points out, that's a pretty good superhero event series that deserves whatever page count is necessary to hit its landing. The question is how this might harm the subsequent roll-out, which is already months along. I don't think that's a big deal in terms of doing damage to comics sales on that series. I think the desire to buy what's important protects series like that, particularly right now. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this were a factor in the sort-of relaunch not hitting as hard as it might have. It doesn't have an effect on the hardcore audience, but I think a lot of noise surrounding comics lines in general can force the almost hardcore audience into more cautious buying strategies.

* hey, there's going to be a Dragon Ball zine.

* Kevin from Czap Books wrote in to note that Laura Knetzger's Bug Boys Vol. 1 will make its formal debut at Comic Arts Los Angeles.

* congratulations to Jan Eliot on 20 years of Stone Soup; she recently moved to Sunday-only and after that incredible period of time I can't blame her. It's only in reference to other strips that nearly 20 years of dailies looks like a modest effort.

* finally, two established 2000AD series are being brought to Polish readers in Polish.

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posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1960s Wizard Of Id Sundays

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on 30 Miles Of Crazy!.

* Rose Marthis talks to Cole Closser. Michael Dooley profiles Joann Sfar.

* not comics: did not know there was an animated version of Chew on the way. That was an important book for Image in that it broke out of the pack without really any tie to trends or creators or styles propagated by Marvel or DC.

* Jordan is selling all of his books.

* not comics: this essay was making the rounds over the weekend, in intense fashion. I'm not going to wade into the bulk of it, but the section on seeing female creators/makers/sportsfolk struck me as an additional endorsement of making sure panel participation at comics shows is balanced and representative of the community we want comics to be.

* finally, Jessica Abel has some advice for time management, with an assist by Ron Wimberly.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Hard To Beat The Deals At Roman Muradov’s Site

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
November 29, 2015


Shigeru Mizuki, RIP

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posted 9:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Mauri Kunnas

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posted 8:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
A Few Individual Cartoonists Told Me They Did Very Well On Small Business Saturday

imageI heard from three cartoonists Saturday to late Sunday, none of whom were interested in attribution, that a simple call-out of some sort to their followers on social media had a significant -- in the several hundred dollar range -- benefit on "Small Business Saturday." I don't know what that means, although one of my general theories of consumption is that more and more people want to be told what's important to buy, so that being told when to buy something might be an extension of that. This seems particularly likely to work that way in conjunction with the outside endorsement of that particular shopping campaign.

It's a story only in the sense that comics used to be much more disconnected from general shopping trends -- the market it had its own rhythms, or at least it failed to capitalize on a lot of conventional-wisdom concepts from general retail. It's only in the last few years we've started to see Thanksgiving weekend related sales from publishers and cartoonists at all, and there's an increasing number of books positioned to hit the gift-buying market. Someone like Milton Griepp would have to provide support or pull support from my assumption that these things collectively are a bigger deal to the bottom-line, but it certainly seems like there are opportunities there there maybe weren't before, and that at least some of them are being seized.
 
posted 7:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Warwick Johnson Cadwell Instagram Sketches

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
 
posted 7:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Missed It: Your 2015 British Comics Awards Winners

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This took place during Thought Bubble, November 13 to be completely honest with you. I'd tweeted it out but never made a post of it on CR. My apologies to those invested in those awards, their nominees and their winners. You can read FPI's blog post here.

For some reason I don't run the nominations for this program, so let me put those here. Winners in bold.

*****

BEST BOOK

* Comic Book Slumber Party: Fairytales For Bad Bitches -- Hannah Chapman (Editor); Stephanie Ayres, Sarah Burgess, Emma Carlisle, Lucie Ebrey, Enoki, Lize Meddings, Becca Tobin, Donya Todd, Alice Urbino and Jenn Woodall (Self-Published)
* Supercrash: How To Hijack The Global Economy -- Darryl Cunningham (Myriad Editions)
* The Motherless Oven -- Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* The Rabbit -- Rachael Smith (Avery Hill Publishing)
* Tim Ginger -- Julian Hanshaw (Top Shelf)

*****

BEST COMIC

* Beast Wagon -- Owen Michael Johnson, John Pearson and Colin Bell (Self-Published)
* Grey Area: From The City To The Sea -- Tim Bird (Avery Hill Publishing)
* Hand Me Down -- Kristyna Baczynski (Self-Published)
* Lost Property -- Andy Poyiadgi (Nobrow)
* Strip -- Sarah Gordon (Self-Published)

*****

EMERGING TALENT

* Sarah Graley (Our Super Adventure, Pizza Witch, Rent Quest)
* Rachael Stott (Doctor Who: The 9th Doctor #3, Star Trek #46 and #47, Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #1-5)
* Matt Taylor (The Great Salt Lake, Wolf #1 and #2)
* Adam Vian (Long Lost Lempi, Snippets: Extracts From 4 Comics That Don't Exist)
* Christian Ward (ODY-C Vol. 1, ODY-C #6)

*****

YOUNG PEOPLE'S COMIC AWARD

* Cindy and Biscuit Volume One: We Love Trouble -- Dan White (Self published/Milk the Cat Comics)
* Gary's Garden Book 1 -- Gary Northfield (David Fickling Books)
* Ghost Cat's Pedigree Chums -- Craig Conlan (Self published)
* Maleficium -- EdieOP (Avery Hill Publishing)
* Star Cat Book 1 -- James Turner (David Fickling Books)

*****

HALL OF FAME

* Dudley D. Watkins

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Note: Mr. Watkins is the fourth entrant into the Hall of Fame.

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posted 7:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Annisa Adjani

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posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Collective Memory: Genghis Con 2015

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Links to stories, eyewitness accounts and resources concerning the 2015 edition of Genghis Con, held November 29 at Lake Erie Building in Cleveland.

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

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Institutional
* Con Location
* Con Site
* Host City

Facebook
* Event Page

* Derf
* Ken Eppstein
* Rachel Hunt
* Tinto Press

News Stories And Columns
* Cleveland.com
* Cleveland Scene Weekly

Photos
* nanodeath
* Sophie Goldstein

Twitter
* Festival Account

* AdamNiemara
* Casey
* Christine Gutierrez
* johnbailey
* Jon Nix
* Kimberly
* Laser Punk
* Sequoia Bostick
* Yoshi Andrego

*****

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

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posted 6:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Billy The Kid #9

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posted 6:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Don’t Forget Comics Companies, Creators And Related Businesses On Made-Up On-Line Shopping Day

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There's a bunch out there, like this one from indy-alt publisher Birdcage Bottom Books or this one from the always-fun Jeremy Eaton (work seen above). Many smaller companies count on sales to generate cash flow and reduce inventory before the new year, so there is an element of helping out that might go into your deciding to spend some money with them.

Start with your favorite companies (look around the home page), move on to your favorite creators (start with their twitter page) and then end up with any business or two you think might have a discount you like such as comiXology. Some will only have sales for today and some will have had them for a few days now. Happy hunting and happy shopping.
 
posted 6:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Bus De Nuit

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* the great Gilbert Hernandez recently announced that he'll be doing commissions, and they're very cheap. I have no idea if this is attached to anything other than some free time in the prolific cartoonist's schedule, but that's a great deal and it's hard for me to imagine a better present for an L&R fan, including just buying one for yourself.

image* Evan Dahm's new Vattu-related crowd-funder should be over its initial goal by the time this post rolls out. It'll be close, at least.

* Alphabet Anthology is off to a good, not great start and could probably use some attention early on in their run.

* there are 31 days left and the anthology Samandal has a significant way to go. That is the group fighting a significant penalty with political elements for parts of their last issue.

* Peow has made its initial goal but I can imagine CR readers that still might want to be involved. Ditto Kickstand Comics.

* with Locust Moon the shop soon going the way of all things, you can show your support by getting on board with Locust Moon the publisher on their successful Will Eisner-related fundraiser.

* here's Dave Sim with another successful archival fundraiser. Dave Sim and crowdfunding are a really good match.

* finally, Rio Aubry Taylor wrote in asking for consideration for current project, JETTY.

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posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Gabrielle Bell Sketches

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Go, Look: Insurrectos

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the Society Of Illustrators has announced its annual Cartoon Art Competition.

image* Alex Dueben talks to Jessica Abel. Brenda Emmanus talks to Jamie Hewlett. Michael Cavna talks to Zunar. John Kelly talks to Steven Cerio and Bill Griffith. Someone at the New York Times Magazine talks to Bob Mankoff.

* Jared Gardner writes about comics and medical issues, suggesting that comics offers narrative connections that might be very insightful into the process of healing.

* here's a page with a bunch of the Frontier interviews scanned in.

* here's a piece at The Mindless Ones, probably Andrew Hickey I'm terrible at remembering these things, on various new comics out.

* I can't remember if I posed this or not but it's worth another look even if it's a repeat: Charles Berberian talks about his post-Paris attacks New Yorker cover.

* this is an interesting story of a late-underground alt-weekly style strip returning to the cannabis culture of modern "medicinal marijuana" California.

* finally, Batman visualized in the style of B. Kliban.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Video Parade Extra: Comics Panel From Miami Book Fair


thanks, Bill Kartalopoulos!
 
posted 4:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go Get On Her Mailing List: Jessica Abel

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As this site has noted -- and I think will note, due to holiday-style blogging -- the cartoonist and comics educator Jessica Abel is doing posts about time management and getting projects done. I think that's something that a lot of people think about, and diving into those matters during the busy holidays may sound crazy but could give you momentum hitting a new year and those long winter months that a hundred resolutions can't provide.

So here's Abel's latest, with directions to preceding posts via text link and the promise of more to come via her mailing list. That might be something you get for yourself this holiday season. Doesn't look like it costs anything.

One of the great things about comics is that with all that's been accomplished in the unlikely journey of this art form from laughing stock to world media source-engine, there's so much more to be done both creatively and on behalf of the industries and cultures that support those creative endeavors. It's an amazing opportunity, and one all of us with an abiding love for comics have the chance to take seriously. It's not required, but it's there.
 
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November 28, 2015


Go, Look: 30 Days Of Comics

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Go, Look: The Good Muslim

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OTBP: Poseur

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Not Comics: Harry Clarke Draws Poe

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Bookmark: Destroy History

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there's enough of John Allison's "Destroy History" up now to make it its own thing; anything with multiple Gene Markey jokes I am going to read
 
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If I Were In Cleveland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Brisbane, I’d Go To This

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #438—Insta-Buddies

On Friday, CR was asked to "Name Five Characters You Liked A Lot, But Only Briefly, With #5 A Character You Briefly Liked A Bunch That You Actively Dislike Now." This is how they responded.

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Buzz Dixon

1. Sherman the Shark from Sherman's Lagoon comic strip
2. Broomhilda
3. Jack Of Hearts
4. B.O. Plenty
5. Moondragon (pictured)

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Gabriel Lan
2. Captain Terror
3. Freak Brothers (pictured)
4. Fethry Duck
5. Batman

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. The Regency Elf (pictured)
2. Jules Folquet
3. Dave from Nexus
4. Brock from Steven
5. Red Tornado

*****

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Roger Langridge

1. Michael Mauser from E-Man (pictured)
2. The Phantom
3. Feek the Freek from 2000AD’s Ace Trucking Co.
4. Dan Dare
5. Garfield

*****

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Michael May

1. Storm
2. Green Arrow
3. Bartleby from Bone
4. Prince Vultan from Flash Gordon
5. The Punisher

*****

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Jamie Coville

1. Dr. Druid (When Roger Stern was writing him in Avengers)
2. Adam Warlock (Infinity Gauntlet and early Infinity Watch)
3. Captain Atom (Early JLE)
4. Kilowog (During his mechanic days in JLE)
5. Starfox (When Roger Stern was writing him in Avengers) (pictured)

*****

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Michael Yohn

1. Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
2. John Constantine
3. Yamcha (Dragonball Z)
4. Asterios Polyp (pictured)
5. Delirium (of The Endless)

*****

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Andrew Mansell

1. The Black Racer
2. Elektra
3. Guy Gardner
4. Steve Dallas (Bloom County)
5. Wolverine (1979-81...but then...yuck) (pictured)

*****

thanks to all that participated

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*****
 
posted 2:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Scott McCloud Panel From SPX 2015


European Comics And The Absurd Panel, SPX 2015


Team Kaptara Makes Their Comic


WSJ Profiles Ben Katchor


Bill Griffith Interviewed At Length
 
posted 6:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Please Try To Remember Comic Shops, Cartoonists, Indie Publishers On Small Business Saturday

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If you're shopping today in a small-business way, remember that the vast majority of the businesses-by-name in the Great Big Registry Of All Things Comics are small businesses. This includes your local comics shop, the cartoonists themselves, and most of the publishers serving small press, indie comics and alt/undergrounds.

You probably know your local comic shop, but I enjoy using CBR's locator page every so often to let me know what's within short driving distance.

For cartoonists, many of them have shops and devoted pages. Twitter is probably the most widely-used first stop for most comics-makers; you can also simply search their name and words like "shop" or "etsy."

Indie publishers, I'd just go straight there. Some of them may be waiting to do site sales on Monday, but some of them will have more general sales for the entire weekend.
 
posted 12:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from November 21 to November 27, 2015:

1. Benoit Peeters named to three year stint in Lancaster (UK) as the university's visiting professor of graphic fiction and comic art. That is the first such post in the UK.

2. Apartment 3-G took its final bow in a very interesting way.

3. Holiday book-buying season officially began. It has become an increasingly important period for comics-makers and comics publishers.

Winner Of The Week
Benoit Peeters

Loser Of The Week
Scott Adams

Quote Of The Week
"It was a typical old man's pleasure. A wardrobe falls on his head, and he congratulates himself for remembering the word 'wardrobe'." -- Clive James

*****

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

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November 27, 2015


Go, Look: The Fragile Framework

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
November 26, 2015


The Comics Reporter’s Holiday Shopping Guide 2015

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By Tom Spurgeon

Welcome to the web site version of the 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide. These suggestions are intended to help you along if things related to sequential narratives are to be on Santa's list this year. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. Anyone that thinks such a list is even possible these days, that person might be deluded or an outright fool.

Have fun in the weeks ahead. Please remember a few simple rules about comics gift-giving:
1. When it comes to gifts, comics are best for people that already like them as opposed to people that may like them someday.

2. The bigger the comics fan, the more likely that person is to be very specific about what it is they want. Be careful!

3. Comics don't have the retail saturation that other forms of media might and some of the best things are carried by specific vendors or involve an element of handcraft, so make sure you have enough time to receive the thing it is you want to buy.
All that said: gifts are gifts. It's difficult to do anything wrong when giving someone a gift!

Happy shopping, and here's to a fulfilling and safe holiday season.

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THE COMICS REPORTER BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE 2015, WEB SITE EDITION
or
15 GUIDELINES AND 16 (OR SO) MATCHING EXAMPLES TO HELP WITH THIS YEAR'S SHOPPING

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One thing right up top: The following strategies are all fairly complex in that they aren't simply buying many some of the latest and greatest offerings from a retailer: your area comics store or Amazon.com. Those options, that way of looking at gift-buying will be taken care of in a different post. In general, though, before we get started here, I'd like to underline that with many of these strategies local comic shops -- triply so the good ones -- can be an option or a partner in making that gift happen. One thing that many shops do or will fake if you ask them is a wish list for a customer that has specific tastes, aimed at those that buy them comics but don't have that specific expertise. Others will simply help you procure something you identified via a different method. So many of them are good retailers in the classic sense, and hopefully you'll spend part of Small Business Saturday in one. So please keep them in mind with any suggestion this site may have.

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1. Seek Out A Commission From A Favorite Artist, Like Gilbert Hernandez
Nearly all artists have a price for personal commission work, and those that don't that are nonetheless reachable I can't imagine mind too much being asked via a private message unless you're the kind of creep that won't take "sorry" for an answer.

Some artists ask for that kind of work, including recently the future greatest living cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, an all-time talent and someone with a long history of doing fun pin-ups. Check out your favorite cartoonists' personal sites very closely (sometimes a twitter account will best lead you to what's current), inquire politely, and give these poor folks plenty of time. Depending on the artist, you might only get to put an order in for the holiday rather than getting a finished piece.

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2. Make Use Of Some Publisher's Direct Sales, Like Drawn And Quarterly Or Fantagraphics
One of the things I'm most thankful for in comics is something we take for granted. We not only have hundreds of comics-makers that approach the making of the best they can with integrity and devotion, we have entire institutions based on that model as much as the realities of capitalism allow. Two of our most vital publishers are Fantagraphics and D+Q. I can't imagine any person that isn't just being grumpy that couldn't find something to enjoy in one of their catalogs. I enjoy nearly all of what each produces. Remember with small publishers of all sizes and missions that sales are important for reducing inventory and keeping capital flowing, so you're probably doing a favorite publisher some good when they have a sale like this one.

*****

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3. Buy A Print Or Other Reproduced Illustrative Comics Art Piece, Like Pascal Blanchet's TCAF Poster
I want to put this before original art this time out, because I'm not sure we appreciate mass-produced images in comics the way one might guess. It's rare for a comics poster to get over, and prints are usually of the very limited kind and take a while to sell out even when they're gorgeous -- like many of those Jordan Crane makes happen. So maybe keep an eye out this year for the mass-produced ones at the etsy stores and big cartel shops. For a start, I really like these TCAF posters that they do, and many are really cheap at $10 a pop.

*****

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4. Give Up And Go With A Gift Card, Like One From comiXology
I'm all for whatever gets the burden of the holidays off of your shoulders. Nearly everyone from whom you can buy stuff in comics either carries a buy-credit option or will pretend like they do in order to get you to spend money with them. (My local comic shop did this one year with a magic marker and a comic book backing board.)

At times a gift card can be extra appropriate when it facilitates market exploration that wouldn't happen otherwise -- directed purchasing. If someone isn't inclined to read, say, digital comics, a gift card or store credit can maybe help them try something out they otherwise wouldn't be interested in doing. I know playing with house money helped me settle into some digital comics purchases, and I have a pretty healthy catalog of comics and access-to permissions as a result. I'm sure this might work with other kinds of comics purchases as well -- I know people that have purchased US comics readers first editions of short manga series and promised to complete the one the person liked best.

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5. You're Never Wrong With Original Art, Like This Robert Goodin Piece At Comic Art Collective
Original art may be the only true collectible that comics has to offer -- supplanting the mass produced object with the actual one-of-a-kind creation which someone worked on and over. It can be a cool thing to put on a wall, or a way to connect with a piece of art that was meaningful to someone in mass-produced form.

However you feel about it, there's access everywhere: The Beguiling, Heritage Auctions, any number of mainstream-oriented dealers, the artists themselves. My favorite is the artists-keep-all-the-money service Comic Art Collective, where you can find a ton of artists and a huge range of work. I've never been disappointed. Robert Goodin is an under-appreciated artist that has a bunch of different work represented there.

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6. Track Down Something From A Favorite Artist's Etsy Shop, Like The One Operated By Julia Wertz
A ton of artists, particularly younger ones, have material for sale through an Etsy shop. Many of them are like Julia Wertz in that they offer things that are not comics but because they're from the same artists feature the same "feel" or "tone" item to item. Ordering direct either from a shop or from an offer via a digital comics service means that all of the money not sunk into the object or into shipping goes to the cartoonist, and that can be a crucial thing.

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7. Facilitate Comics-Related Travel, Like A Pilgrimage To Billy Ireland
An enormous amount of our energy seems to involve going places, primarily conventions. That's fine with me, I like to get out of the house and visit new locations. It never occurred to me that this could be a gift until one year when I skipped some shows and noting this a family member stepped up with a hotel room for a festival I routinely attend. That was a lovely thing for them to do, and it got me thinking that this could certainly be a gift other people entertain. SPX hotel rooms are open now, after all, and you can buy airline tickets to just about any place in the world that has a show from now through Halloween. It's also possible to do a trip or two not tied into a festival, perhaps to attend a class at CCS or SAW, or to see my new hometown comics centerpiece: the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

*****

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8. Directly Support A Working Artist, Like Derek M. Ballard
If you're buying for an artist, one way to show your love is support their Patreon. Patreon is really bad about pushing people forward and showing them off, so you might have to pay attention to a specific artist's social media presence to know if they start doing a patronage-style crowd-funder. At some point I think the contributions will catch up across the board with the talent that's out there; I think we're still taking babysteps that way. We're also going to see more artists shape their career in the direction of their monthly payment platforms. Surely there's someone in whose career -- and in whose bonus items -- a friend of your might have a specific interest. There are so many good ones out there.

*****

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9. Back One Of Comics' Charities, Like The CBLDF
This is sort of the equivalent of giving out toothbrushes at Halloween, but as we're all adult here we know how important keeping your teeth is opposed to consuming an extra few pieces of chocolate, so I hope you won't mind. Not only are there traditional charities with a variety of ways to support them like the Fund (free speech) and Hero Initiative (older creators in need), but many comics institutions (or their backers) are also non-profits that can take and use donations: a few of the cons/festivals out there, the schools, the libraries. If like me you make charitable decisions part of your year-end process, this is a gift to keep in mind not going in anyone's name but as the right thing to do, maybe a gift to yourself.

*****

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10. Indulge In A Prestige-Formatted Book, Like White Boy
There is a ton of material out there that sells for prices that would have crushed my soul back in 1979, except perhaps in an aspirational sense of wanting to own such items someday. The Artist's Editions and their related formats at IDW are justifiably well-liked; it's fascinating to look at certain comics that way. Prestige houses like Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly do high-end projects as a matter of course, and Fantagraphics in particular has done a lot more of them specifically targeted to high-end consumers in recent years. Sunday Press is a particular favorite of mine, and White Boy is a dream come true. I probably put this one on here because I hope someone buys it for me.

*****

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11. Go Partridge In A Pear Tree A Christmas-Related Comic Gifts, Like This Book Of Christmas Stories
I don't like a lot of Christmas comics, and I'm not sure I'm a fan of holiday-themed Christmas gifts more generally. I did like this book of Christmas comics that Craig Yoe did with IDW a few years ago, and I enjoy some random comic books that have Christmas themes, like the Dead Santa issue of JLA. I'm guessing it wouldn't be too hard to track down a bunch of Christmas reading for a friend or family member that really goes to town during the Christmas holiday. And what a cool basket of things to dig a bunch of comics would be for a well-stocked holiday home that does a lot of entertaining.

*****

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12. Clothe Them In Some Comics Apparel, Like The Katie Skelly Bon Bon Shirts
It's more than a year old, but just last week I saw someone somewhere extolling the virtues of their brand-new "fuck this and fuck you" t-shirt. Apparel seems to be something that folks coming from the recent webcomics tradition do extra well, so I might start at the creators section of TopatoCo along with the personal sites and etsy stores of one's favorite cartoonists.

*****

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13. Invest In The Future With A Kids Book Work By Your Favorite Cartoonist, Like The Princess And The Pony
Enough cartoonists to fill a delightful theme park also work in the words-and-picture cousin of kids' books. In fact there are comics lines devoted to reaching this audience: Toon, at Scholastic or Nobrow, and a big chunk of First Second as well as significant portions of just about every publisher going. But you can also find all sorts of comics artists at kids-book publishing endeavors themselves, such as this year's Kate Beaton effort and Patrick McDonnell's illustration and authorship efforts in this category of the last few years. Sometimes it's good to do a regular book search on a favorite artists to see if they have work of this type out there.

*****

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14. Indulge Their Nostalgia With Some Old Comic Books, Like Thriller
I never thought we'd get to a point where old comic books would make a pretty good point. The Overstreet generation's insistence that people really wanted to pay $9 for a random old comic book that didn't sell new, and that rare undergrounds and alt-comics weren't to be valued that way, allowed comics to sidestep the kind of no-value offerings that make up the bulk of really dig-into-a-box gifts. Sheer volume since the 1990s has created such a market, and you should respond accordingly.

It's not only fun to buy people comics you think are good from the past, but Christmas is a time for shameless nostalgia, and most people, particularly those over 65, only remember comic books as items that had power and pull over them at a certain age. Presenting someone with a copy of Police Comics that they can only describe the cover of but remembered leaving it when they moved in 1949, that can be an awesome thing.

*****

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15. Remember The Past Via Old Books With Comics Content, Like A Charles Addams Classic
There didn't used to be a thriving bookstore section filled with graphic novels and comic-strip collections. What you had was an assortment of strip reprints and magazine-type comic collected in hardcover form, usually as "humor." Abebooks.com is your 1958 comic book store, with loads of works from just about any cartoonist you can name and pretty much the prime home for the 20th Century New Yorker and Holiday crowd. I love all of the James Thurber, Peter Arno and Charles Addams books I've purchased this way. There's a really good Al Hirschfeld book out this year but all of his old ones are pretty good, too. And of course I'm a fiend for Saul Steinberg.

This is a pretty hardcore option, but sometimes people ar ready for the hardcore shopping methods even if they don't all the way realize it yet.

*****
*****
*****
 
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Go, Look: Qahera

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Zunar Sends Along The Text To His International Press Freedom Award Speech

The cartoonist Zunar sent along the speech he gave upon receiving the International Press Freedom Award. Zunar has been facing an inordinate degree of focused harassment from authorities for political work that seems to all rational viewpoints pointed, poignant that in no way crosses the line anywhere near the public danger claimed for it. According to the e-mail, the ceremony was November 24.

His speech:
Thank you very much for this award.

I'm so happy to be here tonight to accept this and not in a jail somewhere in Malaysia.

I would like to dedicate this award to the Malaysians who have equally pushed for reform.

It is both my responsibility and my right as a citizen to expose corruption, wrongdoing and injustices. Laws like the Sedition Act mean that drawing cartoons is a crime since the Sedition Act is a criminal act.

The government of Malaysia is a cartoon government; a government of the cartoon, by the cartoon, for the cartoon -- sorry Abraham Lincoln.

For asking people to laugh at the government, I was handcuffed, detained, thrown into the lock up. But I kept laughing and encouraging people to laugh with me. Why? Because laughter is the best form of protest.

My mission is to fight through cartoon.

Why pinch when you can punch? People need to know the truth and I will continue to fight through my cartoons.

I want to give a clear message to the aggressors -- they can ban my cartoons, they can ban my books, but they cannot ban my mind.

I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink.
As always, we hope for the best outcomes for Zunar as he continues to face charges, perhaps most significantly the sedition charges related to tweets from earlier this year. His persistence and eloquence in the face of adversity are admirable.
 
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Not Comics: Blanche Greer

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Missed It: Benoit Peeters Named UK’s First Visiting Professor Of Graphic Fiction And Comic Art

This actually took place early Wednesday, so I'm not far from the story's origin but I still should have had it that day: Benoit Peeters -- a novelist, a scholar of Hergé and his work and a creative partner to Francois Schuiten on the Les Cites Obscures series -- will serve as Lancaster University's visiting professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art. It is the first such post in the UK.

Peeters will teach, run workshops and play an advisory role to post-graduate students appropriate to his assignment. It is a three-year post.

Something extremely interesting about the assignment above and beyond its groundbreaking aspects is that the post was created in partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. The appointment also received support from an organization devoted to increasing "the visibility of Belgium Francophone culture in UK," according to the linked-to article.
 
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If I Were In Brisbane, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Herbie #8

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By Request Extra: Alphabet Anthology Kickstarter Launches

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If you're looking to spend some money or do some shopping on this weirdly ugly US half-holiday, you might look at Alphabet Anthology, just launched this week.

Tara Avery -- whose name is on the crowd-funding mechanism -- is good people and a talented cartoonist and always worth our attention. No one had to wait outside in a line or go to work on a holiday, either.
 
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November 25, 2015


Go, Read: A Carl Barks Ducks Thanksgiving

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Go, Read: Milo George’s Tribute To Wildcat

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Go, Read: Kerry Callen’s Super Antics #3

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Go, Look: Thanksgiving-Related Magazine Illustration

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Go, Read: One Turkey Apiece

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Happy US Thanksgiving From The Comics Reporter

I'm a great believer in not working during certain local holidays, so I ask the forgiveness of readers at home with family looking for something to do and to those not in the US at all that today CR just sticks with the random round-up, the conventions column and the gathered US-Thanksgiving comics links above.

imageOne thing I wonder about every so often is if comics doesn't have the downtime it used to, a thing I thought was a huge advantage to working in that industry although marketing people I'm sure want a 52-week push. I know that with our forthcoming holiday interview series that started 11 years ago, that was just a way to have content during a pretty dead holiday period. That period is stuffed with news now. The last two Christmas eves I received at least one item of breathless, could-have-sent-it-any-day-of-the-year PR. It's a different industry, and a different world.

I think we're also starting to see similar exhaustion in terms of cons and festivals, that there are so many now and the primetime Spring and Fall periods in particular make for exhausting five- to six-week runs if you want to do them all. People are being choosier. I haven't helped much there.

If you're reading this, you're likely a hardcore reader of the site, someone that plunges into the articles rather than waits for the site to break into your ongoing social media feed of information. This holiday, I'm particularly thankful for you. Celebrating the day or not, I wish you and your family the best.
 
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Go, Look: Phoebe Thomas

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* one thing that wrestling and comics have in common is that at one point in our recent cultural history both of them aimed big events at holiday weekends because that was a time in our still blue-collar world where the most people would have time off to go do things. I can still remember a Chicago con that was tied into the fourth of July weekend. Now it's only really Dragon Con that still carries on the holiday tradition, although there are certainly shows during all the weekends now. They are their own holidays in a few cases.

* speaking of just such a show, Genghis Con is imminent.

* CAKE has begun announcing guests for 2016: Cathy G. Johnson, Tyrell Cannon, Sammy Harkham, Ezra Claytan Daniels and Patrick Kyle so far.

* speaking of CAKE, they'll close exhibitor applications between now and when this column next appears.

* I quite liked this piece from Zainab Akhtar on the recently completed Thought Bubble event in Leeds.

* most of my friends that are still in convention mode are focusing on either local shows or on Comic Arts Los Angeles.

* WonderCon continues to add guests for its LA show. It seems slightly higher powered when compared to recent Anaheim-based WonderCon events, but definitely drawn from the same mix of comics-makers and genre-celebrities that has made their San Diego show a success.

* finally, I think I have most of the major events for next year in place in this post, at least those through SPX. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 
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Go, Read: The Interpreter

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Go, Look: Marvel Splash Pages From November 1975

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Go, Read: Andrew Yates’ Interview With Josh Simmons

Here. Simmons' Black River was an extremely interesting book lost in another strong year for stand-alone volumes.
 
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Go, Look: How To Be An Artist

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November 24, 2015


Go, Look: The Irreducible Essence Of Jewishness

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Go, Look: Andy Busc

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Go, Look: Rovina Cai

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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.

*****

AUG151477 SOLDIERS HEART TP WWII VETERAN DAUGHTERS MEMOIR $39.99
I very much enjoyed this work in the three different volumes that allowed its subject matter -- since deceased -- to participate in the dialogue about and initial reception of the book. I hope that this helps the bulk of folks out there to see Carol Tyler, a vastly under-appreciated cartoonist, with different eyes, but if it's only a few converts I'l be happy with that as well.

JUL150113 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA LTD ED HC VOL 05 $79.99
JUL150112 USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA TP VOL 05 $24.99
If your tastes correspond to my own, you'll want some version of Stan Sakai's sprawling adventure comic in your library. This latest burst of collection is one way to do it. I collected these in serial comic book form, although I'm pretty much convinced by now that trades of some sort was probably the way to go.

imageSEP150179 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #1 $5.99
SEP150841 CHEWBACCA #4 $3.99
SEP150830 DARTH VADER #13 VDWN $3.99
SEP150746 SILK #1 $3.99
SEP150686 VENOM SPACE KNIGHT #1 $3.99
SEP150027 ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #12 $3.50
SEP150064 GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #11 $3.99
SEP150597 SAGA #31 (MR) $2.99
SEP150036 HELLBOY BPRD 1953 WITCH TREE RAWHEAD BLOODY BONES $3.50
SEP150057 ITTY BITTY HELLBOY SEARCH FOR THE WERE-JAGUAR #1 $2.99
There's a range of noteworthy comic books out this week. Surely the new Dark Knight is the noteworthy book today in terms of what is likely to sell through stores and generate feature articles, most of which probably won't question the narrative that Frank Miller himself has been questioning about what may be the extremely limited extent of his authorship. I have zero interest in any creator other than Frank Miller, Klaus Janson or Lynn Varley working this corner of the DC Universe, and that it's a corner of the DC Universe is another thing that makes it less interesting. I do have some interest in Miller and Janson doing the Atom comic that accompanies this publication, and I'm interested in the clash between the backlash/disinterest in Miller these days vs. the market's ability to help manufacture a big hit. People want to be told what comic to buy these days, which ones count, and DC isn't doing so many issues (as was the case with Before Watchmen that any sort of consumer ennui is likely to set in just as issues accrue. The other comics out? A pair of Star Wars that shows Marvel is still stewarding that one pretty well with the movie coming out; some folks thought they would fade super-quickly. Marvel is still relaunching titles post Secret Wars, so here's a pair of those. I will one day catch up with the Elfquest and will later today buy the Groo. Saga is another book that will drag in a lot of fans, including college-age kids that might buy it at the home shop instead of the college one. And then there's Hellboy, always Hellboy.

OCT151542 GLANCE BACKWARD HC (MR) $19.99
AUG150458 GIL KANE UNDERSEA AGENT HC $17.99
I'm not sure that I would have remember the stand-alone A Glance Backward but I had bookmarked its direct sales page a few days ago. That's the kind of book on which Jog can do a whole graph. The promising Undersea Agent book isn't a story about Gil Kane deep-sea diving for the US government -- although that would clearly be the greatest graphic novel ever -- but work from Kane during his Tower period. I remember that stuff being super-handsome but also looking as if it was super quickly drawn.

JUN151450 CROGAN ADVENTURES COLOR GN VOL 02 LAST OF THE LEGION $17.99
I haven't seen the color Crogan book other than to hold one in front of author Chris Schweizer and go, "Hey, this look nice." I'm a fan of the series and think Schweizer's work holds color pretty darn well, so I can't imagine I'll be without them for too long.

JUN151306 ETERNAUT HC $39.99
This is one of those miracles of publishing and the reason I will always be glad for Fantagraphics as long as its around: a 350+ page collection of Hector German Oesterheld's and Francisco Solano Lopez's mid-century, futuristic adventure serial. It's considered one of the greats of Argentinian comics and one of the great genre books ever, period. It was Lopez's career-maker, for sure, and to have a fancy version of it available for libraries and readers is a dream come true.

AUG151941 ART OF ALFREDO ALCALA SECRET TEACHINGS OF COMIC BOOK MASTER $14.95
JUL151216 ART OF JOSE GONZALEZ HC $39.99
Here's two art books, a category from which comes many a fine holiday present. The Alcala is the one to which Heidi MacDonald once upon a time, I remember liking that earlier edition. Jose Ganzalez is best known for being the signature Vampirella artist for a while but had one of those lengthy careers a little bit all over the place. I'd look at both for sure.

SEP150893 WILL EISNER CHAMPION OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL HC $40.00
This one I already own, and am reading over Thanksgiving weekend. I'm not sure we needed another treatment of Eisner for a while, but if we were only going to have one of this kind of book, my money would be on Levitz to make the one I got the most from reading. Eisner remains relevant but not current, foundational for an entire tradition of doing comics but not anyone's flavor of the month. That makes it a perfect time to make your arguments about how he should be read and remembered moving forward.

*****

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, Look: Neal Adams Draws Tarzan A Bunch

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Go, Look: Jillian Leigh

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Go, Read: Chris Mautner’s Interview With Bill Griffith

I enjoyed writer Chris Mautner's interview with Bill Griffith about his book Invisible Ink. That's an elegant, serious, well-crafted book from an artist who works with a kind of serious fury that's kept him going for years and years now. I also like how lengthy the responses are, making it a bit more like an old-school TCJ interview.
 
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Not Comics: Three R. Kikuo Johnson Illustrations

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Go, Look: How To Make Money With Simple Cartoons

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Grant Goggans on Helium. Rob Clough on the work of Bailey Sharp. Todd Klein on Justice League #45. Sean Gaffney on A Certain Magical Index Vol. 5. Joe Gordon on The Mighty Thor #1. Brian Nicholson on Pure Shores.

* one ongoing project I forgot to mention in this week's "By Request" column is this one by Evan Dahm, which looks to be moving along at a measured clip.

* I don't know if the movie Unbreakable would have been received with greater fanfare if it were to come out now, although certainly that film would have a more significant context just in the weight of material in its genre. I thought the film plodding, and the dour, 12-year-old's seriousness with which it embraced certain themes was not always extended to other elements of the film, for instance the number of random people encountered in the Philadelphia train station that are horrible criminals. I mean, that's totally true, that place is filled with villains, but it just wasn't convincing on film. The key scene they bring up is its best scene, by far. Released now, you also wouldn't have the significant degree of confidence in the filmmaker that kept many engaged at the time, viewers that might now bail before the movie ended.

* not comics: Sean Kleefeld remembers Morning Funnies cereal.

* finally, Mike Lynch catches us up with Gary Blehm. I find that interesting because we frequently do not check back in with artists involved with litigation unless the result is super-splashy.
 
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November 23, 2015


Go, Look: Andrea Bell

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OTBP: The Tao Of Yow

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Go, Look: Pat Kain

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By Request Extra: Marguerite Dabaie On Samandal

The cartoonist and illustrator Marguerite Dabaie has written an article over at Hooded Utilitarian bringing back under the spotlight the Samandal fundraiser at IndieGoGo. The Beirut publisher was fined for isolated content in their last issue in a way that makes a next issue harder to do.

Between the those two links I think just about anyone could make the appraisal they need to make, from whatever vantage point they might engage with any of the politics involved, to know if they want to be involved. There aren't many politically-tinged things I know of where less speech, less art, is a desirable outcome. This also seems like a fairly priced-out anthology with a track record and something specific to offer world comics. You'll even given a part-time job. Also remember that with IndieGoGo, the money is kept even if the asked-for amount is not reached, so there doesn't need to be any strategizing there. Joe Sacco and Omar Khouri are among the artists whose work is being used as incentives.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Alex Maleev Pin-Ups

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Go, Look: The Desert Rat!

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* totally missed this intriguing piece where Hope Nicholson chose multiple indigenous comics-makers like artist Jeffrey Veregge (here at right) for our focused consideration.

* Michael Cavna on Exploring Calvin And Hobbes. There are not a lot of full interview with Bill Watterson for us to read, and this book was a bit under-publicized from a comics-culture standpoint, so I hope people will consider it for the holidays.

* Rob Williams has some quick notes on story structure for you.

* the worst interview questions Alex de Campi ever received. Chances are I've done worse although not in this particular area.

* Sean Kleefeld argues that the way reprints are done now change retailing.

* not comics: this article about video stores and their superiority over streaming systems made the rounds over the weekend, and a few CR readers suggested it might have something to say about comic shops. I like the broad strokes of the article in terms thinking about how consumers approach and utilize different systems, although I strongly disagree with nearly all of its more specific assertions as to how anything works or anyone thinks.

* Dylan Taylor-Lehman talks to Jared of Super Fly Comics.

* watching Team Kaptara.

* finally, Stephen Burt on two from Dylan Horrocks.
 
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November 22, 2015


Go, Look: Cole Ott

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Totally Missed It: Locust Moon Closing Its Doors

imageI whiffed on this one: Locust Moon in Philadelphia, widely regarded as one of the elite 50 or so comics shops in North America, is closing its doors at the end of the year. They made the announcement on Facebook last week.

As you may recall, this comes after Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn closing this Fall. Like Bergen Street, the Locus Moon co-owners Josh O'Neil and Chris Stevens hope to continue with and expand the publishing press side of their business. (Locust Moon also runs a festival; inference from the Facebook discussion seems to put it into some jeopardy, but I'd need to be directed to a formal announcement. Festivals are a year to year thing at best, so a status may not be determined.)

Is two quality stores choosing to go out of business for whatever reason each might have, is that a bad sign? Sure, but maybe not for some mysterious "they're killing good shops" reason. First, every comics store going out of business it is now believed has a significant impact on the comics-buying habits of their customers; not as many simply switch stores (if they even could) as one might think. Comics doesn't exist at a saturation point to be happy seeing any group of consumers go. Another thing maybe worth noting is that neither of these was a first or near-first generation store. While many of the very first couple of waves of shops anchor this imaginary top 50 list, they'll go away or will be very much changed by the passing of their owners. Sometimes great comic stores are held together by force of will combined with momentum. I don't know if a general retail model whereby stores don't exist for decades but become first jobs and retirement-retail gigs for their owners doesn't alter things in a significant way. We may know in about 10-15 years.

In the meantime, those customers in Philadelphia were lucky to have a fun, activist shop like that one for as long as they did. I wish Team Locust Moon the best with their publishing efforts moving forward, and its most passionate customers a place to interact with the comics art form equally helpful and rewarding.
 
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OTBP: Tales From The Haunted Forest #1

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Scott Adams Lambasted For Oddball, Retrograde Views

Here's the reply piece that's been making the rounds devoted to endlessly discussing expressed views to which I have access, having had it placed under my nose three times. Here's the original opinion piece, which at its most humorous but still resolutely baffling/upsetting suggests Western countries apply a reverse Lysistrata and hump the desire to terrorize out of any young men who self-select to serve as foot soldiers in that particular war.

I suspect this kind of thing is mostly a cultural outcome driven by the Internet. I'm not sure its point or where it ends, but I know that I get about two or three e-mails a month pointing at someone expressing what I in almost every case agree is a dumb point about some political or cultural issue, along with an implied nudge that something must be done. Other than going "gross," I'm usually not sure what that is. Certainly if your enjoyment of Scott Adams or his work is in some way dependent on his agreeing with you, or perhaps simply displaying some sort of baseline common sense in cultural critiques like the creepy headscratcher linked-to above, you are likely out on Adams' comics work. I'm not sure that's significant, but it's new. I guess Adams' writing could call into question the quality of the satire Dilbert has given us, although it would seem to be much easier just to read and interact with the text. Given that confusion, I have to wonder if what's really at stake is nothing at all, and that being made fun of on the Internet is what you get for posting stuff on the Internet eminently worth mocking.
 
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Go, Look: Kelsey Cretcher

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* it looks like the crowd-funder for Northwest Press will be right up against to the end. That's one of comics' few LGBT-devoted publishers, and that seems like a modest, reasonable amount of money for a publisher to ask for assistance on two projects. You, of course, can decide that on your own. I just hope you'll visit and consider it.

image* with slightly more time but slightly more funding to cover in its last week is the Nexus Compendium project, part of plans Mike Baron and Steve Rude have for their creation in its anniversary year and beyond. The latest Cerebus project is well over its first selected limits. Both of those comics were iconic for a generation of readers that came of age in the 1980s.

* congratulations to the Shadoweyes Vol. 1 project for surpassing its initial goal. That should result in an extremely attractive book.

* I also don't check in with projects when they fade, but I wanted to note this one because eventually they promise a second stab at it.

* about a half-dozen CR readers were on me to provide some support to the Peow crowd-funder, which has roared past its initial goal with several days left. People feel very optimistic about that publisher. The Kickstand Comics crowd-funder is in a similar position.

* if your family is like mine and you take part of Thanksgiving weekend to strategize about year-end giving, I hope that you'll keep comics' non-profits in mind or at least realize that that gifting such a rich source of funding that they might bother you a bit more than usual.

* finally, the Lost Work Of Will Eisner project is way over its initial goal. I mention it here because that's something with which CR readers might want to be on board given Eisner's place in the historical firmament.
 
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Go, Look: Two Young Romance Comics By Mort Meskin

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Go, Look: Steve Wood

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* turns out they did re-run the TCJ interview with the late Denny Eichhorn over at TCJ.com, I just missed it.

* this 2011 video of Alan Moore is making the rounds. It's interesting to compare the rhetoric involved when someone says something with which one agrees as opposed to something with which one doesn't.

* in a fun article, Todd Klein writes about doing the lettering for the new Paul Levitz biography/appreciation of Will Eisner.

* it's worth noting the positive-to-ecstatic critical notices greeting the second Marvel-related Netflix television series, Jessica Jones. Let the thinkpieces begin. As a second TV show Jessica Jones can't surprise the way Daredevil might have, so you're seeing a lot of negotiating from people that write about art and entertainment product because placing yourself in the proper place on a spectrum of approval seems to be a lot of that job. That means that minus the scramble to say something about a work that startles, you get a lot of musing about whether others like it enough or too much or not at all. Me, I don't have time to watch anything ten hours in length right now, but I look forward to it. I enjoyed the comics on which the show is based, and Marvel's great strength post-1998 or so has been quality licensing and creative partnerships. Jessica Jones attention to the violence of super-heroing is also a rich vein of thematic material to explore, and comes at a time in that genre's recent TV/film history that this should seem a worthy thing to explore.

* if you're looking for writing on the show itself, Sean T. Collins is a prominent writer-about-comics who is a also a prominent writer-about-television and is covering this series. It's not hard to find someone you'll like, I bet.

* Todd Klein on The Twilight Children #1 and Astro City #28. Sean Gaffney on Ranma 1/2 Vols. 21-22, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun Vol. 1 and Durarara!! Vol. 2. Sean Kleefeld on It Just So Happens. Henry Chamberlain on Manifesto Items #5.

* finally: well, that settles it.
 
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November 21, 2015


I Binge-Read Apartment 3-G This Weekend And Part Of Me Thought It Was Beautiful

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Apartment 3-G ends today. A soap opera-strip about three media-informed female "types" inhabiting the same big-city apartment, Apartment 3-G was at its best a sturdy, stylish diversion brought to life by its devoted original artist turned full-on strip creator for years and years: the late Alex Kotzky. Kotzky's passing brought on a brief period when his son worked on the strip. In recent years it's been the veteran Frank Bolle providing art with Six Chix contributor Margaret Shulock writing.

There are only two times I've come to hear anything about Apartment 3-G, at least since the elder Kotzky's passing. The first is the story about Los Bros Hernandez at one point being offered the strip, which gets repeated every now and then. The second is that when Shulock came on board and as Bolle has grown older, the strip took on a kind of unaffected, straight-forward presentation of soap opera tropes that there was a devoted fanbase that liked to make fun of its stiffness and oddities. How much the creators, particuarly Shulock, played to this kind of presentation I've seen debated by grown people with college degrees.

As it has wound down since, say, the late summer, about a half dozen CR readers have been reading the strip and telling me I should. The last was Greg Kelly. I'd heard more generally that the strip had become even more odd and unsettling as it neared the end. Those reports were correct. I just read the strip from August 15 through this morning, and it makes very little sense. People stand around having story moments in no way supported by their physical surroundings or the way they're dressed. They say things not indicated by their facial expressions. The recap-Sunday strategy -- a traditional choice where the Sundays basically reiterate information in the daily for those clients that only take one or the other -- has come to play only slightly more jarring than a standard day-to-day narrative progression, such as they are. That's saying something. In terms of plot points or character resolution, the strip just sort of ends. And yet the ending is everything, soaking the previous weeks in a finality and dread that informs every installment.

You should read it, too. King Features' Comics Kingdom is a pay site, but you can start with the linked-to Milwaukee newspaper's presentation and move forward until the last couple of weeks at which point the calendar will have to be used, but you can do it I think without violating anyone's ownership of the material. I can't remember a strip ending like this one.

I liked reading the strips very much. It definitely has an unaffected, what-we-call-Lynchian quality where what you're seeing and what you're "hearing" as dialogue don't match. The limited sets and slightly faded color choices make it a bit nightmarish, almost like the world is collapsing comic book "crisis" style around these increasingly feckless characters. It's hard to believe there are more than a dozen "places" in the world these characters exist. Even the lettering gets in on the act, unrefined and delicate in a way that seems that much more at odds with a strip that had a real slickness to it even into recent memory: it's like catching a dapper uncle with an untucked shirt, or an elegant aunt with smeared lipstick. Frank Bolle is 91 years old; I think his work is fine -- this is more about the way the whole strip works together than any sort of craft issue. August into September is astonishing in the way information overlaps. The way the characters struggle to deal with almost rudimentary circumstance given the grand sweep of past soap opera plotlines seems like commentary on both older, exhausted comics and aging more generally. Whatever life the strip once had -- whatever minor role it played in the life of the fans it made happy -- seems like part of the last century in a way that hurts.

The experience of reading the last weeks of Apartment 3-G makes it seem as if, perhaps without meaning to, the creators involved and their syndicate conspired to present the first comic strip to spend its final days the way most of us will: off to one side, without much fanfare, clinging to places old and familiar, without much settled, echoes of our previous stories in the air. And then the next day we're gone.
 
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Go, Read: Papa Vinyard Talks To Bob Mankoff

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If I Were In Reno, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Antwerp, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bologna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Vienna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In New Jersey, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Adelaide, I’d Go To This

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FFF Results Post #437—Stories

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Newspaper Comics Strips You've Enjoyed As Soap Opera." This is how they responded.

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Friday Foster
2. Das Herz der Julia Koster (Juliet Jones)
3. Tiffany Jones
4. Brenda Starr (pictured)
5. Rex Morgan, M.D.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Apartment 3-G
2. Little Orphan Annie
3. Mary Perkins, On Stage (pictured)
4. Gil Thorp
5. For Better Or For Worse

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. The Phantom
2. Barnaby
3. Candorville (pictured)
4. Sky Masters
5. Doonesbury

*****

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Matt Emery

1. Modesty Blaise
2. Long Sam
3. Abbie and Slats
4. The Conways (pictured)
5. Garth

****

thanks to all that responded

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


Bob Andelman Talks To Rick Kirkman


Mike Luckovich Presents At Oglethorpe University


Cartooning After The Harper Government


Paint By Monster's Giant Terrible Robot Song
 
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November 20, 2015


If I Were In New Jersey, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Reno, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Antwerp, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bologna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Vienna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Adelaide, I’d Go To This

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November 19, 2015


Go, Look: Michael Neno Has A Tumblr Now

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Go, Look: Miranda Harmon

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* happy tenth anniversary to inkstuds, an interview program that either exists solely on-line or mostly there, I can't remember. It's the one that occasionally has Brandon Graham guest-host, and it's one of four different podcasts I've done. Good job on that, Robin McConnell. Go here for a mighty photo array.

* Archie + Madefire = Archie comics app. You can find an article approaching it from the comics end of things here.

* here's a snapshot-type article about webcomics right now. I think it's interesting to define webcomics according to that free-posting model. It's very restricted, but webcomics may the kind of term that's best served defining a limited thing.

* finally, James Whitbrook on a phone-only comics provider.
 
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If I Were In Reno, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Antwerp, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bologna, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Adelaide, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: David Wolter

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Chris Mautner on Stroppy. Adrian Tomine on various well-liked short-story collections. Chris Ware on Killing And Dying.

* not comics: I'm not sure if this closure news is new and real because I don't follow magazine publishing news, but if it is, all condolences to those displaced. At one point, that publication had a fine little comics section.

* Michael Cavna on Exploring Calvin And Hobbes. Here's an article about Calvin And Hobbes on the occasion of its 30th birthday. That's a great strip, and seemingly the great strip for a lot of comics-makers and comics fans who enjoyed it as children.

* this show by the talented James Romberger opened last night.

* just how much is Frank Miller contributing to this third Dark Knight series? My guess is that he contributed at the story ideas level. Whether or not this makes any of the publicity behind the series dishonest isn't the kind of question I can answer not being in the role of consumer or buyer on this one, but it's worth keeping an eye out for someone making that kind of complaint, particularly someone with a commercial interest.

* Evan Dahm's crowd-funder is off to a ferocious start.

* these nice people are making a Dragon Ball zine.

* finally, a new physical location for Printed Matter is profiled.
 
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November 18, 2015


Go, Look: Chelsea Watt

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Go, Read: Eleanor Davis Made A Comic And Then Posted It In A Tweet

It's good, you'll like it.
 
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Go, Look: Sarah Sobole

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* we're a little bit all over the place heading into the last several weeks of the year. Festival-goers are looking towards CALA, a necessary comics show for the combination of unique creative community and strong comics readership. Midwesterners are looking towards Genghis Con. Some of the mainstream folks I know are doing a regional or even local show or two before wrapping it up for the year. Earlier this week I saw some folks had attended Eucon, which is one I hadn't heard of before.

* speaking of Genghis Con, I'm not sure I've linked to their full exhibitors list.

* there are some interesting conflicts and jam-ups next year. The late March/early April cluster is tough, with MoCCA and WonderCon and SPACE and ECCC crowding into three weekends with a potential third year for Linework NW possible and likely somewhere close to those dates. Lakes and CXC -- the show with which I'm involved -- will take place on the same weekend before 2017, when CXC settles back into late September (a place where one of the other prominent overseas shows may move). It's tough all over, but it's great for fans right now.

* finally, there's a whole bunch of good stuff up at the Angouleme web site, including the poster story I'll make a separate post here as I catch up. Some of the shows sound great.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Bologna, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Silver Streak Comics #21

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul Tumey talks to Louise Amandes and Ron Austin. Someone whose name isn't provided so that I can tell talks to Lee Salem.

* here's a list of terrible things Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's Cyclops character has done. I like how some of them are just oddball things that good guys in comics did for a while when superhero comics got weird and decadent.

* I found this Mark Millar essay about waking up to the latest trend in hopeful, cooperation-focused art and making it a personal awakening he has to share just as a book comes out that plays on these factors to be a really fascinating snapshot of how one of our most influential creators thinks. One thing I find perpetually intriguing about Millar is that he's applied the 1960s Marvel idea of making possible multiple readings of pop material to his own biography. It's very much worked for him, and should continue to do so.

* James Whitbrook on Alias, the comic from which the forthcoming Netflix series Jessica Jones is derived. I liked those comics, although I don't necessarily agree with Whitbrook's take in the title and throughout the article.

* many of them are true!

* finally, this is a really interesting back and forth on Twitter. I like how friendly it becomes. I don't begrudge the 50/50 split between strip cartoonists and syndicates, particularly for anything that luanched before 1990.
 
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November 17, 2015


Go, Look: Tuono Pettinato

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Go, Look: National Comics #1

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Abraham Riesman's interview with Frank Miller is noteworthy in a publishing news sense for three projects Miller would like to write. One is a fourth installment in the Dark Knight series. The others are children's books: a general one, perhaps mythologically-based, and a story about the Carrie Kelly character as a Nancy Drew-style detective.

* Kodansha has licensed the one-volume Fairy Tail Zero, from Hiro Mashima.

* here's the musical-chairs news story of the week: various creators being moved off of certain titles at DC for certain creators to be moved on. Mid-series changes like these don't really have an impact unless one of the teams turns out to be exceptional. At the same time, relaunching the titles or some more drastic move can exhaust the market. This is a fundamental, structural elements of the current market kind of issue.

* the forthcoming issue of Taddle Creek look stuffed with emerging cartoonist superstars.

* finally, you can never trust the dates on far-off Amazon.com listings, but it looks like we'll get a first full-length solo book from the very talented Joseph Remnant in 2016. That's great news.
 
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Go, Look: Luca Caimmi

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Collective Memory: Thought Bubble 2015

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this article has been archived
 
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OTBP: Ferocious Quarterly No. 4

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Go, Look: A Mike Grell Cover Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Comics Cookbook. Jim Johnson on Star Wars: Vader Down #1. Marykate Jasper on The Mighty Thor #1. Alex Spencer on Silver Surfer #11. Michelle Dean profiles Spike Trotman.

* ANN caught a story about arrests made for uploading new material, an old story with -- in this case -- some new permutations. It doesn't get much better than a criminal plot with a 69-year-old man playing a key role.

* and I never will.

* Brett White talks to Jeff Lemire. Zainab Akhtar talks to Natalie Riess.

* finally, Paste begins a top-ten-of-all-time series.
 
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November 16, 2015


Go, Look: Mackenzie Schubert

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Iranian Cartoonist Hadi Heidari Arrested At Work, Tossed Into Evin Prison Yesterday

The New York Times and countless other news organization bring word through various sources including political contacts and what alternative news organizations are able to work in Iran that the Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari was arrested at work yesterday and carted off to jail. Other reports have named the formidable Evin Prison as Heidari's current place of residence.

The Times suggests that the timing of the arrest may indicate a problem with Heidari's post November 13 Paris violence cartoon, although other reports suggest that Heidari is going to be asked to complete a previous sentence.

This arrest and jailing comes at a time when Iran is under intense criticism for its treatment of artists more generally, something that could have significant political impact if regional affairs make alliances with Western nations a greater possibility.
 
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Critics Hammer Daily Mail Refugees-As-Rats Cartoon

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The above cartoon that appeared Monday in the Daily Mail by the cartoonist Mac (Stan McMurtry), who has been in that publication for decades and must be at least over 75 years old, has since been criticized for the severity and implications of its basic comparison.

This article notes that using the rat as the symbol for refugees has unpleasant connotations going back to at least the Second World War. I would imagine some of the cartoon's defenders will note that the rats are depicted as being part of a wider effort as opposed to being made to stand in for the entire, current refugee population, and that some of its detractors will like note that this is the kind of sweeping generalization that may be in alignment with the political aims of the violence. However you slice it, it is severely uncomfortable.
 
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Go, Look: Creepy

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1, 2, 3
 
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A Few Notes Of Potential Interest About The November 13 Paris Attacks Related To Cartooning

image* the new Charlie Hebdo is out tomorrow, and in the tradition of such magazines how it approached the horrifying incidents is of interest above and beyond having the latest issue or even a satirical publication grinding through the implications of last week's violence. In addition, the Hebdo murders are a part of many narratives that encompass this new set of actions. At left is apparently a reveal of the cover by Coco: "They have the guns. Fuck them; we have the champagne," roughly. This article reminds of an initial statement and promises there will be an editorial tomorrow as well.

* Enki Bilal reacts in light of his own late-'90s work that suggested violent, religious attacks on the city of Paris.

* in an article many of you were nice enough to send me, Lior Zaltzman profiles Joann Sfar's viral cartooning from right after the violence.

* here's a report on reactions to Paris from several Arab cartoonists.

* this profile that includes Urban Comics' intern Ariane Theiller suggests she may become one of the faces of the event.

* finally, here's a pair of cartoonist-reaction galleries at Cagle.com: 1, 2.
 
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Go, Look: John Romita Jr. Pin-Ups

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i suspect he's not viewed exactly this way now, but for years John Romita Jr. was by far the most reliable artist in mainstream comics for regular, interesting, artistic flourishes
 
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Go, Look: The Holmes’ At Home

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OTBP: Concluding The Weaver Festival Phenomenon #3

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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Harvey Hits #44

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Last Of The Sandwalkers. James Whitbrook on the 73rd chapter of Batman '66. Rob McMonigal on Basewood. Greg Burgas on Baba Yaga's Assistant. Shawn Starr on Romance Story. Ken Parille on a Dan Clowes image.

* a tour of Gosh! Comics.

* this piece on one of the DC animated shows drives attention to a little-discussed fact about the comic books, that many of them are interpreted by readers via initial exposure to characters and genre that take place in media outside of comics. I'm not sure that the comics companies themselves fully take stock of this element of their readership, even though they pay lip service to doing so.

* Brigid Alverson talks to Jennifer Hayden. Ziah Grace talks to John Layman.

* I know that there is officially a lot going on comics-wise in my new city of Columbus, Ohio, because I totally missed an event and didn't figure it out until more than a week later. Sounds like a good one if it's near you, though.

* not familiar with these comics, but they're really cute.

* James Whitbrook discusses eight similar X-Men storylines. One problem with having these characters around for so many issues is that the narratives begin to repeat in a way that exhausts those concepts.

* finally, Bully is the best.
 
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November 15, 2015


Go, Look: Slopping Swamp

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A Brief Note Or Two About Comics-Related Things Tied To Last Week’s Violence In Paris

* Yves Bigerel, known to audiences as Balak was apparently at the Bataclan on Friday night that terrorists murdered several people there. Balak works on the tremendous popular Last Man series, now being published in North American by First Second.

image* the prominent French cartoonist Lewis Trondheim has made a comic.

* here's another slideshow from editorial cartoonists and others.

* RM Guera's Facebook feed is the place where I saw a photo of Ariane Theiller, the Urban Comics intern that lost her life at that same theater. Theiller was 23, and in addition to her internship had been hired as an editor at Rustica.

* this article indicates that Lola Salines, an editor at the children's publisher Gründ, was also shot during that attack.

* Matt Bors weighs in.

* according to Thomas Ragon, who contributed to several of these items, the opening to an exhibition at Centre Beaubourg featuring Claire Bretécher's work has been postponed from its original date on the 17th. Update: This is now back on. End Update Ragon also says the comics festival in Blois this week is scheduled to take place as planned except that Friday's Schools Day has been canceled.

* finally, the cartoonist Renee French is back in the US. I'd mentioned her as the only North American-based cartoonist I knew of that was in Paris that night, so thought it worth noting.
 
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Go, Look: Mathilde Kitteh

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

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By Tom Spurgeon

* I don't usually run an image up top, but Rob Kirby reminded me that Northwest Press is running a kickstarter right now. They are one of the few LGBT-devoted publishers out there, they have five years under the belt and they're asking for what seems like a modest amount for two publications. I hope you'll consider their project.

* I also don't check in with projects when they fade, but I wanted to note this one because eventually they promise a second stab at it.

* another project from the Philly crowd that's done gangbusters so far but you should know about is a book project publishing over 100 pages of lost, never-seen Will Eisner comics from when he was a young man.

image* Steve Rude and Mike Baron are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their Nexus with a few projects, including this crowd-funded compendium book.

* this collection of Shadoweyes material will be funded no matter what readers of CR do (I bet there are more than a few already involved of course), but Sophie Campbell is a really interesting cartoonist and this work has a lot of narrative force to it so I hope you'll stop by.

* it looks like Peow will make their targeted funding goal, which is great because they're awesome. I haven't looked at that one yet, but I'll be checking it out simply from a "I will likely want something offered here" perspective.

* this one for two volumes of Kickstand Comics is another idiosyncratic, worthy project that looks destined to make its initial goal in the very near future.

* here's the ongoing Cerebus project, already way over its goal.

* finally, congratulations to Frank Santoro. Can't wait to see that up and running. I'm still finding these postcards he left all over my house.

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Not Comics: Always A Sucker For Franklin Booth

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Go, Look: Rex Dexter Of Mars

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Kirby on Lovers Only. Sarah Horrocks on Terror Assaulter: OMWOT. Andy Browers on FoxTrot -- that's more a personal reminiscence than a review. Sean Gaffney on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency Vol. 1.

* I think this is Gary Groth's presentation on comics to non-savvy audiences, or part of it. I'm not 100 percent certain.

* Tyler Kane talks to Robert Triptow. Brian Heater talks to Dylan Horrocks. Justine Sterling talks to Anthony Bourdain.

* not comics: this looks fun.

* Adrian Tomine on his first New Yorker cover.

* I like moments in comics like this now that they've become these cauldrons of collective creativity for me to watch bubble and percolate and let off strange gases. Drove me nuts when I was a kid, though.

* Souther Salazar draws Annie Koyama.

* no way of knowing how this ancient Beatniks In Comics post got into my bookmarks, but I'm grateful it did. Using comics as a kind of general, unaffected canvas on which pop culture paints itself every now and then is appealing to me.

* finally, I'm not sure what's going on here, but I like it.
 
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November 14, 2015


Go, Look: Cartoon Utopia Endpapers

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A Few, Brief Updates About Comics-Related Aspects Of Friday’s Terrorist Acts In Paris

* Time notes that Patrick Pelloux, an emergency room doctor and former writer for Charlie Hebdo, was a first responder to Friday's multiple acts of terrorist violence.

* here's an essay using political developments after the Charlie Hebdo murders to suggest a way to move forward that doesn't make the same mistakes. I disagree with some of the reading of the politics, just to be clear -- there was no period of silence on any aspect of Hebdo that I saw -- but I want to point out the idea in play of Hebdo as a mini-event preceding this larger one.

* here are English translations for the en francais parts of Joan Sfar's cartoon.

* CBR has more on the passing of Urban Comics intern Ariane Theiller, including initial reactions from US creators that work with the Dargaud division on French-language editions of their books.

* finally, we're starting to see round-ups of initial editorial cartoonist reaction.
 
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Go, Look: The Buck Rogers Portfolio

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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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As I’m In Columbus, I’ll Be Going To This

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If I Were In North Carolina, I’d Go To This

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Carol Tyler From I Think A Few Years Back


Sean P. O'Connor Profiles Dan Archer


David Fitzsimmons On How To Draw Donald Trump


Alex Robinson Radio Interview


Keith Knight At The University Of Delaware
 
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Joann Sfar’s Instagram Statement About Violence In Paris

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This was the portion in English. You can access the longer statement en francais on Sfar's Instragram account. It's very active, so you might scroll down a bit.
 
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Urban Comics Intern May Have Been Killed In Paris Violence

There are some flashes on Twitter that an intern at Urban Comics named Ariane Theiller was among those killed during the attack on Bataclan Concert Hall, part of a multi-location set of attacks on Paris last night.

imageUrban Comics is a division of Dargaud that publishes French-language versions of DC and Vertigo collections and stand-alones with a smattering of independent titles thrown in. It's a relatively new imprint, having sprung up in 2012. Ms. Theiller was apparently interning as part of her publishing masters program at Strasbourg; she had previously interned at Flammarion Jeunesse.

All condolences to friends and family, including her co-workers and supervisors at Urban Comics. If better or additional information comes to CR about this matter, this post could be rewritten to reflect that information.
 
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November 13, 2015


November 13 Paris Attacks Instigate Re-Contextualization Of Charlie Hebdo Murders

One outcome of attacks in multiple locations last night in Paris seems to be an immediate recontextualization of last January's murders of cartoonists, staff and security figures working at and around the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Storylines I've already seen this morning: the Hebdo murders as a first instance in a "year of terrorism" timeline, those murders as a precursor to last night's violence in terms of their both being performed despite intelligence and security efforts instituted to deny such actions, and a comparison/contrast between the perpetrators in each incident. It seems like one of those situations in which the cultural power of the Hebdo murders makes it part of the conversation no matter the logic of its applicability. If last night turns out to be something much different, there will be dissections of the contrast. If this is something similar, those similarities will be put under a spotlight.

imageMy hunch this morning looking at Twitter and Facebook and comments on news sites -- and this may be wholly and completely wrong to a ludicrous degree, I'm no Ozymandias and this isn't a comic book -- is that we may see some progression in the rhetoric about the perceived politicization of such events. I don't intend the use of the word "progression" to connote a value of one event's language and discussion strategies over another. I only wish to suggest that there's a difference between this event and that one that may take the earlier action into account. Along those lines, I would expect a more immediate seizure of political expedient narratives and explanations making use of this incident, but also an almost instant if not beforehand, blanket response condemning any sort of political comment whatsoever. I still think making political use of this will win out over deciding not to, complicated by the fact that this is a political act itself and thus demands some analysis of those elements. My guess is that a kind of step-away condemnation will be more immediate, and thus part of the discussions that develop.

In terms of practical considerations if an entity coordinated last night's attacks in a way that they have the complexity and power and intent that seemed to me indicated by my initial reading of last night's on-the-ground news, this may present a real security issue for the festival in Angouleme that maybe wasn't as reasonable to expect or fear for last year's show.

PS -- If you're a Facebook friend of the cartoonist Renee French, she's posted a cartoon I think she made during a sleepless night spent visiting Paris. She put it on-line after she declared herself safe using Facebook's tool for doing so. She's the only North American cartoonist I know of visiting Paris right this moment. She's one of my favorite people in comics, and I'm sorry her life had to dovetail with this event in even a broad, proximate sense. I will try to find out more about Paris' own cartooning community by Monday, if there is more to be uncovered. All thoughts with Renee and with Paris' substantial cartooning community in addition to that city and those with loved ones there more generally.
 
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Go, Look: Ghoulanoids

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If I Were In Tokyo, 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 Leeds, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In North Carolina, I’d Go To This

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All Thoughts With Paris Today, Under Attack

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Locations in Paris are suffering multiple violent attacks this evening. Our thoughts are with those hurt, our friends there, those suffering, the wider comics community in that great city of the world and all those in harm's way.

Here works, too.

I don't know of any North American cartoonists in Paris right now except for Renee French, who has declared herself safe via the appropriate Facebook tool.
 
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November 12, 2015


Go, Look: Perish Publishing

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Go, Look: Siobhan Gallagher

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Go, Look: Ray Ray Books

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Go, Look: Look Mom, Comics!

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Go, Look: Super-Cute Quimbys Advertisement

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Collective Memory: CAB 2015

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this article has been archived
 
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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Murphy Anderson Covers

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* RJ Casey on Lady Killer. Garrett Gottschalk on One-Punch Man Vols. 1-2. Sean Gaffney on Idol Dreams Vol. 1. One Piece Vol. 76. Thomas Maluck on Monster Volume One: The Perfect Edition. James Whitbrook on Justice League Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1. James Kaplan on The Goddamned #1. Greg Burgas on Russian Olive To Red King. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics.

* I knew that Naruto was over but it doesn't sink in until you see it in print. That is a one-time most popular/talked-about comic in the world, now faded far past those glory days, but still.

* finally, Michael Cavna nominated comics appropriate to read during the Veterans Day just past. They're still good comics.
 
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November 11, 2015


Go, Look: Vivisectionary

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Zunar Wins High Court Victory On Originally Disputed Books

There are a few wire stories that started to pop up yesterday about the Malaysian cartoonist and international free-speech person of extreme interest Zunar winning a court decision related to the long-ago seizure of his book and claims of their being a threat to public order. The books in question are ordered returned, which is always a fairly dramatic step worthy of a headline or two.

Zunar eventually won that case, now affirmed. This was immediately by a doubling-down of authority pressure on the cartoonist, including more book seizures and eventually sedition charges. Zunar makes a very good claim that these charges are all of a type that this court decision should weigh heavily on future ones, if not caused them to be dropped. I hope they'll listen, but the whole second wave of harassment Zunar's enjoyed indicates something beyond rational application of law. If they won't listen, I hope that we're all reminded of how standard and relatively benign an expression of dissent is embodied within those cartoons.

Still, it's hard not to be glad for Zunar's victory, and hope that it's of a type that indicates future decisions will go his way as well. My understanding of where the sedition charges are right now is that the next hearing was moved back to mid-December while a general legal challenge was made to the law in question due to how it was folded into the Malaysian legal system.
 
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Go, Look: Armistice Cartoons

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Bundled Extra: kuš! Announces Launch Of Solo-Artist Books Line With Roman Muradov First Up

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After long-simmering rumors and a patient roll-out involving every interested site in the world save this one, Latvia's kuš! has made an official publishing announcement of The End Of A Fence by Roman Muradov. The 100-page book will debut at this month's BilBOLBul and Grafixx festivals, and be generally available right around US Thanksgiving for order from others.

It looks like interesting from an artist that deserves the platform. Moreover it's the first work in a series of such spotlight stand-alone, which at Muradov's 100 pages could be an intriguing size for a lot of cartoonists in his general age group. All of their works are well produced, so I look forward to seeing this one. I hope you'll at least enjoy the preview.
 
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Not Comics: Photos Of Bill Mauldin

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Go, Read: Robert Crumb On Recent Observer Interview

I linked to a slightly odd New York Observer interview with Robert Crumb a few days back; Crumb has since come out here decrying the end result from a variety of perspectives, including self-critical. The interview struck me as the kind that has a destination in mind before the interview began, so I'm not surprised to see some pushback from its subject.
 
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Frankenstein? What Is The Name Of The Linked-To Story?

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By Request Extra: Autoptic On Give To The Max Day

The lovely every-other-year comics festival Autoptic is taking part in a wider fund-raising effort on behalf of several Minnesota-based arts organization. Today is something called give to the max day, which I have to imagine is a good day to send them some money. Or you can go watch the video and feel bad you have no money to send them. Whatever works for you.
 
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Go, Look: A Bunch Of Roland Coe Cartoons

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this one would have killed me dead at about age 8
 
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Go, Look: Tyler Boss

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* here's one I totally missed: Frank Santoro appearing in support of an Oliver East exhibition. What's not to like about that?

* here's an article on a convention in Dearborn that I missed that sounds awesome. The convention sounds cool, and visiting Dearborn and its culinary options sounds cool as well. One to watch. I had bookmarked that one and the year's events just overwhelmed me.

* we're post-CAB; the last half-decade that's served as the end of the wider festival year, with some regional arts shows like Genghis Con popping up here and there. That's all changed with Comic Arts Los Angeles moving into the space once held by CAB's predecessor. I like having a bigger show near the end of the year, and I like the idea of being able to visit California in December. It's still very tiring, this convention calendar, art/alts or classic, and I wonder if there aren't hundred of comics-makers re-evaluating how they're going to do thing in a landscape flush with shows.

* the badge-buying process for Comic-Con International is about to begin. I think I've settled into a pretty strong Thursday morning to Saturday late schedule with that show, and am aiming for that again this year.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald is looking for people to help cover next year's Comic-Con International at The Beat.
 
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If I Were In LA, I’ds Go To This

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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: 1960s Sci-Fi Drawn By Murphy Anderson

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on The Cigar That Fell In Love With A Pipe. Doug Zawisza on Batman #46.

* I can't remember if I posted a link to this, part of a bunch of press cover that nice, talented man Robert Sikoryak is receiving for his latest comics project, a comics version of the iTunes terms and conditions.

* Peter Poplaski draws Batman.

* not comics: here's a piece about how social media platforms choke out sites on the open web, mostly by withholding sustained views of the kind that allow for advertising. It's always good to not mechanisms like this, although I thought we were a bit past the ad-supported model being the default model.

* Dave Richards talks to Jonathan Hickman. Alex Dueben talks to Ivan Velez Jr. Jonah Weiland talks to Greg Rucka.

* Noah Van Sciver covers The Stranger.

* as reported everywhere, veteran retailer Chuck Rozanski should see a hefty profit on the sale of Mile High Comics' headquarters warehouse because it's zoned for use in the lucrative marijuana sales pipeline that the legalization of pot has made possible. There's a short of history of positive real estate deals contributing to comics' bottom line, so let's hope that's the case here as well.

* finally, Mike Lynch recommends some recent writing about Peanuts.
 
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November 10, 2015


Go, Look: Jesse Tise

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Happy Veterans Day To All Veterans And Those Who Hold One Or More Close In Memory

There are a lot of Veterans Day posts out there related to comics. This is the one I found the most interesting and affecting today

Also I see that the great Carol Tyler is appearing in Gainesville tonight in support of her excellent A Soldier's Heart. That seems like that would be a great thing to attend.
 
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Go, Look: Fantastic Fear

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Go, Look: A Bill Mauldin Humor Strip

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Go, Look: Night Ideas

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Not Comics: My Go-To Fast Food

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OTBP: Flower Grow

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Bundled Extra: Zak Sally Announces Plans To Do A Philip K. Dick Biography In Book-Length Comics Form

imageThrough a public post on Facebook, the cartoonist, musician, artist and publisher Zak Sally announced he's begun work on a book-length comics biography of the late author Philip K. Dick.

Sally writes it's a project he's been thinking about doing for 15 years and that's he's already knee-deep in its preparation. Sally's one of the most interesting cartoonist creative-choices wise in all of comics, and I look forward to the final result.
 
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If I Were In Boone, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Planet Comics #37

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Michael Buntag on Age Of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians. Dominic Umile on The Boat. Alex Spencer on The Vision #1. Tom Murphy on Black Magick #1.

* I'll link to the final result, but it's fun to see Jeremy Sorese doing the TCJ diary this week.

* Dominic Umile talks to Edie Fake and Keiler Roberts about architecture within their comics work.

* Andrew Wheeler previews the Scarlet Witch comic. It's hard for me to imagine that character getting over in significant fashion, but I'm interested in the attempt. Greg Hunter talks to Sammy Harkham.

* finally, missed it: congratulations to Santiago Garcia and Javier Olivares.
 
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November 9, 2015


Go, Look: Marine Blandin

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a bunch of stuff with which this column needs to catch up, and it might take a couple of week. My apologies.

* the big news since this column last ran is the New York Review Of Books announced a comics-publishing effort called New York Review Comics (NYRC). First up is a pretty great group: a reprint of Mark Beyer's Agony with an introduction by that work's great fan Colson Whitehead. The other spring authors are Blutch and Glen Baxter. The second half of 2015 is set to feature Pushwagner, Dominique Goblet and Abner Dean. We talked a bit about the room for quality reprint efforts when Dover Books launched its recent comics emphasis: this seems something similar for the arts crowd, and I'm greatly looking forward to the result. Abner Dean!

image* with CAB and some of the other comics shows we're seeing material for sale on an advance basis that won't officially be published to a bit later. It's exciting to see all the new covers, like this one for the new John Pham.

* NBM announced its spring graphic novels line, and it's hard to imagine a better-looking quintet of books than the ones they're offering from Annie Goetzinger, Sean Michael Wilson, Kerascoet, Jiro Taniguchi, and the team of A. Dan/Maximilien Le Roy. That is handsome modern cartooning defined. The Taniguchi is the latest in their reprints of the Louvre series.

* there should be any number of debuts at Thought Bubble. Here's one.

* White Boy is imminent. That one's always been on the "It's hard to imagine any scenario by which someone is publishing a deluxe edition of that work" list for about 1000 years now. I'm actually considering the pre-offer, and I never consider pre-offers.

* Mark Millar and Stuart Immonen are working on something for Marvel's Icon imprint, not the jumping-est joint in comics in these days of an Image surge, but a viable option for creators with strong ties to the company. I'll read as much from Immonen as I can get my hands on, and 18 issues sounds like enough pages that the narrative should have room enough to breathe.

* speaking of MIllar, here are some general plans for those titles that he gathers under a kind of self-publishing, movie-ready, specialized imprimatur. I'm not that interested in franchised comics, and Chrononauts was severely not for me, but new Frank Quitely is always worth noting. He is a superior maker of genre comics.

* god bless the Latvians: š! #23 is imminent.

* this Richard Short comic I highlighted at one point to discuss its arrival has likely already arrived. Still a good-looking book, though, from an interesting publisher.

* this might be a way for a lot of people in the 35-55 age group to finally own and read the Ditko Dr. Strange work, a classic 1960s comic from Marvel's great run that's little collected or enthused over, for whatever reason.

* Michael Cho is a great choice for a month of variant covers, if we have to have variant covers, and these look handsome and striking. I'm still trying to figure out how me-as-consumer-only would be processing the variants thing.

* a new edition of anything with Enki Bilal's name on it is worth noting; that's a major, major work as well.

* finally, I nearly missed this bunch of pages at the FPI blog in support of the forthcoming Dinomania. That one looks really good.

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Go, Look: Alex Kotzky In The Comic Book Pages

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Go, Read: Milton Griepp Visits The Amazon Store

imageI enjoyed this article by Milton Griepp at his ICv2.com hobby business and news analysis site. Griepp visits the new Amazon.com store and reverse-engineers a few publishing strategies that appear to be in use, at least to his veteran eyes. The idea that for instance you need carry nothing but the first and last issues of a series with everything else coming from the retailer's on-line services is really interesting -- you're hitting samplers, and latest-volume fans, and that's it. The use of Amazon.com rating factor in deciding what makes the store seems more problematic to me as those ratings can be politicized; they must be comfortable with the results they're getting, but I know authors and publishes complain about them. A third strategy, a price strategy that accesses on-line pricing to find the latest price, is something we'll likely see in more stores soon."

The interesting thing about the set-up as Griepp describes it is that it constitutes a completely different emphasis in who a bookstore -- and be definition a comics store -- is trying to reach, mostly by limiting it to a certain kind of customer. The bad thing is that the comics and book stores that might be in the area of such a store run at margins that just the overlap could be hugely damaging to a vital bookstore's bottom line. I guess we'll see -- they are hardy creatures, indie bookstores and comics shops. It kind of reminds me of a criticism you used to see in comics that DC and Marvel would leverage their financial position to crowd out other publishers by putting into effect that they're shielded form having to be profitable in-and-of-themselves. In fact, Amazon is kind of the king of the argument that you don't have to profitable in any aspect of your business to be successful and have an impact on other businesses.

No matter if your expectation is on the scale from benign to dire, it's nice to read Milton's take, and I look forward to see how/if that part of the book business develops.
 
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Not Comics: Jack Davis Draws Hybrid Football Mascots

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Go, Look: At The Stroke Of Midnight

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Go, Read: Dan White’s 21 Statements About Comics Criticism

imageA couple of people sent this link to me about creator/commentator Dan White's statements about comics criticism. I don't have a response. It's more thoughts than I have about criticism that engages with comics, that's for sure.

The thing is, I don't have an elaborate set of expectations for what criticism is or should be. That includes criticism aimed at comics. I think at its most effective and its most useful to me comics criticism is simply writing in reaction to comics work. It's writing, and most of the rules for writing apply. Like all kinds of writing, most of what we generally call criticism about comics is bad, but some of it's good. Perhaps more importantly, much of it is not useful to me, but some of it is and has been. I've learned from a variety of critical writers over the years for whom comics is a topic of interest, from Donald Phelps to Sarah Horrocks to Patrick Rosenkranz to Qiana J. Whitted to Bob Levin. I still do. There are probably 20 or so more out there that have had a positive effect on my outlook and the way I see that art form. That's only a drop in the bucket if you consider everyone writing in reaction to comics work. We all build our own pantheons.

I'm one of those people that writes about comics occasionally that lacks a sophisticated grounding in criticism. I realize that limitation but I still like doing that kind of writing because it helps me figure out some things. I've made comics, too. I've made other art. They're different creative exercises. So is list-making.
 
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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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If I Were Near Bryn Mawr, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Sensation Mystery #110

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Bob Temuka on Sandman: Overture. Paul Krassner on National Lampoon.

* not comics: Oni reorganizes its entertainment division.

* here's a call for papers about 10-11 weeks out.

* not comics: it's always fun when traditional media comes to conclusions they should have reached ten years ago. It is always worth reminding, however, that the experience of processing ads will in part determine how advertising revenue is seized, if it's seized at all.

* doesn't need defending.

* Veronica Reuckert talks to Lynda Barry. Colton Redtfeldt profiles Clayton Crain. Brigid Alverson talks to Masashi Kishimoto.

* they don't let me run comics companies for a reason, but I do not get this use of the Captain Marvel property. Although typing that, I guess it would seem sensible to me if that were a plotline rather than what I suspect is "a new status quo." Maybe the problem is that they keep re-setting the status quo.

* Brian Heater talks to Paul Levitz in advance of his book about Will Eisner.

* John Kelly explores what it was like for cartoonists that worked with Hugh Hefner back when cartoonists more regularly worked with Hugh Hefner.

* finally, here's a New York Review Of Books piece on an exhibition of architecture in comics, currently on display in Oslo.
 
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Go, Look: Rand Renfrow

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Go, Read: Gerhard Profiled

imageThis profile of the very talented, one-time Cerebus background and settings specialist Gerhard brings up a lot of things worth noting. One is that Gerhard talks a lot about his frugal lifestyle, both its realities and the fact that he enjoys the fruits of the choices he's made. Another is that this comes with a slight feeling of doom and gloom, a worry for Gerhard and his loved ones that I think applies to his generation of cartoon-makers generally. These are men and women that did not enjoy a working-class living during an era for reasonably affordable housing as those that came before them may have.

Yet another thing worth noting is his very real gratitude towards Wizard for having him to one of the shows, and explaining all that they recently did on his behalf. Wizard does that kind of thing more than they're given credit for doing, as much as I'm certain I'll be attending their shows in hell. And I think that's a good thing. There's an argument to be made about the inclusivity of shows that gets wonky really quickly, but the idea that we may not be doing as much as we can to give older creators access to a vital marketplace is something we should probably explore.
 
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By Request Extra: Art Being Auctioned For Lakes Festival

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Go, Look: Frequently Asked Questions About Socialism

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Comics By Request: People, Projects in Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

* my apologies -- I feel like I'm forgetting some major projects this time around. It's not intentional.

* I do remember that Frank Santoro's physical-school project is a couple of days ending having made enough to buy and repair the desired property. I'm sure he'll put anything additional sent his way to interesting use.

image* two made me happy: I'm glad to see that Muscle Temple #1 has reached its initial goal. That looks like a quality line-up.

* I'm glad to hear there are two more Kickstand Cyclery books out there.

* proud of my friend the great cartoonist David Lasky for his continuing efforts on behalf of Seattle Hugo House resource.

* here are some (not all) of the projects were someone involved or someone that's a fan wrote in and asked for coverage of their crowd-funders: 100 Tears: The Comic, Dan LuVisi's Popped Culture, Occult Generation, Misc Anthology, Kuruz Vol. 2 and Blue Win.

* not sure I realized that Brian Pulido was among the name creators that are using crowd-funding as part of their publishing plans. Jason Pearson is another one that's new to me in this world, anyway.

* here's the Dave Sim-related one that initially confused me.

* there are ten days left in this Mark Andrew Smith crowd-funder regarding the new New Brighton property.

* this Zach Weiner SMBC-related campaign is very successful.

* finally, I received several nudges to spotlight the crowd-funder being run by the Samandal collective, who have a compelling story to tell as well as a financial need. To be clear, that's a really good magazine -- one that's been spotlighted here a couple of times -- in a really bad situation, and when I get the time I'll do a separate post.
 
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If I Were Near Whatever Tool I Need To Listen To This, I Would Listen To This

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If I Were In Berkeley, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Leeds, I’d Go To This

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Not Comics: Elizabeth Shippen Green In Harper’s Magazine

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Democracy. Gregory Paul Silver on Archie Vs. Predator.

* not comics: Sean Kleefeld would like an inspirational word with you.

* some person whose name I can't find talked to Leslie Stein. Michael C. Lorah talks to Derf.

* the artist and cartoonist Colleen Doran asks after making a living in comics, and talks about the social pressures within the field when it comes to negotiating that question. I think there are hang-ups about this issue in nearly every corner of comics, and that they're all a little bit different in the way the people in those sub-communities process things. Doran's post holds general truths, though, and ones specific to her generation and the arena of comics in which she works. She is always a forthright read.

* it's great that there's a Pittsburgh Comics Salon. I would mind if every city had one and called it the same thing. Well, roughly.

* if anyone knows what Keiler Roberts was talking about with item #4 there, she'd love to hear from you.

* totally missed this: both the specific award and the general program. That's really great.

* finally, here's how Russ Heath wished Steve Ditko a recent happy birthday.
 
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November 8, 2015


Youth In Decline Announces Frontier Line-Up For 2016: Davis, Kwang, Pope, Sugar

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Ryan Sands of Youth In Decline has announced his company's serial comics schedule in its Frontier solo anthology for 2016. They are, in order of the images reproduced above:

* Eleanor Davis in Issue #11, debuting at the LA Art Book Fair in February 2016.
* Kelly Kwang in Issue #12, debuting at TCAF in May 2016.
* Richie Pope in Issue #13, debuting at SPX in September 2016.
* Rebecca Sugar in Issue #14, debuting at CALA in December 2016.

From Sands' perspective, the following highlights are important to note with each work:

* Davis' comic will be adults-only, and brand new. It's called "BDSM."
* the Toronto-based Kwang's effort will feature her "Space Youth Cadets" characters, and will be non-sequential in terms of the stories offered.
* Pope's narrative will also be brand-new; it will be a stand-alone story.
* Sugar's comic will mark a return to indie comics roots for the super-popular Steven Universe creator.
* Davis' issue will be in black and white. Kwang and Pope are working in full-color

Sands told CR that Youth In Decline will again launch a subscription drive for all four books. That will offer not only a discount over each book purchased separately along with shipping, but there will be subscriber-only goodies sent along in the mail. In 2015 that included a membership card, stickers and a special discount for Youth In Decline t-shirts. The drive will encompass print, digital and print + digital. The drive will launch November 23 and last until January 10. The books will remain available afterwards on an individual basis through the web site, at shows and through those retailers that choose to offer the books for sale.

The graphic novels for 2016 at Youth In Decline will be announced either right before or during Comic Arts Los Angeles 2015, this December in Los Angeles.

Full solicitation-style copy and brief bios for each artist as written by Sands will be made available at the Youth In Decline site. I will link to those listings with this sentences as they become available.

I like Frontier, I think it's one of the things that works about alternative comics right now. There's a lot of material that needs a showcase, and this is a very reliable, well-produced space for this work to appear. It's like a great theater space. Sands' relatively wide-open arms and decision to stick with a showcase publication of this specific sort does a lot to distinguish what he does as a publisher -- as opposed to more indulgent showcases which don't carry any sense of a presence behind the pages. How desirable that is is up to you, but as a reader of comics, I get Youth In Decline a bit more immediately than I do a lot of interchangeable publishers with overlapping tastes. It's also harder for me to ignore an artist if Sands feels they are worth showcase in the solo-anthology series.

The 2016 sounds like a good one for the magazine. Davis is a slam-dunk right now; everyone should be scrambling to read everything she's making. Kwang is someone with whom I'm not familiar and Pope I'm behind on -- I had to reacquaint myself with his work to write this. Sugar is a straight-up "get" and is an ideal match with CALA.

That group also fits in with the publication-roster-to-date Uno Moralez, Hellen Jo (2013), Sascha Hommer, Ping Zhu, Sam Alden, Emily Carroll (2014), Jillian Tamaki, Anna Deflorian, Becca Tobin, Michael DeForge (2015). Sands sent along an e-mail noting that this is "300 pages of comics; 3 Americans, 3 Canadians, 3 Europeans, and a Russian; 6 female creators, 4 male creators." I will not dispute him.

I used to joke that comics was solidly in an era of pretty good, pointing out that the number of excellent comics remains the same but that they're surrounded by dozens of worthy comics rather than maybe another set of that same, top-tier amount. I don't think I can talk in terms of eras anymore; that's just what comics is now. Each one of these will make that first level almost by showing up, and each has a chance to be a book of the year. You can't say that about any other series right now.

PS -- Sands was a focus of Anne Ishii's recent meditation at TCJ.com on generational differences in comics, here.

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November 7, 2015


Go, Read: The Comet Of Chaland

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Go, Look: How I Told My Grandma I’m Transgender

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

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FFF Results Post #436—New York Stories

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Identify Five Comics Narratives You See As New York City Stories." This is how they responded.

*****

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Douglas Wolk

1. DESTROY!!, Scott McCloud
2. DMZ, Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli
3. Octopus Pie, Meredith Gran [pictured]
4. Judge Dredd: Cry of the Werewolf, John Wagner, Alan Grant and Steve Dillon
5. The System, Peter Kuper

*****

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Brian Heater

* Drinking At The Movies, Julia Wertz
* Stop Forgetting To Remember, Peter Kuper
* In The Shadow Of No Towers, Art Spiegelman [pictured]
* Cecil And Jordan In New York, Gabrielle Bell
* My New York Diary, Julie Doucet

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. American Widow, Alissa Torres & Sungyoon Choi
2. 9-11: Emergency Relief, various
3. New York, The Big City, Will Eisner
4. The New York Four, Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
5. Hogan's Alley, Richard Outcault [pictured]

*****

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Scott Dunbier

* Destroy, Scott McCloud [pictured]
* Rocketeer: Cliff's New York Adventure, Dave Stevens
* Parker: The Hunter, Adapted By Darwyn Cooke From The Novel By Richard Stark
* You Are Here, Kyle Baker
* Ex Machina: The First 100 Days, Brian K. Vaughan And Tony Harris

*****

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Anthony Stock

1. The Newsboy Legion in The House Where Time Stood Still, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon
2. Cockroach Killer, Jacques Tardi And Benjamin Legrand
3. The Stuff of Dreams, Kim Deitch
4. Milt Gross' Cartoon Tour of New York, Milt Gross
5. Fantastic Four #15, Jack Kirby And Dick Ayers And Stan Lee [pictured]

*****

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Rob Kirby

* Bread & Wine, Samuel R. Delany, Mia Wolff
* My New York Diary, Julie Doucet [pictured]
* Spaniel Rage, Vanessa Davis
* Unterzakhn, Leela Corman
* The Infinite Wait, Julia Wertz

*****

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William Burns

* The Jew of New York, Ben Katchor
* The Mystery of Mary Rogers, Rick Geary [pictured]
* Sandman Mystery Theatre, Matt Wagner and Guy Davis
* Why I Hate Saturn, Kyle Baker
* Promethea, Alan Moore and JH Williams III

*****

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Michael Buntag

1. My New York Diary, Julie Doucet
2. Death: The High Cost of Living, Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Todd Klein, Steve Oliff [pictured]
3. In the Shadow Of No Towers, Art Siegelman
4. Drinking at the Movies, Julia Wertz
5. Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood, Will Eisner

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Zegas #1, Michel Fiffe
2. In The Shadow Of No Towers, Art Spiegelman
3. Coney Island Baby, Nine Antico [pictured]
4. The Punisher, Various Creators
5. Valérian and Laureline: Brooklyn Station, Terminus Cosmos, Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. The Heart Of Juliet Jones, Stan Drake
2. The Dreamer, Will Eisner
3. Yuppies From Hell, Barbara Slate
4. Real Life Funnies, Stan Mack
5. Watchmen, Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons [pictured]

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. A Contract With God, Will Eisner
2. Born Again, Frank Miller And David Mazzucchelli
3. Robert Moses: The Master Builder Of New York City, Pierre Christin And Olivier Balez [pictured]
4. City Of Glass, Paul Auster And Paul Karasik And David Mazzucchelli
5. Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, Ben Katchor

*****

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Patrick Watson

1) The Couriers, Brian Wood And Brett Weldele
2) Johnny Hiro: Skills to Pay the Bills, Fred Chao
3) Fight for Tomorrow, Brian Wood And Denys Cowan
4) "Street Code," Jack Kirby
5) "Master Race," Bernard Krigstein [pictured]

*****

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Steve Harrick

* Cancer Vixen, Marisa Acocella Marchetto
* The New Deal, Jonathan Case
* She-Hulk, Dan Slott And Juan Bobillo
* The Rocketeer: Cliff's New York Adventure. Dave Stevens et al. (Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Arthur Adams and Sandy Plunkett)
* Scenes from an Impending Marriage, Adrian Tomine [pictured]

*****

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Evan Dorkin

1. My New York Diary, Julie Doucet
2. Milt Gross' New York, Milt Gross
3. Cockroach Killer, Jacques Tardi And Benjamin Legrand
4. Mary Perkins, On Stage, Leonard Starr [pictured]
5. Amy + Jordan, Mark Beyer

*****

thanks to all that participated

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Lisa Hanawalt Presents At XOXO Festival


Alan Moore With John Higgs On From Hell


Neal Kirby On The Creation Of SHIELD


Lightning Bolt On Whatever Carson Daly's Latest Show Is Called


Early '70s New York Con Masquerade Footage
 
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November 6, 2015


The First Five Things I’d Look For At CAB 2015 Were I In Brooklyn Today Buying Comics

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That's Sammy Harkham, Ted May, Charles Burns, Katie Skelly and Michael DeForge.

Comic Arts Brooklyn is perhaps our best buying show for getting all the stuff too late to make SPX and all the stuff people want to have at a show before Christmas. I could make this list six times without breathing heavily. Have fun, everyone!
 
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OTBP: Oh, Brother! Brat Attack!

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

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Brooklyn, I’d Go To This

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If I Were Near Dearborn, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Comics Sub-Section Of Kristel Maamagi Tumblr

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November 5, 2015


Zunar And Lawyer Provide Letters As To Latest Updates In His Multiple Sedition Cases

The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar sent along two statements earlier today -- one from himself, one from his lawyer -- about filing through a new avenue of defense against the sedition charges he's facing in what has become a worldwide-watch event.

Zunar:
Update on my case: I filed challenge to nine sedition charges Today 6 November, my case was called up for case management. But I instead filed an application at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur to challenge the nine charges under the Sedition Act 1948. The application is now fixed for submissions and hearing on 8 December and decision of the application on 15 December.

In the meanwhile, no trial dates (of the actual sedition case) have been fixed pending his application. So my next court appearance is on 8 December and 15 December.
Eric Paulsen:
Today 6 November, Zunar's case was called up for case management. We have filed an application at the Sessions Court to have constitutional questions to be referred to the High Court. The trial Sessions Court does not have jurisdiction to hear such matters. The questions are as follows:
1 Whether section 3(3) of the Sedition Act 1948 is unconstitutional as it states that the "intention" of the maker "shall be deemed to be irrelevant" when making the seditious statement;
2 Whether the Sedition Act unlawfully criminalises peaceful expression of free speech, thus unconstitutional;
3 The recent Federal Court case in PP v Azmi Sharom misread the Constitution and should be reconsidered. Under Article 10(2), "Parliament may by law impose" restrictions on fundamental rights. Therefore as the Sedition Act pre-dates the Constitution, it cannot be read into Article 10 (2) to restrict freedom of speech.
The application is now fixed for submissions and hearing on 8 December and decision of the application on 15 December.In the meanwhile, no trial dates (of the actual sedition case) have been fixed pending his application.
With the case becoming more complicated as it progresses through multiple tracks for hearing, it's even more important we keep an eye on what's happen, as for a political pressure for what I think are political acts, but also to bear witness more generally.
 
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Go, Look: A Visit To A Lost Love

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Collective Memory: Short Run 2015

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this article has been archived
 
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Go, Look: Jim Rugg Posts All The Original Art Complete For Unpublished Janes Go Summer

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* here's a short piece from Jennifer Gonzalez on how helpful she found a webcomic called Mushrooms. I think that deep connection that people have to webcomics is because they've been so idiosyncratic and personally meaningful over their first two decades.

* Sean Michael Robinson talks us very slowly through the restoration work being done on Cerebus artwork; this is in case you were on the fence, perhaps by my putting you there. I think there's enough information there for you to make a decision. I hope these books exist in the best possible form.

* here's a webcomic in the form of an Instagram account. Or that is actually an Instagram account. Or both. You get the idea.

* finally, two formidable artists talk about the latest book collections of their serialized on-line works: Leslie Stein and Kate Beaton.
 
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If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In Boone, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Berlin, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Atom #7

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Showa 1926-1939: A History Of Japan. Billie Muraben on Klaus Magazine #1. David Betancourt on Unfollow.

* not comics: one of the prospective series for Amazon.com hosting in their latest round of Battle Royale-style putting new series out there for an initial look-see involves the cartoon work of longtime friend of comics Shadi Petosky. I will vote for that one.

* Andrew Dansby presents to Houston Chronicle subscribers several artists influenced by Charles Schulz. It's an article that connects to the movie. I know a lot of people are upset by the movie because it doesn't look special in the same way that the strip itself or seem to achieve a significant and undeniable level of quality the way some of the core adaptations have managed to over the years. I seem to automatically these kind of second-medium adaptations -- including comics books -- as more of a licensing program than a series of creative projects. That's probably super-insulting. I apologize to the creators involved.

* not comics: I encourage everyone to subscribe to this for some fine Internet Era One pop-culture writing. I won't come along to ruin things for about three years.

* Daily Cartoonist runs a piece about a college paper running a cartoon and then having it come under fire -- the twist is that it's a syndicated cartoon as opposed to some limits-stretching effort by the local superstar. That just seems to me a spectacularly lame cartoon, one that shouldn't have been picked up by an editor for syndication nor by an editor for use on their page. I don't think it's censorship in even the most passive way that might be defined to demand a cartoon that has a potentially controversial message provide clarity as to what's being communicated and some sort of worthwhile-to-explore perspective.

* finally, Alan Gardner recommends the information-packed postings of Hilary Price.
 
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Go, Look: Big Show Of Denis Kitchen Art At Scott Eder Gallery In Conjunction With CAB

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November 4, 2015


Go, Look: Manifeste

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don't know how this ended up in the bookmarks; all apologies
 
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Go, Look: Darwyn Cooke’s The Spirit Cover Art

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Go, Read: Cycling In Seattle

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Go, Read: Classic Local Comics-Maker Profile, Except…

... it's regional TV rather than a local newspaper, which is something you never saw even ten years ago. This one is a profile of writer Mark Waid living in Muncie, Indiana. I'm grateful to Mark and Chrsitina Blanch for being downtown residents and downtown business people with their comics shop in the heart of my father's beloved Middletown, USA. It's a really good shop, too. You should visit.
 
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Go, Look: Mystery In Space #75

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* it's CAB this weekend. Expo on Saturday with an all-star line-up led by Daniel Clowes. Panels on Sunday featuring a bunch of heavy-hitters including Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. I wish I could go, but I can't. That's one of the best shows, and it's fun to hang out in Brooklyn. If you're going, buy some comics: CAB and TCAF I think are still our best buying shows.

* that fine writer-about-comics Richard Bruton went to the Lakes Festival feeling slightly under the weather, and gives his low-key reactions here.

* Zainab Akhtar revisits her unhappy experience with an emerging show in 2014. I help run a show now, and I welcome these kinds of discussions in part so I can work on our responses if something like ever happens with what we do. These are difficult conversations to have.

* I got more than a few e-mails the last couple of weeks from happy people in LA that were coming around to the fact that the Spring WonderCon show was happening there this year.

* congratulations to Short Run on their record attendance.

* finally, for a brief while CAB and its antecedent BCGF was the traditional end-of-year show. Now we have a bunch, including a similar comic arts show in Los Angeles in early December. Another is Genghis Con in Cleveland, which has a poster by Derf and an ambitious exhibitor/guests list.
 
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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Portland, I’d Go To This

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Go, Read: SPX Journal Comic 2015

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on I Hate Fairyland #1. Greg Burgas on Operation Nemesis. Max Delgado on Trashed!.

* there are a lot of fun arguments in here about the nature of 1970s comics. I'm not sure I agree with any of them, but I'd have to sit down and make the case, and that's what makes it fun.

* here are trades that don't exist that the Trouble With Comics writers would like to see.

* Sean P. O'Connor profiles Dan Archer. James Whitbrook has a nice specific-work talk with Warren Ellis about the James Bond material he's writing. Paul Gravett profiles Marcello Quintanilha.

* finally, Hellboy punches Hitler.
 
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November 3, 2015


Go, Look: Phoebe Wahl

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Go, Look: Stars Sweet Home

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Go, Look: PW Names Its Best Books Lists For 2015, Including Its List For Comics

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Industry bible Publishers Weekly has announced its choices in various categories including comics for works of the year. Their comics choices are:

* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
* March: Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* The Arab of the Future, Riad Sattouf, trans. from the French by Sam Taylor (Metropolitan)
* The Oven, Sophie Goldstein (AdHouse)

Full reviews through that initial link. There was a lot of comics action on other lists. Nimona made the Young Adults offerings. The latest kids books from Kate Beaton and Patrick McDonnell are in the picture books section, while hybrid works from Bryan Selznick and Ursula Vernon found purchase on the middle-school list.
 
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Not Comics: Even Josh Simmons’ Halloween Costumes Unnerve Me

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By Request Extra: Two Comics-Related Personalities Could Use Some Funding Help

* the latest update from James Hudnall show the writer standing up on his new leg. It's been what sounds like a brutal year for Hudnall, and I'm certain any consideration as to direct financial help would be utilized right away and appreciated greatly.

* Vixen from #BlackComicsMonth is trying to get some medical help and needs money to do so. If you've been a supporter of her advocacy, you might consider being a more direct supporter via her campaign.

*****

As always, I'm bringing certain campaigns to your attention for you to decide if you would like to participate or not. I will probably skip your five-graph e-mail about why a certain campaign is worth it or not; I trust in the readership to look at these things with their own eyes and to use their own judgment. That said, I am totally capable of falling for a fake campaign -- I tend not to question requests for help as stringently as other types of articles or e-mail -- and will always appreciate an e-mail alerting me to that fact.

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Go, Read: Paul Constant Goes To Short Run

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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.

*****

AUG151479 CLASS PHOTO GN $14.99
This one snuck up on me a bit, and I liked it a lot. Basically, it's a series of nasty, jokey, imaginary profiles from a found-object school picture that its creator, Robert Triptow, apparently obsessed over for decades. It feels like a comic that would have come out in 1974, so it's sort of doubly-dissonant in a sense. A real surprise.

imageAUG151798 CHI SWEET HOME GN VOL 12 $13.95
I don't pay enough attention to solid manga series like this one, which marks its conclusion here. I had a lot of fun with the first several volumes, and I hope to one day have them all including this one. I'll certainly think about snatching one up if I'm in the comics shop this week.

JUL150097 MISTER X RAZED TP $15.99
I don't know anything the new Mister X material -- that PR just hasn't penetrated me and I haven't seen the work itself -- but I like that character and I think it's vastly film-able and if I ever run across one I'll stand there in the store and check it out for sure.

JUN150041 USAGI YOJIMBO GALLERY EDITION $125.00
APR150415 MIRACLEMAN ARTIFACT ED HC PI
Two almost-Artist's Editions: one if the Dark Horse version of the IDW oversized, xeroxed in color original art series; the other IDW's own version of that kind of book when they can't find enough original art to make it work. I'm happy to look at both; I'm a significant fan of Mr. Sakai's, and it would be interesting to see his art at size.

SEP150505 INVINCIBLE HC VOL 10 ULTIMATE COLL $39.99
I'm still a fan of this superhero-revisionist series, mostly out of a healthy respect for hitting when so many similar efforts failed, as it's not a drama I'm particularly intrigued by or happy to consume. Its tone is consistent, and the "universe" feels pretty well-worn and comfortable. I think it delivers the goods in a way that is so, so hard to do with the kind of material, all of which is still Kirby's shadow.

MAY150812 AVENGERS BY BUSIEK AND PEREZ OMNIBUS HC VOL 02 $125.00
I remember this being a quality run of superhero comics at a time when that particularly property -- now movie-famous -- was looked at as kind of tedious stinker. It's also one of those publishing format that Marvel does that I like, as it really seems a strong alternative to picking up individual comics. It's not a format I can afford for the kind of material, but it has to be really appealing to older fans looking for something in a store that they'll enjoy.

SEP150711 HERCULES #1 $3.99
SEP150773 HOWARD THE DUCK #1 $4.99
SEP150662 NOVA #1 $3.99
SEP150758 VISION #1 $3.99
Marvel continues to roll out its post-summer event comics, even while the Secret Wars comics are still coming out. I'm very intrigued by a market that has developed where this isn't an extinction event, but most shops I've talked to have a sense of what Marvel's doing and magnificent customers willing to roll with a little discombobulation for a while. I can't say as I'd be interested in most of these. I guess I'd try Howard The Duck but at five bucks I'm going to need a day where I feel financial confident. The other characters were all favorites of mine 35-40 years ago, all of whom I've since let go. Still, they're all solid concepts.

AUG150989 WINNERS GN (MR) $14.95
This one comes from Alternative having originated with Floating World -- the artist Anna Ehrlemark is Swedish, and I remember her unique visual approach from I believe Stripburger. One to look out for; definitely the kind of book you want to see and consider.

SEP151290 BLANKETS GN (D&Q ED) (MR) $29.95
SEP151291 BLANKETS HC (D&Q ED) (MR) $39.95
New Drawn & Quarterly editions of the seminal alt/indy book are out now; from what I can tell -- and I might be wrong -- there hasn't been a strong break in art direction terms. It's a seminal work at this point, and it's nice that D&Q is working with Thompson because they'll keep that work in print.
AUG151475 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC BOX SET 1995-1998 $49.99
AUG151474 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 24 1997-1998 $29.99

SEP151120 MOUSE GUARD LEGENDS OF GUARD HC VOL 03 $19.99
AUG151017 MUTTS TREASURY PLAYTIME SC $19.99
AUG151291 VALERIAN GN VOL 10 BROOKLYN LINE TERMINUS COSMOS $11.95
It's three of my favorite super under-appreciated works, all coming out the same week. The Valerian in particular seems criminally under-read in North America, and I enjoy every time I can place my hands on a volume.

JUN151376 SUNNY SIDE UP GN HC $23.99
Jennifer Holm + Matthew Holm + a break from their huge hit Babymouse series with Scholastic in full forced behind it = your big hit children's book and bookstore work of the week.

SEP150957 ZITS TREASURY TP ZITS APOCALYPSE ARE YOU READY $18.99
Speaking of bookstore works, I always like to mention the Zits books because there aren't a lot of comic-strip series that have rational book programs, or one that even have much of presence at all in comic shops.

AUG150988 TITAN #2 (MR) $4.95
SEP151100 KLAUS #1 MAIN CVRS $3.99
JUL150630 LAZARUS #20 (MR) $3.50
AUG150566 SEX #25 (MR) $2.99
FEB150644 VELVET #12 (MR) $3.50
SEP150517 WE STAND ON GUARD #5 (MR) $2.99
Let's end with the comics, so I can put up the Francois Vigneault image below rather than shrink it down for a middle-list placement. Comic book is how I've been following Titan, so I'm looking forward to that one. The Klaus book features Grant Morrison writing with Fraser Irving doing the cover art, so I'd be interested enough in that to pick it up. Lazarus, Sex and Velvet are all super-solid books and strong performers for the Image line. A lot of us picked We Stand On Guard to be a summer hit based on its creative pedigree and easy to parse science-fiction plot line. It sure had a lot of crowdpleasing moment, and this issue is no exception. The overall narrative? Well, I honestly don't remember if this one ended or not, which isn't a good sign. Still, I'm certain it sold very well.

*****

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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OTBP: Ink Brick #4

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Go, Look: 1971 Marvel In Rolling Stone Photos

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Bob Temuka no longer knows what's going on in the crisis and reboot era of mainstream comics. I don't either.

* wow, look at all the Oz Magazine issues.

* more confused signaling from Marvel as to the canonical statue of certain characters' sexual orientation. I'm not sure I'd be any better at running a comics line in terms of negotiating these issues, but whatever Marvel is doing isn't fully working. Not that it's brought up, but I still don't understand why a non-hetero Hercules would be a bad thing.

* the mighty "MN PUBLISHING TWEET-UP" talks to cartoonist Kevin Cannon.

* finally, congratulations to Patrick McDonnell for making the Times' best illustrated children's book list for 2015.
 
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November 2, 2015


Go, Look: My Brain Is An Asshole

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Go, Bid: Karl Kesel’s Krazy Kat Page

It has more than two weeks left, during which it should surge ahead of its current less-than-$5K state. Those are always lovely to see. I was told once that most of the Herrimans out there are due to one down-and-out former assistant selling them to New York illustrators, but I don't know if that's true.
 
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If I Were In Brooklyn, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Why I Hate Christians

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Human Body Theater.

* hey, it's the Pittsburgh Comics Salon.

* Joshua Yehl talks to Greg Capullo. Capullo's been such a valuable artist for DC Comics the last five years, I would hope they would let him do whatever he wants as long as that included more comics for them at some point. Maybe they would be encouraging of work for different publishers just hoping Capullo would continue work for DC. Rick Smith profiles Mita Mahato. Farhad Mirza talks to Warren Bernard.

* not comics: secure a Jillian Tamaki-designed t-shirt.

* congratulations to Patrick McDonnell and all the other winners of this near-comics prize.

* here's Heidi MacDonald on the modern indie comics connection to animation work.

* not comics: Toshi Nakamura on the Bakuman film.

* finally, let's catch up with Team Metaphrog.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
November 1, 2015


OTBP: Plans We Made

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posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Andrew Zeal In Thailand

imageI was a little confused by the jargon used in an initial e-mail extolling the virtues of Andrew Zeal's work with youth in Thailand, using comics to tell their stories as they might relate to the horrors of human trafficking. So my apologies there. Re-presented to me simply as an interesting comics project and work that deserves to be seen, I quickly came around.

One nice thing about the project as opposed to a lot of comics you see with crowd-funding aspirations is that the infrastructure and displayed ability to get work done is right there in the proposal: there's already been a book accessing this material, and the contacts seem locked into place. There's no sense that money is being used to overwhelm lack of preparation or work on other fronts. This project just needs some cash to be itself, and this seems a worthy way of pursuing that goal.
 
posted 10:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Speed Carter, Spaceman #1

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posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: WonderCon LA Names 1st Round Of Guests

imageThis year's WonderCon is in Los Angeles, and last week the show announced its initial round of guests:

* Brian Michael Bendis
* Jason Fabok
* Scott Sigler
* Annie Wu

It should be interesting to see if WonderCon gets an LA boost the same way shows in New York get one -- I know it sounds silly because Anaheim isn't that far away from LA proper and San Francisco is its own town, but it seems like it's 10X as cheap for me to visit LA and a convention there. The only thing I can figure out is that I'll be sleeping at a family member's place in LA and I always had to get a hotel room in both San Francisco and Anaheim. As there are so many cons now, these little price differences may end up being a huge deal. Plus DC is there now, and can serve as a social host in the that Marvel has in New York a bit.
 
posted 9:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Frontier #9

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Projects in Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* written mis-step on my part: this Revenger crowd-funding quickie is its own thing; the Bergen Street Comics book will be a collection of past material, not this stuff. Looks like that one is well in hand.

* hey, let's check in on Frankie Santoro and his quest to develop a physical school in conjunction with his on-line course. He's funded, with about 10 days left; that's great. I hope people will still consider giving, but I'm grateful for all the giving so far. If nothing else, I want to see what happens with this one.

* the Weakly Comics crew remains hopeful, with a bunch of time left. That seems like a modest request for a comic with some great creators in it.

* here's an explanation of the various Cerebus fundraisers. I think that's maybe somewhat aimed at me grousing that they were incomprehensible. I'm still not sure in a broader sense why we can't have super-smart looking editions of the four best Cerebus sub-works in bookstores or why this project needs a complicated fundraiser when I'm not familiar with projects of a similar, proportional nature, but I do have a sense of what they're doing now. A strength of that work as a publishing phenomenon is its hardcore fandom, and this certainly allows them to participate.

* Douglas Klauba is making a pulp-images calendar and asked nicely if it could be included here.

* finally, Mimi Pond is among the cartoonists contributing to this crowd-funded humor magazine, apparently in the tradition of classic magazine that they contributors worked on and/or admired. The stretch goals look fun.
 
posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In SF, I’d Go To This

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Recent John Byrne Superhero Pin-Ups

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Oh My Goddess! Vol. 48.

* Sam Thielman profiles Adrian Tomine.

* not comics: there are a lot of Peter Barbey articles out there right now. The media mogul description I wonder after, but he sounds like he has some money he's willing to spend on the Village Voice and it sounds like he wants to staff according to need as opposed to journalistic or historical tradition. In other words, he's taking it seriously. I don't know how this ends up, but it'd be nice if cartoons were included somewhere in there somehow.

* Clowes by Clowes.

* cartoonists talk about terrible Halloween costumes. For some reason I've always found the cartoonists and comics-makers in my life the worst category of Halloween costume-makers.

* here's a long article about the Aunt Harriet character best known from the Batman TV show as she was portrayed -- barely -- in the comics. I like the idea of the comics-makers just having no use for the plot point, even though that's an assertion more than an argument.

* here's a necessary resource: Rob Kirby's list of alt/indy books and collection by gay men.

* finally, here's what Mark Parisi told the Huffington Post after looking at their contract.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: New Comic By Leslie Stein

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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