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











December 31, 2015


Happy New Year: Read Comics, Make Comics, Wonder After Comics

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Enjoy your remaining holiday and all the idiosyncratic traditions in which you might take part. This year will be amazing, rewarding, frustrating and tough. Hard hats on.

As for today, I don't have anything for you this time out, nothing that should interrupt your rest and relaxation. There tend to be some sales going on: check Fantagraphics and comiXology at least.
 
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Go, Look: Two Last Christmas Galleries From Ed Emshwiller And Gahan Wilson

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Happy 49th Birthday, Nick Abadzis!

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Happy 41st Birthday, Steve Hamaker!

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Have A Happy And Safe New Year’s, Everyone!

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The Comics Reporter Endorses Chris Oliveros For The Beat’s Industry Person Of The Year

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Vote early, vote often, vote here
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December 30, 2015


Go, Look: Elliot Alfredius

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Bundled Extra: Charlie Hebdo To Release Special Issue Marking Anniversary Of Attack

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Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French comics magazine whose staffers were murdered in their offices after an editorial meeting in January of this year, has announced a special double-sized (32 pages) issue in early January to commemorate the event. They plan on a print run around one million.

The issue of Hebdo that came out right after the murders sold 7.5 million copies worldwide. This one is also expected to do well in other countries, with strong pre-orders already having an impact on how many are printed. It looks like circulation has settled into the almost 300k range since last winter.
 
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Go, Look: Notes On A Missing Person

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Go, Read: Michael Cavna On Lack Of Non-Whites In Staff Political Cartoonist Positions In US

This is a great subject for an article, and kudos to Michael Cavna for engaging the subject matter head-on and using the occasion to talk about two cartoonists who work on the political end of the form: Keith Knight and Darrin Bell. Bell doing straight-up political cartoons isn't something that fully registered with me until very recently. His skill set seems very much in-tune with that gig, and I look forward to catching up with his output there and following it moving forward.

As to the question itself, I would imagine that the white star style collapse of political cartooning staff positions more generally has a lot to do with this absence, but that decades of applied preference by race on the part of those that hire cartoonists also plays a direct role. I do know that a cartoonist like Knight or Bell would be super-interesting in a paid position because of the variety of ways with which each man has negotiated their freelance careers. You'd get a super-versatile, quality staff member in either case, that's for sure. I also don't know how attractive such a position is anymore, having talked to cartoonists who have somewhere between one to five jobs they'd take in that world but other than those are happy to stick with freelance. For one thing, and I hate to say it because Michael's not involved, but the Post's approach to the Ann Telnaes/Ted Cruz cartoon flap didn't exactly scream "come work for a big paper."
 
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Go, Look: World Within The World

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Assembled Extra: Comics Studies Society Newsletter Launch

There's an e-mail that almost slipped past me announcing the launch of the inaugural issue of the Comics Studies Society newsletter. That's the group that was formed in 2014 at ICAF (they had their first public meetings, anyway; sometimes a formal beginning is hard to track with a non-profit group) by people such as Charles Hatfield and Susan Kirtley to provide some organizational backbone to the growing comics scholar community.

One of the nice things about this happening with this group of scholars, those 35 to 50 right this moment, is that most of them have a history of writing for sources outside of academia in addition to being published for the classroom, and so a lot of their writing is accessible. That's true here, too. Add it to the list of things to read and encourage your friends teaching comics to look into the group more widely, or at least put it in their head for a future date.
 
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Go, Look: Svyatogor

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Festivals Extra: Billy Ireland Announces 1st 2016 Shows

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The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announced their first pair of shows for 2016. They both sound pretty great. One is a major retrospective for the late Eldon Dedini, best known for his cartoons in Playboy. The second is a presentation of wordless comics art owned by the scholar David A. Beronä. That is potentially awesome as well; it depends on whether or not the collection lives up to reputation. I suspect it will.

I'm excited about the Dedini because I have the barest sense of what they have access to with that cartoonist, and I'm really interested in seeing originals given the very finished, almost abstractly shimmering art the cartoonist made. I also like that it's of historical interest more than Dedini is a cartoonist of interest right this moment. That's the purpose of a museum, to explore intriguing elements of it chosen subject matters, not direct eyeballs according to what fits the current mood.

Both shows run mid-February to late-May.

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Go, Look: Alberto Varanda

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Go, Look: Bozo

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Virtual Memories has its "Guests Choosing Things To Read And Otherwise Do" podcast up today, including picks from the comics-portion of their mandate: Derf Backderf, Peter Kuper, Jennifer Hayden, Dylan Horrocks and more.

image* Sean Gaffney on Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale. Alex Hoffman on Brunch. Chad Nevett on Dreadstar #62. Misti Cooper on Envy Of Angels. Erica Friedman on Hayate x Blade 2 (Nyan), Volume 3. Matthew Warner on Bloody Cross Vol. 8. Anna N on Boys Over Flowers: Season Two. GB Smith on The Disappearance Of Nagato Yuki-Chan Vol. 8. Ken H. on Fairy Tail Vol. 50. A Library Girl on Natsume's Book Of Friends Vols. 1-8 and Secret Vol. 1. Rebecca Silverman on So Cute It Hurts Vol. 4 and Tokyo Ghoul Vols. 3-4. Matthew Warner on Ubel Blatt Vol. 3. Nick Smith on Yo-Kai Watch Vols. 1-2. Megan Rupe on Rose Guns Days. Sean Gaffney on Sword Art Online Vol. 6 and Sunshine Sketch Vol. 8.

* Mark Peters talks to Neal Adams.

* remember to stock up on those deductible items before the day is through.

* not comics: this kills me. Apparently there's a chance the writer Ben Stein included a fictional example in a string of TV show examples contained within a book of cultural criticism. Go help sort that out for Eisner Judge Brian Doherty if you have some insight.

* a small but necessary change in one of the Dick Tracy volumes.

* finally, they have X-Ray vision now (thanks, Bob Levin).
 
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December 29, 2015


Go, Look: Valentin Seiche

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Festivals Extra: Society Of Illustrators Announces M Prizes For Comic/Cartoon Art

R. Sikoryak sent out a press release on behalf of his work with the Comic & Cartoon Annual and supporting competition, a program he runs with Lauren Weinstein on behalf of the Society Of Illustrators. As explained here, the cash award come in the memory of Timothy Patrick Moynihan, who passed away last January.

What this means is that Gold Medal winners will receive $200 and Silver Medal winners $100 in the yearly competition, in addition to publication and having their work shown and the general resumé-style bump. I think this will be good for the competition, too, as it means that someone winning one of the top two designations will not be out the money needed to apply. I think that's a psychological thing that will really work on some people, as silly as it may sound explained. In general, that's a nice way to honor the artist and I'm all for however much cash can go to artists going to artists.
 
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OTBP: The End Of A Fence

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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.

*****

AUG151473 GAHAN WILSON OUT THERE TP $29.99
Gahan Wilson is a master cartoonist with a long and distinguished career and everything he does is of interest. This one looks fun.

imageJUN151479 ARIOL GN BOX SET VOL 4-6 $38.99
OCT151593 ARIOL SC VOL 07 $12.99
I'm a big fan of Ariol, and am delighted to see another volume. Creators Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant do something that only great little-kid cartoonists like Charles Schulz and Los Bros Hernandes achieve on a regular basis: they invest their little-kid comics with an emotional seriousness without overwhelming the plot or even really the tone. If you have to buy them in box-set form, you'll enjoy them that way, too.

OCT150057 LOBSTER JOHNSON GLASS MANTIS ONE SHOT $3.99
AUG150532 EAST OF WEST #23 $3.50
SEP150508 LAZARUS #21 (MR) $3.50
MAY150518 MORNING GLORIES #49 (MR) $4.99
OCT150787 SQUADRON SUPREME #2 $3.99
Not a lot of individual comic books caught my attention this week. I'm always happy to read something from the Mignola-verse. East of West is a lot of fun as it seems a grand execution of writer Jonathan Hickman's preferences as a comic scriptwriter, devoid of the needs and interferences that might come with a name publisher. I enjoy Lazarus whenever I read it, that's a pretty high-quality effort. Morning Glories getting close to its 50th issues is really the only thing I undersand about that early hit for the resurgent Image of a few years back. I try to read them whenever I see them. Squadron Supreme I note as an early-series issue that isn't a #1; Marvel doesn't have one of those this week, which makes me think they might be either far into or potentially done with its latest revival siege. Also, I really like Thundra.

JUL150118 BPRD NEON SIGN $99.99
I was confused as to what collection this was and in what format, and then a quick google search says this is an actual neon sign. Comics!

NOV151127 COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN HC VOL 04 1981-1983 $45.00
Tom Batiuk's strip gets a lot of grief for some of the downer comics it has facilitated in recent years, but I enjoy reading chunks of it when I can and I certainly think it has historical value as a measure of life as lived. I'd love to see some of these books.

NOV151123 COPRA TP ROUND THREE (MR) $19.95
This is I believe a Bergen Street Press effort, which is noteworthy in that it's a way we're going to get a taste of what that late store had to offer by reading the books they help make possible. Michel Fiffe has enjoyed a lot of success with an idiosyncratic take on familiar superhero types, which is impressive when you think of how many people do just that kind of book and how quickly 90 percent of them roar down obsolescence highway and into total obscurity, never to be seen again. The individual comics of this are so fun I can't imagine too many folks preferring the trades, but not all of us get everything for which we wish.

JUN151477 SMURFS AND FRIENDS HC $19.99
I think this is a build on the success Papercutz has had with the Smurfs volumes to allow readers an entry point into some of the less successful series of this type they publish. For the rest of us it's just a nice gift-style volume with multiple features of the kind that can lead to a supplementary purchase if a kid loves one over another.

AUG150078 ASTRO BOY OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $19.99
JUL150115 KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE OMNIBUS ED TP BOOK 02 $19.99
SEP151477 VINLAND SAGA GN VOL 07 $22.99
It's handsomely-mounted popular manga series week! I really like the Omnibus set-up as a place for patient, thriftier readers to get on board with some of these comics.

NOV141326 FRANK THORNE RED SONJA ART ED DLX SGN HC VOL 01 $350.00
I have no idea to whom this might be aimed, but I feel like it's important that I recognize there is a market for a book like this one still. I really enjoy Frank Thorne's art, although I thought it really didn't cohere until way late in his career and that probably doesn't include any of this material.

OCT150402 COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE HC VOL 12 $49.99
I love Little Orphan Annie to an irrational degree, favoring to a great extent the reputation-making Great Depression material while enjoying Harold Gray's approach to art throughout. It's unbelievable to me that we have a dozen gigantic volumes of this material out there for purchase, although the price point explains how this is possible. I will lose myself in Gray's oppressive use of space and follow along with one of the great all-ages protagonists until the end of my days.

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

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

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

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

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Go, Look: Sonny Sharrock

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Go, Read: Kevin Siers’ Year-In-Review

The area political cartoonist should be lauded whenever possible, so I'm glad to see a few "best-of-our-person" articles pop up at various newspapers, like this one for Kevin Siers in Charlotte. Siers is a recent Pulitzer winner, and they count on him for local/regional in additional to national commentary.

I think there's a combination of element that may make political cartooning far more important to 2016 than it has been in recent years. Politics is wonky enough now that a general rational-middle stance that looked cowardly and out of touch in the last decade looks aggressive these days. Visual elements have a great second life in social media when they begin to stick. Some of the free speech assaults worldwide over the last few years have been taken to heart. Certainly it's a profession which has burned off some of its fat in the last two decades. I think unlike 2012 where upon President Obama's re-election no on I asked could cite a memorable cartoon, this time there may be more than a few.
 
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Go, Look: Glory Forbes, Vigilante

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Go, Look: A Run Of Sy Barry Phantom Sundays

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on The Fade Out Vol. 1. Cosmo on Saga #32. Alex Hoffman on A Year Without Mom.

* Rich Barrett presents the Mental Floss list of the 25 best graphic novels and comics. Marie Enger performs a similar function on behalf of the good folks at Entropy.

* I haven't dipped into it yet myself, but I'm told the list of good stuff at Mutha includes comics.

* Gary Tyrrell looks at this year's Child's Play charitable effort, one of the greatest things to come out of comics culture as it overlaps with gaming culture.

* have you joined the Don Perlin Appreciation Society yet? If not, why not today?

* that's a hell of a holiday present. Speaking of which, here's a list of assigned reading when it comes to comics and the holiday season, just in time for you to buy next year.

* Steve Foxe talks to Holly Black and Lee Garbett.
 
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December 28, 2015


Go, Look: Leon Beyond On Dating

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Go, Look: Ronald Searle In The News-Chronicle

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Go, Look: Harry

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* in one of his always helpful previews round-ups, Paul Gravett sets his eyes on March 2016 and books like this effort from Igort.

* Frank Miller is apparently preparing a Sin City volume about Nazi influence in New York City before World War 2.

* scanning Amazon.com is a sucker's game but I'm a sucker: first listing I've seen for Box Brown's Tetris-related project; the reappearance of Sarah Glidden's next big book.

* word on manga plans for the Naruto extension/sequel/continuation Boruto, with Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto supervising.

* finally, Ryan Holmberg has a lengthy preview and commentary on the forthcoming Breakdown Press effort, Red Red Rock And Other Stories, 1967-1970.
 
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Go, Look: Binky Brown Back Cover Original Art

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Go, Look: That Pulp-y Frank Frazetta Image Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* JA Micheline on It's Hard To Be A Girl. Joe Gordon on Hellboy And The BPRD: 1953. Alex Hoffman on Generous Bosom.

* Brigid Alverson has a nice list up at Barnes & Noble of Best New Manga for this year.

* not comics: several days left to contribute to a Joan Cornella crowd-funder
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* Tobias Carroll talks to Greg Rucka.

* missed that Jacques Hurtubise died. He was a giant of Quebecois BD.

* it's very old-fashioned blogging to just run a bunch of comics imagery, but it's about par for the course for some of the more visually-driven corners of the Internet so it doesn't seem out of time.

* finally, they're already doing Star Wars 7 comics. I can't follow them to know if I was spoiled for something by reading them or not.
 
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December 27, 2015


OTBP: Dirt Work #3

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Go, Read: More On The End Of Edge City

There's a feature article up with the Philadelphia newspaper which carried Edge City, a 15-year strip made by regional residents Patty and Terry LaBan. It recently ended its run with King Features Syndicate; doesn't look like anyone else is picking it up or if that's even something the Labans explored.

One thing that newspaper strips have in common with their comic book and graphic novel cousins is that the dialogue about success and money and who is making what is who is really distorted. I write about that a bit at some point on Derf's very interesting take on the LaBan article.

I'm not sure anyone has a strong take on the future of comic-strip formatted comics, and I'm pretty sure no one has a take at all that encompasses print newspapers having a significant role in a way that comforts or excites fans of that very specific delivery system. That's an industry still in troubled times relative to their long and mostly stable history when they dominated personal and display advertising for 10,000 local communities. Right now my friends in newspapers have moved from complaining on-line material was too much like what newspapers used to provide to being something so different that it's changing the way people process information, threatening an extinction-type decline.
 
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Go, Look: NC Wyeth Adventure Illustration

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AAEC Makes Statement Re: Ann Telnaes’ Cruz Cartoon

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The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, the evolving AAEC, did make a statement late last week about the controversy surrounding the Washington Post pulling an Ann Telnaes cartoon that used a depiction of Ted Cruz' children as organ-grinder monkeys to satirize Cruz's cynical deployment of the two kids as campaign props. The board there seems to agree with me that a weird element of this was the Post editors failing to defend a cartoon they had already published.

Alan Gardner has what must be close to a full accounting of editorial cartoonists that jumped to Telnaes' defense. This struck me as a pretty good group of cartoons; that may be because of the personal element. That's one of two solid efforts by Mr. Fish above.
 
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Go, Look: Aaron Johnson

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* two GoFundMe campaigns this column has followed in 2015 have had updates of note. The recent campaign on behalf of veteran comic book artist Don Perlin slipped past $17K on Christmas morning and has no doubt added to that amount since. Jim Hudnall posted an update on his page on the rehab he's been doing to walk with an artificial foot.

* crowdfunders are ongoing, even in the quiet week between Christmas and New Year's Day. A quick look through Kickstarter yielded a few that jumped out at me a bit: FKT Year One, a selection of bara yaoi titles from Sakira, an already-successful mini-comics anthology project from Chicago and the latest Robin Snyder presentation of Steve Ditko's comics.

* this is also a great week to make a last-minute donation to any number of non-profits working in comics, from The Hero Initiative to the CBLDF to any number of the cons and festivals out there that are set up that way (many are). Comics does the most with the least, it seems, so money given to comics institutions is generally well spent. That said, you should research and feel comfortable with your individual choice every time you're generous this way.

* finally, Sunday Comics looks to have just finished a crowd-funding phase; that's one people I know were watching.
 
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Go, Look: Yellow Submarine Comics

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Go, Look: Jae Lee Pin-Up Gallery

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Master Keaton Vol. 1. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Joe Gordon on If You Steal. Richard Bruton on Beast Wagon #2. Alex Hoffman on Palefire.

* not always comics: Bob Temuka writes about fan service elements in art.

* Andrew Yates talks to Peter Milligan.

* this seems more a cheery, upbeat example of trolling far more than it does a serious article about how people throughout the world perceive heroic comics fiction, and I bet people are going bananas pummeling it on places like Facebook. The central idea that these characters lose some of their Americanness when they're diversified counts on a pretty simplistic view of that word's central qualities. It's rhetorically clever, but that's about it.

* J. Caleb Mozzocco's scattershot reviews of new material are one of comics' true pleasures, both for the writing and the fact that this kind meatball criticism is being done.

* Zainab Akhtar presents the year in comics 2015 through her writing at Comics & Cola.

* finally, the House To Astonish site presents their awards slate for 2015.
 
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December 26, 2015


Go, Look: And All Through The House

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Yearly Call For Birthdates And General Locations

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Hi. This site runs birthday wishes every day of the calendar year. We like wishing people happy birthday. We love so much more the daily context it provides. Comics is made of people. Comics is made of people who every year get one year older, making issues like community care and ethical return for labor vitally important.

If you're a cartoonist, a comics-maker of any kind or hold a "non-creative" job in comics, and would like to participate in this daily reminder, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) I know people can be sensitive about their age, and that's okay, I just can't wish you a happy birthday on the site without it.

Also, if you want to include your current city, that helps with another project we do here. Thanks. I hope you're enjoying your holiday.
 
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Go, Look: Leslie Stein’s 12-26-15 Comic

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Liniers And Steve Brodner In Discussion


Matthew Inman Profiled


Enrique Heras Profiled


Meet Liza Donnelly


Terrence Thompson Talks To Jules Feiffer
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from December 19 to December 25, 2015:

1. Washington Post pulls Ann Telnaes cartoon critical of presidential candidate Ted Cruz's use of his children in campaign material.

2. Leila Abdelrazaq reveals poor treatment at the US/Mexico border and in right-wing media.

3. Direct Market Unrest: DC may ship two issues of the same title in the same month to alleviate some problems; pundits declare things are going to get worse in the short term.

Winner Of The Week
Cliff Meth

Losers Of The Week
Those that inflated and changed the story of fellow American citizen Leila Abdelrazaq for facile political purpose.

Quote Of The Week
"He has become, perhaps, what he desired all along: an audience of one, laboring over artwork that will never be corrupted or compromised because it will never be consumed. He has, finally, complete control over the pristine worlds he creates." -- Luke Epplin on Bill Watterson, post-Calvin and Hobbes.

*****

the comic image is I believe by Don Perlin

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December 25, 2015


Go, Look: Christmas Eve Achewood Appearance

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Go, Look: Francois Vigneault’s 12 Days Of Christmas

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Go, Look: Comics Artists Draw Tori Amos

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December 24, 2015


May God Bless Us Every One

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if you're reading this today, it must be part of your muscle memory for looking at the Internet and I thank you for all times past and present you've hit on the site. happy holidays and let's all look forward to 2016
 
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Go, Look: Christmas 1932 Newspaper Strips

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Go, Look: Four Great Christmas Posts At The Golden Age

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Will Elder's Night Before Christmas

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Haddon Sundbloom Advertising Images

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Arthur Rackham's Night Before Christmas

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Assorted Christmas Imagery

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Go, Look: Color Guides For Will Elder’s Night Before Christmas

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Go, Look: Fleischer Studios Christmas Cards

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James Kochalka Made A Christmas Video For You, Baby


 
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December 23, 2015


Go, Look: Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Covers

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A Few, Quick Telnaes/Cruz Updates

* Ted Cruz posted a cartoon in response to Ann Telnaes' cartoon about his deployment of his children in campaign material -- a cartoon then pulled by the Washington Post.

* Jordan Sargent points out that Cruz was one of those that backed the Free Speech elements of previous cartoons when they fit his anti-Islamist narratives.

* Clay Bennett and Darrin Bell poke fun in cartoon form.

* finally, occasional cartoonist Jake Tapper points out that it's weird to take offense at the very idea that your kids appear in a cartoon about your campaign strategies and then make sure that thousands upon thousands more people see it in a campaign effort to raise money.
 
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Go, Look: Jimmy Hatlo’s Hatlo’s Inferno 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.

*****

OCT151448 RONALD SEARLE AMERICA HC $85.00
This book is gorgeous and dream come true and is necessarily collected because of the range of places in which Searle's work appeared and it's the one thing I look forward to diving into when I get back home after the holidays. I am very excited for this one.

imageJAN150554 POLLY & HER PALS COMPLETE SUNDAY COMICS VOL 02 1928-1930 $75.00
SEP150484 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ULT NEWSPAPER COMICS HC VOL 02 1979-1981 $49.99
OCT150380 WALT DISNEY DONALD DUCK NEWSPAPER COMICS HC VOL 02 $39.99
Here's a short list pulled from IDW's listing that shows just how broad their approach can be to newspaper work, for which I'm glad. I'm more of a Polly & Her Pals fan than a reader for the other two books, but I'm glad they all exist. The first Polly was pretty amazing.

OCT150052 KING CONAN WOLVES BEYOND THE BORDER #1 $3.99
OCT150277 ASTRO CITY #30 $3.99
OCT150553 CHEW #53 (MR) $3.50
OCT150538 ISLAND #5 (MR) $7.99
OCT150555 PRETTY DEADLY #7 (MR) $3.50
OCT150559 SAGA #32 (MR) $2.99
OCT151520 KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #226 $5.99
OCT150801 PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #1 $3.99
OCT151453 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #5 $3.99
Interesting week for serial comic books of the classic kind. I'm a fan of the King Conan iteration of that character so I'd look at any new comic book series with him at the forefront. This latest run of Astro City is up to a 30th issue; congratulations to its creators. Chew is the original resurgent Image hit, and we should probably pay attention to it more than we should. Ditto Island, if only in that the book will house a lot of paid work for a lot of under-appreciated creators if it continues to move forward. I think it's been a while since we've seen Pretty Deadly, so that should make retailers happy. I always think back to that weird fellow that ripped up the first issue he was so not taken with its contents. Saga is still the indie-comics hit of the moment until I'm told differently. Two hundred twenty-six is an amazing number for any comic, so congrats to those creators. The new Patsy Walker aka Hellcat series is the only Marvel #1 this week, so maybe their roll-outs are thinning up a bit. I always liked Walker/Hellcat, not just because it's one of the few enduring mainstream characters brought to life by a female creator (Ruth Atkinson). Finally, there's Ed Piskor's alt-comic supreme, Hip Hop Family Tree. Long may it reign.

AUG150295 SCALPED HC BOOK 03 DELUXE EDITION $29.99
JUN150301 ABSOLUTE GREEN LANTERN GREEN ARROW HC $99.99
DC Comics' book department, keeping on with the various editions. That Scalped material I think still has a lot of audience to find, and the Green Lantern/Green Arrow book struck me because I wasn't sure there was a new edition of this seminal American mainstream comic book work yet to roll out. Alternative-universe Wall Street me reads nothing from DC except Absolute Editions.

SEP151631 TABLE TITANS TP VOL 01 FIRST ENCOUNTERS $19.99
This is an effort from the House That Scott Kurtz Built, where they show both the table top scenes and the fantasy result of a role-playing game. This allows them to build on the commonality of that experience among the target audience. Steve Hamaker colors the heck out of this. I enjoy this work when I think to go look at it on-line, and I would have been a huge fan when I was a kid, and comics were basically an extension of my fantasy-prose consumption.

JUN151778 JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #66 $10.95
My theory is at one point the Jack Kirby Collector comics will start to focus on early Jack Kirby Collector efforts and start a slow roll to infinity. Actually, Kirby's the one artist that could probably bear 100s of issues of examination, so I'm always happen to see a new issue of this publication.

AUG151504 ART OF ELFQUEST HC $50.00
I don't know if Wendy Pini is directly influential as much as she came to the same conclusions a lot of younger artists have since the 1970s and 1980s when being exposed to manga: Pini's characters act in every panel, and not subtly, in a way that's very appealing once you lock into the characters. The quality of this book depends on the execution but that satisfying, actorly element to her work combined with some vivacious character design -- again, you can see things like Saga working the same general territory, I think -- would make such a book of potential interest. Oh, to be near a comics shop Christmas week.

AUG151469 CHEECH WIZARDS BOOK OF ME HC (MR) $29.99
Another significant reprint book from Fantagraphics this week, this time from the Vaughn Bode part of their collection landscape. There's no artist who has a cultural impact without that being tied more directly into their comics than Bode, which is a shame. I'll read every last scrap you put in front of my face.

JUL150362 STAR WARS ARTIFACT ED HC PI
I haven't seen the new Star Wars movie, but as a direct sequel to the 1970s material I would imagine there is a resulting appetite for that material that the prequels did not foster. I'm pretty sure this is the Chaykin/Goodwin material as opposed to the Al Williamson, a book for which was just announced. I remember these being fun, serviceable comics if you were a big Star Wars fan, which I really wasn't. I'm not sure how they'd be perceived now.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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posted 8:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1962 Christmas-Related Newspaper Strips

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Aid To Don Perlin Day Three

I'll make one more stand-alone note of this one before settling it into the regular column and random news updates: Don Perlin could use some help. The money will help the veteran mainstream comic book artist and his family during this health crisis and immediately after. The attention as a distraction and just as a nice reminder of how people appreciate his work has also been a boon, according to organizer Clifford Meth. There's a Facebook page for fans here.
 
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Not Comics: The Deep End

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Go, Look: A Small Star War About Getting Older

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the "Comic Riffs" column at the Washington Post has reported on the Ann Telnaes/Ted Cruz story and is inviting comments. I would imagine that might appeal to some of you because there's a chance that the comments might be read within the Post.

image* Sean Gaffney on Attack On Titan Vol. 17. Noah Berlatsky on Ms. Marvel #16-19.

* Bully provides a sampling of Christmas cover images.

* Mark Lynch talks to Carol Tyler.

* Jarrad Hurley holds forth on what he perceives as the decline of MAD.

* someone sent me this solstice comic in triumphant fashion, as if my entire life had been devoted to denying the existence of solstice comics.

* people seem to be having fun with the Cyclops character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which is a sentence that's never been typed before now.

* it's Christmas Eve. My over/under for press releases received today is five. Update: We blew past five at noon ET.

* finally, here's a short list of the best comics artists in Chicago. Eat it, Ware.
 
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December 22, 2015


Go, Look: Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, SNOW!

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posted 9:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Leila Abdelrazaq’s Treatment, Media Excoriation For Drawing At US/Mexico Border

This should be read in full, maybe twice if you're at all interested in the treatment of artists that work with political subject matter.

According to Ben Norton's piece, the Palestinian-American cartoonist Leila Abdelrazaq was detained at the Arizona-Mexico border for a few hours while researching her next project. She had been sketching elements of the border. US Customs asked her and her friends to leave but detained the artist after seeing notes in Arabic in the notebook. Norton then goes into how the story was brutally manipulate to fit the political narrative favored by certain right-leaning news sites, to where the tone of the story has an extreme and potentially dangerous impact upon its subject matter as well as the basic crime that it's a distortion of reality which feeds uglier elements of the American mood.

Abdelrazaq's statements on both this being a developing problem in the US rather than one that's simply spiked due to the presidential campaign are well taken. I'm grateful for the emergence of a counter-narrative even to the deeply idiotic and divorced from reality represented by the one favored by the conservative news sources. To borrow some of their charged rhetoric, this shouldn't happen to an American citizen.
 
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Go, Read: Agent 10

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Go, Read: David Brothers Talks To Himself About Diversity In Comics

Here. I think essays like David's are more effectively read without immediate commentary framing them, so I'll talk about the issues raised down the line a little bit.
 
posted 8:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Is She Available? Previewed

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posted 3:40 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Washington Post Pulls Ann Telnaes Cartoon Featuring Depiction Of Ted Cruz’s Children

imageThis is kind of mess, the unfortunate parts of it coming from the Washington Post. The esteemed, award-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes made a cartoon about Ted Cruz using his children in a campaign by portraying the surging presidential candidate as an organ grinder and his kids as the organ grinder's monkeys. Cruz responded with the typical "leave my children alone" rhetoric that's been a part of every modern presidential campaign since at least 1992, and probably before that (I only remember Amy Carter becoming a thing after the election, with Garry Trudeau for instance depicting her off-panel). Conservative media ran with that message and criticism for the choice of depicting the girls as monkeys, as if the point of the cartoon were "Look at those monkey-children" rather than Cruz's cynical deployment of them as props.

As the linked-to article notes, the Post then pulled the cartoon in a bizarre way: a statement asserting that the editor in charge failed to read a gigantic caption, a shift in blame to their cartoonist in that same statement for usurping some sort of house rule when the only house rule the Post has ever made public is "don't criticize the Post," and a decision not to address the matter any further which means slam dunks for all eternity on the monkeys point, which I'll note is the exact kind of visual element an editor -- maybe one that can read captions -- might have questioned for its potential diversionary capability or vetted for any harm inherent to the depiction, if it were to be questioned at all. This set of glorious, late-arriving actions certainly hasn't alleviated any criticism and the whole thing has become a fundraising opportunity for a Cruz campaign desperate to find a personal narrative that matches their candidate's skill with conservative rhetoric.

So yeah, a mess. I hope that the sloppy, can-you-top-this handling of the cartoon post-publication doesn't do harm to Telnaes' career or boost Cruz'. I'm seeing a lot of headlines and articles stating the cartoon is about Cruz's kids rather than the candidate's use of them, so I'm guessing any reasonable distinction being made there is 100 miles in the rearview mirror at this point. It's a different world for editorial cartooning with campaigns leveraged by social media against not-really-trusted-by-anyone mainstream organizations. Everyone please be careful.
 
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Moose Kid Comics

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not a straight-up link, but they're featuring their Christmas Special right there on the front page right now
 
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Brian Hibbs Predicts Potential Trouble For The Direct Market In First Quarter 2016

I thought this was an interesting article from Brian Hibbs about the state of the Direct Market of hobby and comics shops, a vital and crucial marketplace for all major publishers and certainly for the industry overall.

Hibbs notes that the weakness in DC Comics' main line following the tremendously ill-advised and poorly executed "Convergence" event (that DC would need to take on extra work to move still doesn't make sense to me) through the ambitious but also poorly executed "DC You" line refashioning has combined with stutters and missteps in Marvel's "All-New, All-Different" not really a relaunch to make for a rare period when neither Marvel nor DC is in a position to drive fans to the comics shops. Hibbs notes further that by his veteran eye, that element of non-excitement for those major players might continue all the way to April, making for a brutal winter ahead for comic shops that are probably not as solvent as you'd hope a small business would be.

Hibbs goes on to suggest that retailers play things very conservatively, which if it is advice that's taken or a conclusion come to by other retailer is bound to shape the first three months of 2016 on its own. It should be interesting to watch. I wish all positive thoughts to all of those that sell comics this way, and hope for the best outcome possible.
 
posted 3:29 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Seasons Greetings From MAD Magazine

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By Request Extra: Don Perlin Aid, Day Two

A crowd-funding campaign to provide money and assistance to the veteran mainstream comic book artist Don Perlin is in its second day. Since launching it has changed its goals from $10K to $12K to $15K, and has moved past that initial $10K request. The line-up of contributors has been any number of people in the $10 to $20 range, another group of people in the $100 to $250 range (this includes a few established, current pros) and then at least two that donated $1000.

I'm sure every dollar will be put to good use. Organizer Clifford Meth has a solid reputation when it comes to assisting older artists.

A Don Perlin Appreciation Society has popped up on Facebook to collect well-wishes and positive word, which will be communicated to the artists. That's nice, too.

I'm grateful that the comics industry can raise these kind of ultimately modest but crucial sums when the time comes and the call goes out. Ideally we can work our way to a place where this kind of need is so rare the comics-makers and involved fans of 2035 have to scramble to their history cubes to find a precedent.
 
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Go, Look: MRA Dilbert

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Go, Look: Brother Sebastian Carries On

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Grant Goggans on The New Deal.

* this Paul Pope variant cover is fun. Variant covers are inevitably abused -- for market share, for manufacturing collectibles -- but I don't mind the idea and I think I would have liked a couple of them a year when I was a kid.

* always a little bit hesitant to link to whole works obviously covered by copyright even when I can count on them having been cuffed to the floor if anyone really cared, but I'll take a chance with the fun "George R. Binks" until someone says stop.

* finally, here's an article on comics to buy as presents for non-comics readers. Those are all pretty good comics, although they seem to exist in a tight range of works -- they could be racked within two feet of one another in a store with comics spread out all over the place. I don't proselytize for comics other than insist they're totally worth reading. Maybe if prodded further, I'd suggest people find works that align closely to works they enjoy in books and film. All the arts I love I fell for them on my own.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Please Consider Helping Don Perlin

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Clifford Meth writes at this GoFundMe page that the veteran comic book artist Don Perlin could use some cash to assist during what sounds like an extremely troubling time. I hope you'll consider it if you're able to help.

Remember that in cases like this that it's also usually very helpful to tweet it out yourself or post it on your Facebook: the more eyes that see this the better. And just $5 or whatever can be a strong show of support for people that haven't always been treated well by their chosen arts culture and industry. Thanks.
 
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December 21, 2015


Go, Look: Anna Syvertsson

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posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Tyne Lowe, Ethan Heitner

* I've been asked by a couple of fans/friends of the cartoonist Tyne Lowe to mention her double-rent fundraiser here, and am happy to do so. There are all sorts of odd hiccups in a young artist's life, and Lowe seems to have the supporting of a lot of people that will get her through this one quickly.

* Ethan Heitner wrote in asking for the spotlight to be tossed on two fundraising project in which he's involved: the first is a catalog for a show going up early next year called "Our Comics, Ourselves" and featuring an array of talent under Heitner's co-curation. The second is a reprint of a pamphlet "explaining the cultural boycott of Israel."
 
posted 9:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: Luke Epplin On Watterson Vs. Schulz

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This is a solid re-telling. I'd quibble with some of the details, and with some of the ending analysis (I think that so many cartoonists suited to the form actively avoid syndication is part of Watterson's legacy, not something that runs parallel with it). Mostly, this suggests to me that we're waiting for someone that bridges this gap more than we might realize.
 
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Reports: DC May Go Bi-Weekly With Certain Titles In 2016

The best information gathered by mainstream-focused sites Bleeding Cool and Comic Book Resources indicates that DC Comics will double-ship on some titles in 2016. That's a practice by which certain titles in certain months ship more than once, going bi-weekly or roughly so, resulting in more than 12 issues in a calendar year. Marvel's done this for years with some of its more popular titles. The idea is that because comics accrue order numbers and lose them slowly, you're bound to experience a second sale for that title in a month that is near the first one and the more prolific series will quickly find its own level near the one-title-a-month level, at least initially.

imageI'm not a fan of this practice for a few reasons. I think it encourages limited-range ordering and pushes creative resources into a few, rigid directions. In nearly every case, the extra issues necessitate some sort of mid-stream change in creative teams. Sustained, regular creator assignment is a recurring factor in nearly every high-quality series run on an American mainstream comic book. Switching creators mid-series also makes the title harder to track -- something exacerbated by the name changes and relaunches that are a regular thing in comics now. I know that I use the creative team as a identifier, and that I'm unable to when they're not consistent. It's a little thing, but comics bleeds from a thousand different cuts.

Taking the really long view, I would probably prefer this strategy to the classic one where there's a separate title launched starring a character that already has one, a title that sort of but not really overlaps with the core series. I mention that only because manipulating the market at the top end isn't ever a new strategy; companies have always tried to maximize sales on their best books, in many cases at the cost of a reliable stability that allows newcomers and don't-want-to-think-about-it people easy on and off series access.

I think the driving point here is that DC ends up doing this, they'll likely be rewarded. DC's reign as the responsible older brother of the comics direct market came to an end a few years back, and this is one more instance where they're both participating in and benefiting from something that may have long-term, malaise-style consequences. Whether we're geniuses building distribution-system stillsuits or hillbilly cannibals munching on our own extremities only time will tell.

for no particular reason, here's art featuring DC's Wildcat character
 
posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Sing With King At Christmas

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1943 Christmas Newspaper Strips

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* my valued peer Rob Clough needs some money, quickly. If you could spare $5, even, that would be a swell thing to do for someone who plays a key role in the comics industry as the front-line, first reviewer for so many young cartoonists.

image* Sean Gaffney on Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Vol. 4.

* I'm glad for this article by Jennifer De Guzman on sexual harassment in the comics industry. I'm still building thoughts for an article of my own, so I'm not in a place where I can fairly process someone else's. It's a reminder that comics has a huge bad behavior problem fueled by self-contempt which gets funneled into gender relationships as a primary expression in a way that makes its sexism different than that in the world at large while retaining its foundational injustices. I don't know that I can always judge what goes on at companies because a lot of that for legal reasons has to remain quiet, but my suspicion is that things are always worse than they appear. I also adamantly believe that most meaningful solutions start with personal inventory and subsequent action.

* Sean T. Collins talks to Heather Benjamin.

* Kim O'Connor writes about claims for D+Q's feminist legacy. That's the kind of article I get yelled at if I link to it and I get yelled at if I don't. I will also probably get yelled at for this sentence and the last one. As always, I trust in CR's readers to engage with any and all articles of interest and parse it on their own terms.

* finally, congratulations to Bill Kartalopoulos and Warren Bernard for their alt-weekly show at SOI being named to this list of best shows for 2015.
 
posted 3:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
December 20, 2015


Go, Look: Comets Comets

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
By Request Extra: Samandal Interview At TCJ

There's an interesting Alex Dueben interview with the editors of the Samandal anthology over at TCJ.

That group has been in the news for a crowd-funding campaign designed to make up some of the financial momentum lost to intense political dickery. We should pay more attention to anthologies in countries not the US than we do currently because they serve as a vital point of entry into specific comics scenes and have become a necessary place for comics to land given how much work is out there right now. If you're not giving to that crowd-funder, I hope you'll become aware of the work and of the comics-makers involved.
 
posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Read: James Bacon Visits The Comic Combatives Pop-Up Featuring Jack Kirby Art

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Popular Comics #139

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Rob Salkowitz picks the top five comics news stories of the year 2015. That's a good list, although I have different takes on a couple of those stories -- while supporting their inclusion.

image* Todd Klein on Survivors' Club #2. James Whitbrook on Superman: American Alien.

* not comics: totally missed this Matt Alt article from about three weeks ago that suggests the folding-in of anime imagery into military enterprise in Japan is a sign of that country's divided thinking about military efforts.

* Mark Evanier takes a letter about the way Star Wars is presented now as that might or might not compare to how creator credit is afforded in comic books, particularly for early creators. The answer is that George Lucas negotiated the way that work is presented as his own creation in a way comics creators were rarely afforded. The impact of people making that choice when they have that choice is an intriguing, but not what they get into here.

* Abhay Khosla goes to Star Wars 7. It's not comics, but there's material in there about self-loathing and accepting a weird sense of duty to consume a certain type of art because you're this kind of pre-registered fan that's pertinent to a lot of older geeks' experiences.

* finally, Dean Mullaney shares a comics in-joke.
 
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December 19, 2015


Go, Look: Rémi Farnos

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posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Angouleme Festival Releases Official Selections For 2016 Show

The Festival International de la Bande Dessinée held in Angouleme in late January has announced its official selections for the 2016 show. This is an honor in itself and also provides the nomination slate for the show's winning work. The festival also released nominations in its jeunesse (young persons), patrimonie (historical) and polar (crime/thriller) categories.

imageAs has been the case for several years now, the list includes the French-language versions of alt-press and mainstream US publications, in addition to tapping the latest from European and Asian authors familiar to English-langage audiences like Riad Sattouf and Inio Asano. Two books available here from top five American publishers include Outcast, Saga and Ms. Marvel. Among the alt-creators receiving the selection honor are Nicole Georges, Dash Shaw, Roz Chast, Anders Nilsen, Adrian Tomine, Richard McGire, Noelle Stevenson, Richard Corben and Simon Hanselmann. I'm sure I'm overlooking a bunch of folks and worthy projects.

Congratulations to all of the selections and to all of the folks involved in making them, named and unnamed. This should be an interesting as they're still shaking out how to do the Grand Prix/Next Year's President in a way that keeps the show relevant and exciting. I'm guessing the Sattouf book might be something of a favorite given its success and the political year just endured.

*****

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Selection Officielle

* Ajin #1, Gamon Sakurai e Tsuina Miura (Glénat)
* Allo, Dr Laura? Mémoires graphiques, Nicole J. Georges (Cambourakis)
* L'Arabe du futur #2, Riad Sattouf (Allary)
* Arsène Schrauwen, Ollie Schrauwen (L'Association)
* Carnet de santé foireuse, Pozla (Delcourt)
* Catharsis, Luz (Futuropolis)
* Cher pays de notre enfance, étienne Davodeau e Benoit Collombat (Futuropolis)
* Chiisakobe #1, Minetaro Mochizuki (Le Lézard noir)
* Combats, Daniel Goossens (Fluide Glacial)
* Doctors, Dash Shaw (Ca et La)
* En temps de guerre, Delphine Panique (Misma)
* Esprits des morts & autres récits d'Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Corben (Delirium)
* Est-ce qu'on pourrait parler d'autre chose?, Roz Chast (Gallimard)
* Une étoile tranquille -- Portrait sentimental de Primo Levi, Pietro Scarnera (Rackham)
* La Favorite, Matthias Lehmann (Actes Sud BD)
* La Fille de la plage #1, Inio Asano (IMHO)
* Fin, Anders Nilsen (Atrabile)
* Hans Fallada -- Vie et mort du buveur, Jakob Hinrichs (Denoel Graphic)
* Hiver rouge, Anneli Furmark (Ca et La)
* Ici, Richard McGuire (Gallimard)
* Les Intrus, Adrian Tomine (Cornélius)
* Joker, Benjamin Adam (La Pastèque)
* Letter 44 #1, Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque Charles Soule (Glénat)
* Megg, Mogg & Owl/Magical Ectasy Trip, Simon Hanselmann (Misma)
* Mortelle vinasse, Mai-Li Bernard (The Hoochie Coochie)
* Ms. Marvel #1, Gwendolyn Willow Wilson e Adrian Alphona (Panini)
* Murderabilia, Alvaro Ortiz (Rackham)
* Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (Dargaud)
* Outcast #1, Paul Azaceta Robert Kirkman (Delcourt)
* Un père vertueux, Ludovic Debeurme (Cornélius)
* Paci #3, Vincent Perriot (Dargaud)
* Le Piano oriental, Zeina Abirached (Casterman)
* La Renarde, Marine Blandin e Sébastien Chrisostome (Casterman)
* La République du catch, Nicolas de Crécy (Casterman)
* Saga #4, Fiona Staples et Brian K. Vaughan (Urban Comics)
* Tel qu'en lui-meme enfin, Killoffer (L'Association)
* Tu mourras moins bete #4, Marion Montaigne (Delcourt)
* Tumultes, Hugues Micol (Cornélius)
* Unlucky Young Men #1, Kamui Fujiwara e Eiji Otsuka (Ki-oon)
* Vive la marée!, David Prudhomme e Pascal Rabaté (Futuropolis)

*****

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La sélection patrimoine

* Barnaby, Crockett Johnson (Actes Sud / L'An 2)
* Cette ville te tuera, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Cornélius)
* Hergé -- Le feuilleton intégral vol.11: 1950-1958, Hergé (Casterman)
* L'Homme au landau et autres histoires, Jacques Lob (Cornélius)
* La Maison aux insectes, Kazuo Umezu (Le Lézard noir)
* Vater und Sohn -- Père et fils -- L'intégrale E. O. Plauen, Erich Ohser (Warum)
* Simon du Fleuve -- Intégrale 1, Claude Auclair (Le Lombard)

*****

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La sélection polar

* Inspecteur Kurokochi #1, Koji Kono Takashi e Nagasaki (Komikku)
* Olympia, Bastien Vivès, Ruppert & Mulot (Dupuis)
* Southern Bastards #1, Jason Latour et Jason Aaron (Urban Comics)
* Tungstène, Marcello Quintanilha (Ca et La)
* Undertaker #1, Ralph Meyer et Xavier Dorison (Dargaud)

*****

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La sélection jeunesse

* Alcibiade, Rémi Farnos (La Joie de lire)
* Dad #1 Filles a papa, Nob (Dupuis)
* Le Grand Méchant Renard, Benjamin Renner (Delcourt)
* Le Jardin de minuit, Edith, d'après Philippe Pearce (Soleil)
* A Silent Voice #1, Yoshitoki Oima (Ki-oon)
* Tempete au haras, Jérémie Moreau e Chris Donner (Rue de Sèvres)
* Ulysse Wincoop #1, Benjamin Bachelier e Marion Festraets (Gallimard)
* Victor & Clint, Marion Duclos (La Boite a bulles)
* Violette autour du monde #1, Stefano Turconi e Teresa Radice (Dargaud)
* L'Insubmersible Walker Bean #1, Aaron Renier (Sarbacane)

*****
*****
 
posted 9:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: 1929 Christmas-Related Newspaper Strips

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Go, Look: Original Will Eisner Art, Mid-1980s

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Go, Look: Prize Comics #5

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posted 3:28 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
FFF Results Post #441—The Year In Comics

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Specific Comics Publications You Enjoyed Reading In 2015." This is how they responded.

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. The Future of Comics, the Future of Men: Matt Fraction's Casanova, Geoff Klock
2. Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, Bill Schelly
3. The Hirschfeld Century: Portrait of an Artist and His Age, David Leopold
4. Lady Killer, Joelle Jones (pictured)
5. Samplerman (Tumblr), Yvan Guillo (Yvang)
.
*****

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Colin Panetta

1. Black River, Josh Simmons (pictured)
2. Monstress #1, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
3. Providence #1, Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows
4. Rat God #3, Richard Corben
5. Terror Assaulter O.M.W.O.T. (One Man War On Terror), Benjamin Marra

*****

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Sean Rogers

1. Heavenly Seas, Aidan Koch
2. King-Cat Comics #75, John Porcellino
3. Qviet, Andy Burkholder (pictured)
4. Soldier's Heart, Carol Tyler
5. Trash Market, Tadao Tsuge

*****

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Stephen Harrick

1. Amiculus: A Secret History, Travis Horseman and Giancarlo Caracuzzo
2. Drawn Onward, Matt Madden (pictured)
3. Henchgirl, Kristen Gudsnuk
4. The New Deal, Jonathan Case
5. The Oven, Sophie Goldstein

*****

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Anthony Stock

1. Art Comic #2 by Matthew Thurber
2. Crickets #4 by Sammy Harkham (pictured)
3. Island #3 by various
4. Mowgli's Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen
5. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #9 by Tom Scioli

*****

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Scott Stewart

1. Alter Ego magazine, Roy Thomas et al.
2. Black Rat, Cole Closser
3. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Roz Chast
4. CFA-APA, various
5. The Sculptor, Scott McCloud (pictured)

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Creepy Presents Alex Toth, Alex Toth
2. High Society (remastered edition), Dave Sim (pictured)
3. I Don't Hate Your Guts, Noah van Sciver
4. Providence #1-6, Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows
5. Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses #1-10, David Lapham

*****

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John Vest

1. Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984, Ed Piskor
2. Melody: Story Of A Nude Dancer, Sylvie Rancourt (pictured)
3. Mineshaft #31, Gioia Palmieri and Everett Rand
4. Ruins, Peter Kuper
5. Trashed, Derf

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

* Emma, Kaoru Mori
* Green Leader, Daniel Warren Johnson
* Nanjing: The Burning City, Ethan Young
* The Outside Circle, Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings
* Unflattening, Nick Sousanis (pictured)

*****

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Terry Eisele

* Baddawi, Leila Abdelrazaq
* Exquisite Corpse, Penelope Bagieu
* Just So Happens, Fumio Obata
* The Oven, Sophie Goldstein (pictured)
* Yo, Miss: A Graphic Look at High School, Kaycee Echhardt

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Colville, Steven Gilbert
2. Invisible Ink, Bill Griffith
3. Mowgli's Mirror, Olivier Schrauwen (pictured)
4. SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki
5. Tonya, Katie Skelly

*****

thanks to all that participated in 2015; this feature will return in 2016; if you're bored between now and then, send me some FFF ideas

*****
*****
 
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Video Parade Extra: CCA’s Comics In The City Lectures, 2015


Mike Mignola


Spike Trotman


Paul Madonna



Graduate Readings In Comics, In Two Parts

thank you, Matthew Silady
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from December 12 to December 18, 2015:

1. Bill Leak offends large groups of people with a Paris accords cartoon, in both its message and the path taken to get to that message.

2. Charlie Hebdo facilitates a donation to the victims of the Paris attacks.

3. Robert and Stephanie Denton will spend Christmas in Nova Scotia.

Winners Of The Week
The Dentons

Loser Of The Week
Leak

Quote Of The Week
"To laugh that we may not weep." -- Art Young

*****

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

*****
*****
 
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December 18, 2015


Go, Look: Barry Windsor-Smith Color Imagery

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Go, Look: Classic Bob Powell Story At WFMU Blog

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thanks, Buzz Dixon
 
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Not Comics: Sulamith Wulfing

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Go, Look: Christmas Dinners

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December 17, 2015


Eisner Judges Announced For 2016 Awards Program

imageThe Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have announced their slate of judges for 2016 through their partner and hosting organization Comic-Con International. They are:
* Brian Doherty, a senior editor at Reason who has written a number of times on comics.
* Danny Fingeroth, a mainstream comic book veteran who works with programming for the Wizard World shows.
* Jason Grazulis, a backbone of the New Orleans comics scene through his retail and community outreach efforts.
* Jason Poole, a kids librarian from upstate New York and occasional reviewer of comics.
* Natalie Powell, a two-decade board member at Comic-Con International.
* Carol Tilley, a renowned academic best known for her work with aspects of Frederik Wertham's career.
You can read much more coherent biographies at the Comic-Con site -- although you may have to search a bit, I couldn't find a direct link to that story.

I wish them all the good fortune in the world. I plan on attending this year's show in my newly traditional back row seat, and a good slate of nominees makes that more fun.
 
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Go, Look: Cartoonist X-Mas Covers At The Rocket

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Go, Read: Sam Thielman On Highbrow Comics

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I enjoyed Sam Thielman's primer for what the article calls highbrow comics; the prose is lively and there are a number of fine turns of phrase. It's fun to read.

It's also a pretty good list for something as broad as what's called for in an article like this one. It won't be everybody's list but I can see how it could be a useful one.
 
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Go, Read: James Bacon Does The NYC Superhero Stroll

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Donated Flight Miles Will Return Cartoonist And His Spouse To Canada From The UK

Robert and Stephanie Denton will spend Christmas with their daughter in Nova Scotia this year, having returned home from the UK via the backing of several people donating airline miles to make it happen. Robert Denton, described in the article as a cartoonist, has a degenerative condition that makes working difficult for the couple, and they had become stranded in the UK, unable to return to Canada. This generous campaign allows them to do so.

I don't have any real reason to run this article -- it's basically a feature article that just happens to feature a cartoonist. That said, it's a reminder of the difficulties of the profession at all levels, including the necessity of physical ability and good health in executing the work you need to do to meet your personal needs. It's also a nice Christmas story, people being creative and generous on the Dentons' behalf. I wish them the best in getting resettled.
 
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Go, Look: Firestorm Splash Pages

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Go, Look: Bunch Of John Byrne Superhero Pin-Up Galleries

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1, 2, 3, 4
 
posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Andy Oliver profiles the work of Alice Urbino. Alex Dueben talks to Riad Sattouf, one of the cartoonists of this exact moment.

* never seen these super-fun Sempé drawings before.

* not comics: not sure this is the most beautiful bookstore on earth or if it's simply one of the most beautiful spaces in which a bookstore has been placed, but either way it's fun looking at those photos. I think all comic shops are beautiful, even the horrible ones.

* that's a solid gag.

* finally, even though I didn't grow up with him, John Romita Sr.'s Spider-Man is My Personal Spider-Man, and always will be.
 
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December 16, 2015


OTBP: Space Jellyfish

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I've seen this Jesse Jacobs comic on sale at Spit And A Half and Copacetic Comics.
 
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Charlie Hebdo Makes Major Donation To Victims Of Paris Attacks

One of the questions after the murders of Charlie Hebdo staffers, creators and people in close proximity to the magazine back in January is what the magazine might do with the massive amount of money that came into the publication due to the event and what many felt was an important gesture to support the publication after that particular tragedy. This was revealed to be an even more difficult story when issues of ownership and fealty to those that continued to work on the publication were raised.

My impression is that a lot of that initial pressure was worked through internally. Charlie Hebdo has now responded to the recent attacks on Paris from a slightly different viewpoint: that of an institution people look towards at times like these. It will apparently facilitate a $4.4M (USD) donation to the government for the victims of the attacks, and has been the focal point of donations from interested people all over the world that remember Charlie Hebdo's role in a similar act of violence. That is a heck of a place for a cartoon magazine to occupy.
 
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Go, Look: Ronald Searle In 1950s Punch

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* exhibitor applications are open for Linework NW 2016 in May. That's the show that breaks down its two day show into one day purchases so as to better accommodate its giant community.

* I haven't seen many reports about CALA 2015, so I was glad for The Beat to run one. One observed fact that didn't make it into the many enthusiastic tweets is that there was a line outside the door and they could only have 100 people in at a time, which since this didn't happen last year is a likely sign that the show had some significant growth between last year and this one. I'm glad: LA needs an alt-show and this is is young enough for its core to be around for a couple of decades.

* another con piece at The Beat worth reading if you're interested in shows as a phenomenon is this gathering of links for a show that pulled a Vinko Bogataj. One way you know that cons are a thing right now with the general culture is that this doesn't happen a lot, in that shows and festival are so very much still a "show up and do it" venture, like a magic shop or a martial arts school. It could also be that we're reaching a saturation point where we get a few more of these stories over the next 18 months.

* Malta Comic Con reviewed.

* finally, I hadn't realized that the Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning had announced dates for 2016, let alone announced speakers.
 
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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on The Complete Peanuts, 1995 To 1996. Matt Brady on Jupiter's Legacy. Chad Nevett on Dreadstar #55.

* our pals on Team Trouble With Comics name comics from creators whose first major work came out this decade. It's a good list, although not the most rigorous one -- there are plenty of late 2000s first-debut cartoonists on that list, enough so that I'm sort of wondering after the early output of the very youngest creators out there.

* here are some members of that same group tackling neglected Alan Moore efforts.

* our stuffed bull related national nightmare is over (the substitute posts were very good, though).

* here's a march through the current Marvel "universe" as kind of a singular, story-generating entity with a nod towards some of the strategies that facilitate how those stories are shaped: for instance, Marvel has a bunch of team comics all bearing some variation on the Avengers title, and the foregrounding of the Inhumans continues. Poor Cyclops, though.

* finally, a plea for Alphabet Anthology. I hope that we can all spend some time this holiday season donating to projects we value.
 
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December 15, 2015


Go, Listen: Peter Kuper Interviewed By Gil Roth

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Bill Leak Cartoon About India And The Paris Climate Accords Draws International Fire

Here. It's a pretty standard article in terms of the shape of the pushback (from media in areas of spotlighted interested) and where the original cartoon comes from (a Murdoch newspaper). One thing that's a little bit different? The cartoon is slammed in two waves: first for the racist implications of its central message, then for the component parts of how that message is executed. That's not as common as you think, and indicates the constricting nature of Internet-based opinion-making as people seek out another rock to throw in order to win their point.

It strikes me as a really bad cartoon. What I can't tell is if there's a cynicism about it, that it's purposefully crude in order to generate some juice on its behalf, leading to articles of complaint like this one.
 
posted 9:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Chris Samnee Pin-Ups

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Go, Read: Rob Kirby’s List

imageThe cartoonist and critic Rob Kirby is widely-read in small press comics in a way that makes his annual list of recommended books and things a must-read even for his peers in the writing-about-comics trade. You should go here and read the full results, and see the list in the context intended book to book, but let's look at them list-wise here just to give you a taste of the range of works mentioned.
* Big Pussy, Gina Wynbrandt
* Black Rat, Cole Closser
* Black River, Josh Simmons
* Bright Nights, Jason Martin & Simon Moreton
* Class Photo, Robert Triptow
* "Dear Friend," by Summer Pierre (from the 'zine Where Are You Where Have You Been)
* Extra Good Stuff, Dennis Eichhorn & Various
* Frontier #8-10, Various
* Futchi Perf, Kevin Czapiesewski
* Ghost, Whit Taylor
* Gorilla Year #3, Cara Bean
* Inner City Romance, Guy Colwell
* It's Tuesday, Amanda Vahamaki
* King Cat Comics #75, John Porcellino
* Miseryland, Keiler Roberts
* Plans We’ve Made, Simon Moreton.
* Shirtlifter #5, Steve MacIsaac
* Summer Carnival, Jake Terrell
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki
* The Age of Selfishness, Darryl Cunningham
* The Elements of Rough #1, Max Clotfelter
* Time Capsule, Maggie Umber
There are a number of other listings that make a bit less sense in list form, so I'll skip 'em. Anyway, that's one of the lists you should definitely check out in its original form.
 
posted 9:15 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Heath Robinson Books From University Of Chicago Press

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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.

*****

SEP151585 WHITE BOY IN SKULL VALLEY COMP SUNDAYS 1933-1936 HC $75.00
This is one I've been looking forward to seeing for a long, long time. I hope my store carried it because I didn't have the cash to order it direct from Sunday Press Books. Garrett Price's strip has been one of the most-purchases for comics readers generation since we started at a few installments

imageSEP150937 TEST TUBE GN (MR) $14.95
This is a book I don't know about at all, but was recently the subject of a solid and compelling Anya Davidson write-up over at TCJ. A lot of us were introduced to Carlos Gonzalez' work through this profile by Matthew Thurber. Books like these are a solid argument not to do your damn top books list until you see and read all of the year's books.

OCT150506 AUTUMNLANDS TOOTH & CLAW #8 (MR) $2.99
OCT150517 HUCK #2 CVR A ALBUQUERQUE $3.50
OCT150518 HUCK #2 CVR B ALBUQUERQUE $3.50
OCT150537 INVINCIBLE #126 $2.99
SEP150598 SEX #26 (MR) $2.99
OCT150549 WICKED & DIVINE #17 CVR A MCKELVIE & WILSON (MR) $3.50
OCT150550 WICKED & DIVINE #17 CVR B GRAHAM (MR) $3.50
SEP158870 HOWARD THE DUCK #1 LIM GWENPOOL SKETCH 2ND PTG VAR $4.99
SEP158869 HOWARD THE DUCK #1 QUINONES 2ND PTG VAR $4.99
OCT150783 SQUADRON SUPREME #1 $3.99
OCT150789 STARBRAND AND NIGHTMASK #1 $3.99
OCT150793 WEIRDWORLD #1 $3.99
OCT151257 LUMBERJANES #21 $3.99
This seems to me a relatively light week in terms of big hits but a reasonably heavy one in terms of a lot of comic book format comics projects of note. The pacing in that Autumnlands book is really interesting because not a lot seems to happen on the page but the narrative propels itself forward in leaps and bounds. Huck seems like another Millar project that's more notes for a film project as opposed to a vigorously executed work; it just seems undercooked. I think it's reasonably popular thus far. Invincible is the last issue until a third of next year is gone. I'm continuing to read Sex for its somber 1980s-style world building. Wicked & Divine I enjoy reading quite a bit, although sometimes I get lost a bit in that one; which is generally good, you don't want every comic completely understandable plot-wise at all time by disinterested goofballs. I've read two of the new Howard The Duck issues and enjoyed the second one quite a bit. I still don't know how Howard works as an everyman these days. Here are three more comics in the Marvel definitely not a line-wide reboot effort that's been going on, god, like eight to ten weeks. It's hard for me to believe that the Starbrand and Nightmask title has a big audience out there for it, but that's one thing with mainstream comics: those that don't hit the formula right on the head you admire for the reasons they might struggle. It's been a three-year period now of some distinct surprises, too. And hey, the Lumberjanes.

OCT150327 JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS HOLIDAY SPECIAL $3.99
There's one listing every week that gets me all Lee Greenwood about comics, and this week it's this one. It's a wonderful, dumb thing we live in a world of wonderful, dumb things.

OCT150359 STAR TREK THE JOHN BYRNE COLLECTION TP $34.99
I'm not familiar with all of Byrne's work with the Star Trek but I enjoyed the 50-60 pages I've seen. I wonder if this is due a Marvel-style relaunch attempt at some point, although I suppose some would argue that the Abrams-era Star Trek comics have that quality already.

AUG158489 LCSD 2015 BITCH PLANET HC (MR) PI
I thought LCSD would stand for something far more cool than the Local Comic Shop Day promotion, but I like that promotion okay and certainly anything with the Bitch Planet name on it has to be paid attention to in order to understand the market right now.

SEP151460 ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 17 $10.99
SEP151461 ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 17 SPECIAL ED WITH DVD $19.99
OCT151811 DOROHEDORO GN VOL 17 (MR) $12.99
OCT151822 EMMA HC GN VOL 03 $35.00
Your popular manga volumes of the week, or at least what popped for me at first glance. Markedly different collection strategies are in evidence. I don't read any of these series, although I'll eventually catch up with all three, Emma first.

OCT151188 GRAMPA SIMPSONS CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE #1 $3.99
Again, that's a marvelous title. A book like that is the offspring of structural comics culture, which makes it more hilarious.

OCT151563 THIEVES AND KINGS GN VOL 01 ONE PEACE BOOKS ED $19.95
This is a print collection of cartoonist Mark Oakley's fantasy series, I believe as a webcomics with print collections from the old days of it being a Sim-Strategy self-published series. If there was an Internet back when Oakley first appeared on the scene the way there's one now, I'd be fascinated with how it would have treated the cartoonist. I would say that a lot of the public confession stuff is a distant memory, and Oakley's reputation can be figure out in a brand-new context.

OCT151521 HOT JAZZ MAX ZILLON & ALTO EGO GN (KNOCKABOUT) $18.95
Hunt Emerson is one of the ten most visually appealing cartoonists of our collective lifetimes, and you should probably want to own one of his books. I think I have a mid 1990s version that encompasses much of this material, but I'd be happy to buy it again.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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*****
*****
 
posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In NYC, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Lady Satans

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Paul O'Brien on What If? Infinity: X-Men #1.

* not comics: I've not watched the TV show starring Otto Binder and Al Plastino's Supergirl character, and some of the criticisms here sound strained, but I do think a lot of modern entertainment suffers from trying to satisfy an audience that's a bit all over the place yet also relatively jaded in terms of approaches they'll accept. Comics audiences got to this "give me what I remember/give my anything except what I remember" place first. If nothing else, I don't know a modern network TV show whose underlying story doesn't seem terribly accelerated, although that kind of churn has worked for a lot of series.

* Mark Thibodeau talks to Jason Karns.

* Charlotte Finn dissects an old Legion Of Superheroes storyline I don't remember at all in terms of comics like those might currently seek to engage with issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

* as a young man, I would have killed for all the previews of forthcoming comics, like this one. It's really handy if you pay attention to comics to have access to pages like that, even if you're not following the comic in question.

* finally, Augie De Blieck Jr. makes the case that we could more post-mortem type analysis in comics, by pointing to Mark Crilly doing something similar recently vis-a-vis his Akiko. I mean, I would hope in some sense that the longer interviews provide that kind of look at certain comics, but an industry ethos where that's expected would be interesting.
 
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What Turning 47 Feels Like

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December 14, 2015


Go, Look: Advent Calendar

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Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

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By Tom Spurgeon

* another Mineshaft is imminent. I bet that's the publication for cartoonists whose highest percentage of readers is working cartoonists. Just a guess, though.

image* Julia Wertz announced she'll be doing a series of illustrations for Harper's.

* I don't have a significant sense to changes in the basic Marvel Comics setting after this latest "Secret Wars" round of "this changes everything" mini-series, but there are few things here and there that that company's fans are treating like important things: a soft reboot for Dr. Doom for one, and another being a potential repurposing of Galactus. It'll be interesting if the more drastic changes take place with the characters licensed to non-Marvel studios, as those are some of their oldest, most Marvel-defining creations.

* Bruce Canwell provides a broad update of goings-on at Library Of American Comics.

* the ROM character is returning, but not to Marvel: IDW will launch a series through Free Comic Book Day.

* it's publishing news only in the broadest sense, but apparently we've had 10 years of Gallimard.

* finally, Valiant announced a new round of European market partnerships. I kept forgetting to post this. They've been a patient company.

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posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

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

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posted 3:20 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Wolverine Pin-Up Gallery

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on The Oven.

* not comics: I didn't read this article, but I have wondered how newspapers arrange deadlines in the digital era. That was the one slam-dunk reality of working on a print newspaper: your deadline, which was not just enforced by the need to have the paper out, it had to be met so your printing and distribution staff didn't go on overtime and start earning 3X their pay.

* Benito Cereno profiles Jack Cole. Greg Hunter talks to Dylan Horrocks. Those good people at Deconstructing Comics have a chat up with another good person, Craig Thompson.

* Edge City is closing down. I look forward to seeing what artist Terry LaBan does next in collaboration with wife Patty or without. Congratulations to them on a long run. Fifteen years isn't just a long time to do any job these days, it's a standard contract plus extension. On those crucial terms, this was a successful strip. I think there's a model for newspaper distribution that works out there, and my hunch is strips that last 15 years will be a high-end component of where we end up if this form continues.

* what Christmas Carol would make the best Kirby comic?

* finally, here's Brigid Alverson on John Allison and Giant Days.
 
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December 13, 2015


Go, Look: John Broadley

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posted 10:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Reports: Authorities Seek Arrest Of Baha Yassin

West Bank authorities have apparently issued an arrest warrant for the cartoonist and caricaturist Baha (or Bahaa) Yassin for giving offense to comics work he posted to his Facebook account. Two cartoons are in question. One was posted and taken down, the other replaced the first. Both use a combination of blunt imagery (rape) and symbolism (a yellow dress; figures in caricature). Yassin is not in a part of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority but the warrant provides authority for him to be picked up if he does move into one of those areas. It seems as if this is one of those stories were the point of the cartoon is deftly side-stepped in favor of judging the individual depictions devoid of their context in building a specific, political point.

Unlike a lot of a cartoonist-arrest stories where the cartoons themselves are hopelessly benign if not banal by western standards, Yassin's cartoons generally and the two cartoons in question are violent, direct and constitute aggressive commentary. You can see them here. I mention that not because in a civilized nation and world these would be any less protected, but that any news story involving speech issues has the possibility of developing differently if the imagery is strong.
 
posted 9:55 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Andrew Degraff’s Movie-Maps

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posted 9:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
AV Club Picks Its Best Comics Of 2015

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Here. What might be most interesting in this age of split lists and joke lists and lists by critics is that this is a good ol' all-in-one list from the popular site.

* Bacchus Vol. 1, Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)
* Bright-Eyed At Midnight, Leslie Stein (Fantagraphics)
image* Corto Maltese, Hugo Pratt (IDW) (pictured left)
* Deep Dark Fears, Fran Krause (Ten Speed)
* Displacement, Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics)
* Dressing, Michael DeForge (Koyama)
* Fante Bukowski, Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics) (top)
* House Of Hem, Fred Hembeck (Marvel)
* The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ And Amal, E.K. Weaver (Iron Spike)
* Lighten Up, Ronald Wimberly (Web)
* March: Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* The Nib's Eat More Comics, various (self-published)
* Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (Harper)
* One-Punch Man, ONE and Yusuke Murata (Viz)
* Poetry Is Useless, Anders Nilsen (Drawn & Quarterly) (bottom)
* Private Eye: Deluxe Edition, Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente (Image)
* Russian Olive To Red King, Kathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen (AdHouse)
* The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition, Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams III, and Dave Stewart (Vertigo)
* Shigeru Mizuki's Hitler, Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Sunny, Taiyo Matsumoto (Viz)
* Step Aside, Pops, Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
* The Divine, Boaz Lavie, Asaf Hanuka, and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
* Trash Market, Tadao Tsuge (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Two Brothers, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (Dark Horse)
* Virgil, Steve Orlando, J.D. Faith, and Chris Beckett (Image)

A few things stand out. One is that there are a bunch of books on this list I've seen on few others, a sign of the critical spread and lack of consensus that exists these days. This list honors Ron Wimberley's fine on-line essay "Lighten Up" as its own comic, which is smart. It's also nice to see the Leslie Stein whenever that appears on someone's list.

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OTBP: De Hooch

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posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Bob Corby has decided to crowdfund his SPACE prize, one of the oldest prizes giving to alt-/indy work in North America, if not the oldest. That is money well-spent, and I hope you'll consider it, particularly if you're in Columbus.

* the artist Steve Lieber would like you to know that the art he's put into his shop to help pay for his furnace replacement doesn't constitute an emergency, just a desire to maybe pay for that home improvement with a little digital manipulation in terms of what's out there to sell. I just think it's fun looking at what he sells.

* last several hours for the latest Evan Dahm effort.

* the Alphabet Anthology Samandahl projects are still ongoing and could use some attention.

* not comics: Trash Twins on Patreon.

* finally, the great Gilbert Hernandez was still doing commissions for Christmas as of a week ago. You might check now for the holidays, but it sounds like any time after the holidays is still a go today and moving forward.
 
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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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Not Comics: Ralph McQuarrie Battlestar Galactica Concept Drawings I Don’t Remember Existing

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Henry Chamberlain on Extra Good Stuff.

* Phoebe Gloeckner tells stories of San Francisco.

* yikes.

* James Whitbrook pairs Marvel comics with their TV/film equivalents. You'd think this would just be part of the publishing plan, and not on a one-to-one basis, necessarily. DC sold a truckload of Joker graphic novels when the Joker-heavy Batman movie

* here is Ann Telnaes on the politics of fear.

* not sure I've ever seen this Jean-Claude Forest effort before.

* I try to avoid running links to stories that are just repurposed rather than contextualized or archived, but it's interesting to see John Byrne inked by Andy Kubert.

* finally, I don't know what's going on here, but I fully approve.
 
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December 12, 2015


Go, Read: Art Spiegelman Appreciates Art Young In Harper’s

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Go, Look: Robert Boyd Picks A Top 25 For 2015

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This is an interesting list, thoroughly unpacked for us, made by a steady, veteran hand.
 
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If I Were In Seattle, I’d Go To This

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FFF Results Post #440—Follow Follow Follow

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five Favorite Comics-Related Follows On Twitter." This is how they responded.

*****

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Joe Gordon

* @johnfreeman_dtb
* @AcmeDarryl
* @inkybat
* @thingsbydan
* @beatonna

*****

image

Buzz Dixon

1. @LenWein
2. @marvwolfman
3. @comicsreporter
4. @TheRealStanLee
5. @evanier

*****

image

Kiel Phegley

1. @andicomics
2. @Fotosdecomics
3. @grickle
4. @gerryconway
5. @FakeSteranko

*****

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Michael May

1. @jeffparker
2. @gabrielhardman
3. @CorinnaBechko
4. @kellysue
5. @ronmarz

*****

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RJ Casey

* @mercurialblonde
* @reliablecomics
* @RIPMeghan
* @adambuttrick
* @ThomasRagon

*****

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John Platt

1. @kellysue
2. @MattBors
3. @RosemaryMosco
4. @melgillman
5. @_katie_lane

*****

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Karl Ruben Weseth

1. @britney_spheres
2. @lisadraws
3. @OliverSava
4. @royalboiler
5. @thechrishaley

*****

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Sean Kleefeld

1. @DavidGallaher
2. @HeroesInColor00
3. @JulianDarius
4. @ben_towle
5. @jonrosenberg

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. @xaimeh
2. @thorazos
3. @schweizercomics (pictured)
4. @zdarsky
5. @mercurialblonde

*****

image

Brian Moore

1. @thomasragon
2. @neilaglet
3. @jonrosenberg
4. @acmedarryl
5. @bluebed

*****

image

Oliver Ristau

1. @anna_haifisch
2. @laburrini
3. @alis_samp
4. @ADACTIVITY
5. @fruchtdrop

*****

image

Dave Knott

* @snubpollard
* @factualopinion
* @comicsreporter
* @britney_spheres
* @inkstuds

*****

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Tim O'Shea

* @gabrielhardman
* @ktsssssmith
* @CSpeedMcNeil
* @MiniB622
* @jpalmiotti

*****

image

Stergios Botzakis

1. @TheKyleStarks
2. @evandorkin
3. @nickspencer
4. @PDean_Yeah
5. @EricaFails

*****





*****





*****





*****





*****





*****





*****





*****

thanks to all that participated

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


Black Art Matters Panel At SPX 2015


Comic Culture With Brian John Mitchell


Rob Rogers Profiled


Steve Benson Draws A Turkey


Profile Of Matthew Inman As A Runner


Not Comics: Hayao Miyazaki On Humanity In Animation

 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from December 5 to December 11, 2015:

1. Zunar's sedition trial delayed until at least late January, and likely until ruling on nature of that law as applied in his case.

2. Linework NW announces for late May 2016, pretty much locking down the first six months of the 2016 festival and con calendar. It's a busy half-year, with a post-Paris Angouleme, a crowded April and a TCAF off of

3. Comic Arts Los Angeles enjoys what seems like was a successful second year, further cementing a place in the Los Angeles cartooning community and on the festival calendar.

Winner Of The Week
Portland, getting at least one more year of their arts-comics and illustration show.

Loser Of The Week
All of us, for the passing of Shigeru Mizuki -- as is becoming clear from some of the really interesting writing being done about the late cartoonist and cultural icon.

Quote Of The Week
"Besides sheer exhaustion, there's also widely recognized fact that being a syndicated cartoonist isn't what it was. It's rare to meet anyone who reads a newspaper anymore, at least anyone under the age of 50. Comic strips, which once occupied a place at the center of pop culture, have fallen completely off most people's radar. As much as we love it, it's depressing to work in a form that seems to have lost its relevance and is, for the most part, ignored." -- Terry Laban

*****

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

*****
*****
 
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December 11, 2015


Go, Look: Classic Cover Recreations

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If I Were In London, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In The East Bay, I’d Go To This

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December 10, 2015


Go, Look: Guillaume Singelin

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Go, Read And Watch: SAW Profiled

Jordanne Laurito profiles Sequential Artist Workshop, the place for learning about comics that is owned and operated by Leela Corman and Tom Hart. It is located in beautiful Gainesville, Florida. My old friend John Ronan teaches there and if you turn your TV off and open a window, you might be able to hear him taking attendance.

Two reasons I bring it up here at CR. One is that a bunch of this stuff was new to me; the physical plant is different than it was several years ago, or seems that way. Two is that we're in the year-end of charitable giving, which I hope is important to you. There's so much good a bit of money could do, and the efforts at SAW are as deserving as any in comics.
 
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Go, Look: Daniel Wyke

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Newsarama: DC Instigating A Writing Development Program

Here. A few CR readers asked me what I thought. I'm afraid if I don't comment immediately on something it usually means that my thoughts are pretty ordinary or don't exist. In addition, I'm uncertain if there's been further reporting on this particularly that might change the following opinion-making. Apologies in advance.

It seems to me there are two things at play in that article: one is the idea of a development program, the other is that the highly-regarded mainstream comics writer Scott Snyder will be managing it. Teaching has been one of Snyder's main gigs in adulthood more generally, so he's suited to do that. Development programs make sense where there's a gap between the kind of creative work companies need to fulfill the mandates of their publishing lines and the talent that's available to them. I thought DC not having the talent across the board necessary to match the fundamental ambition of their New 52 relaunch initiative was a big factor in it eventually listing sideways. I think Marvel has some talent issues, too, right now, as more and more creators seize opportunities at Image or take other gigs that might keep them from a second or third book with such publishers.

So I would assume both companies would be looking into talent development, whether through a program like this or something unofficial, like the way art directors both official and unofficial used to communicate desirable techniques and strategies back in the day, or the way editors have done this in the past as well, to the point of madness the way some writers see things. Taking that off the table and into its own thing makes sense in terms of workflow and creative dynamics. DC working more closely in any way with Scott Snyder makes sense, because that's a talent they can employ book to book for the next two decades if they can convince him to stick around. Making his class the template also makes sense considering the success his books have garnered and the fact they've used past students of his on a few assignments. I also think it will be beneficial to DC in Burbank to expose themselves to new blood outside of hardcore comics circles, and I have to imagine this program could do that.

So unless I'm missing something, it makes sense all around. Even if you see mainstream companies as benefiting greatly from a bit of looseness down the charts, in that they can try out any number of untested talents on short runs and minor characters because that's where the next burst of the status quo come from, as I do, 1) there needs to be a current status quo against which the new way of doing things can push, 2) both of the big two companies are super-conservative right now. The structure junkie in me wins this time out; the little kid who colors outside the lines loses -- if only according to the "yeah, that makes sense" standard.
 
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Go, Look: Toby Goodshank Has An Etsy Store

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By Request Extra: Steve Lieber Has A New Furnace

It's true. Mr. Lieber has added work to his Etsy store in the hope that this might facilitate some money that might go to that new furnace. Comics people are so out there and extravagant. Lieber's a fun artist, so it's nice to see what he has for sale and how much he charges; he's also a good guy and a valued pro so if you can help by helping yourself, why wouldn't you?
 
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Go, Look: Bryn Adams

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Collective Memory: CALA 2015

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this article has been archived
 
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Go, Look: My Black Skin Is Not An Invitation

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via
 
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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* great catch by Johanna Draper Carlson here that comiXology accounts will merge into Amazon.com accounts with -- by definition -- unknown consequences. Sean Kleefeld opines.

image* I don't do a lot of comics spotlights in this column, but the creator of this webcomic was nice enough to write in and ask for a bit of attention. I'm full up with "go looks" for a while, so this entry will have to do!

* with that in mind, it's so great to have on-line comics from Jillian Tamaki.

* I also got a note from David Chelsea, who's doing an on-line comic restricted to Patreon, with an overflow Tumblr. Please consider signing up. David runs most of what he does through his web site, including links to permutations of this project. That site is here.

* I'm not finding the writer, but some nice person or persons at CBC Books names some of the webcomics they'd like to see in different media.

* I got some grief for posting a link last week to an archival-project site. Does anyone know if there's a different standard for digital archiving without buying rights than that established in the National Geographic ruling. In other words, can you still make DVD and ostensibly web site by capture the publication page rather than repurposing or re-presenting material? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

* finally, Gary Tyrrell takes a look at some of the best comics of the year lists from a webcomics point of view.
 
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If I Were In Austin, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Asthma Simpson The Village Queen

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen. Alec Berry on Crickets #4.

* not comics/by request special: Tom Fowler has a tabletop gaming art book in the crowd-funding stages I've missed until now. It will expire before the column returns, so please go pay attention to it now.

* hey, micropayments chapter 43.

* I guess one of the mainstream-oriented sites is picking favorite Captain America stories. I think with that long run whose uniting factor was the writer Ed Brubaker putting things over the top, there are a ton of pretty readable, fun Captain America comic books: the 1960s Kirby era, the 1970s super-spy stuff, the 1970s bonkers Kirby run, the Roger Stern/John Byrne stuff, and then the Brubakers all spring to mind as being pretty fun books. My favorite is the "Sleeper" story in Tales Of Suspense, I think issues #72-74.

* finally, Mike Lynch notes a Donald Trump's Head On Calvin's Body meme.
 
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December 9, 2015


Go, Look: Invisible Patients

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Go, Read: Zack Davisson On The Late Shigeru Mizuki

Here. I very much enjoyed reading this, an appreciation that encompasses the late cartoonist for not just the accomplishments in that art form but for his foundational place in Japanese pop culture, and thus world culture. I can't imagine you'll read anything else today with this article's chance to change you look at comics in general and this comics-maker specifically.

Update: Here's another fine piece, from Matt Alt.
 
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Go, Look: Andy Douglas Day

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Festivals/By Request Extra: SPACE Prize Crowd-Funder

imageHere's something I completely missed until the second round of e-mailed PR: Bob Corby and his SPACE show are running a modest crowd-funder for the SPACE prize. I'm all for cash prizes from institutions. SPACE is Columbus' small-press/indie show of longtime standing; it shares with the now much grander SPX a common origin of the Spirit Of Independents tour organized by Dave Sim and other self-publishers in the mid-1990s.

SPACE has been an extremely important show for the cartoonists here in central Ohio, and has been a regular stop for small-press icons like John Porcellino for years now. I'm sure any money contributed will be well-spent and go to the encouragement of some deserving cartoonist out there.

Here's a PDF of the latest PR, for a more extensive explanation of this move by this awards program at this time: spaceprizecrowdfunder.pdf

that's an older version of one of their icons; I just like it, so I'm using it here
 
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Go, Look: Leslie Weibeler

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Festivals Extra: Linework NW Announces For May 2016

image

I'm very fond of the Linework NW show put on by Zack Soto and Francois Vigneault. It's a great, intimate neighborhood show where everything kind of sticks around a walkable 8-10 blocks. They even have a little bar right off the exhibition floor. Spring in Portland is lovely, and the audience is a natural one for funnybooks. I see it as a show that might be better off staying small, and thus might serve as a role-model for shows across the country that don't wish to blast past 200 exhibitors or whatever.

All shows are fragile, so I was wondering if this one would come off. I'm glad to see it will, and hope to attend.

With this announcement, I think a full slate has been set through June -- I'd be surprised if anyone announced a show earlier than July 1 that at this point, in other words.
 
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Go, Look: Some Cool-Looking Cal Massey Art

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Go, Look: December

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

image

By Tom Spurgeon

* here's an article about the hoops one must jump through in order to attend Comic-Con International. One of the weird things about festivals coverage on this site and others is that it's extremely oriented towards the professional experience, if not a minor subset of that experience. Interest in Comic-Con International and other successful shows from fans and attendees is a very different thing. I'm not sure we always write with that in mind.

* here's a super-interesting facebook comments thread from Tom Neely, whom you should invite to be a special guest of your show. My part is boring, but the rest of it is good. I really do think it's just history that makes for this tremendously large group that is inclined towards the bottom half of a special guest. One piece of history that will work in these folks' favor, something I don't mention in that thread, is that fewer people are traveling outside their region to shows just to do shows, so I think special guest lists -- already sizable -- will bump up a bit as cons and festivals look to bring people in to supplement their local base.

* this is traditionally the period of rest from comics shows, and that's mostly true this year. There's still some creep from a couple of regional shows, and I think there are a couple in the Southwest right after the new year. Angouleme is certainly right around the corner in terms of "you better have your arrangements made now or not at all." In fact, I'd suggest taking a look at next year's show really soon to see what the deadlines are like.

* finally, the folks behind Silicon Valley Comic Con have announced their intention to place a similar show into Tokyo.
 
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Not Comics: John Bauer

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Go, Look: Marshall Rogers Inked By Terry Austin

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Gaffney on Tokyo ESP Vol. 1. Todd Klein on Green Lantern #45. Sean Gaffney on Lucifer And The Biscuit Hammer Vols. 9-10.

* Chris Arrant talks to Rafael Grampa.

* Bob Temuka writes about the Fantastic Four not being relaunched. I think that comic has been a bit doomed since it became clear back in 2008 that Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch weren't going to make it a line-altering hit at a time in their respective careers where that seemed likely-to-inevitable. I think maybe it's just a tired bunch of characters in terms of audience appeal, because a lot of the recent comics starring those characters have been very good mainstream American comic books, and a lot of the writers in particular have avoided the "they're a family" explanation for the comic book's success which I think is an invention of Stan Lee's Hollywood ambition and a resulting need to emphasize concept over execution. I only ever need to read the original 100 or so issues, but I'm fond of those characters and hope someone will eventually find a way to use them in a fun, honorable way in future comics.

* Devlin Thompson makes me jealous. I own no comics-related crap right now and I would clear an entire shelf for that thing.

* Heidi MacDonald writes about Frank Miller, doing the Dark Knight-related rounds as an Older Cartoonist Who Says Things. My memory is that people didn't get into Elektra Lives Again because Miller's core audience was mostly a lot of young people, folks who went to high school with that first Dark Knight series and spent the summer of sixth grade reading Daredevil, and that book was comparatively really expensive for a comic at the time. I could get all the missing Ed The Happy Clown comics I was missing for the money they were asking for that book. Elektra Lives Again is a fun comic, though, if my memory serves: I read it when I started working at Fantagraphics.

* finally, Michael Dooley writes about the recent Alice In Wonderland art exhibition in Burbank.
 
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December 8, 2015


Go, Look: Zach Hazard Vaupen

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Brief Zunar Update: Trial Delayed Again; Probably Delayed Until Intention Ruling On Sedition

Zunar sent out a quick note early in the week to note that, as I think was expected, the December trial date for his multiple sedition charges isn't going to happen. A new date has been sent for January 28, although the note also indicates that the case is likely to be postponed further until some designations are made in some some supporting rulings filed on the cartoonist's behalf about the nature of sedition law applied in cases like his.

As always, we hope for the most beneficial outcome and remain agog at this second round of legal maneuvers by police authorities following a first round that at least could be partly explained away -- although never excused -- by structural ignorance concerning how satire works.
 
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Go, Look: Nostalgia

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brought back to attention various places
 
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Your Comics-Related Offerings On The 2015 CBC Books List

image"Graphica" is a significant component of the CBC best-books list, recently released.
* Don't Get Eaten By Anything, Dakota McFadzean
* Drawn & Quarterly 25, Various
* First Year Healthy, Michael Deforge
* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine
* Moonshot, Various, Hope Nicholson (Editor)
* Russian Olive to Red King, Kathryn Immonen & Stuart Immonen
* Step Aside, Pops, Kate Beaton
* Subway Stations of the Cross, Ins Choi & Guno Park
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki
* The Outside Circle, Patti LaBoucane-Benson & Kelly Mellings
If there's anything the lists have proven this year it's that 1) we're in a golden age of pretty good; lots of candidates and fewer and fewer laughable choices to fill out slots; 2) consensus is rare and fleeting. Even those books that show up on multiple lists seem to do so from a variety of perspectives -- making broad rather than making specific their reputation.
 
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Go, Look: Young Love #8

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Go, Read: A Cartoonist Confronts Extremeitis

This interview with the cartoonist Chitra Padmanabhan spends a lot of time on contextual nuances for how work is received in the Indian marketplace, but even the most strained comparisons intrigue because of how little we get a discussion of Indian cartooning in English-language publications generally.

Some of this strikes me as overthought, like cutting an overlay after you get a snapshot of the landscape so that some of the holes match up for sure. I love a lot of the thinking, though, the desire to understand, say, the balance between being able to learn from any tradition the Internet can bring you and limiting yourself to a school because of physical proximity. A lot of the analysis applies to the way US cartooning organizes itself.
 
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Go, Look: Howie Schneider Cartoons

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Go, Look: Alex Delaney

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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.

*****

AUG150072 PLANETES OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $19.99
This is an odd week, full of gift items, the nascent Marvel line offerings and the kinds of of book about which Jog writes so well. I'll start off by recommending a comic for which I wasn't hot back in the day, Makoto Yukimura's Planetes. Trust me, I was just about the only one not enthused to a severe degree. This is a consumer's column rather than a review one, so I have no qualms placing a well-crafted comic like this one in the lead-off role, and this looks like a cool enough presentation I'll probably go back and look at it again. Great concept: those responsible for debris collection in space.

imageOCT150515 HEAD LOPPER #2 CVR A MACLEAN $5.99
OCT150516 HEAD LOPPER #2 CVR B ALLRED $5.99
OCT150055 ABE SAPIEN #29 $3.50
OCT150521 WALKING DEAD #149 (MR) $2.99
OCT150522 WE STAND ON GUARD #6 (MR) $2.99
OCT150807 GWENPOOL SPECIAL #1 $5.99
OCT150797 SCARLET WITCH #1 $3.99
SEP150894 RACHEL RISING #38 $3.99
This week's comic-book comics are a bit all over the place. I enjoyed the pair of issues in the Head Lopper series I read, a kind of Beowulf-style, limited-character fantasy with a lot of refined cartoon verve coming from the art. Those books are extra long, thus the price. That issue of Abe Sapien is our Mignola-verse player of the week; I think that series gets phased out pretty soon, or at least this version of it. Walking Dead may never end. I like how stately the pace has been in the last half-dozen issues when I figured things were about to roar to life. We Stand On Guard I think ends its first arc with that issue, if not the title itself. It made me distrust Canadians, so it had that going for it. Following that comics is two from Marvel's ongoing roll-out of new comics sort of near the end of Secret Wars. I guess that first one is a special. I'm happy they're making as much as they can of the various female characters they own, for the kids for whom such characters are important. Rachel Rising is 38 issues in, all respect. It's great to have titles by cartoonists after they've completely their first-line-of-obit works.

SEP150325 FLINCH TP BOOK 01 (MR) $16.99
This is a horror anthology featuring a bunch of creators not exactly known for their horror work, or anything two connections near the horror-comic part of town, which means I'm checking it out next time I'm in a comics shop. My memory is that there was a lot of humor.

SEP151088 SNOW GN (MR) $12.00
This is an honest to god mini-franchise and has to be one of the last remaining Xeric Grant winners still finding a place out there on the racks. I like the look of it, and look forward to the comic.

SEP151289 NIGHT AND THE ENEMY GN $12.95
This is a little bit less than 100 pages of short-story science fiction comics featuring Harlan Ellison working with Ken Steacy; I generally liked these when they first appeared, I think in Epic or one of the weird Warren ones.

OCT151502 DIFFERENT UGLINESS DIFFERENT MADNESS HC (MR) $19.95
Marc Malès has one of those lovely mainstream BD styles and I sure as hell would look at a western he's done. It's amazing we get comics like that because it makes no sense that they would do well.

JUL151475 WALKING WOUNDED UNCUT STORIES FROM IRAQ HC $24.99
I like the way this one looks, and I don't pay enough attention to NBM's line outside of a few, favorite cartoonists. I'm not the audience for works about soldiers or war that emphasize the person doing the interacting as opposed to just telling those stories straight-up, but I'm all about the various permutations of documentary and memoir.

MAR150315 SANDMAN GALLERY ED HC (MR) $175.00
Here's your Christmas present of the week: DC's version of one of those big fancy books that everyone's doing right now, this one featuring work from Sandman series, including a lot of stand-alone imagery.

JUL151541 SMURFS MONSTERS GN $5.99
JUL151542 SMURFS MONSTERS HC $10.99
Oh, hey, more NBM. I'm always happy to check out whatever the heck they publish in service of Peyo's impressive work -- hell, I'm even interested in seeing some of the derivative work, if you tell me it's worth noting. The kids I know that used be fiends for this work have aged past a bit; luckily that hasn't happened to me, yet. I love that they do the hardcover and softcover the same day. That seems like nothing, but it was a psychological hurdle that took comics a very long time.

OCT150440COLLECTED ESSEX COUNTY LTD ED HC PI
Here's are other big Christmas present, Jeff Lemire's extremely well-regarded trilogy of stories coming solidly from a Canadian prose tradition for that kind of work. I think it's the one he was selling this summer and into the fall at various festivals and cons, if you happened to catch him there.

*****

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: Eisner And Fine In National Comics #13

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Go, Look: Steve Rogers Explains Pearl Harbor (Sort Of)

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Todd Klein on Superman #44 and Green Lantern: Lost Army #5. Sean Gaffney on The Disappearance Of Nagato Yuki-Chan Vol. 8. Johanna Draper Carlson on Ooku: The Inner Chambers Vol. 11. Zainab Akhtar on Alone 4: The Red Cairns.

* not comics: haven't read the article yet, but I'm always happy to see illustration work from Aidan Koch.

* it's 2015 and there are still columns at major publications where all the comics are seemingly made by five or six companies whose primary purview is the same kind of comics I was reading and enjoying at 12. I still enjoy those kinds of comics now, I really do, and I'm glad for whatever people wish to enjoy. Still, I'm so happy that my own reading and the reading of so many of us now extends to a few dozen publishers, maybe two hundred artists whose work is self-published or published at a number of places, multiple traditions of comics, an army of comics on-line, and bunches of comics from different countries. I feel my life is richer for it.

* the more comics change, the more they're used for the same old thing.

* finally, J. Caleb Mozzocco has love for the variant covers adorning Dark Knight III. Well, the ones with Batman on a horse, anyway.
 
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December 7, 2015


Go, Look: Warren Publishing Archive

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reminder from Paul Di Filippo; thanks, Paul
 
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Go, Look: A Few From Poor Arnold’s Almanac

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Go, Look: Gerhard

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Go, Look: A Handsome Mat Brinkman Page

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Go, Look: Leslie’s Flight Got Canceled

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Go, Read: Rachel Cooke’s Best Graphic Books For 2015

imageHere. I'm all for a list that assumes you know someone that is an Anthony Trollope fan. This a treatment by general area and in paragraph/essay rather than in list form. The books mentioned are:
* Death Of The Artist, Karrie Fransman (Cape)
* Dispossession, Simon Grennan, (Cape) (pictured)
* Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics and Graphic Novels, Various (D+Q)
* Hysteria, Richard Appignanesi And Oscar Zarate (SelfMadeHero)
* Invisible Ink, Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics)
* Killing And Dying, Adrian Tomine (D+Q)
* Lucia, Andy Hixon (Cape)
* Pablo, Julie Birmant And Clement Oubrerie (SelfMadeHero)
* Red Rosa, Kate Evans (Verso)
* Space Dumplins, Craig Thompson (Scholastic)
* Step Aside, Pops!, Kate Beaton (Cape)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy (D+Q)
* The Arab Of The Future, Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan)
* The Art Of Flying, Antonio Altarriba (Cape)
* The Inflatable Woman, Rachael Ball (Bloomsbury)
* The Pillbox, David Hughes (Cape)
* Wheels Of Terror, Jordy Diago (W&N)
That's a nice list of works to read, which is what these lists are usually all about.
 
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Go, Look: Lolli’s Pop

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some lively cartooning here
 
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Go, Look: Marvel’s Mondo Print Images

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Jerry Smith on The Invincible Iron Man Epic Collection Vol. 1. Todd Klein on Vertigo Quarterly: SFX: Krak! Sean Gaffney on Log Horizon: Game's End Vol. 1. Kelly Thompson on Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Andy Oliver on Frontier #9.

* I missed wishing a happy 12th to prime-class blogger Mike Sterling, so let me do so now.

* Michael Cavna walks through the year in comics news.

* Bruce Canwell proves there are always going to be good ideas for comics-related internet posts by showing some of the Sunday comics people were encountering as we roared into war with Japan back in December 1941.

* Paul Gravett profiles Hanamura Eiko. Tom Racine talks to Bill Morrison.

* finally, Mark Evanier writes at some length about an attempt to make comics out of The Wiz.
 
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December 6, 2015


Go, Look: Cyrille Micallef

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By Request Extra: Chip Zdarsky Donates Comics To Benefit Syrian Refugee Family

This is a nice thing, which is good because I completely missed running something when running something could have driven traffic to the auctions in question. Anyway, the cartoonist and writer Chip Zdarsky put a wildly popular variant-cover comic to use in benefiting a charitable effort, with a more standard signed book as a secondary offering. Over $4000 was raised, which is great. Comics people don't get enough credit in specific circumstances or in general for how generous they can be with their time and their work, so I'm happy that the weirdness of the variant cover angle brings some attention to such a circumstance.

I would expect if comics start to settle into more and more of the real-world patterns for consumption that the charity efforts will start to mirror how a lot of people give, too. That will mean some attention to year-end giving, which beats the shit out of the news we were reporting 20 years ago, which was people being fired. In addition to general giving, I hope that everyone out there has a comics charity they favor and a non-comics charity that's special to them as well. It's a strategy my dad suggested to me once (one in his field, one that was personal), and it always worked well for him.
 
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Go, Read: Peggy Burns Talk About Montreal

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Go, Read: Frank Santoro On Rowhouse Residency Repairs

Here. I flogged pretty hard for Frank to get the money he needed to repair a building adjacent to his so he could turn it into a clubhouse/school/dojo for comics. I want to see what comes next. I'm hoping to book a room the minute they open up.
 
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Go, Look: Hand-Painted Color Guides From Daredevil #160

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Go, Look: Steranko After Ellison

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Go, Listen: End Of Year + Major Anniversary = Big Thoughts

imageThe podcast Deconstructing Comics -- on which I sometimes appear as a guest -- has an anniversary podcast up with a bunch of people talking about a single trend they see as important to comics, a trend that's happening right now.

That group is:
* Shaenon Garrity
* Natalie Nourigat
* Stephen Bissette
* Ryan Cecil Smith
* Mike Seid
* Dale Wilson
* Chris Bachalo
* Dan Jurgens
* Madeleine Rosca
* Irene Strychalski
* Frank Santoro
Previous appearances aside, anyone that pairs Ryan Cecil Smith with Dan Jurgens in the same podcast is okay by me. At any rate, big-issue pontification is kind of a year-end comics tradition, so I thought this might be something CR readers might wish to get to before I could screen it for them. Enjoy.
 
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Go, Look: Power Button #0

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Comics By Request: People, Projects In Need Of Funding

By Tom Spurgeon

image* I didn't see Christian Ward's commission list and related request for business when it was posted, but it's apparently still open.

* as far as I know the great Gilbert Hernandez is still accepting commissions at the described, generous price point. In fact, most of your favorite cartoonists are probably doing commissions or selling original art right now. It's that season.

* Evan Dahm's new Vattu-related crowd-funder has met its initial goal, but you still might want to get on board with that one if you're a fan. Ditto the Peow crowd-funder and the one for Kickstand Comics. Even more successful is the crowd-funder from Locust Moon.

* two we're tracking that are having a more modest time of it, so please check them out: Alphabet Anthology and Samandal.

* two Patreons that were brought to our attention: Trash Twins (not comics, but related) and Rio Aubry Taylor.

* finally, the CBLDF is among the charities that may benefit from this broadly-conceived humble bundle.
 
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Go, Look: DC Holiday Month Covers

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Not Comics: Art From A 1904 Issue Of The Century

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Alex Hoffman on Witches, Dragons, Magic & Cats. Sean Gaffney on Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun Vol. 1. Henry Chamberlain on Puma Blues: The Complete Saga In One Volume. Dean at Nothing But Comics on The Fade Out #11. Mark Dickson on Monstress #1. Rob McMonigal on Dark Corridor.

* veteran publisher Marc Arsenault describes what happens when everything goes wrong with your comic book.

* stepping in for Bully, Andrew Weiss writes a bit about Mr. Tawky Tawny.

* David Lasky has photos of a gathering of artists that worked with the late Dennis Eichhorn. That's a powerhouse line-up of cartoonists.

* this is a post that comes up at some point every year: a group of Jay Lynch Christmas cards from the 1970s.

* Brian Cronin picks five sad deaths from the various X-Men comics. The only one I was reading as a fan was Jean Grey's death, which had a bit more oomph for not being repeated a bunch at that point and for it to be yet to be walked back. I liked the Thunderbird death -- not reprinted here -- when I was a kid because I thought it was kind of scary and made the X-Men more dramatic to me than the other comics where this wasn't likely to happen.

* love will find a way.

* finally, Todd Klein would like to remind you that he has prints for sales this holiday season.
 
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December 5, 2015


Go, Read: NYT Obit On Shigeru Mizuki

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I hope you'll take a few moments to read Jonathan Soble's obituary for Shigeru Mizuki in the New York Times.

Like many people that consume writing about art, I am occasionally driven a bit bonkers by arts coverage in the Times. That includes some of the writing they publish about comics. That said, most of their obituaries for major figures in the arts are respectful and to the point. That tends to include the comics figures they cover. It's a great thing that comics has achieved that matter-of-fact status with the self-proclaimed paper of record. One thing I like about this obituary is that it doesn't feel like it has to stress how Mizuki's comics had an influence on US art-making or on world film.
 
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Go, Look: Summer Pierre Wants To Teach You Comics

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another entry into a growing field; two years from now there will be double the amount of these
 
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If I Were Near Okhla, I’d Go To This

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

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If I Were In Spain, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Malta, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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FFF Results Post #439—Year In News

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Five News Stories Important To Comics In 2015." This is how they responded.

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Buzz Dixon

1. The Charlie Hebdo Murders (I concur with this one's placement)
2. Valarie D'Orazio walks away from comics media
3. Superheroes have become the new dominant movie genre but ...
4. ... despite that, One Piece is the best selling comic EVER (pictured)
5. New Peanuts movie is refreshingly non-suckalicious

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Michael Dooley

1. Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkifee Anwar Alhaque (Zunar) has been charged with nine counts of sedition and faces up to 43 years imprisonment for his satirical cartoons critical of government leadership.
2. Iranian political cartoonist Atena Farghadani was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for her peaceful activist protest as well as for drawing satirical cartoons critical of government legislators. (pictured)
3. Thai political cartoonist Sakda Sae Iao (Sia) was detained by government agents for three days of "attitude adjustment" and threatened with legal action for his satirical cartoons critical of the Prime Minister.
4. Iranian journalist and cartoonist Hadi Heidari has been imprisoned by authorities after having drawn a cartoon in sympathy for Paris in the wake of recent terrorist attacks.
5. Reports now indicate that Syrian political cartoonist Akram Raslan was tortured to death in 2013 by government forces after having posted cartoons critical of the Assad regime on Facebook.

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Sean Kleefeld

1. The return of Milestone Comics
2. Ted Rall fired from LA Times over an his description of an incident with the LAPD
3. The return of Bloom County through Facebook (pictured)
4. The "Women in Comics" panel with no female panelists at Denver Comic Con
5. Sana Amanat named Marvel's Director of Content & Character Development

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. The Charlie Hebdo Murders (pictured)
2. D+Q Transition
3. Zunar's Rolling Litigation Issues
4. DC Comics Moves To Burbank
5. Sweep At Ignatzes By Female Comic-Makers

*****

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Michael Buntag

1. 12 people killed including four cartoonists in attack on Charlie Hebdo offices
2. Miles Morales joins the Marvel Universe (pictured)
3. Ms. Marvel wins Hugo Award during a very controversial year
4. Women comics creators triumph at 2015 Ignatz Awards
5. Ta-Nehisi Coates hired to write for Black Panther comic

*****

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Oliver Ristau

1. Launch of Europe Comics
2. Stage adaption of Alisong Bechdel's Fun Home wins a Tony Award
3. A museum named after Erika Fuchs, translator of comic books, gets opened
4. Ariane Theiller, intern for French publisher Urban Comics, was killed during the Paris attacks
5. Shigeru Mizuki dies at 93 (pictured)

*****

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Ethan Heitner

1. Charlie Hebdo murders
2. 110+ cartoonists and workers in the comics industry sign open letter telling comics industry "No Business As Usual with Israel" in support of boycott
3. Matt Bors and the Nib leave Medium.com
4. Ta-Nehisi Coates becomes 3rd MacArthur-certified "Genius" to make comics (pictured)
5. First festival of comics in Cairo, Egypt opens

*****

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Tim O'Shea

* Nilah Magruder's M.F.K. Wins Inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award (pictured)
* death of Roger Silfer
* University Of Chicago Announced It Acquired Daniel Clowes' Papers
* Words From A Mexican Political Cartoonist In Self-Exile Over Fears Of Extreme Violence
* Julia Wertz On Harassment

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Bryan Munn

1. Charlie Hebdo.
2. The ongoing persecution of cartoonists around the world.
3. Marvel and DC are billion-dollar companies that employ many people who are not cartoonists and still make comics that hundreds of thousands of people buy every week.
4. Image seems to be thriving. (pictured)
5. People read comics on computers and companies that provide this service make money. (i'm old.)

*****

thanks to all that participated

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The Comics Reporter Video Parade


Jessica Abel At SPX 2015



Two From Eleanor Davis: Interviewed By Jared Gardner At CMA In November 2015; Her Speech At The Ignatz Awards, SPX 2015


Tony Guida Profiles Marisa Acocella Marchetto


Dan Piraro Performs Food-Related Humor
 
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CR Week In Review

imageThe top comics-related news stories from November 28 to December 4, 2015:

1. Publishers, cartoonists, shops and services take advantage of designated small-business and on-line business shopping days to positive effect, bringing comics more into the general commercial cycle than one might have thought possible a generation ago.

2. Fines and a jail term for cartoonist Tahar Djehiche in Algeria -- a case previously tried.

3. Iron Circus Comics will take over some administrative tasks facing Dean Trippe's Something Terrible.

Winner Of The Week
Patient Greg Cook fans.

Losers Of The Week
Fans of The Dinette Set, ending a 18-year run.

Quote Of The Week
"In the manga sales ranking, Eiichiro Oda's One Piece sill keeps its crown for seven years in a row since 2009." -- a report at Crunchyroll on the Japanese book/music market.

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

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December 4, 2015


Go, Read: Mardou At Mutha Magazine

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If I Were In LA, I’d Go To This

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If I Were Near Okhla, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Spain, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Malta, I’d Go To This

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If I Were Near Madison Heights, I’d Go To This

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

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Five For Friday #439—Year In Comics News

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Five For Friday #439 -- Name Five News Stories Important To Comics In 2015

1. The Charlie Hebdo Murders
2. D+Q Transitions From Chris Oliveros To Peggy Burns, With Tom Devlin Also Seeing Increased Role
3. Atena Farghadani Imprisoned
4. DC Comics Moves To Burbank
5. Sweep At Ignatzes By Female Comic-Makers

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

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*****
 
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December 3, 2015


Go, Look: Loka Kanarp

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Go, Read: Slate’s Ten Best Comics Of 2015

imageHere. They are:

* Incidents in the Night Book 2, David B (Uncivilized Books)
* Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn and Quarterly)
* Not Funny Ha-Ha, Leah Hayes (Fantagraphics)
* Pope Hats #4, Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)
* Sacred Heart, Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
* Step Aside, Pops, Kate Beaton (Drawn and Quarterly)
* SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Drawn and Quarterly)
* The Oven, Sophie Goldstein (AdHouse Books)
* Thunder and Lightning, Lauren Redniss (Random House)
* Wuvable Oaf, Ed Luce (Fantagraphics)

I think that's a good list, save for the Redniss work drawing exclusively from the the alt-arts tradition. I think that's comics' strongest area, so I'm never weirded out as much by a list like this as I am by one that excludes that tradition or drastically minimizes it. I'm happy to see the Rilly and the Luce in there, those are both really interesting works in different ways. And David B. draws like no one's business. The Hayes books is interesting, too, because it's educational/informative rather than personally evocative, and that's a kind of book that rarely makes it onto lists like this one.
 
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Not Comics: Guggenheim On-Line Collection

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you can look at this gorgeous stuff randomly or you can look at some of the artists some of your favorite cartoonists name-drop in their interviews, like good ol' Egon Schiele here

 
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Bundled Extra: Julie Larson’s The Dinette Set Ends

imageJulie Larson ended her Dinette Set panel at the end of November after a life that stretches back to the late 1990s and 1990 itself if you include its alt-weekly predecessor Suburban Torture. A bunch of intriguing stories swirl around this one, including that I wouldn't have caught this at all if it weren't for a fan, Buzz Dixon, also being a devoted reader of the site. Strips and panels ending isn't the automatic news story it used to be.

Larson's decision is understandable and logical. She tells Phil Luciano in a retirement story she's down to about 20 clients after a high of about 70. Anyone buying your comics at all is an honorable number -- we're only twenty years removed from features launching at fewer than 10 and closing down within a year being a regular thing for syndicates, at least as it was described to me at the time. That certainly would have been the case when Larson launched, when the math at her then-syndicate King Features was explained to me as 1/3 of the strips becoming respectable or hits, 1/3 tanking immediately, and 1/3 hanging in there with some tenacity on the part of the cartoonist. A significant part of the comics page is made up of features where the creator has a work that can survive but hasn't yet thrived, even if your friends and neighbors think you're Jim Davis.

I also thought the strip had a nice sense of humor that would play better now, sold as a gentle satire of Midwestern state excess like the television show The Middle, than how every panel was described in the 1990s: "weird," like The Far Side. The chance of a late-period surge for a strip, a decision by editors to pick up something they've already seen cross their desks, is usually pretty small. This site and her many fans wish Larson the best in her retirement; a quarter-century of making comics is a remarkable thing.

For the time being, the archives remain up at GoComics.com.
 
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Go, Look: Rebekka Dunlap

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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

Blogs And Personal Journals
* Festival Tumblr

* Buyer Beware Comics

* Cowboy House International

* Genghis Con 01
* Genghis Con 02
* Genghis Con 03
* Genghis Con 04
* Genghis Con 05
* Genghis Con 06
* Genghis Con 07

* heyevent

* Robot 6

Facebook
* Event Page

* Bob Corby
* Bruce Worden

* Derf 01
* Derf 02
* Derf 03

* Ken Eppstein
* Kevin Czapiewski

* Max Ink

* Nathan Ward

* Rachel Hunt

* Tinto Press
* Tom Williams

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

Photos
* nanodeath
* Royal Oak Comix Party
* Sophie Goldstein

Twitter
* Festival Account

* AdamNiemara
* Alex Hoffman
* Angela Oster

* Casey
* Christine Gutierrez

* Erika 01
* Erika 02

* johnbailey
* Jon Nix

* Kevin Czapiewski
* Kimberly

* Laser Punk

* Mathew New

* Sequoia Bostick

* Tur-Kit Dinner

* Yoshi Andrego

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Go, Read: Interview With Drew Friedman At Blues.Gr

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Assembled, Zipped, Transferred And Downloaded: News From Digital

By Tom Spurgeon

* friend of CR Rob Salkowitz asks after the future of streaming by looking at its present, as comics' digital journey continues. I think it's pretty clear from how effectively TV and film rights holders have used streaming to manage content that someone will make a similar attempt to use comics that way. Whether or not there's a significant audience for comics served up like this, and how much comics' own history of similar services will play into it, we'll probably just have to find out. But yeah, Netflix-style curated content that goes month to month supplementing perpetual availability, limited-time offerings and dumps? I bet that's in place 18 months from now.

* veteran comics magazine Tripwire, now primarily an on-line operation, has a new site design.

* Gary Tyrrell caught that Iron Circus Comics will take over some of the delayed fulfillment and administrative tasks regarding Dean Trippe's Something Terrible.

* finally, Cerebus: High Society for free. I was frustrated with the way the digital offering was presented to me in 2014, but I certainly enjoyed those comics when I first read them and upon subsequent re-readings in non-digital form.
 
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If I Were In Denver, I’d Go To This

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If I Were In Missoula, I’d Go To This

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If I Were Near Okhla, 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 Spain, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Stu Livingston

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Rob Clough on Cold Heat Special #10 and the comics of Ben Juers. Sean Gaffney on Durarara!! Vol. 2. Henry Chamberlain on Ringside #1. Joe Gordon on Alias.

* Brian Heater solicited some interesting people for their best-of 2015 lists, an overall group that also included my choices not very far into my 2015 comics reading. I'm grateful to be included. There is a lot of "I know this person/this work is mine but I'm picking it anyway," a pet peeve of mine and maybe yours, so be warned.

* missed it: Alex Wood talks to Robert Crumb.

* not comics: via Daniel Holloway comes a reminder that a bunch of Frank Frazetta is about to come onto the art collection market. I haven't downloaded the catalog yet, and I don't know the art sales market enough to catch anything odd or questionable about this story if there's anything to catch here, but certainly Frazetta is an artist of interest to a chunk of comics' shared readership.

* finally, and related: an iconic Neal Adams cover sells for a ton of cash. It's weird to think that there are people in the world that can buy things like that, and weirder that they'd buy comics related things, but okay.
 
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December 2, 2015


Go, Look: Clare Kolat

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Go, Look: Quinne Larsen

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Go, Look: Dessert

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

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By Tom Spurgeon

* totally missed that Tim Young went to the recent International Comics Fest in Tokyo, and made this first in a prospective series of podcasts about it.

* a couple of readers sent me a link to this article about more hotels on the horizon in San Diego, which makes me think someone major discussed it first. My apologies to them. Still an interesting article, particularly the note that the "discounted" rooms we have now are discounted in the sense that unfettered we could see some truly intimidating prices.

* Robert Boyd passed along this compelling post digging into some of the reasons that Austin Zine Fest was cancelled/postponed. I can certainly wrap my head around the idea that someone might be excluded by not hearing about a show that uses certain tracks to advertise themselves via social media, although I also think only a few shows feel this level of responsibility to their communities. I worry about getting the word out about the show on which I work, for instance, in part for this general reason. Still, I'm not sure that I'd ever feel that to cancel or delay a show would be the solution to some oversight or failure on my part unless it were a thundering act of rolling malfeasance. Again, I'm lacking a ton of information as to this specific set of circumstances, but the ideas bandied about sure are compelling. As more shows adopt a community aspect, it's an issue that's bound to come up.

* this weekend is CALA, which had a really good first show. They're expanding to two days, which I think is totally justified by the attendance at least year's show, and they're staying in the same space, which I think is smart the year you're expanding to a two-day show.

* Didier Pasamonik writes on the Claire Bretecher exhibit currently in Paris. I would love to see that one, and if Paris is a part of your holiday plans perhaps you'll look into it for yourself.

* a New Jersey Comic Expo report.

* finally, Heidi MacDonald muses on the state of festivals/cons from the vantage point of the recent NJ Expo to which she was invited. I think there's room for multiple cons on ever weekend of the calendar year, to be honest with you. I just don't know that if they can all be huge. That every con needs to grow to ginormous size seems to be an unstated principle of these shows. I'm not sure that's possible.
 
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If I Were In Hartford, I’d Go To This

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Go, Look: Champ Comics #24

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posted 3:10 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Joe Gordon on Killing And Dying. Rob Clough on the comics of Bailey Sharp. Sean Gaffney on Idol Dreams Vol. 1. John Kane on a bunch of different comics. Michael Buntag on The Mighty Thor #1. Rob McMonigal on Dark Corridor.

* the essayist and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about providing story and scripting for Marvel's Black Panther character in a forthcoming series. He is a very, very good writer and it's great that Marvel's convinced him to come on board and give a really good character like that a try.

* not comics: I love notebooks.

* my job is looking at comics and I have a hard time making sure issues are consecutive when they reboot right in the middle of a creative run. It's such an awful game they're playing at those companies.

* finally, I don't know that I recall seeing Stan Sakai draw stuff from Star Wars before.
 
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December 1, 2015


Bundled Extra: First Second Releases Greg Cook Cover For 2016’s Friends Is Friends

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Gina Gagliano and First Second Books sent me the above cover for next October's Friends Is Friends graphic novel by Greg Cook. I'm happy to publish it here, as I'm a long-time fan of Cook's and this will mark his first book-length work in more than a decade. The book for which Cook is still likely best known, Catch As Catch Can, came out all the way back in 2001 from the late Highwater Books. That book won Cook the Promising New Talent award at SPX the next year.

You can see a bunch of pages from Cook's other works here.
 
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Go, Look: Petri Hiltunen

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Go, Read: A Lengthy Interview With Ali Ferzat

Here's a solid interview by Cinatra Fernandes with the cartoonist Ali Ferzat, done during a recent creative conference. The Kuwait-based, Syrian-native cartoonist is of course known worldwide for his treatment at the hands of supporters of the Syrian government in 2011 after he made cartoons critical of that government: he was kidnapped, assaulted, and a specific attempt was made to damage his hands.

It's always good to check in with Ferzat, just to see what he's up to. I thought there were a few ideas floated of value, too. The first is his succinct response to the Charlie Hebdo murders. A second is his noting that the regional group of cartoonists in which he was once a prominent figure no longer exists because of censorship issues country to country. The third and best is Ferzat's idea of development by a political cartoonists. He says that younger cartoonists work in symbolism but as they get older they work with specific figures more directly, and that the reason for this is they now have an audience that protects them from reprisal. As he's a case where this didn't happen, or at least the protection was shown to have limits, it's interesting he still believes in this as a general rule. It's also an idea that says something about the shape and nature of the US cartoon marketplace, which might be viewed as one that thwarts cartoonists from developing this way.
 
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Go, Look: Grace Wilson Goes To Treviso Comic Book Festival ‘15

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Go, Watch: That This American Life Animation Based On A Chris Ware New Yorker Cover

I quite enjoyed it, but keep forgetting to post it here.
 
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Go, Look: Arqu Archive

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Go, Look: Another Lynda Barry Syllabus

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My Apologies: My Patreon Rewards Are Just Really, Really Behind

We're still on track to do a magazine with this site's Patreon program that will come out by the first Monday of each month, and I have the text of make-up magazines done as well, so those should come out in quick order as well. My apologies. I have no problem with anyone cancelling anything, of course, although I hope people will stay on.

What I can tell you is that having the Patreon money and your support has kept this site alive, and it would have been more than shut down by now, likely between August 1 and October 1 otherwise, for good, as I would have taken a full-time job I was offered out west. I am still young enough to have a few opportunities, but old enough to know they would end everything else. I know that's little consolation to you. I did the site for nine years ad-supported only (and two years for free), and as awesome as that support has been and continues to be vital to my living status it was not enough to transition to Columbus to a job that I thought was going to pay a certain amount of money, paid half of the minimum for a few months and isn't paying anything now. That should change, too, for the better, but this last year has been brutal on that specific front and doesn't improve any time soon. I screwed up.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm in the process of making it up to you. I think I'm good for it, but I can certainly only ask you to believe me. I have not come through. If the ship fails to be set right in the next eight weeks with both regular issues and also progress on the make-ups, we'll have another talk about multiple paybacks at my insistence through permanent employment in another field. Until then, I hope you have faith.
 
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Go, Look: Ben Bates’ TMNT Drawings

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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.

*****

OCT151115 BUTTER AND BLOOD GN (MR) $13.00
This is the latest from Steve Weissman, perhaps our most quiet, most appealing cartoonist. It's not the singular statement the last couple of works have been, but I'm a fiend going all the way back to his original mini-comics and am grateful he's still making work for me to read.

APR150293 ABSOLUTE BATMAN THE COURT OF OWLS HC $99.99
SEP150327 IZOMBIE OMNIBUS HC (MR) $75.00
I'm sort of fascinated by high-end mainstream comics offerings just because I'm usually fine with the serial comics. That I'm not the audience doesn't mean there's not an audience. I wonder at times if DC's reliable softcover/hardcover trades program damages some of these higher-end offerings, in that with the Marvel it's really sometimes the only I know I'll get the material I want. These were both well-regarded comics, by the way.

OCT150184 MIDNIGHTER #7 $2.99
SEP150226 PREZ #6 $2.99
OCT151077 INK BRICK #1 $8.00
SEP151340 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #4 $3.99
OCT151079 MAGIC WHISTLE VOL 3 #1 (MR) $5.99
JUL150587 EAST OF WEST #22 $3.50
SEP150543 REVIVAL #35 (MR) $3.99
SEP150604 THEYRE NOT LIKE US #10 (MR) $2.99
OCT150503 WHERE IS JAKE ELLIS #5 $3.50
OCT150761 ALL NEW INHUMANS #1 $4.99
SEP150666 ALL NEW X-MEN #1 $3.99
OCT150751 DAREDEVIL #1 $3.99
OCT150747 GUARDIANS OF INFINITY #1 $4.99
OCT150774 RED WOLF #1 $3.99
OCT150779 SPIDEY #1 $3.99
OCT150741 TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #1 $4.99
OCT150890 VISION #2 $3.99
That's a tone of comic-book comics, and I can't imagine anyone would want them all. Wait, scratch that, I'm sure there are people buying three times that amount, including all of these. What I mean is that I don't think most readers of this column would buy all of these. But there's a bunch here of interest. The first two are well-regarded DC Comics of the moment. The next rthree are honest to god alt-comics, including the looks-to-be-a-hit HHFT. The week at Image is dominated by its small array of comics that I think have a wider audience that hasn't found those books yet -- beyond the fact that nearly every comic deserves a wider audience. That's at least seven #1 comics from Marvel, which is like $30 of trying new stuff out. I'm not sure how retailers feel about that -- they rarely agree -- but I could see an argument that this is way too many debuts. I'm also not sure how many of those feel like they'll be around 30 issues from now, which is its own problem. The second issue of Vision has a lot to live up given the effusive praise given the first.

imageJUL151632 PHILEMON ADV GN VOL 03 SUSPENDED CASTLE $16.95
I think these Philemon books from Toon are the real deal: well-made, foundational kids books of the kind you remember far after you've given up on franchise books and the like. I'm glad they exist, and I look forward to this new one.

JUL158474 ESSENTIAL KURTZMAN HC VOL 01 JUNGLE BOOK LTD ED $125.00
No idea if I could be talked out of my old softcover, but I'd take a look. It's certainly good-to-great work.

OCT150501 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS HC VOL 06 (MR) $100.00
OCT150502 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS HC VOL 06 S&N ED (MR) $150.00
I have a hunch that one reason that Walking Dead does better in prestige formats than most series isn't just its massive popularity but that for many of its fans it's one of a few, or maybe the only, comic series they follow. It's also starting to get convenient to collect them in one of these ways given how many comic books there have been.

JUL150372 TMNT HC KEVIN EASTMAN COVERS 2011 - 2015 $39.99
Get me drunk in a bar -- a little bit drunk, I'm old now and that just gets sad -- and I will tell you that Kevin Eastman is his generation's Joe Shuster. Actually, I don't have much more to say than that simple declaration but it's fun to drink with me a bar so please don't let this spoil any efforts on your part to ply me alcohol. I like looking at Eastman's work, though, what of it there is, so I'd definitely take a look at this one.

OCT150490 CHEW OMNIVORE ED HC VOL 05 (MR) $34.99
I'm glad that Chew has maintained its audience over the years, although what I've read of it is in comic book form.

AUG151854 ABADDON GN $24.99
JUL151447 ALPHA HC (KNOCKABOUT) $53.99
This is the kind of week we're talking about here: these are two really good projects, from Koren Shadmi and Jens Harder, that could go top of post any old time. If your comic shop carries both, walk right up and thank the owners, that's a wonderful comic shop. And remember that they are there so you can go back and take a look when there's less of a giant holiday over your head.

SEP151348 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP BOX SET 1955-1958 $39.99
SEP151347 COMPLETE PEANUTS TP VOL 04 1957-1958 $22.99
SEP151343 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE BOX SET HC VOL 07 & 08 $49.99
SEP151342 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 08 TOMORROW WARS $34.99
SEP151350 PEANUTS EVERY SUNDAY HC BOX SET 1950 $79.99
OCT151452 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 12 1959-1960 $34.99
OCT151402 MOOMINMAMMAS MAID GN $9.95
Great old comics created from a variety of perspectives and sets of values and published with that same kind of range in terms of options and formats and series arrangements. I find that thrilling; we don't talk about that a lot, but the idea of these great publishers curating these great comics shouldn't feel like a bunch of homework that you have to do at some point. I love all these comics right now for the way they read right now, even Prince Valiant, and I hated that dude for 20 years.

SEP151199 GRIMJACK OMNIBUS TP $39.99
I'd look at this, and I enjoyed some of these comics as a kid for sure, but I'm listing it here just to make note of this week's feeling in a series of feelings I get that sometimes the comics industry is solely oriented towards dudes my age.

OCT151078 IRENE GN VOL 05 $15.00
This is an anthology with an international flavor, from Hic and Hock through Alternative Comics. The artists listed on their web site are "Pat Barrett, Jon Chad, Mark Connery, d.w., Fdz, Luke Healy, Dakota McFadzean, Fouad Mezher, Dave Ortega, D. Rinylo, Emanuel (Manny) Schongut, Bailey Sharp, R. Sikoryak, James The Stanton, Andy Warner, and Lindsay Watson." That's a fine bunch of cartoonists (and three I don't know). I would certainly take a look at this one on the stands.

OCT151449 VIOLENZIA & OTHER DEADLY AMUSEMENTS GN $16.99
This is from the great Richard Sala and I believe collects recent shorter work, including two comics starring the name-in-the-title character. Sala draws like nobody's business right now, and reading his comics disconnected from his recent, ruthless worldview as seems to come out in the longer works might force a reappraisal.

AUG151388 JUGGLER OF OUR LADY CLASSIC CHRISTMAS STORY HC $12.95
God bless you, Dover. This is a timely work in that it's seasonal, and it's a good one. I'd have to see it to know if I want it, but the idea behind publishing it is aces.

*****

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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If I Were In Brooklyn, I’d Go To This

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

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Go, Look: Black And White Scorchy Smith Sundays

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Johanna Draper Carlson on Sunny Side Up and Modern Masters: Paolo Rivera. Brian Nicholson on the zines of Paper Rad. Justin Hickey on On The Origin Of Superheroes.

* not comics: remember that theft in art is any use or re-use not agreed upon by the artist, save for specifically prescribed circumstances like fair-use illustration or, in some cases, re-employment as component art. It almost always sucks.

* drawing Wally Wood.

* Tim Young talks to Matt Seneca. Dylan Todd talks to Evan Dorkin.

* I was going to stick this in the Festivals column, but it was really stuffed this week: there's a major Joe Sacco exhibit in Basel. It'd be amazing if someone could get that one back here.

* R. Crumb encounters Donald Trump.

* finally, Tom Udall doesn't know comics, but he loves this comic store.
 
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