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March 23, 2011


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: A Publishing News Column

imageBy Tom Spurgeon

* I can't imagine any better news than that the publication of Up All Night in Washington City Paper means that feature's return on-line, one such home being the Fantagraphics web site. That's one of the best alt-weekly comics -- and probably the most underrated one -- ever.

* wait, this might beat it: this profile of David Boswell reveals that he is apparently creating a final two chapters for his Reid Fleming character. Luckily, it's not a contest, and we can enjoy all the comics.

* Colleen Doran has an actual-to-god information-stuffed title announcement over at A Distant Soil for her Fall 2011 collaboration with Barry Lyga Mangaman.

* the cartoonist Tom Neely has unveiled a multiple-pronged effort of art and print sales to support the publication of his next book. His stuff is attractive close-up and in person, so I can't imagine going wrong with one of these purchases -- and for a good cause.

* class act Matt Maxwell is going to be serializing his Strangeways as a webcomic.

* one of the most fun publishing news stories for the year is the issuance of a one-volume Bone in full color. It's amazing to me how well a book that works in black-and-white holds color -- it's almost unfair, really. You can order your copy now.

* this interview with Shannon Wheeler at the Fantagraphics site provides a first look at his forthcoming project with the writer Steve Duin, Oil & Water.

* a previously unpublished 1981 Steve Ditko Marvel comic is soon to see the light of day.

* I believe I mentioned this one in a Random News update, but not in this column: the cartoonist Terry Moore has announced and provided details about a new project to be called Rachel Rising.

* it's not comics, but somewhere out there exists a book called Andy Capp Variations.

* Drew Weing has a one-page preview of his work in the next Papercutter, a collaboration with MK Reed.

image* Johanna Draper Carlson has some back story on the forthcoming Andi Watson/Tommy Ohtsuka Marvel effort 15 Love, which I guess is eight years in the making!? I'll take more Andi Watson any way I can get it, and for a project to survive that long from conception to publication at any of the mainstream companies is pretty amazing.

* I don't know that much about how mainstream comics works, but it seems weird to me that DC keeps launching and re-launching the Flash series like so many Paula Marshall sitcoms. I wonder after this kind of thing generally, in that it seems like it was a lot easier for me to be a Thor fan when I was a kid and there was a comic book named Thor to buy, which I could be pretty sure would have a comic about a dude named "Thor," than it is to be a Flash fan now when there are multiple characters and multiple titles with that name. I also wonder that it doesn't make the character look second rate, and that it doesn't make it a lot easier for fans to jump off and stay off a title that functions like that as opposed to a slow-and-steady performer. It may not be for me to say, but I do remember hoping that this new era of corporate attention to these storylines would reduce the number of short-term performance peculiarities with such titles. I'm likely reading too much into it.

* if you're near a magazine rack anytime soon, you might pick up the latest Harper's for its multiple-page article on Lynd Ward. If you're a subscriber, you not only already have the magazine but you can access it on-line here.

* there was a bunch of mainstream comics announcements -- series and creative teams, basically -- at the just-passed C2E2. It's important for a show like that to become a place for those kinds of publishing announcements, because it distinguishes them against calendar-proximate and geograpy-proximate rivals. Anyway, you can head to the Collective Memory and read through the news section. One good example summary article is this one about various forthcoming Marvel moves. Individual moves worth noting include writer Greg Rucka doing Punisher, writer Brian Bendis and artist Mark Bagley on an Icon project and Mark Waid writing Marvel's Daredevil character.

* Metropolitan has announced an English-language edition of Egyptian cartoonist Magdy El Shafee's crime book Metro.

* finally, we're about to see the release of a Kuti Kuti/Smoke Signal crossover. How great is that?

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