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

November 10, 2010

Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked


By Tom Spurgeon

* this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article tells the unlikely publishing story behind the new Occupation Outbursts: 1945-46 book and that work's 92-year-old creator.

* it's similarly wonderful to note the imminent publication of Joyce Farmer's Special Exits. It speaks well to comics as an art form that there's a prominent place for powerful work from an older cartoonist that may have more to offer in terms of underground cred than in a modern marketplace track record. Great endorsement from Crumb, too.

image* Brigid Alverson and Spike endorse Hans Rickheit's Ectopiary, now about 50 pages in.

* I would imagine that the biggest story of the week from a publishing news perspective is DC's announcement earlier today they're opening up a dedicated storefront/site for digital comics purchased. It's fundamentally a tweaking of their previous, similarly comixology-powered digital platform, but some tweaks are more important than others: the symbolism of DC opening up a place splashed with the publisher's brand and the opportunity it gives them to roll out various series and one-shots (the first wave of which they describe in the first linked-to piece) could make this a potentially substantial move. The flip side is that this is another announcement where the outside observer may be scratching their heads that there wasn't something like already, which I think is going to be the gut feeling for next several months with a lot of announcements.

* the collective Clamp is turning one of its one-shots into a series.

* not comics: Gary Tyrrell discusses a documentary about the tumultuous shifts comics is undergoing right now, and what it's like on the ground, in the works from David Kellett and Fred Schroeder.

* the reviewer and industry advocate Johanna Draper Carlson sifts through the current state of Tokyopop's digital publishing program.

* Robot 6 has details of the deluxe 100th issue of the Bill Willingham-written Fables series. The big takeaway is that Willingham, a prominent 1980s and 1990s alt-cartoonist, will be providing some art for the issue. I'm happy for the creators that have enjoyed success with that book. One thing I wonder is why we haven't seen Willingham given room and encouragement to try and launch another tent-pole franchise; he strikes me as the kind of writer that might have five or six on the back-burner at any time.

* also from Robot 6 comes word that cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks has brought on-line a regional print publication strip called The Adventures Of Superhero Girl. Also, Jamie Hewlett adapts a Pulp song into comics form. Excuse me, the Pulp song.

* the St. Louis Rams won't put in a waiver claim on wide receiver Randy Moss, but the Avengers will sign up that crazy-looking Red Hulk? It's almost like one of these two things exists in a total fantasy world.

* the small publisher Grimalkin Press has a variety of announcements up in this post, including that they're doing a book with Box Brown.

* if you thought last week's news of a return to print for Comics Interview was a welcome blast from the past, you may be equally thrilled to hear about the return of FA. Okay, okay, one's a reprinting project and one's a bunch of new stuff under a cherished, older name -- you try writing 52 of these columns a year.

* Fantagraphics has one of those preview videos up for the next book in their series reprinting old Steve Ditko comics.

* did you know that there was a Sense and Sensibility series from Marvel, now collected in hardcover? I did know and I didn't know, if that makes any sense. Like I can remember knowing, but I can't remember the actual fact.

* finally, Dave Ferraro snagged a cover image for Gilbert Hernandez's next pulp OGN: Love From The Shadows.

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