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

February 16, 2011

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* this morning's rumor cited here and here is that the Comics Comics team in some fashion will be taking over The Comics Journal, which would be awesome, would certainly fit the criteria for an important March 1 announcement, and would make perfect sense of the publication's dumping of affiliate blogs The Panelists, Journalista and Hooded Utilitarian. I have no idea what this would mean if anything for longtime editors Mike Dean and Kristy Valenti (I assume Gary Groth would be safe under any scenario), and I doubt we're going to hear much more of anything until an official announcement. I can tell you that I'm remaining right here, status unchanged, although hopefully doing an increasingly better job in whatever role a changed landscape might provide.

image* Drawn And Quarterly has revealed its cover for Chester Brown's much-anticipated Paying For It. I've read the book and like it very much. Like most of Brown's comics on a first reading I was enthralled cover to cover by the natural power of his cartooning and put the work down with like 18 billion questions about what I just read and how good it is.

* if someone is taking over the Journal, I hope they'll consider a different way of showing off their interviews than splitting them into multiple parts. I can't imagine the gain in hits is worth the loss of focus and long-term traffic by not having a piece like their intriguing talk with all-time category-of-one background artist Gerhard appear as one massive piece. At the same time, you can lose an interview by just posting it in running blog fashion, so I hope they find a way to spotlight pieces like that without losing them or chopping them up. You should take some time to read the Gerhard piece if you're interested in his kinds of comics-making in any way, shape or form: 1, 2, 3.

* a happy 10th anniversary to Mark Anderson.

* Matt Seneca talks about a Will Eisner panel featuring Ebony White.

* Johanna Draper Carlson, who does a better and more consistent job than most of the comics commentary class, myself included, in terms of looking at things from a consumer's point of view, takes a look at the Wizard and Diamond/iVerse digital strategies as announced and wonders after some of the huge leaps in logic involved. I share her general suspicion that both, particularly the latter, operate at odds with the thrust of digital culture.

* The Panelists settles in at their new digs.

* not exactly comics: John Porcellino digs into the history of the White Buffalo Gazette: part one, part two.

* the writer Warren Ellis links to a few recent interviews and endorses efforts to clean up the part of the Fantagraphics empire.

* there's something deeply appealing about the clunky title to this trade paperback.

* Tim O'Neil talks about big superhero universe cosmologies (via Sean Collins) in a way that does indeed make them sound very appealing.

image* the critic Kate Dacey talks about a phenomenon I'm sure is part of many manga reader's general experience: giving up on longer series.

* not comics: this story about press treatment at Toyfair is really fascinating, but I feel very removed from the process and complaints described there. I finished it with renewed gratitude for the excellent treatment I receive at comics shows and from comics publishers, and for things like review copies that allow me to cast a wider net as a critic and news person. It really does help when you have limited resources, and I don't want to ever take those things for granted.

* a look at four pages from Usagi Yojimbo.

* not comics: it seems to me that Preacher is a better property for adaptation now than it was when it was being published; certainly the cable-TV entry into series drama making, and the kind of projects they like to make, would favor a stab at Preacher in that particular realm rather than a shorter one. Speaking of comics being made into movies, no one told me that one of the handful of guys in the running for Best Actor In The World is playing a supporting role in the Spider-Man reboot.

* not comics: this short news feature about Ursinus College abandoning their way of collecting admissions that stressed numbers over quality return in favor of a tougher policy seems to me reflective of something right now, but I'm not sure what.

* finally, it's a Facebook-only photo, and I try not to post a whole bunch of them, but I'll never get tired of looking at this well-traveled photo of the Cherokee book store's comic book attic.
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink

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