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
















October 1, 2014


Go, Read: Kayla E. Cartoon Diary At TCJ.com

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posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Totally Missed That Liza Donnelly Was A Thurber Prize Finalist; Prize Won Last Night By John Kenney

imageJohn Kenney beat out cartoonist and writer Liza Donnelly (for Women On Men and the writing team of Bruce McCall and David Letterman (for This Land Was Made For You And Me (But Mostly Me)) for this year's Thurber Prize for American Humor. Kenney won for his debut novel, the well-reviewed Truth In Advertising.

That is an an incredible honor for which to be nominated, and I wish I had caught it earlier to make a bigger deal out of it on Donnelly's behalf. Women On Men contained both cartoons and writing; it came out in late 2013 -- the year covered by this year's honor. Donnelly is one of only a handful of female prize nominees over the honor's history, and I believe is the only one whose nominated work contained cartoons, noteworthy because of the award's namesake.

The Thurber Prize brings with it a cash award of $5000. The sponsor of the award is the Thurber House non-profit in Columbus, Ohio; it is of course named after the essayist/humorist/cartoonist James Thurber.

Michael Cavna interviewed Donnelly day-of.
 
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Go, Look: Series Of Superhero/Horror Covers From Kevin Nowlan

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Totally Missed It: Mike Sterling Opening Up His Own Shop

The foundational comics blogger and long-time retail employee Mike Sterling announced more than two weeks ago that he's opening up his own comics shop, to be called Sterling Silver Comics. He's apparently found a location he enjoys in Ventura County and feels like it's time to do his own thing. I'm happy to hear this, and wish him all the best. I hope to visit if the opportunity presents himself and I hope you'll consider the same.
 
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Go, Look: Two More Galleries Of Cartoonists

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This Isn't A Library: New And 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.

*****

JUL140430 PUCK WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE HC $59.99
This is perhaps IDW's big stand-alone book of the Fall, if not the year -- a lengthy, lavish look at the proto-satirical publication and home to so, so many fine cartoonists. I have one on my bed stand and the only trick is to keep from blowing off work to go look at the thing.

imageJUL141183 HOSPITAL SUITE GN (MR) $22.95
This latest original graphic memoir from John Porcellino is a potential book of the year candidate. If you know Porcellino and his work, this is an amazing trip down all the paths he didn't quit pursue in the last 20 years of making King-Cat. If you've never read him before, it more than works on the level of an affecting meditation on finding peace in life when medical circumstance pound on you until you're a different person. Highly recommended.

JUN140262 BATMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY TP COLLECTION $49.99
AUG141470 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE GN BOX SET 1975-1983 $59.99
JUN141170 MOOMIN ON THE RIVIERA GN $9.95
JUL141641 BATMAN YEAR BY YEAR VISUAL CHRONICLE HC $50.00
This is the first time I can recall seeing multiple books on one of these lists that seem to me -- and maybe only to me -- like holiday books. This usually takes the form of high-end, expensive but reasonably superflous studies of big characters or the repackaging of recently successful work, and does so here. I have very much enjoyed seeing those Ed Piskor books do well, and imagine there's some significant gift potential with a box set.

AUG140086 USAGI YOJIMBO SENSO #3 $3.99
AUG140272 GRAYSON #3 $2.99
AUG140207 LOBO #1 $2.99
AUG140566 WALKING DEAD #132 (MR) $2.99
AUG140755 BUCKY BARNES WINTER SOLDIER #1 $3.99
AUG140771 GUARDIANS 3000 #1 $3.99
AUG140777 THOR #1 $3.99
AUG140890 MEN OF WRATH BY JASON AARON #1 (MR) $3.50
AUG140201 GOTHAM ACADEMY #1 $2.99
The individual comic-book format books are more interesting than gotta-haves this week. I love and always buy Stan Sakai's work. Grayson is an Internet pundit favorite title from DC Comics that seems to me may benefit from comparison to some of the less-inspired books in that line. I like the pacing, though, which is a really hard thing to pull off in today's serial comics. The Lobo comic is a refashioning of a mostly-1990s success for the publisher. I didn't like that character, but this one seem eminently punchable in the face. Writer Cullen Bunn has done well with Marvel's Magneto though. I'm not sure that I read Walking Dead for enjoyment or just to kind of keep track of what such a significant player in the market is up to, but I think it's earned its success and does several very comic-book things extremely well. Three launches at $4 seems a lot to me, but I am a million miles removed from any chance to run a big mainstream comic-book company. The Thor book's character gender-switch drove some mainstream entertainment news coverage when it took place. I just sort of like Jason Aaron and sample everything he does, even when I'm not familiar with it. Finally, that Gotham Adventure debut is the on-line darling of the moment; I though the first issue was cute.

JUN140459 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD DICK TRACY HC VOL 17 $39.99
MAR140458 FLESH & STEEL ART OF RUSS HEATH HC $49.99
JUL140393 STAR TREK GOLD KEY ARCHIVES HC VOL 02 $29.99
What a strong week for IDW's reprints department, particularly in that it comes the same time the Puck book is out. Dick Tracy is of course part of their classic newspaper reprints run, the Russ Heath certainly makes sense placed next to the book on Noel Sickles that instigated that reprint format, while the Star Trek seems a natural given their relationship to the franchise at this moment in time. I don't know that I've ever seen those Gold Key Star Trek comics out there for sale, either, which means it might be one of those collection where there's really a scarcity addressed.

JUL140517 SOUTHERN BASTARDS TP VOL 01 HERE WAS A MAN (MR) $9.99
More Jason Aaron, here working with Jason Latour. I like the idea of this comic and its small-town setting, although the issues collected here seem more on their way to something than already arrived. I'm still reading it, though, in serial form.

JUL140728 MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 01 FROM DEAD $17.99
This is the recent Warren Ellis/Declan Shalvey run, with the kind of quick and decisive re-imagining of characters with which Ellis has always excelled combine with a very tightly paced, pared-down narrative approach. I liked them, and thought they were fun, although I think given the chance to compare I would prefer the individual comic books.

MAY141548 HARVEY HORRORS BLACK CAT MYSTERY SOFTIE TP VOL 04 $24.99
I would want to look at this for any and all Manny Stallman that might be offered. I think historians position this series as kind of the only EC competition worth reading now and then, but I have to say I'm not sure how accurate that is.

JUL141422 LAIKA SC $10.99
This is Nick Abadzis' well-received, mostly-for-younger-readers book given a new price point and new entry into the marketplace. I hope it does well.

APR140993 SECRET HISTORY OMNIBUS HC VOL 03 (MR) $34.99
Secret History has been my favorite trashy entertainment mainstream comic book for a while, and I mean that as sincerely as is possible. It's like a Jack Chick comic in its earnestness, but more like an early 1990s Vertigo Comic in its messy worldview and basic narrative approach. Were it a TV show, I would watch 20 hours in a row, but only on a TV served by an antenna.

JUN140925 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #12 (MR) $4.99
I've never seen one of these, let alone read one, but I admire their commitment to print. That's not an easy publishing trick to pull off these days.

JUL141700 ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS HC VOL 03 SHOULDNT YOU BE IN SCHOOL $16.00
This isn't comics, but you can always admire that Seth cover.

JUL141218 DOCTORS GN $16.99
One of the great things about comics the last 10 years and the next 30 years together is getting a full adult lifetime's output from Dash Shaw. This is his latest, and if you go to comics store to buy new and little-seen work from talented cartoonists, this book is that much more for you.

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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: Amelia Makes Comics

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Go, Read: Kurt Busiek On Marvel/Kirby Family Settlement

Here, across two message board posts. I don't think I disagree with anything he says, although maybe I'm not quite as interested as he seems to be in combatting anti-Kirby Family spin in terms of the undisclosed parts of the settlement. That's personal preference, though, and I can certainly understand why that's something he wants to argue. I even agree with his take.
 
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Go, Look: Vintage Richard Thompson

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Go, Read: DC Entertainment Gives A Statement To CBR Concerning Recently Criticized Licensed Material

Albert Ching at CBR scores a reaction from DC Entertainment on recent, licensed products that read like a parody of old-school sexist sloganeering and set off a wave of Internet scolding, myself included. The Superman half of that, at least, was originally unearthed by the site DC Women Kicking Ass here. I caught it on a second wave of commentary; my apologies to those who think I should have dug back to the original unearthing of the shirts and my thanks to those that did that unearthing like DCWKA.

To my mind the DC statement scores highly in terms of their admitting the shirts are dumb, less so on targeting exactly why this might have happened and somewhere in between on promising to explore changes in the process.

I don't really buy that most corporations have core values that simply need to be applied in situations like this one, like someone forgot to throw a switch. You can argue the idea of it, and you can do so with some amount of crossed-arm fury due to the fact that individuals there certainly have these values, but I think the record over the longterm favors a lean towards profit and advantage over principle. That's why something like this happens in the first place. That's also a reason why moral stands are important: there's a cost involved. I do think businesses like DC can do a better job of not making it totally discouraging for parents who want their kids to enjoy those ubiquitous characters, either on their own or through one of the parents, and good for them if that's the course correction here. I think that's a form of civil decency and I think that's good business. Ditto engaging the criticism, as they've done here. They can also make very specific changes on a case to case basis according to values people working there might hold dear. If that can have a systemic benefit for a while, well, that's a bonus.
 
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Go, Look: Emma Rios Images Mini-Gallery

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Collective Memory: Marvel/Kirby Family Settlement

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Links to stories related to the settlement announced by Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby encompassing various legal concerns, primarily a window of ownership for various comics characters created or co-created by Kirby and published by Marvel in the late 1950s through the early 1960s.

This entry will continue to be updated for as long as people

*****

imageInstitutional
* Jack Kirby Lambiek Page
* Jack Kirby Wikipedia Page
* Marvel Comics

Miscellaneous
* Case Page On SCOTUS Blog
* Hollywood Reporter Article On Briefs In Support Of SCOTUS Pick-Up, Summer 2014
* Marvel Vs. Kirby In Hand Of Fire

Stories And Commentary
* Acts Of Geek
* AV Club

* Bam Smack Pow
* Billboard

* CBS News
* Comics Alliance
* Complex

* Deadline

* Escapist
* EW

* Geek Exchange
* Geeky Universe

* Hero Complex

* International Business Times
* io9

* KJRH

* Mercury News
* MStars

* Neilalien
* Newsarama
* Newsmax
* New York Times 01
* New York Times 02
* NY Daily News

image* Polygon

* Reuters 01
* Reuters 02

* Tech Times
* The Beat
* The Comics Reporter
* The Globe And Mail
* The Hollywood Reporter
* The Wrap
* Topless Robot
* TV Week

* UInterview

* Variety

* Washington Post
* WXYZ.com

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If I Were Near Covington, I'd Go To This

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If I Were In DC, I'd Go To This

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

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Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through November 2014

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October 2
* If I Were In Denver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This

October 4
* If I Were Near Bristol, I'd Go To This (Bristol Comic & Zine Fair 2014)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This (MICE)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

October 5
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (APE)
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This (MICE)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Los Angeles, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Cheltenham, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Indiana, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

October 6
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were Near Princeton, I'd Go To This

October 8
* If I Were In Beunos Aires, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In New York, I'd Go To This

October 9
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Beunos Aires, I'd Go To This

October 10
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In Hyderabad, I'd Go To This (Hyderabad Comiccon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Beunos Aires, I'd Go To This

October 11
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hyderabad, I'd Go To This (Hyderabad Comiccon)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

October 12
* If I Were In New York City, I'd Go To This (NYCC)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Jose, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Hyderabad, I'd Go To This (Hyderabad Comiccon)
* If I Were In Vancouver, I'd Go To This

October 17
* If I Were In England, I'd Go To This (LICAF)
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

October 18
* If I Were In England, I'd Go To This (LICAF)
* If I Were In Belgium, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

October 19
* If I Were In England, I'd Go To This (LICAF)
* If I Were In Belgium, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In San Diego, I'd Go To This (San Diego Comic Fest)

October 21
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

October 22
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This

October 25
* If I Were In Philadelphia, I'd Go To This

October 26
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This

October 30
* If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This (Lucca Comics And Games)
* If I Were Near Palatine, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This

October 31
* If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This (Lucca Comics And Games)
* If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This (Central Canada Comic Con)

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November 1
* If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This (Lucca Comics And Games)
* If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This (Central Canada Comic Con)
* If I Were In Las Vegas, I'd Go To This (Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival)

November 2
* If I Were In Lucca, I'd Go To This (Lucca Comics And Games)
* If I Were In Winnipeg, I'd Go To This (Central Canada Comic Con)

November 7
* If I Were In Halifax, I'd Go To This (Hal-Con)

November 8
* If I Were In Halifax, I'd Go To This (Hal-Con)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (CAB)
* If I Were In Tucson, I'd Go To This (Tucson Comic-Con)

November 9
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Halifax, I'd Go To This (Hal-Con)
* If I Were In Tucson, I'd Go To This (Tucson Comic-Con)

November 10
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)

November 11
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)

November 12
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)

November 13
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (ICAF)

November 14
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This (New Orleans Comics And Zines Fest)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (ICAF)

November 15
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (ICAF)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This (Short Run)
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This (New Orleans Comics And Zines Fest)

November 16
* If I Were In Leeds, I'd Go To This (Thought Bubble)
* If I Were In New Orleans, I'd Go To This (New Orleans Comics And Zines Fest)

November 21
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)

November 22
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)

November 23
* If I Were In Bologna, I'd Go To This (BilBolBul)
* If I Were In Grand Rapids, I'd Go To This (Grand Rapids Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Milwaukee, I'd Go To This (Awesome Con Milwaukee)

November 30
* If I Were In Cleveland, I'd Go To This (Genghis Con)

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This post is designed to list events through the month after this one, including ongoing exhibits. If you don't see your event above, perhaps check out the future listings here. If it's not listed anywhere,

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Go, Look: Timely Romance Comics For Sale On eBay

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Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I have to imagine it's worth noting the first animated-gif cover at The New Yorker.

image* Alex Dueben talks to Gilbert Hernandez. Everything Hernandez says is interesting, and his response to what it was like to win a pair of recent awards is super-charming. Mark Frauenfelder talks to Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman and Gil Kane invented the modern comics legacy of great interviews. Team Inkstuds talks to Sean Christensen. Nicole Rudick profiles Gary Panter.

* congratulations to Scott Robins.

* early Jim Aparo is always worth checking out. Although come to think of it, he had to be in his mid-thirties by the time this particular story came out. I just so heavily identify him with later work that his career seems to lean later than maybe is historically accurate.

* Austin Kleon (I think it's him, and not just reblogging by him) profiles the new, book-length Here. Richard Bruton on the entirety of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3. Erica Friedman on Couleur De Bijoux D'Amour. David L. Ulin on The Hospital Suite.

* that What Nerve show up in Providence sounds like a hell of a show. I wanted to profile it at one point pretty extensively but ran out of time to do so. Don't let my failure to structure my work time act as a vote against seeing the exhibit. I hope you'll consider seeing it if you're anywhere in the region.

* look at this beautiful Jaime Hernandez lettering.

* finally, I don't think I've ever seen this Bob Powell gimmick, and I agree with the writer of the post that it doesn't really work. Fascinating to think of the creative context that gets us there, though.
 
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Happy 37th Birthday, A. David Lewis!

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Happy 74th Birthday, Richard Corben!

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Happy 56th Birthday, Dave Dorman!

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Happy 77th Birthday, Bill Spicer!

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Happy 50th Birthday, Ande Parks!

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September 30, 2014


Comic Arts Brooklyn 2014 Announces First Round Of Guests And New Split Schedule Approach

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You can see most of the pertinent information above. Julie Doucet strikes me as a significant get, she doesn't really do shows anymore I don't think. It's the usual strong guest list for a very good show.

Their statement about the split day scheduling:
"Comic Arts Brooklyn (aka CAB) will expand this year to both Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9. The indy-oriented festival is trying something new this year. Books sales and signings will take place only on Saturday at the Mt. Carmel Church in Williamsburg, with two floors of 100+ vendors. Panels and interviews will be held on Sunday at The Wythe Hotel, also in Williamsburg.

'We want to give more artists and exhibitors the opportunity to come to the presentations,' said CAB organizer, Gabe Fowler, 'Often the very people who want most to see creators speak are unable to attend. CAB wants to change that equation.'

For the second year cartoonist Paul Karasik is coordinating the programming. The guest list includes Roz Chast, Richard McGuire, Raymond Pettibon and Art Spiegelman. 'We have some cool surprises about the specific panels to be announced in the coming weeks," Karasik notes, 'But, let's just say for now, that if you are a Charles Burns fan, you might want to circle Sunday, November 9.'"
I'll be in attendance and hope you will be, too. I might have to come back into the city for Sunday, though.
 
posted 6:00 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Hermit!

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posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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