Monday, February 28, 2005
THERE'S NOTHING MORE TERRIFYING THAN A WOMAN!
Posted Monday, February 28, 2005
at 2/28/2005 01:16:00 AM
archives of comics212.net
By Christopher Butcher
These are the archives of comics212.net. You probably arrived at them following a link. To see the new content at the site, visit http://comics212.net.
Monday, February 28, 2005
THERE'S NOTHING MORE TERRIFYING THAN A WOMAN!
Posted Monday, February 28, 2005
at 2/28/2005 01:16:00 AM
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Best Negative Review Ever
You may remember me going on, at length, about Taiyo Matsumoto's most recent English-language release Blue Spring a month or two back. Things have gotten so busy for me I haven't really had a chance to follow-up on it (I wanted to review it for The Comics Journal, but apparently Robert Boyd beat me to the punch... C'est la vie.) At any rate, I enjoyed individual stories, did not 'enjoy' others, but loved the hell out of the book as a whole. It's dark, and it's difficult, and to be honest it's just fucking relentless all the way through. I kind of want to offer up an impression of the story as a whole, taking the disparate threads together, I have a theory on it, but I'm not sure when I'm going to get time to re-read the manga and re-watch the movie...
At any rate, Johanna Draper Carlson didn't like it. Which surprises me not at all, it's not her book. Johanna is a great reviewer and, like many of the reviewers whose work I genuinely enjoy, seems to be in pursuit of a sort of literary hedonism. Books that are enjoyable and well done and leave you feeling a little better than when you started. I can appreciate that, I'm still afriad (I mean that) to watch "Dancer in the Dark" and a few other films simply because I'm not quite that prepared to have my emotions beat to a pulp.
It turns out that review 2 came in this week from AnimeOnDvd.com, and surprisingly, they didn't like it too much either. However, they disliked it by giving it what might be the best recommendation I've seen:
"However, there is so much going on, graffiti and scenery that I could not
In an industry of warmed-over and failed movie pitches masquerading as comics (oh, and superheroes...) I could totally go for more work that is described as "sensory overload" and "almost obscene".
I had a very, very hard time with Black & White at first. It didn't look like manga to me, back when I was buying "Pulp Magazine" (I have a complete run of the book, which I treasure). I actually, heh, I actually skipped reading Black & White for a while, I just didn't like it (and it didn't fit with the features I did enjoy, like Benkei in New York and Banana Fish and, God help me, Voyeurs Inc).
Then one day, one very boring day at work, I read the entire first volume of the series, and it hooked me. Whatever it was, it finally clicked. I immediately bought it (and the second volume), and chomped-at-the-bit for the (then-unreleased) third. Taiyo Matsumoto's work aims to turn on a switch in your brain, to consider manga in a way you may not previously have done. It took about a year for him to hit the switch for me, but I've never looked back. Any experience I get to have with his comics, regardless of their language, is one I relish.
I guess a lot of people felt the same way I did about Black & White, it was dropped out of "Pulp" before it completed (though they did finish-off the story as a five-issue mini-series, which I actually just bought a month back). His work doesn't look like anyone else's, he's sort of like the Japanese Matt Brinkman or something. For me, anyway, it took effort to develop an appreciation for what he does, but make no mistake that it is clearly worth the effort. At the moment, all three volumes of Black & White are out of print from Viz, and unlikely to come back. If you can track it down though, it's genuinely outstanding stuff.
Otherwise? Well, there's always Japan, and France. France had Blue Spring a few years back, and has all five volumes of the spectacular Ping Pong, which is also available scanlated somewhere on the net... There are also domestic releases, I believe, of both the film adaptation of BLUE SPRING and the film adaptation of PING PONG, and they're both really good. PING PONG may be the best 'sports movie' ever made, now that I think about it.
I'll pop a couple of links at the end of this post...
Anyway, and in closing, I am unsurprised that people didn't all enjoy the Blue Spring manga. Hell, there were a few stories in there that I was too squeamish to enjoy, but I certainly did appreciate it. Here's hoping that a greater and greater number of people develop an appreciation for Matsumoto's work with the publication of this volume. And that someone in the marketting department at Viz gets it reviewed outside of the traditional fan-press for manga, because Shonen Jump this ain't.
Site for Taiyo Matsumoto's GOGOMONSTER!
Taiyo Matsumoto's comics at Amazon Japan
Completely Awesome "Pilot" For Black & White movie/TV Show
- Look under 'Tekkon Kinkurito'
Completely Awesome Teaser Trailer for Matsumoto's No.5
Taiyo Matsumoto mini-site at Shogokukan
Matusmoto Books in French
More Matsumoto Books in French
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005
at 2/27/2005 02:25:00 AM
Friday, February 25, 2005
Nothing Left To Do But Linkblog...
Hey guys and gals. Been a busy little week, all-things-considered, but I figured I may as well post a few cool links that slipped under the radars of Kevin Melrose and Tom Spurgeon... ;)
Nice Puff Piece: The folks over at the Comic World News (particularly one Rich Watson) put together a nice little profile of Toronto's comics scene. J's Stephens, Torres, and Marcy all get a few nice quotes in (as does K...agan McLeod of Infinite Kung-Fu). Props to we fine folk at The Beguiling, the Silver Snail, and most-nicely the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which I am currently busting my ass on :). Check it out at http://cwn.comicraft.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?column=chicksandromance&page=43.
Traitor-Apologist Recognized: Chester Brown, whose lie-filled screed Louis Riel exonerated the disgraceful terrorist, has been recognized by the CBC (like the BBC, but Canadian) as part of their "Alternative Canadian Walk Of Fame" for "ink-stained supremacy in the fields of words and pictures. How does one have a "Walk" on the internet? Still, good on Chester. (Note: The first sentence has it's tongue planted firmly in it's cheek. I highly recommend Louis Riel, and think it's a particularly interesting and well-fact-checked piece of Canadian history...in comics!). Check out the (very nice) write-up here: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/walkoffame/chesterbrown.html.
COMICS FESTIVAL's first preview page: We've uploaded the first preview page for the COMICS FESTIVAL! free comic book day book at http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf/fcbd/. Our first page is a lovely short-story by Hope Larson, best known for her work in FLIGHT and at the SECRET FRIEND SOCIETY online comics, and by my friend Jason Azzopardi.
Win Free Stuff, Win Me Free Stuff: Comic Book Galaxy's STREET ANGEL contest ends this Monday at midnight. With a simple e-mail, you could win all 5 issues of STREET ANGEL, a rare mini-comic, a free piece of lovely art, and more! Plus if YOU win, the proprietor of your local comic shop wins too, and get the same prize! For anyone reading here, I work at The Beguiling, and Street Angel is very good. You and me? We deserve to win free comics and art. Hop to it. http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/streetangelcontest.html
Oh, and check out the Street Angel website at http://www.streetangelcomics.com/.
Speaking of which: The year-end issue of the Comics Journal is a very good one (Shawn Hoke over at CWN (again) even has a bit of a contest to win a copy). It's got my reviews (Honorable Mentions) of Jiro Taniguchi's The Walking Man (which I've raved about here) and Martin Cendreda's DANG!. I do write 'serious journalism' every once in a while, I just try to keep it off of this site which is almost entirely opinion and advocacy-oriented. Previews Review is a little bit better for that, actually. You'd probably be surprised and appalled at how much I research for that site... Bah, anyway. I'm actually just here to bitch: Dirk, what the fuck? Neither STREET ANGEL or SCOTT PILGRIM even meritted an Honorable Mention? Come on. Formally innovative, genuinely fun, well-crafted cartooning doesn't get a nod?
Otherwise, very solid recommendations for stuff that most people have never read, but really oughtta check out. Prediction: Much like the recent Alex Toth issue, this one will be sold out by the end of March, as people who normally couldn't give a shit about the Journal are curious as to what Bendis has to say. Walk, don't run...
I guess that's it for now. Maybe more this weekend? Maybe?
No, your comics ain't art...
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005
at 2/25/2005 02:33:00 AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Out with the jive, in with the love...
My man Stuart pointed me to this preview of the new Top Ten graphic novel.
Click the 'view interior art' link at the bottom.
Top Ten: The 49ers, coming this May. :)
Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2005
at 2/22/2005 05:18:00 PM
Monday, February 21, 2005
Posted Monday, February 21, 2005
at 2/21/2005 12:09:00 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Today, I am going to write.
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005
at 2/19/2005 04:22:00 PM
Friday, February 18, 2005
I found something awesome today, but until I can get to a scanner I wanted to give a shout-out to my buddy Ed "PopImage" Matthews, who launched his very own hot sauce company this week, EVIL HOT! I've been fortunate enough to try a jar of his habanero sauce and it's just awesome. A spoonful in spaghetti sauce (or a good curry) makes a world of difference, and it's just intensely flavourful (and spicy too, I should mention).
The Evil Hot Website: http://evilhot.com/index.shtml
I'm under the impression that he's setting up direct sales immediately. As soon as that section of the website goes live I'll post here :)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2005
at 2/18/2005 06:09:00 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2005
DAVE SIM & GERHARD, CHARLES VESS & JEFF SMITH, and SETH IN FINAL AUCTION ROUND
TORONTO, CANADA - With the first two rounds of auctions raising well over US$19,000 for the Canadian and U.S. Red Cross, it's safe to say that we've already achieved a huge success! We're now moving into the home stretch with our final scheduled auction to aid in Tsunami Relief, and we've got some great pieces from Dave Sim and Gerhard, Charles Vess and Jeff Smith, and Seth!
The auctions all began with a fax from Dave Sim, stating that he wanted to auction off some of his art to assist in the relief efforts after the devastating Tsunami that hit Southeast Asia, and he wanted his fellow comics creators to join in. After a year of very successful auctions of Sim's work, all involved decided that a lot of money could be raised for a very good cause.
Here is a run down of the pieces currently available for auction:
CEREBUS #221 Cover Painting, by Dave Sim and Gerhart
The last scheduled auction of Sim & Gerhard's Cerebus art for this year, and it's a doozy! The cover to issue 221 features the earth-pig in all his glory, with Cerebus character shots being the most popular for collectors of Sim & Gerhard's art. Signed by both Sim and Gerhard, we're hoping that between that and the market's hunger for original Cerebus art, we'll be able to raise a bunch of money for the Red Cross!
BONE:ROSE painted art - CHARLES VESS & JEFF SMITH for TSUNAMI RELIEF
One of only three artists to tell stories set in the BONE universe, Charles Vess teamed with Bone creator Jeff Smith to tell the story of ROSE, a high-fantasy adventure that revealed the origin of beloved Bone character Grandma Ben. Based on layouts by Smith, Vess realized the valley in stunning illustrations and coloured ink washes. A truly spectacular piece of art featuring a climatic meeting between fan-favorite character Grandma Ben and her sister, The Hooded One.
Comic Book Silkscreen print by SETH for TSUNAMI RELIEF
Canadian artist Seth is probably best known for his outstanding work on the series Palooka-Ville, and his graphic novels It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken and Clyde Fans, but Seth is also an in-demand illustrator! The Beguiling was lucky enough to retain his services to commemorate their 15th anniversary a few years back with a lovely illustration celebrating the best of comics, and it's all be captured on this wonderful silkscreen print. Limited to a strict edition of 300 and signed by the artist, this is an inexpensive way to get a lovely piece of art by Seth, will all of the proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross!
All proceeds from these auctions will be donated to the U.S. or Canadian Red Cross.
The current list of auctions can be viewed at:
The Beguiling Books and Art is not taking any fees for running these auctions, and is covering all expenses generated by the auctions so that the full amount of the winning bid goes directly to The Red Cross.
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005
at 2/17/2005 01:56:00 PM
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
COMICS FESTIVAL! ANNOUNCES JAMES JEAN COVER ART!
Great new Free Comic Book Day title covered by James Jean and Darwyn Cooke!
FEBRUARY 16th: Today the folks behind COMICS FESTIVAL!, an anthology of Canadian and international comics creators, announced a surprise flip-cover for their entry into the 2005 Free Comic Book Day Event!
James Jean, best known for his Eisner-nominated cover paintings for comic books like "Fables" and "Batgirl", and illustration for clients including The Washington Post and SPIN magazine, joins comics artist and illustrator Darwyn Cooke ("Batman: The Animated Series", "Catwoman: Selina's Big Score") in providing beautiful cover illustrations for COMICS FESTIVAL! Both Darwyn Cooke and James Jean's cover illustrations can be seen at the newly-launched COMICS FESTIVAL! website, http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf/fcbd.
Jean's cover piece, "INVASION!" showcases all of the energy, excitement, and adventure that the best comics can provide in a beautiful illustration. Jean has been recently been awarded the Society of Illustrators LA Gold Medal, and the 2004 Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist, showcasing his appeal in the mainstream modern media and to comics aficionados who appreciate wonderful illustration.
Jean joins already-announced cover artist Darwyn Cooke, making for a very attractive flip book in comic stores everywhere for Free Comic Book Day. Cooke is probably best known for his stylish, noir-inspired work in comics and animation including the opening sequence of "Batman: The Animated Series", design on the series "Batman: Beyond", and for the graphic novel "Catwoman: Selina's Big Score". Cooke recently completed the epic 400-page graphic novel DC: The New Frontier and is headed for big things in 2005.
COMICS FESTIVAL! is a 32 page book full of original comics from and biographical information on more than 15 different Canadian comics artists. It will be given away FREE as part of the comic industry's FREE COMIC BOOK DAY promotion at comic stores everywhere, Saturday May 7th 2005. It will also be made available in conjunction with the 2005 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, held May 27th-29th 2005.
For more information on COMICS FESTIVAL!, visit:
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, visit:
For more information on The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, visit:
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005
at 2/16/2005 05:42:00 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Saturday Afternoon Catch-up
Surprisingly, I was distracted this week
ITEM: I've just realized that I don't link to Greg McElhatton's iComics reviews site, and I'll try to get to fixing that soon. The reason being of course, that Greg reviews lots of good comics, particularly works I've been meaning to espouse the virtues of myself but, for whatever reason, I don't have the time. I just caught up with all of the reviews on the sidebar, and I would like to recommend Greg's reviews of Paradise Kiss, Lunch Hour Comix #1, We3, Wet Moon, Frank Ironwine #1, and particularly the excellent Astronauts of the Future, which I really enjoyed. I'd actually been meaning to review Astronauts for a little while (and I'd actually been meaning to put it in Scott's hands too), as I think it's a great example of fun, edgy comics for kids that work on a number of levels. At the very least, I've been putting bunches of them into the hands of teachers and librarians, so I hope that if you're reading you'll forgive me for not recommending it here. At any rate, go read Greg's review and then try to track down a copy for yourself...!
ITEM: Alan David Doane has 100 things that he loves about comics. It's not even sarcastic. I probably have 100 things I love about comics too, and there's likely considerable overlap, I just wish I had 24 hours to play with Photoshop. . .
Actually, this reminds me of a discussion a little while back, Jim Rugg commented that not enough comics reviewers either talked about the art in their reviews, or really used a lot of art as examples either. Greg does try and include sample art, but for the most part it really is just extensive text. Which reminded me of something else, actually, that Abhay Khosla said way back in the day about how there was no comics criticism that was in comics format. He then proceeded to do a column entirely in comics, which I remember as being very funny. http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/titlebout/39.html. In retrospect, some of it is quite funny... Fuck, I can remember Mal and I just laughing and laughing at that column every week, it made the interminateaible (sp) hell of living together just soooooooo much easier to take. (Just kidding buddy! I love you! But you shouldn't be reading this anyway. Back to work!).
ITEM: I've tried not to go on any big Marvel rants for a while, because I'd obviously rather piss off everyone else for a while, but I heard who gets killed in next week's issue of Wolverine. I doubt hardcore Wolverine readers are reading this blog, worried that I'm going to spoil it for them, but just in case: Look, porn! Go look at some Porn! (Heh).
So Marvel has allowed ass-hat Mark Millar to kill off their only openly gay superhero. (That's Northstar, also a Canadian, for those of you reading who don't read Marvel comics).
I... on the one hand, I really want to be outraged, because I think that's clearly what ass-hat Mark Millar wants. He's so obvious, I wonder at what point people are going to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt. "Well, WANTED blew and the ending was obnoxious, that's $18 out of my pocket, but maybe I'll give him more of my money because the next project will be better!" How stupid are you, exactly?
On the other hand, and I want you to realize that I wouldn't be reading comics at all if not for Marvel, I may just be done with them. I think I'm done railing against them, rallying for change. As the industry leaders, it's often been in my best interest to get them to try and change the way they do things, and play nice occasionally too. But wow, I think I'm gonna go and sit at Bob Wayne and Paul Levitz's table and have a drink on one of those nice Warner Brothers credit cards, because I'm pretty much done with Marvel until the next, inevitable 'regime' change. I figure that with their current slate of rare variants, foil-enhanced covers, and stunt-books, we're just cresting the top of the 90's revival. The crash will come soon, and then it'll be 'safe' for even the most die-hard fan to ignore them again. . .
So, yeah, Marvel has gay character stabbed through chest. Expect furor and uproar, but here's hoping that no one buys the books. Any of 'em, for that matter.
If I might?
Stand for something, or fall for anything.
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005
at 2/12/2005 12:31:00 PM
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Hunter and Painter
A very good comic about giving people what they want
A customer inquiry at work today reminded me that, waaaaaaaaay back in January, Jim Rugg sent me the link to this marvelous comic strip Hunter and Painter, by UK comics creator Tom Gauld. This 15-strip story apparently ran for days in The Guardian newspaper. I'd love to know what the reaction was like.
Wry humour, social commentary, and the nature of art all rolled up into one. Particularly strong pacing and storytelling too, and a remarkable ability to know when to cut away from a scene. Strong work.
Tom Gauld's website is online at: http://www.cabanonpress.com/.
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005
at 2/10/2005 06:37:00 PM
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Jay Stephens Responds Twice
In response to my column on the CBC column on kids comics, and prompted by Tom Spurgeon covering the whole thing this morning, Jay Stephens responds at Tom Spurgeon's site:
and then in my comments section:
. . . where his take on kids comics (alive and well) is very, very different than what was put forward in the CBC article (doomed, there are none).
Jay, seriously, I'm very sorry. Based on the differences between your comments and the article, you were quoted very severely out of context there, and I would never have imagined that to be the case. Since what was said there was clearly not what you meant, any sort of further debate is pretty pointless on my part, as I (with reservations on the idea of that creators should do kids work if they don't want to) agree with pretty much everything you wrote in my comments section, including me being more than a little knee-jerk. I'll end it with this: I'm really very sorry if you were offended by my reading of the article, or your statements in that article, but I don't think I misread what was written either. I think Tom Spurgeon summed up my problem with that article very well:
"If kids comics suffer, . . . it's hard to believe a few cartoonists pursuing ambitious work for adults has a billionth to do with the shape of the marketplace compared to decades of various corporations falling over themselves to cynically exploit a shrinking but dependable hardcore fanbase, gleefully locking into place a restrictive market where almost no one can successfully introduce even slightly innovative new material. . . . Both comics for kids and a certain kind of comics for adults have suffered from the hands of aggressive narrowcasting; it's silly to play one off of the other."
. . . and it has now been made very clear that your beliefs don't jibe with the thrust of the CBC piece.
Posted Wednesday, February 09, 2005
at 2/09/2005 01:32:00 PM
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Good News All Around
Manga to get excited about again...
I'd been in a bit of a funk as many of the manga series I had been enjoying disappeared or finished, and many of the types of manga that I gravitated towards fell out-of-vogue. Curiously though, with the announcement of Viz's new SHOJO BEAT anthology (the 'girl' version of Shonen Jump), I might have something to be very happy about again.
From the AnimeOnDVD forums:
"According to this link as posted in our Shojo Beat thread, the starting line-up for VIZ's shojo anthology are:
Akachan To Boku (Baby & Me)
The anthology specs found at the above link: * 250-300 pages * Cover price $5.99 * Subscription price $34.95 (or promotional 2005 price of $29.95) "
The only title I'm familiar with here is NANA, which is the newest work by PARADISE KISS creator Ai Yazawa! It's about two girls with strange names and different lives that end up becoming friends, and influencing one-another. Mal has been reading the French releases (they're already up to Volume 10. France has so much better manga than us, it kills me sometimes...) and says that, at least for the first few volumes, it's even better than PARADISE KISS.
This is no small feat, in my humble opinion.
So, yeah, very cool indeed, and something to look forward to later this year.
Posted Tuesday, February 08, 2005
at 2/08/2005 01:55:00 PM
Seth, Ware, kill Little Lulu and Charlie Brown
Inside sources say Uncle Scrooge could be next...!
UPDATE: Jay Stephens feels that he was quoted very severely out of context in the piece that follows, and has clarified and expanded on his statements at: http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/briefings/letters/920/
A very good comics-centric journalist by the name of Brad Mackay writes a story for the CBC about the derth of comics, any comics, for children. He gets Jay Stephens to comment, about how it really is unfortunate that comics have turned away from kids. He even quotes Michael Chabon's excellent keynote address at last year's Eisner Awards, with which I wholeheartedly agree:
"Children did not abandon comics... Comics, in their drive to attain respect and artistic accomplishment, abandoned children. The adult reader of comic books has always been the Holy Grail, the promised land, the imagined lover who will greet us, at the end of the journey, with open arms, with acceptance, with approval. � Comics have always been an arriviste art form. And all upstarts are to some degree ashamed of their beginnings. But frankly, I don�t think that�s what�s going on in comics anymore. I think we have simply lost the habit of telling stories to children. And how sad is that?�Mackay wrote a knowledgable and informed article, and even made it easily understood to the layman off the street. The only problem is, in Mackay's quest to hunt down the perpetrator of this dastardly deed, he got the wrong man.
Jay Stephens: "This is something that's always kind of irked me about somebody like, say, Seth, who is a huge Peanuts fan and Little Lulu fan, but in an intellectual way only. He embraces it as highbrow art. We're both fans of the same material, but we have a completely different approach. He would rather keep it just for himself."Art-comix killed the children's books? What?
Dude, I hate to tell you this because it'll invalidate your thesis, but most of the children's comix actually outsell the art-comix. Diamond is pushing about as many copies of Pallooka-ville as it is Uncle Scrooge, and the Pallooka-ville collections may sell well outside of the Direct Market, the other property is owned and exploited by Disney, which is an entirely different order of magnitude than 10,000 copies of Clyde Fans.
The fundimental assertion in the article, that the drive for respectibility has pushed kids out of the comics medium, is a strong one. It's what Chabon is saying, and he's largely correct. The problem is with where Mackay goes from there. Art-comix have never been about children, and they (largely) didn't come out of a tradition of children's work. Many artists are influenced by Schultz, but at the same time Seth (as a well-documented example) is also influenced by a grand tradition of 'adult' illustration and gags, and much of that makes it into his work as well (hell, his first book is about that.) What Chabon, what any of us complaining about this situation is getting at (except Jay Stephens, apparently) is that it's the material for children that decided to aim for respectability instead of all-ages appeal. Captain America is no longer for children, it's (by all accounts) a very good book for the 18-49 year old demographic. The "Bang, Pow, Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore!" headline that Mackay references came about from very specific instances of publishers subverting the expectations of children's comics, and in some cases perverting children's comics. Which isn't to say that they weren't fucking great, they were. But the fact that Frank Miller's follow-up to BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS was what we should all probably consider an elaborate practical joke should tell us all something. I'm not entirely sure what, but it's definitely there.
I have the barest recolection of talking to Brad Mackay about this article, particularly in the context of Free Comic Book Day, a month or two ago. Us putting together TCAF, and it being Christmas, I can't tell if I'm making this up or not, but yeah. I wish I'd known a little more what the context of the article was going to be, I'd have taken him out for coffee or something. If I even had the time to begin with.
But anyway, counterpoint:
A gap that I feel is only widened by media outlets telling people that there are no books for kids, and you should just stay away from comics altogether if you're under 20.
Thanks to N. for the link.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Just an observation about manga
Following up on an old discussion...
Via Ed, via Kevin, comes an article from this month's Sequential Tart about great romantic scenes in comics in time for Valentine's Day.
I was reading through their recomendations, and I noticed that all of the respondents only offered up suggestions firmly within their specific area of interest, and there was no real integration of the suggestions. It seems that, regardless of quality, the participants are only reading and recommending along some pretty strict lines (superheroes, manga, webcomics, and the lovely Denise Sudell coming in with a few indy/porn recommendations too!). I just find it odd, and this touches back a couple of previous posts, that none of the people participating is engaging the medium as a whole, apparently, rather just specific niches. It's to Sequential Tart's immense credit that they have a diverse-enough writing staff to cover the medium as well as they do, but I'd still like to see a few more jack-of-all-trades reviewers and commentators.
This reminds me of a recent announcement, ICV2 pulling all of the comics out of their comics awards. Oh, wait, I guess that doesn't make sense. Perhaps I shouldn't have translated the word 'manga', into the English, which means comics. I do see the point, honestly, but at the same time it just seems like another move designed to keep manga out of the discourse about real comics, particularly as it's so good at making people ask uncomfortable questions about the Direct Market and the superhero-publishing-industry...
Posted Monday, February 07, 2005
at 2/07/2005 04:34:00 PM
PR: GEARING UP FOR OUR THIRD ROUND OF AUCTIONS FOR TSUNAMI RELIEF
February 14th the date for next auctions to benefit Canadian and U.S. Red Cross!
TORONTO, CANADA - The first and second round of auctions are now completed, having raised over US$19,000 for the Canadian and U.S. Red Cross, in support of Tsunami Relief! Dave Sim's idea of a chain-letter auction has done some marvelous work, and it's largely thanks to the comics creators who stepped up with some spectacular art.
The final roud of The Beguiling's auctions will begin on Monday, February 14th with the final Cerebus cover donated by Dave Sim, and pieces by Charles Vess and Jeff Smith, and Seth. Just keep watching over at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZbeguiling to see the auctions go live. Thanks again to everyone who bid, and particularly to our winners who donated a surprising ammount of money to a very good cause, and got some lovely art (and a very rare book) in the process.
The Beguiling Books and Art is not taking any fees for running these auctions, and is covering all expenses generated by the auctions so that the full amount of the winning bid goes directly to The Red Cross.
For more information about the auctions visit http://www.beguiling.com. For media or interview requests, please contact Peter Birkemoe at The Beguiling, firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-533-9168.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Taking a break from Rollercoaster Tycoon...
This week was particularly intense, so I've (more or less) taken the Saturday and Sunday off. Sure, I went in to work today and sure, I put 4 hours into TCAF, but that's besides the point. In pursuit of leisure, I present to you the glories of the Internet and comics, may you linkblog them in peace.
1. Hope Larson and Kean Soo have launched their excellent new comics site, SECRET FRIEND SOCIETY at http://secretfriendsociety.com/. Every day, there will be a new comics page from either Kean or Hope, as they serialize young readers graphic novels for free, for you. I've had the pleasure of reading the first fifty (fifty!) pages of Hope's story, and it's wonderful. Kean didn't let me preview his, I think it's secretly because he only has the pages that are online done :). Not that he doesn't have a good excuse, what with having coded the site and all. PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEAN.
2. I'm listening to the new Iron & Wine song, The Trapeze Swinger, thanks to the fine folks at The Torontoist. I don't usually go in for the 'emo', but this is genuinely wonderful. It's like a painfully beautiful sad song on the radio, except it's 9 minutes long, will never be played on the radio, and therefore doesn't suck. Also features some lovely imagery (including the idea of "Fuck The Man" spray-painted on the gates of heaven.) Highly recommended, and you get check it out (and a couple of other decent tracks) via last Wednesday's Mixtape. That cover of Straight Outta Compton though... yowch.
3. Yeah, I heard about the Scott Pilgrim thing. No one has signed or confirmed anything, it's just Rich Johnson and The Hollywood Reporter talking at the moment. Fun-fact: Not one comics outlet reporting the rumour actually bothered to contact Mal via his easily-accessible website. Has it been long-enough since I railed on what passes for journalistic standards in comics, or no?
4. And on that note, Tom Spurgeon has a very good quote over at The Comics Reporter:
"The nature of on-line news provides very little room for a second look. On-line5. Scott started updating again, sort of. More from Scott soon, let's hope.
6. Daily-strip-creator Jason Marcy just launched his own website. I had thought it kind of strange that, upon trying to track down jay's daily strip it seemed to be spread out across two or three sites... This is a good thing, an all-in-one site. Jay actually snuck me into a strip a few weeks ago making this my third (fourth?) comic appearance to date. Well, not counting my own comics.
That'll be enough then. I think I'm going to go draw.
Everyone needs a day off.
PS: Here is some lovely art from Genevieve Castree:
Posted Sunday, February 06, 2005
at 2/06/2005 10:18:00 PM
Thursday, February 03, 2005
This is a meme from Kevin at Beaucoup Kevin.
I'm just participating because I done been called out.
1. Total amount of music files on your computer: 18GB... Fucking hell.
2. The last CD you bought was: Probably the CDs I bought for my Mom at Christmas as part of her present (Patsy Cline). Last CDs I bought for myself (same time) were a copy of Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan, and The Shins' Oh Inverted World.
3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message? I haven't listened to music in about 24 hours, actually. It's been a little busy. I'm going to say that the last song was probably by Blondie, Rip Her To Shreads. I was actually singing Disco Classic "Ring My Bell" today, but I don't think that counts.
4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
These are the songs I've listened to A LOT in the past month:
1) Neighborhood (Tunnels), by The Arcade Fire
2) X-Offender by, Blondie
3) District Sleeps Alone Tonight, by The Postal Service
4) Let The Distance Keep Us Together, by Britt Daniel and Bright Eyes
5) Milkshake, by Kellis
I'm sorry, I can't help it.
5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why? I believe that Graeme McMillan, Tom Spurgeon, and Kevin Melrose should do this next. Because they all have very focussed blogs, and I think it is important to derail them slightly to get to know more about the men-behind-the-words.
So to speak. :)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2005
at 2/03/2005 09:23:00 PM
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
About The Beguiling
Since I got linked to about 30 times today, here's some actual content about The Beguiling.
First and foremost, we're the primary sponsor for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, being held May 27th-29th 2005 in Toronto, Canada. If you want to visit the store, or visit a hell of a comics event, this is the time to come visit. The full site will be going live next week with the guestlist and all, but there's a lot going on, and it'll be very different than most comics events. Un-conventional, let's say. :)
Onto brass tacks, we're just uploading our order today for the Month of February, and I thought it might be interesting to show you what we're ordering, both by quantity and dollar value (no actual numbers, just rankings). It's interesting because in a lot of ways, I think this list will end up both mirroring the direct market and being entirely divorced from it. I think it's also important to show that there are stores who do really well with the 'wierd' material, when it's actually made available to the public.
Anyway, here ya go:
QUANTITY: The top 30-or-so books by initial order numbers.
1 DC COUNTDOWN
1 GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH #6
1 VIMANARAMA #2
Stunt book, stunt book, Vinanarama. We3 was probably our second best selling floppy of last year (behind EIGHTBALL #23) and though Quitely has a built-in fanbase, we do really well with work by Phil Bond (rare as it is...). We're expecting big things from it, and not-so-much from DC COUNTDOWN (even at a buck).
2 ULTIMATE IRON MAN #1
2 ULTIMATES 2 #4
2 ASTONISHING X-MEN #10
At no point accept the argument that the 'top tier' books are NOT sucking the sales out of the midlist. And that foil-enhanced 50/50 split variant covers aren't a ploy to push things to the top of the list.
3 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES
3 SEVEN SOLDIERS GUARDIAN
3 EX MACHINA
3 SECRET WAR
3 FILLER BUNNY
3 LOVE & ROCKETS VOL 2
In the long run, we'll end up selling far, far more Filler Bunny than anything tied for third. But there's no real incentive to order beyond the first few weeks of sales when it will be easy to reorder that book (through Coldcut Distribution in particular). That's why I think, for the most part, the diamond top 300 list is a bad idea. It re-enforces the idea that 'indies don't sell' when it's more to the point that our top-20 best selling comics of all time are 'indies' (or Vertigo), and for the most part we're still selling them.
It's also important to note that, up to this point, the only book with more than 12 issues in it's current incarnation is "Superman", and even that's just the 12th part of the Jim Lee run.
4 SUPERMAN BATMAN
4 COMICS JOURNAL
6 NEW AVENGERS
6 SEVEN SOLDIERS SHINING KNIGHT
6 FLIGHT VOL 2 GN
6 MINISULK GN
New Avengers is slowly, slowly winding down. As soon as those incentive numbers for variant covers are gone (first 6 issues), I think you're going to see a pretty surprising drop across the board...
7 PREVIEWS VOL XV
7 MARGES LITTLE LULU VOL 3 TP
7 ADAM STRANGE
7 JLA CLASSIFIED
7 100 PERCENT TP
7 ULTIMATE SECRET
7 BLACK PANTHER
7 X-MEN PHOENIX ENDSONG
7 SUPREME POWER
7 DOC FRANKENSTEIN
7 NARUTO VOL 6 TP
Another neat fact: About a quarter of the books here are trade paperbacks by quantity. We're not 'stocking up' either, we do pretty spectacular 'frontlist' on collected editions, with a good number of our customers waiting for the trade on a good number of books. Also important to note that this is the first appearance of manga on the list. We're known in retail circles as being a 'heavy' manga store, and we are, but just because of the size of the books (200+ pages) and volume of manga (100 books a month) we order lower on these and do many, many reorders (see the mention of 'indy' comics above).
DOLLARS: Top Titles by Dollar Value
1 FLIGHT VOL 2 GN
An easy victory. $25 for 400+ pages of material, we've got lots of pre-orders on this one too. I think FLIGHT 2 is really going to blow people away, and word of mouth was incredibly strong on the first volume. We're very-much looking forward to having this one in stores.
2 100 PERCENT TP
Too expensive by half, but Paul Pope still has a very strong fanbase shopping at the store. Crossed with the somewhat 'mythical' nature of the story (very difficult to find here in town) and I think it'll be an easy sell.
3 PROCESS RECESS ART OF JAMES JEAN HC
This would have ranked higher, but we'll be seeing Chris Pitzer in town for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May, so we'll be able to pick some up off of him then. James Jean's work is still entirely amazing though, I heartily suggest you check out his website at http://www.jamesjean.com/.
4 PAUL MOVES OUT HC
5 COMICS JOURNAL
6 PLANETARY VOL 3 LEAVING THE 20TH CENTURY TP
7 PROMETHEA BOOK 4 TP
8 FABLES VOL 5 THE MEAN SEASONS TP
I know this may shock people, but we really do this well with the Comics Journal. We're selling far more copies than Wizard. The nice thing is, fewer and fewer of our Journal customers are the type of people who only read The Journal. I think it's because there's a lot of good material out right now, but also because I think the Journal has been doing a better job of engaging people about the actual work, recently. BIAS NOTE: I will have two reviews in the next issue of The Journal. DC's alt-trade paperbacks still do much, much better for us than their superhero collections too, as the die-hard superhero fans want the issues, in many cases.
I'm really looking forward to the PAUL MOVES OUT book...
9 R. CRUMB HANDBOOK HC W/ CD
This is actually in the 'Books' Section, not in the main catalogue. Would've probably come in at number one, but we think people are encountering "Crumb Fatigue", which I thought was a funny statement so I'm sharing it with you.
10 COMIC CAVALCADE ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC
11 MARGES LITTLE LULU VOL 3 TP
12 MINISULK GN
13 ORDINARY VICTORIES GN
This is the French graphic album by Larcenet that I mentioned a few posts down. We're really looking forward to it. (For more, check out my picks for the best books this month, at THIS LINK, or visit http://www.previewsreview.com for a complete overview of the better books in the catalogue this month.
14 MARVEL MASTERWORKS GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL 1 2ND ED H
15 TOM STRONGS TERRIFIC TALES VOL 2 HC
16 BATMAN YEAR ONE DELUXE EDITION HC
17 MODERN ARF GN
18 FRANKENSTEIN NOW AND FOREVER GN
19 ALEX RAYMONDS FLASH GORDON VOL 3 HC
I was kind of surprised that the YEAR ONE re-release ranked as highly as it did, but considering it'll be such a good entry point for new readers (and the hardcover is only 20 bucks!) I guess it makes a kind of sense. Also of note on this list is FRANKENSTEIN, a british translation of a French BD album.
20 SHARKNIFE VOL 1 GN
21 NARUTO VOL 6 TP
Sharknife! Naruto! SHARKNIFE!
22 ANYWHERE BUT HERE GN
23 LOVE & ROCKETS VOL 2
Just as a reminder, ANYWHERE BUT HERE is the gag-strip-art-manga that's arriving this spring, and this is what we would consider a conservative order. If it catches on with people, I could see us ordering much higher. WALKING MAN numbers...
This is actually an artbook by Range Murata. A really nice-looking one too...
24 GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH
26 COWBOY BEBOP THE WIND ILLUSTRATIONS
27 INU YASHA VOL 21 TP
28 EISNER MILLER TP
29 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 13 BEAUTIFUL NIGHT TP
30 ALEX TOTH READER VOL 2 TP
Anyhow, there you go. A look inside a different sort of comic store. I'm just doing this so that the next time someone in a message thread says that non-superhero material "just doesn't sell", this post will be archived for eternity, for y'all to point to.
Thanks for visiting...
Posted Tuesday, February 01, 2005
at 2/01/2005 02:52:00 PM
A Very Blondie Day
The Internet is kind of shitty, actually.
I find the internet a little depressing today, and at odds with having a positive impact on comics. I'm kind of tempted to start banning certain individuals from commenting at Fanboy Rampage, and going through the posted comments with a razor, cutting out the cancer...
Meanwhile, Alan and Jay had lots of nice things to say, so that was nice. It was an interesting evening all around.
I'm just going to sit here and work on the Diamond order, and listen to Blondie. I get the feeling that most people haven't heard the song "Hanging On The Telephone", it's quite good. X-Offender too, but the classics are all fantastic too.
- Christopher, Hip Hop and you don't stop...
Sorry, we couldn't find the post you were looking for. Perhaps you'd like to search for it?
Sorry, we couldn't find the post you were looking for. Perhaps you'd like to search for it?