I sometimes forget that people read my twitter feed, so here’s a few clarifying thoughts about DMP’s use of Kickstarter to fund manga projects by Osamu Tezuka. Their Kickstarter is at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-unico-in-english-in-full-col.

- I am really, really glad that there are going to be more Tezuka projects in print. They sell well for us, and UNICO in particular will do well through Little Island. I will be happy to own Barbara and Unico and whatever else gets printed.

- I like Kickstarter (and Indiegogo). I’ve backed 4 or 5 projects myself, and only one of them flaked out, and I’ve been assured that one will get sorted too. I think crowdfunding is a remarkable thing.

- It is disconcerting to see what should be a well-invested professional publisher need to take 380 preorders before a book is published. It’s only 380 pre-orders, that’s not a huge amount, but that is presented as the crux upon which the project will happen, or not. It is incredibly disconcerting as someone who is worked in the publishing industry in which this publisher operates for the past 16 years. It is disconcerting as a fan of Osamu Tezuka.

- I feel it speaks to a lack of confidence in the product, and a lack of confidence in the publisher to see a return in their investment of licensing this property, or has been hinted, “these properties”.

- Kickstarter has seemed to me, since its inception, like a method to reach beyond what might normally be possible into achieving something extraordinary.

- The basic acts of publishing are printing and promotion. If you are a publisher but you can’t print or promote, are you still a publisher? Some very smart people say yes, and I’m honestly not sure, because you’re unable to fulfill your basic roles and are counting on others to do that, and that’s where my conflict is.

- I want to stress that I feel this way about professional publishers using this apparatus, not an individuals or artists self-publishing, as an individual publishing a book and putting it into the world is still a remarkable thing. :)

- Further, I feel that this is a different apparatus than “accepting pre-orders”, as the implication is that publishing the work will require successful Kickstarting, which means Kickstarter is theoretically the beginning and end of the publisher’s commitment to printing and promotion, at least to get the book out into the world. And that number was 380 people. Again, some people see no problem with this, mostly because they want the material and the end justifies the means, and as a fan I’m on board. As someone who asks questions like “Well what’s a publisher then?” I’m not.

- I have no doubt that the future is going to continue to change the definition of “publishing” a great deal, and this is likely one such change. But it’s a change and it’s worth talking about and considering, rather than dismissing it as a new iteration of “pre-selling” or “pre-orders” or whatever.

- Finally, it should be stated that the opinions expressed above and at my Twitter are mine alone, and do not reflect any past, current, or future people who might employ me.

Christopher

 


Yesterday a kid came into the store, maybe 6 years old, for the first time. He asked if we had any MAD Magazines and I showed him the newest one, and he looked a little disappointed and said “But… do you have any more?”. I told him we did, we had hundreds of them, and showed him the bins. His eyes got real wide, he freaked out a little “All… of these?” Yup. He ran downstairs to tell his mom, then ran back upstairs to go through every MAD we had, pulling out his favourites and laughing.

It’s an amazing thing when you discover a comic store for the first time, that there are all these comics you never knew existed. It reminded me of my first time in the comic book store. I just posted that story to Twitter, and I thought I would share it here as well.

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but my first comic book was Transformers #3, which had Spider-man on the cover. I loved Transformers, and didn’t realize that there were comics. I knew that there WERE such things as comics, I’d see them in the Beckers’ convenience store across the street from my house, but I wasn’t really interested.

I was 8 at the time. I’d just changed schools and it was a bit shocking. Class went from ridiculously easy to challenging, all of my childhood friends had disappeared… I just became obsessed with Transformers. I asked (probably demanded) that my mom get it for me, that there are TRANSFORMERS ADVENTURES NOT ON TV AND LOOK IT ALSO HAS SPIDER-MAN IN IT THAT’S CRAZY. She relented.

(I did know Spider-Man from the old cartoon though, it aired at lunch time, and so I’d see it any time we spent the week at my grandmother’s house–cheap babysitting in the summertime. Spider-man and Transformers crossing over probably added a bit more unreality to the whole situation, made the comic seem more… mythical.)

Of course, of course, it ended on a cliffhanger. We went back to the store the same day I think, and asked the man behind the counter when the next one would come out. Transformers was on TV every day at 3, and I’d gotten used to that sort of schedule. He said “probably 1 month…” Insanity. I was beside myself for three days waiting for it, then promptly forgot, then my mom reminded me it’d been about a month and we should check the store to see if my comic book was in.

We got to the store, and found… Transformers #5.

We’d somehow missed #4 completely, AND I was holding #5 “of a 4 issue limited series”. Lessons learned?

  1. You won’t get every issue.
  2. Comic books fucking lie all the time.
  3. So do clerks at the convenience store.

Needless to say we bought #5, which had the most amazingly bad-ass cover, and the story inside was even crazier. Issue #4 haunted me… I didn’t know what the cover looked like, I didn’t know what had happened (all of the Autobots had been beheaded!?). I would try to get the issues every month, and I’d miss three or four over the next few years, and it was incredibly frustrating.

(My mom would try to ease the pain by getting me started on another series, “Planet Terry” from Marvel’s STAR line… and I liked it, at the time, but it was just as problematic in its way because I’d miss issues of that as well! I never did find out how that ended until Marvel reprinted it a few years back. It was a terrible non-ending, I should have guessed.)

When we moved to another suburb a few years later, my biggest concern was where I was going to get my Transformers comics. Not my friends (I learned the hard way about making friends that when you move, you lose them) not my meighbours, who were moving as well a few months before us. Just where to get Transformers every month.

Apparently, comic books were available at every convenience store, not just the Beckers by my old house. Who knew?

Then, for Christmas that year, when I was maybe 10 years old? Best Christmas ever.

My parents got me every single issue of Transformers I was missing, including issue #4. Including issue #1. It was magic. That cover to issue #1 is amazing too. I still remember that #4 ends with “Definitely NOT the end…!” and it goes into a letter column explaining it became an ongoing series. Amazing.

I asked my parents how… where they could find older issues of comics? And they said that they had found a store that sold nothing but comic books. A comic book shop. My mind was completely blown. I asked that they take me. Immediately. They explained it was closed Christmas Day, like everything else.

I contented myself with reading all of my comics for the first time, in order. 21 of them! IN a row! It was unbelievable to me. #21 even introduced the Arielbots, and I had gotten the toys that year for Christmas, and they formed Superion which held together WAAAAY better than my brother’s Devestator! Hah!

The next day, we went to the comic book store, and it was amazing.  It was called “Your Friendly Neighbourhood Comic Shop”, in Brampton, about 15 mins drive from my house. We’d been living there 6 months and I had no idea that there were comic stores that close, or even comic stores at all.

It was a clean, organized, well-lit store. The owners were kinda grumpy but it had everything you could want and more. Hundreds of comics, racking lots of indies, black and white comics, Marvel and DC, stuff I’d seen on the spinner and magazine racks at stores, but also so many more I’d never even heard of. It had statues and posters too, and boxes to store your comics in! (I used to keep mine on my book shelf, standing up). It had specially sized bags to put your comics in, and cardboard to put into the backs to keep them straight. You could never miss a comic again because they had every issue! It had everything.

Except…

Except it didn’t have any more Transformers comics. I asked at the counter and they said #21 was the newest, and #22 would be out in about a month.

That Christmas I had achieved my goal, I now had every issue of The Transformers that had been published, which meant as magical as the shop was,  it wasn’t magical enough.

I’d gotten everything I wanted and I was still disappointed.

And on that day, I truly became a comic book fan.

THE END.


Thanks to a note from my friend David, I’ve been informed that there’s a whole new round of Taiyo Matsumoto t-shirts now available at Uniqlo Japan.

The last time I went to MoCCA, the Uniqlo on broadway had an explosion of manga Ts with a ton of Matsumoto designs, and I bought literally one of each of them. This time around, unfortunately, I am not going to be anywhere near a Uniqlo for the foreseeable future, and so I’m a little bummed for myself but super-excited for all of you that will have a shot at wearing the coolest t-shirts ever.

Go check out all 14 designs from Tekkon Kinkreet, Ping Pong, Sunny, and more at http://store.uniqlo.com/jp/store/feature/ut/taiyoumatsumoto/.

- Chris


Part 1

Calls Porter Airlines.

Waits Thirty-Two Minutes On Hold.

Twitters at Porter Airlines that he has been on hold for 32 minutes.

Porter representative immediately answers phone.

Part 2

Customer: “Hi, I need to move mine and my husband’s flight from this Monday to this Friday.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I’ve looked at your flight info, and you will need to pay the change fee of $75 each plus the difference in fare.”

Customer: “No problem, I will pay the change fee, and the new fare is cheaper.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “So with the $150 in change fees, and the difference in fare, you owe $450.”

Customer: “I don’t think that’s right, the new flight is like $100 less than the old flight.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Because your existing fare was discounted, we can’t apply the sale price to the new fare. You need to pay the full price of the new fare.”

Customer: “Wait, you’re telling me that because I already got a sale on the flight I booked, even though I’m cancelling that flight and booking a new one I can’t get a discounted price? Even if I agree to pay the change fee?”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I’m sorry yes, you can’t combine discounts.”

Customer: “I’m not combining discounts, I’m cancelling one discounted flight in favour of another.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “The rules of your fare state that if any part of your existing fare is discounted, you can receive no further discounts when you change flights.”

Customer: “So the credit I get from you in moving my flight is discounted so I get less credit, but I can’t get any discount at all on the flight I’m buying? Does that sound right to you?”

Porter Airlines Representative: “…”

Customer: “Can you maybe check with a supervisor? Because that seems crazy to me.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Just a moment.”

Part 3

25 minutes later.

Porter Airlines Representative: “Thank you for your patience Mr. Customer, we’re running a sale right now so my supervisor was very busy.”

Customer: “Clearly.”

Porter Airlnes Representative: “So my supervisor has agreed to let you cancel the flight for the total change fees of $150 plus tax, and I can go ahead and book the new flight for you here.”

Customer: “But I can just book the flight here myself on the website, one way, and it’s only going to be $300. I don’t have to pay a cancellation fee. I can just book the flight.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Yes, sir, but in order to cancel your Monday flight and move it, you’re going to have to pay those two cancellation fees, because of the type of ticket you bought has [Porter Airlines Rules and Regulations Excised for brevity].”

Customer: “No, no I follow what you’re saying, I’m just saying if I book a one way flight on Friday, and then simply do not show up for my original return flight on Monday, I will save $150. Because either you’re going to charge me the un-discounted price to book my new fare plus the cancellation fee, which comes out to $450, or you’re just going to let me cancel my flight for the cancellation fee $150 and book the new flight for me which I can do myself, and those two things together will also total $450.”

“If I just don’t show up at all for my Monday flight and book an additional flight, it costs me less money than you interacting with my reservation in any way. And I don’t get charged a ‘cancellation fee’ if I don’t cancel.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “…I’d have to check with my supervisor on that.”

Customer: “No you don’t, thanks. We’re just going to leave this right here, and if Porter wants to charge me $150 for simply not using their services, I’ll deal with that when it happens.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I understand your frustration sir, but the rules of your fare…”

Customer: “Nonono, I’m not angry or anything. You’re doing your job. But I’m just going to take my own course of action here, and it is going to save me $150, and you and I don’t need you to do anything.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “We’ll just leave this the way it is then.”

Customer: “We’ll just leave this right here where it is.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Can I help you with anything else?”

Customer: “No, no you cannot. Thank you.”

Total Call Time: 55 minutes, 51 seconds.

Epilogue:

Still better than dealing with Air Canada Reservations.


I’m going to be making the trip out to San Diego for Comic-Con again this year, in service to my various masters, and so as always I’m glad to see Tom Spurgeon’s outstanding “Comic-Con By The Numbers” guide to the show. Better still, he seems to have significantly overhauled it this year, and it’s a pretty darned fun read, in addition to being incredibly useful.

It’s worth noting that attending San Diego Comic Con does not necessitate reading a 170+ point guide to attending San Diego Comic Con, but if everyone who attended the show actually did read it we’d all have a much better time. Go check it out.

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/briefings/commentary/38346/

- Christopher


Welcome everyone!

My name is Christopher Butcher, and I am the co-founder and Festival Director of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). Just last weekend, I presided over our 7th festival in 9 years, a continued celebration of all that is great about comics and graphic novels, and their creators.

TCAF 2012 was our fourth event since making the Festival an annual affair, and the fourth to be held at Toronto Reference Library with Presenting Sponsor Toronto Public Library. Continuing our increased success and attendance year-over-year, TCAF 2012 was clearly our biggest and best-attended Festival yet, with more people than ever filing into the library to take part in all that our exhibitors, and the library, had to offer. Personally, as the Festival Director, I’ve never been happier or enjoyed one of our Festivals more than I did this weekend, and that’s thanks to the great staff of Toronto Public Library and TCAF, our amazing volunteers and exhibitors, and all of you members of the public who came to take part in our event.

In keeping with our tradition, I’m sending out this informal little note to talk about TCAF rather than doing a big PR, because TCAF is just that kind of show. :)

Higher Attendance, Less Crowded: Win/Win!

When you’ve done 7 of these events, you can feel when things are a little more bustling, a little more energized than they’ve been previously… and Saturday afternoon I could tell that we were seeing record crowds at the show. The best part though is that, following up on feedback from our exhibitors, the public, and the Toronto Public Library, the flow of traffic was smoother and less crowded than it had been for the past several years. The Festival evolves with each iteration, and this year’s decision to add additional offsite venues, to widen aisles and remove tables from the atrium, and to cap attendance in certain areas, meant that all of the library customers—regardless of why they were visiting—could have a more enjoyable year.

TCAF 2012’s attendance was a record 18,000 people. What that figure comprises is 17,896 people counted by Toronto Reference Library’s security gate above the average attendance on a normal Saturday/Sunday. While people were coming and going all day, this figure balances out the instances of a flood of people exiting through the counter all at once where only one person might be counted out of 4-5. Beyond that, we’ve averaged in the 400+ people in attendance for our awesome Friday-night kick-off event in The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon with Jeff Smith, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon, and the more than 800 people per hour accommodated in our off-site venues: Owlkids Day @ St. Paul’s on Bloor, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, The Pilot Tavern, and Ristorante Fortuna. While the possibility exists that there were in fact far more than 18,000 participants in 2012, we’re quite happy with the idea of a 20% increase in attendance over 2011. :)

Thank you for your continued support!

As TCAF heads into its 10th Anniversary show next year, it is our continued partnership with Toronto Public Library that enables it to easily remain an annual, free event for the people of Toronto and visitors from around the world. The partnership between TCAF and Toronto Public Library, and working with venue Toronto Reference Library, continues to reinforce the core ideals of the Festival: TCAF is a free event, TCAF is about books and authors, and TCAF is open to everyone—not just the ‘initiated’ comics fans. On behalf of myself and the entire TCAF organizational team, we’d like to thank our Partner and Presenting Sponsor Toronto Public Library for their support, promotion, and hosting of TCAF 2012. They’ve had a pretty tough year, as have many institutions in the City ofToronto, and we’re glad that we’re able to work with them.

We’d also like to thank TCAF’s other sponsors, the folks who help make the Festival viable financially. 2012 Kids Sponsor Owlkids was fantastically supportive in all of our new children’s and library initiatives, and allowed those initiatives the successes that they enjoyed. Thanks to Media Sponsor NOW Magazine, who provided us a wonderful avenue to help get the word out about the Festival and our satellite events, to The Marriott Bloor Yorkville as the Offical TCAF 2012 Hotel and to Air Canada for travel support. Our thanks also to local sponsors Midoco, who helped supply the festival with all of the supplies we needed for exhibiting artists to present their craft to the masses, and Little Island Comics, for stocking and representing the best of children’s comics at TCAF.

Our consular and cultural sponsors helped us bring the world of comics and cartooning to Toronto for a week, and we greatly appreciate all that they have done. Our thanks to The Consulate General of France in Toronto; The Italian Cultural Institute; NORLA—Norwegian Literature Abroad, Fiction & Non-Fiction; The Flemish Literature Fund; and The Japan Foundation Toronto.

Finally, TCAF would not exist without the funding and support of The Beguiling, and their generous donations. It’s TCAF every day at The Beguiling, and their dedication to the medium of comics is unwavering. I’m truly grateful to them to be able to do what I’m able to do with TCAF every year.

About TCAF 2012

TCAF 2012 was the most ambitious festival yet, and my most ambitious personal undertaking. With more off-site and lead-up events than ever before, more partnerships than in previous years, an additional day of programming, and more than 20 featured guests, I worried in the weeks leading up to the show that perhaps we’d bit off a bit more than we could chew. Luckily through the talent and support of some wonderful folks we had varying levels of success on every front, and as always, lessons were learned and we think 2013 will be even stronger.

The personal highlight for me was the strengthening of our programming for children, by including a large dedicated space for children’s exhibitors on the floor of TCAF, as well as the creation of a day-long special event for children’s graphic novel creators. TCAF is about engaging every reader with the medium of comics, and I’m so happy that our ambitions to promote the medium to the next generation were fully-realized this year. We also expanded our amazing “small press” area, headed once again by the fine folks in the Wowee Zonk collective. They really transformed the space they exhibited in and created something unique, wonderful, and surprising—it was amazing to see. The addition of a day of panels and programming about comics aimed at librarians and educators was the realization of a long-held dream of mine to more fully share the vast amount of knowledge possessed by our attending authors and exhibitors with the people on the front lines of bringing new readers into the medium. It was a success, and it is a service we will continue to provide and support in the years to come.

We were also treated to a wonderful array of ‘gala’ presentations this year, from Guy Delisle’s Thursday-night launch of Jerusalem: Tales from the Holy City, to Friday’s amazing Topatoco spring launch and the aforementioned Kick-off Event with Smith, Ba and Moon, TCAF started with the biggest bang yet! We also had a real first, a team-up between TIFF Nexus and The Hand-Eye Society that saw a gallery’s worth of comics/videogame hybrids that showed at both Magic Pony and TCAF! Joining the events of Thursday and Friday night was our co-presentation of Kid Koala’s Space Cadet Experience with Wavelenth, a truly incredible concert event! The amazing activities continued into the weekend with three wonderful Saturday night comics events—the launch of Alison Bechdel’s long-awaited new memoir Are You My Mother?, a once-in-a-lifetime interview with Konami Kanata, and the 2012 Doug Wright Awards for excellence in Canadian Cartooning. All three events were packed to the rafters—as were our various afterparties around the city!

In short, I feel TCAF 2012 engaged more people inToronto—and from around the world—than it ever had before, bringing the medium of comics to thousands of new readers. That’s a truly great thing, and everyone who organized, volunteered, or participated in these events should feel proud.

TCAF! Photo by Paul Hillier.

We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You…

Speaking of the folks who worked so hard to make TCAF 2012 a success, we’d like to thank some of the individuals and organizations who were a part of this event. Thanks to:

- Our Sponsors: Toronto Public Library; The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon; The Beguiling; Little Island Comics; NOW Magazine; Owlkids; The Consulate General of France in Toronto; Istituto Italiano di Cultura (The Italian Cultural Institute); NORLA—Norwegian Literature Abroad, Fiction & Non Fiction; The Flemish Literature Fund; The Japan Foundation; Midoco; Hotel sponsor The Marriott Bloor Yorkville; travel assistance by Air Canada.

- Our partner organizations and guest sponsors: TIFF Nexus; The Hand-Eye Society, Miguel Sternberg, and Matt Hawkins; Magic Pony; Wavelength; Kid Koala / Envision Management; Houghton-Mifflin & Thomas Allen and Associates, First Second Books; Drawn and Quarterly; Selfmadehero; Topatoco, Vertical Inc.; Scholastic Books; Wowee Zonk; and Koyama Press.

- Our TCAF Librarian and Educator Day Sponsors: VIZ Media LLC.; Drawn & Quarterly; First Second Books; Kids Can Press; Owlkids; Scholastic Books; and UDON Entertainment.

- Venue Partners Toronto Public Library, The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Magic Pony, The Carlton Cinema, 918 Bathurst, The Pilot Tavern, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, St. Paul’s on Bloor, Ristorante Fortuna, The Japan Foundation, Buddies in Bad Times, Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, Pauper’s Pub, and Lee’s Palace.

- TCAF 2012 Poster artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon for their amazing 2012 poster!

- To the staff of Toronto Public Library and Toronto Reference Library for all of their work on our behalf, with special thanks to TCAF Liaison Ab Velasco and Bram and Bluma Appel Salon Liaison Beth Kawecki.

- To our TCAF Featured Guests and Exhibitors, including Aislin, Gabriel Ba, Kate Beaton, Alison Bechdel, Arne Bellstorf, Jose-Luis Bocquet, Guy Delisle, Tom Gauld, Matt Holm, Jennifer Holm, Jason, Konami Kanata, Kazu Kibuishi, Kid Koala (Eric San), Bryan Lee O’Malley, Micol and Cornelius Books, Fabio Moon, Catel Muller, Michel Rabagliati, Jeff Smith, Pendleton Ward, Adam Warren, and the more than 300 other attending artists, exhibitors.

- To the hosts and staff of The Doug Wright Awards for throwing another wonderfully successful event.

- To Corey Mintz for his spectacular restaurant guide; To Chip Zdarsky for his continuing design assistance; To John Green and Dave Roman for their amazing TEEN BOAT comic in our program guide; To show photographer Paul Hillier for capturing so many wonderful aspects of the festival; To Nathalie Atkinson for her continuing support.

- To 2012 Festival Guide Designer Diana McNally—it was wonderful working with you, thanks for saving our butts… ;)

- To 2012 Website Designer Nadine Lessio; with additional thanks to Shane Bennett for technical assistance.

- To the staffs of The Beguiling and Little Island Comics, for once again working through their weekends.

- To on-site coordinators Greg Baker, Athena Pheasant, Linda Moss, Andrew Eaton, Alex Hureanzu, Christopher Hureanzu, Bled Celhyka, Michael Lamore, and Laura Prinselaar.

- To our more than 200 volunteers: You were amazing, and are routinely regarded by people all over the world as one of TCAF’s greatest strengths. Our sincere thanks for your time and effort, and we hope you’ll continue to support us into 2013 and beyond.

…and finally, my personal thanks to our amazing TCAF organizational team, Miles, Gina, Scott, Andrew, Andrew T, Parrish, and Krystle: It was a hell of a year. Everyone gets one month off until we start planning the next one. Speaking of which:

TCAF 2013: TBA

Last year, we waited a month until we had the date and location of TCAF 2012 locked down before writing this little note to all of you, and people didn’t seem to enjoy that as much—they wanted to know all about how the fest went down right after the big event! So this year we’ve released our little year-in-review much earlier, but that means we haven’t had a chance to sit down with our partners and sponsors to review this year, and talk about next year.

What can I say about TCAF 2013? Well there’ll be one, for starters. While we’d played with the idea of going back to a biennial event, there’s just no way we’re going to miss our 10th anniversary year! From our modest beginnings as a one-day-event for 600 people on March 29th, 2003 at Trinity St. Paul’s Church, to our new home for 18,000 at Toronto Reference Library, it’s been an amazing period of growth and change for the Festival and for comics in general, and we look to continue supporting and promoting authors and comics next spring.

As soon as we can confirm the 2013 show, we will.

In Conclusion…

So on behalf of myself and the entire staff, I’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who made The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2012 such a massive, unprecedented success. Whether you’re an attendee, and exhibitor, or a volunteer, your support of each other and of TCAF is what makes this amazing, free, accessible, comic book event possible. We appreciate it, and we hope we’ll have you back for the years to come.

Best,

Christopher Butcher, Festival Director and Co-Founder
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

On behalf of…

Peter Birkemoe, Co-Founder

Miles Baker, Assistant Festival Director

Gina Gagliano, Programming Coordinator

Scott Robins, Kids Programming Coordinator

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Volunteer Coordinator

Andrew Townsend, Festival Assistant

Parrish Kilthei, Tech Coordinator

Krystle Tabujara, The Beguiling/Little Island Comics Liaison

…and the staff of The Beguiling, The Beguiling Library Services, and Little Island Comics

All Photos by Paul Hillier.


Pizza.

I’ve got a million other things I should be blogging about, but I was just talking some smack about eating Pizza in Japan/Tokyo and I recalled that, on my last trip to Tokyo I had some of the best pizza ever, in my hotel restaurant of all places.

I know Japan gets a bad rap for pizza, and I’ve had a whole bunch of truly awful pizza in Japan (married to/travelling with a vegetarian), but the restaurant in “The B Ikebukuro” is called Salvatore Cuomo & BAR, and it is a straight-up excellent Italian restaurant, and I had a wood-fired pizza with real prosciutto that was so good that I went back a second night to have it again (every other meal was Japanese food, don’t judge me).

I suppose if I were in better blogging form I’d tie this all together with something about preconceived notions and surprises and yadda yadda but I haven’t blogged since like March or something and so your closing thought is: Most of the pizza I had in Tokyo was terrible, but I had some amazing pizza too and I recommend it.

- Chris


http://www.indiegogo.com/sparkplugbooks

Sparkplug Comics is ready to take on new publishing projects and we’d like to ask your help!

This campaign is a fundraiser for three of Sparkplug Books’ upcoming publishing projects.  Our soonest release, scheduled for April of 2012, is the graphic novel Nurse Nurse, by Katie Skelly.  This book compiles the previously self-published first seven issues of Katie’s ongoing sci-fi saga of nurses traversing the planets of our solar system.  The new book includes an eighth chapter to conclude the story.  The book has a two-color cover and black and white interior.”

This is a solid publisher who suffered a real loss. Head over and if you can spare a few bucks on some books, it’d really help them out.

- Chris