Sixteen Days of Halloween: Adam Koford

In addition to his famed Laugh Out Loud Cats comic strip, Adam Koford is the man behind 700 Hoboes and is a force to be reckoned with. We’re not sure if it’s been announced yet that a book collection of the LoL Cats is coming from Abrams this March, but it is.

The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out

Tonight: Chip Kidd@ The Strand


PLUS: See Frank Santoro’s review of Bat-Manga in today’s PW Comics Week with an EXCLUSIVE three-page preview. This book is WILD! I mean…SKIDOO.

Aaaaaand one more: Hope for Alfred E. Neuman

Via Boing Boing, Mad Magazine’s take on Shepard Fairey’s now iconic Obama poster. Fairey has a gallery of parodies of the poster, but apparently it’s been boing boing’d and is down for a while.

Agents who handle graphic novels

Once again, Colleen Doran does the hard work and digs up a list of book agents who handle graphic novels.

Here are just a few of the contacts I found who are accepting graphic novel submissions. If you know of any other agent contact info you would like to share, email me at [email protected] and I will post it later.

Don’t everyone email at once now, hear?


Via PR — the new release date is two weeks after the announced date.

Marvel would like to announce that the hotly anticipated, extra-sized Secret Invasion #8 will now arrive in stores on December 3rd, 2008. The top-selling comic book event of 2008, by award winning scribe Brian Michael Bendis and superstar artist Leinil Yu, concludes with this final issue that redefines the Marvel Universe and begins Dark Reign!

“The additional pages in #8 did both Leinil and the schedule in,” explained Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Anybody who pored over the artwork from #7 a week ago can easily see how he and Mark Morales have been putting their all (and then some) into every page and every panel, and that effort has finally caught up with us. Hopefully, retailers and fans will forgive us these extra two weeks as we make sure that everything is in the shape it should be in for the extra-sized climax—and from there, it’ll be smooth sailing straight into DARK REIGN.”

David Gabriel, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales, added, “In speaking with retailers, Marvel decided it was more important to preserve the creative integrity of the series, rather than rush out the final issue. This not only creates a stronger product for our loyal readers, but also for our retailer partners, whose support helped make Secret Invasion a huge success.”


Dulac’s Poe

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive gets in the spirit of the season with Edgar Allan Poe illos by Edmund Dulac. The above is from “The Haunted Palace.”

Flashback: in 1988 D.C. discovered ad sales

We were doing our usual Google news search last night and noticed you can now look back in time. A quick search on DC Comics came up with this story from the New York Times talking about D.C. Comics In New Push To Sell Space:

IT’S been a traumatic year at D.C.

First (bam!) Robin, the Boy Wonder, was killed in an explosion. Then (omigosh!) Superman suffered an identity crisis. Now (golly!) D.C. says it will accept national advertising in a previously pristine line of its comic books.

This article is a goldmine for historians.

The decision to open a second line of books, the D.C. Group, to advertisers was based on a reader survey that the company commissioned a year ago from Mark Clements, a leading magazine researcher.

The survey showed that the 1.5 million readers of this group’s 25 titles, which include ”Swamp Thing,” ”Hellblazer” and ”Dr. Fate,” were, on average, 24 years old, with college educations and household incomes of $38,000, and spent $40 to $60 a month on comic books.

More significant was their ”psychographic profile,” detailing their likes and dislikes. It showed, said Jenette Kahn, D.C.’s president and publisher, that the readers were ”high-tech fiends.” At a time when 3 percent of American households had compact disk players, for example, 38 percent of the D.C. Group’s readers owned them.


Their sophistication is a response to the dramatic change in the distribution of comic books in the last decade. The corner candy stores, which once sold virtually all comic books, have closed. The convenience-store chains that took their place discouraged browsing by children.

To fill the demand for comic books, specialty stores opened, and 3,000 of them now account for about 65 percent of distribution. Because these stores are often in malls and strip shopping centers on highways, they draw an older customer. The comic-book publishers decided to create titles that reflect the new readers’ worldliness, and, voila, a new advertising medium was born.

The hook for the article is the hiring of D.C.’s first advertising director, one Tom Ballou. Reading the quotes from Jenette Kahn and Paul Levitz (then executive VP) with a bit of hindsight, it’s easy to see the excitement over the perceived artistic and business growth. It was not long after WATCHMEN and DARK KNIGHT, two radical successes that are still being mined. Who knows what else we’ll find in the Google wayback machine?

The day in political cartooning

§ Gawker predicts hard times for political cartoonists if Obama is elected. Part of the problem is that caricaturing the African-American candidate could draw accusations of racism. What’s really interesting about the piece is this bit about famous illustrator/cartoonist Thomas Nast (who invented Santa Claus, among other things):

Master cartoonist Thomas Nast proved political cartoons could be used to subvert racism, as in this classic satire of whites congratulating themselves for the emancipation of slaves from an 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly:

Nast’s cartoons not only crucially challenged the way people saw political issues — coming as they were in a time with significantly less media — but they consistently fought against racist caricatures of black people.

The idea that in 1863 a great artist was actively campaigning against racist caricatures (in a country where slavery was a current event) comes as a bracing reality check for those who defend racial caricatures that have lasted right to the present day as an innocent reminder of a happy time when folks just didn’t know any better.

Guess what?

Folks have always known better.

200810280017§ In this heated election season, it’s only natural that candidates would use the power of comics to deliver their messages. In California, state senate candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson has put out a cartoon flyer:

On the comic-book cover of the mailer, a woman expresses shock at a paper’s headline, “Hannah-Beth Jackson kidnaps Elvis!!” The inside of the flier explains how “Tony Strickland has been making some pretty wild charges about Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson.” Another illustration shows a man reading a newspaper with the ridiculous headline, “Jackson voted to tax puppies!”

§ Not so innocently, in the heated Minnesota Senate race, incumbent Norm Coleman has been forced to repudiate a comic book attack on opponent Al Franken:

Sen. Norm Coleman doesn’t like the tasteless comic books attacking Al Franken sent out by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to Minnesotans, notes the Pioneer Press blog Political Animal, and the senator said so in a message to the group:

“The piece itself is something that simply should never made it to the mail. The direct mail piece, which comes in the form of something that looks like a comic book, focuses on Mr. Franken’s repeated efforts at comedy using jokes about rape, child abuse and other degrading commentary during his career,” Coleman wrote.

Guess ya gotta draw the line somewhere.

American Elf’s 10th guest stars

Millionaire Elf
American Elf, James Kochalka’s daily comic diary, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with some guest stars. Above, Tony Millionaire’s take on the Elf.

Todd Klein’s new print with Alex Ross

Following his prints with Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, letterer supreme Todd Klein is teaming up with artist Alex Ross:

The print will be called “Comic Book Dreams”, and will have quite a bit of lettering on it. I’ll be showing that, and writing about the evolution of the print in the coming weeks, but right now I have to get them printed, painted, and off to Alex for signing. I’m hoping to have them ready for sale the last week of November.

Men severely beaten in comic shop mooning incident

AccessA game of Magic: The Gathering turned violent when pranksters mooned a comics shop in Bellingham, WA and vigilante justice went too far, news sources are reporting. The tragic incident began when three walked into Access Comics, in Bellingham, in an intoxicated state. The three were asked to leave by owner Lanny Wolfe as they were interrupting the game with their antics. The trio left, but came back and mooned the people in the store. Unfortunately, the pressure of their buttocks against the front window of the store caused the glass to break, and an even more unfortunate series of events was to unfold.

Two of the players, aged 19 and 42, took after the mooners. They were armed with a baseball bat. What followed was brutal. One of the victims suffered a broken orbital bone, and another is in serious condition with a life-threatening skull fracture.

What started as fun and games for all concerned now has one man fighting for his life, and two facing felony assault charges.

A video report is up at

“I am Spartacus, and I am a graphic novel!”

Spartacus 1960 Reference
Starz has announced a new TV series version of Spartacus, the stirring historical epic of a doomed but feisty slave rebellion in ancient Rome. With intense gladiator action sure to be on tap, it’s no surprise that the tale — already interpreted as a film by Stanley Kubrick, a novel by Howard Fast and a ballet by Aram Khachaturian – would be ripe for adaptation for a new generation. However, the buzz words in the press release are, we believe, of some interest to our audience:

Starz’s new series, “Spartacus,” an entirely new twist on the ancient legend, will utilize virtual environments giving it a unique graphic novel look and style, along with a fresh narrative approach….

With comics-loving exec producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Josh Donen on board, getting that graphic novel look and feeling should be a snap; in addition, though, the show runner is Steven S. DeKnight, who worked on Smallville and “Season Eight” of the Buffy comic.

From the talented team responsible for some of the biggest action feature film hits, and consistently popular action TV series, “Spartacus” will take the story of the rebellious warrior-slave and re-imagine it for a generation of TV viewers raised on graphic novels and cutting-edge production technology. Audiences will get 13 hour-long episodes of unsparing action, set in the brutal world of gladiators.

The show promises lots of “character, action, sex, and combat,” meaning it will be much like a typical day at the San Diego Comic-Con, where the idea was probably hatched.

In all seriousness, is this the first TV show to be done in the “Frank Miller/green screen” style?


§ Brian Cronin is running a month-long feature called Stars of Political Cartooning. The series concentrates on figures of the past, like John ‘Ding” Darling (above), but the whole piece is an education.

§ Despite the rack, ruin, bloody-tinted haze and smoking rubble of Wall Street, Tim Beyer at the Motley Fool is still bullish on Marvel stock, boldly proclaiming:

Marvel Entertainment may not be the best company I’ve ever seen but I like its chances to become the next Disney.

The reason? Dr. Strange.

§ The Onion’s team of Noel Murray, Keith Phipps, and Tasha Robinson reviews some comics.

§ This syndicated piece looks at Wacky Packages and what they say about us as a nation:

Today, when anything without a wink or a nudge is either suspect for its naivete or genius for its retro sensibility, it is difficult to imagine a world in which satirizing the country’s most established advertising icons was subversive.

But there was such a time: the early 1970s, at the dawn of the age of irony. The product was called Wacky Packages.

PR: Hero Initiative and WizWorld Tex

Via PR, news of benefit activity at the next Wizard Show in Texas:

Wizard World Texas will play host to a game show night mixing popular creators and fans like never before, and all for a great cause.

Ethan Van Sciver, Terry Moore, Sean McKeever, Shane Davis, Phil Hester and others will grab their pen and paper and fill in the blanks during a rousing comic-book-tinted version of the classic game show, “Match Game.” These superstar creators have worked on a veritable who’s who of huge characters including Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman and Batman. Trying to match the creators will be numerous lucky fans who will have the chance to get onstage if the ticket they purchased is drawn. All proceeds from ticket and admission sales go to benefit the Hero Initiative and the lucky winners will receive original artwork and other memorabilia donated by the contestants and other top name creators.

[Read more…]