Have your CAKE in Chicago next June

While there have been occasional attempts at establishing a Chicago alt.comix show to equal those in Toronto, New York, Portland and so on, none of them have really gained significant purchase — despite Chicago being one of the original stops** on the Spirits of Independence tour that launched the entire indie comics show experience. The Printers Row Lit Fair has served as a high-end event to spotlight some great cartoonists; and the recent Windy City Con was another attempt from a slightly more middle ground. CHicago has a great legacy of underground/alt/indie cartoonists, so it’s a fertile territory to till.

And now there’s CAKE — the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, to be held next June 16-17 at Columbia College’s Ludington Building. The festival plans to feature over 100 exhibitors along with a two-day program of signings, panels, workshops and lectures.

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: June 2011

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

The countdown to DC’s big relaunch continued in June with a whole lot of Flashpoint tie-in books — few of which seem to have stood out in any way to retailers, if the sales figures are any indication. Given that the upcoming relaunch titles are drawing on the same pool of creators, characters and concepts, that’s not ideal for DC. If it’s asking too much of readers and retailers to pick and choose among 16 titles of a certain mold, putting out 52 of them at once seems ill-advised.

Over at the publisher’s Vertigo imprint, meanwhile, almost half the current ongoing series are about to end within the next year. There’s still plenty of time for Vertigo to announce replacements, certainly. But in combination with the recent WildStorm shutdown and the re-absorption of a number of key Vertigo properties into the DC Universe line, there seems to be a lot less patience than there used to be at DC for material that’s not expected to immediately do well in the direct market.

2011 Ignatz Awards nominees announced

The nominees for the 2011 Ignatz awards have just been announced. The nominees represent the best of indie comics and were selected by a five person panel consisting of Rina Ayuyang, Mike Dawson, Kris Dresen, Theo Ellsworth, and John Porcellino. Winners will be selected by attendees of the Small Press Expo and presented at the gala Ignatz Awards ceremony held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM with host Dustin Harbin.

Multiple nominees include Edie Fake, Michael DeForge, Sammy Harkham and Carol Tyler.

Dynamite gets ever pulpier with The Spider

If yesterday’s announcement of acquiring the Shadow license didn’t tip you off, this will nail the case that Dynamite is going deep into the pulp catalog: they’re adding The Spider to their comics line-up. The creative team includes writer David Liss, artist Colton Worley and cover artists Alex Ross and John Cassaday.

The Spider is another popular pulp character in the masked millionaire playboy vein — some have pointed to him as an inspiration for Bat-Man. Previous comics incarnations came to us from Eclipse and Moonstone.

Victor Gorelick: The Last Man Standing of Comics

When Marvel’s Ralph Macchio retired the other day, we made the claim that he was the last editor from the pre-direct sales market working in the business. A few people wrote in to correct us, however.

There is one editor who has been around even longer, and is still going strong, Archie’s own editor in chief, Victor Gorelick (pronounced Gor-EL-ick). Now 70, Gorelick has worked at Archie for 50 years in various roles. It’s certainly an astonishing career that has seen incredible changes.