Must read: Best American Comics 2011 Notable list now online

Best American Comics series editors Matt Madden and Jessica Abel have just posted the Notable Comics of 2011 list, those comics that did not make the contents of this year’s Alison Bechdel-edited book, but are still worthy of notice. The listing includes covers, links and more information:

Thought for the day

Whether you had a great week or a crappy week, this should tide you over the weekend.

Well Said: George R. R. Martin

Clearly, then, you can’t rely on schools to teach these prospective writers to read. You’ll have to do it yourself. Fortunately, there’s an easy way. Comic books.

Must Read: Thoughts on the comics life

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve seen Tom Spurgeon’s essay on facing a life threatening illness, an illness which led to his unexpected blogging absence earlier this summer, and which still affects him, although he’s recovering. Since looking death in the face usually prompts some inventory of life, Spurgeon does just that in an astonishing essay that covers his life and his life in comics, if there is a difference. That a man fighting for his life should spend that time thinking about the Green Lantern movie is both ridiculous and awesome — Tom’s thoughts on why we chose the comics life and why we stay there speak for me about 80% of the time. It’s not that we have on choice, but rather why would we WANT to leave a field that is full of such honest, unpretentious work and creative, life-loving people?

Flipping Point: The Coin Is Scarred Side Up

While there will be plenty of PR spinning about DC’s big news as a great jumping on point for new readers and all that other doublespeak, let’s look at the other side of the coin.

When Memorial Day Becomes Remembrance Day

On Friday, May 25, 1984, in a small town of 1200 people, in a small grocery store on the highway not too far from cornfields, at the golden age of 14, I became a comic book collector.

What set me on this path that has led me >choke< 27 years later to be a comics missionary, spreading the four-color gospel far and wide? Well, I blame Morgan Freeman and Jim Shooter.

Flashback: Saving comics one year at a time

From the comments of our “Saving Comics” post, Tim Stoltzfus went back to this Milennium Eve 1999 post by Warren Ellis that had the same message, and a call to arms on other matters:

Digital Comics: the future of commerce and the future of art?

Where are comics going anyway? Has anybody asked that lately? David Brothers and Matt Seneca have their own takes on the matter.

Essex County's near-win points up anti-GN prejudice

Webcomic Creators and Nerd Rapper UNITE

In as unstable job market as we have today, three men have decided to give their art their full time attention, their all. Writer and artist of Let’s Be Friends Again!, Curt Franklin and Chris Haley respectively started their witty webcomic on the print comic world and what it means to really be friends in 2008. Eugene Ahn aka nerd rapper Adam WarRock quit his career as an attorney in 2010 in order to follow his heart and let his mouth fly. Today they announced the joining of their two ventures into LBFA!, Inc.

Grassroots creators support campaign begins

No wonder that creators are getting a little more vocal about the importance of creator-owned material. Eric Powell’s controversial video got things going, but itself was a response to a week-long tweet storm by writer Steve Niles who blogged recently What’s all this Creator-Owned Talk?

Modern children at the modern newsstand

If there’s one thing comics bloggers love, it’s those old B&W photos from Life Magazine showing kids reading comics–proof of a simpler time when children read things, bananas were a vegetable, and your real father dropped off a bottle of milk at your mom’s house every day. Well, recently on the LA Times Southern California Moments feature of reader-submitted photos we came across what looks to be a contemporary example of the genre:

Spotted From The Watchtower

As The Beatrix, on vacation up country, deals with the new server and its delusion that it’s an electronic bulletin board from 1982, I am performing caretaker duties here at Stately Beat Manor. So, some links… Over at The Comics Journal, Tom Crippen posts two reprints of Gahan Wilson’s Nuts comic strip, which originally ran […]


In the early days of The Beat I used to start many days with a “meta” post about my doings and very important thoughts, but that kind of personal stuff jumped the shark long ago, it seems. No one really cares about me seeing a blue lobster anymore…or rather, that’s really what Twitter and Facebook are for. There’s a social network for every ephemeral thought, and I now spend hours each day sharing the ephemeral thoughts of thousands of my close personal friends.

In a way, it’s too bad. Those were some of my most favorite posts to write — like the time I went shopping for a mop. I guess you had to be there.

The Best Jaime Hernandez comic of all time?

At The Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone and Michel Fiffe ponder whether LOVE AND ROCKETS #3 might just be the best comic by Jaime of all time. In which case it would be one of the greatest COMICS of all time.

SPX 2010 memory roundup

This year’s Small Press Expo was so wonderful that we can’t stop reading about it! It’s the first time in a while that it wasn’t too cold or too hot but just right at an indie comics show we’ve attended and that made it special. PLUS, SVA and MICA and CCS and MCAD and SCAD have been turning out lots and lots of excellent new cartoonists and the established people are putting out great stuff and there is real excitement everywhere.

There are tons of ‘em, including this video made by Steven Greenstreet…we selected a few because they were interesting or especially charming.