On the Scene: Art Spiegelman in conversation, Cologne, Germany

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“How does it feel to be here, surrounded by cats?” The moderator’s already off to an auspicious start, given his (what I believe to have been, given my complete lack of German comprehension) promise not to discuss “why mice, why the holocaust.” It’s the proverbial gorilla in a room full of cats, of course, and while Spiegelman has visited the country a number of times in the past 25 years or so, it seems an odd choice not to discuss it the day before the opening of a retrospective on the cartoonist’s work. And here we are, like clockwork, dipping our toes in the water, the moderator asking how it feels sitting in this room, being, you know, the guy who got famous by writing a comic book about the Holocaust.

SPX: Good comics, good people

Much has been written and lauded about this year’s SPX, and I’m late to the game but I have a few thoughts I wanted to put to pixel before the memories fade. It was a great time for just about everyone, I think. I had a blast at TCAF this year and came away from it completely optimistic about The State of Comics. That mood was only deepened by SPX, and I don’t expect it to fade any time soon. A few little notes:

Best SPX ever?

Photo via @eee Possibly the best SPX ever—and definitely the most financially successful one. That’s what everyone was saying last night. By 4:30 Fantagraphics had made more money than they did at all of last year’s show. Similar stories were reported at PictureBox, Nobrow, D&Q and everywhere really. With a bigger floor space and a […]

Once in a lifetime SPX rolls out this weekend

This weekend The Small Press Expo takes place in North Bethesda, MD, offering what seems to be a once in a lifetime lineup of guests: Dan Clowes. Chris Ware. Both Hernandez Brothers. No one ever seems to remember seeing them all in one place before. They won’t all be on the same panel, but there is one featuring Clowes, Los Bros and Adrian Tomine. Get there early.

Comics G-17 summit report from Chicago

Meanwhile, in Chicago it was the all-time greatest cartoonist confab, the Comics: Philosophy and Practice event, which was overshadowed a bit by the presence of a NATO summit in Chicago at the very same time—apparently traffic and security were taxing.

Christopher Borelli’s report is written contrasting the two summits, while noting the enormity of the attendees:

To do this weekend: Comics: Philosophy and Practice

While any noteworthy comics events are taking place this weekend, the not notable—and perhaps the most notable in recent comics history—is taking place at the University of Chicago’s new $114 million Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts: the Comics: Philosophy and Practice symposium organized by Hilary Chute. The lineup?

The Rainbow Orchid: An interview with creator Garen Ewing

Garen Ewing has been working on his three volume graphic novel The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid for over a decade. The final volume was recently released by Egmont in the UK, and it seemed a good time to talk to him about his influences, his process, and his future plans.

Gabrielle Bell announces a new book: VOYEUR

The marvelous Gabrielle Bell has just announced her new book, VOYEUR, to be published by Uncivilized Books later this year. She announced it in comics form so here’s the money panel:

Bechdel’s ARE YOU MY MOTHER? gets 100K first printing

As we’ve mentioned here several times, there have been no more important graphic novels published in this century than PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi and FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel. Both found large audiences well beyond the traditional ones for comics, and both have become oft-imitated — but never duplicated — by book publishers trying to cash in on the “graphic novel” trend. (The number of graphic autobiographies exploring ethnic roots alone is staggering.)

Clowes and Beaton make Time's Top 10 Fiction list

Time is rolling out its top 10 lists and two graphic books made the ‘Top 10 Fiction Books list: THE DEATH RAY by Daniel Clowes and HARK! A VAGRANT by Kate Beaton, both published by Drawn & Quarterly. (To see the individual listings you’ll need to go through the annoying, hit making slideshow format.) Confirming the nerd-friendly tenor of the list, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R. R. Martin topped the list, although more traditional literary tomes were at other spots.

Comics-mole Lev Grossman penned the entries for the books. It was only a few years ago that Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME topped theTime list, and announced that graphic novels were just books with ideas and themes, too.

Coming Attractions: Fall 2011: Fantagraphics

Mark Twain and Flannery O’Connor! Estonia and the Andes! Armed Gardens and Treasure Island! Joe Kubert, Tony Millionaire, Jack Davis! Old Comedians and Young Romance! And Gahan Wilson’s Nuts!

Introducing: TRIP CITY

It’s kinda comics for the people involved. TRIP CITY is a new art salon/web site that features many Brooklyn-based creative peeps including cartoonists. PR below.

Coming: Tons of great D&Q-related comics events in New York City this fall

While we’re sitting overlooking the greenery of the last week of summer there’s already a tinge of fall in the air up here in Maine, and it will soon be time to stowaway the flip flops and dust off the leather jacket.

And not to boast, but if you live in New York City, call is going to be freaking awesome. Here’s an event list for their cartoonists courtesy of Drawn and Quarterly

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.

Gabrielle Bell finishes monthlong comics event

Every day in July the great Gabrielle Bell a href=”http://gabriellebell.com/2011/08/01/31/”> posted a comic. . Out own July was a bit too chaotic for regular reading but it’s all up now — but only until August 15th. We caught up with our own reading, and it’s a fascinating trip into a world of nosy supers, computer cables, post office frustration, lost keys, self doubt and survival. Check it out while you can …and congrats Gabrielle.

SDCC Literary Comics: Interview with a Vampire & Uglies Adaptations, Ms. Tree Returns

At San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Anne Rice’s classic vampire novel, Interview With a Vampire, is being adapted into graphic novel format by webcomic creator Ashley Marie Witter for Yen Press, due out in 2012.