TCAF announces first guests, more details for 2015 show

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TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival will be held May 9-10th this year, with a whole week of events, art exhibits, screenings. Special programming events include the CSSC-SCEBD Academic Conference, Library & Educator Day, Word Balloon Academy, and Comics Vs. Games 4. IN other words, it jam packed with stuff to see and do. As for programming the first spotlight has been announced: Drawn & Quarterly’s 25th anniversary, which is certain to bring out some top notch sessions.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 2/12/15: What is an “indie comic” anyway?

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§ By chance, two websites have been devoting some time to overviews of…non Big Two Comics I guess you could call ‘em. Multiversity is running Small Press Month and offers A Brief History of Alternative Comics by Drew Bradley which offers a pretty good run down of the journey from Zap to Teenage Mutant Ninja […]

Sparkplug Announces 2015 publishing slate with Smith, Horvath and more

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Sparkplug Books has just put out new of their new mini series, with work by Suzette Smith, Olivia Horvath, Nalleli Sierra, Ebin Lee and Solomon Fletcher. I’m not familiar with most of these, but I’m always interested in whatever Sparkplug is putting out.

Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven coming from AdHouse

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CCS just keeps turning out interesting new cartoonists. Sophie Goldstein is a recent grad whose works defies easy categorization, except to say that she’s got a great line and a keen eye, she writes stories and anything can happen. And now AdHouse is bringing out The Oven by Goldstein in April. It’s set in a totalitarian future where “dwindling resources have driven the human race into domed cities where population controls are strictly enforced. When a young couple goes looking for an anti-government paradise in the desert they may have found more than they bargained for.”

Hang Dai Editions to publish via Alternative Comics

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2015, the year of the team up. Brooklyn’s Hang Dai Editions, a studio whose members include Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner, and Josh Neufeld, will team up with Alternative Comics for distribution and some publishing in 2015. Haspiel and Neufeld were previously published by Alternative during the early aughts when Geoffrey Mason ran the […]

CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

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Whew the comics arts festival circuit news is flowing thick and fast; we’re in the middle of application season and hearts and minds are turning to tabling. And the CAFs are answering back with news.

Must read: Whit Taylor on “A Visit to CAB” and comic arts festival sustainability

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Whitney Taylor continues to be my favorite investigative comics journalist—well, maybe investigative is too strong a word, but if “talking to a lot of people and painting a picture” is the criterion, Whit is it, as her report on Comic Arts Brooklyn shows. This was a strong show but one that experienced an unexpected glitch: a lot of people thought it was a two day show and didn’t come to the exhibits on Saturday. This resulted in a smaller crowd and, for some, lower sales. On the day there was a lot of anxiety—it’s like basing your business plan on Christmas sales and then there’s a big blizzard the day of the big sale—but everyone seems to have survived intact.

And yet, is a financial model this precarious one that is “sustainable”? I predict sustainable will be THE word of 2015, as a the last few days of posts here have been exploring. Taylor talks about the model with many publishers and creators and key behind the scenes people like publishing rep Tony Shenton, and while everyone is optimistic, there is no real consensus on whether things are working, improving or just providing a false illusion of hope:

Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books

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Well, sort of. It’s well known that some used book prices on Amazon are just kind of…loony. Take for instance, Monsters by Ken Dahl, an excellent book about a guy who thinks he has herpes by Ken Dahl, published by Secret Acres but now out of print. (A new edition is planned for next year.) In the meantime, you can get a used copy for a mere $394.94… or brand new for $11,964.08.

Consortium distributing more graphic novel publishers

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Over at PW I reported on Consortium starting to distribute Alternative Comics and Secret Acres to bookstores. They currently distribute Uncivilized, Toon Books, Nobrow and Koyama Press, as well as publishers such as Fulcrum and Enchanted Lion who put out a lot of graphic novel material. (And a lot of other distinguished small press publishers […]

Koyama Press Teams with Sequential for Digital GNs

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Koyama Press is making many of its current and past graphic novels available in digital editions via the Sequential app. The titles available are yet to be announced, but according to the PR it will include some titles that have been out of print. “From cosmic art critiques to despondent, down-on-their luck cats, we’ve got […]

Interview: Isaac Cates Talks Weaving All-Ages ‘Cartozia Tales’

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By Matt O’Keefe There’s no one doing as pure a form of worldbuilding as indy fantasy comic Cartozia Tales. Not only does it have a map that it intends to explore every part of (unlike the majority of fantasy stories that leave most of their maps untouched), it has a rotating list of creators who take turns furthering […]

31 Days of Halloween Preview: UR by Eric Haven

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I’m pretty sure we’ve posted some of Eric Haven’s creepy cool Mancat comics before. But not it’s all being collected by AdHouse, in UR. The publisher describes these comics as “Dark, absurdist, and deadpan, these stories reflect the apocalyptic undercurrent of the modern era. Also included is Haven’s long-running comic strip “Race Murdock” which appeared in The Believer magazine.”

Haven is among those cartoonist’s whose work is just inherently spooky. In the past his work has appeared in various anthologies, but when he isn’t cartooning he’s producing the TV Show Mythbusters. A real hyphenate for the season.

Preview: The first nerdlebrity comics company returns with collected Shaolin Cowboy

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While nerdlebrity comics lines are common now—from Shia LaBeouf to DMC—a pioneer in this regard and still one of the best in terms of quality is Burlyman Comics, which is owned by the Wachowskis, the directing siblings behind The Matrix, the much beloved Speed Racer and the upcoming Jupiter Ascending. The company has been around for about a decade and launched about a decade ago with Doc Frankenstein by the Wachowskis and Matrix storyboard artist Steve Scroce, and Shaolin Cowboy by the all around genius Geof Darrow. Burlyman put out 7 issues of Shaolin Cowboy before fading away—the seriesfollow the  adventures of a nameless Shaolin and his mule in an apocalyptic American West—a concept that seems maybe too simple until you know that Darrow is drawing it with all his hallucinogenic detail. The tagline “A buddy picture with a body count” explains it all.

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Weekend Preview: APE in San Francisco

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SF’s sole remaining comics show, the Alternative Press Expo, aka APE, kicks off tomorrow at Fort Mason. Guests include Bob Fingerman, Spike, Robert Williams and Paul Pope.Programming is here.  APE is a fun show, or was when last I went in 2004, but the Bay Area’s soaring rents and general artisanal toast scarfing ‘tude seems to mitigate […]

SPX was lovely, as usual

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The indie comics world and The Beat are recovering from the yearly love in also known as the Small Press Expo. You can see lots of photos on the SPX tumblr including the above of the alt-weekly summit of (clockwise) Derf, Shannon Wheeler, Dan “Tom Tomorrow” Perkins, Charles Burns, Mimi Pond, Keith Knight, Jen Sorenson, […]

Denis KItchen on The Best of Comix Book–“One of the Greatest Things Stan Lee ever Did”

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The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground is in B&W/  and Full color, HardCover  an exclusive Kitchen Sink Press imprint under Dark Horse  ISBN:978-1-61655-258-9 Intro by Stan Lee Forward by Denis Kitchen Designed and Edited by John Lind by Pam Auditore Tall, affable, plain spoken Wisconsinite, Denis Kitchen smiles wistfully, “I loved putting this collection together.  It’s a nice […]