§ Art Spiegelman gives Michael Cavna some good quotes, on the occasion of the former’s winning the Grand Prix at Angoulême.

What lies ahead is being the steering hand for the festival’s exhibits and conferences and programs. “I don’t know whether you should say ‘congratulations’ or ‘condolences,’ ” says the artist, noting what a prestigious honor it is – while also remembering how it was when American friend and colleague R. Crumb received the same award for the 2000 festival.

“Crumb didn’t want to even meet the press,” Spiegelman recalls. “He escaped out a door and went flea-market shopping in the neighborhoods. They vowed never to pick another American.

“I won’t be as bad as that,” he says, laughing.

§ Continuing on the issue of creator-owned comics, Dan Panosian has his say, with much practical observation, including frank talk:

I’d rather not waste time trying to make a lion into an alligator or a lamb. I think it would be smarter for a company designed to give Creators a viable launching pad for new books even more of a boost. It wouldn’t take much of a policy change and it would open more doors for both individual creators and Image Comics. More potential money for both Creators and for Image. I think that makes good sense.

§ Gerry Giovinco sums up the zeitgeist-y feeling out there:

This dynamic climate for creators has been in the making for over thirty years. It’s not a revolution, its a resolution to what was unfair in the industry for decades.

So why all of the sudden rhetoric? Why all of the jitters?

Because there is an air of complacency.

§ Douglas Wolk adds up all the issues in the great events of recent years to see which is the biggest — it’s SECRET INVASION with 102 tie-in periodicals.

§ Mark Evanier marks the passing of two admired animation professionals, Boyd Kirkland, who worked on X-MEN: EVOLUTION and the Batman animated series; and John Dorman a designer, art director and storyboard artist for a wide range of companies.

§ Remember when Kelly Thompson got a random bunch of women to read comics and post their thoughts? She’s doing it again. In four parts, and with graphic novels. And there are some converts:

Will I be reading more comic books? YES. Definitely want to get my hands on more Fables. Besides the fact that I felt supremely cool reading it on the subway, (yes, people – I do this all the time – even though I clearly do not), I also just really enjoyed reading it. I’ve only read a couple of graphic novels, and the only problem with those being that the ones I had were humongous and hard to lug around, whereas these guys are totally not. And like most chicks, I read a lot of Betty and Veronica when I was younger. So I was never opposed to comics to begin with, just, honestly, never re-introduced to any in my adulthood.


§ The secret history of four fonts, including the one that Must Not Be Named. Above, peaceful Garamond.

§ The Michael George murder trial will never end, will it? next up: a new DNA test:

George’s attorney, Carl Marlinga, said a pubic hair in question was recovered from the sweater of George’s wife, Barbara George, after she was found shot to death in 1990.

During the first trial, prosecutors tested only to see if the hair matched Barbara George, Marlinga said. It did not.

Marlinga said the hair was destroyed in the test, leaving only a DNA profile.

Attorneys have now asked that the DNA profile be compared to Michael George’s known DNA.

“We want to find out if it belongs to Michael or somebody else,” Marlinga said. “We will find out what we can and go from there.”

§ Sean T. Collins has the ultimate Wizard Death reaction round-up.


§ Spider-Man update: Bono tries to be coy, while the above picture seems to be a trial run for a “Got Milk?” ad.

“We tried not to be big shots and arrive with a cigar in our mouth,” says Bono. “Because we’re not. We’re small shots around here. No matter how much we might have done in our other lives, it kind of doesn’t count as soon as you walk into a theatre.”


  1. Personally, all of this talk about creator-owned indie comics boils down to two phrases: “they should” and “we should.”

    If the majority of the article consists of a “they should” tone – as in “publishers/distributors/retailers/readers should really support…” – then it might be worth reading, but is ultimately just a lot of smoke and mirrors because the solution relies on someone else to make a change.

    If the majority of the article consists of a “we should” tone – as in “we, the indie creators, should really get out there and find more readers somewhere else because the Direct Market is optimized for superhero publishers to sell superhero comics to superhero fans” – that’s something I consider worthwhile because it’s contains an actual, practical suggestion that maybe I, as an indie creator, can put some effort behind.

  2. For typesetting, I prefer Bembo.

    For email, Verdana, as Times New Roman is hard to read on a monitor as text. (And TNR is so boring.)

    For chat rooms where I wish to stand out from others, Lucida Console Bold.

    For comics lettering, I defer to Comicraft.

  3. So I was never opposed to comics to begin with, just, honestly, never re-introduced to any in my adulthood.

    There’s the market for creator-owned comics right there. It’s a vast market, untouched by the Big Two.

    There are over a quarter of a billion people in the U.S. and Canada and we talk about “big” sales numbers in the mere tens of thousands.

    Good on Kelly Thompson for her experiment.

  4. I was thinking bad thoughts about University Roman, or should I say Ubiquitous Roman.

    Every key cutting shop, jewellery shop or quaint little tea shoppe in my area seems to think that their store sign calls out for University Roman.
    And don’t get me started on Hobo.

    Around this Mac shop, the journeyman fonts are Myriad and Officina Sans.

  5. “we, the indie creators, should really get out there and find more readers somewhere else because the Direct Market is optimized for superhero publishers to sell superhero comics to superhero fans”

    Yeah, I think that’s the nut of it right there. Although I wouldn’t say the DM is geared for superhero publishing so much as it’s geared for monthly pamphlet publishing, which it does very well — it could do as well with any genre, really, but the sub-culture it serves happens to be superhero-happy.

    Nonetheless, for various reasons I think that for more diverse comics to thrive we bloody well do need to develop a new marketplace. One that handles trade-paperbacks and refills backstock orders as well as the Diamond Market handles monthly pamphlets. And as always, developing an awareness in the wider world that there is GOOD STUFF to be had, if only they’ll take a look.

    Here and there I see glimmers of hope that this sort of thing could develop, using the Internet as a vehicle. I don’t think there’s one single solution — to get where we want to be will likely require a convergence of several different efforts. And we may not even see them coming until they have arrived.

  6. What few people seem to mention in this whole Indie vs. Mainstream discussion, is that there are tons of non-superhero comics out there right now with tons of readers, some with even more readers than the top selling superhero books…and they’re called webcomics.

    It seems like just about everyone I know around my age (20s) reads at least one webcomic regularly, but very few read much in the way of paper comics.

    Then again, its always kind of been that way with my generation…I was one of maybe two people in my high school graduating class of 100-something who read comics, and one of maybe five people in the building. I think comics face an uphill battle having lost nearly an entire generation of readers due to the reader unfriendly comics of the 90s (plus how hard it was to find a comic shop already in the late 90s), and might be losing the rest of Generation Y with all these reader unfriendly events. There are certain characters everyone knows now thanks to the movies, but watch someone who’s interested in Spider-man or X-Men or Batman walk into a comic shop and try to figure out which of Batman’s 4-8 titles they should start with, or which of the X-Men’s I don’t know how many books. You might get them to pick up an issue of Spider-man, until they realize they have to buy more than one issue a month.

    The next generation of indie creators are all doing webcomics. If only there was an easier way to earn money from it…