§ Many thanks to David FairbanksMichael DeLaney, David Nieves and of course, Tireless Torsten Adair for their C2E2 coverage. Sounds like this show has come into its own at last.

§ There were a bajillion comics events this weekend and one of the more oblique was the Brooklyn Zine Fest ; Robyn Chapman has a complete report and says it was her most profitable show since Comic Arts Brooklyn, so in Brooklyn they like ziney comics. That is good.

§ Before the BZF I attended Brain Frame which is kind of a performance art showcase for cartoonists. Some of it was wacky, but some was pretty cool, and there were two giant paper mache feet. Brain Frame is generally located in Chicago and I suggest you check it out if you get a chance.

§ Anne Ishii interviews cartoonist to watch Sophie Yanow about her book War of Streets and Houses (above) which is a startlingly concise examination of urban development, public protest and more.

§ CBR spoke with Fred Van Lente about stuff including his upcoming book How to Make Comics Like the Pros, co-written with Greg Pak:

We take readers from idea to scriptwriting process, pencils, inks, colors, letters, and then we talk about marketing. Greg obviously had a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Ryan and I have had a successful self-publishing company. We’re able to use our joint experience to guide folks from unpublished to published, and then perhaps after that, getting hired by one of the Big Two. We do some of the basic business and math stuff on how to run a self-published comics operation. To answer your question, I wish I had this information before I started doing this, in the ’90s. It would’ve saved me a lot of wasted money and frustration.


§ A spirited debate about Zen Pencils, and that #hate comic he ran a while ago.

§ I enjoyed The Eltingville Club #1 and his review of the book.

Dorkin’s The Eltingville Club #1 should be funny as he skewers fanboys left and right. From lousy comic shops who refuse to carry anything other than Marvel or DC comics to fans who enjoy the act of hating more than anything else, Dorkin viciously attacks the ugliness of fandom. Dorkin has absolutely no sympathy for his characters, only sadness, disappointment and a healthy amount of contempt. They think of themselves as “true fans,” the ones upholding the vigorous standards that any real art form requires. Instead, they’re the ones building up the walls around their precious love, protecting it from the “fake” fanboys and fangirls.  When one of them finally gets a job in a comic shop, for lousy pay and work, it’s the culmination of a little life as he’s reached the peak of existence, just like that high school quarterback who has no dreams beyond becoming the starter and winning the state championship.


§ In comic book FIGHT news, there was this, which you may have seen some people talking about on Twitter the last few days. Dan Nadel accused Scott McCloud and First Second of making shitty comic, and used an ableist term. I think First Second has had its share of clunkers over the years, but no way is This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki shitty. But, you know, something to talk about!


  1. Dan Nadel is an asshole. I wasn’t sure what you meant by ableist term, but when I read it, I saw what the fuss was about. I’m glad someone called him on it.

    Beyond that, the hate to Scott McCloud and First Second is why I stopped reading the Journal’s website once Deppey left. The Comics Comics group sees themselves as gatekeepers telling the rest of us what are good comics and what aren’t. I can determine on my own what comics I like, thank you. Beyond that, if someone loves, say, Deadpool and thinks that’s high art, who is anyone else to rain on their parade?

  2. Thanks for the link to Anne Ishii interview with Sophie Yanow. Yanow has a really strong visual style, great placement of elements and lights and darks. And the pages I have seen are delightful to read!

  3. Wow, “FirstSecond is a publisher of shitty comics that eases people into more shitty comics” is an actual opinion held by actual people who purport to be knowledgeable about comics? Because I’ve really enjoyed nearly everything I’ve read from them, and I can’t think of a single one that even remotely approached the level of “shitty.” Just…wow. Ok.

  4. Dan Nadel has published some of the greatest comics I’ve ever seen, as well as some of the greatest magazines about comics in the world (The Ganzfeld remains a personal favorite). He’s definitely in the history books as a visionary.
    But he’s also put out his fair share of Crap.

    First Second, however, is the only North American publisher I can think of who publishes normal comics for normal people.
    That right there might be the most revolutionary idea American comics have ever seen.

  5. I should say that as a reader, I fall well within the Picture Box/Comics Comics realm.
    I generally don’t like the comics that First Second puts out (Gipi and Box Brown being huge exceptions).

    But I am damn glad that a publisher like First Second exists and is actively cranking out books that are meant for your average human being and not ones only meant to appeal to the fringiest of an already fringe group of people.

  6. The First Second hate is indeed puzzling. PictureBox made it’s share of “shitty” comics, so I don’t understand where he gets off hating First Second. It’s really weird because if Nadel knows how to do things better, he can express that a lot better than calling First Second “a publisher of shitty comics that eases people into more shitty comics.” Reading that knowing he used to be a publisher…bad look, son. Bad look.

    The thing with “shitty” comics…no one can make great art if they don’t make bad art first. So, I think it’s unfair to describe the output of First Second or PictureBox as “shitty” because I think there’s definitely something both commercially and aesthetically noble about publishing rough around the edges work. That’s what confuses me the most here. Are we going to go so far up our own asses that we’re going to start judging the merits of publishers? That seems like a gigantic waste of time.

    Or is it all about the page views, baby? P Diddy would be proud.

  7. Hero, I reserve the right to judge the merits of any publisher who treats their creators, fans, or the art form poorly.

  8. Jacob,

    I think that’s fair if you’re talking about a company like Marvel or DC that owns the IPs and has a lot of influence over all the things you mentioned. But attacking First Second? All they do is publish books. What are we attacking there? The books they select to publish? I don’t get it…it just seems like a waste of time.

  9. I’ve enjoyed reading Laika, Primates, Anya’s Ghost, Silence of Our Friends, The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Robot Dreams (still have to read Varon’s other two) and Battling Boy. The Gipi books and Three Shadows are among some of my favortie comics period and I’m super eager to put my eyeballs on the upcoming Wrenchies book by Dalrymple.

    Can I list books from First Second I didn’t enjoy? Absolutely, but, it hardly qualifies as a reason to completely dismiss them. Could this have come about because of their larger publisher ties, a rail against “the man”?

    I don’t love everything even from my most favorite publishers of comics. I just trust them more when trying something new.

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