§ Free Comic Book Day — OUR holiday — has come and gone, but people are still blogging about it — such as Johanna Draper Carlson, who has two lengthy posts:

That was the first year I’d seen that happen. Ed Sizemore usually organizes a comic caravan, and we hit four stores in town. (We’re lucky to have such diversity in our area.) We only made it to two before lunch (due to the first store having a very slow distribution process, only one person to give out comics by hand, and a tiny space to work in), and the ones we visited after had clearly had a successful day, with many titles gone and plenty of active, purchasing traffic. I don’t mind missing out at all, since I’m an existing customer, and I hope the books went to new prospects who’ll find plenty they like to keep buying. But I do wonder what this says about the effectiveness of the event overall — see the Maybe section below for more thinking on this.

Part 2 here.

§ Kiel Phegley also got his hands on lots and lots of Free Comics:

I ramped up for Saturday by lining up a mega-roundup of FCBD previews and events for CBR as well as writing a short feature on Arizona retailer Mike Malve’s plans for the day and his participation in the “Kick-Ass” movie as a comics promotion tool (and I guess I did some sideline reporting as part of the site’s CBR Live! coverage, which you should all scroll through), but I’m not beneath putting it out there that once the day actually came all I really cared about was seeing as many shops as I could and getting as many free comics as possible. Luckily, while Chicago may not be a comics creative community/publisher juggernaut in the way town’s like New York, LA or Portland are, the city has got to be one of if not the very best comics retail towns in America, and in hitting five shops I only scratched the surface of what the Chi offers on FCBD or any Wednesday in the calendar.

§ Tom Spurgeon interviews
Glen Brunswick, author of such comics as JERSEY GODS and KILLING GIRL:

BRUNSWICK: I wanted to write comics, I just didn’t know how to go about it. I would go to Comic-Con to try to chat up some of the writers at the show. They were always impressed by the fact that I had written a film and couldn’t understand why I wanted to waste my time writing comics. They tried to talk me out of it. The fact that I loved comics never seemed to move them much. I figured it must be some kind of secret society. I always want to be a member of the club that doesn’t want me. Groucho Marx has been an excellent tutor in that regard.

§ Kurt Busiek uses the powers of his blog to call for reprints of Harry Haenigsen’s Penny.

In fact, I noted, the one additional strip-reprint project that would put the cherry on top, as far as my particular comic-strip obsessions go, would be collections of Harry Haenigsen’s Penny.

My friend Rob Clough said, “You should advocate for that publicly…someone might actually be listening.”

So, okay, I’m doing it.

§ Over at the Hooded Utilitarian, Erica Friedman, the president of Yuricon, has started blogging

Frankly, there’s no such thing as the “female perspective” or the “lesbian perspective” anyway. Summing up the thoughts of 51% of the world’s population (or the miniscule portion thereof that reads comics) isn’t really doable. As for representing lesbians, I can clearly remember a day on a mailing list I *own* when a member replied to a post I had made about what lesbians want in manga with something like, “I am also a lesbian and I have never agreed with a word you said and you do not speak for me.”

§ Also at HU, there was a donnybrook between Noah Berlatsky and R. Fiore that involved all kinds of pile-ons and charges of Cultural Darwinism, Hegelism and other things that would have been at home on the old Comics Journal letters page.

§ Newsy bit: The Beat will be a guest at HeroesCon this year! FMB, too.

§ Carol Tyler reviews BINKY BROWN MEETS THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY by Justin Green. The fact that Tyler is married to Green makes the piece no less interesting.

When I first read Binky almost 30 years ago, I loved it for the places where it intersected with my own experiences: the 50s, Catholicism gone awry, the Chicagoland area. But I also loved the personal feel of the work. Right away, I felt empathy for him, the author/character. I couldn’t believe how the story jumped off the page and shot directly at me — I had never had this experience from a comic book before.


  1. Here are four strips I’d like to see reissued:

    Barnaby, by Crockett Johnson (the estate is the problem, I’ve been told)

    Rudy by William Overgard

    Hejji, by Dr. Seuss

    Gordo, by Gus Arriola

    There’s a fourth, based on a licensed property known worldwide, but I’ve already suggested it to Abrams Comics Art, so we’ll see…

  2. >> Here are four strips I’d like to see reissued:
    Barnaby, by Crockett Johnson (the estate is the problem, I’ve been told) >>

    I’d love to see that. I’m not as urgent about it as I might be, for purely selfish reasons — I wound up with Judy-Lynne Del Rey’s Xeroxes of the strip beyond the 6 volumes she published. But nice, large-sized reprint volumes would be great.

    > Rudy by William Overgard >

    There was a book of that — I can’t recall if it was a complete run, but it was a well-presented book.

    > Hejji, by Dr. Seuss >

    Not familiar with it, but if it’s by Dr. Seuss, I’m sure it’s worth doing.

    > Gordo, by Gus Arriola >

    A masterpiece I’d love to see collected. Also: CONCHY, some deluxe JOHNNY HAZARD reprints and Leonard Starr’s run on ANNIE, as long as we’re asking. And the 1960s Batman strip sequence with the Robinettes in it, just so I can find out if it’s as weirdly compelling today as it was to my younger self…


  3. Speaking of strips I have to say I really enjoyed the small sampling of the Bob Montana Archie strips from the 40’s courtesy of FCBD. I’ve added that to my buy list.

  4. You may want to fix what’s showing up on the front page. It seems to be taking excerpts from the various bits. I knew something was wrong when I got to the part where I thought you were talking about representing lesbians.

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