(The Filth No. 1 us vs. them cover by Carlos Segura stolen from goviolet.)
Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 09092012:
"Cerebus had been "it" for me. You can't compete against your own 300-issue series. But I had no choice. I had to try very publicly knowing that I could only fail very publicly. So I developed glamourpuss and then hoped for the best. As soon as I saw the sales on the first issue - 16,000 - I knew that the title and my career were doomed." -Dave Sim on approaching the doomsday scenario. And he wrote that before the fire.
(Dave Sim's glamourpuss 26 stolen from A Moment of Cerebus.)
"Sim came to SCAD while I was there and essentially told the students that they should write, draw, and publish comics exactly like he does or not bother at all. One piece of advice I took to heart was when Dave suggested we go through our comics collections and toss out anything that wasn't inspirational, top drawer artistry. So I immediately went home and started tossing out most of my Cerebus back issues." -Ashley Holt.
- Us vs. Them. The Democrats and Republicans have held their conventions and now the real onslaught for our votes and/or souls begins. There is no looking back now. The roller coaster is too far into the loop and if we bail out now we plunge to our deaths. Here is a complete video recap of the Democratic National Convention in just 45 seconds. And here is a complete video recap of the Republican National Convention in just 31 seconds. Obama vs. Romney. Democrat vs. Republican. Left vs. right. Old vs. new. Day vs. night. Sun vs. moon. Red vs. blue. Ford vs. Chevy. North vs. south. East vs. west. Batman vs. Superman. Marvel vs. DC. Mickey vs. Donald. Rich vs. poor. Boy vs. girl. Shirts vs. skins. WWF vs. WCW. Up vs. down. Jedi vs. Sith. Evolution vs. creationism. Mod vs. rocker. Good vs. bad. Right vs. wrong. Bourgeoisie vs. proletariat. Protagonist vs. antagonist. Biology vs. environment. Analog vs. digital. Microsoft vs. Apple. Coke vs. Pepsi. And on and on and on and I'm sure it's all just a coincidence right? Surely there has to be more than two choices right? Surely freewill is more than yes vs. no right? It all matters right? Right? Or left?
- Something SPX this way comes. As you are reading this we are less than a week away from the Small Press Expo in Bethesda MD. I would love to go. I have a lot of pals that will be there and I hope them the best and I hope safe travels for everyone. I had considered putting together a pre-show thing here for file under other but it's all too much and I think my sadness at not going is giving me a mental block. A good start would be to look at the debuts page on the SPX site. And, at this point, if you are not following the SPX tumblr then maybe using teh intronets to follow comics is no the best thing for you. Maybe you should take up knitting or something.
- The Baltimore Comic-Con either happened or is happening right now as you read this. I assume that at some point in the show Stan Lee gave Josh Latta a piggyback ride.
(Absolutely terrifying Bert and Ernie cosplay at DragonCon stolen from Van Jensen's tumblr.)
- Last weekend DragonCon took over downtown Atlanta. Again. I used to live in Atlanta and I've been to DragonCon a few times. I had fun. It's not something I need in my life though. It is not a comic convention. It's fetish convention where a great many people interested in different fetishes and niches go and have some fun. And that is fine for the folks that enjoy it. In fact, I've known a lot of people who I hold in very high regard that look at it as one of the big weekends of the year. The one time a year where they can really cut lose and be themselves and feels safe doing so in two large city hotels full of like minded people. But for me personally, I see the show a lot differently now as a father of two girls then I did ten years ago. For one thing, the show is dominated by cosplay and a lot of that cosplay has at least its big toe dipped into the world of porn. And secondly, there is this guy. Ed Kramer is a lot of things to a lot of people. To some people he is a monster. But to others he is somewhere between victim and folk hero. See, living in Atlanta, about once a year some writer/reporter/journalist will dust off the old Ed Kramer story and more often then not, at least when I lived there, Kramer was painted as the victim of a broken legal system. The victim of physical attacks while held in jail for a crime he did not commit. His accusers and their families were painted as cons trying to take him down for some money. Honestly, based on the way the way Kramer was described in the papers for years, I thought he was a borderline brain damaged vegetable unable to get out of bed. But, apparently, he is still in good enough shape to follow young boys through the woods with a camera. Ugh... so here is the thing. The jury is still out on Kramer. Literally. But in the meantime, the real news to me in this article and the important thing that DragonCon attendees, guests, retailers, vendors, artists, volunteers etc. etc. need to be aware of is that this man, at least as recently as last year is/was still earning money from the show. I was honestly shocked to hear that. And I'm not at all saying this to condemn people that participate in DragonCon because I have every reason to believe that 99% of them have been made unaware of this but... if DragonCon is an annual part of your life that you feel you need then, well, how you deal with the reality that it makes money for Ed Kramer is up to you.
- This article on Kickstarter that Comics Worth Reading posted about has me confused. Apparently there is no way for a backer to demand any money back if the creator fails to deliver. I'm thinking that if you paid with a credit card you could dispute it just like anything else but, you are not really paying with a credit card are you? You are paying Amazon and then Amazon pays them so... Amazon is the evil magic word in ecommerce isn't it? And then put yourself in the creator's shoes. If they do issue refunds, Kickstarter does not really have anything in place to do that easily so you would likely end up using PayPal which also takes a chunk of the money. Ugh. I think it's like anything though, you just have to be careful in who you invest in or buy from.
- "But bringing rational thought to a flame-fight is a buzz-kill."
- Dustin Harbin has been posting a solid set of comics called "Boxes". This story along with previous diary comics are now available for pre-order in Diary Comics #4 from Koyama Press. Oh, and it was Dustin's birthday this week. Happy birthday.
- Happy birthday to the Hooded Utilitarian.
- I just noticed that Ben Towle has a tumblr and oh dear lord would you look at that thing.
- I've never seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from end to end but I sure like looking at this David Mack process piece on how he made some art based on one of the characters.
- Tony Consiglio will mother fudging break your mother fudging phantom jaw.
- Lucy Lane will cut you.
- Adam Casey needs your help identifying a late 80's cartoon. Which reminds me that before teh intronets I once spent at least 15 years trying to remember the name of a favorite TV show from my youth. Every time I met a new nerd I would ask if they remembered it. Mine turned out to be Space Giants.
- James Kochalka answers your SuperF*ckers questions.
- Anne Koyama told us something we did not know. When she talks about some of her "outside the box" thinking (ex. comics in toy stores and clothing stores) it was like lightning sploding my brains. Like, duh. Why didn't we all think of that? Answer, because comics is so myopic. Which, is why you need a few folks in the mix like Koyama who come from another creative world and do exactly what would have been obvious if you had not just spent the past 30 years of your life reading The X-Men.
- Lucy Lane's boyfriend The Comics Reporter pointed out an announcement at the bottom of this Maakies strip that it... might... be... OVER? !!!!!
- Joe McCulloch has three Cs and two Ls in his last name. Oh, and he also talked about those blasphemy comics you can read in America's finer public restrooms.
- I continued my look at my favorite comics of 2011 (which I may or may not finish before 2021). This week I talked about Brad McGinty's Wysteria and the Archie Comics magazine Life With Archie.
- That is a very lucky library.
- What ever happened to Elvis Murray.
- As alluded to earlier in my opening quotes, things have not been that swell for Dave Sim. His last comic series, glamourpuss, failed to find a big enough audience to sustain the the numbers Diamond demands. And a kickstarter for a digital Cerebus was been dramatically set back by a fire. Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has some solid thoughts on what it might all mean. One thing I think it might mean is that one should probably not expect a comic that does not make any sense to sell. However, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's Justice League is absolutely unreadable garbage and DC handed those guys the keys to the company. So, what the Don Heck do I know about anything?
- Charles Forsman and other people are burning in hell. (Rob Clough is pronounced Rob Clow?)
- I could talk about this week's twitter adventures but Abhay Khosla already covered it. (Probably not pronounced Abbey Coleslaw.)
- I hear a tremendous thump and get up to see that a bird just brained itself on my front porch glass door. Its blood is beet purple. Still alive. I help it up but it is just standing there blinking. Should I put it out of its misery?
- My pal Jeremy Massie just started a new ongoing webcomic and it looks great. Love the subject, idea, setting, look etc. etc. Can't wait to see more. Here is page one.
- What is the alternative to comics? Success? Fame? Happiness?
- This is not comics but it is stuff you see with your eyes. My cousin Rich Meade is a very good fashion photographer out of Atlanta GA USA and there is a lot of great stuff to look at on his site. He's really good with light which is something that I as an artist forget to think about until I sit down to draw. His twitter feed is a solid follow because he likes to talk about gear, Photoshop and all that technical stuff I struggle with.
- Someone remind me as we get closer to November that the Great and Terrible Patrick Dean will be curating a Jack Davis gallery at the Georgia Museum of Art.
- Also, for the record, Patrick Dean was my favorite Doctor Who.
- I checked on the bird. It was walking around. It looked at me and flew away. Maybe the blood was beet juice. I feel like the bird was here to tell me something. No beloved reader, the bird was here to tell me to tell YOU something. And that is... it's link haiku time!
- And finally... It's because I care.
Oh, and one more last thing! Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other? It's true! And, I'll probably respond. Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes. It's your intronet. Have fun!
And that's just a taste of some of the interesting things going out there in the wonderful world of comics and things. I can't keep up with it all but I do keep up with a lot of it on twitter and I try to re-tweet the good stuff. You should probably follow me there. If you did something to make comics better this week then high-five!
Your best pal ever,
p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.