Sunday, August 06, 2006

Spurgeon does Parker. 

I apologize if anyone actually visualizes that headline.

Jeff Parker was interviewed today at Tom Spurgeon's site The Comics Reporter. They talk Toth, Interman, Agents of Atlas, and much, much more.

Parker's motivational team.

Speaking of Atlas, the great reviews and notices keep rolling in:
Photon Torpedoes | Every day is like Wednesday | All this and Earth 2 | Chris Roberson | That's my Skull | Ziggurat of Doom | Dino Rider | The ISB | Mark Fossen | Silver Bullet | Comic Book Resources | Brian K Vaughn

Over on her CBR board,
Gail Simone asked everyone to come up with one thing they would change about the comics industry if they could. As a Pie-in-the-sky offering, I said I wish every genre had fans as numerous and enthusiastic as superhero stories do. That'd sure be nice. I'd like a pony, too. More realistically, here are a few things I'd be happy to see the industry do.

1: Start a program run by Diamond with advice from the CBIA to make it easier for entrepreneurs to open direct-market stores in under-served markets. I'd like to see some kind of new-store mentoring program, combined with terms that make it possible for qualifying new stores to build their initial stock without starting off impossibly deep in the red.

2. Until that happens, companies could sponsor mobile book-carts to sell their comics (and maybe those of some partnering companies) in high-traffic, under-served locations. They could also partner with local retailers to do this. The number one problem comics have right now is that there aren't enough places for people to buy them. This would be a temporary solution, but I can see running a book cart as being a stepping-stone to running a store the same way that running a food cart is often a precursor to running a restaurant.

3: Okay maybe that last one's a bit much. Here's a much more realistic suggestion: Someone should pull together a resource that helps libraries, schools and universities to bring in local cartoonists for author visits and artists-in-residence positions. This could start with Tom Spurgeon's Scene Listing, whiuch would be used to make an opt-in list of those who might be interested in this sort of thing. The site could also incorporate some short articles explaining how these arangements typically work, and maybe include a couple of annotated sample agreements between artists and organizations.

4: More cartoonists need to take advantage of the grant systems that have supported the fine arts in this country for the last half century.

5: Corporate work-for-hire publishers could move further towards the world of legitimate book publishing by expanding their creator-owned lines and eliminating the contractual provisions that deprive the creator/owners of any real control.

6. Someone needs to assemble a regularly updated pricing and ethical guideline for freelancers and publishers. The Graphic Artists Guild publishes one for commercial artists and it includes a bit about comics, but it'd be great to see one just for our business.

7. More tubby white men hogging all the sweet gigs.

White as hell, but not so tubby: Paul Jenkins is at Wizard World Chicago, letting everyone in on the secrets of writing for comics..

A bunch of us went to City Hall on Sunday for the multimedia art exhibit and fashion show. Ran into a bunch of familiar faces, including Greg Means of Tugboat Press. Several pages of Colleen Coover's original art were on the wall right outside of City Commisioner Sam Adams' office. These were generally mobbed with intrigued viewers, though the only picture I shot that came out clearly was this one, which makes it look like the exhibit was nearly deserted.

Eric Schuster, Sequential Art student, MCAD class of 2007, studies Coover's ultra-precise original art.

A number of people have remarked on the reformatting of David Hahn's first BITE CLUB miniseries from typically-sized comic to tankobon-sized tpb. Is it being discovered by manga fans? Maybe. <--This link, by the way, is absolutely Not Safe For Work.

David Hahn

If I had made it to San Diego, I'd have been really pissed at myself for missing this panel: Linda Medley talks comics, moderated by Jim Ottaviani.

OUTSIDERS #39, illustrated by the unbeatable tag team of Matthew Clark and Ron Randall, seems to be making some fans happy. Matthew and Ron both deserve special credit for their work in this one: Matthew for getting right back to work after some serious medical issues and Ron for stepping in at the last minute and doing such a remarkable job of sublimated his own style to better unify his pages with the one Matthew had drawn. That's incredibly hard for an artist to do, (particularly when the artist is as precise as Matthew) and it isn't especially glamorous. The better you do, the less you audience will notice you did anything. Hats off to Ron and Matthew for turning out such great work under difficult conditions.

Matthew Clark. Smiling.
Photo by Susan Tardif.

Next time: a bunch more pictures from Susan if she gives the okay.

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