* Sparkplug Comic Books will continue, under the watch of Dylan Williams’s wife Emily Nilsson, his friend Tom Neely, and his colleague Virginia Paine. They haven’t decided whether or when they’ll be able to start publishing new work, though they’d like to, but they’re continuing to sell and promote the company’s existing, excellent line-up.
* Amazingly, Netflix has backed down off its previously announced plan to divert its DVD subscribers into a separate service with the absurd name Qwikster. I look forward to reading retractions from the folks who wrote that that was secretly a brilliant maneuver. As I said at the time, regardless of the underlying thought process, repeatedly and publicly antagonizing your customers with sweeping business-model changes that make your services more inconvenient and more expensive, delivered first with no real explanation and then with an “apology” that amounted to “sorry for doing that horrible thing, now here’s something even worse, something so bad that I, the CEO of the company doing it, seem on the verge of tears about it” is — surprise! — a bad business move. It was the strangest thing I’d ever seen a popular consumer company do, and now it’s doubly so.
* My chums in the Partyka collective will be part of the Desert Island Comic Zine Party for kids at the Whitney Museum this Saturday afternoon. Sounds like a good time for the little ones.
* Recently on Robot 6:
* Interesting insights into Ghost World and Shortcomings may be found in this Daniel Clowes/Adrian Tomine panel report.
* Via everyone: Liquid Television is now online in its entirety, along with related weird animated programs and station IDs from the MTV vaults. That was a real atom bomb of alt-culture for people of a certain age, one that if I’m not mistaken slightly predated Nirvana’s opening of the floodgates for that sort of material and was therefore even more of a cultural category error when in arrived on our teevees between Janet Jackson videos.
* Tom Spurgeon’s nine thoughts on the DC relaunch’s success. Of the batch, I was struck by point six — DC’s newfound insistence on regular shipping will require fill-in slots that should provide better opportunities for new or new-to-the-company creators than the usual miniseries and tryout books — and point nine — the unpleasant-to-much-of-the-online-fan-press tone of many of these successful books will force a generation of journalists weaned on the we’re-all-in-this-together spirit of comics return to cultural prominence in the ’00s to reexamine those assumptions.
* It’s spoilery so I’m staying away (even though it says it’s not spoilery, the first thing they talk about was spoilery as fuck), but Clive Barker talks to his official site Revelations about the recently released Abarat: Absolute Midnight, the third book in his lushly illustrated YA fantasy series. I recommend you read the intro, however, as it details what seems like a hellish last few years for Barker in his personal life — surgery, divorce, death. He’s one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met in this business, hugely generous in spirit, so every time I hear about these things I feel just awful for him. Still, you have to figure that if anyone’s capable of channeling real life awfulness into his art, it’s Clive Barker.
* Box Brown’s Retrofit Comics is up to its second old-school alternative-comic-book-format release, Colleen Frakes and Betsy Swardlick’s Drag Bandits. To paraphrase Barton Fink, I got a feeling we’ll be hearing from that Colleen Frakes, and I don’t mean a postcard.
* It bears repeating that Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7 is on the way.
* It also bears repeating that Jim Woodring is posting things like this five, six days a week lately.
* Hellen Jo draws girls masturbating for Vice. These are illustrations for an article on the topic that is the Vice-iest Vice article ever to Vice, so be warned, but still, it’s Hellen Jo drawing girls masturbating. (Via Same Hat!)
* I have no brief whatsoever with “the Milkyway films of Johnnie To Kei-fung,” but this David Bordwell piece on To’s work begins with an explanation of his elliptical storytelling method that should be of great interest to Jaime Hernandez fans.