Carnival of souls: Special “San Diego Day One” edition

* Tom Spurgeon hadn’t even arrived in San Diego yet before he started rolling out killer coverage of the comics side of Comic-Con:

** Here’s his list of five stories to watch at the show this year. If it really is more of a festival now, the CCI organization should go full Angouleme and allow a guest of honor to create a special programming slate. Kick the selection of the guest of honor to a vote by the previous year’s Eisner Award winners or something.

** Here’s the first in a series of posts on comics to buy at Comic-Con. I can get behind two of the three.

** Tom also lined up a couple of announcements. First, AdHouse is releasing an extremely limited edition collection of Jim Rugg’s painstaking notebook drawings called Notebook, available now. Rugg describes the project as “vacillat[ing] between celebration and satire,” which if you recall is the same sweet spot that made his and Brian Maruca’s Afrodisiac such a success.

** Second, PictureBox is releasing an extremely limited edition book by Renee French called Bjornstrand, available at SPX in September. Like the Rugg project, it’s limited to 300 copies.

* Drawn and Quarterly previews the new Brecht Evens graphic novel they’re unveiling at San Diego, The Making Of. Would you believe it looks pretty?

* Graeme McMillan on the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets. For what it’s worth, Beto’s recent work is far less frivolous and indulgent than Graeme believes. It’s actually nothing less than an ongoing interrogation of, even condemnation of, his fetishes. It’s as strong an exploration of the consequences of child sexual abuse as comics has ever produced this side of Debbie Dreschler, too. Not an easy read, to be sure, but also not a stupid read.

* In other news…

* Tucker Stone runs down some of the year’s most anticipated remaining releases for Flavorpill, including works by Chris Ware, Hope Larson, Jacques Tardi, Johnny Ryan, David Lasky, Noah Van Sciver, and Los Bros Hernandez. Always a pleasure to read Tucker’s dead-on, succinct summaries of the appeal of folks like these.

* LOL, James Robinson is off that not-appealing-to-people-who-like-He-Man He-Man comic after one issue, replaced by DC’s designated dogsbody Keith Giffen.

* MoCCA intends to relocate its museum, which seems like the kind of thing they might have included in their announcement that they were closing the old one.

* Hooray, new Cindy and Biscuit from Dan White!

* I enjoyed Steven Hyden’s piece on Nine Inch Nails’ masterpiece The Fragile for the Onion AV Club. Music writing about work I really, really, really, really love, even when we’re basically on the same wavelength, almost always contains one or two ideas that make me want to turn a cereal bowl upside down and smash it to pieces with the fleshy underside of my fist—this is why I’ve read a grand total of, I think, half an entry on that Bowie Songs blog—and there’s no album that means more to me than The Fragile, I don’t think, so I expected to be driven nuts, but no. I’ll take “alt rock’s Raging Bull,” sure.

2 Responses to Carnival of souls: Special “San Diego Day One” edition

  1. Hob says:

    MoCCA is so weird and frustrating. The earlier Michael Dean article pretty much says it all. Why the fuck did it take them 10 years to figure out that their location was ridiculous? A teeny tiny space in a super-expensive area that they apparently picked for the foot traffic, except that none of that foot traffic ever had any way to know that there’s a museum there.

    I was really happy when they started doing their festival, because there hadn’t been anything like that in NY before and they did it up very nicely the first year, but if I were still living there I’d be really conflicted about supporting them. I believe they mean well, but I’d rather give money to people who have a clue about what to do with it.

    • Hob says:

      And– someone in the comments of one of those Dean articles mentioned looking at their nonprofit 990 forms to find a humungous rent figure, but Susie Cagle recently pointed out some more details from those forms: 1. They only have one paid employee, the executive director; he’s being paid a pittance, but everyone else is apparently a volunteer. 2. They somehow managed to rack up nearly $12,000 in telephone bills in 2010, and only 1/3 of that was for fundraising. And if I’m reading the thing right, their efforts toward maintaining a permanent collection are so negligible that they’re reporting no expenses for that.

      Not to toot San Francisco’s horn, but somehow the Cartoon Art Museum here manages to show a zillion times more art in twice the space, maintain a collection, and pay their employees, without having to support themselves through exorbitant show-table fees. Why can’t there be more of that??