Carnival of souls: Special “San Diego Days 4&5” edition

* Here’s a link to all of my #losbros30 posts in honor of Love and Rockets‘ 30th Anniversary. I had a lot of fun with these, and I think I got at elements of the series I hadn’t suitably tackled in the past; I could probably do a full month’s worth of them.

* Related: Chris Mautner on six of his favorite moments from Love and Rockets. I’m a huge fan of those first four. The demon dog is a real sleeper, and the Ofelia sequence…that’s a towering achievement, that one.

* Actual Love and Rockets news: Love and Rockets: New Stories is the inaugural title in Fantagraphics’ digital distribution deal with monopoly digital comics whatchamacallit comiXology. I had a conversation with a friend over lunch about how much he wanted digital Love and Rockets literally hours before this announcement was made, and I don’t guess he’s at all alone.

* That announcement was made by Tom Spurgeon, who just kept breaking major alternative comics publishing news left and right all show long. He rounded things out with a pair of PictureBox projects: So Long, Silver Screen by Blutch, the acclaimed and influential French cartoonist’s North American debut, designed by David Mazzucchelli; and The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame, the first English-language collection by Japanese gay bondage erotica cartoonist Gengoroh Tagame (whom you may remember as one of my co-contributors in Thickness #3; you definitely remember him if you’ve read the book), created with the help of an array of big names — designed by Tagame megafan Chip Kidd, produced and translated by Anne Ishii, with an introduction by Edmund White. For a publisher who wasn’t even at San Diego, PictureBox sure dominated the news.

* Be sure not to miss Spurge’s Friday, Saturday, and Sunday floor reports, too. He paints an interesting if unfinished picture of how the need to secure your trip to Comic-Con months in advance may have done away with a kind of attendee-customer who’s bigger on generalized enthusiasm for the art form and cash to spend on it than she is on the kind of specific fannish zeal of which the show is now the exclusive province.

* All of these people were better at comics than Jaime Hernandez last year, apparently. Seriously though, congratulations to my friend Tom for his well-deserved Eisner Award win, and to comics as a whole for voting hugely important archivist, editor, and historian Bill Blackbeard into the Hall of Fame.

* Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #100 is the bestselling comic in seventeen years, apparently. By that one means that it’s the best-initially-ordered-by-retailers comic in seventeen years. Caveats galore for interpreting this as a victory for original work owned by its creators — there was a massive variant-cover gimmick, there’s the TV bump, Kirkman’s facing a lawsuit from the book’s original artist Tony Moore, Kirkman now runs a work-for-hire shop of his own, etc etc — but it’s not not a victory for such things, I don’t think. It’s certainly a victory for Kim Thompson’s “More Crap Is What We Need” theory, and I’m not saying that pejoratively.

* Peter Jackson is making it sound like he may make a third film out of the Hobbit-adjacent material from the Lord of the Rings appendices, with which he already fleshed The Hobbit out from one movie to two. I totally understand and enjoy the initial doubling of the project, since it’s mostly just going to show us the stuff that one of the main characters of the story, Gandalf, is off doing when he’s not with the other main characters. But to come up with a whole third film independent of The Hobbit proper’s narrative framework…I don’t know, at that point you’re writing fanfic, basically, even if it’s fanfic based on canonical sources.

* In other news…

* I missed this for some reason, and shame on me: The End of the Fucking World cartoonist Chuck Forsman has launched a subscription service for his Oily Comics imprint, whereby a $30 or $50 subscription will get you either three or six months’ work of minicomics from a lineup including Forsman, Melissa Mendes, Max De Radigués, Jessica Campbell, Dane E. Martin, Andy Burkholder, Aaron Cockle, and probably more by the sound of it — on the order of a comic or more per week. That’s a terrific deal if you really like these artists and can take a flyer on sight-unseen minis. Forsman talks a bit about the initial line-up over at The Comics Journal — it’s cool to see Drawn and Quarterly PR stalwart Jessica Campbell releasing comics of her own, for example, and Andy Burkholder is a real talent.

* Wow, this is the platonic ideal of a cover for Ron Régé Jr.’s The Cartoon Utopia from Fantagraphics.


* An extra-long, extra-NSFW Uno Moralez image/gif gallery. This is a very good one.

* Taste the rainbow with Jonny Negron.


* Michael DeForge’s Ant Comic — do I have to get used to calling it Ant Colony now? — is terrific.


* Here’s a tight, thoughtful piece by the Comics Grid’s Jonathan Evans on how translation is depicted in Guy Delisle’s travelogue Shenzhen.