Carnival of souls: special post-BCGF edition

* The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival was this past Saturday. I missed it because I was busy throwing a surprise 60th birthday party for my mom, which went great, thanks, but it’s still a bummer to miss the best comics show I’ve ever been to. Tom Spurgeon liked the show a lot; Robert Boyd did not. To this outside observer it appears the show has reached the “victim of its own success” tipping point, where those not favorably predisposed to attending or exhibiting may be turned off by increased overcrowding, venue issues and suchlike inherent to the show picking up steam from year to year that veterans and enthusiasts are more able to gloss over or ignore. But since the acknowledged strength of the show is its organization, in terms of presenting a thoughtful and rewarding selection of exhibitors, panels, satellite events, and special guests in order to entice attendees and make them feel glad they came, I’d imagine the organizers will be able to use that same intelligence to fix logistical problems. This isn’t something that could have been said for, say, the MoCCA Festival when it reached its own tipping point a few years back, since in retrospect that show did as well as it did because it was the first (and only) of its kind in the area. (For what it’s worth, they handled growth really well by expanding to two days and multiple floors in the original venue, the Puck Building, then really poorly by moving it to the Amory and not preparing at all for change. Obviously exhibitor relations left a lot to be desired as well.) Anyway, for an idea of what I missed, here’s what Leah Wishnia bought there. (Man, is that ever a BCGF haul photo!)

* Related: BCGF co-organizer Bill Kartalopoulos launched his Rebus Books imprint at the show.

* Al Feldstein and the estate of Harvey Kurtzman are filing to reclaim the copyright of various 1950s EC Comics titles on which they worked, including MAD Magazine.

* WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS? My friend Rob Bricken, bless his heart, is leaving Topless Robot, the caustic nerd-news site he created and edited since its inception, for a gig at io9. I got a lot of enjoyment out of what Rob did there over the years. In true Topless Robot fashion, Rob signed off by posting lists of his eight favorite listicles, five least and five most horrifying fan-fiction posts, and five favorite things about the site overall. I was always very very happy with the few things I wrote for TR, particularly the music posts.

* Eventually my current headlong retreat inside myself only to find I can barely stomach anything in there either will come to an end and I’ll read all the comics I have lying around. At that point I will then read the following reviews: Chris Mautner on Ron Régé Jr.’s The Cartoon Utopia and Theo Ellsworth’s The Understanding Monster. Katie Haegele on The Cartoon Utopia. Grace Krilanovich on Charles Burns’s The Hive. Marc Sobel interviewed Ellsworth, too.

* “Operation Vaporizer” by Jordan Speer is one of the best webcomics I’ve read all year, and I’ve read plenty.

* Jesse Moynihan’s Forming is delivering knockout after knockout.

* Mr. Freibert’s in a really good place with Weird Road right now.

* I’m always glad to see a new Conor Stechschulte comic — his Water Phase debuted at BCGF. No one textures pages like he does.

* Goodness, Space Face Books is a promising new publisher. I mean, it’s all but made good on its promise already. Forsman, DeForge, Hanselmann right out of the gate.

* Fucking hell, DeForge.

* When evaluating the recent work of Jonny Negron, please do not overlook the cementing of his signature style — meaning, literally, the style of his signature.

* Also, XOJane’s Annie Kreighbaum discovers what you look like when you use Jonny’s colors as your makeup palette.

* Yuko Shumizu’s drawing of Shirley Manson from Garbage pretty accurately captures the appeal of Shirley Manson from Garbage.

* Carrie Battan’s article on the creation of indie-flavored pop music by Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX and others is a fascinating look at how some fairly tasty sausage gets made.

* Jessie Ware’s album Devotion has quickly become one of my favorites of the year. I’ll never not be a huge mark for sophisticated late-’90s dinner-party music, and this is that at both its most sonically refined and most emotionally raw. And my my my my my this video.

* Finally, it occurred to me I never linked to Meghan “Moneyworth” Garvey’s astonishing hip-hop Illuminati illustrations when she and I got in touch a few months ago. She’s great; they’re great.

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