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If You’re Surprised, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

The word came yesterday, from C Spike Trotman, about the latest significant accomplishment from Iron Circus Comics:

And the hits just keep coming! Iron Circus’ edition of @evandahm’s Rice Boy scores a starred review in @PublishersWkly!

Firstly, anybody that’s read Dahm’s Rice Boy (and his Order Of Tales, and his Vattu) shouldn’t be surprised, because Dahm is a master storyteller with an entirely unique sense of worldbuilding, as well as a master draftsman. His characters — human and otherwise — have weight … in the sense of their physicality, as well as in the emotional sense. For one of the most respected sources of book review to refer to Rice Boy as an epic of grand ambition, startling choices, and sterling heart makes perfect sense; they only needed to be aware of the book and to have a copy of it in front of them.

That’s a tall order for a single-person creative endeavour to pull off; hard enough to finance a run of books (with or without Kickstarter) and find room for them in your Brooklyn apartment before shipping them out (or more precisely, shipping them to the fine folks at TopatoCo) while simultaneously tracking publicity efforts and trying to work on multiple new stories at once. Few people have that combination of drive, confidence, and willingness to say Hey! Look at this! Just shut up and read it, then you can tell me how good it is. And when you do, be sure to remember the next time I put something in front of you.

Entire Spike; she’s been relentless in building up Iron Circus Comics on the basis first of quality (quality projects, quality collaborators), then quantity. She got the distribution deal that widened ICC’s scope. And now she’s placing books in libraries and in front of the most desirable eyes in the world of pocket reviews. Bookstores and libraries are going to order the snot out of the ICC edition of Rice Boy. It’s a small, small imprint in a big world right now, but ICC is in a spot similar to another small imprint in a big world a dozen years ago:

He laid out a plan that he expected to take a decade, to get comics into the literature end of things, to get them treated as worthy of study and their creators as respected voices. He saw that path as leading to literary awards and wondered how long it would take.

The he was Mark Siegel, and the plan was for :01 Books; you may recall that he beat his ten-year goal of being considered for literary awards (not comics awards, the regular pubishing world’s hoity-toity awards) by about eight and a half years, as American Born Chinese wound up shortlisted for the National Book Award. It’s not one of her goals to be in the awards circuit, but nevertheless I don’t think¹ it be a decade before Spike and one (or more!) of her associated creators are getting into fancy dress for a fancier dinner and the red carpet treatment.

Which is a long way of saying, Congrats Evan and Spike. You’ve more than earned it.

Spam of the day:

Be among the first 100 and be guided to Great Things in 2018 with your Free New Year Reading.

You sent an offer for a psychic reading on the 45th day of the year. That’s not really New Year territory. I’m forced to conclude that psychics, allegedly in tune with secrets of the ancients, are not able to use that 6000 year old technology known as Calendars. It’s like the first thing you go for in Civilization after Hunting and The Wheel. You’ll never defeat Gandhi playing like this.

¹ Spike’s got this quality I call the cheerfully mercenary outlook on life; she’s much more concerned with getting ICC to a self-sustaining point for herself and her contracted creators than in seeking the approval of others. The Academy could look down its nose all it want, as long as the libraries and bookstores keep ordering copies.

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