The webcomics blog about webcomics

Smiles All The Way

If there is anybody more universally beloved in [web]comics than Raina Telgemeier, I don’t know who that would be. Like, maybe the reincarnation of Mr Rogers was magically soul-bound to Caroll Spinney and then spent a couple of decades mentoring Malala Yousafzi in panel composition and storytelling, you be getting close … and Raina would be cheerleading her the whole way. She’s pretty awesome is what I’m saying, and may have said so one or two times in the past.

I’m not alone in that opinion, as anybody that’s seen one of her public events can attest. She’ll be having a meet and greet at the Cartoon Art Museum, in conjunction with the closing of the months-long retrospective exhibit of her work at CAM (the exhibit that, in fact, was chosen to spearhead the relaunch of CAM after two years without their own gallery space).

Things start at 4:00pm on Saturday, 10 March, with a presentation and discussion of the exhibit, followed by a Q&A, then informal time to mingle and interact. To maximize the time for fans to get chat and get photos, there won’t be any signing (that keeps her stuck behind a table), but I bet she’d be fine with you holding up your copy of a favorite book in photos (signed copies will be available via advanced ticketing), or seeing your fanart.

As you might expect, demand will be pretty high for this event, even in her hometown of San Francisco; advance tickets are available at Guestlist for the immensely reasonable price of US$10 for adults, and US$4 (four bucks!) per kid. You can reserve your signed copies of her books on the same page.

And then two weeks later, SF fans will very possibly see her again, as she takes part in the San Francisco portion of the KidLit Marches For Kids. An outgrowth of the March For Our Lives/Never Again movement being led by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the YA community is participating in the national day of demonstrations in favor of gun control. Details about the various marches can be found on Facebook.

This is what happens when you realize that some of the students that have (very quickly, with sorrowful determination) become activists were your readers just a few years ago.

This is what happens when you can’t escape the fact that some of their fallen friends were.

This is what happens when you don’t want that to happen ever again.

So keep an eye out for a local march and let kids worry about when the next book from their favorite author comes out, instead of how to stay alive on a Wednesday. Raina will thank you for it; she’s polite that way.

Spam of the day:

80% Off PANDORA Jewelry. So get, like, 60.

There is a certain logic to your position, but it does not resemble our Earth logic.

An Act Of Optimism

Something great happened in 2011; the folks behind Toronto’s The Beguiling (one of the great comic book shops in the English-speaking world) opened an extension store next door. It was, as far as anybody can tell, the first comic shop dedicated to children and likely remained so for the rest of its existence. Little Island Comics was an act of pure optimism; optimism that the comics industry could produce enough material suitable for kids to sustain a store in one of the priciest cities in the world.

Comics may not be for kids, as the now-cliche headline would tell us, but vast swathes of them haven’t been entirely appropriate for young readers for some time. Grimdarkgrittypouchcape comics were pretty dominant for a couple of decades there, but the big publishers manage to produce some stuff suitable for all ages, and the graphic novel trade has fallen over itself to provide more and more books each year¹. Damn good thing, too, or where will the grimdarkgrittypouchcape comics get their readers in the future, if kids don’t develop the habit today?

And it worked. Little Island was successful until it fell prey not to neglect, or disinterest, or lack of product; it was a casualty to gentrification that tore up a chunk of now-valuable Toronto real estate. The Beguiling managed to find new digs, but Little Island was lost.

Until now.

The Beguiling is pleased to announce the re-opening of Little Island Comics, the world’s first and only children’s comic shop! Offering the widest possible array of graphic novels, manga, and comics for people 12 years old and younger, Little Island celebrates its Grand Re-Opening during March Break 2018 with a slate of creator appearances, refreshments and activities.

Whoa, cool shop returns and refreshments? Give me the deets!

Little Island Comics re-opens in March next door to its parent shop The Beguiling’s newly expanded location at the top of Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market neighborhood. As The Beguiling enters its fourth decade as North America’s premier comic book retailer, the move to College Street has allowed it to add a gallery and events space, which Little Island will share.

  • Next door to the Beguiling again? Check
  • Gallery and event space, so that LI’s famed comic-making classes, launches, and events can continue? Check
  • Same staff that previously served the all-ages comics lovers of Toronto and beyond? Check

Anything else we should know?

Little Island will offer a 20% discount on all in-print kids comics, picture books, and graphic novels throughout March Break (March 10-18, 2018) to encourage families to dig into graphic novels! The week will culminate in a Grand Re-Opening Party on Saturday, March 17th, with refreshments, drop-in activities, story time, and appearances by such creators as:

Scott Chantler, Naseem Hrab, Brian McLachlan, Ryan North, Kean Soo, Britt Wilson, Tory Woollcott, and more!

Times for the Grand Reopening to come, but I’d keep an eye on their website, Twitterfeed, and on Facebook.

Here’s to many more years on the Little Island; if you’re in (or visiting) Toronto, drop by and tell them we say hi, and wish them every success.

Spam of the day:


While I appreciate the Canadian content, spammers, this “men’s” doesn’t believe that you will actually be able to get me industrial-strength parkas that normally run near US$950 for US$140. Call me skeptical.

¹ Note to Marvel, DC, etc: they do this because they like money. Releasing a new Kazu Kibuishi or Raina Telgemeier book is a license to print money because kids love comics if you just give them a chance to.

We Are Very French Today

For example, :01 Books announced earlier today that the incomparable Pénélope Bagieu will be going on tour in support of Brazen starting on Tuesday, 6 March (coincidentally, launch day), and wending her way through eight cities in seven days.

And in a completely coincidental occurrence, Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin has thoughts creators and signings. Let’s see what he’s got to say.

As we saw the other day, the tradition in French comics festivals of free sketches ends up being hard on creators. Mind you, they are overall happy to come and greet readers and make them happy with a sketch, but given they are basically unpaid for the work (besides transportation and lodging) they provide under their host, they think of it a bit as a corv&eacutee, that is the duty of unpaid labor outside his fields that a peasant owed his feudal lord.

As a result, the idea has been spreading of late to have creators be paid when doing signings (French-only). Not by the recipient of the sketch: no one, least of all the creators themselves, seem to want that; when asked on the matter, Shyle Zalewski, who writes, draws, and self-publishes queer (and more) strips, and comes to festivals on their own stand, was clear: As a creator I’ve never been paid for signings and I have to admit I wouldn’t mind it happening, on the sole condition that it would be for the festival to pay. For instance having the readers pay for a sketch as it is sometimes the case in the US is unthinkable to me. Most creators seem to agree.

So while different variants of such a payment scheme are being thought up, the one that dominates would be for the host to pay the hosted creators more or less on the basis of the time spend. That would acknowledge the fact that creators are, if not performing, at least contributing to the animation of the stand as, well, animators. After all, it’s typically not just the reader who requested the sketch who gets to watch the sketch being drawn, but also the next two or three in line at least.

This is easier said than done, however. Publishers and festival organizers resist the idea, and with some justification to the extend that their financial equations are already hard to balance as it is: for instance publishers warn that if that was implemented, they would scale back their presence in festivals and only remain in ones where they are confident they will not lose money … leading Obion to the (not entirely serious) conclusion that, for lack of any other solution, impressionable young creators, too happy to sign in a prestigious location, will end up paying for the whole scheme (French-only).

This raises many more questions. For instance, as part of my pseudojournalistic activities I may very well wait in line for a signing for the sole purpose of having some access to the creator, without requesting a sketch, for instance for additional discussion after a lecture or panel. But if the creator is paid to animate the stand, would he still have time for discussion without sketching?

But while these questions deserve answers, they should not be a reason not to implement the idea. Not to mention some additional benefits would exist: worker protection would kick in for instance, making it easier to justify closing the signing activities at the scheduled time, etc. Overall, paying creators for their time would be fairer for everyone involved.

I find that the idea of paying creators (who, after all, are not creating when at a show) ties directly into the idea of Shows Not Being Worth It Sometimes; cf: C Spike Trotman and the ever-expanding ECCC:

Looking forward to ECCC, but not thrilled it’s getting longer and longer. Thursday will be a full day this year instead of a preview night. Too many comic cons are going for this size queen bigger-is-better thing, and it’s just exhausting.

One of the best cons I do all year is SPX, which is Saturday, Sunday, DONE. More days doesn’t automatically mean more money.

And I have shit to do! Longer cons means more days trying to run a publishing company from a hotel room, for me. Not ideal.

A big (but not the sole) motivator for ditching SDCC was it began swallowing a week of my life for diminishing returns. I genuinely hope ECCC doesn’t start going down that same road.

Guarantee some income? You’ll see more creators willing to brave the marathon shows. Thanks as always to FSFCPL for adding his cross-Atlantic perspective on what’s likely a universal dilemma.

Spam of the day:

GAL-EVANTING WITH THE GIRLS!The perfect girls night out styles!

Your cutesy, intentional typo offends me.

Joyous News And FSFCPL? Too Good For A Monday

The ALA awards for children’s (and YA, and middle grades, and other variety of younger humans) literature were given out earlier today, and there’s a webcomics connection that we are happy to report. The first person I saw with the news was Colleen AF Venable¹, beating out even the reporter contingent from the School Library Journal: The Stonewall Book Award (for English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience) went to Little & Lion and The 57 Bus, but one of the two Honor Books was As The Crow Flies.

You remember ATCF? Collected from the webcomic by Melanie Gillman? Published by Iron Circus Comics via Kickstart, because C Spike Trotman has an eye for great literature? And a bit later, the Alex Award (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to a teen audience) included Malagash by Joey Comeau. Webcomics continues as a feeder (or perhaps a crucible) of talent and creators that are making themselves known in the polite world. Maybe now the New York Times will respond to the damn petition and reinstate the best seller list?

As if that wasn’t enough good news, here’s Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin with some thoughts on French comics festival practices and etiquette:

You may remember from my report of the 2017 edition of Lyon BD that sketches are free as a rule. But that is pretty much the only thing that is free in French comics festivals: entrance is paid, exhibitors sell their wares, etc. The point where all these concerns intersect is the table, which is more than the physical space the creator can work against²: it represents the support his host provides (line management in particular), and, conversely, the contribution the creator makes to the host’s presence.

The host can be the festival itself, in the case of invited creators, or is more typically the creator’s publisher; in some cases bookshops organize signings around a festival. And in all cases they hope to profit: the festival by attracting attendees, and the publisher or a bookshop by selling books. And in order to ensure that, publishers and bookshops will often require a book be purchased before you can get a sketch (though it need not necessarily be the one sketched in); and that will not guarantee getting one, you won’t if you come too late for instance, but this means sketches are free only to the extent the creator is not paid for it. For popular creators the lucky few who will get a sketch are even picked by chance draw, so as not to overwhelm the creator.

As for creators themselves, besides the inherent unfairness, there is also the more practical matter that, given the money incentive, the ecosystem grows around them to mine the seam³. This mean that creators both have to spend more time in more festivals, away from their living-earning activities and their families, and have to contend with longer and longer lines of people waiting for sketches (three-legged camping stools are a common sight in comics festivals), with the resulting entitlement issues you can expect … not that this prevents some of these sketches from ending up on eBay, anyway.

The result? While of course you shouldn’t take this strip too literally (this is autobio, after all), creators are often exhausted at the end of the day (full disclosure: I contributed to the exhaustion; unfortunately I did not encounter much else to report on in Paris Manga). And yes, I have witnessed for instance people trying to squeeze themselves at the end of the line even as the end of signing time was closing in … however, I haven’t been (un)lucky enough to witness that (fortunately exceptional) kind of case (French-only).

Can the situation be improved? Proposed leads to that end will be the subject of a later post.

Hey, my name is Richard!
I`m a professional writer and I`m going to change your lifes on?e and for all

Based on this sample, you’re a crappy writer, “Richard Diicks”.

¹ Once of Puff in Brooklyn note, more recently of book design fame, and always the bearer of the coolest calf tat in existence.

² Though in case of need a creator may be able to do [without even that (21st photo; full disclosure: that is my copy of Héro-ine-s Yan Le Pon is sketching in in this photo).

³ Most French comics festivals are run as non-profits (and that includes Angoulême), which moderates the expansion somewhat on that side, nevertheless they too benefit from growing bigger (they get more press, more attention from professionals, etc).

Festivals And Other Things

It’s an unusually busy Wednesday. Let’s see what’s doing.

  • The annual SPX table lottery hits next week, although there appears to be some confusion. Nothing on the SPX page, but their Twitter account has retweeted people saying the lottery opens on February 12th and runs through the 26th. Last year, the Official Deal About The Lottery went up five days in advance, which means we should have this year’s iteration up, but don’t. If you want to get a table for 2018, I’d check the SPX site daily between now and Monday. Those who make it past the curation/lottery process will be in Bethedsa, Maryland, on 15-16 September.
  • Meanwhile, the MoCCA Festival is coming 7-8 April in Manhattan, and details are firming up. Nothing specific on programming yet, and the exhibitors list looks like it might still be for 2018 (it’s missing names of people I know will be there, and there’s a future reference to a book debuting in 2017), but I’d expect all of that to be updated in the next two-three weeks.
  • And TCAF, perennial favorite of everybody that’s ever been, comes up quickly after on 12-13 May in Toronto, and they’ve just done their first announcements for this year’s festival. Show posters (by Fiona Smyth and Ho Che Anderson) and featured guests (Anderson and Smyth are joined by fellow Canadians Cecil Castellucci, Michael DeForge, Michael Comeau¹, and Hartley Lin, as well as Eddie Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger, and Ron Wimberly). Given past years, expect the guest list to expand by a factor of three or more, with many more international (especially Japanese) creators to come.
  • Not a festival, but still cool: Nick Park, clay animator extraordinaire, will be visiting the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco this Sunday, 11 February, in conjunction with his new movie, Early Man². It’s his first solo directorial effort on a feature-length film, and while there appears to be neither Wallace³ nor Gromit in sight, there will surely be plenty of oversized hands and teeth, and a surfeit of increasingly-elaborate sight gags.

    A presentation on the making of Early Man (featuring the animation leads) runs from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, followed by a conversation between Park and Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out) from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Admission is free for CAM members, US$25 for the rest.

  • New PBF! Take that, people who insist RSS is dead!
  • Oh glob, this is entirely me. Randall Munroe has been spying on me, I can tell.

Spam of the day:

Of One whose heart for sinners broke: had a great deal more in it than a Gallery of Palaeontology;

This is, to be honest, more interesting than your subject line’s claim of free, live sex chat. Tell me more about the dinosaurs.

¹ Not to be confused with also-Canadian Joey Comeau.

² Opening on the 16th; if every showing of Black Panther is sold out, you can still enjoy a trip to the movies!

³ Rest in peace, Peter Sallis.

Ramping Up To The Week

Let’s take it nice and easy to start this week, this month, this everything.

  • Katie Lane¹, legal counsel to the independent arts community, just can’t help helping. In response to an innocent bit of remarking how awesome she is from Steve Lieber, Lane has decided the appropriate action is to be awesomer still:

    Seems like maybe a couple people are curious about how creative contracts work. Sooooo…this week I’ll be sharing helpful info abt contracts on my Instagram stories.

    Make no mistake — this is Lane teaching people how to read contracts, skills that they might otherwise have to pay her to perform (and she likes reading contracts, so it’s a double-win for her when you do). She believes that all are better off when artists can do the simple stuff themselves (and for free), calling her (or her non-union Mexican equivalent) for the more challenging stuff only. Did I mention she’s awesome? Keep an eye on her Instagram this week for helpful tips.

  • Speaking of helpful, Katie Lane would like to be helpful and show you how to do stuff in person, and people on both coasts will have opportunities to do so. In Boston, she’ll be at the How Design Live conference in May, and West Coasters can see her in San Francisco at Bond in March.

    Bond is a new conference for internet-living-makers, partially organized by Andy McMillan of XOXO renown. It looks to be a good one, with time set aside for attendees to meet up and work through what they learned in the programming, a breathing space too often absent from conferences. And hey! Jesse Thorn is gonna be there.

  • Speaking of events full of cool people, Zach Weinersmith announced dates for the latest iterations of BAH! Fest today. Houston on 17 February (with Rob Den Bleyker), London on 17 March (with Boulet), and MIT on 22 April (with Max Tegmark). Tickets and/or idea submissions available/open now.

Spam of the day:

Plunge And Twist To Clean Paws

Okay, this is actually kind of clever. If only I didn’t have a dog that’s kind of an idiot about having his feet manipulated (which I attribute to racing track PTSD, screw you greyhound racing industry). Your URL isn’t a mass of unintelligible gibberish, but I’m still not clicking on any links. I’ll look for it in the pet store, though.

¹ Light-ning Law-yer!!

Happy News And A Slight Exaggeration Of Our Cultural State

Hey, you know what today is, besides Saint Groundhog’s Day? Yes, yes, it’s Friday, but it’s also a very special Friday for a couple of reasons:

  • Ryan Qwantz North, the Toronto Man-Mountain himself, marks fifteen years¹ of moving words around T-Rex, Dromiceiomimus, Utahraptor, a Tiny Woman, and various others (sinister raccoons, sinisterer cephalopods, God, The Devil, Professor Science, Mr Tusks, etc) and thus constructing the world’s most formalist webcomic², Dinosaur Comics. North noted the occasion by, as is his wont, talking about Batman. This also marks the one time you can find a long-running webcomic and say Wow, the art on Day One was just as good as today!
  • Two of the key players in the past decade-plus of great comics (and great comics creators) getting a wide audience and critical notice were, themselves, recognized and rewarded for their excellent work. :01 Books announced that Calista Brill and Gina Gagliano have been promoted to (respectively) Editorial Director and Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity.

    For much of the dozen years of :01’s existence, Brill has been the person that made sure the book made sense³ and Gagliano’s been the person that made sure you and I knew about them. It’s well-earned on both their parts, and I’m sure neither of them knew where that little four-person shop would be a decade later.

  • Less of a happy vibe, but perhaps more of a timely one — Jim Zub writes just about every kind of comic you can imagine, but none has anticipated where the culture would be just before it got there as Glitterbomb.

    When it launched I was seeing the story as a parable of how fame and the pursuit of it corrupts the soul; now that two (of a planned three) arcs are done, it’s clear the book is even more about The Machine that seeks to feed that need for fame: those that crave being famous, and those that want to see others be famous (so they can love them until it’s time to hate them instead). It’s a Machine that particularly abuses and chews up women, and it’s a message that’s become particularly resonant since just about the time the first arc launched in Summer 2016.

    The collected trade of Glitterbomb‘s second arc (subtitled The Fame Game) goes on sale in four weeks, and I think you ought to strongly consider picking it up. The first book was about one person on her way out of the Machine’s notice; the second is about grabbing up somebody new to replace her, which makes the cold-bloodedness of the entire enterprise all the more apparent. No idea where Zub (and stellar artist Djibril Morissette-Phan) will go with the third and final arc, but if past scheduling holds, we’ll find out around August/September.

Spam of the day:

People ask me “Please, Sinister, I need your professional help” and I always accept the request, `cause I know, that only I can solve all their problems!

This comes from somebody calling themselves Frank Sinister (probably no relation to Simon Bar Sinister, staple of my childhood afternoon cartoon-watching), who claims to be a professional writer. Trust me when I say that the rest of his spam posting read even worse than the snippet I’ve included here.

¹ Okay, technically it was yesterday, but North doesn’t update on Thursdays. I think we all feel the same way about Thursdays.

² Seriously, North sets himself more rules than a Chuck Jones Road Runner cartoon.

³ And yes, I’ve had some nits to pick with :01 editorial flubs — some minor, some more important — but overall, the quality of :01’s offerings have been top-notch, and some misses are inevitable (especially considering the fact that these books were likely in production while Brill was out on maternity leave and/or in the midst of ramping up from ~20 books per year to ~40 whilst simultaneously onboarding new editors).

Get Hourly

Hey, y’all, it’s Hourly Comics Day, which means you should check out all the great work being done quickly by awesome people. What follows is not a comprehensive list (that would be impossible), but merely ones I’ve liked so far in no particular order; in many cases, they are threaded from the start, but in others you’ll have to browse through their feed.

Jeffrey Rowland

Magnolia Porter

Danielle Corsetto

Angela Melick

Lukas Dante Landherrshepherd

Tony Breed

Vera Brosgol

Kat Efird

Carey Pietsch

Jessi Zabarsky

Shing Yin Khor

KC Green

Abby Howard

Zac Gorman

Got others you think people should check out? Drop a link to the start of the thread down in the comments.

Spam of the day:

Lock in 2017’s Highest Annuity Rates

  1. You sent this in January of 2018. Guess you’re still writing 2017 on your checks scams.
  2. Your prominent use of Republican Party imagery is (red-white-blue-and-stars elephant; old white people) is not likely to make me trust you.

Fleen Book Corner: Is This Guy For Real?

The fine folks at :01 Books sent me a copy of Is This Guy For Real? by Box Brown, and now I’m gonna talk about it. This is normally where I’d say that the review will contain spoilers, but I think that Brown’s work is uniquely immune that that concern; kinda of hard to have spoilers in what’s fundamentally a work of non-fiction.

At least, as much of a work of non-fiction as you can get where Andy Kaufman is concerned; that guy made it his life’s work to blur the line between fiction and reality with his every breath. The fact that people are still arguing over whether or not he faked his death more than thirty years ago shows the degree to which he messed with all of our heads.

ITGFR? will be immediately familiar to anybody that’s read Brown’s last couple of books; like Mr The Giant or Tetris, Kaufman is one of those cultural referents that everybody seems to know, but few know where they came from. The books feel less like formal biographies (if a video game can be said to have a biography) and more like oral histories, particularly this latest; there are many talking head inserts in ITGFR? from people who knew and worked with Kaufman, and their reminiscences make the notorious opaque Kaufman come alive.

This is especially true when you consider that the book is almost two parallel biographies — Kaufman’s public nemesis/real life friend, wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler gets nearly as much attention as Kaufman does. It’s an effective treatment; instead of just covering Lawler in the context of his famed (and prolonged) wrestling feud with Kaufman (culminating in a famous, staged around-smacking on Late Night With David Letterman&sp1;), it follows his own pursuit of fame (which, like Kaufman, he was determined to achieve on his own terms).

Brown’s trademark chunky style serves the story well; it’s not particularly realistic to look at, which heightens the unreality of Kaufman’s life. As near as I can tell, every milestone of Kaufman’s career, and all of his major stunts² are included, making this perhaps the most complete look at what Andy Kaufman was like.

Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman releases on Tuesday, 6 February, at bookstores everywhere. Box Brown will tour in support of the book starting the following day and visiting eight cities in eight states over ten days.

Spam of the day:

Dear Partner..

Really? A 419 scam actually claiming to be from Nigeria? That’s old school right there.

¹ I’ve long thought that Brown’s love of wrestling meant he was destined to write a graphic novel series that would serve as a definitive history of professional wrestling, but in going back to watch Kaufman’s Letterman appearances, I think that Dave might be a better topic. That clip of Kaufman is a perfect example of why; it was in the first year of Dave’s late night run, it feels small and improvised and weird (with an audible audience that seems to have accidentally wandered in from a public-access cable show), offbeat in the way that Brown’s best subjects are.

I’d love to see Brown take a whack at Letterman’s journey, but maybe that’s just because I remember how brilliant he was from the get-go. I remember watching his daytime show on its too-brief run, I remember the weird things he did in late night when I was in college (a rerun might be dubbed into Spanish, or the broadcast might rotate through 360° over the course of the hour), I remember watching Larry “Bud” Melman at the Port Authority and Crispin Glover’s meltdown (and the following show’s cold open) the nights they happened. The larger-than-life weirdos that could be included would make for a cracking read.

² One possible exception; I seem to remember an interview with Kaufman where he revealed that he regularly left filming of Taxi and went to his second job, bussing tables at a Hollywood cafeteria. Not sure if my recall is accurate, though.

Tickets Of More Than One Kind

The Cartoon Art Museum is getting back into the swing of hosting its events on its own turf, what with that long period of borrowing space now receding into the past. There’s some doozies coming up weekend after next, too; those of you in the greater Bay Area should seriously consider checking them out.

  • Nate Powell has had a distinguished career in the comic arts, and then he became part of the history-making¹ team behind the March trilogy. He’ll be dropping by CAM on Friday, 9 February, to talk about both in honor of the exhibition March: A Graphic History Of The Civil Rights Movement, which will launch the day after tomorrow and run through June. The reception is ticketed, and tickets can be obtained in advance for the low, low price of US$10 (free for CAM members) via Guestlist. The reception runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
  • Later that weekend, in conjunction with her exhibit (a part of CAM’s re-opening slate), Nidhi Chanani will be dropping by on Sunday, 11 February from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Part wrap-up celebration (hers was the first exhibit in CAM’s new Emerging Artist Showcase series), part booksigning (bring your copy of Pashmina), the reception is open to all who’ve paid admission to the museum.

David Malki ! is one of those guys who just sees ways to learn (or teach) stuff around every corner. For example, he went into his local comic store and discovered that unbeknownst to him, Dark Horse Comics was pushing old copies of at least one of the hardcover books he did with them last decade. This led to a discussion that touched on how people move around in the business of comics², the nature of rights reversions³, and a discussion of a common question:

What’s the best way to buy a book, in terms of benefit to the creator?

To which he has an unsurprisingly nuanced answer, laying out the possibilities (direct sales, fulfillment company, local store, giant internet discount retailer, secondhand; he doesn’t mention libraries, but I will) and how they will likely play out differently for different creators. It may have fewer flaming boats and/or friggin’ goats than many of the things Malki ! writes about, but it’s worth your while nonetheless.

Spam of the day:

Ticket 857799303

If the entirety of the message being in Russian weren’t enough to deter me from clicking on anything, the subject line surely would. The very large corporation I work for will not scratch its corporate (if metaphorical) ass without somebody logging a ticket specifically requesting the scratching take place, complete with a business case justifying the scratching, and a documentation trail that lays out the entire decision making process vis-a-vis asses and the scratching thereunto.

After one particular incident — I logged a ticket for a customer-impacting, revenue-affecting, show-stopping technical fault, complete with specific instructions as to exactly what needed to be done; half an hour later I received a reply that nothing could be done until a proper Subject Matter Expert was consulted and my request given technical clearance; four hours after that, I received an email that addressed me as the relevant SME and would I approve the technical fix that I had requested? — I swore undying enmity on all tickets of this kind. So no, whatever scam you’re running, my work day is a steaming morass of tickets, and I’m not going to be lured in by your claim to be one.

¹ What with being the only comics artist (so far) to win a National Book Award, I’d say that history-making is an apt description.

² Nobody at Dark Horse told him because everybody he knew there has moved on since they worked together.

³ It’s a good thing, because it lets you publish things that would otherwise be entirely out of print. And, almost as an afterthought, Malki ! mentions that he has books in distribution through the Consortium Catalog (where one may find — among other indie publishers — 2dcloud, Alternative Comics, Conundrum Press, Koyama Press, and Iron Circus Comics; the latter is now offering the omnibus of Girls With Slinghots and a new edition of Rice Boy, giving them potentially wide distro for the first time). Want to get the best in indie comics in your local store? Point ’em here.