Gary Panter Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

This weekend, it’s Small Press Expo

spx posterOne of the biggest indie comics events of the year, Small Press Expo (aka SPX), will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in North Bethesda, Maryland.

It’s a must-attend show for me, and this year will be no different. Well, it will be a little different, as my 11-year-old daughter will be coming along for what will be her first-ever comics convention. She will have copies of her own comic, Indefinable, for sale, so if you see us wandering the aisles, say hello.

Traversing the aisles of SPX with a pre-teen might prove to be a bit of a challenge, but I’m going to try to cram as much age-appropriate comics fun in the weekend as possible. Here’s some things I’m looking forward to/hoping to buy.

Five comics I’m planning on buying:

1. Wild Man: Island of Memory by T. Edward Bak. I’m a big fan of Bak’s Service Industry and really enjoyed the story he was serializing in Mome, about explorer and scientist Georg Steller. Wild Man: Island of Memory collects and reworks that material, the first part of what will be a projected four-volume series. Based on what I’ve read so far, I feel expect that this will be one of the more talked-about books at SPX this year.

2. Frontier #2 by Hellen Jo. Jo has been relatively quiet comics-wise since she released Jim and Jan a few years back. Now, via Ryan Sands’ relatively new publishing venture, Youth in Decline, she’s got what’s sure to be a swell mini collecting various paintings, pencils and other artwork.

3. Monster. It just wouldn’t be SPX if Hidden Fortress Press didn’t have a new volume of this usually reliable anthology. This year looks to be especially good, with 200 pages of comics by such noteworthy names as Marc Bell, Mat Brinkman, Jordan Crane, Michael DeForge, Edie Fake and Leif Goldberg. That’s a pretty killer list of talent – when was the last time we saw a new Brinkman comic, anyway?

4. Gold Pollen and Other Stories by Seiichi Hayashi. It’s nice to see more and more classic manga from people that aren’t Osamu Tezuka coming to Western shores. This is a collection of short stories from the author of Red Colored Elegy, a book I was a bit flummoxed by initially but that has slowly won me over more in ensuing years. The Picturebox site still labels it as “coming soon,” but it’s listed as a debut book on the SPX site. Basically, if it’s there, I’m buying a copy.

5. Love Stories by Mat Tait. New Zealand will be duly represented at the show by Tait, who will have this collection of stories available for sale. I’ve heard good things about Tait’s work and am excited to delve into it.

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Comics A.M. | Turning download codes to cash; SPX guests

Marvel digital code

Marvel digital code

Digital comics | So, your $3.99 comic comes bundled with a download code for a free digital copy, but you’re strictly a paper person. What to do? Todd Allen has a fascinating article about the secondary market in unused download codes, not just the fact that they are being sold fairly openly but also what that market tells us about the true value of comics: “Outside of eBay it’s relatively easy to use Google to find somewhere to swap or purchase Ultraviolet codes. The Home Theater Forum’s classified ad section has codes sprinkled in, with a low $2-$3 looking like a common price. Codes are also easy to find on Reddit, including a dedicated subreddit, though codes on Reddit are swapped or given away, not sold.” [The Next Web]

Conventions| Small Press Expo announced its first round of guests for the Sept.14-15 convention: Seth, Gary Panter, Lisa Hanawalt, Gene Yang and Frank Santoro. [SPX]

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Gary Panter’s tips on drawing

Underground artist Gary Panter has become one of comics’ most-loved treasures, and even 40 years into his career, he’s still going strong. And now he’s doing a little to give back.

The great website Unbored recently posted 10 tips for better drawing, provided by Panter himself. He’s a renaissance man, working on everything from RAW magazine to designing sets for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse as well as a series of graphic novels, including the recent Dal Tokyo. Here’s how he starts:

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Comics A.M. | Prosecution lays out case against artist Brett Ewins [Updated]

The Art of Brett Ewins

Legal | The prosecution has laid out its case in the trial of former 2000AD artist Brett Ewins, who was charged with “grievous bodily harm with intent” following a January incident in which he allegedly stabbed a police officer responding to complaints about a man shouting throughout the night. Ewins, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia years ago and is on medication for it, suffered cardiac arrest during the confrontation and was hospitalized for three weeks. He reportedly has no memory of the incident. The defense will contend that the blow to the head rendered him unconscious (like a sleepwalker) so he was not aware of what he was doing. [The Evening Standard]

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Food or Comics | Ziti or Zeroes

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Aya: Life in Yop City

Chris Mautner

If I had $15, I’d buy Boys #70 (only two issues until the big finale) and Classic Popeye #2, IDW Publishing’s ongoing series of reprints devoted to Bud Sagendorf comics from the 1940s, as the first issue was much more fun than I expected it to be.

If I had $30, I’d put those comics back, but would be stuck between a couple of books. The first would be Aya: Life in Yop City, which collects the three previous Aya books by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie in one volume. These are great, funny comics, full of life and observation regarding a culture — in this case African culture — most Westerners know nothing about.

There’s also A Chinese Life, a massive doorstop of a memoir by Chinese artist Li Kunwu (with help from writer Philippe Otie) chronicling his life and times. Kunwu lives through some of modern China’s most tumultuous periods, including the Cultural Revolution, and hopefully his book will, like Aya, humanize a time and culture that for many is just a few lines in their history book.

Finally, there’s Message to Adolph, Vol. 1, one of Tezuka’s final works, set during World War II, about three people named Adolph, one a Jew, the other a German boy living in Japan, and the third the fuhrer himself. Originally published by Viz about two decades ago, Vertical has taken it upon themselves to put out a newly translated version which is great news for those that missed this great manga the first time around.

Is there a greater splurge purchase this week that Dal Tokyo, the collected version of Gary Panter’s off-kilter comic strip? I plugged this book last week, but it deserves another one. I’ve been waiting for this book for awhile.

For the scholarly comics type, the splurge of the week might be Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss, a look at the creator of Barnaby and Harold and the Purple Crayon and his wife, a children’s author with whom he frequently collaborated.

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Food or Comics? | Amontillado or Amulet

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Locke & Key: Grindhouse

Graeme McMillan

I don’t know quite why, considering I’ve been feeling cynical and disinterested in the DC Universe over the past couple of weeks, but I find myself tempted by both Flash Annual #1 and Justice League International Annual #1 (both DC Comics; $4.99) this week; something even more surprising considering I haven’t been following the JLI series past trying out the first issue. And yet, if I had $15 this week, I suspect I’d be using a chunk of it for that. I’d also grab Joe Hill and Gabriel Hernandez’ Locke & Key: Grindhouse (IDW Publishing, $3.99), because, well, Locke & Key is a very, very good comic book.

If I had $30, I may find myself picking up the first collection of Peter Panzerfaust (Vol. 1: The Great Escape; Image Comics; $14.99) because I like the high concept behind it even if I managed to miss the single issues. People who did pick it up in singles: Is it the kind of thing I’d like, do you think?

Should I find the money and ability to splurge, I find myself surprisingly drawn to Dark Horse’s Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars Vol. 1 ($24.99); I blame people in my Twitter feed talking about Star Wars Celebration last week, and my thinking, “I haven’t really kept up with Star Wars in ages” in response. Does that count as peer pressure?

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Alan Moore’s Unearthing, Gary Panter’s Dal Tokyo on the horizon

Two of America’s premier art comix publishers have released further details of a pair of high-profile releases of repackaged work by two of the art form’s most influential, if wildly disparate, creators. Top Shelf is publishing Alan Moore’s “narrative art-book” Unearthing, a new edition of a piece that began as an essay, became a spoken-word piece, and was released in various audio formats a couple of years back featuring a score by Faith No More’s Mike Patton and Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, among others (hear an excerpt over at Pitchfork). It’s ostensibly a biography of Moore’s friend and mentor Steve “Pedro Henry” Moore (it’s now customary to write “no relation” at this juncture) in both his career as a comic book writer and in his mid-life conversion to studying magic, although with Moore being Moore, wanders off on many Iain Sinclair-esque tangents into the psycho-geography of both South London and their native Northampton.

Fantagraphics has released images on its Tumblr of Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter (including the strip seen above), as if to prove it really exists, the book being one of those long-promised Fanta projects that a lot of people had either forgotten was ever solicited, or had given up hope of ever seeing. Turns out it’ll be with retailers before the end of the month. Possibly.

Toronto Comic Arts Festival announces 2012 lineup

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, one of the high points of the indy comics year, has announced the first round of guests for this year. It doesn’t seem to be up on the TCAF site just yet, but Tom Spurgeon has the rundown at The Comics Reporter, and it’s an impressive list: Jeff Smith, Alison Bechdel, Guy Delisle, and Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are the headliners. Smith will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bone, while Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Delisle’s Jerusalem are both due out shortly before the show.

But wait! There’s more! Kate Beaton, German creator Arne Bellstorf, Scottish creator Tom Gauld (whose Goliath is due out soon from Drawn and Quarterly) Gabriella Giandelli, Jennifer and Matt Holm (Babymouse), Jason, Kazu Kibuishi (creator of Amulet and editor of the Flight anthologies), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Gary Panter, Michel Rabagliati, Andy Runton (Owly), Olivier Schrauwen, and Adam Warren (Empowered) will also be gracing the halls of the Toronto Reference Library this May. That’s an amazingly eclectic and talented group. If you have been thinking “Some day I’ll make it to TCAF,” this should probably be the year.

Your Wednesday Sequence 36 | Gary Panter

“Jimbo” strip (1987), page 4.  Gary Panter.

Smooth, even, uninterrupted flow is very often held up as the cardinal virtue for a sequence of comic book art.  And most of the time, it is.  Cartoonists are able to get around one of the fundamental problems of the comics medium — accurately depicting the passage of time — when they can create the sense that their panels represent a unified, unbroken section of time in motion, rather than single frozen moments put in order.  But it all depends on what kind of comic is being made.  In sequences where the forward thrust of the action isn’t the most important thing for the reader to feel, flow goes out the window, and other, more unusual considerations begin to play a greater role.

Most often, sequences that lack a definite sense of linear motion are atmospheric, establishing a sense of tone or place that eventually provides a background for more typical action storytelling.  But on the page above, Gary Panter is up to something quite different.  Atmospherics require extended exploration of a single theme, which is the last thing on Panter’s mind.  Rather than spend the time taken up by multiple panels evoking a setting, Panter simply gives his establishing shot a vast amount of space, grounding his sequence with the single, nearly half-page sized panel of gloomy, cavernous sewer innards that literally hangs over the rest of the page.  It’s the same trick George Herriman frequently employed in his panoramic Sunday strips: keep readers in plain sight of a setting and there’s no need to beat them over the head with it in every panel.

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Comics A.M. | Tom Ziuko health update; women and comics

Tom Ziuko

Creators | The Hero Initiative offers an update from colorist Tom Ziuko, who was hospitalized earlier this year for acute kidney failure and other health conditions, and then returned to the hospital for emergency surgery about a month ago. “I can’t impress upon you enough how frightening it is to actually come up against a life-threatening medical situation (not to mention two times in less than a year), and not have the financial means to survive if you’re suddenly not able to earn a living. Like so many other freelancers out there, I live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford health insurance. Without an organization like the Hero Initiative to lend me support in this time of dire need, I truly don’t know where I would be today,” Ziuko said. [The Hero Initiative]

Publishing | CNN asks the question “Are women and comics risky business?” as Christian Sager talks to former DC editor Janelle Asselin, blogger Jill Pantozzi, Womanthology organizer Renae De Liz and others about the number of women who work in comics, the portrayal of female characters and why comic companies don’t actively market books to women. “Think about it from the publisher’s point of view,” Asselin said. “Say you sell 90 percent of your comics to men between 18 and 35, and 10 percent of your comics to women in the same age group. Are you going to a) try to grow that 90 percent of your audience because you feel you already have the hook they want and you just need to get word out about it, or b) are you going to try to figure out what women want in their comics and do that to grow your line?” [CNN]

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Vice tells you where it’s at, comics-wise

The Vice comics issue

The Vice comics issue

Vice magazine has put together a handy Guide to Comics, which isn’t really a guide so much as a great compilation of  comics-related articles, including interviews with Al Jaffee, Chip Kidd, Anders Nilsen, Chris Onstad, Gerard Way and Craig Yoe. Plus, comics by Lisa Hanawalt, an essay on the glory that is Jimmy Olsen and Gary Panter runs down his top 10 favorite comics.

(via Sean Collins)

What Are You Reading?

Asterios Polyp

Asterios Polyp

Welcome to What Are You Reading, where we don’t let a little thing like national holidays and fireworks prevent us from talking about our current reading exploits. Our guest this week is cartoonist (you can see his work in the new anthology Syncopated) and editor Paul Karasik, whose latest book is the highly accclaimed You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! the second collection of comics by the late Golden Age artist Fletcher Hanks.

To discover what Paul and the rest of us are reading, simply click on the link below …

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And here’s a Gary Panter TV commercial

Sorta. You can get the background info about the never-aired spot here. (via)


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