Comics | The Wall Street Journal takes a look at comics as investments. Interestingly, while the rare, old issues bring in the big money, some more recent comics, like the first issue of Saga, have appreciated quite a bit. There’s also an accompanying video. [The Wall Street Journal]
Retailing | ComicsPRO, the comics retailers’ association, held its annual meeting over the weekend in Atlanta, where the group bestowed its Industry Appreciation Award on Cindy Fournier, vice president of operations for Diamond Comic Distributors. Thomas Gaul, of Corner Store Comics and Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, California, also was elected as president of the board of directors. [ComicsPRO]
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.
It’s beginning to look a lot like the final Wednesday before Christmas (and the final full one of the year), so with my $15, I’d get some gifts for myself that I know I’ll enjoy: the second issue of Chris Roberson (and now, Dennis Calero)’s Masks (Dynamite, $3.99), the third issue of Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity (Image, $2.99) and Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle: Night Shift #0 (Dark Horse, $2.99). Also, I suspect that I’ll be unable to resist the first part of Vertigo’s adaptation of Django Unchained (DC/Vertigo, $3.99), too.
If I had $30, I’d add another pile of favorites to that list: Judge Dredd #2 (IDW, $3.99), the by-now-amazingly-late-but-still-enjoyable Bionic Woman #6 (Dynamite, $3.99), Hawkeye #6 (Marvel Comics, $2.99), and the latest issue of the always-wonderful Saga (Image, $2.99).
When it comes to splurging, however, then I’m going to be playing it relatively cheaply: That Star Trek 100-Page Winter Spectacular (IDW, $7.99) feels like it might offer just the kind of space-age cheer I’ll be grateful for by mid-week … Happy Warpspeed Holidays, all.
Because between this entry in his Autumn and Evil alphabet series and that version of the Batman #197 cover that he did, I really want to see him go to town with these characters. I mean, look at that Joker!
As much as I loved the Ignatz version of Delphine — Richard Sala’s take on Snow White — I’ve been eagerly waiting for Fantagraphics to release a more bookshelf-friendly version. The publisher announced that some time ago, but as the January release draws nearer, Fantagraphics has released some sneak peeks of the new version. There’s an 11-page excerpt in the store and photos of the hardback volume on their blog.
I’ve included a few pages of the excerpt below, but visit the Fantagraphics store to see all 11 and to pre-order the book.
There’s little I enjoy more than an animated adaptation of a comic that’s done in the exact style of that comic. I understand and appreciate Mike Mignola’s opinion (especially because he’s uniquely qualified to judge how well the copy imitates the original) that he’d rather see a different version animated. As a fan, though, I tend to imagine motion when I read comics anyway, so to see that brought to life is pretty thrilling. Especially when the comic being adapted is one by Richard Sala.
The Peculia short is on Sala’s website, so if he didn’t do it himself, it’s certainly got his blessing. I hope there’s more coming, because I keep re-watching it and can’t seem to get enough.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. Michael, Graeme, and Chris Arrant have each picked the five new comics we’re most anticipating in order to create a Top 15 of the best new comics coming out two months from now.
As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
The Golden Age of DC Comics: 1935-1956 HC (Taschen, $59.95): If you were as jealous of everyone who could afford the mammoth 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myth-Making from a couple of years ago as I was, here’s some great news; Taschen is reissuing the material in a series of different (cheaper) volumes, reworked and expanded with new art and commentary by Paul Levitz. The next in the series, covering the Silver Age, is the one I’ll really covet, but you know that this will be awesome.
Julio’s Day HC (Fantagraphics Books, $19.99): Continuing my education in all things Love and Rockets, this never-collected Gilbert Hernandez strip from the second series of L&R is one of those things that goes on my “Want” list almost as soon as I discovered it existed.
Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 (of 4) (Image Comics, $3.99): I’ve been waiting for more Multiple Warheads since Oni Press put out the first issue a few years back. Now that I know it’s 48 pages for just $3.99 and in color, it seems worth the wait. Brandon Graham is an amazing talent.
Sailor Twain HC (First Second, $24.99): I dropped off Mark Siegel’s amazing webcomic online fairly early, promising myself that I’d get the inevitable collected edition when it was all done and read it in one sitting. I’m glad it’s finally here.
The Zaucer of Zilk #1 (of 2) (IDW Publishing, $3.99): Without doubt, my favorite superhero comic in years – I read it in its 2000AD incarnation – I am overjoyed to see this get a US release like this. Hopefully, everyone will read it and realize just how great Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing are, leading to all manner of zequels (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Richard Sala (Delphine, Cat Burgler Black) has posted a six-page, six-chapter comic about monsters, genre women and the fleetingness of life. If you like that first page, you’ll want to check out the others featuring witches, vampires, jungle girls, mummies, a bandita, a pirate, a cheerleader, and an ape in a tux. Like life, you won’t want it to end as quickly as it does.
All this week at Robot 6 we’re interviewing some of the many contributors to First Second’s new anthology, Nursery Rhyme Comics. Today, J. Caleb Mozzocco talks to cartoonist Richard Sala.
Richard Sala is a prolific comics artist and illustrator often compared to Charles Addams and Edward Gorey, given his interest in visually compelling, somewhat spooky subject matter and deadpan gothic humor. He’s responsible for creating several plucky heroines who confront various mysteries and horrors, like foul-mouthed girl detective Judy Drood from Mad Night and The Grave Robber’s Daughter, monster magnet Peculia from Sala’s signature series Evil Eye and K. Westree of Cat Burglar Black.
The artist’s most recent work is last month’s original graphic novel The Hidden from Fantagraphics, about a group of people stuck in a diner during what may be the end of the world. Well, that and “Three Blind Mice” for First Second’s Nursery Rhyme Comics.
J. Caleb Mozzocco: Do you think nursery rhymes played any particularly powerful role in your childhood or development as a storyteller?
Richard Sala: My mom had old books of illustrated nursery rhymes and fairy tales from her childhood (which were old even when she was young) when I was very little and they certainly had an impact on me. Years later I found copies of some of those books and was amazed to find the roots of some of my weird fears and obsessions!
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.
If I had $15:
I’m very excited to read Casanova: Avaritia ($4.99), the first new Casanova storyline in what seems like a dog’s age. There’s something about this series that seems to bring out Fraction’s best, perhaps it’s the mere fact he’s working with Fabio Moon and (this time around) Gabriel Ba allows him to rise to the occasion. That and The Boys #58 ($3.99) will probably round out my initial purchases.
Fantagraphics sent over their list of books debuting at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, and boy is it packed tighter than my suitcase on vacation day. The publisher will have almost two dozen new books at the show, including the last Mome; new stuff from Michael Kupperman, the Hernandez Bros. and Johnny Ryan; tons of Eurocomics; a Lou Reed/Edgar Allan Poe joint; and more. Check them out:
Love & Rockets New Stories 4 by Los Bros Hernandez: Featuring new stories by Jaime and Gilbert, including new material featuring Maggie set in the present and during her teen years.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography by Michael Kupperman: Probably the one I’ve been looking forward to the most, Kupperman publishes Mark Twain’s “biography” since the day the author/humorist died through last year — including his affair with Marilyn Monroe and his time-traveling adventures with Einstein.
Prison Pit Vol. 3 by Johnny Ryan: More deranged, twisted ultraviolent fun from Ryan.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly round-up of … well, what we’ve been reading lately.
Today our special guest is the legendary Gilbert Hernandez. Known best as the co-creator of Love & Rockets, his other works include Sloth, The Troublemakers, Chance in Hell and Yeah! with Peter Bagge (which is being collected by Fantagraphics)
To see what Gilbert and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
One of the biggest pieces of news coming out of this year’s Comic-Con was the announcement by Fantagraphics that they would start reprinting Floyd Gottfredson’s seminal Mickey Mouse comic strips.
But that book is at least a year away. What ever shall we read in the months between now and then? Thankfully, Gary Groth, Kim Thompson and company have the answer, via their lengthy fall/winter catalog, which I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down into bite-sized chunks for the hoi-polloi to peruse. No doubt some of these titles you’re probably well aware of and already expecting. But hopefully there’s one or two surprises in the list.
You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a horror comic in this post-30 Days of Night, post-The Walking Dead age. Meanwhile, there’s a bustling alt-horror … well, “scene” and “movement” probably aren’t the right words, but there are plenty of those comics and cartoonists out there.
But are any of them, y’know, actually scary?
Blogger Curt Purcell of The Groovy Age of Horror has endeavored to answer that question — long a topic of debate among comics readers, many of whom are skeptical that comics really can hang with movies or prose for their sheer power to frighten — by rounding up thoughts on the topic from a variety of horror and comics creators and commentators. These include cartoonists Richard Sala (Peculia) and Josh Simmons (House); CRwM of the provocative horror blog And Now the Screaming Starts; Kimberly Lindbergs of the movie-focused Cinebeats; Karswell of the pre-Comics Code horror-comics blog The Horrors of It All; and (ahem) yours truly. The roundtable was inspired by a post from Richard Cook at The Hooded Utilitarian, so be sure to check that out, too.
Where do you stand on scarybooks?
My Robot 6 associate Tom Bondurant praised Ho Che Anderson‘s Sand & Fury yesterday. It’s just one of the two books that is coming from Fantagraphics and Anderson this year. The other book is the collected edition of Anderson’s (originally released from 1993-2002 in three volumes) biography of Martin Luther King Jr, King. We got a chance recently to discuss both works, via email. And I also was fortunate enough to find out what his creative plans are for the future–and to my surprise, it does not involve graphic novels. Anderson’s two works gave me the opportunity to go in a lot of different directions in this interview, and fortunately he was willing to play along in the discussion. My thanks for his time.
Cat Burglar Black
Written and Illustrated by Richard Sala
First Second; $16.99
I occasionally get some grief from my male friends when they find out I like gothic romance. They hear “romance,” their eyes glaze over, and they immediately want to start talking about something else. No amount of castles, ghosts, malevolent barons, girls in white dresses, or hidden passageways are going to change their minds. As far as they’re concerned, I might as well be talking about Confessions of a Beauty Addict or Better than Chocolate.
But I’m so not and it’s a pity that books like The Castle of Otranto, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Northanger Abbey are so easily dismissed. I’m a sucker for any story about a young girl forced to move into a creepy old house with a terrifying owner and at least one locked room she’s not supposed to go into. What’s not awesome about that?
The only thing I don’t like about some of these books is that the heroine ultimately has to be rescued by a guy. Product-of-the-times and all. In Cat Burglar Black, Richard Sala avoids that by making his protagonist an extraordinary thief who can take care of herself, but other than that it’s classic gothic romance.