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SDCC Wishlist | Aspen variants, Rick Geary and more

The massive Comic-Con International runs July 21-24 in San Diego, but it’s never too early to start planning your shopping list. So we’ll be running a list of potential “wishlist” items you may want to check out at the show.

If you are a comics creator or publisher, and you’re planning to bring something new to the con — a sketchbook, a print, a graphic novel debut, etc. — then we want to hear from you. Drop me an email at jkparkin@yahoo.com and let me know if you’ll have something cool on hand that attendees should know about. Feel free to send any artwork as well.

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Aspen Comics sends word of two variant covers they’ll have at the show, for Executive Assistant Iris and Charismagic

Executive Assistant Iris by Joe Benitez

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What Are You Reading?

Here at Hogwarts

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly discussion about the comics we here at Robot 6 have been checking out lately. Today’s special guest is Lauren Davis, who blogs about webcomics at Storming the Tower and io9, and is the editor of the San Francisco comics anthology The Comic Book Guide to the Mission.

To see what Lauren and the Robot 6 gang have been reading lately, click below …

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New Act-i-vate strip to benefit Primate Rescue Center

Panels for Primates

art by Robert Wilson IV

The webcomics collective Act-i-vate has kicked off a new ongoing anthology called Panels for Primates, where various comic creators will create comic strips featuring monkeys, apes and other primates to help raise awareness and, hopefully, money for the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Ky.

While the stories can be viewed for free, they include a promo at the end encouraging readers to donate money. Per a press release, upcoming stories will “offer an eclectic mix of creators and content, with the only common denominators being high quality and primates.” The first story, “Ilya’s Back Pages” by Stuart Moore and Rick Geary, is up now. The cover, above, is by Robert Wilson IV.

Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6

Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6

Welcome once again to Food or Comics? Every week the Robot 6 crew lists what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item.

So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what we’d buy this week, and check out Diamond’s release list to play along in our comments section.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15 …

The obvious choice seems to be the newest and final volume in Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (none of my local comic stores are getting the book until Wednesday, the stinkers). I’ve been a fan of the series for awhile (http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_holiday_interview_101/) and am anxious to see how it concludes. (Unfortunately, I don’t actually have $15 of real world money to spend this week, so I’ll have to wait another week or two.)

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Crime and Communism: An interview with Rick Geary

Famous Players

Famous Players

Rick Geary has been regarded as an “underrated” cartoonist for so long now that it’s almost a cliché at this point to label him as such. But in the many years he’s been making comics, he’s produced an impressive body of work that seems to escape a lot of folks notice. His stellar Victorian Murder series, now bumped up a few decades to encompass the 20th century, alone show such a high and consistent degree of quality that most cartoonists would give their eye teeth to have on their resume.

Having made his name with true crime, he’s recently attempted to tackle the biography genre, producing two books for Hill and Wang’s graphic line, one on J. Edgar Hoover, and most recently, one on Leon Trotsky.

I talked to him recently from his home in Kansas City, Missouri, about his new Trotsky bio as well as the latest book for NBM in his Murder series, Famous Players, about the mysterious and currently unsolved slaying of silent movie director William Desmond Taylor. Here’s what he had to say:

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What Are You Reading?

Brave and the Bold #27

Brave and the Bold #27

Sunday’s here and that means it’s time once more for What Are You Reading. Our guest this week is the incredibly talented cartoonist Rick Geary. Geary has two books out this fall, his latest entry in his ongoing XXth Century Murder series, Famous Players, and a biography of Leon Trotsky that should be coming out from Hill and Wang any day now.

Look for an interview with Mr. Geary appearing on this blog in the coming weeks. For now though, let’s just see what he’s currently reading …

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Talking Comics with Tim: John Kerschbaum

Petey & Pussy

Petey & Pussy

This John Kerschbaum interview is long overdue. After I interviewed John Arcudi back in January 2009, he suggested I interview John Kerschbaum. In fact, he mentioned Kerschbaum in the course of our interview: “Petey and Pussy creator John Kerschbaum is the best cartoonist working in funnybooks right now. And he’s not working nearly enough.” My apologies to Kerschbaum for the time it took to make this interview happen (he agreed to it back in late January, but I was unable to get questions to him until May), so I am really glad to run this finally. Kerschbaum, who was a 2008 Eisner nominee in the Best Humor Publication category for Petey and Pussy, was kind enough to discuss this most recent Fantagraphics book as well as the work he has self-published through his own Fontanelle Press. Enjoy.

Tim O’Shea: Looking at your work to date, is there any line of comedy that you are afraid to cross?

John Kerschbaum: I don’t know if I’m motivated by fear, per se, but I tend to shy away from specifically offending people. That is, I avoid ethnic, political or religious humor, that type of stuff. I like to think I’m more of an equal-opportunity offender.

But that’s not to say I think any of those topics are taboo. There are talented cartoonists, humorists and comedians that mine those territories for humor whose work I really enjoy. It’s all about the context in which it’s being done and the abilities of the cartoonist doing it. Just because something CAN be funny doesn’t mean is always IS. There’s a time and place for everything.

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SDCC ’09 | More exclusives, more panels, more everything

40th Anniversary Souvenir Book

40th Anniversary Souvenir Book

The 2009 San Diego Comic-Con is less than a month away, with preview night kicking things off on Wednesday, July 22. If you are a publisher, creator, retailer or any other kind of exhibitor who would like to let folks know about any special plans you have for the show (panels, signing schedules, exclusives, debuts, etc.) drop me an email and I’ll run it here.

Also, to the right is the 40th anniversary souvenir book cover, featuring art by the great Rick Geary. Comic-Con debuted it on their Twitter feed, where they’ve also been announcing panels and auctions for membership badges.

Publishers | Red 5 Comics will be at booth S-9 in the small press area, with the creators of We Kill Monsters, Neozoic, Atomic Robo and Afterburn available for signings.

Books | Scott Morse says he’ll have about 100 copies of The Ancient Book of Sex and Science, which sold out before its release after being mentioned on BoingBoing. He’s also taking orders for a signed and numbered edition, which he’ll bring to the con if you order one.

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Exclusives | Becky Cloonan will have a set of four silkscreen prints at the con, limited to 100 “signed, numbered, stamped and enveloped” copies.

I asked if she and the 5/Pixu crew had another book planned for this year, but she said they’ve all been so busy they haven’t been able to do one. She also said she’ll have a big announcement at the con, and she’ll have a table with with Brian Wood, Cliff Chiang and Jill Thompson.

Mini-comics | According to Ben Towle, J Chris Campbell of Wide Awake Press is putting together a Michael Jackson memorial mini-comic to sell at the con, which will feature stories and pin-ups of the King of Pop.

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