** The nominees for the 2015 Ignatz Awards have been announced and there's a lot of great cartoonists and work represented in that list. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be looking at a lot of the work that will be on display at this year's SPX in our annual SPX Spotlight series.
But we've already looked at a number of comics that are up for awards this year:
** Can we all just agree that Emma Rios cover for Island #2 is the best cover of the 2015? You can see an even larger version of it here. Maybe the best compliment I can give it is that this image should be the cover for some obscure progressive rock album from 1973.
** First Second wants bad reviews!!!! O.k. Maybe not but :01 Second's Gina Gagliano gives us the publisher's point of view on what they'd like to see about reviews from advanced reading copies:
Obviously, we prefer positive reviews of our books. But (almost) no book is perfect, and there are lots of different literary tastes out there in the world. We understand that not liking books is something that happens, and we don’t vow revenge against people who just can’t make that connection with one of our titles, even if we’ve sent them the book in the first place. Getting a book in the mail does not come with an obligation to like it, or to review it positively (or at all)!First Second publishes a lot of great comics but they've also published more than a few that I'll admit haven't connected with me. And like Gina says, not all of their books are for everyone. I had more than a few issues with Paul Pope's Battling Boy but Panel Patter's own Rob M. had a great time with the book. Different strokes and all of that.
Reviews are like opinions- everyone has one. Isn't that how that old axiom goes? Honestly it's nice for one of the publishers to take the feeling of needing to like everything off of our shoulders, especially if they've provided a review copy of the book.
And this isn't the first time that Gina's written about this. A couple of years ago, she also tackled the subject of reviews.
** Sean Kleefeld wonders exactly what rights to his characters and artwork Berkeley Breathed is giving up by publishing his return to Bloom County on Facebook.
So what [Facebook's Terms of Service] says is that Facebook can use any of the Bloom County strips that Breathed posts for whatever they want to do with them. Theoretically, this could include advertisements or the publication of a Bloom County book. I don't think the resolution Breathed is posting the images at would transfer well onto the printed page, but that's not the point here. The point is that Breathed, by posting the images to Facebook, is giving them a license to use it how they see fit.Does Breathed know this? Does he care?
** Leslie Stein's comic about seeing a screening of the adaption of Phoebe Gloeckner's Diary of a Teenage Girl is all kinds of great.
** I really, really miss Warren Ellis's old Come In Alone columns at CBR. If you've never read them, go and check out the archive at CBR to see what the comics landscape looked like circa the turn of the century. When Ellis writes about comics, he's one of the best critically minded writers about the medium. The last time he did any concentrated writing was in 2010 at Bleeding Cool in his Do Anything column (scroll down a bit on that link because some of BC's tags seem a bit wonky.) There are books collecting both columns and even books that compile his old mail list ramblings that you may be able to find haunting some old bookstores
Lately, Ellis has been rambling again on his Orbital Operations email list but it's not too often that he talks about comics other than his own current work. Last week's Orbital Operations dispatch actually had a bit about literary theory and it's applications toward comics.
Suspension of disbelief is inherent in the comics form because we pick up a comic already understanding that we're seeing a heavily filtered and codified representation of the world. Real and irreal use the same visual codes. Unreal figures in comics are made of the same stuff as the real ones. Talking about the systems of the world is just telling stories that try to explain how the world works. Picking up a comic, you already know that at least one person is essentially lying to you.Ellis is one of the biggest liars I know in comics.