Weekend Pattering for 12/12/14

** Two Panel Patterers (Patterites?) have published their Best of 2014 lists.  Rob Kirby breaks his list down into mini comics and books.  Meanwhile Whit Taylor, who had a great reason to read a lot of comics this year, showcases a lot of books.  Between Rob and Whit's lists, I'm making my own list of stuff that I never got around to reading this year but should have.  

Not Tom Spurgeon.
** Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter on taking a job with the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival.  There's a lot to chew on in this piece from Tom.
* one thing I hope the next 20 years of my life will be about -- if I'm given 20, which would be amazing -- is making for a better industry and art form with as much significant impact as I can muster. I'm a comics person. I'm here; I'm not going anywhere, not if I can help it. I think a lot of you feel the same way. Further, I don't think that those of us in the non-creative positions in comics have done nearly enough to support and aid this tremendous flowering of expressive talent over the last two decades. I hope that with the festival and with CR I can be a part of building on this creative energy so that comics stays the best art form for years to come.
Honestly, if Tom thinks that we non-creative types haven't done enough, I don't know if I can disagree with him. He's one of the best ambassadors for comics that the once-and-future blogosphere has. Go and read that article because Tom covers a lot of ground from initial thoughts on the CXC to hazy, hinting plans about the future of CR.


** Speaking of comic book festivals with an odd abbreviation, the sorely-missed Matt Brady of Warren Peace Sings the Blues seems to now be handling CAKE's (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) website and has the lowdown on the special guest list for next year's CAKE , which already looks to be a tour de force of comic book goodness.
    • Eleanor Davis
    • Lale Westvind
    • Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez
    • Zak Sally
    • WIlfred Santiago
    • Keiler Roberts
    • Dash Shaw
    • Jillian Tamaki
And that's just the special guests so far.  CAKE 2014 was one of my best comic experiences of the year and I'm bummed that I have to wait until June to experience it again.  As a Chicago-centric side note, C2E2 is coming up but there is Friday night mini comic fest going on at Reggie's Rockclub.  ICE 2014 has a Kickstarter up right now and I'm already willing to bet that night will be better than the rest of C2E2 (look at me already sabotaging my ability to get a press pass for C2E2 this year.


** And if you haven't had enough about the festival circuit, B.K. Munn talks to Andrew Woodward Butcher about the TCAF store that opened in the Toronto Reference Library.
Things came together really quickly, so we’re operating through December as more of a Pop-up Shop. That said, we do have some library- and book-themed merchandise (t-shirts, tote bags…) in stock now, as well as a few lines of journals, notebooks, and sketchbooks. In the new year you’ll see us continue to add not only “gift shop” types of product lines, but also writing and art materials, more artist-exclusive merchandise, and merchandise related to our partnership with Toronto Public Library.
The quick evolution of TCAF has fascinated me as I've watched it from hundreds of miles away.  One of these years, I'm hoping to be in Toronto when that festival is happening.


** Matt Seneca at The Comics Journal dissects the new expanded edition of Ralph McGuire's Here.
Where the original “Here” suffers from the young McGuire’s uncertain figuration, the new book sets down each human (and animal) form with the casual certainty of a veteran illustrator. Where the original’s black and white printing pushes the reader back, reducing one’s participation in the story to remote appreciation, the new book is alive with a veritable encyclopedia of beautifully considered color schemes designed to draw the eye into the pictures, leaving the world outside its pages behind. Where the rigid six-panel grid of the original has a claustrophobic, staccato feel no matter what size it’s printed (especially once McGuire starts in with the insets), the new book splashes each “master” image across a whole double-page spread, allowing juxtaposed windows into different times to breathe and roll into one another, like nouns in a line of poetry. All the space is necessary — from the start, Here the book has the cast of an epic about it, and an epic is exactly what McGuire delivers.
Matt Seneca writing about comics is always a good thing.


** Jim Viscardi talks to Rob Liefeld here and here on his Lets Talk Comics podcast.

Or if it's like the other podcast interview I've heard with Liefeld, it's Rob talks while the host gets an occasional moment now and again to interject and remind the listener that this is something that resembles a two-way conversation.  I'm quite fascinated with the seemingly recent positive re-evaluation of Liefeld's work.  I picked up a small collection of that Spider-Man/X-Force crossover he and McFarlane did in their pre-Image days but I just can't bring myself to read it.  There are... charms(?) to Liefeld's work.  When great cartoonists like Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor sing his praises, I start to think that maybe I'm missing something.  Or maybe it's just that I'm old.  Personally, I was always more of a Jim Lee man myself.