Archive for April, 2010

The Single Vendor Problem

Not to dredge up old arguments, but one of the primary reasons I wanted to see a central, independent web currency (the online equivalent of nickels, dimes, and quarters that people could exchange quickly and easily) was that without a single currency, the natural alternative—if there was going to be any sort of paid content industry at all— was a very small number of very BIG vendors.

And this is the inevitable result.

Of course, many are advocating an end to paid content entirely and stuff like this certainly adds fuel to the fire.

Just as in a lot of political debates, though, there are days when it would have helped to have a third choice.

[link via Dirk]

“…the River in Which We Sink or Swim…”

Bill Griffith recently offered his Top 40 List on Comics and their Creation and it got me thinking about the influence of his generation—the RAW/Arcade generation you might call it—not only on comics but on popular culture generally.

If there’s one document that sums it up beautifully, it’s Gary Panter’s funny, screwed-up, poetic, and profound Rozz Tox Manifesto from 1980; a call for artists to infiltrate the lumbering machines of popular culture and start messing with the gears.

Through twisted masterpieces like Panter’s designs for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, or his friend Matt Groening’s long-running, society-scouring The Simpsons, it’s become clear in retrospect that these guys were (at least partially) dead serious about many of these ideas.

As of the last ten years, the idea of infiltrating mass media can seem almost redundant. The great mass of media is increasingly generated by a decentralized confederation of unaffiliated knuckleheads like you and me. But as long as there’s a hellish laugh track still running somewhere, Panter’s virus still has work to do.

Three Down, One to Go

It’s been almost a year since I wrote about four upcoming books I was looking forward to after seeing sneak previews.

Two of them, David Mazzuccelli’s Asterios Polyp and David Small’s Stitches have already dropped to widespread acclaim. Now Hope Larson’s Mercury is finally hitting the stands. I highly recommend it; a riveting all-ages, multi-generational mystery.

Just one to go now: Vera Brosgol’s delightful Kristyna’s Anya’s Ghost. Like my own GN, Brosgol’s book is still in progress and could take a while, but I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.

Turin, Rome, and Happy 17th, Sky

Back from Italy with a few photos, lots of great memories, and a 17 year-old daughter whose birthday lasted for 36 hours courtesy of a really long plane ride.

Thanks to my Italian publisher Vittorio Pavesio for a great visit, as well as the lovely Gina, and all the great folks at the Pavesio Comics booth. Shout-outs also to Fulvio, Maurizio, Gianfranco, Barbara, Ryo, Massimo, all our fellow guests, and the great teachers and students at Rome’s International School of Comics, including director Dino Caterini and our Rome translator Matteo.


Off to Rome and Turin with the family this week. Back at the beginning of next week.

Don’t want to promise anything but we *might* upload some photos while in transit before then, so check in occasionally.


I first heard about Picmoticon.com from a tweet by Sara Ryan but clearly we were made for each other. Check out some of the great “accidental faces” out there and maybe submit one of your own.

Have a good weekend. We’re off to Italy next week!

Mr. Bissette Remembers

Battle-scarred freelance veteran and CCS teacher Steve Bissette has been posting his remembrances of some “Forgotten Comics Wars” over at his blog. It’s a fascinating series covering debates that were raging during the years I was just entering the business.

Since the series took the form of scattered blog posts, Mark Evanier has done us all the favor of collecting the links for all 12 parts and offers his own commentary here.

Get ready to start a few tabs:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

…and enjoy a blast from the past.

A lot has changed at “The Big Two” over the years and a lot remains the same, but with recent developments like Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m cautiously optimistic.