To do this weekend: Comics: Philosophy and Practice

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While any noteworthy comics events are taking place this weekend, the not notable—and perhaps the most notable in recent comics history—is taking place at the University of Chicago’s new $114 million Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts: the Comics: Philosophy and Practice symposium organized by Hilary Chute. The lineup?

The Rainbow Orchid: An interview with creator Garen Ewing

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Garen Ewing has been working on his three volume graphic novel The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid for over a decade. The final volume was recently released by Egmont in the UK, and it seemed a good time to talk to him about his influences, his process, and his future plans.

Gabrielle Bell announces a new book: VOYEUR

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The marvelous Gabrielle Bell has just announced her new book, VOYEUR, to be published by Uncivilized Books later this year. She announced it in comics form so here’s the money panel:

Bechdel’s ARE YOU MY MOTHER? gets 100K first printing

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As we’ve mentioned here several times, there have been no more important graphic novels published in this century than PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi and FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel. Both found large audiences well beyond the traditional ones for comics, and both have become oft-imitated — but never duplicated — by book publishers trying to cash in on the “graphic novel” trend. (The number of graphic autobiographies exploring ethnic roots alone is staggering.)

Clowes and Beaton make Time's Top 10 Fiction list

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Time is rolling out its top 10 lists and two graphic books made the ‘Top 10 Fiction Books list: THE DEATH RAY by Daniel Clowes and HARK! A VAGRANT by Kate Beaton, both published by Drawn & Quarterly. (To see the individual listings you’ll need to go through the annoying, hit making slideshow format.) Confirming the nerd-friendly tenor of the list, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R. R. Martin topped the list, although more traditional literary tomes were at other spots.

Comics-mole Lev Grossman penned the entries for the books. It was only a few years ago that Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME topped theTime list, and announced that graphic novels were just books with ideas and themes, too.

Coming Attractions: Fall 2011: Fantagraphics

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Mark Twain and Flannery O’Connor! Estonia and the Andes! Armed Gardens and Treasure Island! Joe Kubert, Tony Millionaire, Jack Davis! Old Comedians and Young Romance! And Gahan Wilson’s Nuts!

Introducing: TRIP CITY

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It’s kinda comics for the people involved. TRIP CITY is a new art salon/web site that features many Brooklyn-based creative peeps including cartoonists. PR below.

Coming: Tons of great D&Q-related comics events in New York City this fall

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While we’re sitting overlooking the greenery of the last week of summer there’s already a tinge of fall in the air up here in Maine, and it will soon be time to stowaway the flip flops and dust off the leather jacket.

And not to boast, but if you live in New York City, call is going to be freaking awesome. Here’s an event list for their cartoonists courtesy of Drawn and Quarterly

2011 Ignatz Awards nominees announced

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The nominees for the 2011 Ignatz awards have just been announced. The nominees represent the best of indie comics and were selected by a five person panel consisting of Rina Ayuyang, Mike Dawson, Kris Dresen, Theo Ellsworth, and John Porcellino. Winners will be selected by attendees of the Small Press Expo and presented at the gala Ignatz Awards ceremony held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM with host Dustin Harbin.

Multiple nominees include Edie Fake, Michael DeForge, Sammy Harkham and Carol Tyler.

Gabrielle Bell finishes monthlong comics event

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Every day in July the great Gabrielle Bell a href=”http://gabriellebell.com/2011/08/01/31/”> posted a comic. . Out own July was a bit too chaotic for regular reading but it’s all up now — but only until August 15th. We caught up with our own reading, and it’s a fascinating trip into a world of nosy supers, computer cables, post office frustration, lost keys, self doubt and survival. Check it out while you can …and congrats Gabrielle.

SDCC Literary Comics: Interview with a Vampire & Uglies Adaptations, Ms. Tree Returns

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At San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Anne Rice’s classic vampire novel, Interview With a Vampire, is being adapted into graphic novel format by webcomic creator Ashley Marie Witter for Yen Press, due out in 2012.

Remembering Harvey Pekar one year later

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It’s been a year since comics writing legend Harvey Pekar passed away at the age of 70, but thanks to the amount of work he had in the pipeline, not only has his legacy lived on, but it’s still growing. And friends are remembering.

ICAF goes to CCS

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We hadn’t seen this formally announced anywhere but we might have missed it: ICAF, the annual meet-up for international comics scholars, will be hosted at CCS this year. The conference will be held September 29-October 1, and spotlight the American Bande Dessineé Society.

Convention Report: Swedish SPX 2011

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In spite of the dramatic international intrigue Sparkplug Comic Books and its affiliates faced at the Canadian border on the way to TCAF last weekend, we managed to simultaneously invade a whole other continent at Stockholm Sweden’s 11th Annual SPX Festival. Sparkplug was honored to be invited to the festival for the 3rd year in a row along with many other hella distinguished international guests.

TCAF — the video

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It’s pretty obvious that next week’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival is going to be he most awesome show of the year. And just to back that up. here’s an awesome preview video featuring Chester Brown, Michael Comeau, Steve Charles Manale, Vicki Nerino, Michael Cho, Michael DeForge, Seth, Fiona Smyth + Britt Wilson.

MoCCA thoughts: The indie evolution

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The MoCCA Festival at the Lexington Armory a few days ago was a fun weekend — the numerous photo shows filled with smiling faces of dedicated artists and publishers show that. Look at Peggy Burns’ engaging set or Dan Nadel’s. Fun is fine, of course, but that’s not entirely why people go to indie shows like MoCCA, SPX, and TCAF. I’d argue that the social aspect of hanging out with fellow cartoonists is a major motivation for attending, but that’s not why D&Q or PictureBox or Fantagraphics attends. These are important shows for promoting authors and selling books.