|Ridiculously cheap McSweeney'ses|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under miscellany, Chris Ware||28 Aug 2008 12:07 PM|
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Category >> miscellany
I don't know if I'll get in trouble for plugging another publisher here on our official organ, but good gravy: our esteemed colleagues at Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern have put nearly all of their available back issues (including the Chris Ware-edited all-comics #13) on sale for just $5 each through tomorrow.
In the past 3 weeks, 3 Fantagraphics staffers (yours truly included) have had their computers (work or personal) die on them -- one of us twice! We strongly encourage you to get preventative maintenance done and back up your data -- there's some kind of bad technological mojo out there, and an extra hard drive is way cheaper and less of a bummer than data recovery, as we have been learning the hard way.
Just a Public Service Announcement, here, but I recommend you ditch your SBC Global email account if you have one. Long story, but there's a good chance that (for weeks now) you're not getting email from some people. People like me. Even if I've written you many times before. And should you mention this to SBC they'll give you the runaround that it's being fixed. But it's not.
And in some cases I have no other way to reach you so I'm getting very frustrated that SBC are such A*holes because I'm not going to attempt to figure out all the convoluted info they want me to fill out about my server and whatever else just so I can file a complaint and get my email through to you.
We now return you to the Flog, already in progress.
The 25th Anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kicks off at San Diego Comic Con this year. I think I was 10 when I first read the Turtles comic and eleven when I saved up all my babysitting money and allowance to buy the limited edition, signed hardcover collection of the first fifteen (or so) stories for an astounding $100. (Probably the most expensive non-utilitarian thing I bought before I was 18 and the only thing I ever ordered out of the back of a comic book.)
I don't know what this passport thing is about but if it involves running all over the convention floor getting goofy stamps to prove my love of the Turtles, then obviously I wish I were going to be there this year. But ten week old babies don't take care of themselves so I (like Eric for the first time in, like, 20 years!) won't be at the Con.
Which gets me to my point: I'm tired of industry people being pissy about how big and off-topic Comic Con has become. Granted, I've been to only one year of it but it was everything I had hoped it to be: A gargantuan collection of people who care about comics in some form. Nerds, aesthetes, wackjobs, narcissists, and every other type of 10-to-90 year old who wants to freak out about the latest shit from the pen of their favorite artist or just the Comics Industry Hype Machines. It's all-day awesome and then you drink and read minicomics.
I agree it's unfortunate that it's populated with some opportunist companies that are only peripherally related to comics, but so what? Go to the smaller cons if you want the warts-and-all purity. This is like the high school prom of comics and you still have the cool kids and the utter outcasts-- it's just really, really skewed toward the socially-challenged.
Have you heard these people who bitch about the cosplay? WTF, ya Scrooges? I want to personally thank every last person who shows up in costume. Working the Fanta booth is way, way less like work when some overweight, half-assed Spider Man could walk past at any moment. If I had the money, I'd hire that dude or the not-quite-pretty Poison Ivy girl to just periodically show up at my desk to make every day more like the Con. You know who hates the costume geeks? The industry bloggers who make a living dressing up as know-it-alls behind their computers everyday.
Yeah, I said it.
Anyway, if I have a complaint it's that not a single person shows up dressed as a Fanta character. Don't you cosplay people know that DC and Marvel don't give a crap about all the time you put into your costumes??? You'd be heroes to us. We would blog you!
I knew we seemed swamped here lately in our small art department but I was surprised to get this email from Kim Thompson just now: "This leaves us with the following most impressive roster of 30 (!) books and comics in production or on a boat."
"On a boat" means it's being shipped to us by the overseas printers. That's just through September...
A lot goes on "behind the scenes" when producing these collections. You may note that the purple cap pictured seems just a little bit more detailed than the rest of the kids' clothes. In this case lawyers from Another Publisher had seen an advance copy of the cover and required four variations on the cap before they were satisfied that it didn't infringe on a character they represented-- let's call him Bucketface. A popular look in the 30s/40s, the hat is created by cutting a zig-zag out of the brim of a fedora. It is also a hat that this kid wears throughout the Our Gang stories. So while my uneducated opinion is that any infringement on Bucketface is meritless, what do I know?
Anyway, here's the evolution of the cap, minus the second stage which I lost documentation of. And yes, we had to add "more buttons" to the hat between the third and fourth change. And yes, this all cost a lot of money in lawyer fees on both sides.
I found an ironic twist to this story, via Wikipedia. At some point in the 1960s, Bucketface's friends got curious what his real name was: "[His friends] decided to go to City Hall and check his birth certificate; the stuffy clerk there demands a large fee, which they scrape up with difficulty. The clerk responds by reading them a very ordinary name, to their great disappointment. In the last frame, [Bucketface] crawls out from under the clerk's desk and hands him a cigar, saying 'Gee, thanks, Uncle George!' (a reference to a comedic short from the 30s show Our Gang)."
Oyvey. Thank you Jeff Smith for enduring these headaches (and so many others now) for your love of Walt Kelly!
Yesterday I found out one of my previous Flog posts about a dollhouse ended up linked to at least one honest-to-god porn site. Who are these people looking for childhood memories thrown in with their porn?
Today it's Google. I work in comics so, from time to time, I may look for an image of "manga porn" in a search engine in order to send an obnoxious joke email to a coworker. On the very first page of results this is what I got:
That would be Chris Ware in the bottom row, which was surprising. At least until I realized the thumbnail also sort of resembles a dollhouse. Is there a comics/dollhouse sexual fetish that I'm unaware of?
Anonymous comments welcome.