Friday, February 11, 2005


If you're looking for someone to give you an opinion about something comics-related, and it doesn't matter if you like the opinion or not, you could do a lot worse than going to my old buddy Alan David Doane for it. Alan loves and cares about comics the way you love and care about breathing. He takes bad comics personally, because someone took the time to waste his. He wants his happy spot tickled and his heart to grow three sizes when he reads a book.

Who can blame him?

If we all felt that way about comics, maybe, just maybe, we'd force the publishers to make better ones, instead of churning out another Jeph Loeb SUPERMAN book or anything by Frank Tieri. But because the fanbase loves Kool-Aid, we get HERCULES, PRINCE OF REALITY SHOWS, coming to a comic shop near you. Yay.

Anyway, Alan has been playing with Photoshop lately, and this morning, a nifty little gem has appeared at the Galaxy. Check it out. For those who still want to claim that ADD is an elitist, you should finally be cured of that notion by looking at this.

Trust me. It's fuggin' neat.


Thursday, February 10, 2005


Two cool bits of info hit my mailbox this week. First from the dapper and killer-cool James Sime:

SAN FRANCISCO (February 9th, 2005) Acclaimed San Francisco comics retailer James Sime, proprietor of Isotope - the comic book lounge, announced today that submissions for the much-celebrated 2005 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics will be accepted until March 15th at midnight. "Alright mini-comic creators, it's time to fire up your printers and copy machines again," said Sime, "And it's time to score yourself some of the gold and the glory that is the third annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics!"Established in 2003, the Isotope Award was created to celebrate the thousands of unique, hand-produced mini-comics that are created each year. Focusing on this often overlooked segment of the comic industry and the creators who make them, the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics is known internationally for launching the professional comic careers of Rob Osborne (1000 STEPS TO WORLD DOMINATION) and Josh Cotter (SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST)."

Mini-comics are the basement tapes of the comic industry," Sime said, "And just like basement tapes, this is where the raw creative spark is at it's brightest. Mini-comics represent the bleeding edge of comics innovation and evolution and this where the industry's superstars of tomorrow are perfecting their riffs and chops today. We want to shine the spotlight on the work these future superstars are making... that's what the Isotope Award is all about!" Sime's goal of bringing greater glory to the mini-comic artform has resulted in great success for Isotope Award winners with 2003's winner Rob Osborne having his full length 1000 STEPS TO WORLD DOMINATION graphic novel published by AIT-PlanetLar last October and 2004's winner Josh Cotter having his winning entry SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST published in all it's glory by AdHouse Books in January of this year. Both books have been well received by the comic reading public at large and have been lavished with tremendous critical success.

Mini-comic creators from the four corners of the globe are once again encouraged to submit their minis for a chance to win this annual prize, "Sometimes it seems this little pond of industry that we call comic book making is riddled with awards, so it's nice when an award comes along that not only stands for something new, but also serves a greater good" said AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer who began publishing 2004's Isotope Award winner Josh Cotter's SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST in January. "The Isotope Award for Excellance in Mini-Comics" is our industry's Sundance. It's a chance for an unknown comic to gain exposure, and hopefully gain something from it. And heck, any award that pointy has to be great to win!"

The Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics trophy is as unique as the award itself, designed by famed sculpter Crowe; the trophy stands nearly ten inches tall and is made entirely from carved ebony fossil stone and satin silver. "It's an honor to get to present one of these awards each year to a well-deserving winner," said Isotope Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock, "And thanks to the exceptional work that has been submitted to our judges in past years, the Isotope Award continues to be an unmistakable symbol of leadership and innovation in the comics industry.""I don't want to sound cliche," 2004's Isotope Award winner Josh Cotter said, "But winning the Isotope has changed a lot of things for me... primarily with going from making comics that not many people other than my wife and parents were reading to getting published (by AdHouse Books) within just a matter of months of receiving the award. James and the Isotope folks are truly doing a great thing for the world of mini-comics, by not only giving a bunch of otherwise non-competitive introverts something to strive for, but by helping an often overlooked niche of the comics medium to get some well-deserved attention." 2003's Isotope Award winner Rob Osborne agrees, "Making mini-comics is a labor of love, and the blood, sweat and tears that you put into your comics can be very rewarding. The Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics will bring some talented person the adoration they have coming to them."

AiT/PLanetlar publisher Larry Young knows a thing or two about the Isotope Award bringing recognition to mini-comic creators like Rob Osborne, it was because of the award that he first discovered 1000 STEPS TO WORLD DOMINATION which he published a greatly expanded version of as an original graphic novel in October. 1000 STEPS has proven to be an excellent seller and one of AIT-PlanetLar's most critically acclaimed titles of last year."I'm luckier than most in that the Isotope is my local shop," Larry Young said, "and I see lots of the cool stuff that passes over its transom. When Rob Osborne's 1000 STEPS TO WORLD DOMINATION was anointed with the very first Isotope Award for Excellence in Minicomics, though, I knew it was something special and signed up Rob nearly on the spot. We're even publishing a new work by Osborne, SUNSET CITY, this fall, so that proves that the attention an Isotope award brings you pays off in career accolades. I mean, seriously, when the Boston Red Sox finally beat the Curse of the Babe and won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC led the story with a mention of Osborne's comic. That's the sort of attention winning the Isotope gets for your work."

The award selection committee for 2005 remains a mix of comic aficionados, entrepreneurs, artists, and industry impresarios. Including self-publishers, mini-comic creators and, of course, a person who sells comics for a living, "We like to keep the committee fresh by bringing in new blood each year, but we still ensure that the Isotope Awards Committee covers the entire spectrum of the mini-comic equation," Sime declared, "

Like last year I'll be on the judging committee once again, as will be mini-comic success story Rob Osborne. Representing for the classic literature set we've got our comic lovin' Librarian in the form of Isotope Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock who heads up our judging committee. And for our new additions this year we're bringing on board self-publisher and PopImage columnist Jason McNamara who always keeps his finger on the pulse of what's happening and has exceptional taste in minis, and the penultimate comic connoisseur Jim Cox... I've walked the floor at San Diego with Jim and let me tell you this, that guy has an incredible ability to find greatness."

The only fee for entry to this competition is five copies of your mini-comic sent to Isotope's Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock at the Isotope address (1653 Noriega St San Francisco, CA 94122) before the March 15th deadline. As is tradition, the award will be given out at a grand ceremony during APE AFTERMATH at the Isotope in conjunction with San Francisco's ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO. San Francisco’s APE convention has been a forum for small and independent publishers in the industry for many years. Because of the nature of this award, the winner will be contacted in advance and must be present at the Isotope at 9 PM on Friday, April 9th for the award presentation ceremony."These award ceremonies are a blast, and I don't doubt that this year's award ceremony to be the best one yet!" enthused Sime, "Our entire judging committee is going to be there to honor this year's winner, and both Osborne and Cotter will be in attendance to welcome the next generation of Isotope Award recipient into the winner's circle. And for those who attended APE AFTERMATH last year, you can expect our usual massive turnout of supporters and creators... but this year we're going to be having even grander superstar entrances for the Isotope Award winners!"

Like Sime and the rest of the Isotope Award Committee, Rob Osborne encourages all mini-comic creators to take a chance on their work and get their minis in before deadline, "Winning this award completely blew the doors of the comic industry open for me," said Osborne, "That step from the shadows of mini-comic obscurity to the limelight of big time published creator may be just one submission away, I highly recommend that you submit your mini-comic for the Isotope Award. You may be a mini-comic star and not even know it!"The Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics could be yours, submissions of five copies accepted until March 15th at 1653 Noriega St. San Francisco, CA 94122. For more information contact the Isotope at (415) 753 - 3037 or at

Then the great Tom Spurgeon came along with this news:

I'll be hosting Bart Beaty's European comics reviews on the Comics Reporter for a short while, as he gets in the habit of writing regularly and decides whether or not he wants to do a European comics review blog. I know it's not really news, but Bart's the person I go to with all my Euro-comics questions, and I can't imagine too many other people I'd do this for.

Trust me: if Spurge thinks this is a good thing, then it's a great thing. He's the Man.