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Jive

Hi, happy Friday. Looks like we've fixed the problem with this site. If you're still having trouble please let us know. Hopefully you're not, and so you'll be excited that Paul Tumey is here with a piece on the Seattle comic book scene.

Seattle has a new underground comics scene. One is tempted to say “again,” recalling the boom of the 1990s with Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring, and the like. More accurately, the scene has endured. For a while now, participation in the Seattle comics scene has not been dependent on being a published cartoonist. Rather, it’s something one does, at one’s own level and the hell with commercial or social restraints. This attitude has nurtured a vibrant sub-culture that is only just now emerging. What we are seeing in the last year or so is the latest natural engorgement of talent and effort coalescing and expanding, like a pustule that could someday pop in goopy glory (goop is a quality that frequently occurs in the work of a cluster of the emerging new Seattle cartoonists who seem to delight in grossness and disfigurement, perhaps inspired by the twisted, organic forms found in the comics of  Bagge, Woodring, and Co.).

Elsewhere:

Ralph Steadman profiled at the AV Club.

Leon Sadler continues to be the best young cartoonist in England. When will people catch up with Leon? Hard to say. I hope soon. Beats the shit out of anything else, short of James Jarvis (speaking of new books) and Will Sweeney.

New comic from Lala Albert.

Sophie Yanow, interviewed.

Stefano Raffaele interviewed by Alex Dueben.

I think Sean Collins is involved in this Tumblr? It's interesting.

My first thought when I got this press release (below) in my inbox was "are these people retarded"? They know there was an actual sculptor named David Smith, right? Was that before or after the New York Times mentioned it? It's like naming your protagonist Franz Kline and then pretending it's a coincidence. And there's PR and then there's lying: Scott McCloud's first fiction graphic novel was published in 1998. It's here.

My favorite part of the release is the transparent pandering of the plot. He can do anything, but what will he do? OMG! And there's a GIRL involved? Booooonnnnnneeeerrr! A deal with DEATH? Wasn't that the plot of Bill & Ted's part 2? Or some Swedish shit? I'm surprised McCloud didn't squeeze in a zombie to complete the marketing potential. And gee, that palette sure seems familiar. Oh man, comics is such a fucked up medium right now, one in which artists who are supposed to be "smart" construct incredibly dumb books to appeal to some invisible marketing demographic. Well, I'm sure this'll make a great TED talk. So, without (much) further ado, here in all its glory is the stupidest press release of 2014. Have a good weekend. Try to forget about this part of comics (y'know, where it's become really safe and dumb). Order an actual good comic book from 2014 instead.

FIRST SECOND WILL BE PUBLISHING SCOTT MCCLOUD’S FIRST FICTION GRAPHIC NOVEL THE SCULPTOR IN FEBRUARY 2015

 The New York Times has the official announcement and a piece of excerpt artwork:

The Sculptor will be on sale on February 3rd, 2015.

“I've wanted to tell the story of The Sculptor since before writing Understanding Comics, and the book's creation has turned into an incredible learning experience for me and, I hope, an exciting READING experience for comics-lovers. It took me five years to write and draw, and I promise I used every single minute to make it the best book I can,” says Scott McCloud.

In The Sculptor, David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.

“To work with Scott McCloud on any project of his choosing was a long held hope of mine. But to join him as he sheds the theorist and embraces ambitious, adult fiction—that's a dream come true. Scott is one of the hardest working authors I know, and he has tasked himself with a very tall order on The Sculptor. The result soars beyond my shamelessly high expectations,” says McCloud’s editor, First Second Editorial Director Mark Siegel.

Scott McCloud is the award-winning author of Understanding Comics, Making Comics, Zot!, and many other fiction and non-fiction comics spanning 30 years. An internationally-recognized authority on comics and visual communication, technology, and the power of storytelling, McCloud has lectured at Google, Pixar, Sony, and the Smithsonian Institution. His online thoughts, stories, and inventions can be found at scottmccloud.com.

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Gina Gagliano

First Second Books

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