Item! The other shoe drops: Tom Spurgeon finally gets around to telling us (sort of) the reason for his extended hiatus from the Comics Reporter earlier this summer. The reason? The guy had a near-death experience and spent a month in surgery and a hospital bed! He seems to be recovering and is certainly back to blogging the hell out of the comics world, so here’s to another 17 years (and more! and more!) of a world where Tom is our indispensable, lovable, guide to everything comics. Everyone should check out his very personal, very funny, very moving essay about his crisis and how, inevitably, everything comes back to funnybooks. Spurgeon has given us one or two of the all-time great pieces of writing on comics and this is another contender.
Item! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the publication of Canadian fanzine Orion #1, as edited by Marc Shainblum.
Item! It’s okay to play with your giant Batman dollhouse, boys.
Item! I really like these whimsical comics by Anne Emond. (via Dustin Harbin)
Item! Could this 1969 Donald Duck story possibly be The Worst Disney Comic Ever? I’m not an expert, but I never really thought the category could be narrowed down to that extent. As a child collector, I stored Junior Woodchuck and Beagle Boys comics in old breadbags, so maybe I’m needlessly biased against something that seems in retrospect so obviously dreck. I don’t have the patience or resources to find out if I’m wrong but I’m glad bloggers like Geo are willing to parse these things and offer educated rebuttals.
Item! A post by Scott Edelman on why he didn’t attend the 1973 Worldcon in Toronto led me to this obituary for Mike Gliksohn (1946-2011), a highschool math teacher and science fiction fan responsible for both the 1973 and 2003 Toronto Worldcon bids, as well as a founder of the Ontario Science Fiction Club in 1966. Gliksohn was a columnist for many sf zines and a friend and mentor to many in the scene. He died this past March.
Item! Kevin Boyd reports on last Friday’s comics Industry Night hosted by the Toronto Cartoonist Workshop, featuring art by J.Bone and Andy Belanger.
Item! I might be the last blogger to link to the top 100 (really, 115) Comics Of All Time Poll compiled by Robert Stanley Martin at The Hooded Utilitarian blog. 211 contributors, comics critics and artists, each submitted a top 10 list that was winnowed down to the main list. As expected, the 115 is pretty conservative, with a lot of British and North American canonical comics (Krazy Kat, Peanuts, Jaime Hernandez) at the top (for example, Tezuka’s Phoenix, one of only 12 Japanese manga on the list and the highest ranking, got 10 votes, placing it at 33 overall), and pretty similar to the Comics Journal’s famous list from 1999. More interesting are the individual lists, some of which the contributors are already commenting on and expanding, and the general discussion and comments. Wonderful to talk about favourites and “Best” lists. And for the record, there are 4 Canadians on the list: Cerebus (#16), I Never Liked You (#30), Dirty Plotte/My New York Diary (#62), and It’s A Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken (#76).
Item! And finally: Heeeeeeeeere’s Jocko!