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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, celebrated the release of the first issue of Image+ with a well-attended event on Wednesday. In addition to introducing comic readers to the new Image preview magazine the comic shop featured signings with Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex).

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

Cape and Cowl is the highlighted shop in this first issue of Image+.  The magazine also features interviews with Marjorie Liu, Nick Dragotta, Jordie Belaire, and others. Readers will see sneak peeks into forthcoming releases from the Berkley-based comic company including Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s Snotgirl, Steven Sanders and Caitlin Kittredge’s  Throwaways, and Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire’s A.D. After Death.

April-PBA-Galleries-March-24-Comic-Collection-Marvel-Star-WarsPBA Galleries set a new auction record for the 1977 35-cent variant of Star Wars issue 1. During the March 24 auction for Wayne Martin’s comic collection the very fine copy of the comic sold for a record-breaking $7200. According to PBA, “Marvel typically tested price increases on a limited basis before rolling out the increase to all titles, and approximately only 1,500 copies of the first printing priced at 35 cents are thought to exist; all others being priced at 30 cents.”

The auction additionally saw a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1984 debut issue sell for $3900.

Other highlights include:

The X-men made a good showing as well, with a very nice copy of Giant Size X-men #1 going for $1,080. The book is a highly collectible milestone of Marvel Comics, featuring the first appearances of many of the X-men’s most popular characters, including Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Thunderbird. This is the first issue of the X-men to feature the fan favorite Wolverine, and is his second full-length appearance in any comic book, after his debut in The Incredible Hulk #’s 180 and 181. X-men#94 sold for $300, the first issue in the regular series to feature the new team, signed by award-winning writer Chris Clairemont.

The collection featured a number of wonderful comics from the Golden Age (1930s–1950s), the highlight beingFlash 101 and 104 from the 1940s, the pair of them selling for an impressive $2,700. Issue 104 is considered to be the last Golden Age appearance of the Flash, who would not appear again in his own book for the better part of a decade.

This was the first comic lot to be auctioned off by the San Francisco-based auction house.

tumblr_ntpdw8rOtx1r1t9nio1_1280Free Comic Book Day! This is the fourth entry in a multi-part series highlighting what Bay Area comic stores are doing on Free Comic Book Day (May 7). There’s a lot going on!

The Escapist, 3090 Claremont Ave in Berkeley, is the most recent entrant in Free Comic Book Day festivities. The comic book shop will feature a signing with E is for Extinction artist Ramon Villalobos. The Stockton-based artist worked with Chris Burnham on the Secret Wars  tie-in. It was a follow-up to Grant Morrison’s controversial run on X-Men which saw the introduction of “secondary mutations” and the X-Men becoming superstar idols. Artistically, Villalobos was a perfect fit for the title because his work stylistically exists in the same family as Frank Quitely, who was Morrison’s original artist for the X-Men title. It goes without saying when Burnham is wearing his illustrator cap he’s also a family member. I guess Quitely would be the Dad and maybe Burnham would be the older brother. Or maybe Quitely is the Mom? I don’t want to gender people for the sake of an analogy. They could all be brothers like in The Brady Bunch. Would that make Morrison a weird Mr. Brady? He doesn’t draw so that doesn’t make much sense. This could use some work. I’ll get back to you next time I have an opportunity to write about Quitely, Burnham, or Villalobos.

The next exciting project for Villalobos will be Nighthawk. The artist is handling the pencils for a story by David Walker. According to solicits, Nighthawk finds himself on the trail of a serial killer taking out Chicago’s power elite. The title drops on May 25.

In addition to a signing by Villalobos visitors can get stick figures drawn by Meggie Renn and pick-up the Escapist’s Free Comic Book Day Comic #4.


Legend-Cover-2Mission: Comics and Art, 2250 Mission Street in San Francisco, will celebrate Free Comic Book Day by hosting a signing with Chris Koehler and Sam Sattin. Koehler and Sattin have created the most recent entry into the dystopian, animist genre of comics: Legend. In an interview with Comics Alliance, Sattin described Legend as “What if a biological terror agent wiped out most of humanity, and our domesticated animals were left in charge? How would our dogs and cats set about ruling and rebuilding the world? Legend is the story of animals uniting to fight mutant creatures and attempting to restore the world their masters destroyed.”

Living in the Bay Area under the ever-looming threat of  The Big One I often ponder the question “How would our dogs and cats set about ruling and rebuilding the world?” When I’m crushed to death during my commute through the Transbay Tube how will my dog and two cats survive? Will they overlook the differences between species and unite to rebuild the Bay Area as a canine/feline utopia? Would such a utopia be a dystopia for songbirds? Will my cats meet other dogs and finally realize my dog isn’t just a weird looking, spazzy cat?

I try not to think about being at home during the Earthquake apocalypse. I’ve heard too many reports on NPR about how much it screws up dogs when they’re forced to eat their dead owners so they don’t starve to death. And by too many reports I mean one. One NPR report about dogs eating owners was more than enough. Why did I read listen? And what’s the deal with cats apparently not showing any signs of psychological trauma after they eat their owners? (we all know the answer: the cats own us). I’m sorry I brought it up. Let’s get back to the main topic…

The Comics Alliance interview is a great read for insight into this series which drops on May 4. Sattin talks about being influenced by Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Richard Adams’ Watership Down.

Koehler says his influences are a combination of “the heavy shadows of film noir, the lyrical movement of Miyazaki.” Both of those influences come out strongly in the Comics Alliance preview pages.

Mission will be open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on May 7. Mission is combining Free Comic Book Day with a fundraiser for 826 Valencia. 826 Valencia “is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.”

Cape and Cowl logoFree Comic Book Day announcements keep rolling out from comic book stores around the Bay Area. The most recent entry comes from Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland. The newest comic shop in the Bay will leverage the popularity of Free Comic Book Day, May 7, as a food drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Anyone who brings in non-perishable food for the drive will be allowed to take home double the number of free comics. Anyone who brings in more than $40 of non-perishable food items will not only quadruple the number of free comics they take home but they’ll also receive a free tattoo from Oakland’s Sacred Tattoo. Donors can choose from a number of tattoo designs which will be unveiled closer to Free Comic Book Day.

Cape and Cowl will open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on FCBD.

12900994_607767066038556_8426053126351384599_oI have a feeling this is going to come out all wrong. [incoming run-on-sentence] You know that thing where you start following a creator on Tumblr or DeviantArt or in some random forum somewhere and maybe you bought one of their early pieces of art and then all of a sudden that person is getting published and playing in the intellectual property sandbox and you feel a weird sort of pride toward that person but it isn’t exactly pride? What is that word? I guess it could be “admiration” but it’s really more like “hell yes, I don’t know you personally but I remember watching you work your ass off and you deserve all of these cool things that are happening – high fucking five. No, I don’t need you to sign anything. I just want to give you proper respect.” *shrug* I don’t know but I’m sure there’s a German or Japanese word for it. Whatever it is, Kate Leth is one of those people for me. Kate or Die was one of the reasons I started using tumblr and it’s been exciting to see and support her growth. I wasn’t terribly interested in Edward Scissorhands but I bought it (and ended up enjoying) because it’s a way to say to the industry “you’re making a great decision! Give her more work!”

If you love comics and care about shaping the industry I personally think this is a solid way to approach purchasing comics. Occasionally, creators I enjoy get a break and assigned to a project at one of the big publishers that I’m not terribly enthused about but I’ll buy the book anyway. I do it because I want those creators to be offered more opportunities. I’ve watched what they can do independently and know if editors give them more freedom they’ll shake things up and create the books I want to read. Can you imagine Kate Leth on a Spider-Man or Hawkeye book (no, I don’t know if she’s actually interested in writing those characters)?

Anyway, I should probably get to the subject. Kate Leth is going to be putting her signature on comic books and trades at Fantastic Comics, 2026 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, on Free Comic Book Day 2016 (May 7). She’ll be there at some point between the shops opening hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. (hopefully I’ll have more details and will update this article before it publishes itself). Fantastic typically has a number of fantastic things happening on FCBD so stop in, pick up some free comics, and buy something.

As for Leth? She has a Patreon where she talks about taking that leap into full-time freelance. Consider supporting her continuing journey.


The Rattler prismatic

The Rattler prismatic

In 2014, I was excited to contribute to a Kickstarter for Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle’s horror graphic novel The RattlerCombining horror and comics isn’t an easy feat and is rarely done well but McNamara and Hinkle nailed it with this graphic novel. They effectively built suspense and delivered on true moments of fright. It was one of my favorite reads in 2014 but due to the limited nature of Kickstarter I couldn’t share with friends. Thankfully, Image Comics stepped up and has republished the graphic novel in a fancy new edition that’s now available at local comic shops smart enough to carry it. One of those smart comic shops will be hosting a signing with McNamara and Hinkle on April 29. Mission: Comics and Art, 2250 Mission Street in San Francisco, will be celebrating the release of The Rattler and Hinkle’s collected collaboration with James Robinson, Airboy, starting at 6 p.m.

Maybe they’ll bring some of the super-cool The Rattler prismatics (see image to the left) they made for the Kickstarter. You know your trapper-keeper could use a new accessory.

image+ launch partyImage Comics is launching it’s newest promotional publication at the Bay Area’s newest comic shop. Cape and Cowl Comics, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, is hosting a launch party on April 27 for the new magazine Image+. The monthly magazine will be distributed alongside the Diamond Distributors publication Previews. In addition to promoting up and coming Image titles, the magazine will feature exclusive content. The first 12 issues of Image+ will tell the backstory of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead big bad Negan. Each issue will contain four pages of an overall 48-page story. The first issue of Image+ will feature a profile of Cape and Cowl as well as interviews with creators like Marjorie Liu, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Leslie Hung.

According to an Image Comics press release:

Image+ will clock in at 64 pages and feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.

Customers who purchase Previews will receive Image+ as an add-on. The title can also be purchased independently for $1.99.

As for the kick-off event, Cape and Cowl announced special guests including Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex). Side note: Should I start listing creators as if their titles are nicknames? Jimmie “Five Weapons” Robinson! Brad “Sex” Simpson! Justin “The Fuse” Greenwood!


The party starts at 6 p.m. Food will be provided by El Super Taco Man food truck and the store will host a cash bar.

Image courtesy of Seoul Museum of Art

Image courtesy of
Seoul Museum of Art

Touring art exhibitions aren’t uncommon but they’re typically focused on artists one would expect to see on a museum wall or floor: photographers, painters, sculptors, etc. It’s rare to have an exhibition focused on the life and career of an auteur filmmaker. This summer the Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street in San Francisco, will host an exhibition focused on the works of the late Stanley Kubrick.  This unique experience will take visitors deep into the works of Kubrick by showcasing his meticulous research and production documents, screenplays, correspondence, production stills, props, costumes, cameras and lenses.

The immersive experience highlights Kubrick’s entire cinema including popular films like Lolita, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange. It examines the many cinematic breakthroughs that can be credited to Kubrick and his team of filmmakers. Perhaps of most interest to Kubrick fans is the opportunity to see materials related to Kubrick’s unfinished projects Napoleon and Aryan Papers.

Some prop highlights include the dresses worn by the Grady twins in The Shining, Private Joker’s “duality of man” helmet from Full Metal Jacket, the Star-Child from 2001, decor from the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange, and period costumes from Barry Lyndon.

The exhibition opens June 30 and runs through October 30, 2016. More information and photos are available at the exhibition’s website.

Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday 11am–5pm
Tuesday 11am–5pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 11am–8pm
Friday 11am–5pm
Saturday 11am–5pm
Sunday 11am–5pm


wimminslipcaseLast September, Fantagraphics released the 728-page The Complete Wimmen’s Comix  collecting all of the issues of the all-women comics anthology, Wimmen’s Comix. The Wimmen’s Comix Collective was founded in San Francisco and began publishing issues in 1972 to add the poorly represented voice of women underground comix revolution. The anthology series ran for two decades and acted as an important launching pad for many comics creators. Over the 20 years of Wimmin’s Comix contributors included  Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Penny Van Horn, Carol Tyler, M.K. Brown, Diane Noomin, Phoebe Gloeckner, Leslie Sternbergh, Dori Seda, Mary Fleener, Trina Roberts, and many more.

On April 12, Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Avenue in San Francisco, will be hosting a discussion about the history and influence of Wimmen’s Comix. Panelists include Trina Robbins, Sharon Rudahl, Lee Marrs, Caryn Leschen, and Kay Rudin. The talk starts at 7:30 p.m.