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King Arthur (2004) review.

We know there are some X-Men fans out there so if you haven't read our X-Men: First Class review    Click Here to read the X-Men: First Class reivew. And please leave a comment.

Please vote on the poll on the side bar if you haven't alread.

We watched King Arthur for the first time yesterday and liked a lot so we decided to review it.

JT/King Valun at The Window on the South requested that we review a "historical fiction" movie so here is the review for King Arthur (2004).

If you have seen the movie please give it any score from 1 to 10.

Disclaimer: I have not read the entire book but I have read an excerpt for school a while back and I have seen the other King Arthur but I don't think I liked it that munch.

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: July 7, 2004 (2004-07-07)
Running Time: 126 min
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Epic action scenes, Great retelling of a classic story that removes the magic and makes a more realistic story, Keira Knightley's performance stood out as the best,

The Bad: Some of the action was over stylized and looked ridiculous but there were only a few scenes like that.

Plot: Arthur, also known as Artorius Castus (Clive Owen), is portrayed as a Roman cavalry officer, the son of a Roman father and a Celtic mother, who commands a unit of Sarmatian auxiliary cavalry in Britain at the close of the Roman occupation in 467 A.D. He and his men guard Hadrian's Wall against the 'Woads', a group of native Britons who are rebels against Roman Rule, led by the mysterious Merlin (Stephen Dillane). He is not the first Arthur — for generations, his ancestors have manned the Wall, leading Sarmatian auxiliaries.

As the film starts, Arthur and his remaining knights Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd), Bors (Ray Winstone), Tristan (Mads Mikkelsen), Gawain (Joel Edgerton), Galahad (Hugh Dancy) and Dagonet (Ray Stevenson) are expecting discharge from the service of the Empire after faithfully serving for 15 years (Lancelot's voiceover is heard at the beginning and end of the film, and his entry into service as a youth in 452 AD is depicted at the beginning). They fight off an attack by the Woads on the Roman escort bringing their discharges.

However, on the night they ought to receive their freedom, they are dispatched on a final and possibly suicidal mission by Bishop Germanus (Ivano Marescotti) in the freezing winter to rescue the important Roman family of Marius Honorius (Ken Stott) from impending capture by the invading Saxons, led by their chief Cerdic (Stellan Skarsgård) and his son Cynric (Til Schweiger). Marius' son, Alecto, is the Pope's favorite godson and may be "destined to be Pope one day", according to the Bishop. The knights are charged with this rescue because Rome is withdrawing from Britain, now considered an indefensible outpost. What the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 7.3/10- The plot is a great retelling of the old King Arthur's story which removes the magic and I like that.

Action: 8.0/10- The action scenes were good and large scale but a few of the action scenes was overly stylized and looked ridiculous.

Acting: 7.5/10- Overall the acting was very good but Keira Knightley's performance stood out as the best.

Special effects: N/A

Soundtrack: 6.8/10- The soundtrack wasn't bad but not very memorable.

Comedy: N/A

Overall: 7.7/10- Overall King Arthur was very good action adventure movie that delivered enough action and story to make it entertaining.

Closing comments: If you liked the original King Arthur story or if you want a good sword fighting action movie you should check out King Arthur.

Recommended for: Action movie fans, Action Adventure movie fans, Keira Knightley fans,

Nipper in Africa

Journalist Brad Mackay writes about his recent trip to Addis Ababa, where he gave this lucky boy a copy of Nipper.

I like how the book wins out over the TV set (Brad, we know this is staged, but I'd still like to believe he really did turn his back on the TV).

Doug Wright's wordless comics are especially relevant to kids anywhere in the world, although I imagine this boy is likely even more intrigued (baffled?) by the winter strips featuring snowball fights.

OK, you've done your work Brad. Now please keep him on the mailing list and send him the next volume, 1965-1966.

X-Men: First Class Review.

X-Men: First Class is a reboot of the franchise that takes place in the 60s.

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Comic Book, Sci-Fi
Release Date: June 3, 2011 (2011-06-03)
Running Time: 132 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Best of the X-Men movies, The action scene at the end is one of the best I have ever seen, Amazing special effects, Fourth best comic movie ever, A lot better than The Dark Knight, Excellent acting by the entire cast, The Azazel(the red guy that looks like Nightcrawler) fight scenes are like the opening Nightcrawler scene of X-Men 2 but longer and better, The 1960s setting of the movie is perfect for it, Magneto is one of the best characters in any movie, One of the best soundtracks ever, The Training Montage was great,

The Bad:

Plot: At a German concentration camp in occupied Poland in 1944, scientist Dr. Schmidt observes young Erik Lensherr bend a metal gate with his mind when the child is separated from his parents.
At a mansion in Westchester County, New York, young telepath Charles Xavier meets homeless young shape-shifter Raven. Overjoyed to meet someone else "different" like him, he invites her to live with his family.
In Schmidt's office, Schmidt orders Lensherr to similarly move a Nazi coin on a desk, and kills his mother when the child cannot. In his grief and anger, Lensherr's magnetic power manifests, killing two guards and destroying the room, to Schmidt's delight.
In 1962 (18 years later), an adult Lensherr is tracking down Schmidt to take revenge. In England, Oxford University graduate Xavier, now living alongside "foster sister" Raven, is publishing his thesis on mutation. In Las Vegas, CIA agent Moira MacTaggert follows U.S. Army Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club, where she sees Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and Azazel. After Shaw threatens Hendry, Azazel disappears with the officer. Moments later, Hendry is in the War Room, advocating that the US install nuclear missiles in Turkey. Shaw later kills Hendry, revealing himself as Schmidt and demonstrating the energy-absorbing mutant power that has prevented his aging.
MacTaggert, seeking Xavier's advice on mutation, convinces him and Raven to join her at the CIA, where they convince Director McCone that mutants exist and Shaw is a threat. The unnamed "Man in Black Suit", another CIA executive, sponsors the mutants and invites them to the CIA's secret "Division X" facility. Xavier locates Shaw, arriving in time to stop Lensherr, who had attacked Shaw, from drowning as Shaw escapes. Xavier brings Lensherr to Division X where they meet young scientist Hank McCoy, a prehensile-footed mutant whom Xavier inadvertently outs as a mutant. McCoy, developing a bond with Raven, promises her he will find a way to normalize their appearance. Xavier uses a mutant-locating device, Cerebro, to find and recruit mutants for training to stop Shaw. He and Lensherr find stripper Angel Salvadore; taxi driver Armando Muñoz, who takes the code name Darwin; Army prisoner Alex Summers, who calls himself Havok,  Raven takes the name Mystique, and Sean Cassidy, who dubs himself Banshee. They try to recruit Wolverine, but he declines. Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 9.8/10- X-Men: First Class's plot is original and has a new take for a Comic Book movie that is  unique and interesting.

Action: 9.9/10- The action scenes in X-Men: First Class were excellent and possibly the best of any comic book movie including Nightcrawler like fight with the character Azazel and an epic fight scene at the end which lasted around 20 minutes,

Acting: 9.9/10- Michael Fassbender was the stand out best but James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones and the entire cast was excellent.

Special effects: 9.7/10- The special effects were amazing.

Soundtrack: 10/10- X-Men: First Class's soundtrack was one of the best I have ever heard truly excellent.

Comedy: 7.8/10- X-Men: First Class is not a comedy but there were a few humorous monments.

Overall: 9.6/10- Overall X-Men: First Class is a top notch movie improves over the other X-Men movies and makes for a great film.

Closing comments: X-Men: First Class is a action packed comic book movie with an intellgent and thoughtful plot.

Note: While not excessive X-Men: First Class contained more mature content than previous X-Men movies were I watched the first X-Men theaters in 2000 (it was rated PG-13 for violence and mild profanity) when I was around 8 or 9 and my brother was 5 or 6. I would not recommend X-Men: First Class for anyone under the age of 13.

Recommended for: Action movie fans, Comic Book movie fans, Anyone old enough, Sci-Fi movie fans,

If you want a second option  Click here to check out Bryon at PERSONAL Movie Reviews review for X-Men: First Class.

Thor Review.

If you have seen the movie please give it any score from 1 to 10.

Disclaimer: Before we watched Thor he was not our number 1 favorite comic book character and this is not a "fan boy" rant. This one of our most critical review thus far.

We watch Thor on Blu-Ray yesterday and of the movies we have seen on Blu-Ray it looked the best by far.

Thoughts: We did not have to high of expectations for Thor we exspected it to be some were in between the Spider-Man and X-Men movies but we were blow away by how good it was. After we watched it we were overwhelmed that it turned out to be the best or second best comic book movie of all time and one of the best movies of all time and the best fantasy movie other than The Lord of the Rings (Thor was so munch better than Narnia). We have talked to some people we know that have seen the movie. One ,who has seen all of the comic book movie I have but is not a big fan of them, though that Thor was the best comic book movies ever and some one else that we talked to about it ,who has never seen a comic book movie before this but is a fan of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, loved it and still thinks it is the best comic book after she has seen other comic book movies. We were also surprised by how humorous the movie was especially when Thor when has banished to Earth.

Watch After the Credits!

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Fantasy, Action Adventure, Comic Book,
Release Date: May 6, 2011 (2011-05-06)
Running Time: 114 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Epic action scenes, The world of Asgard(Thor's home) look amazing, The best acting in any comic book ever, Anthony Hopkins'(Odin) performance was incredible when he banished Thor from Asgard his emotions looked real and genuine, Very humorous monents after Thor was banished to Earth,  Chris Hemsworth owned the role of Thor and his performance was perfect, The costumes in the movie looked excellent and was able to create a Fantasy world that is only rivaled by The Lord of the Rings franchise, Surprising ending, The soundtrack was amazing and captured Thor's heroicness perfectly, Compelling plot that creates for one of the best hero's journey in any movie, The entire cast's acting was outstanding including Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings and some others, Creates a fascinating mythos that makes you want to know more about it, Good moral story,

Plot: Warning Spoilers for the first 30 minutes of the movie. In 965 AD, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of Asgard, wages war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey (Colm Feore), to prevent them from conquering the nine realms, starting with Earth. The Asgardian warriors defeat the Frost Giants and seize the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters.
In the present, Odin's son Thor (Chris Hemsworth) prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, but is interrupted when Frost Giants attempt to retrieve the Casket. Against Odin's order, Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, accompanied by his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), childhood friend Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three; Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Joshua Dallas) and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). A battle ensues until Odin intervenes to save the Asgardians, destroying the fragile truce between the two races. For Thor's arrogance, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him to Earth as a mortal, accompanied by his hammer Mjolnir (the source of his power) now protected by an enchantment to allow only the worthy to wield it.
Thor lands in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), find him. The local populace finds Mjolnir, which S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) soon commandeers before forcibly acquiring Jane's data about the wormhole that delivered Thor to Earth. Thor, having discovered Mjolnir's nearby location, seeks to retrieve it from the facility that S.H.I.E.L.D. quickly constructed. Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 10/10- The plot is very compelling with phenomenal acting that brings the movie to life, Thor's plot is one of the best and most original plots for any comic book movie and the second best for a fantasy movie behind the Lord of the Rings movies.

Action: 9.8/10- There are three major action scenes that were spectacular and perfectly executed and long.

Acting: 10/10- Anthony Hopkins(Odin), Chris Hemsworth(Thor), and Tom Hiddleston(Loki) genuinely acted like they were a family, Natalie Portman's performance was great and so was the cast members, Chris Hemsworth as Thor owned the character and also looked the part.

Special effects: 9.8/10- The world of Asgard look fantastic and was the most convincing Fantasy world since The Lord of the Rings.

Soundtrack: 9.9/10- The soundtrack sounded very heroic and epic and was perfect for Thor.

Comedy: 9.6/10- Thor is not a comedy but it was surprisingly funny particularly when Thor was adjusting to living on Earth.

Overall: 9.9/10- Overall Thor is an incrediblely entertaining movie that can satisfy Fantasy, Action, Comic Book movie fans and just about anyone else.

Closing comments: Thor might the best comic book of all time it is right there with Captain America and is one of the best movies of all time.

If you want a second option   Click here to check out Bryon at PERSONAL Movie Reviews review for Thor.

Dan & Seth visited Montreal, and now we're all in a funk.

Was it really just a week ago that Dan and Seth visited Montreal. Sigh. Yes.

Wait a minute. That's not Dan and Seth, that's Julia and Julien at the sound check.

Oh there they are, backstage. Seth didn't find my "I only like living cartoonists" story funny. Dan did, though.

A 350+ crowd assembles outside.

Pascal and Rebecca arrive!

Backstage, more mugging for the camera with Jessica and Tracy.

The evening officially begins with the Chief delivering a great introduction on what Dan and Seth have each brought to the medium the past 25 years.

And the event begins, and as written about here, here and here, the "conversation" between Dan and Seth was fabulous. It was intimate, funny, personal and didn't venture into the usual straight chronological territory of most moderated discussions. My favorite part was when they reminisced about how in the old days being a "pro" at a convention was a huge deal, and now today how everyone is a pro. They spoke for over an hour!

And of course then they signed for much longer than they spoke. Look at that line! Dan commented the next day that every person said they were an "art student at Concordia," sounds about right.

The boys were troopers.

Dan and Seth didn't fly out the next day until 4:00, so we were able to spend some QT with them. First stop was the Canadian Centre for Architecture as their "Modernism in Miniature" seemed too perfect to not bring Seth to!

After that we headed over to the McGill campus for their annual used book fair, each of the fellas bought a book.

And we ended the day having a full staff lunch with Pascal Girard and Joe Ollmann! That's a lot of pizzas! (Note to self to move the recycling bin before taking a shot, sheesh!)

Seth tells a joke and has us all in stitches.

Tracy says "Too far, Seth"!

That look on Seth's face looks like disapproval, but that is his "this passes the muster" face.

And that's Dan's "your office is incredible" face.

What is Seth pointing out to Tom, Julia, Julien and Fiona?

Oh, you know, just the original artwork to Lynda Barry's masterpiece CRUDDY.

Smiles! That's what I want to see! Smiles! After this, I took Seth and Dan to catch their flight to Toronto. Our Montreal store has been opened for exactly four years to the month, an anniversary made more special with being able to host Dan and Seth, with all of our wonderful customers in attendance. Thanks to our customers, and most of all thanks to Seth and Dan for being the consummate professionals, good friends, and for being two of the most talented cartoonists of our era. It couldn't have gone better. Thank you.

Zombies Don't Sleep But....

but it looks like Brian Ralph's DAYBREAK is a sleeper hit. Not only did it make a showing on the New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller list, he spoke to New York Magazine about what to do about the zombie apocalypse, it's received multiple high profile praise from the press. Let's begin:

"We're discussing the zombie apocalypse so much these days that I'd like to bring up one recent zombie book I truly love: Brian Ralph's Daybreak...It just might become your annual Halloween read."–Whitney Matheson, USA Today's Pop Candy.

"What could have been a storytelling stunt by writer/artist Brian Ralph is instead a storytelling tour de force by turns creepy and poignant...One of the best books of the year."–Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly

"[DAYBREAK] a fresh look at the comics medium and a story that ascends above the genre trappings. Great book."–Jeremy Nisen, Under The Radar

"Daybreak is an antidote to the grim, ultra-violent fare that passes for zombie literature. It’s post-apocalyptic, yes, but it’s an intelligent take on a genre that, funny enough, often lacks brains."–Mark Medley, National Post

"Ralph’s first-person approach is brilliantly cruel, locking us into the point of view of someone who says nothing and thinks nothing."–Noel Murray, AV Club

"Daybreak is fantastic. Ralph is all show and never tell, not bothering to “solve” the zombie plague or waste any space with long-winded exposition. The last two pages will leave you checking the locks on your bedroom door."–Alex Carr, Omnivoracious

"Daybreak is a rock-solid read, and many horror comics would do well to learn from its example."–Cyriaque Lamar, io9

Kate Beaton at the IFOA this weekend!


Did youknow Kate Beaton would be in your fair city this weekend? You didn’t? Well,never fear, you can still buy tickets online for her IFOA talks, and if you hurry, you can hear her on CBC Radio's Q today at 10 am.

On Saturday October 29th at 4 pm in the Brigantine Room, she’ll be in conversation with Patricia Marx (staff writer for the New Yorker, former writer for Saturday Night Life, and the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon). Their talk is hosted by Globe and Mail reporter Siri AgrellBuy tickets here.

On Sunday, October 30th,also at 4 pm, but in the Studio Theatre, Kate will be reading from her workalongside Ken Babstock (Methodist Hatchet), Rodge Glass (Dougie’s War: ASoldier’s Story), and Joshua Knelman(Hot Art).  Danielle Groen, senior writer at The Grid, is hosting. Buy tickets here.

Kate Beaton on CBC Q with Jian Ghomeshi Today!

Kate Beaton is on CBC Q with Jian Ghomeshi today at 10:30 AM EST, tune in! Audio should be available online, will post!

Up Coming Movie Reviews Lists and More.

This is an update post about what is coming soon on this blog.

Movie Reviews.

X-Men: First Class
King Arthur (2004)
Iron Man 2
Green Lantern


Top 50 Best Movies Ever.
Comic Book Movies Worst to First.


How do you think we can make our blog better?
Do you have any movie review requests?
Do you have any ideas for a "Top Movies List"?
Do you find the plot summaries in our movies helpful?
Has any of our reviews help you decide if you wanted to watch a movie or to skip it?

Thank you everyone.

Vote For Louis Riel in Canada Reads!

Here's your chance to make a difference! Vote for the first Canadian graphic novel to turn the medium on its head in Canada and become the country's frist graphic novel bestseller, as well invigorate the biographical comic genre around the world. Vote for the book that made people around the world understand just who is Canada's folk hero -- Louis Riel!


Polls close Sunday at midnight!

Lynda! Barry! Woot! Woot!

Lynda Barry is in the NY Times Magazine, plugged on the front of the website! Because we all need a little Lynda Barry magic right now. And Dan Kois Provides a "Lynda Barry Starter Kit" of what books you should read here.

Interns are awesome -- Swedish edition! {slash food blog edition.}

Goodbye, Clara! It seems like only one month ago that you came into our lives and now you head back to New York to live in that house that is like some sort of grubby Brooklyn version of Midnight in Paris. Farewell. {All food prepared by D+Q employees in their immaculate kitchens. We were going to get wine to celebrate Lynda's NYT magazine profile but come on people it's not a Friday over here.}

D+Q Employees of Yesteryear, PT 2

Former store employee Matt Shane (along with his BFF/soul sister Jim Holyoak) has an ongoing drawing installation up at the Musée d'Art Contemporain here in Montreal, up until early January. Matt left D+Q a few years ago to pursue an MFA at Concordia, and now, two years (?) later, he's in the Quebec Triennial! Congratulations!

(Jim and Matt on a chair)


Just in time for Lynda's new book BLABBER BLABBER BLABBER which will be in stores next week, Dan Kois profiles Lynda for the New York Times Magazine this Sunday. Kois visits one of Lynda's creative workshops, interviews not only Lynda but her students. It's great piece into what makes someone as singular as Lynda tick; what she asks of students; how she praises them and what Lynda gets out of the classes, which may be of interest to students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison next Spring where Lynda will be an artist in residence.

Also: good bits about Bill Keane and Jonathan Franzen. Franzen? Read on people and be sure to buy BLABBER next week. The world is so lucky to have Lynda Barry in our midst. From everyone at D+Q, Lynda, you are the best badass in the whole world and don't ever forget it!

Daredevil Review.

If you have seen the movie please give it any score from 1 to 10.

Thoughts: We watched Daredevil when it back in 2003 and we hated it so we decided to watch it again and we liked it. Daredevil is like Marvel's Batman but darker, has some powers, and doesn't have a problem killing people that deserve it.

Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Genre: Action, Comic Book,
Release Date: February 14, 2003 (2003-02-14)
Running Time: 103 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Ben Affleck was good as Daredevill and play a very convincing blind man,

The Bad: Casting for Bullseye (Colin Farrell) and Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan) were bad choices for their roles, A few plot holes,

Plot: Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is a blind lawyer who lives in New York City's Hell's Kitchen and runs a firm with his best friend Franklin "Foggy" Nelson (Jon Favreau), which only defends innocent people and does not require payment.
As a child, Matt (Scott Terra) was blinded after toxic waste was spilled over his eyes while he was running away from home after discovering that his father, former boxer Jack "The Devil" Murdock (David Keith), had become an enforcer for a local mobster. The accident, however, also enhanced his other senses and gave him a sonar that allowed him to "see" through sonic vibrations. His father, blaming himself for his disability, stopped being an enforcer and went back to boxing. However, his new career was short-lived and he was murdered after refusing to turn in a fixed fight by the same mobster that had employed him earlier. In order to avenge his father's death, Matt learned martial arts and used his abilities to become a crime-fighter known as "Daredevil", who operates in Hell's Kitchen, going after the criminals that escape the conventional means of justice.
One day, Matt meets and falls in love with Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner), daughter of Nikolas Natchios (Erick Avari), a businessman that has dealings with Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan), a rich executive who is also the Kingpin of New York City's Underworld. When Nikolas tries to bail on his dealings with Fisk, Fisk hires the Irish hitman Bullseye (Colin Farrell), who never misses a shot, to kill him. Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 7.4/10- Daredevil's plot was good but had a few plot holes.

Action: 7.0/10- Daredevil's action scenes were like The Matrix but looked fake and out of place.

Acting: 6.5/10- Every scene that Ben Affleck(Daredevil) and Jennifer Garner(Elektra) were was good their acting was top notch but the scenes with Bullseye (Colin Farrell) and Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan) were not very good.

Special effects: 6.3/10- The special effects were ok but a little dated.

Soundtrack: 2.2/10- The soundtrack of licensed music was terrible and destacted from the movie but if you like that kind of music you might like it.

Comedy: 7.7/10- Daredevil is not a comedy but there were two very funny near the beginning of the movie.

Overall: 6.3/10- Overall Daredevil is at its best when its more about Daredevil and lest about the villians.

Closing comments: Although Daredevil is a solid watchable movie, it is not the definitive Daredevil movie.

Recommended for: Daredevil fans, Comic Book movie fans, Action movie fans,

Where Are They Now. D+Q employees of yesteryear.

Former librairie D+Q director Rory Seydel, now part of Pat Jordache on the fashion pages of New York Magazine. (lower left)

Former production staffer Claire Boucher, forever known in the office as "the intern who floated down the Mississippi on a boat called 'Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron'" now is better known as Grimes and interviewed here.

Calling Paris Hilton, Jillian Tamaki has your number.

At the Hairpin.

Dear Jillian Tamaki,

I eagerly await the day you answer my email about doing a needlepoint cover for my Gilmore Girls/Joan of Arcadia (not "slash", come on, people!!) fan-fic novel. Until that time I will enjoy these wonderful Penguin Threads covers you've made. Sincerely, Tom Devlin.

Seth to get his actual award this week! All things Seth.

Seth shared with Time.com his five favorite things.

The Toronto Star checked in the Guelph cartoonist to see how he's handling the fame from the Harbourfront Award he won, but the actual ceremony will be this Friday.

Time Out New York states about The Great Northern Brotherhood: "Seth fills his nine-panel grids with charm and warmth; the tone, which at first seems slight, reveals itself to be gently, enchantingly evocative."

Publishers Weekly states in a starred review: "By the time Seth threatens to pull the rug out from under you, he has you convinced that such a golden era of popular success and imagination could have existed; more important, he convinces you that it should have. "

BANG! D+Q Lands Two Books on the NY Times Graphic Novel Bestseller list.

We have been so busy, we haven't had time to celebrate that on last weeks' New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller List, we had two titles! Woot woot! Hark a Vagrant at #3 and The Death-Ray at #4. Congrats Kate and Dan! job well done.

I went to Iowa for a Comics Conference, not a convention.

I went to the University of Iowa in early October for the Comics, Creativity and Culture Conference and had a great time.

The conference was co-organized by Dr. Ana Merino, a friend of almost everyone in alternative comics, and a friend I hadn't seen in person in about 8 years. Here she is with one of her many fabulous dress coats.

Ana with the sweetest and smartest guy in comics, Jeet Heer. And here's the thing about this conference. I saw people I haven't seen in years, as well as people I may have seen more recently but haven't ever spent more than five haggard minutes with shouting across a table at a busy loud convention, Jeet included.

Case in point: Dr. Charles Hatfield. Charles adopts all of our books, writes about our comics, but I have never spoken to him outside of San Diego Comicon ever. Behind him is John P.

Besides seeing people, one of the reasons why I was excited to go to Iowa City was to visit the evergreen bookstore Prairie Lights.

It did not disappoint, here is the display for the visiting authors, right in the middle of the store.

A face-out, not spine-out, graphic novel section? What the heck?

Now, I have been in enough bookstores to know that a face-out well-organized thoughtful graphic novel section is the work of what we call "a comics mole." After introducing myself to the staff, I find out that the comics guy at Prairie Lights is Terry Cain, who kindly told me that Paying For It sells well there. Umm, glad to hear it!

But back to the conference, the first thing I did was head over so I could see the panel with “Comics Pedagogy: Teaching the Making of Comics” featuring Jessica Abel, James Sturm and John Porcellino. It was a well thought-out panel as each participant brought a different perspective to teaching comics.

James hams it up by drawing. Hey, shake what your momma gave ya is what I always say.

Can we talk about Sturm for a second? This man is amazing. He gave me a run-down of his what he's up to list, and it was more insane than that time in the San Diego Airport he told me that he wanted to start a comics school that was the equivalent of the Iowa Writers Workshop, full circle anyone? Also this photo is by Phoebe Gloeckner. Say whaaaat?

Yes, that's right, one of the most enigmatic and charming people in comics, Phoebe Gloeckner, was there. Sadly, though, she arrived and left before the weekend started. Luckily, it just barely timed out that she was able to meet Joe Sacco, whom she had never met before. Phoebe and I did have time to go shopping together though.

And the three of us were able to have lunch and it was love at first sight for Joe and Phoebe.

Well, it's always about the love with Joe. That's the little known thing about the acclaimed war journalist. I've known this guy since my first few months at DC Comics, and I will always adore him! He knows how to make a lady feel special! Comics fellows take note!

After lunch, we were just barely able to get a photo of Phoebe with Gilbert, Jaime and Gary, all of whom she hadn't seen in years. I guess Phoebe had something important to do like attend her brother's wedding so that she couldn't stay the weekend. Until Brooklyn, Phoebe, until Brooklyn.

OK, maybe I'm jaded but when they said it was time to go see the comics exhibit, I wasn't that enthused. Hey I'm married to Tom, I work with Tom, and our home (and life) is brimming with comics art, and I've seen a lot of comics exhibits.

I WAS WRONG! It was a complete overview of comics from the early 20th century through now.

None of the medium's major milestones were missed.

I know what you are thinking: this all seems pretty fancy, so why did they invite me? For the panel “Preservation and Presentation: The Art and Business of Comics Publishing” with me, Gary Groth and Craig Yoe. The thing about Gary is that I always enjoy being on a panel with him. And another thing about Gary, he likes his cartoonists living and dead, whereas Craig likes them dead, and I like them living. Oh you had to be there. Sidenote: I have decided to start a Gary Groth tumblr page in hopes that one day a bad photo of Gary may be posted to it. Not only does Gary not age, it's utterly impossible to get a bad photo of Gary.

Here's, another thing about Iowa. I was able to attend the programming. Not stuck slinging books behind ye olde booth. I have never seen Joe speak before. He was great, but of course! Spoke to a full house who hung on his every word.

After Joe's event, we stopped by the local comics shop Daydream Comics to meet the staff. Kidding.

We really stopped by Daydream so Jaime and Gilbert could check out the new 52. Not kidding.

I guess better Wonder Woman than that neverending kerfuffle we'll never stop hearing about. OMG! DC Comics hates women! Yawn. Tell me something I didn't know firsthand.

Daydream has a door that they let "pros" draw on.

James visited the day before and drew Green Arrow Or Green Hornet Or Green Lantern. I know, 4 years of being a superhero publicist and NOTHING retained!

Yeah, it was a pretty awesome trip for all involved.

If I were to say that Friday night ended in my hotel room and that Gary, Jaime and Joe all got kicked out by security would that sound scandalous? (See what I mean about Gary? Flawless!) Yes? It does sound scandalous? Well then it didn't happen. And there's no video, so don't ask.

OK, how do you follow up the standing room only Friday night headliner with Joe Sacco? Oh, just have Dr. Corey Creekmur (conference co-organizer and exhibit co-curator) do possibly the best job ever in moderating a conversation with the Hernandez Brothers. Seriously, I would pay to have Corey fly with my authors on tour to moderate every conversation. Meanwhile, the brothers were no slouches either, being warm, funny, honest and open.

Here's another co-organizer the charming friends-at-first-sight Professor Rachel Williams with Luis Humberto Crosthwaite.

Here's Ana with Los Bros.

After the event, we were able to unwind. Supposedly this is the moment that Jeet and Gary spoke about Clint Eastwood. Supposedly. (See what I mean about Gary? The Curious Case of Gary Groth...)

Oh to be a fly on that brick wall.

My last lucid memory of Saturday night was of Dr. Bart Beatty (another person I had never been able to talk longer than five minutes to). Dr. Craig Fischer, Dr. Charles Hatfield and Jeet politely listen to Bart expound on this theory of hmmm, what was it again? The mafia? The Comics Code? And Marilyn Monroe? And probably some Rockefeller US and Standard Oil thrown in. Just joking (not), whatever they were talking about was probably just too smart for me. God bless them. And damn you never can take a bad photo Gary Groth.

So just how great was this visit? Well, I think the fact that I got bumped up to first class was wholly indicative of what a first class event this was. Thank you to all of my hosts at the University of Iowa and fellow guests, I very much enjoyed your company and conversation. Until we meet again.


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