Comics Lowdown | RIP Takao Saito

Plus: DC does NFTs, the Uffizi opens its doors to comics, and small publishers discuss distribution.

Cover of Golgo 13, vol. 8, showing a man holding a gun and smoking a cigarette.

Takao Saito, the creator of Golgo 13, died on September 24 at the age of 84. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Saito made his manga debut in 1955 and launched Golgo 13, which follows the exploits of a taciturn hitman, in 1968. Volume 202 of the series has just come out in Japan, making Golgo 13 not only the longest continuously running manga series but also the one with the most volumes. Saito has said he would like the manga to continue after his death, and his publisher, Shogakukan, says the series will continue.

Comics at an Exhibition: The Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, Italy, is adding comics to its collection. The museum, which started out in the 1600s as the Medici family’s portrait collection, has commissioned 52 self-portraits by prominent Italian comics artists. The self-portraits will be on display in a special exhibit in Lucca from October 8 to November, 1, then moved to the Uffizio to join its permanent collection.

A display of three DC NFTs, covers of three different Wonder Woman comics.

DC Hops on the NFT Bandwagon: DC Comics has created a set of NFTs, which it will distribute for free to users who register for DC FanDome; a second set will be unlocked when users promote the event on social media. And they’re putting a very comics spin on the new medium: The NFTs, which depict DC covers and characters, will come in three degrees of rarity.

Lunar Distribution Logo

Longread of the Day: At The Comics Journal, RJ Casey sits down for a roundtable with Christina Merkler, co-owner of Lunar Distribution, and reps from three small publishers that distribute with Lunar, Jason Leivian of Floating World Comics, Tom Kaczynski of Uncivilized Books, and Avi Ehrlich of Silver Sprocket. Distribution may seem kind of insider-baseball-ish, but there are seismic changes going on right now that may affect the way all of us discover and buy our comics in the near future, and besides, it’s just always fun to eavesdrop on smart people talking comics. 


Patreon Alert: Galaxy of Madness, a 12-issue sci-fi series by writer Magdalene Visaggio, artist Michael Avon Oeming, and colors by Taki Soma, launched on Patreon this week with three tiers; the cost to read the comic is $5 per month.

Cover of "John Lee Hooker: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," showing three images of Hooker: One in the foreground, looking back, one seated on a stool, and one drinking and holding a guitar.

Z2 Comics will publish John Lee Hooker: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, a graphic biography of bluesman John Lee Hooker, written by Gabe Soria and Jarrett Williams, with multiple Eisner winner Kyle Baker as the artist. The book is scheduled for spring 2022 and is available in standard editions and a deluxe slipcased hardcover with extras that include a vinyl single of the title song and three exclusive art prints. Check the Z2 website for details; prices range from $19.99 to $99.99.

Comics Retailing

Poster for Hey Kids Comics!, showing an anthropomorphized pretzel reading a comic called "Twisted Tales" while walking along a sidewalk. In the background, a hot dog is also reading a comic.

A Comic Shop Grows in Brooklyn: Hey Kids Comics! opens its doors today in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The owners, a father and son, started out selling comics on the street, literally, setting up a table for conversation and commerce alike. When the cold weather came, they set up a subscription service and also started publishing a zine with contributions from the likes of James Romberger and Max de Radigués. The brick-and-mortar store will celebrate its opening weekend tomorrow by hosting a signing by Steve Foxe, writer of the middle-grade graphic novel Spider Ham: Great Power, No Responsibility.

A Comic Shop Moves in Detroit: Vault of Midnight Comics is moving its Detroit store to a new location, from downtown to the Milwaukee Junction/North End neighborhood. The new, larger location will sport a mural by artist Brian “Sintex” Glass, a store regular, featuring local characters and creators. The shop will host a grand opening tomorrow.


Avery Hill has just posted a trailer for their newest title, Methods of Dyeing by B. Mure.

Stamp This! The Canadian post office will debut new stamps honoring five political cartoonists next week. Unlike in the U.S., you don’t have to be dead to get your own stamp in Canada, apparently, as the postal service plans to have an online roundtable featuring all the artists at the end of next week.

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