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More than 192,500 comic book and graphic novel circulation figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation data and other information gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Remembering a great comics journalist: Tom Spurgeon

by John Jackson Miller

It was with shock and sadness I read last night about the untimely passing of Tom Spurgeon, whose The Comics Reporter website has been on our resource list here at Comichron since day one.

Tom and I were the same age, and both sort of in the second generation of staffers at the respective publications we worked at in the 1990s — him at The Comics Journal, me at Comics Buyer’s Guide. The publications had long had a tumultuous relationship for a variety of reasons, but that had seemed needless to both of us. Our staffers were all fans of Fantagraphics’ output, and my first article sale ever had been to the Journal years earlier. Tom, for his part, saw us as all serving different audiences: we were the “old school,” while Fanta was the “art crowd.”

Along with Eric Reynolds, Tom worked with us to build a channel between our offices. When a headline-craving creator tried to prank the industry with his own death, our team at CBG and Tom at the Journal worked in parallel to root out what we both suspected to be a hoax. It was a shot at all media outlets, many of which had grown too reliant on press releases and internet postings; e-mail interviews had largely replaced phone calls, opening up a lot of potential for abuse. Tom exchanged notes with us during that process, with the result that we released a joint story exposing the hoax from coming from both CBG and the Journal. Someone online responded that hell had frozen over – but the truth was that Tom felt that news was an important thing, not to be undermined; whatever wound up in print in our respective publications would impact the record forever. We completely agreed.

Tom and I stayed in contact after we left those publications; my e-mail archives are full of our discussions of comics sales over the years, some of which provided answers for his TCR posts. For my part at Comichron, linking to TCR never required a second thought; his reporting was diligent above all, and I was not surprised at all to realize last night that he was the first person I followed on Twitter. Articles appear to be continuing to autopost at his site, which shows how diligently he worked ahead.

He was a singular figure in the history of comics journalism, and a swell person to boot. He’s already missed.
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Tony Laplume said...

Great tribute. Thanks for sharing!

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