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Internet = Much better than life
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Untagged  6 Oct 2008 10:04 PM

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Jason T Miles pointed this out to me. I am sincerely honored to be part of the Comic Book Database but I'm way, waayyy more thrilled to have my lifelong dream realized of being cover artist for Tony Millionaire's Billy Hazelnuts! 

Which isn't to take away from the fact that I was a cover artist for Peter Bagge's legendary Hate comics before I ever learned to drive, nor that I lettered the entirety of the Beasts! anthology (I bet you thought those were typefaces, didn't ya???). Internet: I love you and your, shall we say, Facts!!

* [Note to CB Database people: Please don't take this "inaccurate" information off your site. In fact, I'd really appreciate you mentioning my stint as editor of Raw magazine and co-creator of Maus.]

** [Why am I not on Wikipedia? I'm very, very important! (See CB Database).]

Vaguely Speaking of Mr. Ed.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under misc 6 Oct 2008 9:27 PM

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In Barcelona, Spain, there lives a man who seems to be a fountain of creative energy. Possibly a horse. A man or a horse who compulsively creates art with a diversity of style and intent. I find him hugely inspiring-- one of these men or horses that imbues every little scrap of paper he touches with honest-to-god life. Some of it very polished and commercial, much of it feeling dashed off in an intuitive dervish.

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Sometimes it's like someone who speaks only in semaphore trying to speak braille. But my view is biased since I can't speak Spanish and his prolific art and music sites (he has five or six sites of work going at once) carry all the more mystique for their foreign language and different cultural influences. Likewise, his work is best taken as an oeuvre. Immersion tells you more than you get from trying to pick up the language piecemeal.

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It's all fun. It all has a sense of humor. But there's a seriousness, a somber universe of characters with depth that underlies the work. (Right down to his weirdly anachronistic name that seems so annoyingly uncool that you're almost set up to be unamused.) I have no idea why that Black Cat series is so disturbingly funny to me but it's hilarious. Why that house collage feels so complete in its story but it does. Or why that comic page tells me so much when I'm unable to put together the linear story but it does. Mr. Ed gives comfort in understanding, not knowing.

Now in stock: The Comics Journal #293
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalnew releasesBob Levin 6 Oct 2008 3:24 PM

The Comics Journal #293 - S. Clay Wilson

The Comics Journal #293
Edited by Mike Dean and Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

The Journal's Bob Levin interviews Zap artist S. Clay Wilson, best known for his panoramas of sex and violence involving lesbian bikers, zombie pirates and a Checkered Demon. Alex Robinson, the Harvey-and-Eisner-winning cartoonist, will discuss his graphic novels Box Office Poison, Tricked and Too Cool to Be Forgotten. Our reviews section tackles Ware, Hergé, Huizenga, Spiegelman, Hernandez and more. Plus a cartoon chat with Joe Matt and a special back-to-school section featuring a gallery of undiscovered potential comics masterpieces by the 2008 graduating class of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

200-page b&w/color 7.5" x 9.5" squarebound softcover magazine • $11.99
Add to CartRead More...

Notes on Scanner Quality and Jpgs 3
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under production 6 Oct 2008 8:44 AM
Adam Grano is upset with me being too blanket-statement-y in my post on scanners. I'm like that. I just wanted people to be aware of what to look at in their scans. Adam has a better idea of what to look for in a scanner brand. Here's his scholarly response:

"I don't deny that some cheap scanners are shitty. I was just arguing that the pinup scans look more affected by jpeg compression than JUST a shitty scanner. I'd wager that if he upped the resolution a bit and sent you an LZW compressed tiff, it'd look a lot better. Maybe still not flawless, but better. At home we have a $150 Epson and it's great. Epson is the only brand of cheap scanner I would recommend to anyone. HPs are shit. Canons, even though (or possibly because) they're thin and you can stand them up on your desk, are shit. And even some Epson all-in-ones are shit. Cheap Epsons are acceptable. Not great. I understand you're emboldened by your experience with your scanner at home, but just like any product (especially at an entry-level price point) you just need to do the research to find out who is going to provide the best product at the best price.

In conclusion, the blanket statement that cheap scanners are "the devil's work" is misleading."

So sayeth the savvy Grano, grumbling in the corner refusing to post anything for you, our beloved Flog readers, but still hostile towards kindly me.





Preview video/slideshow: Popeye Vol. 3
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsPopeyenew releases 6 Oct 2008 7:32 AM

Would you gladly pay us Tuesday for an action-packed advance look at Popeye Vol. 3: "Let's You and Him Fight!" today? Well here you go... on the house (cheese extra). Click here if the slideshow doesn't appear above.

Ignatzes and beyond
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under awards 5 Oct 2008 8:21 PM

Congratulations to all of the Ignatz Award winners, and especially to new Fanta draft picks Laura Park (Outstanding Artist), whose work can be seen in the next issue of Mome, and Lilli Carré (Outstanding Story for her self-published The Thing About Madeleine), whose debut Fantagraphics graphic novel The Lagoon is coming this Fall.

Further congratulations to Laura for winning "The Warmest Drawings in Comics" and Miss Lasko-Gross for winning the "Third Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence" at the unofficial "Nerdlinger Awards" at the Atomic Books anniversary party on Friday night (via The Beat).

The Terrorists Have Won, and Other Links.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under misc 3 Oct 2008 9:17 PM

Mike Baehr pointed out Tim Hensley using ComicLife in the links roundup a couple of weeks ago but he failed to mention how Fantagraphics' Righthand Man, Eric Reynolds, has even stopped drawing and now makes all his comics in the Macintosh program.

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Such a convert, he even got his mom into it. Seriously. I've seen her comics but I won't post those. It wouldn't be right-- and you probably don't even know who Mr. Blackwell is anyway.

Well, in spite of his flaws, I recommend all fans of comicdom check out Eric's massive Flickr archive of His Life in the Comics World. Lots of con and comic life photos, original art he's amassed, and baby pics. Mike Baehr is on Flickr too, with his photography and Yoda fetish.

So are these awesomely strange jam comic pages, care of Laura Park (who appears in Mome #something) and pals.

There's a great Donald Duck drawing, too. 

And J. Otto, the childrens book artist who made digital illustration relevant for everyone. Here he's spraypainting guitars.

While youre hanging out at Flickr you might as well see what Heiko Muller and Lizz Hickey are up to.

But Flickr also has something for the manga fans: Tatsuro Kiuchi's very strange Japanese comics. Note to the Editors: Tatsuro's work is great and should be in Mome, untranslated. Also, his piece in the upcoming Beasts2 was acknowledged with a prestigious illustration accolade. I forget which accolade. One of the good ones. Tatsuro is awesome.

Speaking of manga, I'm not clear who does Spermanga but I love his/her work. I guess it's "Bolino." I need to research this.

Speaking of things I have a reputation for hating, if you don't generally like web comics then you might want to check out this great French site, Grandpapier, that hosts over 100 comic artists. Technically billed as web comics, it's more like scans of indie books that you aren't likely to see in the States. Unfortunatly you kind of need to read French to fully enjoy the work.

But as long as we're just hanging out, shooting the shit, maybe you'd like to get away from comics: How about Mexican pulp covers featuring things like creepy space monsters with rayguns? Or dinosaurs fighting UFOs? Can anyone paint like this anymore? Can you? Contact me if you can. People should know about your work if it looks like this.

Bibliodyssey is pretty rad and so are these illustrations from Edith Farmiloe.

The Family Circus website could be a lot better. Where are the character bios and the tshirts, Billy? 

Jesus, there's a Gary Panter tee at Threadless?!

I e-met this guy Pierre Richardson a while back and, speaking as someone who did pretty well doing rock photography in a past life, Richardson's multiple exposure work (done all in-camera) is badass. Really. Also see his blog, with interviews of artists who have a scrawly, scratchy bent.

The Buenaventura Press space. If you were wondering. I was. Sort of.

I'm out of steam for this rambling.

Notes on Scanner Quality and Jpgs 2
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under production 3 Oct 2008 8:35 PM

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Concerning my earlier post about Scanner Quality: Here is a photograph scanned with a $100 home scanner I bought because it sat up vertically on the desktop, taking up less space. It is worthless. Above is a 1.5 inch section of photograph I scanned at 300 dpi and saved uncompressed, showing all the same jagginess and lack of nuance that I talked about below.

Somebody at Fantagraphics doubted that cheap scanners had anything to do with this binary phenomenon but, yes, they do. They are the devil's work. As I said.

I'm late!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specialsmeta 3 Oct 2008 3:19 PM

In case you're wondering "Hey, last month's sale is over and there isn't a new one yet -- what gives?" and/or "Where's the informative Fantagraphics email newsletter that usually arrives in my inbox at the beginning of every month?" please rest assured that both are in the works and will be coming your way soon. In fact, this month's sale items are already marked down and you can enjoy the savings right now. Stay tuned for the real announcement, and thanks for your patience.

Chocolate Cheeks for 10/03/08
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsSteven Weissmanmeta 3 Oct 2008 1:39 PM

Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman

Time for a new installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 32-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures. In this week's episode: Steven challenges you to find the continuity error that will be fixed for the book! (Remember, you must be registered and logged in to read.)