London • Valentine's Day 2014 SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel storefront and reader app focused on literary graphic novels, has announced that it is releasing titles by legendary art comics and graphic novel publisher Fantagraphics Books. The first tranche of titles, released on Valentine's Day, includes essential work from Fantagraphics flagship title Love and Rockets in the form of Jaime Hernandez's seminal Locas series, which tells the tales of Maggie and Hopey and a unique cast of characters.
Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds said, "SEQUENTIAL's efforts to curate a quality selection of non-mainstream digital comics and graphic novels is something that we can get behind; we're delighted to have our titles available on their app."
SEQUENTIAL was released in August 2013 and is focused on book format art comics and literary graphic novels. It strongly rejects including superhero fare and has been offering titles from UK publishers Jonathan Cape, Knockabout, Myriad Editions, SelfMadeHero and Blank Slate Books. It has recently started adding major US-based graphic novel publishers to its list.
SEQUENTIAL founder Russell Willis said, "We are really thrilled to be able to add Fantagraphics titles to the app. When we started out we were driven by a vision of including the best work in the world, untainted by superheroes, and having comics and graphic novels from Fantagraphics available on SEQUENTIAL is a key part of making that vision a reality."
The first tranche of titles includes Locas #1, #2 and #3 (Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. and Perla La Loca) by Jaime Hernandez, Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, and TEOTFW by Charles Forsman. Work by Gilbert Hernandez and other Fantagraphics favourites will follow shortly.
In addition the app features the work of Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Eddie Campbell, Ellen Lindner, Hunt Emerson, Isabel Greenberg, Nick Abadzis, Rutu Modan, Winshluss and many, many more.
For the first time, all twelve of multiple Eisner Award-winner Tony Millionaire's acclaimed Sock Monkey all-ages comic books (1998-2007) are collected under one cover, as well as the full-color graphic novella "Uncle Gabby" full-color illustrated storybook, "The Glass Doorknob", and the only full-length Sock Monkey graphic novel "The Inches Incident." 336 pages are lovingly bound and ready to be devoured by a new generation of young readers.
Special musical guest Ashley Eriksson performing songs from her new album Colours on K Records (you may know her as one of the singers from Adventure Time's closing credits song "Island Song").
Bring your young reader to the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery on Saturday, March 9th to get the new book inscribed just for them!
On Monday, the fine folk at Peanuts let me grace their campus for a rather incredible visit. Nomi Kane, former Fantagraphics intern, Center for Cartoon Studies' 2011 alum and Donna Almendrala, CCS 2012 alum, were kind enough to show OSU librarian Caitlin McGurk and me around!
The waiting room was chock full of Peanuts paraphenalia including some VERY familiar reprints of Peanuts. One could even call them the COMPLETE PEANUTS.
Vicki works on some of the ad and the pencilling the graphic novel Peanuts produces (Paige Braddock inks). She also could make ANYTHING out of anything --- her chair was refurbished with a Japanese Peanuts banner as the cushion fabric --- very cool.
Vicki's pencils go off to Paige Braddock (also the cartoonist behind Jane's World) who was busy showing off some of Sparky's old nibs she was using and breaking in a new one. Her office is one of the coolest I've ever seen but you'll just have to visit to see what I mean!
Nomi and Donna both approve merchandise from licensees and of course, kept some cool stuff. Like these motorcycle/scooter helmets. They were so nice you would buy a Vespa to match. (Donna and Caitlin demonstrate the proper way to wear a helmet)
Speaking of baseball! And yes, basically everything was Peanuts-themed SAVE the toilet paper but I have hopes for my next visit:
Some other coworkers worked with specific items like plush dolls and cell phone charms/key fobs:
Apparently, Japanese readers of Peanuts are wild about Olaf, Snoopy's brother 'with more to love.' He was everywhere there, which was pretty cool. (Olaf hangs tough with sister, Belle, and brother, Spike)
We met another working cartoonist at home at Peanuts (along with Paige, Donna and Nomi). Alexis E. Farjado of Kid Beowulf works there and his bookshelf was IMPRESSIVE to me (read: a lot of comics and many Fantagraphics' books). Here he models the Snoopy puppy socks that I obviously stole when his back was turned for one-eyed Wanda back at my office.
In fact, everywhere I went from the 'family office' to the Peanuts and Associates to the museum, had a near full set of The Complete Peanuts and the new Peanuts Every Sundayon the employee's desk. It was like being at home (except I didn't hear any cursing).
Off to the museum next! The quote that burns into your soul the minute you walk in is "A cartoonist is someone who draws the same thing day after day without repeating himself." PERFECT. (yeah, I know it says 'himself' but if you worked as hard as Schulz, you'd probably use your own gender since you're talking about yourself!).
One of the best and permanent objects in the museum was a ceramic tile mural composed of 3,588 ceramic tiles equaling TEN years of daily strips (published between 1956-1988). Designed by Yoshiteru Otani, this was one of the most fun to see from a distance and up close.
In the courtyard, many sculptures wait for visitors and "Under Construction Brown" is a delight. Made by TivoliToo in 2001.
And a lil' something by CHRISTO was hanging out in the permanent collection.
One of the rotating exhibits was about the night sky in Schulz comics and even had an interactive constellation board. The presentation of one of the main walls was both striking and still warm enough to invite kids in.
The other special exhibit was, of course, about heartbreak in Peanuts comics. More on THAT later. A shot of all of us, who have dedicated our lives to comics! Donna, Denis St. John (CCS '08 alum), Nomi and me.
We hit the gift shop by the skating rink and GUESS what was there? A Red Baron flying ace and alllll the Complete Peanuts. I'm very easily pleased.
There was one last special visit and this was behind the scenes in Charles M. Schulz's actual studio (there is a recreation in the museum). His tools were preserved and the symbolic 'next strip' lay on his desk.
A big thank you to Jeannie Schulz for taking the time to jabber on with us, Nomi for arranging/giving the tour and Donna for graciously answering our questions as well. It meant a tremendous amount to me, Caitlin and Denis because we all worked at the Schulz Library at some point during our time at the Center for Cartoons Studies in White River Junction.
Feel inspired? Grab a copy of Peanuts today! Grab a pencil, the nearest ONE, and start drawing.
Don’t miss an opportunity to meet Gregory Benton at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, February 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM as he presents his new graphic novel B + F. Benton's award winning fable explores an otherworldly forest with a woman and a dog as they encounter its denizens, both benevolent and malicious. A wordless meditation on goodwill, hostility, and isolation. Join us in welcoming this engaging artist to Seattle. (Please note: the previously announced musical guest appearance by Jeremy Spencer at Georgetown Records has been cancelled due to illness.)
The following Wednesday, February 26 from 7:00 to 11:00 PM we host Foxing & Friends, an AWP kickoff event presented by A Strange Object, The Austin Review, Write Bloody Publishing, and Foxing Quarterly. The party features readings, refreshments, and a Post-It show with sticky art by Paul Hornschemeier, Alex Schubert, Jim Rugg, Sabrina Elliott, Ryan Cecil Smith, our own Eric Reynolds, and many more! Free fun with our small press friends visiting Seattle for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference.
George Carlson was one of the most prolific and innovative cartoonists and illustrators of the 20th century, whose playful, absurdist, exquisitely rendered drawings graced every medium, from comic books to children's games to magazines — and Perfect Nonsense is the most definitive and expansive collection of his work ever published!
Perfect Nonsense is a cornucopia of Carlson's outrageous visual fantasies, ranging from gag cartoons, comics, riddles, games, and children's book illustrations (most famously, Uncle Wiggily) to magazine covers, political cartoons, advertising images, and locomotive and Naval illustrations, as well as a juicy selection of over 80 pages of his legendary "Jingle Jangle Tales" and "Pie-Faced Prince of Pretzleburg" stories (with irresistible titles like "The Musical Whifflesnort and the Red-Hot Music Roll" and "The Rocketeering Doodlebug and the Self-Winding Horsefly")!
Carlson's career spanned over 50 years and his inspired imagination never flagged. Meticulously compiled and with a profusely illustrated biographical introduction by Daniel Yezbick, Perfect Nonsense is the perfect compendium by one of America's wildest practitioners of visual and verbal lunacy.
Los Angeles, brace yourself for the wonder of Ron Regé, Jr.'s Cartoon Utopia, coming March 1st to the gallery Dem Passwords in Los Angeles!
Ron relates on his blog, "If you were to go way back in the archive of this blog, you would notice me talking about The Cartoon Utopia as of a set of concepts & ideas that I was creating art with, not simply the title of my book. The project started as a set of drawings that were displayed in solo art shows around the world."
The utopia lives on! A year after the book's release, Ron is debuting the exhibit Cartoon Utopia 2014, featuring brand-new drawings that he's been working on since the beginning of the year! Like this one:
Don't miss the launch of Cartoon Utopia 2014! Dem Passwords is located at 5413 West Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles.
The best-seasoned pan that your friends accidentally cleaned with soap of Online Commentaries and Diversions:
• Review: Comics Bulletin looks at Charles Forsman's latest: "Celebrated Summer works as an excellent examination of what remains unspoken between close friends and what it means to feel trapped in your own skin." –Geoffrey Lapid, Comics Bulletin
• Review: Santa Barbara News Press in PRINT, baby reviews "Unexpectedly, almost secretly lovely, Celebrated Summer has a sadness and listlessness at its core that resonates much louder...Forsman gets in and out quickly, not making more of this tale of suburban apathy than needs making, which only makes his story that much more poignant." –Katie Haegele, Santa Barbara News Press
• Review: Publishers Weekly looks at Celebrated Summer "Simpler and less dramatic than his previous, similarly themed TEOTFW, Forsman has built another excellent account of growing up via outsider behavior."
• Review: Celebrated SummerhitsBest of 2013 Comics on Comics Bulletin. "This is a bildungsroman of the narcissist, psychotic, detached. It is the psychic havoc of the perpetually doomed; the coming of age story of those striding forth into world where the connection between cause and effect is a spectator sport, where emotional content is gauged by 'hits' and the chance to go viral…And it will break you." –Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin
• Review:Locust Moon Comics looks at Celebrated Summer "...rendered in Forsman's punk-Hergé micron style, where the clear line of Kevin Huizenga meets the scratchy cross-hatching of Chester Brown... where TEOTFW was cold and harsh, preserving the mystery of its semi-sociopathic protagonists, CELEBRATED SUMMER is resignedly warm and humane." –Josh O'Neill, Locust Moon
• Review: "Forsman is one of the strongest and most vital young cartoonists currently putting pen to paper-not to mention one of the most fully, uniquely realized...Owing far more to Chester Brown's exquisite linework and Charles M. Schulz's deceptive lushness than to Porcellino's piercing iconography, Forsman's efforts on Celebrated Summer nonetheless radiate a singular soulfulness." –Jason Heller, The A.V. Club
• Plug: Broken Frontier "Completed before Forsman began work on TEOTFW, [Celebrated Summer] promises to be an intriguing tale of youth banging up against the world of adulthood." -Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Review: A review of Celebrated Summeroriginally published in City Pages. "Like the structure of the song, where before the bridge all seems wondrous, loud and anticipatory, Forsman comes through with his own sullen, downtrodden acoustic lick to unsettle everything and beg his reader to question." -Alec Barry, City Pages
• Review: Page 45 "Beautifully drawn in a thin, fragile line with lots of intricate crosshatching and stylistic nods towards Trudeau…and Huizenga, this is a very quiet book..." –SLH, Page 45
• Review: Rob Clough looks at TEOTFW "He has a knack for giving voice to a certain sense of ennui and desperation for connection and meaning, yet manages to do so in a way that avoids navel-gazing and static storytelling...there are simply no extraneous lines to be found in this comic. That's a mark of a confident artist hitting his stride, and TEOTFW feels like Forsman's comics PhD project." –Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: On Forsman's The End of the Fucking World "...punches aren't pulled for the cartoonist's Fantagraphics debut, a study in sociopathology with shifting narrative perspectives and artwork that any amateur comics scholar will quickly point out owes a lot to Schulz' shaky line." –Brian Heater, BoingBoing
• Interview: Alex Dueben interviews Chuck Forsman about The End of the Fucking World on Comic Book Resources. "I like to set up a puzzle so that the reader has to do a little bit of work and put the dots together themselves. I don't like to over-explain everything or give everything away. I just think it's more interesting that way."
• Plug:The AV Club lists Celebrated Summer at #1 of the top 10 Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013. "Chuck Forsman is a cartoonist with a talent for expressing the emotional turbulence of adolescence and early adulthood...With an art style that combines the animated simplicity of Charles M. Schulz and the detailed linework of Chester Brown, Forsman establishes himself as one of the most promising alternative-comic creators." –Oliver Sava, The A. V. Club
• Review: "Forsman is a master of silences - few cartoonists are as articulate with words left unsaid - and this utterly recognizable and deceptively simple story speaks volumes without saying much at all." -Josh, Locust Moon Comics
• Plug: Celebrated Summer makes Froh's Best of 2013 list. "The way they regard each other rings so true of that age, that mix of boredom and wonder. Haven't we all stared at ourselves in the mirror the way Wolf does?" -Kelly Froh, Atomic Blog
• Review: "Forsman's The End of the Fucking World is both fatalistic and poignant...one of the greatest strengths of TEOTFW: Forsman has the ability to make protagonists who are capable of committing quite monstrous acts sympathetic, and even tragic, throughout."–Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier
• Review: TEOTFW on Mental Floss "This tale of young love is reminiscent of Terrence Malick's classic film Badlands in both its content and its sparse storytelling style. In fact, Forsman's whole low budget approach to making the comic gives it a mood similar to a low budget film despite the deliberate comic strip feel of his cartooning."–Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
• Review: "What is disguised as a rote teen disillusionment melodrama about two kids acting out their Bonnie & Clyde moment is in reality a powerful story about sociopaths, abandonment, cults, crime both petty and murderous, and unquenchable emotional hollowness...The End of the Fucking World is a superb graphic novel, poetic and gripping, a pure crime-noir page-turner that will stop you dead in your tracks and leave its mark on you like a hot needle burned into the skin in the mourning light." –Jeffrey O.Gustafson, Comics Pusher
• Review: "Forsman, a graduate of Vermont's Center for Cartoon Studies, has a solid grasp of comics storytelling and his lightly drawn page compositions display an intriguing degree of variety...Forsman's pair of nihilists are shown to be the results of terrible parenting and are so estranged from human society that they have difficulty feeling emotions and pursuing a viable relationship together, much less to recognise when other people are not psychopaths." -James Romberger, Hooded Utilitarian
• Review: The Comics Journal "Gfrörer's sense of pacing is superb-her panels advance patiently, so that the dread of her endings has the controlled pluck of a Twlight Zone episode…Black is the color of Gfrörer's humor." -Nicole Rudick, The Comics Journal
• Review: "Like Black, [Gfrörer's] body of work to date is offbeat and well wrought. Far more importantly than being enjoyable, it is also remarkably subversive.Black Is the Color is marked by an impressive poeticism in pacing, dark and intricate drawing, and a refreshing contemporary spin on gothic storytelling. It also marks a thrillingly mature period in Gfrörer's career." –Joshua Michael Demaree, LA Review of Books
• Review:Black is the Color on Robot 6 "Romantic, tragic, elegiac and beautiful, one could scarcely ask for more from a book, comic or otherwise." -J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6
• Review: "the scratchy intensity of Gfrorer's line is the key to the book's success...Every line is an assault, from the tiny stilettos that comprise the dense waves to the darkness of night that is almost invasive…In a story where death is a certainty, that kind of dignity represents a kind of triumph, one more authentic than if Gfrorer had let the happy ending be real." –Rob Clough, High Low Comics
• Review: Page 45 on Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. "The whole book is conducted in this simple, easily accessible format as well as style. There's not just a wobbly fragility to the lines, there is a bleakness to them as well - for it is cold at sea - even during sensual embraces." -SLH, Page 45
• Review: Some fans have a way with words "If Dante were alive today, he would say, 'Yes!' in thunder toJohnny Ryan's Prison Pit series. Endlessly inventive, repulsive, retributive, and beautiful, Prison Pit is funny and foul, an eternal nightmare that deserves a life on the big screen…" –Tom, Goodreads
• Plug: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is ready for Prison Pit Book Five. "The fifth installment of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit, like its predecessors, is full of over the top, violence and sci-fi gore rendered in crude black and white drawings... One thing's for sure, guts will flow and blood will spill!" -Librairie Drawn & Quarterly via Largehearted Boy
• Plug: Atomic Hearted Boy runs a plug for Prison Pit Book Five"Ryan continues to push well beyond the limits good taste (thankfully) with this new installment of his sci-fi, prison gore-a-palooza epic." -Benn Ray, Atomic Books
• Review:NPR lists great gifts for hip hop fans. "Ed Piskor's Hip-Hop Family Tree is a real fusion of both art forms. Piskor tells the gripping origin story of hip-hop in storyboard form with original artwork. Illuminating for kids and grown-ups alike." –Evan Auerbach, NPR
• Interview:Free Comic Book Day interviews Ed about his new FCBD comic and his favorite part of Hip Hop Family Tree. "I cracked the code because I created and tailored the perfect project for me to work on. I'm excited to wake up in the morning and get back in the saddle."
• Interview: Hip Hop Family Tree Proper Mag "Though the story may be a well known one, as a hip hop fan from back in the day I still found something new and revelatory on each of these carefully drawn and vintag-ed yellowy pages...So if you love Hip-Hop in any shape or form then this is an essential read. Vol. 2 should be a soulsonic sensation, so get your Kangols and shell-toes at the ready."–Neil, Proper Mag
• Review: "Piskor uses the form of his comic to recreate the thunderous beat of the speakers and the rattling effect a heavy bass line has on you physically....The comic books hits you in your gut the same way that the great music does. Piskor hits that perfect alchemy of comic and music...Everything about Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1 is a love letter to the music and comics of bygone time." -Scott Cederlund, Newsarama
• Review: "The book is an absolute essential for any hip hop head to read and any comic book fan to gander over." Kevin Cortez of Mass Appealinterviews Piskor on Hip Hop Family Tree. "I think my major strength in telling this story is that I don't have hero-worship when it comes to anyone in particular. It's hip hop that I love and all these players just make up the bigger whole," says Piskor.
• Review: "Hip Hop Family Tree depicts a time before the quest for conspicuous riches overshadowed much of the music's highest-profile culture. Fittingly, Piskor's book feels just as real and authentic as the retro rap it celebrates" -Michael Cavna, The Washington Post
• Review: Page 45 on Hip Hop Family Tree: "The ability of comics to transport you to a time and place in a manner that prose works just cannot match is demonstrated here as Ed perfectly captures the nature of street life and the crazy characters at that time...Fans of hip hop need this work." -JR, Page 45
• Review: The Seattle Times lists Hip Hop Family Tree as a great gift for music lovers. "His extremely thorough and academic history lesson is also action-packed, fun and funny" –Andrew Matson
• Review: Propeller Magazine writes "one of the most awe-inspiring narrative achievements of the year, Piskor tells the early history of hip hop by seamlessly weaving together all of their creative highs and lows, their commercial hits and freeze-outs. Rarely has such an extremely informative historical document been so gossipy, entertaining, and original." -Patrick McGinty, Propeller Magazine
• Plug: On Hip Hop Family Tree "The intersection of art and music is not an unfamiliar one. But if Basquiat and Rothko isn't to your taste, and you grew up with the likes of Stan Lee and Alan Moore, perhaps Ed Piskor's ingenious Hip Hop Family Tree is more suited to your needs." -Joyce, Pigeons and Planes
• Review: TCJ on Couch Tag: "Fear gives way to anger and despair, and no feeling is left unexplored... I'll look forward to the next full-length book from Reklaw, who has a truly special intellect and keen sense of humor. I'd love to see what would happen if he brought all aspects of his storytelling technique together at once." –Katie Haegele, The Comics Journal
• Review:Couch Tag was on Boing Boing's Best Books of the month: "Couch Tag, on the author hand, is a sort of family autobiography, assembled from countless loose threads centered around objects and things, discarding any semblance of chronology. It's painful at times, like childhood itself, but Reklaw is mostly an objective tour guide through the strange and seminal moments of his youth." -Brian Heater, Boing Boing
• Interview: Tom Spurgeon on The Comics Reporter interviews Jesse Reklaw on Couch Tag, mental illness and the comics game. "That first chapter of Couch Tag was the first thing that I did as a long format work that my friends actually liked. That was very significant to me, because I'm one of those people that bounces around in my own head for a very long time. It's where I find a hole to ooze out." –Reklaw
• Plug: Reklaw's Couch Tag appears on John Porcellino's Best Books of 2013. "How Jesse has remained so deeply underground up to now is beyond me, but there are few books I've looked forward to and waited longer for than this collection of his stunning, very sad and powerful comics about his childhood, and his life growing up in a mentally and emotionally unbalanced family. Reklaw has the chops to draw anything, and the skill and taste to write with an understated grace that allows emotions and experiences to well up and breathe on their own." -John P.
• Plug:Couch Tag also landed on the list for Best Comics of 2013 on Forbidden Planet International "Couch Tag has been delighting me over the holidays...it dealt in the well-worn tradition of autobiographical comics about family life, [not] focusing on some huge event, rather inviting us into all the little ups and downs that make up everyone's life, and [was] the more charming and welcoming for it..." -Joe Gordon, FPI
A boxed set of our first four books in our acclaimed EC Comics Library, which collects the best comics of the 1950s from the greatest mass market comic book publisher in history. Featured are: Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.; Came the Dawn by Wallace “Wally” Wood, Al Feldstein, et al.; 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson, Al Feldstein, et al.; and 'Tain’t the Meat... It’s the Humanity! by Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, et al. A great gift for Father’s Day or for the genre fiction fan in your life!
"EC Comics' output of crime, horror, and war comics have been reprinted and collected multiple times, but never like in Fantagraphics' new 'EC Comics Library,' which repackages some of the most influential comics ever published in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white.” – The A.V. Club
"The EC Comics Library collections display the grace of cartooning." – The Chicago Tribune
"Fantagraphics has been inventing unique ways to publish [this] treasure trove of '40s and '50s crime, horror and war comics." – The Toronto Star