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New Releases

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It [New Printing Pre-Order]
Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It [New Printing Pre-Order]
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Black River
Black River
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The Kurdles
The Kurdles
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Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America
Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America
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all new releases

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.)

Blogosphere roundup for 10/3/08
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviews 3 Oct 2008 1:06 PM

People on the Internet share their thoughts about our books:

A Girl Who Wears Glasses covets Ghost World: Special Edition, plans to go as Enid for Halloween; Emily Martin also says nice things about the book

• This Irish blogger named Conor recommends I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason

Dans ta bulle, a French-Canadian internet radio show about comics, discusses Jules Feiffer's Tantrum and Tim Lane's Abandoned Cars

Comic Book Resources and ComicMix both examine Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by the Hernandez Brothers

• Finnish blog Bundologi takes note of The Portable Frank by Jim Woodring

Pol Culture reviews Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson

Sequart takes a good look at the newest volume of The Complete Peanuts; the Pakistan Observer asserts that "Charlie Brown - not Superman - is the real hero the American nation should be looking up to"

The Rack serves up another fictional-comic-shop picks-of-the-week strip, including Sublife by John Pham

• Spanish comics site Entrecomics takes note of our two giant hardcover Krazy & Ignatz collections

Heeb names Jules Feiffer's Explainers one of the top 10 comics of the year 5768

Ed Howard's list of "10 Ideal Books to Introduce Readers to Comics" includes a bunch of our stuff

They also talk about other Fanta-related people, places and things:

Our own Kim Thompson memorializes Belgian cartoonist Raymond Macherot for The Comics Reporter

Liam Blair recalls a visit to the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

• The Attleboro, MA Sun Chronicle profiles Paul Karasik

North Shore News has a Q&A with Peter Bagge

The Riverfront Times reports from the opening reception/book release party for Tim Lane's Abandoned Cars at Subterranean Books in St. Louis last Friday

Chronogram Magazine interviews Jessica Abel

Editor & Publisher has the scoop on our forthcoming Zippy collection Welcome to Dingburg and Bill Griffith's visit to our bookstore for an exhibit of original Zippy art on Nov. 8; the Hartford Courant talks to Griffith about Zippy merch and marketing

• The Ann Arbor Book Festival website has a page of photos and video from this year's festival that includes a video interview with Paul Hornschemeier

Say, if you know of something that you think we should link to in our next roundup, whether it's new or we've missed it in past weeks, contact us through the site here and put "Attn: Mike Baehr" somewhere in your message. Be sure to include the full URL of the link. I might not be able to respond to every message or include every link, but I'll include a credit to the tipster if it's something I don't also find myself. Also, don't forget that you can track these links in a more timely fashion on our Delicious page and RSS feed, or by adding us to your Delicious network.

Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under misc 3 Oct 2008 1:04 PM


Vote or die
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under awards 3 Oct 2008 10:03 AM

Can't wait until November to cast a ballot for a worthy candidate? Vote for us in the "Best Comics" category in KING 5 Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington poll. (Registration is required, just like in a real election.)

Notes on Scanner Quality and Jpgs.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under production 2 Oct 2008 11:14 PM


I should make time for posts like this more often but here's a little rundown on why people shouldn't use cheap scanners to archive material.

Take a look at this scan of an original old pin-up page that was sent to me this week, compressed as a jpg. At a glance it looks great with the watercolor paper really showing its tooth. (Technically the page has also not been laid down flat enough and we're getting an uneven light but let's overlook that.) Above shows the full art which was scanned large--about 11" tall at 300dpi.


Looking closer you can see that the mottling (modelling? now I'm not sure which.) is actually quite inconsistent, made up more of a kind of binary than a continuous tone. Her skin looks blemished. The wall just looks awful. Cheap scanners tend to blow out the highlights and sink the shadows. It's like getting the box of 8 crayons instead of 64, so the scanner relies more on contrast to form the image and you lose detail.

If you then compress that file as a jpg, it makes those tones crumple into jaggy pixelation. Everyone should know this by now but it's amazing how few people do: Jpg files are for the web. It makes your file size small so windows load more quickly. Most of the time there's no good reason for large files to be saved as jpgs. You want .tif (or .psd) for your precious artwork. If you save it as a .jpg you better have a reason. If you don't have a reason I hope you get stuck in an elevator with Jordan Crane, who will tear you apart without pity. (Go NOW to download his Reproguide at the bottom of this page .)


This last detail really showcases what makes cheap scanners the devil's work. The artwork is technically high resolution enough for print but if it were run at actual size you would see how awful the shading really looks. You would see how the highlight shading is a bunch of tiny gray boxes. The jpg compression is also making for all the little noise that's going on along the edges of lines. 

As it is I'm probably going to use this file for print but run about a third of the size of the original. For the purposes of a non-archival project such as the Pin-Up series I simply don't have the luxury of controlling the work as much I'd like, besides the fact that most of the material will be scanned from old pulp digests.

It helps to explore compensatory tricks-- I originally planned the pin-up series to be embellished with a second spot color not just because it looked cool and mirrored the coloring of the digest covers but specifically to draw the eye away from the generational loss of scanning continuous tone artwork off of crummy, 50 year old pulp. 


Another DeCarlo post.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Dan DeCarlo 2 Oct 2008 1:34 PM


Throughout the late midcentury, Dan DeCarlo was simultaneously defining the look of tight-sweatered Riverdale girls in Archie comics for little Billy while drawing titillating Riverdale-esque women losing their sweaters in Humorama magazines for Bill senior. Like Playboy being produced by Disney, the utter American-ness of it resonates deeply and rather disturbingly. It's the ultimate subversion to see these Archie girls squeaky-clean and wide-eyed in a slick, crass, Man's World of viral virile impotence. And I can't stop admiring DeCarlo because of and in spite of it...



[Ha. I misspelled 'virile.' And, no, I'm not going to explain myself.]

Robert Goodin TONITE
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert Goodinevents 2 Oct 2008 1:29 PM

Robert Goodin signing flyer

Tonight at 7:00, see Mome contributor Robert Goodin at Meltdown in LA for the release of his new comic one-shot from our pals at Top Shelf, The Man Who Loved Breasts. Momes will, of course, also be available, as well as other Goodinalia.

(I dare you not to sing the title of this post to yourself to the tune of the theme from Entertainment Tonight now that I have put the suggestion in your head.)

Watch Kim Deitch at the Strand
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoKim Deitchevents 2 Oct 2008 11:54 AM

The Strand bookstore presents video footage of Kim Deitch's presentation there two weeks ago. (Note that there was a minor tech problem with the sound at the beginning, but the audio kicks in after a couple of minutes, when the on-screen clock hits 19:04.)

The Naked Campaign
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Steve Brodner 2 Oct 2008 10:53 AM

Holy moses, watching Steve Brodner draw McCain and Palin is pretty goddamn awesome.