Kim Deitch, creator of the acclaimed Fantagraphics collection Shadowland and the Pantheon graphic novels Alias the Cat and Boulevard of Broken Dreams, has recruited his siblings to produce a unique, all-new "picto-fiction" pocket book. Alternating between heavily illustrated near-comics stories and outright prose pieces, Deitch's Pictorama is a testament to the Deitch family's amazing yarn-spinning abilities!
The book leads off with Kim's lengthy picto-story "The Sunshine Girl," a typically Deitchean tall tale involving bottle cap collectors, drug dealers, family secrets, and the innocents who wind up in the middle of the hullaballoo. Then it's time for Seth's prose short story "Children of Aruf," about a man and his very unusual dog; "Unlikely Hours," a paranoid picto-story about a conspiracy of sentient rats written by Seth and illustrated by Kim; the prose novella "The Golem," once again written by Seth and decorated with a series of superb pencil illustrations by Simon; and finally Kim's autobiographical "The Cop on the Beat, the Man in the Moon and Me." This entire "Deitch treat" is wrapped up with an introduction by legendary Academy Award-winning animator, cartoonist and illustrator and proud papa Gene (Tom Terrific, Terr'ble Thompson, Tom and Jerry) Deitch.
In this issue, things ramp up, as Sammy still can't seem to find some peace and quiet in the comfort of his home (because a giant finger is poking him in the skull, among other things), and some new "friend" won't take "No" for an answer. An answer for what? Why, a PICNIC, of course. EVERYBODY loves a PICNIC, right? As if that weren't enough, Feekes keeps shooting off his drunk mouth (with dire consequences), there's more secret scary underwater business from Him, and where the hell is Puppy-boy, anyway? Also in this issue: a moustache.
Things are getting weirder in the apartment house in this, the third (of four) episode of Gabriella Giandelli's surreal tale. Two teens record a rock song, an ugly breakup takes place between a husband and a wife, the old lady resorts to increasingly desperate measures to find her inner peace, more and more people have begun to notice the white rabbit, much to his distress... and The Creature That Lives in the Basement and Feeds on Dreams is becoming frustrated because no one is dreaming.
Baobab #3 returns to the structure of the first issue, split between two ongoing and (seemingly) unrelated stories set a century ago. In the first part of the book, young Hiroshi’s ailing grandmother tells him that she will die soon, and that his future will be in his nation’s capital: Tokyo. It’s the beginning of his new life for Hiroshi, and the end of his childhood. Then we return to the continuing story of two young, struggling South American cartoonists. Celestino is still living in his native Parador where, on the eve of World War I, a right-wing military dictatorship is growing in power and viciousness, even destroying the printing presses of the paper for whom he works. Even in this darkness, some light emerges: Celestino receives his first few fan letters from readers, and embarks on a romance with his publisher’s daughter. Meanwhile, his expatriate friend and colleague Pilade regales him with tales from the exciting world of American syndicated cartoonists, and together the two dream about this new artform whose birth they are witnessing, and may very well be contributing to...
In the past 3 weeks, 3 Fantagraphics staffers (yours truly included) have had their computers (work or personal) die on them -- one of us twice! We strongly encourage you to get preventative maintenance done and back up your data -- there's some kind of bad technological mojo out there, and an extra hard drive is way cheaper and less of a bummer than data recovery, as we have been learning the hard way.
Happy shopping (if you haven't already ordered them directly from us)! Speaking of ordering directly from us, we'll be having our own New Comics Day tomorrow with another boatload of brand-new titles in stock and ready to order... stay tuned!
Esther Pearl Watson, not the type to sit around twiddling her thumbs while we get her Unlovable book ready for the world, told us about her new multimedia art project when we saw her at Comic-Con, and now it's underway: she and fellow artist Martha Rich are road-tripping across the U.S.A. to interview people about their ideas of beauty, a process they're documenting on their new blog. (Hat tip to the USA Today for the links.)
We're also dying to see Esther's Unlovable video starring Leslie Hall as Tammy Pierce. I mean, come on!
Gary Groth interviews father and son cartoonists Gene and Kim Deitch. Academy-award-winning Gene Deitch, whose wide-ranging career has spanned 60+ years, talks about doing illustrations for The Record Changer, directing cartoons such as Munro and Krazy Kat, and creating his comic strip Terr’ble Thompson. Underground comics pioneer Kim Deitch, touches on his father’s influence, reminisces about the New York-based scene and outlines the evolution of Waldo the Cat. Plus: The innovative Grant Morrison fills us in on his X-Men run, All Star Superman, the ambitious Seven Soldiers “maxiseries” how he became one of the architects of the current DC Comics universe. Our comics gallery presents an historical essay and highlights from the turn-of-the-19th-century work of Puck cartoonist F. M. Howarth.