• Jarett Kobek's examination of Strange and Stranger includes this intriguing quote: "My guess would be that if Ditko's creator-owned work were being judged independent of What Came Before, it wouldn't be spoken of as a Decline, but rather in the same way that we have begun to discuss an outsider artist like Rory Hayes. (Note: not likening Ditko's work to that of Hayes.)"
Enjoy this look at the new issue of The Comics Journal, featuring the definitive mega-interview with the Deitch clan. Tip: For a closer look with legible text (in other words, to actually read the preview), click through here to the photoset, select an image, click "All Sizes" at the top of the photo, and then click "Original." Click here for the slideshow if it doesn't appear above.
We've got a new way to bring you previews and teasers: Flickr just launched this embeddable combination video/photo slideshow thingy. It's pretty sweet, especially when you make it full-screen by clicking the icon at bottom right. Here's The Portable Frank by Jim Woodring; click here if the slideshow won't display above, or just to see a larger version.
A Visionary work of comic art for all-ages! Readers who haven’t discovered Jim Woodring’s Frank stories have a colossal treat waiting for them in this all-ages gem collecting the character’s greatest adventures.
Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that adults and children alike find themselves drawn deeply into Woodring’s hallucinatory mindscape. The stories, almost entirely wordless, are told with brilliant, candy colors that people of all ages find alluring. The stories themselves unravel like a good puzzle, rewarding re-reading, providing an experience as immersive as that first love affair, that first samadhi, or that first breath. Simply put, the world of Frank must be experienced to be understood.
Frank is an 11-year-old generic anthropomorph who lives in a force-laden landscape called the Unifactor. He is curious but not smart, naïve but not noble, and his most outstanding character trait is his ineducability. Along with Pupshaw, Frank’s semi-subservient housedog-like godling, the two traipse across their surreal landscape, occasionally encountering Manhog, the bloated bladder of sin with a heart of radiance who exists to thwart their prosperity. And then there’s the platonic Jerry Chickens, and the lachrymose Lucky, as well as Frank’s Real Pa and Faux Pa, each a part of one of the great cartoon achievements of the 20th century.
For all its mystery, the world of Frank is a simple, delightful, mesmerizing example of world-building at its most fanciful, surely to delight parents and children alike.
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 reboots the beloved ongoing "Love and Rockets" comic into a fat, all-new annual graphic novel length package.
Jaime launches the new format with a story that's unusual even for him... A full-on, pulse-pounding super-hero yarn! Maggie's longtime friend Penny Century has finally realized her longtime dream of acquiring super-powers, but at a terrible personal cost. Now she rampages through the galaxy, half mad with grief, and a motley group of super-heroes assembles to try to stop her -- led by Maggie's girlfriend Angel and her mysterious neighbor Alarma, and involving a number of characters longtime Love and Rockets fans will delight in recognizing.
The epic-length 50-page story (only the first half of the saga!) combines Jaime's razor sharp characterization and superlative art with wildly inventive, Kirby-style slam-bang super-hero action.
Then Gilbert Hernandez explodes with a similarly generous helping of his fantastically creative one-shot short stories: "Tamanny" (rookie cop vs. demonic drug users); "Papa" (a turn-of-the-century story involving a traveling businessman); "The New Adventures of Duke and Sammy" (super-powered Martin and Lewis impostors in outer space); "The Tender Room" (Into the Wild as re-imagined by Beto); "Chiro el Indio" (written by third brother Mario Hernandez); and "Never Say Never" (a kangaroo gets lucky in Las Vegas).
One hundred pages of Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez at the peak of their powers: this is a major graphic-novel event!
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.