|Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under miscellany||10 Jul 2008 10:38 PM|
In the U.S. we get hack Superman:
In Europe they get Nicolas Mahler:
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Hey, haven't done one of these in a while... presenting this week's free preview, a downloadable 19-page excerpt from Where Demented Wented: The Art and Comix of Rory Hayes, a first-ever collection of work from the notorious Underground primitive. These previews are exclusive to registered Fantagraphics.com users, so sign up and/or sign in to view.
(As a reminder, 20/20 Club members receive these previews two weeks before we post them on the website, just one of many great reasons to join up...)
More "Behind the Scenes": Part of the sheet of Jason lettering for the translations in "Pocket Full of Rain." There wasn't much to translate so Jason just wrote it all out on a single sheet of paper. A fun bit of ephemera that went along with this stray bit of text.
A lot goes on "behind the scenes" when producing these collections. You may note that the purple cap pictured seems just a little bit more detailed than the rest of the kids' clothes. In this case lawyers from Another Publisher had seen an advance copy of the cover and required four variations on the cap before they were satisfied that it didn't infringe on a character they represented-- let's call him Bucketface. A popular look in the 30s/40s, the hat is created by cutting a zig-zag out of the brim of a fedora. It is also a hat that this kid wears throughout the Our Gang stories. So while my uneducated opinion is that any infringement on Bucketface is meritless, what do I know?
Anyway, here's the evolution of the cap, minus the second stage which I lost documentation of. And yes, we had to add "more buttons" to the hat between the third and fourth change. And yes, this all cost a lot of money in lawyer fees on both sides.
I found an ironic twist to this story, via Wikipedia. At some point in the 1960s, Bucketface's friends got curious what his real name was: "[His friends] decided to go to City Hall and check his birth certificate; the stuffy clerk there demands a large fee, which they scrape up with difficulty. The clerk responds by reading them a very ordinary name, to their great disappointment. In the last frame, [Bucketface] crawls out from under the clerk's desk and hands him a cigar, saying 'Gee, thanks, Uncle George!' (a reference to a comedic short from the 30s show Our Gang)."
Oyvey. Thank you Jeff Smith for enduring these headaches (and so many others now) for your love of Walt Kelly!
Walt Kelly created dozens of Our Gang stories by the end of its 59-issue run in 1949, the year he quit comic books to switch careers a final time — as syndicated artist/writer on the immortal newspaper strip, Pogo.
In Our Gang’s third volume, Kelly begins to hit his stride by relying more on original ideas than following trite MGM scripts which had lacked in charm since the departure of producer Hal Roach in 1938. Keeping alive the wit that had been absent from the film series, this volume contains eight adventures of the mainstay offbeat personas as well as other whimsical characters, from mad scientists to eccentric animals. Suitable for adults and children alike, the work has been lovingly restored from the original comic books, giving Kelly’s art a renewed four-color splendor. With an all-new cover by Jeff Smith (Bone).
Move over MAUS, PERSEPOLIS, JIMMY CORRIGAN, PALESTINE, et. al. -- there's a new, epic graphic novel forthcoming in 2009 that is certain to be the toast of the tastemakers. Picture a mash-up of Gary Panter's JIMBO and John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, with a little bit of WWE Wrestling thrown in. It could only come from the pen of one man. No, not John LeCarre! Yes, that's right, can you smell what JOHNNY RYAN is cookin'? Let's just say it's gonna make 300 look like FUN HOME. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing your 2009 National Book Award Winner:
UPDATE: Oh, and that's Book ONE. Of many.
It seems everyone from the Seattle Times to the NY Times is singing its praises lately, so we will, too: All hail Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood. If you are visiting Seattle, schedule time to visit. And I'm not just talkin' about the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Great beer, great food, great coffee, great comics, great music, great art, great buildings and more.
Pictured above: a vintage Hat & Boots shot, one of Georgetown's most peculiar attractions. Below pics of the iconic Georgetown Pharmacy and of Rhea Patton in the Fanta gallery by my pal Kurt Schlosser.
Every day in July we're spotlighting books from our month-long Hidden Gems Sale, wherein we're featuring some of our under-the-radar backlist titles and encouraging you to try them by offering them at a nice discount of 25% off!
Today's installment features Francesca Ghermandi, who is justly lauded in her native Italy but remains underappreciated here in North America. Hopefully that will change with her new graphic novel Grenuord, coming soon from Fantagraphics.
One of the brightest lights in the modern Italian comics firmament, Ghermandi infuses her work with a gorgeous full-color palette of stylized graphics and a decidedly hard-boiled (but very funny) story sensibility. Set in her crazy, surreal universe, The Wipeout is half Double Indemnity, half Mulholland Drive — a violent, dream-laden fantasia with enough twists and turns to delight any adventurous comics reader. Jo Tartaglia, who works for a global cleaning-products company, is putting the finishing touches on a revolutionary new fluid that would clean everything at once — the only drawback being that, when mixed with milk, it becomes a deadly poison. Nagged nearly to death by his hair-transplant-obsessed wife Belle, he falls in with the lovely Virgin Prune, a lady with a shady past who enlists him to get her out from under a villainous loan shark (who happens to be an exact double for Jo). In typical film-noir style, there are plots within plots, not everyone ends up alive at the end of the story, and those who are dead aren't necessarily dead for good.
80-page full-color 9" x 12.5" softcover
There's even scans of original art that Jim owns, from Clowes to Altergott. Oh, and that's a Billy Joe Shaver portrait by Jim, above.