Jim Woodring was interviewed this week on Portland's KBOO.FM radio, joined by his pal Bob Rini. Meanwhile, Jim has some great new posts over at his own blog, including news of a new Presspop book and an amazing little video of one of Jim's Moleskin "pop-ups" that I wish I could figure out how to embed here.
We've put the entirety of Gary Groth's introduction to Explainers, the forthcoming collection of Jules Feiffer's Village Voice strips (due in June), here on the website for your reading pleasure. The feature includes a sideshow preview of 11 strips selected by Groth as standouts from the collection. Read it now!
I really enjoyed this CBR feature on Wilfred Santiago's forthcoming graphic novel, 21 (which is still many months away), a biography of baseball legend Roberto Clemente. I'm a big baseball nerd, and was already looking forward to this book, but after reading this feature I'm even more sold. Santiago's clear grasp of Clemente's place not only in baseball history but also the Civil Rights movement and Puerto Rican history is palpable, and is sure to make for an engaging, important read. And the images I've seen, including those in this piece, are dazzling.
The news of Dave Stevens' passing today was as sad as it was unexpected. It's difficult to appreciate today how special The Rocketeer was when it came out. I'm not going to pretend that it was a totally brilliant comic book or anything, but when it first came out during my formative years in the '80s, it really was something else. Its retro chic style was, paradoxically, ahead of its time, and there's little arguing that Stevens was one of the very best craftsmen of the post-Frazetta school of illustrators (see above). I haven't re-read any of The Rocketeer in close to 20 years, but I think I will have to dig them out tonight and rectify that.
You may or may not be aware that last week Fantagraphics co-sponsored a "bookwarming" party for Drew Friedman at NYC's exclusive Friars Club, on the occasion of the release of More Old Jewish Comedians from Fanta. I say you might not be because it was a private affair by invitation only, so it wasn't publicized in advance, although you may have seen some of the "postgame" coverage. Despite it being a private affair, by all accounts it was one of the most successful events the Club has ever thrown, with an estimated 400 people cramming into the Milton Berle Room and joining a cavalcade of comedy legends in honoring Drew, including Mickey Freeman, Freddie Roman, Jerry Stiller, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Joe Franklin, Larry Storch and others.
We should be getting a slew of pics that we'll upload soon into a Flickr set, but in the meantime, don't miss these great write-ups (with photos):
Here's the fourth in a continuing series I like to call "Cool shit from my walls that will fit on my (very small) scanner."
This first one didn't scan so well, probably because I'm too lazy to take any of these pieces out of their frames before throwing them on the glass. But also because the detail in this Jim Blanchard portrait of motivational speaker Tony Robbins is enough to cause my scanner to melt. I don't seem to have an "inifinity DPI" setting. Jim gave my wife Rhea and I this as a wedding present; Tony keeps us on a righteous path.
This Mat Brinkman drawing is from an issue of Jordan Crane's NON. It didn't scan so hot, either, I should have beefed up the contrast to make it more readable. Oh, well. But it makes me laugh every time I look at it:
This is a portrait of yours truly by the great Steve Brodner, and it's the only piece of art on my walls that my dad has ever expressed liking. I love that.
I can't remember what the right term for this pinwheel animation thing is, but Al Columbia made it back around 1994:
Speaking of Al, this is the original art he made for a single cover by our old band the Action Suits recorded back in 1996. Al didn't play on the single, he'd moved out of Seattle by then, but he stayed in the family: