After his existential thriller (Why Are You Doing This?), his Parisian famous-writers crime caper (The Left Bank Gang), and his time-travel story (I Killed Adolf Hitler), Jason's fourth full-color album may feature his loopiest premise yet. Set in the present time, The Last Musketeer stars the by-now centuries old musketeer Athos, who has been reduced to a suavely dressed but useless near-panhandler trading on his now almost extinct fame. All this changes when one day the Martians attack Earth. Suddenly there is a need for swashes to be buckled, and Athos leaps back into the fray with a vengeance. The Last Musketeer is a vintage sci-fi adventure with a unique twist from an internationally acclaimed cartoonist.
48-page 7" x 10" full-color softcover $12.95 Order Now!
MOME Winter/Spring 2008 (Vol. 10) By various artists; edited by Gary Groth & Eric Reynolds
Critically acclaimed for its compilation of dynamic young cartoonists, this volume of Mome showcases the vibrant newbies and a few of the more established artistes. Mome Vol. 10 features the 20 page conclusion to the Jim Woodring graphic novella, "The Lute String." This story, previously published only in Japan, features Woodring's signature characters — Frank, Pupshaw, and Pushpaw — in a universe-bending saga that finds the trio in a very unexpected world of flying, shrieking demons and bulbous-faced monsters. Also featuring the work of Tom Kaczynski (and an interview with him with Gary Groth), Robert Goodin, Dash Shaw, Ray Fenwick, John Hankiewicz, Sophie Crumb, Tim Hensley, and Jonathan Bennett, plus a surprise Mome debut from Jeremy Eaton. The reclusive Al Columbia emerges once again, this time providing the cover.
120-page 7" x 9" b&w/color softcover $14.95 Order Now!
Lust: Kinky Online Personal Ads from Seattle's The Stranger By Ellen Forney
Ellen Forney's follow-up to her wildly popular I Love Led Zeppelin is a collection of cartoons celebrating the sometimes stunningly crude, sometimes surprisingly sweet online world of personal classifieds. Forney has for several years been illustrating the Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger's "Lustlab" classified ads by interpreting the most interesting, outrageous, or idiosyncratic ad in that week's paper. To cap it off, the collection includes frank, revealing interviews with some of the advertisers conducted by Forney, plus an introduction by the notorious sex advice columnist and novelist (and Stranger editor), Dan Savage.
168-page 6" x 6.5" black & white hardcover $19.95 Order Now!
I like to play cards, so I was stoked to get this set from our pals at The Stranger. It instantly vaults past the nudie deck as my favorite. Each card features a classic cover from Strangers past, and they've had some great ones, including a bunch by Fantagraphics-published cartoonists like Jim Blanchard (who is featured on three cards, I think more than anyone), Ellen Forney, Jeremy Eaton, Charles Burns (colored by yours truly, coincidentally), and Tony Millionaire. I have no idea how to get this or if it's even for sale, so good luck. And neener-neener.
If you're in L.A. this Saturday, TRACK 16 GALLERY is hosting the opening reception of the L.A. WEEKLY BIENNIAL, featuring a four foot flying saucer painting by Esther Pearl Watson, along with a lot of other great stuff.
I was glad to hear about this show because it gives me an excuse to mention Esther on this blog. One of the books I'm most excited about for 2008 is a book collection of Esther's UNLOVABLE minicomics (also seen every month in BUST magazine). I was only peripherally aware of UNLOVABLE until last summer's San Diego Comic-Con, when Jordan Crane pretty much shoved all of Esther's minis at me and told me I had to read them. I was hooked immediately, as was just about everyone else I've forced them on since, and now we're doing the book collection at the end of 2008. UNLOVABLE is an adaptation of a diary of a teenage girl that Watson found some years ago (or so the story goes, anyway). The simple version is that it mines similar adolescent territory as some of, say, Lynda Barry or Lauren Weinstein's comics, but that kind of simplification is a disservice to all three of those exceptional artists, so excuse my laziness. But it is very funny and moving stuff, and it reads better than ever in book form. A lot of the material in the UNLOVABLE minis was presented out of chronological order, focusing on stand-alone scenes more than the longer narrative. The material in the book will be presented in the proper order, and the whole story just gets even better with the additional context.
Anyway, don't forget the art show this weekend if you're in the southland:
"SOME PAINTINGS" THE THIRD LA WEEKLY BIENNIAL curated by doug harvey January 12 - February 16, 2008 Opening reception Saturday, January 12, from 7-11 P.M.
In the last two or three weeks, I've acquired not one, not two, not three, but FOUR brand new Chris Ware books. WTF?!? First ACME 18, then the ACME 18.5 portfolio, then the second ACME Datebook. Then, yesterday I get the new issue of Virginia Review Quarterly, which features an all-new strip called "Jordan W. Lint," which continues the all-new Ware piece in the new Zadie Smith anthology that Jacob wrote about two posts back. How does he do it? Pact with the devil? Sweatshop? Computers? You know, when you have a child, your output is supposed to decrease, Chris. By my count, Ware is working on at least three graphic novels simultaneously these days: Rusty Brown, Building Stories, and Jordan W. Lint. And that doesn't even count all of the other shorter pieces he manages to put out. Anyway, right now is an embarrassment of riches for us Ware fans out there. Lap it up.
"REBEL VISIONS: The Underground Comix Revolution" Opens Saturday January 12 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle.
All comix fans will want to see "REBEL VISIONS: The Underground Comix Revolution" opening this Saturday, January 12 from 11:30 to 8:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. This colorful art show will complement R. Crumb's Underground exhibition opening January 26 at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.