• Review: "...[L]ike the rest of Fantagraphics’ spectacular catalogue of books, [Mome] takes some of the most exciting talent around in comics at the moment (both Paul Hornschemeier and Dash Shaw feature in this volume, for example), adds some raw talent that you might not have heard of, and collates it into a cutting-edge anthology. An excellent taster in bite-sized portions for those who want to experiment with a range of sophisticated comics artists without breaking the bank." – Grovel
• Review: "[The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book] has a nice laid-back vibe to it, as Dave and Paul wander into and out of adventures. It's kind of fun to just watch them drive around in Dave's sweet red convertible and look at the scenery. The art has a simple, clean look that retains enough detail to make the setting feel like a real place. And, as I said, it's pretty damn funny. I liked this book and recommend it." – Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld
• Things to see: The masthead for McSweeney's Quarterly #33's "San Francisco Panorama" Sunday-style newspaper sure looks like Clowes to me, and there for sure will be comics by Clowes, Ware and others inside (via The Beat)
Get your questions ready for Monte Schulz -- the This Side of Jordan author will be appearing on Bob Andelman's live "Mr. Media" internet radio call-in interview program this coming Monday, Sept. 22, at 2 PM (though I'm not sure what time zone that is). Tune in here; once the broadcast is archived we'll post the streaming audio player.
Here's a public service announcement on behalf of an enduring member of the comics biz. Bob Beerbohm's been selling old comics since 1966 when he was still a teenager and, in 1973, opened the first Comics & Comix store (with partner Bud Plant) in San Francisco. Comics & Comix became a chain in the bay area, one of the earliest comic book stores in the then-inchoate direct sales market. Since then, Bob's continued to sell vintage comics from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, Big Litle Books, and original art, has become something of an amateur comics historian whose scholarly essays appear in every Overstreet Price Guide — there's a lot of fascinating, arcane comics history rattling around in his brain that he keeps threatening to put into a book. This won't happen unless he can solve his medical problems.
Bob could be a poster child for our pathologically dysfunctional and systemically cruel and capricious health care system. He was in a serious car accident while leaving the 1973 Houston Comicon and, as a result, he's worn all the cartilage from his hip joints, which means that when he walks, his hips are grinding bone on bone. Naturally, his health insurance company dropped him as soon as he complained about this because, they said, it constituted a "previously undisclosed condition," and they wouldn't cover the operation he now desperately needs. So, the bottom line is that he's in continuous pain, can barely get around on crutches, can no longer do all the physical labor that his business requires (like lifting and carrying boxes of comics), is broke, and needs you to buy some comics from him so he can afford the $18,000 it'll cost him in cold hard cash for this operation. If we lived in a better world, America's generous socialistic health care would give him the operation he needs, or, at the very least, some rich patron would come forward and write him a check. We do not live in that world, and he needs all the help he can get.
You can visit his ebay store at http://stores.ebay.com/BLB-COMICS, or his website at www.BLBcomics.com. You can even call him: (402) 727-4071. In fact, Bob's a chatterbox. Call him up and offer to pay him to talk comics history by the minute — you could spend your money more frivolously.
• Review: "I've been enjoying cartoonist Peter Bagge's contributions to Reason Magazine for years now... But now Fantagraphics has collected them into a great-looking trade paperback [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me]!... I think Bagge has been doing really interesting work, mixing field journalism with humor and opinion in an entirely novel way. As an essayist Bagge is never preachy, and he often points out the shortcomings of his fellow libertarians (his account of meeting Ron Paul is particularly funny). He explores more than he rants, and when he does let loose, he's got a healthy sense of self-satire. These comics will piss you off, and that's good." – Jesse Brown, Boing Boing
• Review: "Drawn with sweeping black brush strokes, [Night Fisher] is done completely in absence of color. This, however, helps to magnify the tone of the story and brings a subtle heaviness to the work. The artwork itself is excellent.... [R. Kikuo] Johnson does a great job conveying character’s moods and emotions through angles, posture, and facial expressions. ...[I]f you enjoy these realistic and unapologetic looks at adolescence I recommend giving Night Fisher a read." – A. Alba, Hawaii Book Blog
• Review: "Abstract Comics, perhaps more so than any other recent comic release, highlights the way in which the comics world is markedly changing. Comics are indeed reaching across more disparate audiences and being found in a much wider selection of venues. But what might be the implications of this?... If nothing else, it seems that Abstract Comics makes explicit that the line between comics and high art is beginning to disappear.... Abstract Comics is a necessary addition to the comics canon in that it forces us to continue to think what exactly constitutes the comics form." – Sara Cole, PopMatters
On his blog, Paul Hornschemeier presents some teasers from his Mome swan song, the final chapter of his "Life with Mr. Dangerous" serial, which will appear in the forthcoming 17th volume of the anthology. And look, there's the cover, also by Paul!
With all of our event announcements today this Online Commentary & Diversions update is blissfully short:
• Review: "Jason’s books are entirely plot-driven, yet delivered with a dry, morose humor that gives the narrative an offbeat tone. Coupled with his ear for snappy dialogue, Jason’s plots become surprising romps that mash up divergent adventure clichés.... All told, Jason’s books, including The Last Musketeer, are pure escapist fun romps.... I’ll be looking for more of Jason’s comics, and hopefully more readers will also check his stuff out." - Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "...I was expecting something offbeat and madcap (and certainly wasn't disappointed in that regard), but I was also surprised by just how emotional Jason was able to make a story about an Anthro-dog murder society and time travelling hitmen. Yeah, the entire thing is patently absurd on every level - self-consciously and humorously so - but it's also a story about the impermanence of rage and the importance of forgiveness, alongside what a goddamn twat Adolf Hitler can be when all you want to do is shoot the bastard.... [I Killed Adolf Hitler] is a quick read and very rewarding, and something I imagine I'll come back to from time to time for a while. Smart, funny and surprisingly poignant, this was VERY GOOD." - David Uzumeri, The Savage Critics
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