Hans Rickheit, creator of the forthcoming graphic novel from Fantagraphics The Squirrel Machine (debuting this week at San Diego, otherwise due this fall), is blogging tidbits about the book on a weekly basis right here.
This coming week Kevin Huizenga will be delivering the hotly-anticipated Ganges #3, featuring insomnia and cops. Expect this one to be released just in time to premiere at SPX in late September, and then show up in stores in late October/early November. Here is a preview!
Next up, likely to be released toward the end of the year, is a double whammy of Niger #3 by Leila Marzocchi (check out the cover of this wild ecological fable), and the fourth and concluding installment of Ponchione's Grotesque (with another standalone story). Then Spring 2010 will, if everything goes well, see the release of the fourth issue of Igort's cartoonist-graphic-novel-a-clef Baobab; the fourth (and concluding) issue of Gabriella Giandelli's hard-to-pronounce magical apartment building story Interiorae; and the third issue of Zak Sally's otherworldly picaresque Sammy the Mouse.
Missing in action at this point, alas, are new issues of the Gipi series Wish You Were Here and Marti 's Calvario Hills, as both cartoonists are focusing on other work at this time, but we're keeping our fingers crossed there will be a new issue of David B.'s Babel sometime in 2010.
Of course, if you've missed picking up any of these issues in the past (including the already concluded three-issue series New Tales of Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, Reflections by Marco Corona, and Insomnia by Matt Broersma), remember, any comic you haven't read yet is a new comic...
Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray is the second omnibus hardcover collection of "Locas" stories by Jaime Hernandez, compiling roughly a decade's worth of masterful comics from the pages of Penny Century and Love and Rockets Vol. II under one set of covers. You can pre-order the book now for delivery later this month; it will also be debuting at Comic-Con in San Diego this week (with Jaime in attendance) and it should hit stores some time next month (dates subject to change).
Anyone know of anything happening this week? Oh, right. There is a "comic book" convention!
Yes, Fantagraphics will be returning to Comic-Con in San Diego (BOOTH #1716), as we do every year like the swallows in San Juan Capistrano. We will have a slew of new books, signings all weekend long, and a bunch of freebies for everyone who buys something from us.
First up, the signings. We are hosting signings all weekend long, and although these times are mostly finalized, we will likely have even more lined up between now and the start of the show, so check our schedule on the floor and don't be surprised when you see even more happening than what's listed here. Here's our authors with scheduled times, in alphabetical order:
Next up: NEW BOOKS! We have a slew of new books debuting at the show; you heard it here first. To wit:
LOVE & ROCKETS NEW STORIES #2 by Gilbert, Jaime & Mario Hernandez. It wouldn't be a Comic-Con without a new LOVE & ROCKETS from the brothers Hernandez, and this year is no exception, as we present the second issue of the new, annual L&R that debuted at last year's show.
LOCAS II by Jaime Hernandez. The second hardcover opus of Maggie, Hopey & Ray's adventures. Over 400 pages of Hernandez's sprawling saga under one cover for the first time. The book features material originally published in Love & Rockets Vol. II issues 1-20.
WEST COAST BLUES by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette. Our first Tardi book finally hits, and it's a sizzling crime thriller that's already earning raves from modern crime masters like Ed Brubaker and Howard Chaykin.
PRISON PIT by Johnny Ryan. You think you know Johnny Ryan? You don't know this Johnny Ryan. Ryan's first original graphic novel is a hyperviolent fantasy tour de force inspired by Kentaro Miura's BERSERK Manga, but filtered through Ryan's singularly twisted sense of humor.
SQUIRREL MACHINE by Hans Rickheit. An amazing, original graphic novel debut with a strong steampunk-ish bent. The gist? Two brothers in 19th Century New England invent a number of fantastic musical instruments from strange technologies... and scavenged animal carcasses. Driven to conceal their work for fear of recrimination, they make a startling discovery in... the Squirrel Machine.
GIRAFFES IN MY HAIR by Carol Swain and Bruce Paley. Acclaimed British cartoonist Carol Swain illustrates writer Bruce Paley's graphic novel memoir of the late-1960s, from dropping acid at Disneyland to crashing the 1968 Democratic Convention with armed Black Panthers, hanging out at Max's Kansas City, shooting heroin with Johnny Thunders and much more — a journey that mirrored the changing times as the optimism of the 1960s gave way to the nihilism of the punk years.
ROCK CANDY by Femke Hiemstra. A startlingly gorgeous art collection from a soon to be star on the pop surrealistic circuit, handsomely designed by Jacob Covey. Reminiscent of Mark Ryden, but wholly her own talent, just pick this one up and flip through it, but come prepared to be seduced.
THE RED MONKEY DOUBLE HAPPINESS BOOK by Joe Daly. The apotheosis of stoner comedy. Action, adventure, mystery, and copious bags of weed. I think this book is something of a masterpiece, which may say more about me than Joe Daly.
ALL AND SUNDRY by Paul Hornschemeier. This stunningly handsome collection corrals Paul's work from the last five years that has never been collected, or printed at all. Comics, illustrations, sketchbooks, and more, it's all presented with exquisite thought and detail in a way that adds up to the proverbial sum greater than its parts.
THIS SIDE OF JORDAN by Monte Schulz. Schulz (son of Charles M.) will be making his first-ever Comicon appearance to support the release of his new novel, a tapestry of American life in the summer before the economic crash of 1929, and a quintessential novel of the rural Midwest offered unexpectedly as a crime thriller. Come by and pick up the book and ask him questions about his life and family.
ABSTRACT COMICS edited by Andrei Molotiu. You've heard the buzz on this one already. A showcase spanning cartoonists new and old who have payed with the possibilities of comics featuring little to no representational imagery, and which tell no stories beyond those that result from the transformation and interactions of shapes across the page. Which doesn't do the handsomeness of this volume justice, lusciously packaged as it is by the aforementioned Mr. Covey. Featuring Crumb, Moscoso, Panter, Craghead, Kochalka, Overby and many more.
THE COMICS JOURNAL No. 299 edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean & Kristy Valenti. This issue of TCJ features one of the most amazing stories I've read about comics, and it's one that I'd inexplicably never heard before. Bob Levin presents the story of Someday Funnies, or, "How Michel Choquette (Almost) Assembled the Most Stupendous Comic Book in the World." 30 years ago, The Someday Funnies almost became a book that would have made Kramer's Ergot #7 look like a minicomic, with contributions from names including Kurtzman, Kirby, Fellini, Burroughs, Steadman, Wenner, Beck, Dali, Eisner, Wolfe, Zappa and literally hundreds more. I'm not even remotely exaggerating the awesomeness of this piece.
This list doesn't even include a slew of other super recent releases like PRINCE VALIANT Vol. 1, YOU SHALL DIE BY YOUR OWN EVIL CREATION, TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE Vol. 1, LOW MOON, LUBA, FROM WONDERLAND WITH LOVE, the new COMPLETE PEANUTS, the conclusion to Richard Sala's DELPHINE (#4), GROTESQUE #3, etc.
And last but not least: FREE STUFF!!!
Everyone who purchases something from Fantagraphics at the con is going to get a bag stuffed with freebies (while supplies last, anyway, but they should last most of the weekend). Every bag includes several free items, including:
• A back issue of THE COMICS JOURNAL
• An original back issue of the legendary LOVE & ROCKETS Vol. I
• One of our FREE COMIC BOOK DAY Samplers (Love & Rockets, I.G.N.A.T.Z., Funny Book, etc.)
• Our COMIC STRIP MASTERPIECES tabloid
• Plus postcards, stickers, and other surprises!
We look forward to seeing everyone next week, stop on by and say hi to the whole Fantagraphics crew (Gary, Kim, Eric, Mike, Zuniga, Jason, Janice, Kristy and Ajax the Conqueror).
Rest in peace to Walter Cronkite, who graciously embraced our Complete Peanuts series and provided the introduction to our second volume, and a man who could stand amongst Schulz as one of the great icons of 20th Century America.
We didn't forget the Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "The Lagoon is a horror story, if a low-key one; like much of the best horror it makes the connection between horror and the absurd... [Lilli] Carré's sinuous, snaking treatment of sound provides a through-line... but it still feels disconnected in ways that few writers today are gutsy enough to attempt. The overall effect is like Clive Barker fed through a twee filter. This'll stick to you." - Sean T. Collins
• Review: "Who knew that Prince Valiant, a comic strip I always assumed appeared next to the word 'boredom' in the dictionary, was so vibrant, colorful, action-packed and gosh-darned fun?... This new edition [Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938] ups the ante not just through the fancy hardcover, but via state of the art technology that allows for a pristine detail and rich color that’s about as close to Foster’s initial intentions as we may ever be likely to get... The strip is full of brio and vigor and hits the ground running right from the start... Foster’s fight scenes are sumptuous in detail but economical in execution, with Foster rarely showing a glinting sword unless it’s either about to or already has carved someone in half... In a world where too often most art turns out to be exactly as shallow as first glance suggests, it’s nice to discover that something like Prince Valiant is capable of surprising, and even enthralling, the modern reader." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Interview: The wheres and whens are a little confusing, but I guess Indy Mogul's The Reel Good Show did or is doing a live video interview with Dash Shaw today... if it gets archived we'll link it
• Events: As part of his current residency at Dartmouth College, Jules Feiffer gave a lecture Wednesday; The Dartmouth's Fan Zhang has the report (via The Daily Cartoonist). A highlight: "I was doing what so many comic book artists at the time were doing — I was stealing. You learn by stealing, you learn by swiping and, God willing, you emerge into your own style." Zhang also reports that Feiffer will participate in a panel discussion with fellow cartoonists Edward Koren, Edward Sorel and Jeff Danziger on politics in cartooning on August 12
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