"Gilbert Hernandez created some of the most memorable characters in popular fiction." – Los Angeles Magazine
"There's no denying that Beto's comics reflect one of the highest peaks the comics medium has yet achieved." – The A.V. Club
"To lovers of alternative comics, Hernandez is something of a saint…" – The Telegraph
"In a real world, not the screwed-up world we have now, [Gilbert Hernandez] would be considered one of the greatest American storytellers. It's so hard to do funny, tragic, local and epic, and he does all simultaneously, and with great aplomb." – Junot Diaz
The seventh annual volume of Love and Rockets: New Stories, the most important and enduring alternative comics series in the history of the medium, finds Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez writing and drawing at the top of their game. In Jaime's stories, Maggie and Hopey take a road trip and much-needed break from their humdrum domestic lives and travel to visit a "sick friend." And, when the cat's away, Ray visits some old sick friends of his own. Plus Tonta's nutty family! Gilbert offers a veritable suite of stories, including "The Magic Voyage of Aladdin," a sweeping epic of derring-do in which Morgan Le Fey (Fritz) teams up with Aladdin to stop the evil Circle from obtaining the magic lamp; "The Golem Suit," a WWII sci-fi thriller starring "Killer"; and "Daughters and Mothers and Daughters," in which flashbacks to Luba's mother Maria reveal how ugly secrets of the past affect their family today.
Inner City Romance collects every issue of the underground comix series drawn by artist Guy Colwell in the '70s, and in previewing this book, we found some of the parallels with our country's current socio-political climate to be a little too close for comfort.
The 18-page, 4.6 MB downloadable excerpt we've got for you today features the full introduction by comics historian and journalist, Patrick Rosenkranz, followed by the first five pages of Inner City Romance #1.
"…Wilfred Santiago captures the physical grace of baseball and creates a story of visceral and emotional force… Santiago… has produced a rich and surprising work. The compositions and framing are intricate and varied… Santiago captures Clemente’s relentless vitality as a player, frames the story around the historical and religious traditions of Puerto Rico, and handles Clemente’s tragic death with restraint, all with a gimlet eye and the sensitivity of a true artist. It is a classic story given new life in this fresh, innovative telling." – Alex Belth, Sports Illustrated
"…21's eloquence is visual, and it is a very real eloquence. The character of Roberto Clemente is nearly hugged to death in this particular portrayal: he’s virtuous and charming and earnest and respectful to elders… But the world around him is alive, and Santiago's expressive (and occasionally, bracingly expressionistic) approach to portraying Clemente’s wild athletic genius ensures that it remains thrillingly present… [A] fitting and vital tribute." – David Roth, Los Angeles Review of Books
The next Complete Peanuts volume has an introduction unlike any one you have ever seen before. We've had comedians before from Whoopi Goldberg to Patton Oswalt talk about their connection to Schulz, Snoopy and the Gang but never before have we had someone riff on top of a Peanuts comic strip!
The comedians behind Rifftrax, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy are also known for their work in Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mike was a writer and then host of the show, while Corbett and Murphy wrote and provided the amazing voices for the 'bots, Crow and Tom Servo respectively. They riff on four Peanuts strips in the upcoming The Complete Peanuts Vol. 23 (1995-1996).
Guy Colwell, an American painter and underground cartoonist, has drawn comix reflecting on economic inequality, injustice, racism, and the prison system since 1972. Titled Inner City Romance, these comics were catalyzed by his experience in jail for draft refusal, and every issue is included in this new book collecting Colwell's work. Sadly, the issues that fueled Colwell's work and activism are as relevant now as they were four decades ago.
"…the talented Knisley offers a pointed juxtaposition to her earlier travelogue set in Europe. When her grandparents Phyllis and Allen decided to take a cruise ship to the Caribbean, the author (recovering from a recent breakup) accompanied them on the 10-day journey… A moving but also very funny meditation on time, age and grace." – Kirkus Reviews
The next gorgeous, oversized Prince Valiant volume has arrived at our office, popping with lush color and medieval goodness. Just check out the red on that upper right panel!
Classic and timeless, Hal Foster's epic, decades-spanning comic strip is given the care and treatment it deserves in these deluxe hardcovers. Volume 10 covers the years 1955 and 1956, and is due to be released in late January. Of course, you can pre-order this baby now, then sit back and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
"Olivier Schrauwen's Arsène Schrauwen is one of the most complex, and simply best, comics released this year. " – Hillary Brown, Paste Magazine
"In this crackpot graphic novel from the historically minded and utterly original Schrauwen, the Belgian cartoonist imagines a fanciful history that slips the bonds of reality almost immediately." – Publisher's Weekly
"Cockeyed, adventurous, and truly bizarre, the first full graphic novel from the Belgian cartoonist sets out to dramatize the heartsick youthful folly of the artist’s dim but determined grandfather." – Sean Rogers, The Globe and Mail
"BUMF is a delirious exercise in mashup, working in references to 9/11, the Kaiser, 'Bunga Bunga,' drone strikes, Nixon's enemies list, the street execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém in Vietnam, Abu Ghraib, black sites, the Checkers speech, 'Mission Accomplished,' the NSA, and whatever other outrage happened to cross Sacco’s field of vision." – Martin Schneider, Dangerous Minds
"Its imagery is what you might have imagined listening to a Firesign album through headphones in a darkened room…It's an odyssey through an inner space where you can open a door and find yourself at the Battle of Verdun." – R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
"The content of the stories in "Massive" is completely unlike the feathery romanticism of yaoi manga and anime. Rough, even sadistic sex takes the place of wistful longing." – Charles Solomon, IndieWire
"Originally a webcomic, this new graphic novel from Fantagraphics follows two identical women, Cochlea and Eustachia…who wear domino masks and only the top half of their lingerie while wandering curiously, but without any real intentions, through a dream-like environment that mixes French nouveau, steampunk, Joel-Peter Witkin, Sigmund Freud, MC Escher, and lots of weird creatures." – Rich Barrett, Mental Floss
Portland - If you haven't pulled out your best patched jacket and bindle stick out, now is the time to do it, Portland. Cartoonist and rambler Tim Lane is heading cross-country for an art show featuring his dense original art and will also be signing copies of his newest collection of comics, The Lonesome Go. Get in the mood for the event with one of the songs he recorded from his comic. 6-10pm at Floating World is the place to me. (More details)
Friday, December 5th
Los Angeles - Have you ever wanted to see EVERY STINCKER EVER? The time is nigh, friends, On December 5, from 7:30-10pm The Stinckers makers are having a release party (or a sticking party?) at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles (7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046). It will, of course, include some of your favorite Fantagraphics creators like Steven "Ribs" Weissman, Johnny Ryan, Esther Pearl Watson, Jordan Crane---the list is so long you'll just have to hit it up. Excuse me, stick it up! (More details)
Saturday, December 5th
Brooklyn - Bergen Street Comics proudly hosts Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger for the The Late Child and Other Animals signing. Their comic collaboration collects the journeys and struggles over decades of this mother and daughter that are linked in five episodes that veer between lyricism, wry wit, and harrowing suspense hitting notes of European feminism. This New York couple is not to be missed nor is a party at Bergen Street, it's worth the subway ride and putting on your best winter jacket. The signing and fun begins at 8pm right at 470 Bergen Street. (More Details)
Seattle - At the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery we've got a two-fer event on Saturday night. Local self-publishing and indie comic show founder, Eroyn Franklin will present a preview of her new feature length graphic novel Dirtbag, supported in part by a grant from Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture. Inspired by 1950s pulp magazines, film noir, and EC crime and suspense comic books, Tim Lane will sign copies of his fascinating new graphic novel, The Lonesome Go. There will even be a little music! Come on down to 1201 S. Vale Street at 7pm for a swell time (More Details)
Los Angeles - That darn Stinckers group is having an art show at Comic Arts L.A. at the Think Tank Gallery. The time? TBA but mostly likely party o'clock! (939 Maple Ave, Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The list of past Stinckers includes Jeremy Eaton, Esther Pearl Watson, Mark Todd, Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Ben Marra, and many more!
Monday, December 8th
New York City - NYC, bring out your read! The well-read and illustrious will all meet up starting at 7pm on Monday at St. Mark's Bookshop. Van Cook and Romberger ready and rarin' to sign The Late Child and Other Animals plus their previous graphic novel, 7 Miles a Second. St. Mark's Bookshop is the place to be at 136 East 3rd Street, NY, NY 10019.