"I consider [Carl Barks's comics] to be the best form of storytelling I’ve ever read. My father always made sure to leave the comics page open in the newspaper in the morning so we kids could read them. I think that without my father, I wouldn’t have ended up on the career path that I’m on." – Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Disney Dads
"It’s probably one of the least sentimental Christmas stories around (and thus a favorite of many fans). It features an early example of Scrooge’s lack of charity, counterbalanced by his steadfast work ethic…I can’t say enough about how much I love these new Fantagraphics collections of this 'should always be in print' Carl Barks material." – Comics Worth Reading
"...master cartooning from 'The Good Duck Artist' in a nicely produced bookshelf- or backpack-ready hardcover edition... the Barks books are great comics for kids and adult fans of the medium." – School Library Journal
"At 32 pages, ['A Christmas for Shacktown'] is a sprawling epic (by Barks' standards, anyway) that hits those beautiful holiday themes of altruism and the spirit of giving. Although to be fair, it does get a little closer to cannibalism than most other Christmas comics." – Comics Alliance
"For those who do want a surefire present for the comics buff in their lives." – The A.V. Club
"We’ll just grant [Carl Barks] permanent honorary status as the best of the best, like when John Larroquette removed himself from Emmy consideration after winning four straight for Night Court... [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown] once again proves Barks to be one of the finest draftsmen and storytellers we’ve ever had." – Paste
"One of comics' revered masters gets a fresh new reprinting worthy of his work and accessible to kids.... Despite the dark undertones, the comic expressions and dialogue is still laugh-out-loud funny. A wonderful project that should put Barks’s name in front of new generations of admirers." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Even the silliest premise, when executed by an artist in perfect control of his gifts, can land with deftness and grace — that's something that strikes you again and again as you read Barks' work. And it's a lesson that won't get lost on any kid with whom you might choose to share it, which is convenient, as this collection makes a perfect introduction to one of the greatest all-ages comics artists of all time." – NPR - Monkey See
"Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... What’s impressive about Fantagraphics’ [edition] is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material." – The A.V. Club
"Barks, the artist, is a master cartoonist, drawing lively, expressive characters with a graceful sense of movement. His beautiful, detailed backgrounds plant the ducks in a fully realized world that adds weight to his storytelling.... But besides the entertaining plots, Barks’ appeal is in his characters. He gives his ducks many human frailties and while they usually try to do the right thing, they make mistakes, get angry, frustrated, and even fail. Fantagraphics Books... does its usual high quality work here as well.... For both newcomers to Barks' work and diehard fans, this is a book that any comic book reader would love..." – The Christian Science Monitor
"...the best collection series that any comic company is doing today! ... Funny, smart and just plain fun... Fantagraphics treats each and every panel on the page with care and detail." – Comics Bulletin
Join Kipp Friedman in conversation with fellow writer Jay Ruttenberg at the 2A Bar! Starting at 8:00 PM, Kipp will share stories about growing up and getting into hi-jinx on both coasts with his brothers Drew and Josh Friedman.
2A Bar is located at 25 Avenue A in Manhattan, at the corner of 2nd Street and Avenue A. Admission is free, drinks are cheap -- you shouldn't miss it!
Out the same day as in print is Fran by Jim Woodring, now out for your digital reading pleasure on comiXology. What is to become of the beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank now that he has journeyed outside the Unifactor and met his soulmate, Fran? The answer is delivered here in devastatingly unpredictable fashion.
At 104 pages, this book is an absolute delight for $15.99 for Fans of Frank, connoisseurs of bizarre romance, and spelunkers in the radiant depths of graphic metaphysical psychodrama will want to add this singular cartoon adventure story to their lifetime reading list. Swipe yourself silly in Jim Woodring's crazy universe and fall into the Unifactor today.
"...a simultaneous prequel *and* sequel to Jim Woodring's excellent Congress of the Animals from 2011, a book which seemed to shatter the cyclical exploits of the artist's Frank universe so as to provide an ending of sorts, though surely you want to know more about that nice friend Frank shacked himself up with for the denouement" -Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
Scrooge McDuck is now such a fixture in the Disney universe that few remember Carl Barks had been writing and drawing Donald Duck stories for half a decade before he cooked up the miserly multiplujillionaire — for what he thought would be a one-time Christmas yarn involving Donald, the nephews, Scrooge in a bearskin, and (inevitably) a couple of real bears. "Christmas on Bear Mountain" is one of Barks's funniest holiday stories and a true landmark in comics history, and offers a fascinating look at a rough-edged, genuinely nasty character whom Barks would soon soften...
Scrooge aside, there’s plenty of other fun to be had in this volume. In "Volcano Valley" Donald and the Nephews end up stuck in Volcania, a south-of-the-border country inhabited by sombrero-wearing, siesta-addicted Volcanians. Other long-form adventures include the self-explanatory "Adventure Down Under," as well as one of Barks's most atmospheric thrillers, the West Indies-based "Ghost of the Grotto," which includes a lovely night-time sequence drawn in Barks's trademark silhouettes and a giant-octopus-vs.-hot-chili-peppers throwdown that climaxes in an explosive splash panel.
The book is rounded off with seven of Barks's hilarious 10-pagers, and as with the previous volumes, Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain has been scanned from crisp vintage art and meticulously colored to match the original printing's warm, simple hues, and features abundant critical and historical notes penned by some of duckdom's finest experts.
For readers who are looking for something really special and enormously fun to give to their loved ones in this holiday season, we present, in one package, two of the best Christmas comics stories you’ll ever read: "Christmas on Bear Mountain" featuring the introduction of Uncle Scrooge (the World’s Richest Duck), and "A Christmas for Shacktown," in which Scrooge loses his entire fortune even as Donald Duck and his nephews try to bring some Christmas cheer to the suffering children of Shacktown.
But that's only the beginning! In these twin volumes, you'll find page after page after page of intrepid quests, daring adventures, and breathtaking escapes. Readers of all ages will be spellbound by these timeless classics — with their engaging plots, clever humor, and heartwarming themes. In all, these two books provide nearly 400 pages of full-color comics!
A double dose of Disney's Donald Duck! A thoughtful, memorable, can’t-miss special Christmas item — at a very special price — handsomely presented in an inviting gift box set that will delight readers of any age.
...is just what you'll say when you check out this latest art exhibit at the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin!
The AAIEEE! exhibition transcends the comic book of times past and reiterates how potent imagery can be. It presents works by emerging and established comic book artists like our own Lilli Carré (whose work is shown above) and Gary Panter, alongside Chris Ware, Souther Salazar, Karl Wirsum and the Chicago collective, Trubble Club. AAIEEE! is part of The Open Eye, a collection of shows around Ray Yoshida's work, collections, and influence.
AAIEEE! runs through February 16, 2014. The Kohler Arts Center is located at 608 New York Avenue in Sheboygan, situated along Interstate 43 in east central Wisconsin.
“If you get a title that catches on, then add a few more, you’re in for a nice profit.”
“No other field of endeavor is so populated with the get-rich-quick boys.” — Literary Digest
“[Martin Goodman] used to split my salary up into six different checks.”
“The guys who published were monsters.”
— Vince Fago, Timely Comics editor-in-chief
“We want plenty of sex, horror, and gore.” — Gene Fornshell, a Goodman editor
“I felt that we were a company of copycats.” — Stan Lee
Fans and the public have historically labored under three false impressions about Marvel Comics. First, that there actually was a comic book company named “Marvel” for its first 30 or so years. Second, that Goodman founded the company to produce comic books. And third, that star artists Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby — who famously quit the company in late 1965 and 1970 respectively — did so solely as a result of their clashes with editor Stan Lee.
All of those popular beliefs are factually incorrect. Martin Goodman formed the company that would one day become Marvel Comics in 1933 — six years earlier than is commonly supposed. And he formed it, really, to sell magazines. Cheap magazines. Cheap magazines printed on cheap paper. And “it” wasn’t just one company. Oh, and Ditko’s and Kirby’s beefs were more with Goodman than with Lee (more on that later).
Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known franchises.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics digs back to the 1930s when Marvel Comics wasn’t just a comic-book producing company. Marvel Comics owner Martin Goodman had tentacles into a publishing world that might have made that era’s conservative American parents lynch him on his front porch. Marvel was but a small part of Goodman’s publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and sensationalistic story books (known as “pulps”) and magazines, featuring sexually-charged detective and romance short fiction, and celebrity gossip scandal sheets. And artists like Jack Kirby, who was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were simultaneously dipping their toes in both ponds.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of 1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman publications not quite fit for children. The book also features a comprehensive display of the artwork produced for Goodman’s other enterprises by Marvel Comics artists such as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo, plus the very best pulp artists in the field, including Norman Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, L.F. Bjorklund, and Marvel Comics #1 cover artist Frank R. Paul. Goodman’s magazines also featured cover stories on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Sophia Loren, as well as contributions from famous literary and social figures such as Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.
These rare pieces of comic art, pulp and magazine history will open the door to Marvel Comics’ unseen history.
With Halloween looming, allow me to suggest thirteen frightening favorites from Fantagraphics Books. Spooky fun for everyone, in no particular order.
Daniel Clowes' modern masterpiece Ghost World eerily conveys the otherworldly cool of 1990s counterculture. Peculia, by Clowes colleague Richard Sala, collects the misadventures of the precocious protagonist of his EvilEye comic book serial. Northwest native Charles Burns' essential Big Baby anthology of contemporary horror comix includes classics like "Blood Club," "Teen Plague," and "Curse of the Molemen."
Mysterious Traveler collects proto-psychedelic horror from Steve Ditko's Charlton era. Similarly, Weird Horrors displays the late, great JoeKubert's pre-Code classics edited by Kubert scholar BillSchelly. WallyWood weighs in with Came the Dawn, featuring timeless tales from the "Vault of Horror," as well as mid-century socio-political nightmares like "The Guilty."