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Daily links: 4/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SupermenSteven WeissmanreviewsPeter BaggeMonte SchulzMiss Lasko-GrossMichael Kuppermanmary fleenerKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanJasonEsther Pearl WatsonDave CooperDash ShawBlazing CombatBill MauldinBasil WolvertonAbstract Comics 20 Apr 2009 3:48 PM

• Review: "...[T]he primitive funnybooks rescued from obscurity by Greg Sadowski in Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 contain within their awesomely naïve and rudimentarily brilliant pages all the seeds of the postmodern graphic novel... Compounded equally from pulp fiction, movies, newspaper strips, and sheer desperate commercial-deadline-brainstorm lunacy, these early superhero tales created their own fresh synthetic mythology and compositional tools on the fly." - Paul DiFilippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button] reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity..." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio)

• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is fascinating read; it's a fascinating document by one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century." - Benn Ray (Atomic Books) on WYPR (Baltimore public radio - streaming audio - same link as above)

• Review: "Fantagraphics’ collection of the four issues of Blazing Combat blew me away from the start. The size and heft of the hardback reminded me of my textbooks from my school days. And once I cracked open the book, I found myself getting a hell of an education with this one."- Tim O'Shea, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?"

• Review: "If nothing else, Supermen! puts Fletcher Hanks’ career in perspective... These are comics designed to make you tear your hair out waiting for the next issue, just to see if these guys could top themselves.  Great fun all around." - Tom Bondurant, Robot 6, "What Are You Reading?" (same link as above)

• Review: "Jason is an expert at expressing a complex idea with simple visuals and dialogue. Most of his works contain little to no dialogue, actually -- entire stories can be read in facial expressions, twitches, color changes and movements. The entirety of Tell Me Something contains 7 lines of dialogue. It tells the story of 2 lovers and the trials they go through to be together, using dual layered story arcs differentiated simply by the panel borders to convey depth and reshape the story into an intriguing form." - The Inside Flap [Ed. note: Tell Me Something is out of print, but will be collected along with other Jason stories in a forthcoming hardcover]

• Preview: Doug Pratt and Monte Schulz have an exchange in the comments of Pratt's blog about Schulz's forthcoming novel This Side of Jordan (previewed here)

• Preview: The Kenyon Review makes note of our forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology

• Previews: Matthew Brady offers succinct commentary on two of our upcoming titles: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman ("This comic is funny") and A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("The art looks great")

• List: For Robot 6, Chris Mautner names "Six ‘retired' artists we'd like to see return to comics," including Brian Biggs ("...Frederick and Eloise [brings] a whimsical, storybook approach that never seem[s] overly twee or sweet. Indeed, [it is] often grounded by some dark undercurrents, not to mention backed by some serious artistic chops"), Dave Cooper ("Surreal, mind-warping books like Suckle, Ripple and his ongoing series Weasel, which chronicled a number of sweaty, paunchy, disturbingly neurotic and oversexed characters, had Cooper earning acclaim equal to the likes of Clowes and Ware"), and Mary Fleener ("...[S]he remains one of the most original voices in comics, with an art style that’s completely her own (no one draws a sex scene like her)." [Note to Mautner: Mary Fleener had a new comics story titled "Niacin" in Hotwire Comics Vol. 2, which we put out last year])

• Interview: At Robot 6, Tim O'Shea talks to Esther Pearl Watson about Unlovable Vol. 1. Choice quote: "I was a lot like Tammy and still am. It’s everything I fear."

• Profile: Seattle neighborhood newspaper The Ballard News-Tribune spotlights "alternative comics legend" and Ballard resident Peter Bagge

• Profile/Things to see: Goofbutton presents scans of the Bill Mauldin section in the 1977 World Book Year Book (via Spurge)

• Things to see: Buster Keaton as drawn by Kevin Huizenga for Cinefamily

• Things to see: New Vice comics from Johnny Ryan; believe it or not, one of 'em's just plain cute

• Things to see: Chubby vs. Pullapart battle royale from Ribs

Maggie&Hopey&Wendy&Lisa
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jaime Hernandez 20 Apr 2009 3:28 PM

I missed Record Store Day due to Stumptown, but if I hadn't, I sure would've been happy to stumble across one of these Jaime Hernandez-illustrated items:

Wendy & Lisa illo by Jaime Hernandez

Found via Scratchy Buckles.

The Never-Ending Election
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Drew Friedman 20 Apr 2009 10:55 AM

Drew Friedman illo

Drew Friedman looks in his crystal ball to Minnesota circa 2039 for The New Republic. Click through for full liver-spotted glory (and Drew's commentary).

Fall 09 - Winter 10 Preview Part 6
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsJohn PhamHo Che AndersonDash Shaw 20 Apr 2009 7:48 AM

catalog page thumbnailcatalog page thumbnailcatalog page thumbnailcatalog page thumbnailcatalog page thumbnailcatalog page thumbnail

All last week and this week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D., a collection of short stories by Dash Shaw; the second volume of John Pham's Sublife; and the expanded deluxe reissue King: The Special Edition by Ho Che Anderson. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!

Stumptown 09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under T Edward BakMomeLilli Carréevents 20 Apr 2009 12:34 AM

Fantagraphics at the 2009 Stumptown Comics Fest, Portland OR

Erstwhile Fantagraphics staffer Jen Ralston returned to the fold for the weekend, with a slice of real estate for her adorable stuffed felt creatures.

Fantagraphics at the 2009 Stumptown Comics Fest, Portland OR

Zuniga took a page from the Ajax Wood book of shades-wearing con badassery.

Fantagraphics at the 2009 Stumptown Comics Fest, Portland OR

Fantagraphics at the 2009 Stumptown Comics Fest, Portland OR

More pretty, pretty books & comics. Sadly I failed to get a photo of Dame Darcy when she was at our table, especially since she was resplendent and colorful in a fancy turquoise dress.

So, this year's Stumptown Comics Fest was a-hoppin' on Saturday when I was there. Stumptown has cemented a place in my heart as my favorite comics show. Personal highlights this year:

1: Meeting and talking to T. Edward Bak, who showed me his gorgeous original pages for the story which begins serialization in the next issue of Mome. He's doing the pages in a sketchbook and they'll actually be printed larger than actual size. He also told me about the grant he received [correction!] has applied for (hope I didn't just jinx it!) to adapt the story into an online educational resource and introduced me to his intern (!) -- go man go!

2. Finding a lot of really talented young cartoonists I hadn't heard of before, meeting some whom I'd heard of but hadn't seen much of their work, buying stuff from them. I do most of my comics shopping at cons, so I went a little splurge-happy. I found some pretty exciting and interesting stuff and can't wait to start digging into my haul.

3. More shopping at such fine concerns as Little Otsu (new Lilli Carré book!) and the ever-reliable Sparkplug (several excellent-looking comics and, finally, the Renee French t-shirt I've been wanting for years but they never had in my size until now).

4. It's always nice to see those familiar con faces and say howdy. Comics people are good people.

5. 14 awesome new Yodas in the Yoda sketchbook (not scanned yet). I saw Douglas Wolk's sketchbook making the rounds too, and I can't wait for him to post his scans.

I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting. Many thanks to the Stumptown organizers and volunteers for putting on a swell show. I'm already looking forward to next year.

I Am Looking Forward To This
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Pat Moriarity 19 Apr 2009 7:14 PM

It's a good issue, but come on
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalRobert Crumb 17 Apr 2009 4:16 PM

Spotted by Kim Thompson, here's an item currently being offered on Amazon for $2,608.78 in worn, "acceptable" condition. What kind of rarity could demand such a price? A rare Golden Age comic? Squint below, or just click for a full-size version. Vendor names have been obscured to protect the guilty.

Amazon screengrab

While I'm at it, here's something else amusing I spotted last week:

Comics for Sale

Cops confiscate contraband Crumb comics! Are they just now auctioning off the assets of a head shop they busted 40 years ago? (Note: I was too wary of scams & spam to actually click the link; go to that URL at your own risk. If you do investigate, though, please leave a comment letting us know if you find out what the story is.)

Goodin covers Barks
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert GoodinMome 17 Apr 2009 2:24 PM

Carl Barks covered by Rob Goodin

Normally I just link these in the "daily links" post, but this entry from Robert Goodin on the Covered blog, "covering" Carl Barks, is my favorite so far. Did Rob start that blog just so that he could eventually post this and pwn all the other contributors? (Did I really just say "pwn" on Flog?) Only kidding, but I do love it so. Rob also has a delightful short story in the upcoming Vol. 15 of Mome to look forward to.

Daily links: 4/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewshooray for HollywoodDaniel Clowes 17 Apr 2009 2:04 PM

All-Clowes edition!

• Review: "I found the main characters relatable enough that when more or less out of nowhere... the sci fi/psuedo-super hero elements kick in, it's a shock to the system that threw me but that I also cared about. In not that many pages, Clowes had got me invested in these kids, so no matter how bizarro the next act was, I was in for a pound... There really is some smart stuff said in the course of this narrative about human nature, growing up and power..." - Ben Morse, The Cool Kids Table, on Eightball #23 by Daniel Clowes (via Sean T. Collins)

• Hooray for Hollywood: In an interview with Comingsoon.net, Michel Gondry says the Daniel Clowes-scripted animated movie Gondry's co-directing with his son is still moving forward (via The Beat)

Webcomics update for 4/17/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsSteven WeissmanmetaMartin KellermanJohnny Ryan 17 Apr 2009 11:24 AM

Presented this week for your enjoyment:

Blecky Yuckerella by Johnny Ryan

Blecky has a recipe for awesomeness in this week's Blecky Yuckerella strip by Johnny Ryan...

Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman

That unknown menace is still menacing in this week's installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 50-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures....

Rocky by Martin Kellerman

And more mismanaged girlfriends, hangovers and snark in our current 5-day chunk of Martin Kellerman's hilarious Swedish smash-hit Rocky, updated Monday-Friday!