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Fantasy Eisnerball
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under misc 9 Apr 2009 1:08 PM

Every year during the baseball season, when the All-Star teams are announced, some beat writer will put together a team of non All-Stars that could potentially rival the quality of the actual All-Stars. To that end, here's my non-Eisner Nominee Fanta Heavy Hitter starting line-up for 2009, with their non-nominated 2008 books in paretheses:

Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets: New Stories #1)

Jaime Hernandez (Love & Rockets: New Stories #1)

Steve Ditko (or Blake Bell, for Strange & Stranger)

Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle #4)

Bob Levin (Most Outrageous)

E.C. Segar (Popeye V. 3)

Tim Lane (Abandoned Cars)

Daniel Clowes (Ghost World: Special Edition)

Charles M. Schulz (Complete Peanuts)

Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comics #14)

Okay, so there's ten of 'em, but somebody's gotta pitch. I gotta stop there or I'll selfishly fill up the bench and bullpen with MOMEsters and Ignatz folk.

Now in stock: Blazing Combat
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesBlazing Combat 9 Apr 2009 12:02 PM

Blazing Combat by Archie Goodwin

Blazing Combat
By Archie Goodwin & Various Artists

Written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by such luminaries as Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan, Blazing Combat was originally published by independent comics publisher James Warren in 1965 and ’66. Following in the tradition of Harvey Kurtzman’s Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, Goodwin’s stories reflected the human realities and personal costs of war rather than exploiting the clichés of the traditional men’s adventure genre. They were among the best comics stories about war ever published.

Blazing Combat ended after its fourth issue when military post exchanges refused to sell the title due to their perception that it was an anti-war comic. Their hostility was fueled by the depiction of the then-current Vietnam War, especially a story entitled “Landscape,” which follows the thoughts of a simple Vietnamese peasant rice-farmer who pays the ultimate price simply for living where he does — and which was considered anti-war agitprop by the more hawkish members of the business community.

Writer Archie Goodwin and the original publisher James Warren discuss the death of Blazing Combat and market censorship as well as the creative gestation of the series in exclusive interviews.

208-page black & white (with some color) 8" x 10" hardcover • $28.99
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Now in stock: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesMichael Kupperman 9 Apr 2009 12:02 PM

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 by Michael Kupperman

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5
By Michael Kupperman

Thrizzle #5 is the Old People's issue, dedicated to the Greatiest Generations! Aliens give an innocent man sexy woman's legs, and Twain and Einstein have many, many adventures, including a journey through multiple dreamscapes, a superhero/private eye caper, and a meeting with an enraged badger. Plus noir arts & crafts, hobo fashions, the birth of the Monkees and other old-timey favorites.

32-page duotone 6.75" x 9.5" comic book • $4.50
Add to CartMore Info & Previews

Daily links: 4/8/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsJules FeifferJasonHumbugDash ShawBasil Wolverton 8 Apr 2009 1:45 PM

• Plug: In an interview with Newsarama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz says "I adore that Richard Sala miniseries Delphine that he's putting out through Fantagraphics" (new issue out this summer!)

• List/reviews: The Metabunker names and reviews their selections for the best comics of 2008, including Explainers by Jules Feiffer ("After half a century, Jules Feiffer’s classic Village Voice strips read at once as a succinct period portrait and an eloquent portrayal of everyday human affairs at any time... His nervous line captures well both the specific anxieties of the time, and the more general ones of simply being alive, with empathy and humour, while his unadorned, precise language captures with precision the way we continue to verbalise these problems to each other and ourselves, most of the time without making much sense. Revelatory and funny human white noise.") and Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw ("...such a rare example of a young artist pulling out all the stops — as a young artist should — creating a vibrant cacophony of formal experiments and engrossing storytelling.")

• Review: Polish site Motyw Drogi looks at The Left Bank Gang by Jason — here's the rough Google translation, for what it's worth

• Preview: At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow links to the ICv2 preview of The Wolverton Bible and says the artwork looks "appropriately groovy and sinister"

• Things to see: Along with our PR for the Humbug event at the Strand in NYC next week, Stephen Kroninger posts scans from his own personal Humbug collection which are well worth a look

Nico Vassilakis in NYC; new book
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staff 8 Apr 2009 11:09 AM

Fantagraphics warehouse manager and poet-in-residence Nico Vassilakis passes along the following info and links -- if you're in NYC, go on out and meet the man:

reading st marks - april 24th 10pm

my visual poetry show in chelsea - april 16th - may 9th

Nico Vassilakis

and a new book of poems coming out - Disparate Magnets

Nico Vassilakis - Disparate Magnets

Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack springs into action this Saturday, April 11!
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Fantagraphics Bookstoreevents 8 Apr 2009 10:52 AM

Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack, April 11, 2009

Seattle's most festive monthly cultural encounter continues on April 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack features unexpected visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. The public is invited to explore this charming, creative cultural enclave, which has been repeatedly selected by area publications as the city's most vibrant community.

Among the highlights of the April 11 Art Attack: Full Throttle Bottles hosts an exhibition of "Satan's Birdcages" by Richard Lemmert; Simultaneous painting exhibitions by Cheri O'Brien at Georgetown Tile Works and the adjacent, recently-relocated Dog Dream boutique; Photographer Bill Hughlett at the Equinox studios; Handcrafted glass bead jewelry by Elaine Alhadeff at the Brewery studio complex; An exhibition of original comics art by heralded cartoonists Jaime Hernandez and Stan Sakai at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; fine dining, exotic shopping, and endless entertainment at Georgetown's wonderful cafes, shops and nightclubs.

Also on April 11, the Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack welcomes the annual Honk Fest West featuring a lively array of unorthodox marching bands from 5 states and Canada. Over 20 bands will perform at Calamity Jane's, Smarty Pants, The Stables, Squid & Ink, in the streets and elsewhere. Don't miss this delightfully raucous event.

The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants' Association. For more information contact GMA chair Kathy Nyland or Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid. Or visit: www.georgetownartattck.com.

Comics All Destroyed
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under misc 8 Apr 2009 9:37 AM

I stumbled across a copy of Jeff Levine's old Destroy All Comics zine from 1996 and was re-reading a classic interview with Drawn & Quarterly Publisher Chris Oliveros, which contained the following exchange that was interesting to me insofar as it underscored just how much has changed in the world of comics in a little over a decade: 

Q: Do you think it's possible that there could be more work in the future where the artist could sit and draw for two years, and release the entire story, or do you think just the way the industry is set up, and with history on the side of the periodical nature of comics...

Oliveros: I think the periodical approach is a good thing. In order for comics to be released in book form, where an author would take two or three or five years to complete this novel, the medium would have to attain this sort of popularity you have in general fiction, where you have fifty or a hundred thousand readers, and your best-sellers have five hundred thousand readers, where because you have this guaranteed income, you can get this advance from a publisher of, I don't know fifty or one hundred thousand dollars, and then you can afford to work on just your own project for a couple years. That obviously will never come to be in comics, so I think, for better or worse we're left with this set-up we have here, where the work is gradually being serialized, which in turn allows the author to collect a royalty on those issues. Without that, comics just wouldn't exist. Whether you like it or not, it allows these works to exist, and it allows the author to make some kind of living while the story is being produced. 

Mind you, I would have agreed entirely with Oliveros at the time. And in a lot of ways, I think it still underscores a fundamental challenge facing publishers vis a vis the increasing inevitability of graphic novels supplanting periodicals as the chosen format.  

The Greatest Introduction...
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under misc 8 Apr 2009 8:41 AM

... I've ever read to a Fantagraphics submission:

My name is [*], and I'm a long haul truck driver. I gave college a try several years ago, and when I started, I bought me a laptop computer. 

The whole letter is almost as good, and I can't help but read it in Sam Elliott's voice.  

  

* Name omitted to protect the innocent 

Nate Neal Mome 17 cover sketch
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsNate NealMome 7 Apr 2009 4:47 PM

Nate Neal sketch for Mome Vol. 17 cover

This preliminary sketch for the cover of Mome Vol. 17 can be found on Flickr. Sez Nate: "Even though the image says vol. 16, Fantagraphics says that it must be used (if it is) for vol. 17...the story in that volume will connect to the cover image."

2009 Eisner Nominees - On Sale!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeThe Comics Journalsales specialsKevin HuizengaJules Feifferjohn kerschbaumJasonBill Mauldinawards 7 Apr 2009 3:17 PM

2009 Eisner Award Nominees from Fantagraphics Books

The nominees for the 2009 Eisner Awards have been announced and we are pleased to report that our publications have received 7 nominations in various categories. To celebrate, for a limited time we're offering 15% off nominated titles -- click here to browse and buy! And the nominees are:

Best Short Story
• "Glenn Ganges in 'Pulverize,'" by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2

Best Humor Publication
Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Explainers by Jules Feiffer
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Last Musketeer by Jason

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti

Best Publication Design
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years, designed by Jacob Covey