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Critics' Picks Sale ends soon!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specials 25 Jan 2009 7:30 AM
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Jan. 26) is the last day of our 2008 Critics' Picks sale, wherein all of our 2008 titles that have been selected as the best of the year by the pundits and pros are marked down 20%! Click here for the full selection and don't delay in placing your order -- the clock's a-tickin'!
Comics of Note 2008
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffRobert GoodinRenee FrenchLilli CarréLaura ParkKevin Huizenga 23 Jan 2009 11:49 PM

Here are some thoughts on last year's comics that I would like to share with you. I don't dare call this a "Best Of" list -- these are merely some comics that I read and that stand out to me, excluding Fantagraphics releases because it's my job to love them all equally, though you'll find some stuff from Fanta folks in here. Listed more or less alphabetically:

Against Pain by Ron Rege Jr. (D&Q) - A nice hefty slab of Ron's unique vision. I'm always compelled by Ron's stuff and it's great to have this much of it in one place.

Capacity by Theo Ellsworth (Secret Acres) - A warm, cleverly constructed, visually stunning tour through the artist's amazingly fertile creative imagination. Ellsworth synthesizes his mind-bogglingly detailed fantastical world-building with autobiography in a really natural and satisfying way without seeming like a crazy person, which is quite a feat.

Dead Ringer by Jason T. Miles (La Mano) - A big, haunting slab of swampy beauty, mortality, cartoon gore, poetry and lovely chipboard. Morbid, funny, sublime, and lowbrow all at once. I get to sit next to this guy at work.

Fight or Run: Shadow of the Chopper by Kevin Huizenga (Buenaventura) - Huizenga makes an experimental comic and the result is pure, distilled, uncut, unadulterated Comics Fun. Nifty!

The Man Who Loved Breasts by Robert Goodin (Top Shelf) - Like a master class in expressive cartooning. Just look at George Olavatia's face from panel to panel, for Pete's sake.

Trubble Club (online and self-published mini) - Cute, weird, gross, sad, funny jam comics from over a dozen participants (including Laura Park and Lilli Carré). Almost every panel goes in a delightfully unexpected direction.

Welcome to the Dahl House by Ken Dahl (Microcosm) - His story in Papercutter hooked me on his acerbic worldview and crackerjack cartooning. This is mostly earlier stuff and as such a little rougher but it brings you up to where the greatness is.

Renee French's blog - I look forward to Renee's daily drawings more than anything else in my RSS feeds. I especially love her lo-fi cameraphone (?) doodle snapshots and she occasionally flat out blows my mind.

New poll: overdue collections?
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan SakaiPeter BaggemetaJim WoodringDaniel Clowes 23 Jan 2009 4:04 PM

We've brought our previous website poll to a close. In answer to the question "Following Palestine and Ghost World, what should get the Special Edition treatment next?" the top response is "The Bradleys / Buddy Bradley saga" after an early lead for "Complete (non-Frank) Jim Woodring" and a long period of domination by "Complete Eightball." See the final results here. (UPDATE: apparently we've been the victims of ballot-stuffing -- see the comments for details.) So does your top choice have a chance of being made? Well, they've all been discussed at one point or another, but so far the only one to make it onto our schedule is Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition, debuting at Comic-Con this summer as a two-volume slipcased hardcover set with loads of extras -- our biggest Special Edition re-issue yet!

Our new poll asks "What never-reprinted Fantagraphics series would you most like to see collected?" Vote in the right-hand column here on Flog or on our home page. As far as I know, none of the choices have actually been discussed as a possibility, but who knows, if we get an overwhelming response...

New Jim Flora print: Kid Ory
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Jim Floraart 23 Jan 2009 2:12 PM

Jim Flora - Kid Ory print

The newest release from Jim Flora Art is this fine art screenprint of Flora's cover for Kid Ory and his Creole Jazz Band. More details and ordering info here.

Daily links: 1/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsOriginal ArtLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKevin HuizengaHumbugBeasts 23 Jan 2009 1:56 PM

• List: The Comics Reporter posts Rich Tommaso's Best of 2008 list, which includes Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by the Hernandez Brothers

• Review: Swedish blog Weltklasse Serier says Ganges #1 by Kevin Huizenga is "a blue anemone in the great series of forest," according to the Google translation

• Blurb: Irish illustration blog Scamp takes note of Beasts! Book 2

• Things to see: Getting excited for the imminent release of our Humbug collection? Whet your appetite with some original pages, courtesy of Joey Anuff

Webcomics update for 1/23/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsSteven WeissmanmetaMartin Kellerman 23 Jan 2009 12:17 PM

Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman

Time for the new installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 32-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures. In this week's installment: dang, those parents are heavy sleepers.

Rocky by Martin Kellerman

And don't forget to catch up on our current 5-day chunk of Martin Kellerman's hilarious Swedish smash-hit Rocky, updated Monday-Friday! This week, Rocky has his last hurrah in New York City.

First look: Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsnew releasesEsther Pearl Watson 23 Jan 2009 11:41 AM

Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson

Sweet baby Jane! We just barely got Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vol. 1 out the door, and now we've got the cover for Vol. 2 to show you! This one will feature pink glitter and I'm guessing that the orange is going to be day-glo like the hot pink of Vol. 1. I'm betting that Vol. 2 will be out early next year -- Eric can correct me in the comments if I'm wrong.

First look: The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under SethpreviewsPeanutsnew releasesCharles M Schulz 23 Jan 2009 11:28 AM

The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974

Here's the world premiere of Seth's cover design for The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974, this Fall's volume in the series. This is a preliminary version; the final printed version will likely have minor changes. If you'd been wondering (like I had) how Seth was going to handle the scale issue for the Woodstock cover, here's his beautiful solution. And watch out: the 1971-1972 volume (with Sally on the cover) is looking like it will arrive earlier than expected!

Now in stock: Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1959-1960 (Vol. 5)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesDennis the Menace 22 Jan 2009 2:46 PM

Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1959-1960 (Vol. 5)

Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1959-1960 (Vol. 5)
By Hank Ketcham

We are proud to present the fifth volume of Hank Ketcham's phenomenal panel covering the end of the Postwar Era, 1959-1960. Ketcham captured the mischievousness, rambunctiousness, and anarchy of a kid's world better than any other cartoonist. The strip appeals to both parents and children — while parents shake their head ruefully at how accurately Ketcham caught the essence of children's natural zest for mayhem, children identify with Dennis and the chaos that he leaves in his wake. Ketcham's gags are funny, subtle and touching, and executed with a vivacious, exquisite line.

Ketcham drew Dennis the Menace from 1951 to 1994, when he retired and let his assistant take over the strip. This fifth volume of Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace publishes every single panel strip from 1959 and 1960 in one handsome brick of a hardcover. Ketcham's legendary pen and ink work is in full flower in this volume as are the various situations and themes that Ketcham would return to again and again, featuring Dennis and his regular group of supporting players: his long-suffering parents, the even longer-suffering neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Dennis's dog Ruff and his best pal Joey, the annoying Margaret, the adorable Gina, and more.

672-page black & white 5.5" x 6.25" hardcover • $24.99
Add to CartRead More...

Daily links: 1/22/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewspreviewsMomejon vermilyeaJohnny RyanDavid BDash ShawCarol SwainBeastsAnders Nilsen 22 Jan 2009 1:43 PM

• Interview: The Inkstuds radio programme talks to Beasts-master Jacob Covey

• Interview: Newsarama asks David B. about his latest book Nocturnal Conspiracies and his work in Mome (with answers in both the original French and translated English -- nice touch)

• Review: Newsarama posts the latest rave for Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw

• Preview: The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log takes a sneak peek at Carol Swain and Bruce Paley's comics memoir Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'N' Roll Life, which we've currently got on our schedule for August this year

• Things to see: The New York Times presents an animated ode to the Bowery by Gary Leib

• Things to see: This Animal Collective video that's blowing up the internets features animation by Jon Vermilyea

• Things to see: Johnny Ryan illustrates the cover of the current Las Vegas Weekly

• Things to see: The latest batch of sketchbook scans from Anders Nilsen