• Review: "Redressing a sad literary situation — the prior unavailability of this full masterpiece in English — Fantagraphics finally brings Tardi's wrenching tales of trench warfare during WWI [It Was the War of the Trenches] to American audiences. ... From the living hell of combat to the ghostlike calm of bombed-out villages, each panel radiates with the fear and hopelessness of hapless conscripts who strive only to retain their limbs and their sanity. Calling the war 'a gigantic, anonymous scream of agony,' Tardi skewers the concept of nationalism and drives home the banality of death. Dark, densely packed backgrounds and heavy wedges of solid black recall the dramatic shading effects of European expressionism, as do the characters' black, fearful eyes. Nearly a century after the fact, Tardi's outrage and compassion make the First World War sting like a fresh wound." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"To celebrate the release of the new art book, The Art of Jaime Hernandez — The Secrets of Life and Death, Family is pleased to be hosting a signing and conversation with the books principal creators Jaime Hernanadez, Todd Hignite, and Jordan Crane on Tuesday, May 4th at 7pm." More info on the Family blog.
I implore everyone, regardless of your feelings about manga (attn: JACOB), to look through A DRUNKEN DREAM when it's released. Moto Hagio's line is confident and graceful. The material is gorgeous and I'm trying to do it justice (but even if I botch the design, it's going to be a great book).
And we should all applaud Matt Thorn and Dirk Deppey for first exposing us (or me anyway, if I missed the bus earlier) to Moto Hagio's work way back in TCJ #269.
I made brief mention of this in yesterday's "Things to see" but it deserves better notice than that. Congratulations to Mome contributor T. Edward Bak on being awarded a residency in Alaska (our second artist headed up there this year, hot on the heels of Jim Woodring)! He needs your help in covering his expenses and is selling original pages (I've seen them and they're beautiful) to raise funds. Here's his plea in his own words:
"So, last week, I was awarded this artist residency in Talkeetna, Alaska, through Seattle's La Familia gallery. I'm planning on being up there through the month of July, and am currently raising funds through the sale of original drawings from the work to help cover supplies, travel expenses, and a field drawing expedition into the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands (Dutch Harbor, specifically). I have Paypal set up and details listed on my blog http://antizerogravity.blogspot.com. My deadline for raising $ is July 1. Thanks for your support!"
Kupperman's unique graphic sensibility combines elements of anachronistic pulp detective magazines textured with sophisticated references to contemporary art and popular culture creating a seductive and absurdist aesthetic. The most recent issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle includes eclectic features like "Cowboy Oscar Wilde," "Modern Wallpaper," "Twain & Einstein in ‘Chasin' the Dream,'" and "Books are Stupid" among many others. The first 4 issues of Tales Designed to Thrizzle were recently collected into a handsome hardcover edition with a laugh-out-loud introduction by comic genius Robert Smigel. Kupperman's illustrations frequently appear in prestigious periodicals including the New Yorker and McSweeney's. His signature characters Snake ‘n' Bacon were produced as a live action and animated pilot episode for Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block, which will be screened at the May 8 reception.
Michael Kupperman's appearance coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack. In addition to diverse visual and performing arts presentations, the May 8 installment includes the Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival featuring continuous screenings of over 40 three minute films at venues throughout the historic neighborhood.
Saturday, May 22 at 6:00 PM, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts a media presentation by Jim Woodring based on his latest graphic novel WEATHERCRAFT.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. only minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Michael Kupperman "Tales Designed to Thrizzle"
Art reception and book signing Saturday, May 8, 6:00 - 9:00 PM.
Exhibition continues through June 9, 2010.
1201 S. Vale St., Seattle (206) 658-0110
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
Megan Kelso has proved herself a master of the cartoon short story with Queen of the Black Black (1998) and The Squirrel Mother (2006). With Artichoke Tales, six years in the making, Kelso expands her range (and her page count) by creating a family saga spanning three generations and an entire continent.
Artichoke Tales is a coming-of-age story about a young girl named Brigitte whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war, a graphic novel that takes place in a world that echoes our own, but whose people have artichoke leaves instead of hair. Influenced in equal parts by Little House on the Prairie, The Thorn Birds, Dharma Bums, and Cold Mountain, Kelso weaves a moving story about family amidst war. Kelso’s visual storytelling, uniquely combining delicate linework with rhythmic, musical page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate, ruminative character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war and carnage, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic. This is Kelso’s first new work in four years; the widespread critical reception of her previous work makes Artichoke Tales one of the most eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2010.
Bonus Savings: Order Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales + The Squirrel Mother together for a discounted price of $31.99 (a savings of about 8 bucks)! Order now and we'll ship you both books when Artichoke Tales arrives in our warehouse.
• Also on Facebook, Bill Griffith posts this one-page story (excerpted above) which was recently published in a new book about Levittown, Second Suburb, edited by Dianne Harris (link goes straight to the image file, since I don't know Bill's Facebook privacy settings, but he posts cool stuff all the time)
• T. Edward Bak is posting several pages from his current serialized Mome story "Wild Man" — for 50 bucks you can purchase an original page and help fund his impending trip to Alaska for field research for the story, so hit that Paypal link on his blog
• Review: "Peter Bagge’s not-so-yearly update on the life and times of his signature character Buddy Bradley takes up about half of Hate Annual #8... It’s a funny story with a confident, natural progression and some keen observations to make... [T]his is... a welcome renewal of one of alt-comics’ most treasured series… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "The mid-’70s found Schulz pushing the strip further and further into the oddball, mixing fantasy and reality in extended storylines... The strip as a whole feels less scrappy and more settled in this era, though it’s no less inspired, and Schulz was clever enough to keep working his own state of mind into the finished product. The Complete Peanuts: 1975 - 1976 collects comics clearly drawn by a successful man still nagged by feelings of inadequacy not easily explained away… [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Don’t be misled by High Soft Lisp’s cover. This isn’t just comic book smut or an adult version of Archie. Gilbert Hernandez has created some of the most fleshed-out and memorable women in comics since launching Love and Rockets with his brother Jaime in 1981. Their breasts might be outsized, but so are their minds and souls." – Garrett Martin, Boston Herald
• Review: "Fantagraphics’ fourth oversized collection of Elzie Segar’s legendary Thimble Theatre strips, famous as the birth place of Segar’s notorious Popeye the Sailor, continues the winning standard set by earlier editions. ... Fantagraphics’ enormous format remains among the best-looking strip reprints available." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "Levin’s is not often a forceful tone; he digs up information and can deliver it in a scholarly enough manner, but also will follow his muse, digressing into dry humor and even an admitted Faulknerian flight of fancy. He’s fully engaged, grappling with the facts and the issues as he uncovers them, and the reader grapples right along with him. [Most Outrageous] is a much more compelling book for the fact that Levin doesn’t try to wrap it all up in a bow." – Christopher Allen, Comic Book Galaxy
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