We have never met in person, but, if I can base anything on the books you publish, you are a decent fellow, and, in the wee hours of my 9-month anniversary with my lovely girlfriend, I'd like to make a public appeal to you to allow me to design NBM's upcoming SMURFS books. If I'm too late with this appeal, then ... bummer, but I just heard about your project yesterday (at which time, I made a pseudo-public appeal to you on the COMICS COMICS blog. If it helps, I would happily work for a pittance -- this is the comics industry after all.
I hope this doesn't seem like a crude way to propose this idea to you, and I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes (especially the designers at NBM). This is simply the most public forum I have available to me, and I think some people might support me on this. If I'm wrong, I will back away respectfully and look forward to the book nonetheless.
I just kinda love the Smurfs.
That feels strange to say, but I really do have a soft spot for the little blue halflings. I grew up on them. Here's proof:
"According to the USA Network's "Cartoon Express," Smurfs are four apples tall. This is FALSE assuming Gargamel is of the average human height (+/- 4"). Maybe four CRABapples tall. But not four red delicious-es."
That is NOT from the Smurfs Wikipedia page. That is from a a dusty corner of my brain. I would treat this project with respect, like Seth did with Peanuts, or Jacob Covey would with a TMNT book (attn: Nickelodeon -- get on that one).
P.S. If being pitiful will help: I broke a rib two weeks ago and I'm still two-to-four weeks from being healed. Ouch!
• Review: "There’s a certain exuberance in this book, a zaniness that Schulz follows with fewer excursions into pure melancholia. ... Each new volume [of The Complete Peanuts] adds a new layer of complexity to the work as a whole, and certainly puts the lie to the notion that Schulz had run out of ideas by this point. Indeed, Schulz had nothing left to prove and allowed himself to follow every flight of fancy that struck him, while never completely abandoning the core emotions of his characters." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
Ahem. Jim's Weathercraft and Jason's Low Moon are nominated for 2010 Sproing Awards (Best Translated Comic and Best Norwegian Comic, respectively), which are awarded at the festival. Congratulations to both!
Do ideas of war and enemies hold a people together? Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible? These are the questions Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic novel, Temperance.
Malkasian creates, as she did in the critically acclaimed Percy Gloom, a fully realized, multi-layered world, inhabited by vividly realized characters. After a brutal injury in battle, Lester has no memory of his prior life. For the next thirty years his wife does everything to keep him from remembering — and re-constructing — a society, Blessedbowl, that elevates him as a hero. Blessedbowl is a cultural convergence of lies, memories, stories, and beliefs. Its people thrive on ideas of persecution, exceptionality, and enemies, convinced that war lurks just outside their walls. They have come to depend on Lester, their greatest war hero, to lead the charge once the Final Battle begins.
What kind of enemy could topple such a people and its walls? Mere memory, it seems, as Lester gradually emerges from his amnesia. Temperance is an eyewitness’s account of recovery and awakening. The graphic novel works on two levels. It considers the concepts of violence, stories, and belief, and their place in holding a culture together, slyly echoing contemporary political issues in a nation at a stressful time currently at war with a ubiquitous enemy. Secondly, the fissures in Lester and Minerva’s marriage is echoed in the greater political upheaval around them.
Malkasian creates a densely textured social context, masterfully conveying the idiosyncratic physical domain with its spiraling structures and quasi-medieval architecture along with intimate yet plastic portraits of her characters in a rich, tonal pencil line. Temperance is a galvanizing work of empathy and violence by one of today’s most thoughtful and accomplished cartoonists.
2008 Eisner Award Winner: Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award — Cathy Malkasian
Signe Parkins, Peter Kielland, Thomas Thorhauge, Johan F. Krarup, Ib Kjeldsmark, Christoffer Zieler (who were all featured in From Wonderland with Love) and twelve other Danish cartoonists battle it out tournament-style in cartoonland until only one is left standing. Our good friends and colleagues at our From Wonderland co-publisher Aben Maler are posting a new duel from the first round each Friday on this page and collecting them all next month in a book titled Tegn eller dø. Five battles have already been waged — keep checking back for subsequent bouts.
Tom Spurgeon is reporting this morning that Kees Kousemaker, founder of the great Galerie Lambiek comic book store, passed away yesterday in the Netherlands at the age of 68. The staff of Fantagraphics Books would like to extend its sympathy to his family and to the entire Lambiek staff. Lambiek is not only the world's oldest comic book shop, it is arguably the very best, a true treasure trove of great cartooning spanning centuries. I've had the good fortune of visiting several times, and Kees was always gracious and generous, even putting me up in the legendary apartment above the store for several days during a trip in 1997 or so, a space which featured dozens of 'thank yous' to Kees and Lambiek in the form of cartoons drawn by the likes of Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, and many others on one of the walls. I've always felt immensely grateful to have been welcomed, even briefly, into the amazing Lambiek family and even if I never visit again it will always stand out in my memories as a near-magical environment for people who love good cartooning, and I am truly saddened to hear this news this morning. R.I.P., Mr. Kousemaker. Long live Galerie Lambiek.
168-page black & white 7.5" x 9" softcover • $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-341-5
Pick your favorite of the two alternate covers in person! At Comics Comics, Joe McCulloch calls it a "fascinating 2008 story study of the great American mythological drama." The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon praises this new edition of "the debut book from the muscular cartoonist Tim Lane."
208-page black & white 8" x 10" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-366-8
At Comics Alliance Douglas Wolk notes of the original series "it managed to get shut down after four issues, basically because its philosophical stance was 'war is horrible and futile, and by the way American soldiers are slaughtering innocent civilians in Vietnam.'" The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon calls it "an absolute must-have reprint of Archie Goodwin's Warren-era war comics. No one with even a tiny bit of interest in war comics could fail to like that Blazing Combat book."
112-page 7.25" x 9.5" full-color softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-322-4
It's "scooping up another 112 color pages of Kelly’s franchise work," says Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics. The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon mentions the new volume, maybe not in the most flattering way, but we appreciate it anyway.
Much more information, including sneak peeks in the form of PDF downloads and video/photo slideshows, is available at the links above, as always. Smart shoppers know it's always good to check with your local shop in advance to confirm availability.
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