"It really has been almost exactly a year since #8! Fancy that. Previous Hate Annuals have been a catchall for whatever Peter Bagge's been drawing lately, plus a short check-in with Buddy Bradley as he ages in real time; this time, the Buddy-and-Lisa story is longer than usual. There's something I really admire about Bagge's sticktoitiveness." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"...I’m most looking forward to reading the Hate Annual, if only cause we get new Buddy Bradley adventures so infrequently these days." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Pete Bagge’s Hate Annual is on fairly regular scheduling now, by which I mean I think it’s roughly a year since we saw the last one. Top marks, Mr Bagge. Hate Annual #9 includes the first full-length Buddy story in a decade..." – Gosh! Comics
"Each Hate annual is like a weekend visit from a best friend you haven't seen in years. This issue is the first full-length Buddy Bradley story in a decade. Buddy goes along with Lisa as she reunites with her family for the first time in twenty years, and it quickly becomes apparent why she's been avoiding them." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
"I like how loopy and ridiculous the Buddy Bradley narrative has become in the Hate Annuals." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
120-page black & white 5.75" x 8.5" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-406-1
"The newest installment of Gilbert Hernandez's series of standalone "adaptations" of nonexistent exploitation movies, and the most screwed-up by far. (That's a good thing.) There are lots of comics that try for a "cinematic" tone, but Gilbert H. is the only cartoonist I can think of who's tried to approximate the weird narrative power of the kinds of flaws you only really find in movies--dodgy special effects and awkward editing become deliberate, controlled dramatic devices here." – Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance
"Gilbert Hernandez’s latest graphic novel is yet another delightfully loopy and hauntingly surreal entry in his ongoing, loosely-related 'Fritz' series and would be my pick of the week, certainly for any self-respecting Love and Rockets fan." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Love from the Shadows is Gilbert Hernandez’s third original hardcover graphic novel (after Chance in Hell and The Troublemakers) about Love & Rockets’ Fritz as a Z-movie actress. 'Erotic, harrowing, graphically violent, and astonishingly grim, Love from the Shadows sees Hernandez plunging ever further into his own heart of darkness,' writes one reviewer over at TCJ, adding 'Christ, what a f*cking book.'" – Gosh! Comics
"B-movie actress Fritz, from Love & Rockets, stars in this thriller of odd sexual obsession, suicide and more." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy
"Can’t resist splashing some Los Bros art on here for all to enjoy because, well, because it is Gilbert Hernandez and because we can never get enough of Los Bros, they just make our days better..." – Forbidden Planet International
And at TCJ.com it's Joe McCulloch's... "CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Some shops seem to have gotten it in last Wednesday — I’ve personally seen it sitting around — but Diamond has designated this week as the official release of Hate Annual #9, in which Peter Bagge again visits with Buddy Bradley and family, this time for most of the 32-page issue’s space; $4.95. Also, Gilbert Hernandez brings Love from the Shadows, the latest in his Fritz 'movie' series (this time the character plays various male and female roles), which has already inspired diversereactions on this very site; $19.99."
• Review: "...Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery — due out this November from Fantagraphic Books — is an absolutely riveting and (I think) important read. ...I'm only halfway through the book at the moment, but I can tell you that Avery has done an absolutely smashing job of research and that there's a lot to chew on here about all sorts of issues... I'll have more to say about it later in the year, when it's actually in print, but rest assured that this would be an important book if Avery had done nothing more than get some of Nelson's brilliant essays and reviews between hardcovers, where they clearly belong, at last." – Steve Simels, PowerPop
• Review: "Ott’s psychobilly sensibilities litter his narrative world with pimps, thugs and geeks; desperate chancers, deadly beloveds and down and outs on the edge of reality as well as society, so if jaded comics fans might feel they’ve been here before, the wider world are still only curious first-timers into a dismal dimension of vice, spice and bad advice. Graphic, violent funny and unforgettable [R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004] is a special treat for thrill-starved adults in search of something a little beyond the norm." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Commentary: "It's fascinating to see the history of comics play out in real time by reading these 30-year-old 'fanzines' (which is what The Comics Journal was called by pretty much everyone who refers to the magazine within its pages, even though it was already much more than that within the first few years of its existence) and reflect on how much the industry has changed and yet how the same questions and concerns from 1980 still pop up in conversations around the comic book water cooler today." – Timothy Callahan, Comic Book Resources
Thomas Rehhoff passes along another fun piece from his collection of original Hernandez Bros. art: this 1994 New Yorker illustration by Jaime illustrating the good ol' Kirk vs. Picard debate, presumably for the magazine's review of Star Trek: Generations — whatta stinker that movie was.
Publishers Weekly's Ada Price actually found some SFW pages from Dave McKean's new erotic graphic novel Celluloid to share on the PW website! The sample shows just one of the many diverse styles McKean employs throughout the book.
Here's your first look at the final cover design for Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954, the first comprehensive collection of the great graphic storyteller's work from the era. Editor Greg Sadowski is wrapping up his meticulous restoration of the pages and we're looking at a July/August release for this 416-page full-color tome.
(Everything's coming up Toth today: at TCJ.com, Dan Nadel posted his interview with Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell about their mammoth upcoming Toth monograph Genius, Isolated.)
Between my own (ahem) vast accumulated knowledge and the marvels of the internet, it's rare that I find myself genuinely stumped by a line in a book I'm translating, but when I came across this particular panel in the Joost Swarte book Is That All There Is? that will (yes, it will!) be coming out later this year, I was mystified:
Jopo de Pojo is trying to slip out of a movie theatre midshow, and while the latter two patrons' comments are are self-evident enough (an irate "hush!" and a complaint about Jopo's trademark quiff, mistaken for a hat), the first one baffled me, as it seemed to say "would you let out the goat?" or perhaps "are you going to let out the goat?"
As it happens, there exists an English language version of this story created by the Dutch publisher, which Joost himself once referred to as a "hippie translation" (meaning somewhat erratic). And yes, the hippie translator in question had rendered the line with strict literalness: "Are you going to walk your goat?" Which was of no help whatsoever.
Now, I did suspect it might be some Dutch expression I didn't know (Dutch is not my strongest language by a long shot), but a Google search yielded nothing but a series of (admittedly very cute) photos of goats.
As I was flailing around, I started wondering if this was an insulting reference to Jopo's trademark foot-tall quiff (earlier in the book someone else had referred to him as "that idiot with the shark-fin on his head")... but fortunately, like Woody Allen pulling out Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall, I had access to the unimpeachable prime source and so I cut to the chase and just emailed Joost and asked him.
Turns out "letting out the goat" is Dutch slang for going to take a pee. Aha! (And Duh!)
I always loved that phrase. One big satisfaction of working as a translator is being able to drop in some of your pet expressions.
I went back and checked the French version of this story, and it turns out that translator also literally translated it as "letting out the goat," which I'm pretty sure is not a French expression for urination, or anything else. So I was apparently neither the first nor the second to fall into that particular trap; I was just the first to confess my bafflement to the author. Sometimes confessing one's ignorance is the wisest thing one can do.
...Unless Joost is just fucking with me. (Or, as the English would say, taking the piss out of me.)
PS: Talk about burying the lede: Yes, four years after we announced it, Joost Swarte has finally delivered the files for this book, and all I can say is that given how wonderful this book is and how utterly meticulous his (and his assistants') work on reconstructing the pages (from a rat's nest of originals, negatives, photostats, etc.) has been, that now seems like an entirely reasonable wait. You will not be disappointed.
• Laura Park has been busy drawing spot illos for an 826 Chicago project (like Joey & Johnny Ramone buying $20 worth of Brussels sprouts, above) and rescuing cats with fellow cartoonist Julia Wertz — it's all documented on her Flickr page
• Review: "Exuberantly expressive..., Santiago imbues his biography of famed Puerto Rican baseballer Roberto Clemente  with the furious energy of a Clemente triple. [...] Santiago evokes the world Clemente lived in, from the dusty Puerto Rican streets where he played baseball with bottle caps and tree branches to his years as a perennial All-Star. The art is scratchy and abstract when it’s dealing with home and homesickness, and then hardens into the stuff of superhero comics whenever Clemente steps to the plate." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
• Review: "…The Complete Peanuts: 1979-1980… features a touching intro by Al Roker — who conducted the one of the last interviews with Schulz — along with two years’ worth of strips that find Schulz still going strong as a documentarian of life’s simple pleasures and overwhelming anxieties." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
• Review: "Jacques Tardi’s 1972 graphic novella The Arctic Marauder... is a fine example of the French artist’s early work, which combines turn-of-the-century adventure stories with deadpan zaniness. It’s recommended for those who like submarines disguised as icebergs, world-domination plots, detailed schematics of bizarre inventions, heroic dowagers, and sudden reversals, as well as for those who’d like to see all of the above rendered in Tardi’s typically detailed linework, which looks amazing even when obscured by ice and snow." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
• Interview:The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks at length with Dungeon Quest creator Joe Daly: "I want to develop a dedicated fan base, even if it's a small fan base, and reward their dedication with my best efforts to entertain them. More than a 'comics guy' or a 'writer' or 'artist' I want to build a reputation as an entertainer. I feel that the value of sheer entertainment is often overlooked or dismissed in today's sophisticated and occasionally pretentious comics world."
• Interview: At TCM's Classic Movie Blog Movie Morlocks, Paul Gaita talks to Drew Friedman: "I’m going from freaks back to Old Jewish Comedians for the third and final book — and again, I had to leave some comedians out. I feel bad about that, but I’m not going to do a fourth book. That’s it. I’m done with the Jews. I’m becoming an old Jew myself — I don’t need to draw them anymore." (via The Comics Reporter)
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater begins serializing a transcription of his MoCCA panel conversation with Peter Bagge: "I’m slowly turning [Buddy Bradley] into the crazy old guy who works at the dump. That’s why I gave him the Popeye look. Though I’m always on the verge of having him get rid of it. I keep thinking that I’ll have another character make fun of him for it. He doesn’t need the eyepatch, he doesn’t need to shave his head, and there’s no reason for him to be wearing a captain’s hat."
It's safe to say that Fantagraphics, and indeed the entire comics landscape, would not exist as we know it today without the efforts of comics scholar and archivist Bill Blackbeard. I never had the honor of interacting with the man, but his importance and influence reverberates throughout everything we do here, and not just the projects we had the good fortune to work on directly with him, such as the Krazy & Ignatz series he spearheaded. We are saddened by the loss and will strive to be worthy of his legacy.
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