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Mike Baehr's Blog
Description:
Flog posts by Fantagraphics' consumer marketing/web editor/hand model guy. Say, buy some books why don't you?
Archive >> April 2012

Daily OCD: 4/10/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsMichel GagneJoe SimonJack KirbyGahan WilsonFlannery OConnorErnie BushmillerDaily OCD 11 Apr 2012 2:47 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics

Review: "Gagne’s selections are first-rate. These stories are fiery fare. Lovers clash like storm-tossed waves on rocky shores. They battle misconceptions and social injustices.... Even stories created under the constraints of the Comics Code pack a wallop.  In the skilled hands of Simon and Kirby, love is most definitely a battlefield. The book’s special features are also top-notch.... Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics belongs in the personal library of all Simon and Kirby fans and all serious students of comics art and history. It’s a prime example of what I mean when I say this is the true golden age of comics." – Tony Isabella

Nuts

Review: "[Nuts] is certainly a very good strip... and it was this completely left-field life event, showing a style of comics I'd never seen before.... The book looks just great, even if I would quibble with the designer's very odd choice to call this a 'graphic novel' on the front cover, and while something about it honestly lacks the genuine, timeless brilliance of Wilson's decades of Playboy comics, this is still an important and very readable collection.... Recommended." – Grant Goggans, The Hipster Dad's Bookshelf

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons

Interview: At Publishers Weekly, Casey Burchby talks to Kelly Gerald, editor of Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons: "I’d been researching and working on the cartoons for a while, but I can’t take any credit for getting this project off the ground. Gary Groth and Fantagraphics approached O’Connor’s agent about doing a book and worked out an agreement for an exclusive contract in late 2009, which was when I was contacted. Some years ago, I gave a presentation on the cartoons at an O’Connor conference in Milledgeville where some representatives of the O’Connor estate were present. They liked what they saw and remembered me when the Fantagraphics contract was developed. I’m very grateful to them."

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Profile: At The Comics Journal, R.C. Harvey on the life and work of Ernie Bushmiller: "Various among us have long been baffled and sometimes afflicted by the persistent presence, lurking at the fringes of cartoon afficionadom — or, sometimes, burrowed deep, prairie-dog-like, into its heart — of a sect or cultish non-organization of penumbra dimension, cult-ivated (so to speak) by a person or persons unknown.... In an effort to explain this mysterious and irrational dedication, we now paw through the alleged facts of Bushmiller’s life and work."

Daily OCD: 4/6-4/9/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyRobert CrumbreviewsPaul NelsonOlivier SchrauwenMonte SchulzLove and RocketsKim DeitchKevin AveryinterviewsGuy PeellaertFantagraphics historyDaily OCDBill Griffith 9 Apr 2012 7:10 PM

A few days of Online Commentary & Diversions:

Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Salt Lake City native Kevin Avery is a fitting testimonial to a man who pioneered rock 'n' roll criticism. Those familiar and unfamiliar with the culture of the '60s will appreciate this finely written tribute.... Overall, Everything Is an Afterthought will break your heart and inspire you to be a better person. It is a wonderful story of a man who deserves his chance in the spotlight." – Shelby Scoffield, Deseret News

Excerpts: On his blog, writer Rob Trucks has a couple of bite-sized excerpts from Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, here and here

Love and Rockets #1 [Sold Out] (Unpublished)

Review: If you've ever wondered what Tucker Stone might say about Love and Rockets #1, TCJ ahoy

The Man Who Grew His Beard

Review: "A little impenetrable in that wordless story kind of way, even when there are words. I like the stories – actually read them – but I’m more interested in studying the way each page sports a new texture or approach. The art is simply fantastic. Some stories retain a color scheme for their entirety and some switch up the limited palette within the story itself. Totally my kind of thing. I like the coloring, the line drawing, the combination of both. The graphic, printmaking quality of it and the 'classical' drawing are also attractive to me. I found myself just flipping through this collection for a long time.... High class stuff. Also, this book gets an award for best endpapers. Check it out." – Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Bill Griffith: Lost and Found - Comics 1969-2003

Review: "Lost and Found is the sort of retrospective project that begs summary statements. The introduction reads like a compressed memoir. The book, while extremely dense and a bit overwhelming to read, testifies to Griffith’s heroic output of underground comics, and his commitment to a lifetime of making work that is challenging, inventive, and beautifully drawn. His signature narrative discombobulation and linguistic elasticity unite all these disparate pieces into a cohesive statement of surprise and protest. It is ridiculously quotable. Also, it is very funny. Lost and Found delivers wholesale entertainment value with a socially redeeming dose of satire." – Matthew Thurber & Rebecca Bird, The Comics Journal

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell says of his latest episode, "One of the most prolific cartoonists of the underground generation, Bill Griffith, joined me to chat about his new collection, Lost and Found. It is an interesting conversation that touches on a number of different topics, ranging from his Zippy the Pinhead work, to discussing his contemporaries like Rory Hayes."

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 10: Crumb Advocates Violent Overthrow! [Hardcover Ed.]

Interview: Paul Gravett chatted with Robert Crumb for Art Review  magazine; he presents an unexpurgated version at his blog: "In the last few years, I’ve got so deeply involved investigating scandalous shit that goes on in modern business and culture. It’s very difficult to interpret in comics, I’m trying to figure it out. There’s not a lot of action or humour, it’s serious, grim shit. You could get your ass in trouble doing that, too. I remember when I did this thing in the Seventies, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, where I had him being this revolutionary who throws bombs at the Rockefeller mansion and shortly after that was published, the Internal Revenue Service came after me."

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Interview: Chris Mautner's Q&A with Zak Sally at Robot 6 is a must read: "I’m no Pollyanna, nor am I a hippie; the world is NOT cut and dried with stuff like this, nor do I view it that way — if, for instance, Fantagraphics (who I love dearly) decided to print all their stuff over here, they’d probably have to kill important books by artists who don’t sell as well to ameliorate that extra cost. Or, hell, i don’t know — maybe they’d go under. Do i want either of those things? Heck no. I want Noah van Sciver and Chris Wright’s new books to get out in the world, and to reach their audience. I want Fantagraphics to be around for … forever. BUT: let’s also not fool ourselves that this 'lowest cost' imperative isn’t fucking up our world significantly, all day every day, as an economic paradigm. It’s a real thing, and that can’t be ignored either."

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Profile: At HiLobrow, Norman Hathaway puts the spotlight on Guy Peellaert: "Years later I realized that Peellaert had also been responsible for one of my favorite pieces of power-pop comic art; Jodelle (and later Pravda), which plastered hip, mid-’60s fashion drawing into a dystopian landscape of the future, done in a completely different linear graphic design-based style."

The Big Town

Profile: Dan Taylor of The Press Democrat chats with Monte Schulz: "'My dad is actually mentioned in a very subtle way in The Big Town,' Schulz said. 'The main character, Harry, is in a barber shop. It says, "Back in St. Paul, he'd gotten his hair cut in the Family Barbershop on North Snelling Avenue by a cigar-smoking German fellow, whose young son drew funny little pictures."'"

Kim Deitch - self portrait

Profile (Video): Enjoy a brief video spotlight on the great Kim Deitch presented by Seth Kushner at Trip City

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201203/bestcomicsofthedecadevolifr.jpg

Tribute/History: From last week, at The Stranger, rememberances of our former art director, the late Dale Yarger

'I'm seeing a lot of song titles'
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under rockMichel GagneJoe SimonJack Kirby 9 Apr 2012 2:02 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201204/gedge.jpg

So said the mighty and wonderful David Gedge (leader of one of my all-time favorite bands, The Wedding Present) leafing through the copy of Michel Gagné's Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics I gave him at their Seattle gig on Friday night. He opened right up to that page — I swear I didn't plan this moment! Being able to present our books to folks I admire is one of the best parts of my job. What an absolute thrill.

By the way, David is not only an avid comics reader, he's published a comic book of tour stories, Tales of the Wedding Present, and his songs have inspired an anthology of comics short stories titled Snapshots.

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.) by Thomas Ott - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Thomas Ottnew releases 6 Apr 2012 12:31 AM

Now in stock in our warehouse and ready to ship to our mail-order customers:

Cinema Panopticum by Thomas Ott

Cinema Panopticum (Softcover Ed.)
by Thomas Ott

104-page black & white 6.5" x 9.25" softcover • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-485-6

See Previews / Order Now

T. Ott plunges into the darkness with five graphic horror novelettes: "The Hotel," "The Champion," "The Experiment," "The Prophet," and the story which frames it all, "The Girl," each executed in his hallucinatory and hyper-detailed scratchboard style.

The first story in the book introduces the other four: A little girl visits an amusement park. She looks fascinated, but finds everything too expensive. Finally, behind the rollercoaster she eyeballs a small booth with "CINEMA PANOPTICUM" written on it. Inside there are boxes with screens. Every box contains a movie; the title of each appears on each screen. Each costs only one coin, so the price is right for the little girl. She puts her money in the first box: "The Hotel" begins. In the film, a traveler goes to sleep in what seems to be an otherwise empty hotel. His awakening is the stuff of nightmares.

"The Champion," the second film, introduces a Mexican wrestler who fights against death himself. In a typical Ott twist, he wins and loses at the same time. In the third film, "The Experiment," a short-sighted man initially goes blind from some pills his doctor gave him, but soon the blindness wears off and he finds they accord quite a view. In the final story, "The Prophet," a vagrant foresees the end of the world and tries to warn people, but nobody believes him. They will soon enough...

Ott’s O. Henry-esque plot twists will delight fans of classic horror like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt, or modern efforts like M. Night Shyamalan’s films (well, the good ones); his artwork will haunt you long after you’ve put the book down.

Things to See (and Buy): Drew Friedman gets Muddy
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seemerchDrew Friedman 5 Apr 2012 11:17 PM

Muddy Waters by Drew Friedman

I gotta say, Drew Friedman can do no wrong in my book, but there's something about this portrait of blues legend Muddy Waters that is especially electrifying. The expression, the black and muted green pallette, the evocative landscape... well done, Drew. And you can own it in the form of a limited-edition archival print.

[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]

Daily OCD: 4/5/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeSignificant ObjectsRobert CrumbRob WalkerreviewsPeanutsJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsDave McKeanDaniel ClowesDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBill Mauldin 5 Apr 2012 7:59 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 1

Review: "The Complete Crumb Comics Volume One: The Early Years of Bitter Struggle, a 1987 book now republished in an expanded edition, gathers together the earliest surviving examples of the great cartoonist’s juvenilia taking him from age 14 or 15 to 18 years old. The high school scribbler that we meet in these pages is a very callow Crumb indeed: Crumb before he had sex, Crumb before he dropped acid, Crumb before he was adopted as a hero of the counterculture, Crumb before he honed his satirical stance on modern life, Crumb before he became the most radical, polarizing and influential cartoonist of the late 20th century. Yet in the lanky and awkward body of the teenage Crumb we can see the outlines of the substantial artist he would become.... There are very few cartoonists whose entire body of work demands to be read and Crumb belongs near the very top of that short list." – Jeet Heer, The Comics Journal

Athos in America

Review: "Has Jason become more embittered and misanthropic as he’s aged, or do those tendencies just become more evident as one reads more of his work? Athos in America is up to his usual standards, full of stories that build slowly, with plenty of subtle detail in its stone-faced panels.... Mostly, we wait for things to end badly, which they almost always do, although never with much overt expression of drama.... The execution, as it always is with both Jason and Fantagraphics, is stellar." – Hillary Brown, Paste

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/thumbs/bookcover_maul1s.jpg

Review: "Fantagraphics Books is doing a good job of preserving and publishing important cartoons. A good example is Willie and Joe: The WWII Years.... These cartoons about World War II provide the reader with a glimpse of what army life was like. Willie and Joe: The WWII Years is more than a book of cartoons by a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, it is a significant history book." – Glenn Perrett, Simcoe.com

The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984

Review: "Fantagraphics Books continues to make available Charles M. Schulz's wonderful Peanuts cartoons in attractive books that make nice keepsakes. The latest volume covers the years 1983 and 1984. Lots of fun things are happening with the Peanuts gang including Snoopy's brother Spike requiring help from attacks by coyotes in the desert (they're attacking him with rubber bands), Lucy is still pursuing Schroeder, Charlie Brown is still in a "love triangle" with Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown joins Peppermint Patty's baseball team...as a mascot. This volume includes a Foreword by Leonard Maltin. As with other Peanuts books, The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984 would make a nice gift for those who enjoy Peanuts and the work of Charles M. Schulz." – Glenn Perrett, Simcoe.com

Significant Objects

Profile: "For seven years, Rob Walker, a contributing writer to the magazine, wrote a column called Consumed, in which he explored the cultural, social, economic and or merely bizarre significance of consumable objects. You might think that Rob would be tired of thinking about things, having written about hundreds of objects as diverse as Victoria’s Secret’s 'Pink' brand, Rick Warren’s 'The Purpose-Driven Life' and carrots packaged like junk food. But he is not. He is just exploring them in new ways. His latest project, a book called Significant Objects, comes out in June." – Vera Titunik, The New York Times Magazine

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Interview: Geoff Boucher of The Los Angeles Times has a Q&A with Daniel Clowes about looking back on his career: "One thing that really shocked me was to go through some of the fan mail I used to get in the pre-Internet days. Lots of people — like a truly surprising number of complete strangers — would write me 10- or 15-page letters, telling me all about the most mundane details of their twitterless existence. Pretty much inconceivable nowadays."

Jaime Hernandez - The Love Bunglers

Opinion: Newsarama's Graeme McMillan counts down "The 10 Most Glaring Eisner Nomination Omissions," placing Dave McKean at #9 ("With 2011 seeing the release of Celluloid, the erotic graphic novel that not only marked the return of the much-loved multimedia creator... to comics but also his first full-length graphic novel ever, you would've been forgiven for thinking he would've been given some kind of nomination nod...") and Jaime Herandez at #1 ("A heartbreaking story that not only showed Jaime on top form after a 20+ year career in comics -- and definitely in a class of his own as modern-day storyteller -- 'Love Bunglers' topped many year-end lists for 2011 and was the rare comic that, it seemed, was loved and appreciated by everyone that read it.")

2012 Eisner Award nominees!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Warren BernardThe Comics JournalShimura TakakoRick MarschallPrince ValiantMickey MouseMark KalesnikoKevin HuizengaJim WoodringJasonJacques TardiHal FosterFloyd GottfredsonDisneyCCIawards 5 Apr 2012 4:51 AM

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards logo

The list of nominees for the 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards was announced yesterday and we are pleased to report that our artists and publications received a total of 10 nominations in 8 categories:

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga

Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga:

• Best Single Issue

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko:

• Best Graphic Album – New

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 by Hal Foster Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster

Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942 and Vol. 4: 1943-1944 by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

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Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley & Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island (also available in the Vols. 1-2 Box Set) by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth:

• Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann

Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason & Fabien Vehlmann:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette

Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako:

• Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring:

• Best Writer/Artist — Jim Woodring (Jim is also nominated for Best Short Story for "Harvest of Fear" in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #17 from Bongo)

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/covers/2011/bookcover_cj301.jpg

The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, and The Comics Journal website, www.tcj.com, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel:

• Best Comics-Related Journalism

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s-1940s, edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard:

• Best Comics-Related Book

As announced in January, Bill Blackbeard (responsible for the Krazy & Ignatz series and so much more), Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins (underground legend and, for us, editor of The Brinkley Girls), and Gilbert Shelton (underground legend and contributor to Mome) are among the nominees for induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

An additional shout-out to Fantagraphics contributors, alumni and friends who received nominations for work with other publishers, including Stan Sakai, Ed Brubaker, Émile Bravo, Geoffrey Hayes, Roger Langridge, Anders Nilsen, Daniel Clowes, Al Jaffee, Rick Geary, Tom Orzechowski (who lettered Oil and Water), Ivan Brunetti, Eric Skillman (designer of The Comics Journal #301), and anyone I may have overlooked. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 13, 2012 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Browse and order all of our 2012 nominated titles here, and see here for links to past years' award honorees.

Daily OCD: 4/4/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsPat ThomasLove and RocketsKrazy KatJoe SaccoJim WoodringJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGeorge HerrimanErnie BushmillerDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 5 Apr 2012 3:18 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions — now up to date!

Esperanza

Review: "The Locas grow up. Collecting material from Love and Rockets‘ second volume (previously found in Ghost of Hoppers and The Education of Hopey Glass), the latest in Fantagraphics’ perfectly executed series of L&R digests [Esperanza] finds Maggie, Hopey, Izzy, and Ray D. coming to terms with no longer being the life of the party and the heart of their scene — at least not without exhausting effort.... But if there’s one thing Jaime’s Locas stories in general, and this volume in particular, tell us, it’s that sometimes you have to be a grown-up for a long time before you grow up. It’s worth the work, and the wait." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

Palestine

Review: "In the pages of Palestine, Sacco relates his experiences in the first person, with breathtaking honesty and haunting detail. With a narrative style that’s a little bit stream of consciousness, and a lot of oral tradition, he depicts not only his own experiences, but those of the many Palestinians he meets in his travels.... A comic book, no matter how poignant and groundbreaking, is not going to resolve a decades old stalemate. What Palestine does do is shed some light on a near forgotten people, lost behind the name of a broken nation." – Mike Re, Asbury Park Press

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Review: "Where have you gone Ernie Bushmiller, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you. All kidding aside, you sure as shootin' can bet Nancy is happy, and so am I that the crucial years of this strip (or at least the dailies) are FINALLY being reprinted, and in chronological order to boot, by the fine folk at Fantagraphics. ...Nancy continues to deliver on the fun puns 'n great art for us real-life comic strip fans while all of that extraneous junk that's been hitting the comic pages o'er the past few decades does little but mirror the rest of the contents of yer modern day newspaper industry that deserves to die a quick and inglorious death! ...[A] project like this is but one that really brings out that never-suppressed slobbo suburban kid feeling in me, and with more books to look forward to all I can say is...what the hell do we need Gary Trudeau for anyway?" – Chris Stigliano, Blog to Comm (via The Comics Journal)

Reviews: Would you like to know what Jason thinks of Nancy Is Happy and the Krazy & Ignatz books? You may find out on his Cats Without Dogs blog

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Plug: "Panther power has a way of roaring back to life when you least expect it: Years ago, Mushroom drummer and music archivist Pat Thomas told me he was working on an epic multimedia compilation on the Black Panthers. Now, hot on the heels of The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, comes Thomas' equally inspired lyrical documents of the Oakland-bred group: a hefty Fantagraphics tome, Listen, Whitey!... and a CD of spoken word, music and comedy." – Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Chronicle

Feature: The April issue of Clash magazine includes a feature on Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 in which they call the book a "fascinating, insightful and sometimes shocking tome"; you can read en excerpt (which includes a portion of an excerpt from the book) on their website

Jim Woodring

Interview (Audio): Jim Woodring and our own Larry Reid were guests on Weekday with host Steve Scher on KUOW (Seattle's NPR news station) last Friday, March 30, to preview the Northwest comix panel at Emerald City Comicon; you can stream or download the show here

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970

Commentary: McSweeney's has a terrific essay about Snoopy by guest columnist Robb Fritz that's a must-read for all Peanuts fans

Letter from a young 21 reader
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred Santiagofan art21 4 Apr 2012 7:35 PM

Dear Ms. Cheng,

Oh, this is so delightful I can barely stand it! A young reader of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago sent this illustrated thank-you note to Wilfred's partner & editor Sanlida Cheng, who shares it via the 21 Facebook page.

First Significant Objects sneak peek
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Significant ObjectspreviewsJoshua GlennComing Attractions 4 Apr 2012 6:20 PM

Significant Objects spread

At HiLobrow, Significant Objects co-editor Joshua Glenn gives you your first glimpses of the interiors of the book, presenting three two-page spreads as designed by good ol' Jacob Covey and giving a few more details about the book along the way. The excitement is building!


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