On Saturday, May 3 Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates Free Comic Book Day with complimentary comix and a tribute to Seattle's sensational Intruder crew on the last weekend of their awesome exhibition.
We'll be giving out a double dose of Don Rosa duck stories featuring Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck. And don't miss the collectible Hip Hop Family Tree Two-in-One by Ed Piskor with special guests. We'll also have free copies of the Barrio Mothers anthology from our Portland counterparts at Sparkplug and Floating World, as well as a special edition of Paul Pope's The Invincible Haggard West from First Second.
Join us from 2:00 to 5:00 PM on Free Comic Book Day for another fun reception with artists from the free Intruder tabloid. If you missed the wild opening night party or just want to enjoy the show in a more sedate atmosphere, drop in for an urban barbeque complete with hot dogs, cold refreshments, and cool company.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. Wherever you are, get out and support your local comic book shop on Free Comic Book Day.
Toronto, put on your party pants! Ed Piskor is gonna shake the shack this Saturday at The Beguiling's Free Comic Book Day event! On Satuday, May 3rd from Noon-6pm, Ed Piskor will be signing and sketching in free copies of his Hip Hop Family Tree Two-in-One comic book (in addition to your Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1 graphic novels). Cartoonist and Ed's studio mate, Tom Scioli, will also be there signing his FCBD book, Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe.
The fun is only a few days a way. Show up EARLY 'cause those books are gonna be gone fast!
It's a happy day for the Love and Rockets fans in the office (i.e. all of us): advance copies of Luba and Her Family are in the house! This is the latest Gilbert Hernandez volume in the Love and Rockets Library softcover omnibus series and the first to collect Gilbert's work from the post-Volume 1 era. Whether you're the kind of completist who needs all the books, or the kind who just wants to read all the stories in the proper narrative order, or a new reader who wants to jump on with a good, more recent starting point, you need this book. Jump on our pre-sale and take a gander at some of the contents (including the table thereof) right here.
The terrific meltdown in the grocery line of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:nbsp;Cosplayers by Dash Shaw "It's a clever idea, and Shaw brings surprising insight to the very short stories. He uses different panel configurations and color palettes to break each story up into scenes, as if they were movies themselves, and his deft linework makes it all look easy." –Bridgid Alverson, Robot 6
• Review: Locust Moon on New School by Dash Shaw "...golly-gee wide-eyed comic classicism mixed with an antiquated, old-testament use of language and heavy moral seriousness, all in service of a surprisingly traditional and very relatably human story of a young kid's worship, envy and disillusionment with his older brother. Like so many of Shaw's comics, it's a wild experiment that works." -Josh, Locust Moon Comics
• Review: "Shaw is messing with the conventions of the comic strip narrative in a radical way, and that disruption is his true subject...…New School is a broad-ranging fantasia with the emotional template of a blockbuster film, where personal issues of love and loss are overshadowed by grandiose abstractions of good and evil." –Carter Scholz, The Comics Journal
• Plug: Thirteen Minutes lists New School as one of the top 10 comics of 2013 "Aside from the rich family dynamics and subtle sci-fi exploration of the new, New School is largely a paradigmatic tale about willfully crafting a cultural sense of identity. It's the best work so far from a daring creator who just gets better and better with each successive project." -Justin Giampaoli, Thirteen Minutes
• Review:Comics Bulletin lists New School by Dash Shaw on the Top 10 of Comics of 2013. "Dash Shaw expands the vocabulary of comics with his poetic approach to his graphic novel…New School is the most beguilingly fascinating, smartly innovative, deliberately off-putting work of comics art that I've read in several years. It's a masterpiece of innovation." –Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
• Review: Booklist Online looks at New School. "More enigmatic than Shaw's previous work, New School is a spectacular display of his graphic artistry... Stunning enough to be suitable for framing." -Ray Olson
• Review:Darling Dork on New School by Dash Shaw. "New School's title could be seen a call for a new breed of comics, a breed that takes only the bare minimum required from the past as it strides boldly toward the future. The New School is here, and Dash Shaw may just be its headmaster." –Nate Derr
• Review: On Jaime Hernandez's latest graphic novel "To experience Maggie's story is to watch a modern comic-book master explore the potential of his craft, and The Love Bunglersrepresents a high point for both the character and her creator." –Oliver Sava, A.V. Club
• Review: Broken Frontier on The Love Bunglers. "Even if you haven't shared the accumulated history of Maggie and Ray over the past 30 years, this is a universal story of literally breathtaking power...It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that you jump in at what might be the end of it all, but once you've been through this story with the characters, you'll want to immerse yourself in the hundreds of pages that led them there. And your life - in comics and beyond - will be immeasurably richer" –Tom Murphy, Broken Frontier
• Review: Starred Review for Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano "Equal parts beautiful and highly disturbing, this story of love and loss, obsession and vengeance, is sometimes too opaque to be easily understood, but it has the kind of depth and layers that encourage multiple readings"–Publishers Weekly
• Review: Sarah Horrocks on Nijigahara Holograph< by Inio Asano. "Life in Nijigahara Holograph is depicted through the management of trauma and memory. Adults become adults by what precious things they are stripped of as children, and how well they function as adults is down to just how well they can deny those memories…That the horrors we are exposed to or create as children are perhaps unfairly navigatory in the horrible lives we end up living. The fragility of children in a horrible world, and how it predisposes them to perpetuate an eternal hell from which there is no salvation. Wire Seaon 4, ya." –Sarah Horrocks, Mercurial Blonde (1 of 2), Mercurial Blonde (2 of 2)
• Review:< \Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano "If David Lynch were a Japanese manga artist rather than an American film director, this is the sort of story one imagines he would tell in his hypothetical medium." –J. Caleb Mozzocoo, Robot6
• Review: Suvudu, Random House's blog on Nijigahara Holograph"Nijigahara Holograph has the same strong focus on character [as Asano's previous works], but with much more emphasis on the creepy and violently destructive…The complex, multi-layered storytelling rewards attention...I was left thinking about isolation and the need to belong and how much childhood traumas could shape the adults they became." –Johanna Draper Carlson, Suvudu
• Review:The Blighted Eye, edited by Glenn Bray "...it is a strange and wondrous feast. Behold its glory!...Just try and stay away from this book of temptation, I dare you!" –Librarie D&Q
• Review:The EC Comics Slipcase Vol. 1"They are now considered some of the finest comic books ever published...Publisher Fantagraphics is finally making these comics affordable in a series of high-quality slipcase editions."-Mark Frauenfelder Wink Books "The greatest comic books ever published," He continued on Boing Boing
• Review:Sucker Bait & Zero Hour "These collections show comics in a pure, unadulterated form. Before the Superhero frenzy, before '60s cynicism, and just before the Comics Code Authority started trimming all the gory and sexy fun from the pages with their seal of approval." - Under the Radar
• Review:Zero Hour and Other Stories by Jack Kamen, Ray Bradbury and Al Fieldstein on Forbidden Planet. "…the moral reminder (hey, this is the 50s) that in the end crime doesn't pay and that everyone will get their just deserts...Throughout all of these short tales though Kamen's artwork is gorgeous - the lurid, leering expression of the villainous man, the seductive and yet somehow simultaneously vicious glance of the scheming femme fatale...It's very much of its time though - not just the style of storytelling, but of that early post-war society that it came from." –Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International
• Review:Zero Hour and Other Stories "Kamen excelled at drawing 'ordinary,' domestic scenes, and this ability was effectively juxtaposed in a number of creepy stories here, including a trio of Ray Bradbury adaptations...The focus, though, is on the stories themselves, and that is as it should be. Once again Fantagraphics has released a quality collection from an outstanding talent. It is to be hoped that these compilations just keep coming." -David Maine, Spectrum Culture
• Review:The Comics Journal Library Vol. 8: The EC Artists edited by Mike Dean and Gary Groth "This is a terrific book for anyone interested in the workings of the legendary EC Comics from behind the scenes...many of these interviews are obscure or long out of print, and are a trove of gossip and insight into the machinations of history's most notorious comics publisher." -David Maine, Spectrum Culture
• Review:Perfect Nonsenseby George Carlson "Prepare to be hurled deep into the past century to a vividly entrancing, pre-CG place of whimsy and wonder...Poring over the rich detail enlivening children's rhymes or his depiction of the Queen Mary ocean liner can be equally arresting and transporting." –Hays Davis, Under the Radar
• Review:Perfect Nonsenseby George Carlson "George Carlson shows himself to be the missing link between Lyonel Feininger and Dr. Seuss. He was not the sort of cartoonist who was broadly influential, but the sort whose work was known to a relative few and remembered by all of them…George Carlson takes us back to a visual environment where Disney doesn't exist, and thus his work has the fascination of the unfamiliar." –R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
• Review:Stranger Than Life by MK Brown is a staff pick at Last Gasp! "Holy shit, can she draw funny...MK Brown's art is terrific, her writing is unique, and this book makes me want to be struck by lightning while reading it, so I can die happy." –Kristine, Last Gasp
• Review:Stranger Than Life by MK Brown on TCJ: "Even if it wasn't one of those rare books where the writer of the afterword denounces the work of the writer of the foreword, Stranger Than Life would be guaranteed to be unlike anything else on your bookshelf, where it ought to be." –R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
• Review:Pretty in Ink by Trina Robbins "...her latest oversized, lushly illustrated offering is the most beautiful of the bunch. "Pretty in Ink" is encyclopedic in scope, if not scale, as Robbins summarizes lengthy careers with poetic succinctness..."-Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
• Review:Castle Waiting by Linda Medley is listed on the LitReactor's 10 Most Unconventional Comics to Read. "Decidedly feminist and surprisingly light despite the inherent darkness of many fairy tales, Castle Waiting gives readers a rare and impressive glimpse into a collection of unusual characters and stories that will delight....It's frequently insightful, surprising, and is wonderfully dense and layered, not to mention literally long" -Kelly Thompson, LitReactor
• Review:Black Lung by Chris Wright on No Flying No Tights. "It's all very hazy and evoking something that's a step-sister of steampunk, or perhaps a drugged-out [new] Edward Gorey. Plunder, torture, lechery, drunkenness, mutilation, and madness throng this shocking story to the point that it becomes almost routine…the real point of Blacklung's existence is to let Chris Wright explore what he can do with his squirm-inducing, spooky cartooning style - each panel cross-hatched to infinity, with many blacked-out panels or even whole pages gone black for narrative effect, darkness setting in from all sides." –Emilia Packard, No Flying No Tights • Review:Cannon by Wallace Wood "I can't decide if it's the most amazing thing I've ever read or the most morally reprehensible thing I've ever read. In fact, it's amazing partly because it's so morally reprehensible. John Cannon is a more manly James Bond...Despite the rather warped sexual politics (which might have been more acceptable in the early 1970s, but still seem extreme for the time period), Cannon is a wildly entertaining strip, full of action and excitement." –Greg Burgas, Comic Book Resources
• Review: Sequential Crush takes a heartfelt look at Young Romance 2. "...What you'll discover after reading this volume is that the early Simon and Kirby romance stories are filled with young women who are steadfast in their dreams, and won't quit until they reach them... For me, the backgrounds are an education in our material past."–Jacque Nodell, Sequential Crush
• Review:Comics Worth Reading enjoys Young Romance 2 "...the impulses to risk everything for love or disobey parents who just don't understand are universal. The stories are dense - with intent, with events happening quickly, with full panels that establish setting background and costume, because all that is so important to getting caught up in these stories of women who only want to find love…It's a tribute to Jack Kirby's skill that the images, even when crammed into half the panel space, are so striking and evocative. The text, meanwhile, is full of flavor, setting a deeply emotional, almost melodramatic mood." -Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
• Plug: Animation Magazine on Peanuts Every Sunday by Charles M. Schulz "You'll find very young versions of the gang and Snoopy in this edition, and it's quite fun to trace the origins of the more sophisticated characters we're more familiar with from later years and the animated specials...the whole reason to have this volume is to relive the joy of reading the Sunday morning funnies-and that's why the larger format is absolutely vital to the experience. Keep ‘em coming, folks!" –Ramin Zahed, Animation Magazine
• Plug: More kinds words about Charles M. Schulz's complete run of Peanuts "…the pleasure of spending time with Charlie Brown and friends isn't purely nostalgic. Schulz was like Emily Dickinson in comic strip form, boring to the core of human experience with just a handful of words and gestures." –John Warner, Chicago Tribune
• Review: Batter Up, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz "Jacob Covey provides the beautiful book design, with a limited palette of spring-appropriate yellows and greens...no matter how humiliating the defeat, Charlie Brown always shows up to play, which is in large part what makes this particular loser such a loveable one."–J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal • Review: NPR on Charles M. Schulz and reading Peanuts. "Charlie Brown makes me feel better about myself. It's not your normal guilty pleasure read, I know. It's my escape from guilt, into pleasure. The thousands of strips are comforting in their vastness - the most solid books on my shelf that could shield me, momentarily, from the advancing troop of guilt." -Yiyun Li, NPR
• Review:Prison Pit Book Five by Johnny Ryan "Visceral and juvenile; hypersexualized violence and hyperimaginative pseudo-sci-fi-Prison Pit has it all...Over-the-top bananas. I quite enjoyed it. Your mileage may vary. You've been warned." -Jeremy Nilsen, Under the Radar
• Review:Prison Pit Book Five by Johnny Ryan "...despite all the gore, Ryan frequently is able to achieve a certain amount of sublime, horrible beauty, most notably in the way he transitions between scenes...here's a genuine sense of horror at the proceedings, as though the comic were some sort of test, not for the reader (it's much too entertaining and smartly paced) but for Ryan himself, gazing into the abyss perhaps to see what exactly will make him flinch... There's an artistry and legitimacy here that belies the notion that picking at scabs is an exercise in futility." –Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review:Ed Piskor's NY Times Best Selling "Hip Hop Family Tree is the story of a very different kind of mash-up counterculture emerging from the empty lots of the Bronx, where commercial pop and jerry-rigged sound systems turned an economic wasteland into a space for creativity, pride, and the birth of a new culture…With Hip Hop Family Tree, Piskor fully embraces the role of graphic historian that he began to fulfill in his earlier work on the Beats and the history of hacking…" –Jared Gardner, Public Books
• Review: "Julia Gfrörer is a talented young cartoonist whose delicate linework brings to her gothic storytelling a fragile sensuality and somber humor. In her young career she has produced some splendid short work and mini-comics, but it is her debut novella, Black is the Color, that has brought her the attention she deserves." -Jared Gardner, Public Books • Review: FPI is excited about the upcoming How To Be Happy "Eleanor Davis is, without question, a major young creator...the constant is an incredible storytelling sense even when really pushing page layout, couple this with bravery, honesty, passion in what she makes and you have a star in the making." -Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International
• Plug: Ruben Bolling plugs our new Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn collection by Carl Barks. "These Fantagraphics reprints of the Carl Barks Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics are the gold standard for reprint publications -- which is an embarrassment of riches because the underlying material is the gold standard for cartooning. Some of the best comic book items ever produced, I can't 'Recommonday' them enough." –Ruben Bolling, Tom the Dancing Bug
• Review: Meat Cake by Dame Darcy is available to read digitally and people are loving it! "I was thrilled when I heard the first issue is now available for free on ComiXology. Grab it and enjoy the Victorian witches and that one lady who speaks via Pez messages. It's perfect. (Head to Fantagraphics to get it in print.)" -Whitney Matheson,USA Today
• Plug:Henry Speaks for Himself is mentioned on Gweek by Ruben Bolling on Gweek • Review:Dan DeCarlo "It turns out that DeCarlo was also a prolific cheesecake gag cartoonist, churning out dozens of drawings of buxom women that look like Betty and Veronica's older sisters. This Fantagraphics anthology is masterfully designed in two colors by Jacob Covey..." -Mark Frauenfelder, Wink Books
• Review: "[Barnaby] seems to float, as the best newspapers strips do, in some eternally mythic American moment." –Josh O'Neill, Locust Moon Comics
• Review:Nutsby Gahan Wilson is reviewed on Kitty Sneezes "a memoir-like piece about, ultimately, how scary childhood can be."
• Review: Heroes Online blog looks at VIP, edited by Jonathan Barli. "His madcap-often bawdy and even a little naughty- style was immediately recognizable and oft times laugh out loud funny... a career long retrospective of a comic genius that is long overdue. "–Andy Mansell, Heroes Online
• Review: From our friends across the pond about Janet Hamlin's books "Sketching Guantanamo is an extraordinary witnessing of history in the making. Hamlin's patient skill as a graphic artist seems to communicate the personality of her subjects far more deeply and expressively than any photographer could."–New Internationalist
The painting I donated to the CAPS auction to benefit the Sakai family back in December is now up for bids! Here’s some info about the painting, if you are interested: the illustration is from the Japanese folktale Little Peachling and was originally done for the front cover of one of my earliest children’s books, Favorite Tales from Many Lands, written by Walter Retan and published by Grossett & Dunlap in 1989. This was painted on illustration board (basically, a piece of bristol board attached to a chipboard backing), then "stripped" (peeled off the backing board) because back in those days, children, artwork was color separated by wrapping it around a drum scanner. Because of this the backside is a bit fuzzy, but so is your cat's so don't judge.
Left to right: Linda Medley, Stan Sakai, Mark Crilley, and Jeff Smith. Not pictured: Charles Vess. Old Man's Cave, Ohio, November 1998
There's been tons of wonderful artwork donated, and right now you have the opportunity to bid on pieces from three of my old buddies above, counting Charlie who was there but didn't show up in the photo because faerie glamour.
Mark Crilley's fantastic watercolor of Usagi. Go watch the amazing video Mark made of him coloring this piece, be soothed by his awesome weatherman voice, then bid like crazy because this auction ends on Sunday.
Also ending Sunday is Charles Vess's huge, gorgeous watercolor spread which comes with bonus Neil Gaiman cooties! So it's well worth your consideration. And paycheck.
Also well worth it are the Sakais. Seriously, they are the nicest people in comics -- and beyond -- and Stan is a LEGEND. Even if you can't bid in the auctions, you can still donate via PayPal, and every little bit helps.
Collector extraordinaire Glenn Bray will be joined by special guests, Todd Hignite and Robert Williams, who each supplied a foreword to this exceptional book! Get a copy of this gorgeous book featuring artwork from all of your favorite cartoonists and even a section of special Krampus commissions Bray had made once he exhausted the world's supply.
See you tonight from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery at Wacko/Soap Plant, located at 4633 Hollywood Blvd. If you cannot attend the event and would like a signed book, contact Soap Plant at (323) 663-0122 or
Today, Joyce Farmer announced at the Penn State Libraries talk on Underground comics thatJim Woodring's Fran is the next recipient for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize! Sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. Fran is the first Fantagraphics books to win the prize (a runner-up many times in the past) and we are just so ding-dang delighted that Jim will be honored. Check out the latest comic about the Multiverse and Frank's newest companion, the playful Fran.
The team of Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics. The work they did combines the taut emotional and psychological insights of Stephen Crane with a verisimilitude so gritty that it seems as if they are reporting from the scene. Together with inker and friend Will Elder, whose own obsession for detail perfectly heightened the impact of every line, they produced 34 war stories — emotionally draining and dramatically eloquent — in just under three years. This book collects them all. Settings include: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in the trenches and in the air); World War II (in the Pacific and in Europe, including the D-Day invasion); and the Korean War.
"The minute you looked at his artwork you knew you were looking at a John Severin illustration; it could be no one else. Besides his inimitable style, there was a feeling of total authenticity to whatever he drew, whether it was a Western, a crime story, a superhero saga or a science fiction yarn." – Stan Lee
Don't forget! Tonight at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles Love and Rockets'Jaime Hernandez will be on a 7pm panel at Meltdown Comics with fellow cartoonists and animators Pendleton Ward, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Thompas Herpich. They will be interviewed by Inkstuds radio show host, Robin McConnell and cartoonist, Brandon Graham in what will be a packed room. After the panel, Jaime will be signing books INCLUDING the newest collection The Love Bunglers.
There will be free tickets available at the door so you can still go loiter and hope to meet one of the cartoonists. It will also be broadcasted LIVE via MeltdownTVhere. Pick up a copy of The Love Bunglers too, it's absolutely drool-worthy. Let's have a party!
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