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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 >> August 2009

Daily OCD: 8/21/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LanestaffreviewsLilli CarréJacques Tardi 21 Aug 2009 2:30 PM

Friday Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Review: "As slim, smooth, and hard as its attractive, Adam Grano-designed album-style hardcover format, West Coast Blues is as strong a crime comic as you're likely to see this year (or until whenever the next Gipi Wish You Were Here Ignatz book comes out)... Tardi's art [is] a master class in spotted blacks and lines like garrote wire... This sucker's good." - Sean T. Collins

• Things to see: I want to go to this crazy restaurant depicted by Tim Lane

• Things to see: Third in a series of hand-drawn animated GIFs by Lilli Carré

• Staff: Disparate Magnets, the new book of poetry by our own Nico Vassilakis, is deemed "some of Vassilakis's best work to date" by The Stranger's Paul Constant

Rush Limbaugh: still an anus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve Brodner 21 Aug 2009 12:01 PM

Rush Limbaugh by Steve Brodner

The Comics Journal's Matt Silvie suggested that we post this 1993 portrait of Rush Limbaugh by Steve Brodner (found in our Brodner book Freedom Fries) in response to the latest in Limbaugh's seemingly daily bigoted remarks, re: Rep. Barney Frank "living around Uranus." I'm only to happy to oblige.

Daily OCD: 8/20/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezAbstract Comics 20 Aug 2009 4:06 PM

A few Online Commentary & Diversions links, all killer no filler:

• Feature: Chris Mautner of Robot 6 kicks off that site's new "Comics College" column by giving an introduction to Love and Rockets, "one of the seminal titles... in shaping the sensibilities of the nascent indie scene." This article is a great complement to our own "How to Read Love and Rockets" feature

• Review: "It's been awhile since I've seen Gilbert do a story as deliberately oblique and enigmatic as this, given that much of what he's done of late has been either wrapping up the fates of his American-based Palomar characters or whipping up over-the-top noir/pulp thrillers. For Jaime, his first stories in the new version of L&R have been a return of sorts to his early Mechanics roots, only even more steeped in the fantastic. At the same time, his commanding storytelling prowess and greater subtlety directly inform this story, leading to some surprisingly poignant moments amidst sci-fi twists and costumed mayhem." - Rob Clough

• Review: "...West Coast Blues is a tight, economical and forceful thriller shorn of the self-consciousness that frequently comes when American comics mosey into the same territory... It's a wicked little book." - Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

• Analysis: "Besides being a beautifully done work of artistry and imagination, among particular crowds [Abstract Comics: The Anthology] spurs the question 'If these are comics, then what "are comics"?'" - Neil Cohn

Video: Kupperman at the Strand
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoMichael Kuppermanevents 19 Aug 2009 4:55 PM

 Michael Kupperman at the Strand Bookstore

Watch Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle reading last night at the Strand Bookstore in streaming video at the Strand website. There's no direct link, but look for the link on the player under "Recent Highlights" or "Highlights." The man does great voices!

Speaking of SPX posters, how about some Gahan Wilson?
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Gahan Wilson 19 Aug 2009 3:47 PM

Gahan Wilson SPX poster

Designed by our own Jacob Covey, who's also designing the Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons set.

Daily OCD: 8/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThe Comics JournalstaffSethRichard SalareviewsPeanutsJohnny RyanIgnatz SeriesGilbert HernandezDash ShawDame DarcyBob Levin 19 Aug 2009 3:20 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions for the day:

• Analysis: For Comics Comics, Dash Shaw pens an appreciation of the work of Tim Hensley: "It’s like what he chooses to draw in the environment (and what he chooses not to draw) is determined by some graphic Feng Shui. When his comics are at their most beautiful, these environments function both as the story’s world and abstractly... With his best dialogue, a line that you first read as being surreally disconnected on a second reading is funny and on a third reading reveals a wider scope of the story."

• Review: "Yes, both of these books are like kryptonite to good taste. But there are a couple of big differences between what Johnny Ryan is doing in Comics Are for Idiots!, his latest Blecky Yuckerella strip collection, and what he's doing in Prison Pit, his ultraviolent action-comic debut... The four-panel Blecky strips often feel like a breakneck race to the punchline through some kind of bizarre obstacle course requiring the basic premise of the gag to get more ridiculous with each panel... Ryan's rep as altcomix's premier overgrown juvenile delinquent is well deserved--and don't get me wrong, you can absolutely enjoy Prison Pit on that level--but the poetic savagery he depicts here is the work of a grown-ass man." - Sean T. Collins

• Review: "[Delphine], Richard Sala's contribution to Fantagraphics's prestigious Ignatz Series, is some of his strongest and most personal work yet... He sets his pop-cultural influences aside this time to lead us down a grimmer path... As for the art -- well, what can I say? It's recognizably Sala's, and at the top of his game, but taken to the next level, in that the usual precision of his black-and-white work is here inflected with sepia washes that give an added visual dimension to the murkiness of the hero's experience... The heavy dustjackets, with such gorgeous full-color art not only front and back but on both big inside flaps, deliver a lush visual and tactile experience that no bonus gallery in a collection will be able to duplicate... By whatever route you get here, I highly recommend this." - Curt Purcell, The Groovy Age of Horror

• Review: "Even when she's not especially inspired, Dame Darcy creates superior goth comics: cheerfully mean-spirited, idiosyncratically stylish, and oozing with surreal ichor... In [Meat Cake #17], Darcy indulges her goth tropes and her feminism: men are tormented, sisterhood is affirmed, and light-hearted squick is relished by all. And, as always, Darcy's eccentric drawing is a joy, with perspective, proportion, and visual logic all flattened out to fit into geometrically obscure but oddly elegant patterns." - Noah Berlatsky, The Comics Journal (reprinted at The Hooded Utilitarian)

• Plug: "The big story here [in The Comics Journal #299] is Bob Levin's spectacular essay on Michel Choquette and his never-completed comics anthology... Sadly, the project never got off the ground, and Levin details in his typical stellar fashion why and how. It's a fascinating tale, one well worth your $12." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

• Plug: "The new Comics Journal (#299) is in Direct Market stores today. I got mine a week ago and love it, especially the absolutely essential Bob Levin cover article." - Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy

• Plug: "This is a particularly excellent issue of TCJ, thanks to Bob Levin's magnificent 50-page... history of 'The Someday Funnies'... You really need to read it." - Douglas Wolk, Comics Alliance

• Interview: Seth continues discussing his design work for The Complete Peanuts in the final part of Brian Heater's interview at The Daily Cross Hatch: "Schulz’s work is right there in the book. Every line in those strips is his. But the design stuff is just design stuff. It’s a setting to put a gem in. The setting is not the gem."

• Things to see: At the Covered blog, Anthony Vukojevich does a Gilbert Hernandez Birdland cover

• Staff: The Comics Reporter and Publishers Weekly have the scoop on our newest hire, Jacq Cohen

Laura Park's SPX poster
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Laura Park 19 Aug 2009 1:03 PM

SPX poster by Laura Park

Mama zama! Click for bigger. (Link updated)

Dame Darcy's busy schedule
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under eventsDame Darcy 19 Aug 2009 12:26 PM

Dame Darcy Pony Club flyer

Dame Darcy has posted an update to her busy, busy art/music/performance schedule, with no fewer than 10 events scheduled in Portland, Olympia and Seattle between now and the end of October, starting with a cabaret performance in Portland TONIGHT!

Daily OCD: 8/18/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyRoger LangridgerockreviewsPaul KarasikJaime HernandezFrom Wonderland with LoveFletcher HanksAnders NilsenAbstract Comics 18 Aug 2009 3:02 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

• Tunes: Inkstuds presents the Jaime Hernandez mixtape: 17 songs selected by Jaime and presented for your listening enjoyment, from N.W.A. to B.Ö.C. to Mötley Crüe to Dölly Partön

• Profile: "[Fletcher Hanks's] drawings, while often clunky, have a kind of primal 'rightness' and a narrative logic so wonderfully bizarre that it wins over readers normally skeptical of the kapow, blam, boom sequences of superhero comics. Beyond the comics themselves, though, it's [Paul] Karasik's smart enthusiasm for the work that tells readers in no uncertain terms that here is something to get excited about." - Sasha Watson, Publishers Weekly

• Review: "[From Wonderland with Love] is beautiful and attractive to such a degree that it makes one feel all proud of one's country. [Rating: 5 out of 6 stars]" - Hans Bjerregaard, Ekstra-Bladet (translated from Danish; link to scan)

• Review: "Beautiful graphic craftmanship and original narratives at a level that could have been drawn straight from the American comics market's avant-garde [in From Wonderland with Love]." - Søren Vinterberg, Politiken (translated from Danish)

• Review: "...Abstract Comics... goes one step beyond to leave the accepted definition of comics outdated, noting that the expressive possibilities of this medium and this language are still unknown." - La Cárcel de Papel (translated from Spanish)

• Interview: At Verbicide, Nate Pollard talks to Zak Sally about his new album Fear of Song and his publishing ethos: "Every La Mano release is something I am intensely proud of, and stand behind 110 percent. I aspire to people trusting La Mano."

• Things to see: Roger Langridge unearths some early Fred the Clown sketches

• Things to see: Recent sketchbookery from Anders Nilsen

New Comics Day 8/19/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalNew Comics DayBob Levin 18 Aug 2009 12:39 PM

The Comics Journal #299

Scheduled to hit comics shops in the USA tomorrow: The Comics Journal #299, featuring Bob Levin's amazing investigation into the lost anthology The Someday Funnies, the Journal interview with Josh Cotter, Myron Waldman's Eve and lots more. 

Visit our product page for more details and for links to free excerpts on the TCJ.com website. Your local shop can confirm availability if you give them a buzz beforehand.


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