• Review: "Early reviews of The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective are heralding it as a much-deserved tribute to a forgotten genius... Around these parts, Holmes, who passed away in 2002, has been a revered figure for decades. [...] Through excerpts from the artist’s own journals and interviews with those who knew him, Patrick Rosenkranz presents his subject as a man of contradictions, both prodigiously gifted and painfully insecure. [...] Holmes’s art was always marked by sharp visual wit and a sometimes astonishing attention to detail. He was indeed a genius, and thanks to Fantagraphics, he won’t be a forgotten one." – John Lucas, The Georgia Straight
• Review: "...High Soft Lisp remains another Gilbert Hernandez winner. Frank and trippy, sexy and creepy, nobody working in comics creates worlds as deep or intriguing as Gilbert Hernandez’s." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Interview: At the KEXP blog, Chris Estey talks to Peter Bagge about his band Can You Imagine?: " The main reason I took up the guitar and abandoned the drums was so I could have more control over what type of music my band plays and how. Pop rock from the 60s is obviously my favorite kind of music, but I also loved punk and new wave from the late 70s, since those bands broke free from the self important and self indulgent style of music that was ruining rock. I also loved that the self deprecating humor they all exhibited (or that the best bands did, anyway)."
Norman Pettingill is a true underground cartoonist, known and admired by a small coterie of cartooning connoisseurs, but completely unknown in the wider world.
Norman Pettingill was an avid trapper and fisherman from Northern Wisconsin, and a self-taught artist. In 1947, at the age of 51, he created hundreds of pen-and-ink drawings and marketed many of them as postcards, printing and distributing them himself. His cartoon drawings were relatively huge and his postcards, therefore, had to be uniquely over-sized at 7” x 10”. He combined a gift for the fine detail and verisimilitude of illustration with the visual exaggeration and outrageous wit of cartooning.
By merging his fascination with nature and backwoods culture with his wild sense of humor, he depicted an out-of-control hillbilly wonderland of talking grizzlies, dancing morons, nightclubs, giant mosquitoes, tumble-down shacks, pipe smoking grannies, flying skunk fur, google-eyed drunks, hilarious hunting mishaps and moonshine soaked fishermen! Pettingill’s world is reminiscent of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip, but Pettingill’s hillbilly heaven is made grittier and more tangible by his obsessive penwork and the attention he gives to each teetering outhouse, every overflowing spittoon and each wiry hair growing out of a mountain man’s warty face. He reveled in exposing the commercialization of outdoor activities, debunking the romance of a woodsman’s life, and demythologizing the expertise of the outdoors-man. His landscapes and drawings of wild animals could be breathtakingly wondrous, and even his most grotesque depictions of hillbillies were fused with a love and respect for the rituals of a primitive life in the boondocks.
This book is the first published retrospective of Pettingill’s work, containing over a hundred of the artist’s best and rarely seen drawings, printed in an oversized format under a unique cover printed on plywood.
It's a collection of the last 15 years' worth of Drew Friedman's illustrations, caricatures and portraits lampooning the rich, the famous, the infamous, and the never-will-be-famous.
And — promise! — no "Friends."
Too Soon? gathers Friedman's best, most strident and scathing work from some of the most popular publications including Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, Blab! and more — yes, even Field & Stream.
Too Soon? casts its net over the entirety of the forced-smiling-celebrity/politico congregation, political animals on one side of the aisle, showbiz beasts on the other... and the sad, innocent victims of their crimes that languish in the middle.
Too Soon? is naturally replete with liver spots, wrinkles, burst capillaries, blood, sweat and tears. No one is spared, no matter which side of the aisle he or she inhabits.
Too Soon? is Friedman's first book of artwork produced in HI-DEF, so be prepared. Drew Friedman's work is always brutally honest, WARTS & ALL.
Too Soon? is in fact not TOO SOON — it's about time.
Praise for Drew Friedman:
"I'm grateful to Drew Friedman for every new piece of his vast, riveting panorama of the jacked-up, hellbent American spectacle: comic and horrific, loving and appalled, obsessive and devil-may-care, brilliant and vulgar, familiar and uncanny. He's our William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson and George Grosz all wrapped into one." – Kurt Andersen, host of NPR's "Studio 360"
"I would like Drew Friedman to draw me, but I’m scared of what he’d uncover, what he’d reveal about my inner nature that I’d rather not see. Because that’s what he does—he’s not a mere caricaturist, he’s a ridiculously talented artist who’s practically an x-ray machine. One that makes you laugh your balls off.” – Chip Kidd, author of The Cheese Monkeys
"Friedman's liver-spots-'n'-wrinkles style of cartoon realism is completely mesmerizing..." – Entertainment Weekly
"The Thomas Nast of our time." – Slate
"Friedman distorts the images we've grown comfortable with, skewering the way we've let addicts and half-wits become our national idols..." – The Onion
"Friedman remains the finest, most excruciatingly mordant, somehow most humane caricaturist going". – Booklist
"Of low artistic quality." – Rush Limbaugh, big fat idiot.
• Review: "Meat Cake is a tour de force showcasing the most primal of passions! It is an issue of Creepy edited by Edward Gorey! It is a Gothic soap opera as written by Victorian lolitas! It is a celebration of love and hubris, beauty and decay! There is no other comic in the world that offers a titillating parade of mermaids, ghosts, sailors, sirens, faeries, witches and wolfmen in intriguing and compromising situations! You will be dazzled, you will be entertained, but above all, you will be enchanted!" – STORM (guest columnist), Robot 6
• Review: "Werewolves of Montpellier is a sad and even somewhat funny novel about the fact that loneliness is not hiding under the mask. Is this novel better or worse than other works of Jason? Probably not. Despite repeated methods in his books, [his] novels are utterly worth reading. If you have a werewolf friend, buy him this book. If you don’t, buy two." – Ray Garraty, Endless Falls Up
• List:The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon names Ici Même (You Are There) as one of "25 Emblematic Comics of the '70s": "This grand effort by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest may seem like an extravagant oddity now, but it gets credit from some for igniting a wave of alternative voices in a French-language comics industry whose mainstream had the added appeal of actually making its creators popular and wealthy successes. Even if you don't like the tune — and while it's a song I could personally listen to every day, I know many people couldn't — at the time I have to imagine that many comics readers weren't even aware that the medium could play some of these notes."
• Profile: "Just like Peter Parker, the most celebrated co-creation of the subject of his first book, Toronto writer Blake Bell was bitten by a strange bug as a youngster. And just like Peter Parker, he was transformed beyond all recognition — into the Amazing Comic Book Historian Guy." – Canadish
At Comics Alliance, David Brothers presents a sampling of 6 pages from A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, saying "Moto Hagio is one of the greatest Japanese manga creators you've never heard of. ...Hagio helped take the genre to new heights, incorporating science-fiction, boys' love, and mature themes of sexuality and gender. She not only blazed trails as one of the earliest female manga creators, but also proved to be particularly successful and critically-acclaimed over the course of her career in Japan. [...] Fantagraphics' release of A Drunken Dream is only the first step of educating American manga fans and neophytes alike about this influential pioneer."
2009's Prison Pit was an unadulterated smash hit upon its release at the 2009 Comic-Con International, and the balls-to-the-wall series returns with more action and mayhem like only Johnny Ryan can deliver — again starring CF, the shirtless outer space barbarian antihero who remains damned to the Prison Pit (a vast wasteland beneath the crust of a barren planet, populated by the worst of the worst, where violence is the only law and evil creatures roam free). In this second volume, CF tries to get revenge against the evil behemoth that took his arm, and then winds up playing an unwilling participant in an elaborate escape attempt from the Pit.
Prison Pit blends Ryan’s fascination with WWE wrestling, grindhouse cinema, first person action video games, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal and often hilarious showcase of violence like no other comic book ever created.
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