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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 2011

What's in the August Diamond Previews
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoPaul NelsonmangaKevin AveryJasonJack DavisDisneyDiane NoominDiamondComing AttractionsCarl BarksBill Griffith 3 Aug 2011 3:05 AM

Shipping October 2011 from Fantagraphics Books

The new Diamond Previews catalog is out today and in it you'll find our usual 2-page spread with our releases scheduled to arrive in your local comic shop in October 2011 (give or take — some release dates have changed since the issue went to press), plus a full-page Featured Item spotlight on Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks! We're pleased to offer additional and updated information about these upcoming releases here on our website, to help shops and customers alike make more informed ordering decisions.

In addition to our first Barks Library book you'll find hotly-anticipated titles like the second volume of Shimura Takako's Wandering Son; the husband-wife duo of Bill Griffith: Lost and Found – Comics 1970-1994 and Diane Noomin's Glitz-2-Go ("Certified Cool"!); our big Jack Davis art book; a surprise comic book treat for Jason fans, Jason Conquers America; and our already-acclaimed next book of rock-n-roll writing, Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. See them all here!

Previews - Donald Duck page

Video: Bill Mauldin profile on KPLR TV
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoevideoBill Mauldin 2 Aug 2011 9:59 PM

St. Louis TV station KPLR ran this brief profile of Bill Mauldin as part of a series spotlighting inductees into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. I'm not sure when this originally aired, but The Daily Cartoonist picked it up today — fortuitious timing, as our two Willie & Joe collections hit comic shops tomorrow!

New Comics Day 8/3/11: Willie & Joe x2
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeNew Comics DayBill Mauldin 2 Aug 2011 9:52 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (Softcover Ed.) by Bill Mauldin

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (Softcover Ed.)
by Bill Mauldin; edited by Todd DePastino

704-page black & white/color 8" x 10" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-439-9

Willie & Joe: Back Home by Bill Mauldin

Willie & Joe: Back Home
by Bill Mauldin; edited by Todd DePastino

288-page black & white 8" x 10" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-351-4

"Maudlin's World War 2-era comics were fully realized depictions of combat soldiers because he, like his characters, was in the war. And as much as he conveyed the situation of the American fighting man in this new one-volume softcover collection of The WWII Years, his new, hardcover Back Home collection also poignantly relates the trials of the vet in the post-war years." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

"You need all the books featuring American Hero Bill Mauldin your shelves can handle, but the Back Home collection is doubly recommended for telling on one of the most startling stories in the history of cartooning: how Mauldin basically destroyed his own potentially lucrative syndicated panel offering by pulling no punches on what he saw as a curdling of the American spirit after World War 2: a multi-month act of creative self-immolation I'm not sure has ever been seen before or since. It's an amazing thing to witness those cartoons first-hand." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

"Fantagraphics is re-releasing their Willie & Joe WWII collection by Bill Mauldin ($39.99) as a paperback and also introducing a collection of post-war Madulin cartoons, titled Back Home ($29.99)." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: Smashing together a 2008 slipcased book set, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years is 704 pages of Bill Mauldin stuff in a new softcover edition; $39.99." – Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal



Daily OCD: 8/2/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert CrumbreviewsLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJim WoodringJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDaily OCD 2 Aug 2011 7:50 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories [Sold Out]

List: The Hooded Utilitarian, continuing to roll out the top 10 results in their International Best Comics Poll, reveals the Locas stories of Jaime Hernandez at #7, with an appreciation by Derik Badman

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

Review: "I am seriously finding it difficult, if not impossible, to review [Love and Rockets: New Stories #4] without simply hitting the bullets-and-numbering button and whipping up a list of everything in it that amazed me. It would be a long list, too.... The fact of the matter is that while reading this book I discovered that I’m at least as attached to Ray Dominguez and Fritz Martinez, the protagonists of Jaime and Gilbert’s contributions respectively, as I am to a decent number of real people in my life. ...[I]n the end, how it looks pales in insignificance next to what happens, because making it look that good is a means to the end of imparting just how much what happens matters. Ray’s shirt and Fritz’s legs, the shadow of the vampire and the structure of the montage — they’re just landmarks to remind you where you were when you found out if Ray and Fritz and Maggie were going to get happy endings, or not. It’s the easiest thing in the world to understand, and it’s the hardest thing in the world to do, and it’s magic, pure magic, to do it this well." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Maybe it seems as if I’ve told you the whole story [of Congress of the Animals] already. Not to worry, as I am only giving a basic outline of what Jim Woodring has rendered (without a single word!) in inspirationally meticulous ink drawings. You’ll really have no idea of this book’s content until you pick it up and view sights that are organically bizarre, beautifully horrific, cryptically disturbing, and genuinely heartwarming." – Chris Gray, San Mateo County Library blog

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 15

Review: "Crumb’s subtle mastery of his art-form and obsessive need to reveal his most hidden depths and every perceived defect — in himself and the world around him — has always been a unquenchable wellspring of challenging comedy and riotous rumination. This superb series [The Complete Crumb Comics] charting the perplexing pen-and-ink pilgrim’s progress is the perfect vehicle to introduce any (definitively over 18) newcomers of your acquaintance to the world of grown up comics. And if you need a way in yourself, snatch up this book [Vol. 15] and the other sixteen as soon as conceivably possible." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Armed Garden and Other Stories by David B. - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesDavid B 2 Aug 2011 2:21 AM

The Armed Garden and Other Stories by David B.

The Armed Garden and Other Stories
by David B.

112-page two-color 7.5" x 10.75" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-462-7

Ships in: August 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

David B., the creator of the acclaimed Epileptic, gives full rein to his fascination with history, magic and gods, not to mention grand battles, in this literate, witty, and absorbing collection of stories — all based on historical fact, or at least historical legend, and delineated in a striking stylized two-color format.

“The Veiled Prophet”: During the 8th century (the time of Harun al-Rashid, the Caliph of 1001 Nights fame), Hakim al-Muqanna, the lowly Persian fabric dyer, is assaulted and enveloped by a piece of white cloth come from the sky. When a bystander recognizes in the folds of the cloth the visage of Abu-Muslim, defender of the oppressed, al-Muqanna becomes a prophet and great leader — and within a year his followers have defeated seven armies sent to stop him!

“The Armed Garden,” set in the 15th century, tells the story of the bloody quest for a Paradise on Earth. Rohan, a humble Prague blacksmith, is visited by Adam and Eve, who urge him lead his fol- lowers, soon dubbed “Adamites,” on this mission. They soon must contend, bloodily, with the rival Paradise-seekers the “Taborites,” led by John Zizka.

“The Drum Who Fell in Love,” a sequel of sorts, begins with Zizka’s death: His people have him skinned and his skin stripped onto a drum, and the drum, speaking in Zizka’s voice, leads the Taborites into battle anew. But the touch of a beautiful girl softens Zizka’s spirit, and the unlikely couple begin a journey together…

Download and read Part 1 of "The Veiled Prophet" in this 10-page PDF excerpt (5.7 MB).

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Exclusive Savings: Order The Armed Garden and Other Stories and add David B.'s Babel #2 to your order for half price! Make your selection when placing your order.

Now in stock: Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesGreg SadowskiAlex Toth 1 Aug 2011 11:31 PM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

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

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954
edited by Greg Sadowski

432-page full color 7.5" x 10.5" softcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-408-5

See Previews / Order Now

Alex Toth’s influence on the art of comic books is incalculable. As his generation was the first to grow up with the new 10-cent full-color pamphlets, he came to the medium with a fresh eye, and enough talent and discipline to graphically strip it down its to its bare essentials. His efforts reached fruition at Standard Comics, creating an entire school of imitators and establishing Toth as the “comic book artist’s artist.” Setting the Standard collects the entirety of this highly influential body of work in one substantial volume.

Toth began his professional career at fifteen in 1945 for Heroic Comics, but quickly advanced to superhero work for DC. Responding to the endless criticism of editor Sheldon Mayer and production chief Sol Harrison, the young artist strove toward a technique free of “showoff surface tricks, clutter, and distracting picture elements.” Simply put, he learned “how to tell a story, to the exclusion of all else.”

After falling out with DC in 1952, Toth moved west. He freelanced almost exclusively for Standard over the next two years, contributing classic work for its crime, horror, science fiction, and war titles. But perhaps most revelatory to the reader will be the romance collaborations with writer Kim Ammodt, Toth’s personal favorites. “I came to prefer them for the quieter, more credible, natural human equations they dealt with — emotions, subtleties of gesture, expression, attitude.”

To explain his take on comics, Toth would quote such proverbs as “To add to truth distracts from it,” or “The beauty of the simple thing.” He employed these axioms “to make clear how universal this pursuit of truth, clarity, simplicity, economy, in all the arts and many other disciplines really is — and has been for 6,000 years.” These and other observations regarding the comic book form will be collected in an essay based on Toth’s published and unpublished letters and interviews.

Every page of Setting the Standard is restored to bring Toth’s unsurpassed graphics and page designs into full clarity, making this an essential edition for anyone with an appreciation of the art of graphic storytelling.

Video: Love and Rockets Comic-Con Panel with the Hernandez Bros.
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoMario HernandezLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezCCI 1 Aug 2011 10:45 PM

Love & Rockets from The Comics Journal on Vimeo.

Courtesy of The Comics Journal, enjoy this video of the entire Love and Rockets panel at Comic-Con 2011 with Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez (moderated by a laryngitis-stricken Kristy Valenti of TCJ).

BEM 3D
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Love and RocketsGilbert Hernandezfan art 1 Aug 2011 9:58 PM

BEM in 3D - Ali Akbar

Given a classroom assignment to create a toy design, Love and Rockets fan Ali Akbar sensibly thought, "Why not BEM?" Thus, this 3D rendering of everyone's favorite Gilbert Hernandez-created robo-gorilla-mecha-suit (as seen in the collection Amor y Cohetes). I'd buy wunna these... anna Roy action figure... anna Rocky & Fumble playset... anna Rena Titañon wrasslin' action doll... Thanks to Ali for sharing these images on the Love and Rockets Facebook page!

BEM packaging - Ali Akbar

Daily OCD: 8/1/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under ZapWilfred SantiagoWalt KellyUsagi YojimboStan SakaiShimura TakakoreviewsPeanutsMoto HagioMickey MouseMichael KuppermanMaurice TillieuxmangaJim WoodringJack ColeFrank SantoroFloyd GottfredsonEC ComicsDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDisneyDave McKeanDash ShawDaily OCDCharles M SchulzAlex Chun21 1 Aug 2011 9:09 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide

Review: "Originally appearing from 1958 to 1960, these insouciant, stylish, and thrilling dramas should appeal to readers of all ages. If they don't hook a whole new batch of bande dessinée fans, France needs to take back the Statue of Liberty in a huff.... Both stories zip by with nary a dull patch. Confections lacking in gravitas, they nevertheless own the supreme virtues of lightness and panache. Tillieux's art is always easy on the eye.... If Spielberg is looking for a second franchise after Tintin, he couldn't go wrong with Gil Jordan." – Paul Di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review

Wandering Son Vol. 1

List: At About.com - Manga, Deb Aoki shares comments that she and her fellow panelists on the "Best and Worst Manga" panel at Comic-Con made about Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako (named a Best New Teen Manga and a Best New Grown-Up Manga) and A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio (named a Best New Grown-Up Manga)

Review: "Thanks to well known translator Matt Thorn, this volume is a very smooth read. I don’t often comment on such things, but Thorn took great care in interpreting and presenting this book, and it pays off in a very pleasing flow of text. The art is also quite lovely, very simplistic, and flows well from panel to panel. The color pages in the beginning have a beautiful, water color look to them. Fantagraphics has put out a gorgeous hardcover book with Wandering Son." – Kristin Bomba, ComicAttack.net

The Pin-Up Art of Humorama

Review: "Fantagraphics’ The Pin-Up Art of Humorama collects hundreds of racy cartoons from the once-ubiquitous tasteless humor mag.... The Fantagraphics edition, edited by Alex Chun and Jacob Covey, 'remasters' these toons with a two-color treatment that really captures the graphic feel of the mouldering pulps that still grace the ends of yard-sale tables in cities across America. It must be said that none of these are very funny, but they’re often quite beautiful and nostalgic." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "Every once in a while, a book comes along that is simply spectacular. This collection of [Mickey Mouse] comic strips by Floyd Gottfredson is a perfect example of how to present, analyze and reconstruct subject matter that is viewed differently today. The series editors (David Gerstein and Gary Groth) pull no punches in discussing why Mickey was carrying a gun or the use of slang that is noticeably offensive by today's standards. This is a wonderful vehicle for presenting historically accurate art. Other companies should take notice.... This is a stunning work. The historical presentation is flawless, as is the artwork." – George Taylor, Imaginerding

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Review: "[In Celluloid], McKean is attempting to subvert hardened notions of both comics and pornography. It's a book that gets the blood racing just as it raises questions that just won't go away about the nature of art, porn, and the male gaze.... By painting an erotic sequence with a surrealist's brush, McKean reveals the raw sexual current that underscores all pornography." – Peter Bebergal, Bookslut

Review: "An unapologetically hard-core hardcover, Celluloid follows a young woman’s sexual epiphany... and feels almost like a silent, erotic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the White Rabbit and the rabbit-hole replaced by an ancient movie camera and a doorway to…somewhere else. By itself, typically, McKean’s technical mastery (beginning with pen and ink and finishing with photography) steals the breath away; ditto his visual motifs — involving fruit, say, or eyes. A bravura performance, Celluloid (which ends, by the way, with signal wit) constitutes an astounding fusion of the Dionysiac and the Apolline, in Nietzschean terms, and less invites reading than demands rereading." – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Congress of the Animals

Review: "In the oneiric power of his work as a writer/artist, Jim Woodring enjoys few rivals in contemporary comics... Within the first ten pages of Congress of the Animals, calamity literally descends on poor Frank in the form of a wood-boxed croquet set. In the next ten, our bucktoothed, bobtail boyo suffers both a labor dispute and a credit crisis, and thereafter, in the U.S. in 2011, it should come as no surprise that things fast go from bad to worse; just for starters, Frank has to enter the working world. Ameliorating all of his tribulations, at least from readers’ vantage, are his creator’s nonpareil pen and undulant line — a quivery visual seduction courtesy of Higgins. Moreover, by the finale, Frank’s [spoiler redacted – Ed.] — so the little guy ain’t doin’ too bad, y’know?" – Bryan A. Hollerbach, PLAYBACK:stl

Review: "Like Weathercraft, this new work [Congress of the Animals] is completely silent, showcasing Woodring's amazing talent to convey a story without a word, with seemingly little effort. It's just an eye-popping visual feast of amazing illustrations in this crazy world where Woodring can put whatever he wants on the page, to a stunning end result." – Dave Ferraro, Comics-and-More (via the SPX Tumblr)

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "How wrong I was to underestimate the powerful storytelling medium of the emerging graphic novel platform, especially when masterfully rendered by an author and artist as remarkably talented as Santiago. I expected an exciting visual presentation, and was not disappointed, as Santiago’s heavy-lined, representational graphic style was, in turn whimsical, arresting, quirky, and most of all, emotional. But I wasn’t prepared for the wonderfully passionate portrayal of the human side of Clemente’s legendary journey from Puerto Rico into baseball immortality.... Captivating, revealing, and dramatic, 21 accomplished through art, creative use of informed imagination, and pure passion, far more than I thought possible from a graphic novel. I believe I now have a more complete picture of Roberto Clemente, but not of his statistics, or even his style of play, or of his place in baseball history. I have a truer sense of his heart." – Mark W. Schraf, Spitball

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 (Vol. 1) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: Adorable alert! At Bookie Woogie, 11-year-old Gracie (and her dad Aaron Zenz) review The Complete Peanuts:

Gracie:  Charlie Brown!  He's the one who thinks, "Life is going bad... I'm an awful person... Nothing good ever happens to me..."
Dad:  Would you be friends with him?
Gracie:  I would. I love him. My love for him goes to the ceiling of a skyscraper.  But nothing good ever happens to him ever. Once he won a race -- that's probably the only thing he's ever won. And the prize was 5 free haircuts...
Dad:  Ha!
Gracie:  He's only got a twist of hair in front. And he's like, "Five free hair cuts?  I don't have much hair to cut! And even if I did... my dad is a barber!"
Dad:  Poor Charlie Brown.
Gracie:  Yeah, nothing good ever happens to him. He's always getting teased for his perfectly round head.

Usagi Yojimbo Book 4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy

Interview: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks with Stan Sakai: "Usagi was first published 27 years ago, and that time I just concentrated on the next story. It was around maybe... I would say with book four, The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy. That was the first major storyline. It took maybe 10 issues or something, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe eight issues.... Before then, I was thinking, 'Usagi's going to be canceled any month.' [laughter] 'I can't spend too much time devoting myself to a long storyline.' But once I did that and got over that hurdle, that's when I realized that hey, this could go on for a long time."

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

List: The Hooded Utilitarian begins revealing the top 10 results in their International Best Comics Poll, with Walt Kelly's Pogo coming in at #8

Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Plug: Canada's National Post spotlights Drew Friedman's forthcoming book Even More Old Jewish Comedians

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: Michael Kupperman's Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 was a favorite acquisition at Comic-Con among some of Comics Alliance 's writers

Set to Sea

Plug: "A trip to the comics shop yesterday netted me a copy of Drew Weing’s Set to Sea. It’s pure indulgence, because I have already read the story online, but Fantagraphics’ small, almost jewel-like presentation is really beautiful. Weing tells his story one panel at a time, and each panel could be framed as a work of art in itself, so having it in a book, without the clutter of the web, is a worthy investment." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Classic Pin-up Art of Jack Cole [Softcover Ed.]

Commentary: Robot 6's Chris Mautner recommends The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole and Betsy and Me as "further reading" in his "Comics College" introduction to Jack Cole's work

TCJ.com

Commentary: At The Comics Journal, Frank Santoro talks about working with Dash Shaw on Dash's animation project and drawing for animation vs. drawing for comics

EC Comics logo

Scene: Comic Book Resources' Marlan Harris gives a recap of our 35th Anniversary panel at Comic-Con — unfortunately it contains several factual errors, some of which I have endeavored to correct in the comments thread

Scene: Our EC and ZAP announcements top Michael Dooley's list of 13 highlights from Comic-Con at Print magazine's Imprint blog

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