The fresh-popped Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Publishers Weekly discusses The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver, "Van Sciver’s psychologically astute examination of what might be termed Abraham Lincoln’s “lost years” (1837–1842) is as gripping and persuasive as the best historical fiction. . .This characterization of Lincoln is thoroughly human and identifiable, tracking a shadowy but formative period in the very uneven life of a man who shows little signs of becoming known as one of the greatest Americans. A thoroughly engaging graphic novel that seamlessly balances investigation and imagination." Wow!
• Plug: Noah Van Sciver's diary comics are showing up at The Comics Journal. Enjoy Day #1, Day #2 and Day #3.
• Plug:Comics Alliance JUMPED at the chance to be the first to comment on Naked Cartoonists. Senior writer Chris Sims comments, "Have you ever wanted to see Dilbert creatorScottAdams naked? Yeah, we haven't either, but apparently [Gary Groth] thought that was a good idea . . . joining artists like Will Eisner, For Better Or For Worsecreator Lynn Johnston, Jeff Smith (feel free to make your own Bone joke here) and . . . legendary MAD artist Sergio Aragones."
• Review:The Mary Sue names Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories one of the 10 Feminist Manga to Read, that is licensed in the USA. Kellie Foxx-Gonzalez says,"Hagio is not only a storyteller, she is undoubtedly a feminist author, using her manga to explore gender, power, and women’s issues. If extended metaphors in manga as an avenue to explore philosophical questions is as appealing to you as it is to me, please, don’t hesitate to pick up this anthology."
• Commentary: Shannon O'Leary of Publishers Weekly says,". . . with No Straight Lines , the most definitive collection of queer comics to date, [Justin] Hall and Fantagraphics have made the voluminous but largely hidden history of LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, transgender) comics finally visible as well."
• Review:The Awl and Kim O'Connor talk about autobio comics and include such underground greats like Aline Kominsky Crumb, Carol Tyler in addition to Chris Ware and Joe Sacco. While on the subject of Aline: "An important part of her project was to promote self-loathing as normal and even funny in an era when to do so was extremely unfashionable." O'Connor touched on the rawness of Chris Ware's work,"there's this sense of playful geometry that's deeply satisfying, even if it sometimes gives you the impression the artist's memory palace looks a lot like the Container Store. But the central delight in reading Jimmy Corrigan, as in all of Ware's work, is how it's painfully awkward and incredibly cool at the same time."
• Review: Rob Clough on the High-Low reviews Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals: ". . . is interesting because it's much more linear a narrative than most of his comics.. . .Unlike the typical Frank story, there's a greater sense of urgency to Frank's wanderings, as he encounters many temptations and pitfalls along his journey to a destination unknown to even him."
• Review:The Critcal Mob released their short list of summer reads and a few Fantagraphics titles made the cut. Paul Guie looks at Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons: "O'Connor's artwork is frequently abstract and raw-looking. . .Nevertheless, her cartoons are always pleasing to look at thanks to the author's strong sense of composition. Panels are rarely cluttered by unnecessary lines, and O'Connor frequently frames her characters with an eye toward visual balance." Peanuts latest volume is also on Guie's radar: ". . . these later comics remain consistently witty and entertaining, and reflect Schulz's continued mastery of comedic timing within a four-panel layout.. . .Consistently subtle yet always timely, after 30 years, Schulz still had a winning formula on his hands." Last but not least, Guie takes Buddy Does Seattle to the beach,"Bagge's artwork [takes] the public's perception of '90s youth as angry and volatile and pushed it to hysterical levels. Heavily influenced by late-'60s counterculture cartoonists like Crumb, Bagge's drawings are fluid and grimy-looking, with frequent use of exaggerated facial expressions helping to cultivate an atmosphere of chaos."
• Commentary: Best Cover EVER on Forbidden Planet according to Richard: "The absolute iconic image. The raw power. Jaime’s incredible use of black in his art. The faces of the crowd. The stagediver (in heels) who’s just left the stage. But most of all, it’s the best comic cover ever because I swear that I’ve never looked at this cover and NOT heard the music they’re playing." The next best thing for Richard? Buying the new shirt featuring the cover of Issue 24.
• Plug:Comics Alliance and Caleb Goellner collect the most recent Adventure Time covers. James Hindle PLAYS an homage to Jaime Hernandez's distinctive cover. Check it out!
• Review:io9 recently created a list of the 10 Comic Characters Cooler than Batman. Jaime Hernandez's Maggie (the Mechanic) and Jacques Tardi's Adele Blanc-Sec topped the list. "Maggie is a survivor, who never stops kicking ass even she's dealing with depression and heartbreak." says Charlie Jane Anders and in reference to Adele Blanc-Sec:"She's a writer in pre-World War I Paris, which automatically makes her cool. . . She's not afraid to shoot guns, drink the hard stuff, or smoke like a man. She spent World War I in cryogenic suspension and then rocked the 1920s."
• Plug:The Last Vispo's editor Nico Vassilakis recently curated an online group of visual artists called Ten Turkish Visual Poets at Trickhouse.
• Interview: The powerful and deft Friedman brothers were interviewed about Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental by William Michael Smith of the Houston Press. Josh Alan Friedman talks about his brother's artwork,"Originally [Drew Friedman] worked with stippling technique, using a rapidograph pen. Bent over a desk like a watchmaker, doing thousands of dots. A technique made famous by 'Sunday in the Park with Georges' Seurat, but strictly shunned by art schools in the 20th century."
• Plug: Ron Regé, Jr. is up to something sneaky! At We Can Do It.
Word's been buzzing around for a while that Dave Cooper & Johnny Ryan were developing an animated show for kids together and once we picked the pieces of our heads up off the floor we've all been eager to see the results. Well here it is, and now we have pieces of head all over the place again. PigGoatBananaMantis! was written by Johnny, art-directed by Dave, and animated by Nick Cross. (See the full list of credits on the YouTube page.) What do they call this, a pitch reel? Demo? I dunno, but whatever cable network executive passed on this is an IDIOT.
Exhibition of Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz’s PEANUTS
This just in from Ben Saunders, Professor of English, at the University of Oregon about an upcoming show of original Charles Schulz artwork at U. of O.'s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) on exhibition from September 1st, 2012 through December.
Charlie Brown is nowadays immediately recognizable as an archetype of pop-existentialism. He is a loser-everyman, a cartoon representation of perennial human disappointment; but even at his most desperate, he has somehow never lost the capacity to make us laugh. His canine companion, Snoopy, by contrast, can be read as an emblem of imaginative vitality --- compelling our attention with his exuberant flights of fantasy.
These great characters did not spring from Schulz’s pen fully realized. They took shape gradually, over years of disciplined, daily creative exercise. And even once they found their iconic forms, the themes of the strip continued to evolve, reflecting the changing circumstances of the second-half of the 20th century. We can detect the traces of this tumultuous history --- and sometimes glean Schulz’s personal values --- in these certain works, with their subtle invocations of the Civil Rights struggle, Women’s Liberation, the litigious society, and the fragility of the natural world.
Debuting on October 2nd, 1950, Peanuts ran for fifty years, until February 13th, 2000. Schulz took only one extended holiday during that entire period (for a month, in the winter of 1997). Otherwise, he worked consistently on the comic until his death --- passing away just a day before the last episode saw print. In total, he produced an astonishing 17,897 Peanuts strips.
In choosing just twenty-five examples from this lifetime’s work, the sin of omission is unavoidable. Instead of pretending to an impossible comprehensiveness, we offer a series of revealing snapshots spanning the five decades of Peanuts, to produce a kind of “time-lapse” effect --- allowing the viewer to take in the origins, maturation, and final years of the strip, in a slow tour of the room. Although necessarily incomplete, we believe this exhibition proves one thing. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is not merely the most successful newspaper comic strip in the history of the medium. It is also a modern American masterpiece.
In the third series of comics to be released digitally after Love and Rocketsgoing digital, Johnny Ryan's favorite thing to draw in public restrooms and critically-acclaimed humor series Angry Youth Comix #1-4 are now available to download via comiXology. Taboo-tackling cartoonist Johnny Ryan raises the bar on what you can and can't do in comics, so much so that these titles too extreme for iTunes. The ground-breaking issues of this series are pillars --- wait, sinking cement blocks of exactly how low you can go and are available for $1.99 each at the comiXology store.
Join friends like Loady McGee and Synus O'Gynus and of course, Blecky Yuckerella in their politically-incorrect mishaps. From stories like "The Whorehouse of Dr. Moreau" to Hot-Headed Cyborg Ass-Kicker the reckless space bad-boy superhero, there's something for everyone to love and be insulted by.
"Each frame of the first five issues of Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix is more patently offensive than an entire episode of South Park. Highly recommended!" – The Toilet Paper
Peanuts reaches the middle of the go-go 1980s in this book, which covers 1985 and 1986: a time of hanging out at the mall, “punkers” (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Snoopy with a Mohawk), killer bees, airbags, and Halley’s Comet. And in a surprisingly sharp satirical sequence, Schulz pokes fun at runaway licensing with the introduction of the insufferably merchandisable “Tapioca Pudding.”
Also in this volume: Peppermint Patty wins the “All-City School Essay Contest” with her “What I Did During Christmas Vacation” essay but snatches defeat from the jaws of victory with a disastrous acceptance speech… Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally and Snoopy go to “rain camp” one year, and “survival camp” the next… The World War One Flying Ace gets the flu and is nursed back to health by a French Mademoiselle (Marcie)… Sally gives Santa Claus a heart attack (literally!)… Lucy talks Charlie Brown into posing in swimtrunks for their school’s “Swimsuit issue”… Peppermint Patty gains a crabby tutor… Linus suffers a crisis when addressed for the first time as “Mister”… plus another return appearance by Molly Volley, Snoopy’s accidental destruction of his dog house (with a cannon!), and lots of near-Beckettian strips set in the desert starring this volume’s cover boy, the one and only Spike!
This volume's introduction is by comedian and actor Patton Oswalt (Big Fan, Young Adult, Ratatouille).
It’s another two years of hilarious, heart-warming strips from the great Charles M. Schulz.
A boxed set of the seventeenth and eighteenth volumes of The Complete Peanuts, designed by the award-winning graphic novelist, Seth. Shipping shrinkwrapped, with volumes 1983-1984 and 1985-1986 packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set, it's the perfect gift book item. (For more information on the contents of each volume, see the individual product listings linked above.)
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives", The A.V. Club
Order this volume and get Vol. 1 and/or Vol. 2 for $29.99 each; that's 25% off! Make your selection when ordering.
“Crane’s work is sheer energy. It’s somewhere between Crane and E.C. Segar that (Carl Barks’ beloved) Donald Duck got forged; the kind of ruddy-cheeked adventurousness that underlies the content is certainly the same work that moves Donald and his nephews through their stories.” —Art Spiegelman
The third volume in Fantagraphics’ ongoing reprint of Roy Crane’s legendary comedy-action series features what many consider the absolute peak of the series: “Temple of the Swinks,” in which Wash and Easy discover an ancient temple with statues of an unknown animal called a swink... a real-life specimen of which shows up!
In other stories, Wash and Easy sail for Singapore aboard a dhow with a cargo of wild animals, crash land a plane on an island inhabited by (inevitably) pirates and (just as inevitably) beautiful women, and sail the South Seas in a schooner whose villainous captain plans to rob them. When they return to America, Wash Tubbs’ pet swink draws huge crowds and a reputation for being worth a million dollars. Then Wash and Easy travel to Peru to rescue an American lost in the jungle and, in the cover-featured story, Easy goes deep sea diving in search of a beautiful girl’s lost diamond.
The Fantagraphics family is saddened by the loss of Australian musician Eric "Ren" Reynolds. Former bandmate of current Fantagraphics sales manager Martin Bland (Lubricated Goat) and former warehouse worker Mark Arm (Bloodloss), Reynolds was a longtime Seattle resident. Known affectionately as "Ren," [and commonly as Renestair E.J., Martin informs us – Ed.] we trust people won't be alarmed by his sharing the name of our very-much-alive associate publisher Eric Reynolds. "Ren" was a funny dude and talented musician. We'll miss him.
He'll be signing on Tuesday, August 28th at Kilgore Books in Denver, starting at 6:30 PM. Be one of the first to get your hands on the debut graphic novel from this excellent 2012 Ignatz-nominated artist!
Kilgore Books is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, CO at 624 E. 13th Ave (between Washington and Pearl), next to Wax Trax records.
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