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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 >> December 2009

Daily OCD: 12/31/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireSteve BrodnerPrince ValiantPeanutsPaul KarasikMichael KuppermanKevin HuizengaJordan CraneJohnny RyanJoe SaccoJacques TardiIvan BrunettiHumbugHans RickheitHal FosterGahan WilsonFletcher HanksDavid LevineDash ShawCharles M SchulzBlazing CombatBest of 2009Al Columbia 31 Dec 2009 11:38 AM

Whew, what a year! Online Commentary & Diversions returns next week.

List: Comic Book Resources continues listing their Top 100 Comics of 2009, with Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit: Book 1 at #75 ("A huge kick to the solar plexus, not just in terms of the way-beyond-NC-17 level of gore and bodily fluids on display, but also the sheer wealth of no-holds barred imagination and utter sense of play that's on every page. The craftsmanship on display is just as striking as the violence." – Chris Mautner) and The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit at #56 ("Few artists in comics can tell surreal stories with the level of clarity and precision that Hans Rickheit achieves... In the same way that David Lynch squeezes compelling characters and memorable scenes onto film amid dark and obscured circumstances, Rickheit renders a feeling portrait of a young mad scientist named Edmund in one of the 2009's most inimitable reads." – Brian Warmoth)

List: Jeff Smith names his favorite comics of the decade, including The Complete Peanuts ("Revolutionary.") and Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw ("I was also impressed by the mysteries in the story — and really impressed by Shaw’s restraint in revealing only what he had to — leaving much for the imagination, and keeping my thoughts on the book and its meaning for days afterward.")

List: The writers at Robot 6 name their favorite comics of 2009: Tim O'Shea lists Blazing Combat in his top 10; Chris Mautner lists his 10 favorite reprints, including Humbug ("excellent... packaged with loving care and an eye towards history"), Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons ("an excellent package of A+ material from a great cartoonist"), Prince Valiant Vol. 1 ("a lively, vibrant strip full of thrilling action and humor"), and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! ("More Fletcher Hanks? Yes please."); Sean T. Collins's top 25 includes Pim & Francie by Al Columbia at #1, West Coast Blues by Tardi & Manchette at #11, Ganges by Kevin Huizenga at #13, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman at #14, You Are There by Tardi & Forest at #16, The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit at #17, and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit: Book 1 at #23; and J.K. Parkin lists Ganges #3 ("a brilliant, insightful comic")

List: Comics Alliance's thematic Best of 2009 list names You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! "Best Indie Reprint Volume" ("The utterly insane adventures of the space wizard Stardust continue to be some of the most brilliantly surrealist comics around."), Pim & Francie by Al Columbia "Best Glimpse into a Terrifying Universe that will Haunt my Dreams for Years to Come," and Ganges #3 by Kevin Huizenga "Best comic to read when you can't sleep"

List: Mike Sterling mentions some of his highlights of the past decade, led by Schizo #4 by Ivan Brunetti and including the renaissance of classic comic strip reprints led by The Complete Peanuts

List: Brian Gibson of Edmonton's Vue Weekly lists Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco as one of the Best Graphic Novels of the 2000s: "Sacco’s made comics a serious and messily truthful place for journalism."

List: Living Between Wednesdays lists The Best of 2009: Original Graphic Novels and Collections, including Blazing Combat ("Each panel of Blazing Combat is a stunning work of art, and they are beautifully preserved on heavy paper in this hardcover book. Just as relevant now as when they were first published, these stories should still draw an emotional reaction from anyone who reads them.") and Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman ("It’s just something that you have to sit down and read, and when you do you’ll laugh your ass off.")

List: Matthew Dick ranks Uptight #3 by Jordan Crane 7th on his top 10 Best Comics of 2009 on his Exquisite Things blog (here's his review)

List: Sandy Bilus of I Love Rob Liefeld names Tony Millionaire's Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird as one of the 6 comics he's most looking forward to in 2010

Review: "In ambition, breadth and heft, this far-ranging compilation is the worthy companion to Gilbert’s formidable Palomar volume. While capable of standing on its own, Luba is very much the continuing story of several characters now fully transplanted, unfettered and haunted, from their celebrated Mexican town to the Greater Metropolitan Land of Opportunity. Their histories grow longer, broader, more complex and richer as Hernandez’s rollicking, remorseless social comedy rolls on." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal

Tribute: More on David Levine's passing from Steve Brodner

Cuddly Usagi coming soon
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimbotoysStan Sakai 31 Dec 2009 10:51 AM

sketch for plush Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai

I know a lot of people (including me) who are going to want this plush Usagi Yojimbo toy when it comes out from Dark Horse in May. Stan Sakai sketch ganked from Robot 6.

Bill Mauldin & Dennis the Menace postage stamps
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeMort WalkerDennis the MenaceDan DeCarloBill Mauldin 31 Dec 2009 10:26 AM

Bill Mauldin US postage stamp

The U.S. Postal Service honors Bill Mauldin and his creations Willie & Joe with this first-class stamp, available March 2010.

Funny Pages US postage stamps

And Hank Ketcham's Dennis the Menace gets his own stamp as part of the "Sunday Funnies" pane going on sale in July, along with Mort Walker's most famous creation, and hopefully that's a Dan DeCarlo Archie drawing. (Can anyone knowledgable out there confirm it?)

(Via The Comics Reporter.)

Daily OCD: 12/30/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve BrodnerreviewsPeanutsPat MoriarityNoah Van SciverJeremy EatonGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonFrom Wonderland with LoveFletcher HanksDavid LevineDash ShawCharles M SchulzCharles BurnsBest of 2009Barry Windsor-Smith 30 Dec 2009 2:28 PM

The year's penultimate Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: Comic Book Resources begins their countdown of the Top 100 Comics of 2009. At #82, "Because I Love You So Much" by Nikoline Wedelin: "Found in the pages of the recent anthology of Danish comics, From Wonderland with Love, this collection of strips about a mother who discovers that her daughter is being sexually abused by her dad is one of the most harrowing and utterly stunning stories about a difficult subject matter I've ever read and easily equal to the works of, say, Phoebe Gloeckner or Debbie Dreschler." (Chris Mautner)

List: The Brazilian editions of The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 and Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button have been voted among As melhores HQs de 2009 (The Best Comics of 2009) by a panel of critics at O Globo (via The Comics Reporter)

List: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds re-posts his Best of 2009 and Best of the 2000s lists previously run at The Daily Cross Hatch

List: Comicdom continues their Top 100 of the 00s with Black Hole by Charles Burns at #2: "I start, taking for granted that with Black Hole, Burns played the blues of the pelvis with unparalleled mastery."

Review: "...[A] love letter to 70s exploitation movies. Beto being Beto, there’s a depth of visual symbolism and complexity of character that provides an emotional structure to the narrative not seen in the source material that inspired these stories. ...Elmore Leonard meets Roger Corman. ... There’s a wonderful luridness to the story that Hernandez revels in... The Troublemakers... shows the artist at the height of his powers, capable of crafting characters with surprising depth even in the basest of genre stories." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

Review: Chris McLaren gives his impressions after reading the first book of the "marvelous" Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons

Plug: Paul Constant of The Stranger picks up on our report of the recent Fletcher Hanks discovery and says "If you haven't read I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! and its sister volume You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!, you're in for a treat."

Plugs: At Comics212, Chris Butcher comments on our spread in the December Previews: "Wow, some good stuff this month."

Interview: Comics Alliance talks to Mome and The Comics Journal contributor Noah Van Sciver

Interview: Comic Book Galaxy's Alan David Doane presents an exactly-decade-old chat with Barry Windsor-Smith, conducted on the occasion of the release of OPUS Vol. 1: "I mean, if I'd really wanted to sell it, I could have called it 'Tits Galore' or something like that." (I pulled the goofiest quote, but really, it's a substantive read.)

Tribute: Steve Brodner mourns David Levine

Things to see: This week's Seattle Weekly boasts illustrations from Jeremy Eaton and Pat Moriarity

New Maakies tees
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionaireMaakiesfashion 30 Dec 2009 1:49 PM

Uncle Gabby drunk driving tee

Uncle Gabby on the toilet tee

You too can be a goofy dude or dudette in one of two new Uncle Gabby Maakies t-shirts from Waterloo. Don't drink 'n' drive, kids.

Notice: Inventory time - shipping delays
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specials 29 Dec 2009 12:59 PM
Please be advised that our warehouse is beginning their annual inventory count tomorrow, which means that we won't be shipping orders for the next 7-8 days. In most cases we should still be able to meet the 2-4 weeks estimated time for orders with Standard shipping (as outlined on our Shipping Info page), but we can't make any promises. Please keep this in mind when placing your order!
Mome 17 release party alternate poster
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under eventsDerek Van Gieson 29 Dec 2009 12:36 PM

Mome 17 release party flyer

Derek Van Gieson drew another poster for this event.

Daily OCD: 12/29/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steve DitkoreviewsPaul KarasikJosh SimmonsFletcher HanksComing AttractionsChris WareCarol TylerBlazing CombatBlake BellBest of 2009 29 Dec 2009 12:28 PM

A nice short Online Commentary & Diversions update:

List: Comicdom continues their Top 100 of the 00s with Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library at #3: "Whatever the format, or content of the story, each issue of Acme Novelty Library is a special 'objet d'art,' which is part of the vision of an author who redefined what can be considered 'comics' and provided us new ways of storytelling." (from Google translation)

List: At ComicsDC, Mike Rhode John Judy reviews the year in comics, with nods to Blazing Combat ("Kudos to Fantagraphics for putting this together"), Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 ("You must have this"), and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! ("Highly recommended")

Review: "The list of excellent graphic novels released in 2009 seems to grow with every other book read, and [You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man]... stands out even in its crowded field. Carol Tyler really makes a name for herself with this 'graphic memoir,' as the cover calls it, demonstrating an incredible grasp of storytelling structure and a layering of personal and historical incident into a complex, cohesive whole that illuminates her own life along with her subject's. It's an impressive achievement, and as the first volume of a projected trilogy, it's indicative of the quality to come." – Matthew J. Brady

Coming Attractions: The bloggers at Comics And... Other Imaginary Tales comment thoughtfully on a couple of titles from our February solicitations

Things to see: Josh Simmons has compiled a handy list of his comics that are available to read for free online

New Comics Day 12/30/09: Indy Comic Book Week
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under New Comics Day 28 Dec 2009 10:52 PM

Indy Comic Book Week logo

As most Wednesday Warriors are aware, this is a bye week in the Diamond Comics shipping schedule, so no new comics from us or other publishers distributed by Diamond will be arriving in shops. Some enterprising folks have declared this Indy Comic Book Week, seizing the opportunity to promote independent, local, and small press publishers and creators. While we won't be participating directly, by gosh do we ever support this effort in spirit, so visit the website for the list of participating shops and more information, and go support the independent spirit with your wallet — Fantagraphics readers tend to be the adventurous sort, and you never know what you might discover.

Allen Ginsberg action figure
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under toysArcher Prewitt 28 Dec 2009 8:57 PM

Allen Ginsberg vinyl figurine illustration by Archer Prewitt

Okay okay, "vinyl figurine." Designed by Archer Prewitt, coming soon from our pals at Presspop.

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