• Review: "[Gilbert] Hernandez's latest solo work The Troublemakers is the second in a series of self-contained graphic novel 'B-movies,' featuring one of his recurring characters, the cannonball-breasted Rosalba 'Fritz' Martinez. Here, Fritz plays Nala, one of a trio of hustlers trying to hook up with 200,000 smackers. Whether the money actually exists and who has it are anyone's guess in this drama-filled thriller — good for folks who like their graphic novels grim, gritty, and sleazy." – Brad Buckner, Portland Mercury
• Review: "Strange Suspense [The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1]... is an absolute treat! ...[T]his book looks amazing. ...[It's] filled with images that will remain seared into your psyche long after you’ve put it down. ... Strange Suspense is an absolute must have for any student of sequential art history... It’s an excellent collection of long lost work from a man whose importance cannot be overstated. There’s really no other grade to give it than an A." – Chad Derdowski, Mania.com
• Review: "Wolverton is helped [in The Wolverton Bible]... by his bold compositional sense, which aids in pushing some of his images beyond the doldrums of camp and into a certain monumentality, a grandeur that retains a shabby earthiness, without being lofty, hollow or pretentious. Without being, in a word, 'churchy.'" – Chris Lanier, The Comics Journal (beta)
• Review: "Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is probably as close as comics are likely to come to exploitation cinema. Like the best exploitation dreck from Texas Chainsaw to Death Race 2000, Prison Pit is pure, bottom-dwelling schlock... And yet, again as with exploitation fare, the single-minded commitment to vileness is so perversely pure that it goes right past lowest-common-denominator entertainment and on into snooty, fancy-pants art. ... Ryan’s world is essentially Waiting for Godot, from the bleak landscape to the slapstick violence." – Noah Berlatsky, The Comics Journal (beta)
...this time in Norway, under the translated title Værverk, from our good friends at Jippi Forlag. North Americans can secure one of twenty "scalped" signed and sketched-in copies direct from Mr. Woodring, and/or wait for the Fantagraphics edition this coming Spring.
This Saturday, get yourself to Williamsburg for an incredible comics event! With a lineup of guest artists including (from the extended Fantagraphics family) Gabrielle Bell, Charles Burns, Kim Deitch, Michael Kupperman, Mark Newgarden, Gary Panter, David Sandlin, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, R. Sikoryak and many many more, an amazing slate of programming, and a stellar group of exhibitors, all organized by our esteemed pals and colleagues at Desert Island and Picturebox, the first annual Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is an absolute can't-miss! (Except we won't be there, wah.) Click here for all the info, including schedule, directions, and the full program.
We're still recovering from the incredible response we received to our one-day "Cyber Monday" sale, which was a success beyond our wildest expectations. Our shipping department is currently buckling down to get all those orders shipped out as quickly as possible. A hearty "thank you" to everyone who took advantage of the sale, and we're delighted to get so many books and comics into your waiting hands. We hope you and all your gift recipients enjoy your purchases — feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Facebook or our other social networks. (And, of course, stay tuned for future sales and specials.)
Now available for preview and pre-order: the 17th volume of our quarterly anthology Mome, featuring the conclusion of Paul Hornschemeier's "Life with Mr. Dangerous," a sci-fi tale written by Tom Kaczynski and drawn by Dash Shaw, and new stories and artwork from Olivier Schrauwen, Derek Van Gieson, Renee French, Ted Stearn, Kurt Wolfgang, Laura Park, Rick Froberg, Sara Edward-Corbett and T. Edward Bak. Download an exclusive 11-page PDF excerpt containing a page from each contributor right here. This book is scheduled to be in stock and ready to ship in about two weeks and in stores roughly the same time (subject to change).
View a photo & video slideshow preview of the book embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended).
• Review: "Although the five stories in Low Moon appear to have very little in common, the glue that holds them together is Jason’s sublime artwork, a clear line approach inspired by Hergé (and dozens of other influences), and the artist’s consistent application of certain stylistic techniques and visual tropes. ... He is an artist who understands the mechanics and timing of visual storytelling, and his highly simplified style has a grace and elegance that makes it aesthetically appealing." – Marc Sobel, The Comics Journal (beta)
• Review: "Both stories [in The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book] see Dave and Paul get involved in vaguely shady -- but entirely weird -- dealings. These are basically stoner crime stories, with Dave and Paul as relative innocents who get caught up in hallucinogenic toad trafficking, or secret microwave generators that destroy wetlands. Daly doesn't rely too heavily on stoner humor, thankfully... Daly keeps these as stories about stoners rather than as stoner stories -- this isn't the way Dave would tell the story (thankfully); it makes more sense than that." – Andrew Wheeler
• Plugs: Newsarama 's Michael C. Lorah waxes rhapsodic about our February 2010 offerings as listed in the current issue of Previews: "An otherwise slow month for me is almost single-handedly blasted beyond budgetary means by Fantagraphics’ bevy of offerings..."
• Plugs: At Comics Alliance, Douglas Wolk weighs in on The Comics Journal #300 ("a thick, fascinating volume of cartoonists from different generations talking to each other... Great stuff") and Popeye Vol. 4: "Plunder Island" ("a fantastic long adventure with some phenomenal character design -- Alice the Goon is one of the creepiest-looking creatures ever to grace the funny pages")
As Wednesday warriors are likely aware, New Comics Day is on Thursday this week due to the U.S. holiday last week. Two highly anticipated Fantagraphics publications are scheduled to hit comic shops:
Popeye Vol. 4: "Plunder Island" by E.C. Segar — we already quoted the critics calling this one "awesome" and "fantastic" and "practically seaworthy" and "the crown jewel in the Popeye crown" and "E.C. Segar's finest hour" and saying "If you only buy one volume in the series, blah blah blah"... check out our previews at the link above to sample the greatness.
The Comics Journal #300 — the last one for a while before we re-launch the bigger, badder version, and it's a doozy, with our most powerful lineup of artists in conversation ever, extra-fat, extra-good. Take a virtual browse at the link above. Sure to be a good conversation starter with your local shop proprietor when you go to pick it up, if they're worth their salt.
• Gift Guide: At RevolutionSF, Rick Klaw includes Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons in his "Geek Gift Guide": "The incredible three hardcover boxed set celebrates one of art's funniest and most disturbing cartoonists. ... I promise every geek would be thrilled to find this under the tree. I just hope Santa doesn't throw out his back out delivering this massive collection."
• Gift Guide: Love & Maggie presents a "Los Bros Hernandez Chistmas Shopping Guide"
• Review: "[Gilbert] Hernandez is one of the four or five greatest cartoonists in the world, and it's satisfying to see him work through any plot with any restriction he'd like to place on it. The Troublemakers feels like a movie for more than its story: it's either all exterior information or nearly so, it has opening credits, it has a three-act structure, it uses a wide-panel 'shot' throughout. ... Attaching a world of significance to forms recognizable to most of us as pulp isn't a new thing, but I don't think any of the filmmakers famous for it have done it any better than Hernandez." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Plug: "Popeye Vol 4: Plunder Island: Prior to Fantagraphics’ awesome collections of E.C. Segar’s awesome comic strip, this was the only storyline from Thimble Theater I’d ever read before…in The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics. Does that mean it’s some sort of classic? It should be; it’s fantastic. Anyway, the latest collection is $30 and 170 pages, and, like the first three volumes, it’s beautifully designed and so big and sturdy that it’s practically seaworthy." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
• Plug: "This is it. The crown jewel in the Popeye crown. If you only buy one volume in the series, blah blah blah. Seriously, hopefully you've been collecting all the Popeye books, because it's one of the greatest comics ever, but this volume contains what must surely be E.C. Segar's finest hour, namely, the 'Plunder Island' storyline, where in Popeye and friends search for treasure and come afoul of the Sea Hag." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Plug: "I've been in long time love with Femke Hiemstra. Her smoky and detailed fantasy landscapes are often coupled with outrageous characters, from vegetables to the floating head of Marie Antoinette. ... [Y]ou can pick up a copy of her splendid book, Rock Candy, which would make a perfect Christmas gift for the art lover or art lover to be." – J.L. Schnabel
• Mutual Appreciation: We love comedy genius Graham Linehan, and he loves us, as evidenced by the set dressing on The IT Crowd (not to mention interviews he's given); apparently he makes it explicit again in the bonus features to the 3rd season DVD set of the show, which we've yet to see, according to the DVD review at Den of Geek
• Things to see: Eric Reynolds comments on this link forwarded by Jason T. Miles: "I love knowing that there was a day in Fanta's past when they could call Kevin Nowlan on the phone for a last minute design job!"
We've been remiss in reminding you that Jay Ryan, one of the many special guests at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery's 3rd Anniversary celebration on Saturday Dec. 12, appears as part of his current book tour for the new collection of his poster art, Animals and Objects In and Out of Water, published by our colleagues at Akashic Books. (You may recall from our previous announcement that this joint tour with Paul Hornschemeier and his new collection from Fantagraphics, All and Sundry, begins its West Coast leg in L.A. on Monday, Dec. 7.) Jay's posters have been a mainstay of the indie-culture scene since the good old mid-1990s and hang in the households of many aficionados of the good and interesting, including yours truly — can't wait to check out the book at the event!
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