|Save the date: Mome 17 launch party in Brooklyn Jan. 10|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Sara Edward-Corbett, Nate Neal, Mome, events, Derek Van Gieson||21 Dec 2009 3:38 PM|
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Archive >> December 2009
If you want your order to arrive before Christmas, tomorrow (Monday, December 21) is the FINAL day to get your order in and you MUST select the 2nd Day UPS shipping option! Hop to it! Our handy Holiday Gift Guide will help you find lots of gift ideas for every interest and budget!
Friday webcomics are off next week due to Christmas (and possibly the week after due to New Year's). Enjoy!
Live in Seattle? Like Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box? Tonight and tomorrow night at 9:30 at Central Cinema catch VIVA VHS, a rollicking compilation of tape-only rarities and oddities organized and curated by our pals at Scarecrow Video, who co-sponsored and participated in our Portable Grindhouse panel discussion at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery last weekend. Local synergy! Dig it!
Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: Critic John Seven names Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco one of the Decade's Best Graphic Novels, in a list focused on "graphic novels for people who don’t want to read comics." (via The Comics Reporter)
• List: Matthew Price of The Oklahoman gives Ganges #3 the 9th position on his 10 Best Periodical Comic Books of 2009: "Kevin Huizenga continues to be one of comics' brightest indie creators... Huizenga uses his talents to immerse the reader inside Ganges' head."
• List/reviews/analysis: On the Inkstuds radio program, a roundtable of prominent critics (Sean T. Collins, Tim Hodler, & Chris Mautner) join host Robin McConnell for a discussion of 2009's standout books, including our two "You" books, You Are There by Tardi & Forest and You'll Never Know, Book 1 by C. Tyler
• Reviews/analysis: The Hooded Utilitarian's contrarian critical roundtable of Ghost World marches on with Ng Suat Tong, Vom Marlowe, Kinukitty again, and more Noah Berlatsky, who also points out that you can follow the whole thing here
• Review: "What's better than a new story by Jason? Why, several in one volume, of course! ...[T]he more of Jason's weird energy and quirky, poignant storytelling that I can consume at one time, the better. ... It's kind of a mystery how well he's able to do it, crafting easy-to-follow stories in such a minimalist style, but luckily, they're incredibly enjoyable, so one can easily get lost in them, forgetting questions of craft and technique because those aspects become all but invisible. ... [Low Moon] is another great example of the strange alchemy that Jason has mastered, drawing readers in to compelling tales of people caught up in oddly familiar situations, even when they're dealing with something that's off-kilter from reality as we know it. That's the Jason touch, and long may it continue to grace our pages." – Matthew J. Brady
• Plug: In Richard Metzger's profile of Steve Ditko for Dangerous Minds, he says "I may be a little late to the game on this one, but I recently got a copy of Blake Bell’s Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, a coffeetable book published by Fantagraphics last year and it is a wonderful and fascinating look at Ditko’s life and work. Kudos to Bell for putting together such a volume which was clearly a labor of love and unique erudition."
• Things to see: If you haven't seen the comics section in the San Francisco Panorama from McSweeney's yet (featuring Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Kim Deitch, Seth, Art Spiegelman etc.), Flickr user Steve Rhodes has a mess of photos of the whole dang paper
• Things to see: Paul Pope draws Captain Easy in action (our Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 1 is currently scheduled for February) (via The Comics Reporter)
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
The acclaimed graphic novel anthology continues with Sublife, Volume 2. Creator John Pham enlarges the scope and expands the style of his series with an all-new collection of stories and strips.
“The Kid” is a self-contained short story set in an eerily familiar post-apocalyptic future. Bloodthirsty marauders roam the blasted desert. A nomad and his dog, scavenging the road for gas and supplies, stumble upon a sealed bomb shelter, the contents of which will test whatever humanity he has left, as the marauders pursue him to a violent, frenetic climax.
“Deep Space” continues the atmospheric science fiction serial begun in Volume 1. In this episode, Captain Ho, Commander Wallach, and their newly adopted space-faring companion Deek attempt to harness the power of an alien crystal with the hopes of finding a way back home. But will their best-laid plans survive Captain’s fragile mental state and impulse-prone behavior?
In “221 Sycamore St.,” teenage runaway Phineas accompanies his uncles on a training session with their dog Freya, but what they’re training Freya to do illustrates the disturbing lengths to which his uncles will take their racist ideology. This chapter builds and expands upon the characters and themes established in the first volume, showcasing a vision of Los Angeles that is sometimes dark and fractured, inhabited by a quirky cast of characters.
As if that were not enough, the artist includes various, stand-alone short strips including “Socko Sarkissian,” a single-page gem about baseball’s greatest fictional Armenian slugger, “St. Ambrose,” a fractured memoir about the author’s parochial school alma mater, and “Mort,” a story that answers the burning question, what happens when a jealous blogger encounters his nemesis?
Sublife Volume 2 is filled to the brim with a dizzying variety of stories and styles, all of which surprisingly coalesce into a unified reading experience thanks to their shared themes and motifs, much like Chris Ware’s annual ACME Novelty Library. Dogs, missed connections, ad hoc family units, desert landscapes are all elements that pop up and recur among the different stories. It makes each volume of Sublife eminently readable on its own, and proves why Pham is among the most compelling new voices in comics today.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 5-page PDF excerpt (1.25 MB) from "The Kid."
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
For centuries, cartoonists have used their pens to fight a war against war, translating images of violent conflict into symbols of protest. Noted comics historian Craig Yoe brings the greatest of these artists together in one place, presenting the ultimate collection of anti-war cartoons. Together, these cartoons provide a powerful testament to the old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and remind us that so often in the last couple of centuries, it was the editorial cartoonist who could say the things his fellow newspapermen and women only dreamed of, enlightening and rallying a nation against unjust aggression.
Readers of The Great Anti-War Cartoons will find stunning artwork in a variety of media and forms (pen-and-ink, wash, watercolor, woodcut — single images and sequential comic strips) from the hands of Francisco Goya to Art Young, from Robert Minor to Ron Cobb, and from Honoré Daumier to Robert Crumb, as well as page after page of provocative images from such titans as James Montgomery Flagg, C.D. Batchelor, Edmund Sullivan, Boardman Robinson, William Gropper, Maurice Becker, George Grosz, Gerald Scarfe, Bill Mauldin, Art Spiegelman and many more (see below for a complete list of contributors). The book also includes an Introduction by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus and a Foreword by Library of Congress curator Sara W. Duke.
This book is neither ideological nor parochial: The cartoons range across the political spectrum from staunch conservative flag-wavers to radicals and hippies, and span two centuries and the entire globe (Australia, Russia, Poland, France...). But their message remains timeless and universal.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 10-page PDF excerpt (6 MB) of the entire first section, "Planet War."
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
Out of print for over a decade, The Prince Valiant Companion has become a Holy Grail for collectors of the series. Now, in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of comics’ longest-running adventure strip, and to celebrate our own just-launched reprinting of the strip’s classic earliest years, Fantagraphics is proud to present an expanded version of this hard-to-find collector’s item. Compiled by award-winning Foster biographer Brian M. Kane, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion beautifully showcases the careers of artists Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy, and Gary Gianni.
In addition to updating the original version’s story synopsis section with over thirty years of material, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion also contains rare and new articles. Included in this volume is a never before reprinted newspaper feature from 1949, Foster’s final interview conducted by Arn Saba, an extensive interview with John Cullen Murphy, and a new interview with the current Prince Valiant creative team of Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz. The Companion also contains a new, in-depth article by Kane on Foster’s artistic influences, as well as a Foreword by comics historian Brian Walker, and an Introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ray Bradbury.
A special feature of the Companion is a sixteen-page color section of carefully selected strips from the entire run of the comic. Showcasing this section are eight pages by Foster, scanned and digitally restored from original color engraver’s proofs that had been carefully stored and preserved for over forty years. For the first time ever, collectors will be able to see Prince Valiant as Foster intended it to be seen, with all of his fine inked line work intact. Rounding out this section are four John Cullen Murphy pages from the Murphy family’s collection of proofs, and four Gary Gianni pages that were selected by the artist and digitally recolored under his supervision.
Proceeds from the sale of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion will go to The Friends of Hal Foster Society to aid in the creation of the Prince Valiant statue in Foster’s birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 9-page PDF excerpt containing Brian Kane's new essay "Of Mead, Whiskey, and Brandywine: The Artistic Bloodline of Prince Valiant" (7.2 MB).
NOTE: The hardcover edition of this book is coming soon and available for pre-order.
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
Conceptual Realism: In the Service of the Hypothetical is a catalog accompanying Robert Williams’ Fall 2009 solo exhibition of new work at New York City’s prestigious Tony Shafrazi Gallery; the show will continue on in 2010 to galleries in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and elsewhere. (See photos of the NYC opening reception and exhibit at the Arrested Motion blog.) The book features approximately 25 new paintings, complete with essays on each piece by the artist, insights into the process behind each painting (including sketches, underpaintings, etc.), photos of sculptures in progress, and other surprises, including an introduction by painter, tattoo artist and international tattoo cultural advocate Don Ed Hardy.
The alternative art movement of the late 20th Century found its most congealing participant in one of America’s most opprobrious and maligned underground artists, the painter, Robert Williams. It was Williams who brought the term “lowbrow” into the fine arts lexicon, with his groundbreaking 1979 book, The Lowbrow Art of Robt. Williams. It was from this point that the seminal elements of West Coast Outlaw culture slowly started to aggregate.
Williams pursued a career as a fine arts painter years before joining the art studio of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the mid-1960s. And in this position as the famous custom car builder’s art director, he moved into the rebellious, anti-war circles of early underground comix. In 1968, Williams linked up with the infamous San Francisco group that piloted the flagship of the miscreant cartoon world, Zap Comix. Along with Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, S. Clay Wilson, Spain Rodriguez, Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin, Williams learned to function as an artist outside the walls of conventional art.
Known as the “artist’s artist,” in early punk rock art shows held in after-hours clubs, Williams soon pioneered the first break-away art movement in California since the Eucalyptus School’s estrangement from Impressionism in the late 1920s. His bold use of underground cartoon figuration, paired with harshly contrasted psychedelic colors set a style that was an easily recognizable hallmark throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Williams’ new paintings, on display in Conceptual Realism, take the viewer into the world of subjective theory — a mock realm of violated graphic physics, and the next logical step into abstract thought.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 8-page PDF excerpt (1.7 MB).
NOTE: The signed hardcover edition of this book is coming soon and available for pre-order.
The 1975-1976 volume of The Complete Peanuts is still a few months away (March 2010) but we just can't wait to bring you this first glimpse of the volume after that, 1977-1978, featuring cover star Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt (yep, that's her full name, as revealed in 1971-1972). Design, as always, by Seth. Note that this is a preliminary version and that some details may change between now and next Fall when the book is released.
Hey, let's have some fun: the first person in the comments to correctly guess the cover star for the 1979-1980 volume wins a copy of our Unseen Peanuts comic from Free Comic Book Day 2007! Winner revealed tomorrow.
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