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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: 12/8/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPopeyeOriginal ArtJoe SaccoGahan WilsonFemke HiemstraEC SegarDash ShawBest of 2009Alexander TherouxAl Columbia 8 Dec 2009 2:23 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: The American Book Center in Amsterdam names Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra one of its Books of 2009

• Review: "...[T]here’s one reason why Pim & Francie pulls off the unlikely feat of being more than the sum of its fragmented, disconnected, half-inked parts: it’s terrifying. ... The book... hangs in your head long after you close your eyes." – Martyn Pedler, Bookslut

• Plug/Name Drop: Whitney Matheson of USA TODAY's Pop Candy blog calls Dash Shaw's IFC.com web series The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. "colorful and captivating" (and mentions that writer/director Paul Feig liked Dash's graphic novel Bottomless Belly Button, so that's cool)

• Plug: Thanks to Hef for plugging Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons on Twitter today!

• Plugs: Lots of Popeye plugs and Segar tributes today, in addition to Google: Technologizer, Mike Lynch, The Beat, Robot 6, Super I.T.C.H., and The Daily Cartoonist

• Plug: "If you ever skipped school to zone out to stacks of rented VHS tapes, or exhausted the wealth of movies at your local video store by 1995, then this is the perfect item for you, or someone like you. Packaged lovingly to resemble an VHS tape from days gone by, the book Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box contains some of the greatest crap-rack video covers of all time." – The Incubator

• Interview: Publishers Weekly's Calvin Reid talks to Joe Sacco about returning to Palestine

• Reviewer: For The Wall Street Journal, Alexander Theroux reviews a new biography of Patricia Highsmith

• Things to see: Original Al Columbia artwork for sale from Floating World

C. Tyler: Comic-Con Special Guest
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under CCICarol Tyler 8 Dec 2009 1:38 PM

You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler

The Comic-Con organization has announced the Special Guests for Comic-Con International 2010 in San Diego, and we're pleased to report that among them is C. Tyler. We're going to do our darnedest to debut You'll Never Know, Book 2 at the con. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Abandoned Cars softcover back covers
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneComing Attractions 8 Dec 2009 12:58 PM

Abandoned Cars softcover back cover by Tim Lane

At his blog, Tim Lane reveals the back covers for the paperback edition of Abandoned Cars coming next year (note that the bar code and ISBN have yet to be added). Head over there for larger images and Tim's inspiration for the design. Let me just say that he totally nailed that flea market/used bookstore price handwriting, which seems to be the same wherever you go. Previously: the front covers.

Virtue & vice
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The StrangerSteven WeissmanFantagraphics Bookstore 8 Dec 2009 11:35 AM

The Stranger playing cards

Do a good deed, and then gamble with the results: Donate $20 to The Stranger's annual "Strangercrombie" charity fundraising effort and get a set of Stranger playing cards featuring artwork by Stranger illustrators such as Steven Weissman (King of Spades above). Hopefully Jeremy Eaton is in there too. Find the donation link on the right side of this page.

UPDATE: You can also bid on an auction including a $50 gift certificate to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, and The Stranger's sister publication the Portland Mercury has their own charity auctions, one of which includes a selection of our best-selling essentials. Go, bid!

Happy birskday, E.C. Segar
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PopeyeEC Segar 8 Dec 2009 10:14 AM

Google Popeye logo

Popeye creator and cartooning all-time great E.C. Segar would have been 115 today. Even Google is getting in on the celebration on their homepage today! I'm going to celebrate by reading Popeye Vol. 4: "Plunder Island".

(The "Google doodle" is uncredited, but I wonder if it's by Stephen DeStefano, who's done Popeye work in the past...)

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. debuts on IFC.com
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Dash Shaw 8 Dec 2009 5:40 AM

image from The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. by Dash Shaw

Dash Shaw's animated web series for IFC.com, The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. (to which the book of the same name is the companion), is now online for your viewing pleasure! (Don't be thrown off by the preceding "sponsor messages.") There are 4 episodes plus a "making-of" segment with interviews with Dash, animator Jane Samborski, and soundtrack artist James Lucido. And as a bonus, IFC has put Dash's story "Look Forward, First Son of Terra Two," along with some exclusive wallpapers and "buddy icons," under "Extras."

Portable Grindhouse at Scarecrow Video
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Portable GrindhouseJacques BoyreauFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 7 Dec 2009 9:29 PM

Portable Grindhouse at Scarecrow Video

How rad is this: the folks down the street at Seattle's rightly venerated Scarecrow Video have gone through Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box and put together a special rental section of titles found in the book. (Take a close look at the image above.) Scarecrow's Marc Palm, who will appear on Sunday's Portable Grindhouse panel at Fantagraphics Bookstore, explains on the Scarecrow blog.

Daily OCD: 12/7/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stephen DeStefanoRichard SalareviewsRenee FrenchPeter BaggeJosh SimmonsJoe DalyJacques TardiIvan BrunettiHans RickheitDash ShawDaniel ClowesBlazing CombatBest of 2009awardsAl Columbia 7 Dec 2009 3:56 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

• List: Your Official Selection nominees at the 37th Festival International de la Bande Desinée d'Angoulême include the French editions of Dungeon Quest Book 1 by Joe Daly (coming in May from Fantagraphics), Eightball by Daniel Clowes (a collection with no English analogue), and Misery Loves Comedy by Ivan Brunetti

• Lists: The Comics Reporter asked its readers to "Name Five Comics You Enjoyed This Year" — spot the Fantagraphics releases in the results

• Gift Guide/List/Plug: At Comic Book Resources, Kelly Thompson's "Awesome Women in Comics Holiday Gift List 2009" includes Ghost World by Daniel Clowes: "This tale of smart alternative teens just never gets old... Enid and Becky are both incredibly savvy teens that I think women can both relate and aspire to."

• Review: "The bewildering events of this fourth volume [of Delphine] race towards a stunning conclusion, one that is quietly horrifying, yet terrifying in its sadness. ... The fourth book is a must for those who have read earlier issues, but it will make the uninitiated really want Delphine." – Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin

• Review: "Fortunately for today’s readers, Blazing Combat — nearly impossible to find for over a generation — is now conveniently available and immaculately produced in hardcover from Fantagraphics.  Anybody who wants to read great great comics, war stories, or a superb tutorial in short form comics writing and unsurpassed comics illustration needs to read this one." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama

• Review: "It was, frankly, a nostalgic blast of fresh air to be able to read a graphic novel of Peter [Bagge]’s again, even if this is a series of unconnected pieces instead of a coherent narrative. ... Anybody who read Hate back in the day already knows to pick [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] up just because it’s Peter, and for you kids today who never read Hate, this is a good place to start with the guy." – Kevin Bramer, Optical Sloth

• Review: Greek site Comicdom seems to have a positive review of Pim & Francie by Al Columbia (the autotranslation is a bit mangled)

• Plug: "This is an uber-cool title by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette... you can add this graphic novel West Coast Blues to the list of greats by this total fab (and late) French author." – Book Soup Blog

• Profilish: At Robot 6, Sean T. Collins gives an update on his "Sinister Six" alt-horror cartoonists, including Hans Rickheit, Josh Simmons and Al Columbia (Elsewhere: The Comics Reporter reviews Simmons's disturbing Cockbone mini)

• Profile: Possibly apropos of the above-mentioned nomination, French blog Beware looks at the work of Daniel Clowes in an article titled "Cynisme et Comic Books" (autotranslation)

• Plugs: Robot 6's Chris Mautner and guest columnist Charles Hatfield are both reading The Comics Journal #300; the former says "regardless of what kind of comics reader you are, there's something in here you're going to want to read," while the latter says "in good Journal fashion, [it] contains a lot to chew on and some stuff that I emphatically disagree with. It’s a great issue that leaves me with both a nostalgic wistfulness... and a keen desire to write about comics into the unforeseeable future!"

• Things to see: Dash Shaw's new minicomic (almost missed it)

• Things to see: Stephen DeStefano presents a selection of inspirations and references for his in-progress Lucky in Love

• Things to see: Just a reminder that Renee French continues to kill it on her daily art blog

Now on TCJ.com: Huizenga/Spiegelman
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics JournalKevin HuizengaAl Floogleman 7 Dec 2009 3:36 PM

The Comics Journal 300

Speaking of Kevin Huizenga, his conversation with Art Spiegelman (moderated by Gary Groth) from The Comics Journal #300 is now available to read on the new TCJ.com website (about which more later).

New (?) Glenn Ganges strip by Kevin Huizenga
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Kevin Huizenga 7 Dec 2009 3:07 PM

Glenn Ganges: A Postcard from Fielder by Kevin Huizenga

Kevin Huizenga presents the first part of a presumably new Glenn Ganges strip on his blog.


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