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Archive >> December 2010

Things to See: Another page from Jason's Athos in America
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeJasonComing Attractions 30 Dec 2010 5:52 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201012/story4.jpg

Pre-coloring, as presented on Jason's Cats Without Dogs blog. From the 4th story in Athos in America, a short story collection à la Low Moon due in late 2011. Jason has embraced the brush again.

Fan tattoo roundup: Maggie, Maakies, Enid & Rebecca, more
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Vaughn BodeTony MillionairetattoosMaakiesLove and RocketsJaime HernandezDaniel Clowes 30 Dec 2010 4:07 PM

After all these years we're still blown away when fans have their favorite Fantagraphics characters inked permanently on themselves. Here's a few fan tattoos that have been shared with us via the Fantagraphics and Love and Rockets Facebook pages over the last couple of months:

Darren Brown's arm full of Maggie, inked by Jason Mcafee at Temple Tattoo in Oakland, CA:

Maggie tattoo

Ghost World's Enid & Rebecca on Gastón Victorica, inked by El Buho:

Enid & Rebecca Ghost World tattoo

Dan Clowes's Blue Bunny on Nicole Radcliff's arm:

Blue Bunny tattoo

Vaughn Bodé's "self" on David Dickie:

Vaughn Bodé tattoo

A teeny tiny trio of Drinky Crows from Billy Foster, inked by Ace Farren Ford of Purple Panther Tattoos in L.A.:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201012/3drinkies-tattoo.jpg

Daily OCD: 12/30/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsNewaveMoto HagioMomeMichael KuppermanmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJoyce Farmerhooray for HollywoodDash ShawDaily OCDBest of 2010 30 Dec 2010 3:18 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: At Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker names The 10 Best Graphic Novels and Comics of 2010, including:

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

"Ostensibly Japanese comics aimed at the adolescent-girl market, these so-called Ten Stories of the Human Heart are lush mixtures of dreamlike imagery and realistic depictions of young people’s yearnings, hopes, reveries, and fears. Gathering representative work from four decades of publication, A Drunken Dream [and Other Stories] exerts a hypnotic pull on the reader, Moto Hagio knows both her commercial audience and her ideal audience — which is to say, the world."

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

"A long-form narrative about the decline of her parents’ health, Special Exits avoids cheap pity and piousness by doing what any good art should: focusing on specifics — the ways in which Farmer’s parents slide into old age and ill health; the care they require and receive. That this is also a portrait of a strong marriage is an added benefit. Frank, never shying away from the awkward indignities of aging, Special Exits illuminates two lives, as well as that of the author’s."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

List: Comic Book Resources ranks Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 in the 7th spot on their Ten Best Comics of 2010:

"The best volume since Los Bros went with this yearly anthology, New Stories #3 has exemplary work from both, but Jamie's story of the young Hoppers is one of his best comics ever." – Timothy Callahan

"Love and Rockets properly hits its stride and the two brothers use their unique approach to do something quite insane. Surrealism and realism in equal doses." – Sonia Harris

"This year, I read nearly every comic ever created by Los Bros Hernandez; what a pleasure to discover at the end of my immersion that their two most recent comics are also two of their best, and thus two of the best comics by anyone. Gilbert and Jaime both tear furiously into love and sex; what they find inside is ugly; what they do with it is beautiful. I'll never forget that panel." – Sean T. Collins

Review: "Is there a comic that's run longer than Love and Rockets and maintained the same level of quality? ...[T]his year's annual is as good or better than anything Los Bros. have yet produced. It starts off with a strange sci-fi story — fans will recognize this as one of Rosalba 'Fritz' Martinez's many B-movies, but you don't have to be in on the gag to find Gilbert's story weird and funny and disturbing. Jaime's contribution to the volume is a story about would-be couple Maggie and Ray having a first date, with an interstitial tale about Maggie's childhood that sheds heartbreaking light on her relationship with her brother. ...Los Bros. are plain-spoken and sympathetic, finding pathos in even the grimiest character." – Sam Thielman, Newsday

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

List: Josh Blair of Candy or Medicine names Newave: The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s one of the Top Ten Mini Comics of 2010: "Ok, ok, I realize this isn't actually a mini-comic, rather than a gigantic collection of mini-comics, but it's definitely a book worth owning."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

List: Brian Cronin of CBR's Comics Should Be Good chooses Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 as the first entry on his Top Ten Comic of 2010 countdown: "Another hilarious issue by Michael Kupperman."

Mome Vol. 20 - Fall 2010

Interview: At The Comics Journal, part 2 of Chris Mautner's Q&A with Mome editor Eric Reynolds (part 1):  "I’m not a real ballbuster when it comes to deadlines from issue to issue, so I’ll invite people to contribute and they’ll take their time, whether they hit the next issue or the following issue. They’re just juggling all these things, and it happens to come together every issue."

Dash Shaw artwork from Rabbit Hole

Analysis: At Cinematical, John Gholson examines the role of Dash Shaw's comic artwork in John Cameron Mitchell's new film Rabbit Hole

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific by Roy Crane - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoRoy Cranepreviewsnew releases 30 Dec 2010 7:16 AM

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific by Roy Crane

Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific
by Roy Crane

240-page black & white/color 9.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-362-0

Ships in: February 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

Roy Crane created the adventure comic strip with Wash Tubbs, and many a superhero owes a debt to Crane’s square-jawed, hard-hitting adventurer Captain Easy. But during World War II, he left the Captain Easy strip to create a more realistic fighting man, a Navy pilot named John Singer Sawyer, who fought in the Pacific Theater from 1943 until V-J Day in 1945.

This book, the first in a series reprinting the Buz Sawyer strip, reprints all of the daily strips published during World War II. Buz serves aboard an aircraft carrier, flies combat missions against the notorious Japanese Zeros, crash lands behind enemy lines, and is captured by a Japanese submarine.

The book also includes a selection of the best of the Sunday strips, which featured Buz Sawyer’s pal and gunner, Rosco Sweeney, presented as fold-out pages.

Everywhere Buz goes, he finds high adventure and beautiful women—in fact, his fellow flyers kid him about his ability to find romance on even the most hostile Pacific island, where he meets a dangerous spy named Sultry (!). And when he goes home on leave, it is only to be caught up in a rivalry between rich heiress Tot Winter and girl-next-door Christy Jameson.

It features some of Crane’s most atmospheric drawing, aided by his expert use of Craftint tones, luscious romance, and exciting action scenes. These stories amply illustrate why Peanuts artist Charles Schulz called Roy Crane “a treasure.”

Also featured in this handsome archival volume: an introductory essay by comics historian Jeet Heer and a selection letters to and from Roy Crane (including one from "Al Toth").

“[Roy Crane] is a treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better.” — Charles Schulz

“Every time I thought I had come up with something that I had thought no one else had done, damn it, I’d find that Crane or Foster had already done it!” — Al Williamson

“Roy Crane did adventure with a beautiful combination of cartooning and storytelling. Every panel was an entertaining panel, with something to look at. When you combine his storytelling ability, with or without balloons, with his action and those great panels, you can’t fail.” — John Severin

Download an EXCLUSIVE 12-page PDF excerpt (3 MB)!

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Daily OCD: 12/29/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyreviewsMoto HagioMichael KuppermanMegan KelsomangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyJoyce FarmerJohnny RyanJim WoodringJasonJacques TardiDrew WeingDavid BDaily OCDCathy MalkasianCarol TylerBest of 2010 29 Dec 2010 6:32 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions gets crazy with the Best-Of lists:

List: At comiXology, Tucker Stone counts down the top 20 Best Comics of 2010:

Wally Gropius

#19: Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley: "In a more unstable world, Wally Gropius would end up shelved alongside the Harvey/Dell comics it's so visually reminiscent of, working like a diabolical physical delivery device for absurdism: Dick and Jane couldn't ask for better."

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

#8: Prison Pit Book 2 by Johnny Ryan: "...Ryan's nasty tech-mammal beatdown looked like baby's first cyberpunk Kamandi, and it ably maintained the promise of this comic's initial volume. This, as they should say, is what we all should be getting down with: pure comics."

It Was the War of the Trenches

#5: It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi: "Trenches was the angriest comic released this year, and while the specifics of its subject matter may be historical, its philosophy hasn't aged a day. War is a brutal, ugly thing, and while some may excel at depicting its horrors with excited doses of adrenaline, Tardi's tale never allows for a moment of escape. For him, political extermination destroys us all, and there's no reason why the bystander should be permitted to participate merely as casual audience."

Weathercraft

#3: Weathercraft by Jim Woodring: "It's a comic that stays behind when it's closed, twisting in memory until you're not sure you caught what it said, a demanding experience that's unusual and unique. There's no other medium that could tell the kinds of stories that Woodring prefers; luckily, he's come back to stay."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

#2: Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 by the Hernandez Bros.: "An incomparable installment in their storied career, New Stories 3 saw Gilbert attacking his oldest obsessions with more humor than ever before, while Jaimie shocked a legion of fans with the most refined (and masterful) chapter in his Locas saga to date..."

List: NPR's Glen Weldon lists "The Most Memorable Comics and Graphic Novels of 2010," including (with links to his past reviews):

Werewolves of Montpelier by Jason: "The deadest of deadpan cartoonists returns with a meditation on relationships, burglary and lycanthropy. In France."

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

Special Exits by Joyce Farmer: "Yeah, this one got to me."

Temperance

Temperance by Cathy Malkasian: "I've said my piece on this ambitious, wonderfully unpredictable fantasy epic grounded in very real, and not altogether pleasant, emotions."

Set to Sea

Set to Sea by Drew Weing: "Weing's largely wordless pages of maritime adventure are gorgeous things, and the tale they tell unfolds with the lulling, implacable rhythm of the sea."

Artichoke Tales [Pre-Order]

Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso: "Kelso sets up an intriguing tension between the cartooniness of her art and the serious, adult themes of war and racism that fuel her thoughtful story."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 by Michael Kupperman: "I attempted to verbalize my deep, abiding love for Kupperman's series on one of the first episodes of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. Not sure I did it justice, so let me take another whack at it: PICK UP THIS BOOK. VOLUME ONE IS ONCE AGAIN IN PRINT. IT IS FUNNY. BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT."

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage [Pre-Order]

You’ll Never Know, Book 2: Collateral Damage by C. Tyler: "Volume I of Tyler's comics memoir was one of the books I singled out for praise last year at this time, and the next volume only deepens and enriches the work she did in that book. What's more, volume II sees her opening up her scrapbook-style approach, pushing at its boundaries in small, satisfying ways."

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

A Drunken Dream by Moto Hagio: "For the first time, the shorter works of this master of shojo manga ('comics for girls') have been published in English, and it's a deeply impressive — and immersive — piece of work that's full of complex emotional truths. And deep weirdness."

It Was the War of the Trenches

It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi: "Tardi constructs a series of vignettes around World War I, inspired by battlefield photographs. Finally available in English, the work is harrowing and ruthlessly affecting."

List: Comic Book Resources continues counting down their Top 100 Comics of 2010. In today's batch:

Weathercraft

#36: Weathercraft by Jim Woodring: "It's a twisting, twisted, often bizarre, often disturbing but always gripping tale of one creature's self-redemption and ultimate sacrifice told without words and often as enigmatically as possible. If you had any doubt that Woodring could still deliver after laying low for so long, consider them erased." – Chris Mautner

You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage [Pre-Order]

#34: You’ll Never Know, Book 2: Collateral Damage by C. Tyler: "One of the most heartfelt books of the year and also one of the most beautiful." – Alex Dueben

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

#29: Special Exits by Joyce Farmer: "This is a magnum opus no one expected to read, a brutally frank depiction of what it's like for full lives you love to end, and it has the most painfully happy ending of the year. It made me cry. Don't do what I almost did and ignore one of the year's most moving comics." – Sean T. Collins

Set to Sea

#28: Set to Sea by Drew Weing: "Weing strapped the heart-rending quest of a simple poet onto a book sporting the energy of a Popeye cartoon and the beastly human proportions of an R. Crumb comic. It's a book that manages to read with the lightness of a feather while simultaneously keeping its audience keenly aware of mortality and the fickle nature of fate on the high seas." – Brian Warmoth

Wally Gropius

#26: Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley: "The first great comic of the Great Recession. Tim Hensley's breakout graphic novel, previously serialized in the Mome anthology, seems like a send-up of silly '60s teen-comedy and kid-millionaire comics on the surface, but beneath lies as odd and accurate a cri de coeur about capitalism and consumerism as I've ever read. It also does things with body language I've never seen in comics, and is funny as hell to boot. There's nothing else out there like it." – Sean T. Collins

(The following 5 bullet points via Sandy Bilus at I Love Rob Liefeld:)

The Littlest Pirate King

List: Joshua Malbin ranks David B.'s The Littlest Pirate King at #4 on his Best Comics of 2010: "A children’s tale with a deeply messed up, traumatic ending and beautiful art."

Review: "The Littlest Pirate King is easily one of the best comics of 2010. [...] What sells it — what sells the whole tale, really — is David B’s superb art. These are overwhelmingly colorful pages, with scenes from strange angles in compressed perspective." – Joshua Malbin

It Was the War of the Trenches

List/Review: "A brutal guts-and-all look at the short life of the average French soldier in the trenches, with gritty artwork that straddles the fence between cartooning and illustration perfectly, It Was the War of the Trenches ranks up there with All Quiet on the Western Front in the ranks of WWI literature." – ranked #3 on The Best Comics of 2010 by Brad Manfully at Memories Fade

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

List: Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 tops The Institute of Idle Time's Top 5 Comics of 2010 list: "Thank god for the Hernandez brothers. Anytime I need to convert someone to the medium, I pull out a volume from the longest-running and most successful alternative comic series of all time. [...] These two cartoonists embody everything comics fans love about the medium. They are master storytellers first and foremost, and the language of comics is never more beautiful." – Mike DiGino

Castle Waiting Vol. 2

List: Alicia K. of Wordnerdy includes Castle Waiting Vol. 2 by Linda Medley ("...Castle Waiting is a great look at... I don't know, the lighter side of fairy tales? It's very character based...") and Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 ("Jaime Hernandez's stories in this are his best work ever, and since he's one of my top-two all-time-favorite comics dudes, that is saying a lot") on her Best Comics of 2010 list

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon [Pre-Order]

Review: "The chief reason to recommend [The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec] is Tardi’s art. ...[H]is photorealistic vistas of early 20th Century Paris are lovely, especially in the pastels and autumnual hues used here, and his cartoonish characters with their bulbous noses and waxed moustaches are a treat. Best yet is the design of Adele, with her period pulled-up hair, slit eyes and only top lip visible, which makes her appear more business-like and asexual, yet somehow more alluring because of the barriers presented." – Christopher Allen, Trouble with Comics

Young GODS and Friends

Review: "Created as a light-hearted and wittily arch tribute to Jack Kirby’s majestic pantheon of cosmic comic deities Young GODS and Friends... slowly builds and spreads into a mythico-graphic Waiting for Godot... On a purely artistic level this collection and extrapolation is a sheer delight; with superb art, splendid writing and all sorts of added extras, but the story-consumer in me can’t help but yearn for what might have been and how much has been lost. Beautiful wry, witty and completely enchanting — and tragically disappointing because of that." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

Interview: In the intro to Alex Dueben's talk with Joyce Farmer about Special Exits at Comic Book Resources, he says of the book "It’s a story told without the fake, heartwarming nonsense that colors so many stories about this topic. The book is both funny and heartbreaking, sometimes on the same page, dealing with the quiet hopeful moments and the nerve-wracking agony that come from a situation that is all too common and spoken of far too little." Joyce goes in depth about the process of the book: "I had wanted to do a big project for a long time. A few months before, I had realized that maybe my parents’ story was a worthwhile project. I was on vacation and I decided to write out the various stories that I remembered. This was three years after they died, so I’d had some time for some stories to die away and other stories to stick in my mind. I had one hundred stories, approximately, and I thought well, this is a book."

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Some previously-missed links on A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, via Deb Aoki at About.com: Manga:

List: "For giving us context, for showing us beautiful stories, and for delving into the work of a woman that changed girls comics forever, A Drunken Dream reaches #2 on my list." – Alexander Hoffman, Manga Widget "Top 10 of 2010"

List: Named one of the Best Graphic Novels 2010 by Deb Walker of the Markham Public Library

Plug: "The Prettiest, Shiniest Thing You Can Buy For That Special Someone Who Likes Pretty, Shiny Things: [...] It makes a fantastic read and an excellent coffee table book for someone who loves manga." – Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, All About Manga

Plug: "This collection of short stories spanning the career of shoujo pioneer Moto Hagio offers a poignant look into the author’s mind, both as a young artist and an established creator, focusing especially on themes of family and personal identity." – Melinda Beasi, Manga Bookshelf

Jim Woodring's Frank pinball backglass
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under merchJim Woodring 29 Dec 2010 1:26 PM

Frank pinball backglass

It was exactly 2 years ago today that I first reported on some mysterious Jim Woodring artwork that appeared to be for a Frank pinball machine. Today our very own pinball aficionado Larry Reid sent me a link which sheds light on that unexplained image! Pinball collector and Woodring fan Eli Curtz commissioned the artwork from Jim, and then commissioned Classic Playfield Reproductions to produce a custom backglass (the vertical backlit display above/behind the playfield) for a homebrew Frank machine that Eli is constructing. This is just about the coolest thing I've ever seen.

The backglass was produced in a small edition and Eli will have a few extras to sell off — information about that and the project as a whole can be found at Eli's website, with additional images, including the original artwork, here. More detailed images and additional information can be found at the Classic Playfield Reproductions website.

Welcome the New Year with the Georgetown Art Attack on Saturday, January 8
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Fantagraphics Bookstoreevents 29 Dec 2010 12:45 PM

Georgetown Art Attack

The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack rings in the New Year with a festive celebration of visual and performing arts throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Please join us on Saturday, January 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for this colorful cultural event.

Among the highlights of the January 8 Art Attack: Our uniquely amazing Georgetown Trailer Park Mall includes the Comet Lodge Mercantile Trailer hosting the "Le Marche' Noir" trunk show, a collection of upcycled garments created by Parisian artist & designer Elisabeth Vedrine, and the Lula B Lightning Trailer presenting limited edition "Strange Religion" chap books by Amanda B'Hymer, among other trailer park attractions; the grand re-openng of Georgetown Yoga at 5519 Airport Way S., with arts and crafts, prizes, snacks and beverages; Heather Hudson showing her exquisite illustrations at Krab Jab Studio; illustrative art up by Julie Baroh and Mark Tedin at Calamity Jane's; Michael Shephard's bizarre mixed media sculptures and paintings at Nautilus Studio; "Medieval Thinkers" comix art exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; and, weather permitting, an outdoor spectacle of New Year cheer.

The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants Association. For more information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid at numbers above. For a printable map of participants, visit: www.georgetownartattack.com.

Inventory Reduction Sale - final hours to save 40%!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under sales specials 29 Dec 2010 12:24 PM

Inventory Reduction Sale banner

Our 3-day Inventory Reduction Sale ends tonight at midnight Pacific time and the response has been overwhelming! It's been working a little too well — a few items are now backordered, including Locas II, Luba, and the Krazy & Ignatz hardcover volumes. We have more on the way, so you can still order them at 40% off and we'll ship them to you in the 2nd week of January. Thanks everyone for the incredible response, and don't forget to get your order in before it's all over!

Staff interviews a go-go
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffMomeFantagraphics historybehind the scene 29 Dec 2010 12:14 PM

A pair of interviews with our staff have gone up today. First, The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon chats with Jason T. Miles about his job here, his own comics, and his zine distro Profanity Hill. Next, at The Comics Journal, check out the first part of Chris Mautner's chat with Eric Reynolds about editing our quarterly anthology Mome. Good job, fellas!

UPDATE: Part 2 of the interview with Eric is up now.

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesEdward GoreyAlexander Theroux 29 Dec 2010 6:57 AM

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey (Expanded Hardcover Edition)
by Alexander Theroux

168-page black & white 6.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-384-2

Ships in: January 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The Strange Case of Edward Gorey is the most authentic portrait yet of this truly enigmatic American artist and writer of macabre, ghoulish illustrated books. It is a respectful and insightful consideration not only of the intriguing pen-and-ink drawings but of the inventive, opinionated and eccentric person himself. A balletomane, cat-lover, unbelievably wide reader, collector of many and surprising objects, and mad filmgoer, Gorey had many selves. In this in-depth study of the man he had come to know over thirty years, Alexander Theroux, the novelist who has a literary genius all his own, examines every facet of this mysterious artist who left New York City to live year-round on Cape Cod for the last third of his life where for years, along with producing book after book, he found time to write and direct numerous evening-length entertainments, often featuring his own papier-mâché puppets in an ensemble known as La Theatricule Stoique.

No ordinary account could ever do justice to such an anomalous character, but Theroux with his depth of understanding, keen eye, literary gifts, and astonishing intelligence, never flinches and this loving but analytical account in its sympathy and range of one of America’s most complicated artists is unsparingly brilliant.

“Just read a few weeks ago your book on Gorey and enjoyed it very much.” – Cormac McCarthy, April, 2010

Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (647 KB).

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