• List:Lou Reed's work in his collaborative Poe adaptation with Lorenzo Mattotti, The Raven, helps him rank #64 on Whitney Matheson's 100 People of 2011 list at USA Today Pop Candy
• List: Comics Worth Reading's Johanna Draper Carlson names her top 10 Best Graphic Novels of 2011, with Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson in the #5 slot: "I was astounded to discover that once upon a time, Mickey Mouse comics were really good! And exciting!... Plenty of good background material puts it all in context for the new reader, previously unaware of this strip or Gottfredson’s skill. I haven’t had a better adventure read this year, in sheer 'I don’t want to put this down!' desire to find out what comes next."
• Review: "The connective thread [in Mome] has long been 'stuff Eric Reynolds likes,' and since he likes a lot of stuff, chances are good he’s included a lot of material that falls well outside the Venn-diagram overlap between your taste and his. That makes reading this final issue of Mome an unusual experience even in these anthology-saturated times: Its editorial focus is its lack of focus. To paraphrase Singles, its thing is not having a thing. What it does have is 240 pages, making it fatter than any single anthology listed above, and fatter than many of them put together. And with Mome, quantity is something of a guarantor of quality.... Yes, you have to sit through some stuff you won’t dig. And no, none of it has much to do with any of the rest of it. But independent of any scene or wave or vibe or goal beyond publishing a lot of interesting short new comics, Mome soldiered on. That’s the hill it died on, and this is a fine flag to plant on its grave." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
• Review/Plug: "Over the past few months, [Fantagraphics] have been putting out collections of Floyd Gottfredson's work on the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip, and they're some of the best comics ever put out. Even though they were published all the way back in 1932... Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse stories are still fresh and frequently pretty hilarious today. They've got everything anyone would want out of a comic: Adventure, romance, danger, lost pirate treasure, fighter jets battling against sinister zeppelins, and even a gang of mad scientists out to destroy the world with a ray-gun that makes you evil.... It's incredible stuff, and when you throw in the consistently beautiful design that Fantagraphics gives to their projects, it's something that makes a pretty great gift. It's even decked out in Christmas colors!" – Chris Sims, ComicsAlliance
• Interview: You'll want to read the autotranslation of Adriana Terra's wide-ranging Q&A with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez at Brazilian site Soma for some good tidbits about what their next projects are (and, you know, the rest of it is good too)
Critic and writer Ken Tucker counted down his Top 10: The Year in Music on NPR's Fresh Air, a list which included 9 albums and one book, Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson: "Nelson, who died in 2006 at age 69, was part of the first generation of rock critics, instrumental in bringing attention to musicians including Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, New York Dolls and Warren Zevon. The book is both an anthology of his best writing and a tragic recounting of a life that shut down too soon." The book has previously been named one of Library Journal's Best Books 2011 and one of Rolling Stone's Best Rock Books of 2011, among other accolades.
Bill Griffith is best known as the creator of the Zippy daily comic strip, currently running in over 300 newspapers nationwide, but Zippy was conceived as an underground comix character before he became embraced in the main- stream, and Griffith himself was a seminal figure in the underground comix movement, during which he was a cartoonist, an editor, and an entrepreneur.
Bill Griffith: Lost & Found collects hundreds of Griffith’s early underground comics, most of them long out of print and unavailable. Much of the work will be unfamiliar and a real revelation to those readers who only know Griffith from his long-running Zippy strip.
Beginning in 1969, Griffith contributed stories to a long list of legendary undergrounds. Lost and Found is not only a collection of these underground comix — hand-picked by the artist himself — but a mini-memoir of the artist’s comix career during the early days of the San Francisco Underground and his nearly twenty year on-again, off-again involvement with Hollywood and TV. Griffith’s running recollections and commentary serve as a wry and often hilarious counterpoint and context to the stories themselves. Lost and Found follows Griffith’s career from New York to San Francisco in stories taken from The East Village Other, Screw, Arcade, Young Lust and Griffith's solo comic Griffith Observatory, featuring the first Zippy appearances and a cast of characters including Claude Funston, Mr. The Toad, Shelf-Life, The Toadettes, and Alfred Jarry.
While the vast majority of the book is non-Zippy comics, it also features the earliest appearances of Zippy, not seen in any other collection. Zippy fans will be happy to see the very first Zippy stories from 1971 to 1974, when Zippy was primarily a sidekick for Griffith’s first major character, Mr. The Toad. Also included is a 19-page, unfinished, never-before-published comics version of the first few scenes from the Zippy movie screenplay, Zippyvision. Intended as a companion piece to the unproduced film, the story details Zippy’s sideshow origins and his later life in a boarding house catering to showbiz wannabes.
Previously uncollected later work features Griffith’s comics for High Times, The National Lampoon, The San Francisco Examiner and The New Yorker.
Bill Griffith: Lost and Found finally collects the work of one of the great, pioneering cartoonists.
• List:USA Today's pop culture maven Whitney Matheson starts counting down her People of the Year at Pop Candy, with Jim Woodring kicking things off at #100 ("This year the artist constructed a seven-foot-long fountain pen that even Lloyd Dobler would be proud to own") and Leslie Stein coming in at #78 ("She had me at the talking guitar: The Brooklyn-based cartoonist's Eye of the Majestic Creatureprovided a joyous reading experience")
• List (Audio): Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 are among the books discussed by Inkstuds host Robin McConnell and his guests Tim Hodler, Joe McCulloch and Matt Seneca for his "Best of 2011 with the Critics" episode
• List: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's Jade names her Top 5 Books of 2011 on the 211 Bernard blog: "Thirty years after the first Love and Rockets issue, the Hernandez Brothers continue to impress with some of their best work to date in Love and Rockets: New Stories #4. Both brothers produce storylines that are absolutely amazing... I can’t even begin to imagine what these guys will come up with next."
• Review:The Seattle Times' Mary Ann Gwinn looks at Pogo Vol. 1 and the "Playing Possum" exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "Kelly had an uneasy relationship with the newspapers that ran the strip. Though Pogo was hilarious, it could also be extremely pointed. Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid says the Hoover strips, featuring a bulldog with an uncanny resemblance to the FBI director, aggravated Hoover no end. 'He was driven to distraction' by the notion that the strips had hidden messages embedded in them, says Reid. 'He had cryptographers trying to decipher swamp talk.'"
• Review: At Artdish, Gary Faigin also looks at "Playing Possum": "Kelly was both famous and honored in his lifetime (over 50 collections of Pogo were published, and the strip appeared in most major newspapers), but just enough time has passed since his demise in 1973 that many people, younger ones especially, are not familiar with his work. While that’s a good reason to celebrate the Pogo show and book launch at the Fantagraphics Gallery this month, an even better reason is the opportunity to be reminded how fresh, lively, and relevant his work is, decades after it first appeared."
• Review: "These are deeply strange short stories [in The Man Who Grew His Beard], centered on ideas and effects I’m not sure I’d have come up with even with the proverbial infinite number of monkeys at my disposal; even in this short-story-saturated alternative comics climate, there’s nothing else like his gestalt of finely calibrated nonsense. It’s good to see that comics can do things you’d never think to ask of them in the first place." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Review: "Although Barks didn’t create Donald Duck, it is his interpretation that probably resides in most people’s memories.... Donald in the animated shorts was a hot-headed buffoon. Barks’ Donald was an actor called upon to play whatever role Barks needed: from exasperated parent to worldly adventurer. It was Barks’ duck comics that spurred my early interest in sequential storytelling, and probably my love of reading in general." Norman Cook, Axolotlburg News
• Review: "Love & Rockets is the only series that I don't mind purchasing and repurchasing in multiple editions... I like the way that Jaime Hernandez's stories read in different configurations. Approaching his little slices of life through flashback or in different sequences lets little details, the sort of which most readers probably miss the first time around, take new shapes and new levels of importance. I really love these paperback editions... As ever, there's just a tiny hint of extra-normal fantasy at work in the stories [in Penny Century], just enough for readers to accept that there's something very strange over the horizon or in Izzy's psyche, but never enough to overwhelm the wonderful, human reality of these beloved characters. Highly recommended for older readers." – Grant Goggans, The Hipster Dad's Bookshelf (via The Comics Reporter)
Not only is Wilfred Santiago’s 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente on Sports Illustrated’s "The Year in Sports Media" list at #34, the magazine had Wilfred provide some commentary of his own, in cartoon form. Click the image above for a closer look at the scan, provided by Wilfred.
The festivities kicked off with a harmonious performance from local choral group Choir of the Sound, featuring Fantagraphics photojournalist (and wife of our own Kim Thompson), the lovely Lynn Emmert! They performed a Walt Kelly original, as well as a Christmas classic, before heading out to spread holiday merriment along the streets of Georgetown!
More musical accompaniment was provided by the trio Sawsome, who performed a delightful set featuring banjo, saw, guitar, and accordion -- a perfect accompaniment to the swampy-styles of Pogo!
Of course, everyone was excited to take in the Pogo originals, including 12 dailies and 4 Sunday strips. We sold quite a few on opening night, but there are still some available, so come by the Fantagraphics Bookstore and have a look before the exhibit closes on January 4th! You can see some closer shots over at the Fantagraphics Flickr page.
And even Santa dropped by to take in the exhibit, seen here chatting withFantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid! I wonder what Larry asked for Christmas!
This fun event also happened to be the bookstore’s 5th anniversary party, so we just want to take a minute to thank everyone who has supported our storefront for the past five years! We have more exciting events in store for you in 2012 (like our upcoming Tony Millionaire signing!), so here's to another five years and many more!
Find your fancy and save 50% at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery with our current Google Offer, where $20 gets you $40 of graphic novels, alternative comics, classic comic strips and more. With an inventory that includes every Fantagraphics Book in print, cherished classics, out-of-print publications and new releases, you’ll be sure to find material to tickle your funny bone and your cranium at this iconic shop. Makes a great last-minute gift, too! There's less than a day left to purchase the Offer, so get on it! (See offer page for limitations, terms and conditions. Offer NOT applicable to online purchases.)
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