|Thanks Andy Richter, again!|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony Millionaire||13 Dec 2011 12:00 AM|
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Archive >> December 2011
As you may know, next spring we are publishing Significant Objects, a collection of writing and images from the project of the same name wherein various writers created narratives inspired by various seemingly valueless objects which were then auctioned on eBay with their respective stories as the item description, to see if the accompaniment of the story would lead to an increase in the objects' value as measured by the bids. So, news comes via the Significant Objects blog that the students in an 11th-grade English class at Wm. E. Hay High School in Stettler, Alberta, Canada are embarking on their own experiment replicating the project, with the objects (some of which were created by the writers) and their stories being posted at the Stettler's Significant Objects blog as well as their eBay listings (proceeds from which go half to the writers and half to charity). Those kids all get an A+ (or whatever the Canadian equivalent is) from us! Go show them some love by checking out the stories and maybe throwing a few bids down.
Rolling Stone magazine has named Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery one of 2011's Best Rock Books. Nelson, of course, famously worked for and then quit RS, so one can only wonder what he would think of this. At any rate, it's very rewarding that this remarkable book, one of our occasional forays into non-comics publishing, is receiving the accolades it deserves, having already been named one of Library Journal's Best Books 2011 and tied for "Music book of the year" at Springfield, Massachussett's The Republican.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: At the Forbidden Planet International blog, comics creator Nick Abadzis names Jaime Hernandez's "The Love Bunglers" from Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 as one of his three favorite comics of the year: "Hernandez just keeps delivering stories of the highest calibre. There are no pyrotechnics or fancy-ass page layouts, just a slow burn of emotion and expression, presented in calmly immaculate style. The moments of his characters’ lives that Hernandez chooses to show in the telling of his tales are picked and deployed with such precision it betrays a wisdom and clarity very few storytellers possess, in comics or any other media. Just beautiful."
• Review: "Everything Is an Afterthought is as much a eulogy for the life and work of this influential critic and writer as it is a reflection of how otherworldly the entertainment industry of the 1960s and '70s appears from a contemporary perspective of online bloggers and digital music.... Avery's narrative is bookended by a morbid fascination with Nelson's lonely end, living poorly and finally dying in his apartment in 2006 at age 70. But the dual nature of his book is fantastic, because after reading about Nelson's life we desire and deserve to read his work." – Thomas Conner, Chicago Sun-Times
• Review: "What is central to this magnificent book [Everything Is an Afterthought] is that Avery, a fabulous writer in his own regard, is also clearly a big Paul Nelson fan. As such, he presents a critical, yet caring, picture of Nelson's professional and personal life, the latter a bit sad and wistful, pulling out all the stops in a moving tribute, warts and all. And since he is such a good writer in his own regard, Avery's introduction to the book is almost like a second book in itself, and worth the price of admission alone. [Rating] 5 stars" – Sound Waves
• Review: "With this new book, I feel like Gottfredson’s take on the characters is blossoming into something strong enough that I wish I’d encountered it much earlier in life.... The Mickey Mouse books from Fantagraphics are full of tons of bonus material; advertising art, essays, sketches, even examples of how the stories got re-purposed down the line. These feel like the Criterion Collection DVDs translated into comic strip compilations, a prime example of how to give the readers more than their money’s worth.... With Mickey Mouse: Trapped on Treasure Island, I’m already eager to see what Gottfredson did next. I’m in for the long haul." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics
• Review: "If men dressed as bears are stealing your homework or you can't find that mysterious fortune teller because you have a lousy sense of direction, Tales Designed to Thrizzle can help you. Just be aware that this book is as rapid-fire a comic as I've ever read and is an almost overwhelming experience. If you can hang on to enjoy the ride, and are a fan of the humor of webcomics like Wondermark or the prose stylings of John Hodgman, then you really need to find someone who already owns a copy of this book and kill them for it. Or, you know, buy one for yourself. Either way, I'm good. And so is Tales Designed to Thrizzle." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter
• Plug: "Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective is a wonderful tribute to the prolific artist... An amazing lifetime of work." – The Christian Science Monitor
• Plug: "Pogo Vol. 1: Through The Wild Blue Wonder – ... Kelly’s illustrations are masterful, with expressive characters who are warm and friendly. Pogo‘s deft social satire makes this collection about Pogo Possum and friends a must own for humor comics fans and people who just like good things in general." – Robot 6 guest contributors Geoffrey Golden & Amanda Meadows
• Reviews: Author and comics scholar Michael Barrier examines several of our recent classic comics reprints in detail
Is anyone else hearing the Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist theme song in their head looking at this animated GIF illustration for The New York Times op-ed by Lilli Carré? Bravo to the Times for letting Lilli do her animated-loop-drawing thing that she does so well.
[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]
Tastes like chicken, helps a good cause: This oversized frog-leg drawing done by Jim Woodring with his giant nib pen is being auctioned, along with signed books and other items from Jim and others, to benefit our Minneapolitan friends at the lit-review quarterly Rain Taxi. Starting bid's only 40 bucks, jeez!
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: Multiversity Comics' David Harper counts down the Best Graphic Novels of 2011, with Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman — "Part prose, part two color comic, this beautiful hardcover is a fanciful romp through history the way I wish it really was. I can hardly wait for the next hundred years to pass so we ca get the next installment" — and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit Book 3 — "If it doesn't make you sick, you shouldn't be allowed to walk among the public in the first place. If it doesn't make you giddy for the next one, you don't deserve comics" — tied for 5th place
• List: ComicsAttack ranks Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide by M. Tillieux at #6 on their Top 15 All-Ages Titles of 2011: "Fantagraphics has put out some amazing work this year... Gil Jordan sticks out to us in all of its splendor. Yes, it can be compared to a gritty version of Tintin, but at the same time is so much more and its world so much deeper in crime. The adult tones make adults pick it up, and the colors and action give it an appeal to kids, making it an all-ages gem for anyone who picks it up."
• Review: "Barks' duck stories have been reprinted several times over the years, in different formats of varying quality. Now, Fantagraphics has published the first volume of its new series of hardcover reprints (Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes), and there's much to be heartened by.... Even the silliest premise, when executed by an artist in perfect control of his gifts, can land with deftness and grace — that's something that strikes you again and again as you read Barks' work. And it's a lesson that won't get lost on any kid with whom you might choose to share it, which is convenient, as this collection makes a perfect introduction to one of the greatest all-ages comics artists of all time." – Glen Weldon, NPR - Monkey See
• Plug: "Though I have many contemporary cartoonists and comics writers whose work I admire, there is one artist whose work defies my critical ability to write about it intelligently. This artist is Kevin Huizenga. Mixing a disarmingly simple style with narrative complexity rarely achieved in comics, Huizenga has consistently turned out some of the most interesting and perplexing works of the early 21st century." – Rob Vollmar, LitStack
• Plug: "Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson is a unique collection that serves as both a biography of Nelson and an anthology of his work, written and compiled by Kevin Avery. It features special chapters on and interviews with many of Nelson's favorite artists, including Bruce Springsteen." – Shawn Poole at Springsteen fansite Backstreets.com
• Plug: "A definite contender for music book of the year, Kevin Avery's Everything Is an Afterthought is the biography of pioneering rock critic Paul Nelson... It's a fascinating story of an important writer and recommended to anyone who has an interest in sixties and seventies rock 'n roll and music writing in general." – 211 Bernard (Librairie Drawn & Quarterly)
Our weekly strips from Kupperman, Mahler & Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web:
---Up All Night by Michael Kupperman (view at original size):
I don't think anything I can say could quite do this justice: the Hey Oscar Wilde! Tumblr dug up this holiday greeting card sent from the great manga creator Osamu Tezuka to the great Carl Barks with a sketch by Tezuka showing his best-known character Astro Boy greeting Barks's Donald Duck. When giants collide — and hug adorably! (Originally posted at comicartfans.com. Via a Twitter trail of Forbidden Planet International retweeting Eric Orchard.)
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