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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 2011

Congress of the Animals and Isle of 100,000 Graves are Official Selections at Angoulęme
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under PeanutsJim WoodringJasonJacques TardiCharles M Schulzawards 6 Dec 2011 5:57 PM

Congress of the AnimalsIsle of 100,000 Graves

Congratulations to Jim Woodring and the artist/writer team of Jason & Fabien Vehlmann, whose respective works Congress of the Animals and Isle of 100,000 Graves (in their French editions from L'Association and Glénat respectively) have been named Official Selections of the 2012 Festival International de la Bande Desinée (a.k.a. the Angoulême Festival)!

In addition, the French-language edition of The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 (Dargaud) has been named to the Sélection Patrimoine list of classic reprints, and Ô Dingos, Ô Chateaux! by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Patrick Manchette (Futuropolis), which we plan to publish in English some time in the unannounced but not-too-distant future, is on the Sélection Polar list of crime comics.

The big show goes on January 26-29 in Angoulême, France naturellement, with our fellow American Art Spiegelman as this year's Président du jury.

500 Portraits by Tony Millionaire - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony Millionairenew releases 6 Dec 2011 12:35 AM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship to our mail-order customers:

500 Portraits by Tony Millionaire

500 Portraits
by Tony Millionaire

192-page black & white 5.75" x 7.5" hardcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-473-3

See Previews / Order Now

500 Portraits collects for the first time over two decades of portrait work by the beloved and award-winning creator of Drinky Crow’s Maakies, Sock Monkey and Billy Hazelnuts. Tony Millionaire’s gorgeous fountain pen illustrations, which mingle naturalistic detail with strong doses of the fanciful and grotesque, include the famous (Bob Dylan), the infamous (Abu Ghraib soldier/model Lynndie England), the fictional (Yoda), the animal kingdom (a cockroach), and everything in between. Literary figures (Hemingway), literary characters (Don Quixote & Sancho Panza), Hollywood legends (Steven Spielberg), comics icons (Hergé) and historical figures (Hitler) also figure prominently.

Millionaire’s impeccable linework resembles that of Johnny Gruelle (creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy), whom he cites as one of his main sources of inspiration along with Ernest Shepard and "all those freaks from the '20s and '30s who did the newspaper strips."

Many of these 500 portraits were created for The Believer, the magazine founded by Dave Eggers that Millionaire has helped define visually with his signature portraits of interview subjects in every issue since the magazine started. But it also includes dozens if not hundreds of illustrations from various other publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Ephemera Press Historical Maps, The Wall Street Journal, and others.

“I think Tony Millionaire can only do important things.” — Dave Eggers

Daily OCD: 12/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireShimura TakakoRichard SalareviewsPaul NelsonMickey MousemangaLove and RocketsLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaKevin AveryJoe KubertJacques TardiJack DavisinterviewsFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDave McKeanDaily OCDCarl BarksBill SchellyBest of 2011Al Jaffee 5 Dec 2011 8:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

List: The Austin American-Statesman's Joe Gross names Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 the best comic of 2011: "One of the wonderful things about seeing a masterpiece in the making is the mysterious feeling, the racing of the soul that takes place when it hits you that you are, in fact, seeing a masterpiece in the making.... Symphonic, tragic, revelatory, exciting and devastating as only great art can be, 'The Love Bunglers' is one of the best comics ever made."

Celluloid

List: Paste ranks Dave McKean's Celluloid at #5 on The 10 Best New Comics of 2011: "The visionary art director behind The Sandman’s covers creates a coital masterwork that elicits beauty and excitement in equal measure.... Celluloid is a treasure of technical finesse and sensual mystique that transcends its potential controversy."

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

List: Paste's list of The Ten Best Reissues/Collections of 2011 includes Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson at #9 ("Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care"), Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective at #7 ("Fantagraphics has finally given him the grand and serious treatment he deserves, without minimizing his goofy sense of humor"), and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes in the #1 spot ("Barks’ strips combine high adventure with humor and subtle cultural commentaries, but they remain grounded in character... Lost in the Andes is a gorgeously packaged collection of some of the finest comics ever made.")

Reviews (Video): On the new episode of the Comics-and-More Podcast, hosts Dave Ferraro and Patrick Markfort discuss Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks (two-part video at the link)

Ganges #4

List: At Poopsheet Foundation, Justin Giampaoli names Kevin Huizenga's Ganges #4 one of the "Best Mini-Comics & Small Press Titles of 2011": "It’s the continuing adventures of Glenn Ganges and his latest nocturnal outing, as he navigates his sleepless existence on a seemingly endless night. With the degree of interactivity occurring between the page and the readers, there’s as much technique on display here as there is original storytelling."

List: Leeds, UK comic shop OK Comics posts their Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2011: "9. Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jaques Tardi published by @fantagraphics. A hitman's reluctance to perform one last job leads to an emotional breakdown. Legendary French comics artist Jacques Tardi on fine form."

Pogo Vol. 1

List: The Globe and Mail includes Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly in their "2011 gift book guide": "Fans of what for many is the greatest of all comic strips have waited a long time for this, the first of a projected 12 volumes (1949-1950) from the brilliant Walt Kelly. The congenial Pogo Possum and his swampland friends... spring to life in this collection of daily and Sunday comics, filled with Kelly’s characteristic wordplay. One hopes this will introduce a new generation to this comic, satiric masterwork."

Review: "Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 1—Through the Wild Blue Wonder proves to be worth the wait.... Overall, the package serves Pogo well.... The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn’t necessarily build to big punchlines; he’d slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... What’s impressive about Fantagraphics’ Lost in the Andes is that it encourages both a fannish and an intellectual approach to the material. For those who want to skew highbrow, the book includes an appendix with scholarly analysis of each story.... And for those who just want to curl up with more than 200 pages of some of the best-written comics ever published, Lost in the Andes has all the square eggs, rubber bricks, golden Christmas trees, and races around the world that any kid or grown-up could ever want." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Review: "Fantagraphics’ initial release of its new series of Carl Barks books is titled, Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes and reprints one of the most famous, and most BELOVED, comic book stories which Carl ever wrote and drew! ...I’m impressed with the quality of the publication. In my estimation, the coloring is excellent and the format engaging…. The critical essays composed by a number of Barks scholars are also insightful and well written.... In my opinion, as a Carl Barks fan, this initial volume is well worth acquiring!" – Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter

The Art of Joe Kubert

Reviews: "Two... giants of American illustration get the handsome coffee-table-book treatment with Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and The Art of Joe Kubert... The Kubert book — edited by Bill Schelly — is more text-heavy, covering Kubert’s early years as a journeyman penciler and inker on a slew of indistinct superhero and adventure comics, then exploring how Kubert developed the fine shading and gritty realism he’d become famed for starting in the late ’50s. The Davis book saves most of its biographical detail and critical analysis for the intro and appendix, filling the intervening 200 pages with full-sized examples of the half-cartoony/half-photographic approach that Davis brought to Mad magazine and countless movie posters. Both offer ample visual evidence of how two men found the 'art' in commercial art, turning work-for-hire assignments into opportunities to express their particular visions of the world." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

List: Springfield, Massachusetts The Republican columnist Tom Shea has Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson by Kevin Avery in a tie for "music book of the year"

Review: "To (re-)discover a first-rate critic, and read about a life that went wrong in a harrowing way, you must read Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, by Kevin Avery.... This volume is exhilarating. Avery tells with great energy Nelson’s tale, with copious details about the active period of his subject’s life, and in so doing limns a portrait of a certain kind of pop-culture/bohemian existence in the late-70s. And Avery’s generous selection of Nelson’s writings are certainly among Paul’s best..." – Ken Tucker (Entertainment Weekly), The Best American Poetry

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.... I am really eager to read volume two of Wandering Son, though a little hesitant as well. I know that the road in front of Shu and Yoshino isn’t going to be an easy one and I don’t want to see them get hurt. But the fact that I’m talking about the characters as though they’re real people just shows how deep this manga has gotten under my skin." – Shannon Fay, Kuriousity

The Hidden

Review: "Richard Sala is one of those creators that holds a fairly unique voice in comics. Many people have tried to replicate his off-beat brand of horror, but ultimately nothing out there quite like his. So with a new graphic novel called The Hidden out, the question for most people won’t be, 'Should I read it?' but 'When should I read it?'... The Hidden isn’t perfect... but what Sala does well, he does very well indeed. There’s quite a lot to love in The Hidden, with some scenes in particular that will stick with the reader for a long time." – Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics

500 Portraits

Plug: "This new book of portraits from @tonymillionaire is exquisite: a wonderful Xmas gift!" – Peter Serafinowicz

Plug: Laughing Squid's Rusty Blazenhoff spotlights Tony Millionaire's 500 Portraits

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

Plug: "Have you ever wondered what happened after 'Happily Ever After'? This graphic novel [Castle Waiting] is a modern tale that incorporates fairytale characters and settings. Funny, thoughtful and not at all what you'd expect." – The Victoria Times Colonist

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Interview: Wall Street Journal subscribers can read a Q&A with Jack Davis conducted last week in NYC by Bruce Bennett here: "Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story." [Update: A clever reader has pointed out that non-subscribers can read the article in Google's cache]

Humbug

Profile: CNN's Todd Leopold profiles the great Al Jaffee: "After a bumpy several years in which he bounced like a pinball between his parents -- moving from Savannah, Georgia, to Lithuania, to one borough and then another of New York City, back to Lithuania and back again to New York -- art was something to hold on to, a way to establish an identity. He had no idea it would lead anywhere."

Things to See: Shannon Wheeler 'Cartoonist's Diary' at TCJ.com
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeShannon Wheeler 5 Dec 2011 7:18 PM

Shannon Wheeler sketch

All this week, Oil and Water artist Shannon Wheeler recounts his recent trip to Portugal via NYC for the "Cartoonist's Diary" column at The Comics Journal, with sketches from the trip drawn in a blank printer's-sample dummy of the Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons book.

[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]

Boing Boing previews Pogo!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellypreviews 5 Dec 2011 1:47 PM

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly

See an exclusive 10-page preview (including Jimmy Breslin's Foreword) of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly at Boing Boing, where Mark Frauenfelder says:

"Presenting his characters as animals gave Kelly the ability to explore human nature without the distraction that cartoon humans would have bought along with them. His illustration style was warm, highly expressive, and detailed without looking crowded. It's hard to think of another newspaper cartoonist who equalled his talents. Kelly's daughter, Carolyn, designed and co-edited this 290-page anthology, and her love and admiration for her father is evident in the beauty of this book. The design is impeccable and the quality of the line art reproduction is superb."

Can You Imagine? on KEXP and Kickstarter
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under rockPeter Bagge 4 Dec 2011 11:18 PM

Peter Bagge & his bandmates in Can You Imagine? took to the airwaves on Seattle's KEXP on last night's edition of their punk show Sonic Reducer — if you missed it, you can catch a re-broadcast at 11 PM tonight... that's less than an hour from now! Tune in to 90.3 FM in Seattle or kexp.org worldwide, or if you see this too late, find it in the KEXP streaming audio archive.

And here's another way to get in on the Can You Imagine? fun:

Pete & co. are raising funds via Kickstarter to complete their new album! Pledge now and you could get nifty thank-you gifts like an early download of the album, an original drawing from Pete, your very own cover song played just for you, brunch or a private party with the band, and the ever-intriguing "Surprise Mystery Ball"!

Things to See: new Leslie Stein comic at VICE
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to seeLeslie Stein 4 Dec 2011 10:50 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/mike/201112/that-sticky-machine-1.jpg

Read "That Sticky Machine," a charming new 7-page comic by Leslie Stein, at VICE. Flash back to the 1990s with Eye of the Majestic Creature's Larrybear!

[Follow our Tumblr blog for lots more Things to See every day.]

Daily OCD: 12/2/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyThe Comics JournalreviewsPaul NelsonMickey MouseMichael KuppermanKevin AveryFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDBest of 2011 2 Dec 2011 11:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

List: Graphic Novel Reporter's John Hogan gives Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman an honorable mention on his Best of 2011 list

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island

Review: "Uncut, uncensored and politically incorrect – these tales are from an alternate Disney universe, where Mickey is a red-blooded, two-fisted adventurer; they are fun to read and a delight to view. Gottfredson’s comics are as classy, funny and as slick as the Disney shorts from the same period. And as usual, co-editor David Gerstein provides a plethora of 'bonus materials'... A fine package, a full meal, and a perfect follow-up to volume 1, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island fills a gap long-neglected in animation history. Buy it." – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "I think I’ve been waiting for this book my entire life.... At long last the complete Pogo has been compiled, lovingly, ...in the miraculous new hardcover, Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder. Buy this book.... Kelly’s drawings are just magnificent, and his sophisticated writing style was far ahead of its time. Its time has come – and Fantagraphics has gone out of its way to ensure the best possible copies of these rare strips were found, restored and preserved perfectly here for all time... A great gift for anyone – especially you." – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew

Review: "Walt Kelly’s Pogo... is justifiably hailed as one of the great achievements of the postwar comic strip. In theory, it belongs to the 'funny animal' genre; in practice, it was a personal, whimsical combination of comedy and mood, dressed in linguistic wordplay and laced with sociopolitical satire.... This wonderful first volume of a projected 12-volume series contains the strip’s first two official years (plus its early pre-syndication stint in a single New York paper), with the Sundays reproduced in color, and with Kelly’s topical references annotated by scholar R.C. Harvey.... I salute this launch... [Rating] 9/10" – Michael Barrett, PopMatters 

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Small wonder that Jonathan Lethem modeled Chronic City’s protagonist on [Paul] Nelson: Nelson’s bohemian eccentricities... make his biography a more gripping read than the criticism that makes up [Everything Is an Afterthought]’s second half.... In the end, Nelson’s best epitaph comes from a sprawling essay that portrays the writer as a hermeneutic gumshoe hired to suss out the meaning of Dylan’s oeuvre: 'I know we need people like you because a world filled with romantics would be a disaster, but a world without them would be worse.'" – Jonah Wolf, The College Hill Independent

The Comics Journal #38 [Sold Out]

Review: At The Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone examines The Comics Journal #38 (from 1978). A highlight: "Kim Thompson gets to review the Spider-Man television special and one of the Hulk television movies. He likes the Hulk one more than the Spider-man one, but then, he doesn't like the Spider-man one at all. (It sounds really fucking weird.) He's also really ticked off about Stan Lee re-writing the comic strip Spider-man's origin to better match the television show. Fists are shaken!" (Incidentally, this seminal issue is considered one of the magazine's historic best by both Kim Thompson and the bloggers of Love & Maggie.)

Fantagraphics Books logo - shield emblem by Daniel Clowes

Profile: Alec Berry of West Virginia University's The Daily Athenaeum introduces its readers to Fantagraphics in an article on independent comics publishers: "These innovative works could be characterized as dramatic, journalistic or satirical. Really, what happened was Fantagraphics stepped up and presented the thoughtful analysis that could be done on comics by publishing the trade magazine The Comics Journal, and Fantagraphics published the actual work that inspired the thought."

Pogo Vol. 1 preview at Publishers Weekly
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellypreviews 2 Dec 2011 10:53 PM

from Pogo Vol. 1 by Walt Kelly

Publishers Weekly presents a 4-page preview of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly, with 2 pages of dailies and 2 full-color Sunday strips.

Elsewhere at PW, Mark Schultz introduces the preview by way of an ode to the newspaper strip and the recent boom in reprint series: "Naturally, I’m having an increasingly difficult time trying not spend all my money on these fresh new volumes, especially the handsome new collections of classics like Popeye, Peanuts, Krazy Kat, and Little Nemo in Slumberland. This week, Fantagraphics tests my will anew with the first volume of Walt Kelly’s Pogo.... You'd be smart to remember it for the nerd's nerd on your list this year, and probably for the next ten-plus years [a full six years if all goes according to schedule – Ed.]: Fantagraphics plans to release another eleven volumes. I guess I better clear out some space next to the Garfields."

Weekend Webcomics for 12/2/11: Kupperman, Mahler, Weissman & more
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsVictor KerlowTim LaneSteven Weissmannicolas mahlerMichael Kuppermanjohn kerschbaumJesse MoynihanGabrielle BellArnold Roth 2 Dec 2011 9:55 PM

As promised, Nicolas Mahler's Angelman joins our weekly strips from Kupperman & Weissman, plus links to other strips from around the web:

---

Angelman by Nicolas Mahler (view at original size):

Angelman - Nicolas Mahler

Up All Night by Michael Kupperman (view at original size):

Up All Night - Michael Kupperman

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman (view at original size):

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman

And elsewhere:

The All-New Cartoon Boy Adventure Hour by John Kerschbaum at ACT-I-VATE:

The All-New Cartoon Boy Adventure Hour by John Kerschbaum

Belligerent Piano by Tim Lane:

Belligerent Piano - Tim Lane

Forming by Jesse Moynihan:

Forming - Jesse Moynihan

Humblug by Arnold Roth (4 new strips this week, including serialization of his unpublished 1979 strip Downtown):

Humblug - Arnold Roth

Lucky by Gabrielle Bell :

Lucky - Gabrielle Bell

What's in the Backpack by Victor Kerlow:

What's in the Backpack - Victor Kerlow


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