|New Comics Day 2/18/09|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under New Comics Day, Nate Neal||17 Feb 2009 3:12 PM|
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Archive >> February 2009
Harvey Kurtzman changed the face of American humor when he created the legendary MAD comic. As editor and chief writer from its inception in 1952, through its transformation into a slick magazine, and until he left MAD in 1956, he influenced an entire generation of cartoonists, comedians, and filmmakers. In 1962, he co-created the long-running Little Annie Fanny with his long-time artistic partner Will Elder for Playboy, which he continued to produce until his virtual retirement in 1988.
Between MAD and Annie Fanny, Kurtzman’s biographical summaries will note that he created and edited three other magazines, Trump, Humbug, and Help!, but, whereas his MAD and Annie Fanny are readily available in reprint form, his major satirical work in the interim period is virtually unknown. Humbug, which had poor distribution, may be the least known, but to those who treasure the rare original copies, it equals or even exceeds MAD in displaying Kurtzman’s creative genius. Humbug was unique in that it was actually published by the artists who created it: Kurtzman and his cohorts from MAD Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Al Jaffee, were joined by universally acclaimed cartoonist Arnold Roth. With no publisher above them to rein them in, this little band of creators produced some of the most trenchant and engaging satire of American culture ever to appear on American newsstands. At last, the entire run of 11 issues of Humbug is being reprinted in a deluxe format, much of it reproduced from the original art, allowing even owners of the original cheaply-printed issues to experience the full impact for the first time.
Peanuts surges into the 1970s with Schulz at the peak of his powers and influence: a few jokes about Bob Dylan, Women’s Liberation and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” (!) aside, these two years are as timeless as Peanuts ever was.
Sally Brown — school phobia, malapropisms, unrequited love for Linus and all — elbows her way to center stage, at least among the humans, and is thus the logical choice for cover girl... and in her honor, the introduction is provided by none other than Broadway, television and film star Kristin (Wicked) Chenoweth, who first rose to Tony-winning fame with her scene-stealing performance as Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Two long Summer-camp sequences involve Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty, who has decided that Charlie Brown is madly in love with her, much to his clueless confusion. Snoopy shows up at camp as well, as does Peppermint Patty’s new permanent sidekick, the one and only Marcie.
The eternally mutable Snoopy mostly shakes off his World War I Flying Ace identity and turns into Joe Cool, college hipster extraordinaire. And in three long sequences he writes a fan letter to his favorite author, Miss Helen Sweetstory, then goes on a journey to meet her, and finally enlists Charlie Brown’s help when her latest opus, “The Six Bunny-Wunnies Freak Out,” falls afoul of censors.
Also, Woodstock attends worm school, falls in love with a worm (perhaps the most doomed unrequited Peanuts love story ever!), and is nearly eaten by the neighbors’ cat... Peppermint Patty is put on trial for another dress code violation and makes a very ill-advised choice in terms of lawyers... Snoopy turns Linus’s blanket into not one but two sportcoats... Lucy hits a home run... and the birth of one Rerun Van Pelt!
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $28.99
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 17-page PDF preview containing all the strips from January, 1971!
We've just added 50 more items to our Clearance Sale and Closeout Deals categories, with savings of one-third to half off! We've got Bagge classics, Clowes novelties, pin-up books, great but obscure graphic novels, and much more at slashed prices. And we'll be adding still more in the coming weeks and months. Go! Browse! Buy!
• List: At Funnybook Babylon, "25 Things Pedro Loves about Comics" leads off with Steven Weissman 's Li'l Bloody
• Blurb: The Scandy Factory previews our upcoming release of VHS box art, Portable Grindhouse
We're pleased to present Grant Geissman's Foreword and Monte Wolverton's Introduction to The Wolverton Bible by Basil Wolverton for your reading enjoyment here on our website. These two pieces both provide valuable biographical context as well as background information on the creation of Wolverton's Bible stories. We hope they entice you to check out the book, which is due imminently.
So where was I...
Coming up on 40 hours without sleep and hoofing it from the 11 arrondissement to the 5th. I'm on my way to the legendary Un Regard Moderne when I spot this little gem:
What if Dan Clowes was born French? We would all be referring to Ghost World as Shake Hair. By the way, Dan tells me Doofus (as played by Jack Black) makes a bicycle-seat-sniffin' cameo in Ghost World II: The Bob Skeetes Story!)
Moving right along...
Rounding the corner I loaf down the typical, rain washed, beautiful, Parisian alley/street and there IT is, out of nowhere, a parting of clouds a ray of pure light...
... the bookstore of my dreams: Un Regard Moderne!
The following photos are of just the storefront.
I keep trying to figure out how Jacques the owner gets these books into the front windows? There are stacks and STACKS of books in the way, and there's no way he's moving all those books just to rearrange the front window display! right? wrong! I went to Un Regard Moderne two days in a row and the window display had changed over night! The only thing I can figure is that Jacques is crawling up on top of the stacks and STACKS of books and using a claw to grab books out and to place books into the display...? Very mysterious.
Here's what you see when you walk inside and look immediately to the left:
There's only room for 3 people and if you ever make it to this dream I advise you take off your jacket and leave your bag outside because there is NO ROOM for both you and your crap.
I spent a lot of time in this heaven of books. It felt so good.
Housewives at Play: French Connection, you wish.
In the foreground here there's an island of books stacked up to my nose (I'm 6 foot 6). The owner usually stands on a foot or two of old, stacked newspapers in the far corner by the Gary Panter and Ninja. While I was trying to navigate this island I knocked over a tall stack of books. Books everywhere. The aisle was so narrow and cramped I couldn't even bend over to pick them all up and some of these books were damaged. I felt so bad. I took that as a sign to leave. I paid for my selections and started back to my hostel picking up a French sandwich on the way.
Owner: Jacques Noël
As you leave Un Regard Moderne this is what you see when you look up. Books stacked from floor to ceiling. Beautiful.
Later at my hostel I layed on my tiny bed in a daze. I was so tired and so excited from visiting Un Regard Moderne... it felt like I'd visited the physical and ideal representation of how I'd like to think my brain looks.
Later that night I woke up with a striking pain in my right shoulder. The same shoulder I knocked over that stack of books with. I was convinced my karma or whatever was fucked. It felt like someone was squatting on my chest and stabbing me with a large knife! I sat up and went through my purchases from Un Regard Moderne and discovered I'd short payed. The next day I went back to Un Regard Moderne and settled up and the exact moment I left the store was the first relief my shoulder felt since the night before! Let that be a lesson to you.
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.