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Archive >> February 2010

Daily OCD: 2/10/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPirus and MezzoJohn PhamDaily OCDBest of 2009 10 Feb 2010 2:52 PM

Just a few Online Commentary & Diversions links:

List: I'm a little short on time so I'm afraid I'll just have to link to Rob Clough's Top 100 Comics of the '00s Part One at The Comics Journal without quoting or outlining the Fantagraphics entries but rest assured there's plenty of them

Review: "[King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave] features a series of short stories which at first seem completely unrelated but eventually begin to tie together to reveal a larger picture of depravity, lust, drug abuse and other sinister events taking place in a town that is utterly surreal and terrifyingly familiar. ... What makes this story really work is when it peels back that first layer of the onion and we get to see what’s underneath. Normal, everyday stuff takes place on the surface, but as we get deeper into the rabbit hole, a larger tapestry of creepiness and unsettling behavior is woven." – Chad Derdowski, Mania

Commentary: Adrian Reynolds at youdothatvoodoo cites John Pham's Sublife as an example of successful storytelling, saying "...the creativity John Pham brings to the pages of Sublife makes me warm to his comics work all the more. Asterios Polyp’s creator David Mazzuchelli deconstructs the story he’s telling before your very eyes, drawing attention to the methods he’s using to get it across. Pham, conversely, uses experimental art techniques in the service of story..."

Waffle Wednesday
Written by Jacq Cohen | Filed under staffoffice fun 10 Feb 2010 12:09 PM

Waffle Wednesday

Well, today was the first of many Waffle Wednesdays here in the Fantagraphics office. We had two kinds of waffles: regular Belgian waffles and gluten free waffles (for our wheat-free designer).

Steph & Adam

Steph, our new office manager, brought in a myriad of fruits and three different kinds of syrup! Even our very own Kim Thompson brought two types of orange juices, no pulp and some pulp.

Bugs Bunny waffle iron

I used Emeril Lagassse's recipe of waffles, because it was the first one to pop up in my Google search.

Tony; Adam & Jenny

In the coming weeks I plan to spice things up by adding special ingredients. My friend Dominika suggested fried chicken and waffles. We'll see how ambitious Steph and I get.

Steph & Jacq

Also, next week's post will be better documented in photos.

waffle porn

Please feel free to send over your recipe suggestions.

Celebrate Valentine’s with Gahan Wilson this Saturday, February 13 at Fantagraphics Bookstore
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Robert CrumbGahan WilsonFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 10 Feb 2010 10:41 AM

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons

If you’re passionate about comix, there’s no place like Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’ve got “50 Years of Playboy Cartoons” with Gahan Wilson. Meet the living legend from 6:00 to 9:00 PM this Saturday, February 13 for a book signing and reception for his exhibition of original drawings and prints.  

To commemorate the occasion we’re offering a bookstore-only 20% discount on the exquisite 3-volume slipcase edition of GAHAN WILSON: 50 YEARS OF PLAYBOY CARTOONS and an even more generous offer on the limited deluxe edition. Look for specials on other alluring comics and graphic novels. You’ll find affordable gifts to please anyone. 

And if you love R. Crumb, you’ll have your only chance to view Michael Leavitt’s spectacular articulated Crumb sculpture on Saturday before it departs to a private, out-of-state collection. Fantagraphics Bookstore stocks the region’s largest selection of lovely Crumb books.  

Join us on Saturday in Seattle’s enchanting Georgetown arts community for this memorable evening event. It coincides with the Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the neighborhood, as well as a diverse array of dining and drinking establishments.  

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S., only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.  See you soon.
Things to see: 2/9/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanstaffRenee FrenchPaul HornschemeierKevin HuizengaJordan CraneJohn HankiewiczHernán MigoyaDebbie DrechslerDash Shaw 9 Feb 2010 5:20 PM

Gaze in wonder (and click for expanded/complete wonderment):

MoCCA Art Fest 2010 Poster - Dash Shaw

MoCCA 2010 Art Festival image by Dash Shaw

MoCCA 2010 Art Fest t-shirt - Dash Shaw

• Official images for the 2010 MoCCA Art Festival by Dash Shaw: poster (top), booklet (middle; hilarious) and t-shirt (bottom); Dash comments on his blog

XOY - John Hankiewicz

XOY, a new print by John Hankiewicz

feeder birds - Debbie Drechsler

• Don't miss Debbie Drechsler's frequent updates to her sketch blog, such as these lovely birds

Year of the Tiger - Steven Weissman

Steven Weissman's artwork for the "Year of the Tiger" show at GR2; also, the original sketch

The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy - cover by Paul Hornschemeier

Paul Hornschemeier's cover art for the paperback edition of James Kennedy's novel The Order of Odd-Fish

Focus - Kevin Huizenga

• Is "Focus" a new mini from Kevin Huizenga? He never 'splains nothin' on his blog

Jordan Crane

• Part 3 of Chapter 2 of this Jordan Crane story at What Things Do

Niño Milagroso - Eric Reynolds

Niño Milagroso — an illustration for a novel by Hernán Migoya by our own Eric Reynolds

H Day - Renee French

• Don't forget to check Renee French's art blog for daily updates like this

Daily OCD: 2/9/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeter BaggePeanutsMomeLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLinda MedleyJordan CraneJoe DalyJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDaily OCDCharles M SchulzBest of 2009Abstract Comics 9 Feb 2010 5:15 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: At The Comics Journal, the back half of Rob Clough's Top 50 Comics of 2009 includes:

#29, The Complete Peanuts 1971-1972 by Charles Schulz: "Twenty-two years into his run on this strip, Schulz was still at his peak even as Peanuts was moving into a new phase."

#31, Mome Vol. 14: "The most consistently excellent anthology in comics, issue after issue."

#39, Uptight #3 (misidentified as #2) by Jordan Crane: "Both [stories] were perfectly suited for this lo-fi yet gorgeously designed comic..."

#43, The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly: "Daly didn’t create just a story or a set of characters, but an entire community for readers to wander around in and become comfortable with. Equal parts Tintin and The Big Lebowski, this was a stoner detective story, with all sorts of absurd events popping up in everyday life and eventually making a kind of sense."

#46, Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me by Peter Bagge: "This is Bagge-as-Mencken, trenchantly tearing apart stupid ideas from both the left and the right and doing it while actually going out into the field, gathering facts, and talking to people. His hyper-expressive style was a perfect fit for his over-the-top political commentary."

And finally, #50, Love and Rockets: New Stories #2 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez: "Jaime’s conclusion to 'Ti-Girls Adventures' managed to combine rip-snorting action and compelling character work. Gilbert’s 'Hypnotwist' was both a callback to his New Love-style weirdness and yet another entry in his 'pulp movie' adaptations. ...[I]t’s clear both brothers were having such a good time following their impulses."

Review: "Abstract Comics: The title is, in itself, a manifesto. It makes official the existence of these strange objects that some will reject as a contradiction in terms: 'abstract comics.' ... In the abstract comics gathered by Molotiu, sequential ordering produces nothing on the order of a story; but solidarity between the panels is established (in more or less convincing and seducing fashions) in another mode — plastic, rhythmic and so to speak musical. Personally, I do not refuse to make a place for these creations in the field of comics, because I wish that field to be as open and as diversified in its expressions as possible, without excluding anything a priori. Nevertheless, I still note that they have closer affinities with the operating modes of contemporary art that with the ordinary ambitions of drawn literatures." – Thierry Groensteen, Neuvieme Art (excerpt and translation by Andrei Molotiu at the Abstract Comics Blog)

Review: "Perhaps the best adjective I could employ to describe Castle Waiting would be 'homey.' It’s all about the pleasures of home and the relief of being amongst family who accept you, even if they don’t happen to be related to you or even entirely human. ... Taken on the surface, it’s a perfectly cozy and enjoyable story. If one decides to delve more deeply, themes of tolerance and equality can be found gently at work, though by no means do they take precedence over the characters. Lest all of this sound a bit too quaintly domestic, let me assure you that the story is also quite funny." – Michelle Smith, Soliloquy in Blue

New from Nico Vassilakis: West of Dodge
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staff 8 Feb 2010 5:46 PM

West of Dodge - Nico Vassilakis

Our warehouse manager/poet-in-residence Nico Vassilakis has a new book of visual poetry and drawings out from Ireland's Red Fox Press, part of their "C'est mon Dada" series. Fans of our Abstract Comics anthology would do well to check it out.

We also neglected to mention in a timely fashion that Nico was shortlisted for the 2009 Stranger Genius Awards in Literature. Time to add "Resident Genius" to your business card, Nico.

pages from West of Dodge by Nico Vassilakis

Hotwire Comics Vol. 3 group art show opens Friday
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneRick Altergottmary fleenerHotwireGlenn Headeventsdavid sandlinart shows 8 Feb 2010 5:17 PM

Here's your reminder in the form of the official press release:

Hotwire Comics exhibit print

Limited Ed Silkscreen print of the above image available!

Dumbo, Brooklyn, NYC - February 12th: opening reception 6-9 pm and continuing to March 31st, 2010 - Scott Eder Gallery

BROOKLYN, February 12, 2010- HOTWIRE #3 features a dynamic selection of artwork from the upcoming all-new third volume of Hotwire Comics! Following the success of last year's Hotwire #2 show, this seminal show features paintings, works on paper in all media from some of the heaviest hitters in the alternative comix scene, including Tim Lane, David Sandlin, Glenn Head, Mark Dean Veca, Danny Hellman, Jayr Pulga, Mary Fleener, Karl Wills, R. Sikoryak, Sam Henderson, Mats?!, Rick Altergott, Chadwick Whitehead. The opening of the show is timed to coincide with the release of the brand-new volume of Hotwire Comics. Hotwire #3 is currently on view at 18 Bridge St., DUMBO, Brooklyn until March 31, 2010.

The Harvey- and Eisner-nominated anthology of action, thrills, chills and transgression is back with a third volume! Anything goes in Hotwire, eschewing literary high-mindedness for a pure, gut-wrenching viscerality that you can tune in and rest your brain on after a long day.

Opening party Friday night, Feb. 12th, from 6pm-9pm

Join us to celebrate the Hotwire #3 group show featuring the great selection of paintings, ink drawings and works in graphite.

About Scott Eder Gallery
Established in August, 2007 as a venue for bringing comic book art creators into a fine art context and gallery setting, Scott Eder has been dealing and exhibiting original comic book art at festivals and museums in the U.S. and throughout Europe (France, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands) for over 15 years. All show info at www.scottedergallery.com

Things to see: 2/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim HensleyThings to seeNewaveMolly KielyKevin HuizengaJohn HankiewiczJim FloraJim BlanchardHans RickheitGabrielle Bell 8 Feb 2010 5:03 PM

Looky (and clicky for better lookies):

Molly Kiely with Newave

Newave! contributor Molly Kiely poses for a self-portrait with the book

Wishbones - John Hankiewicz

• These and more sketchbook wishbones by John Hankiewicz

The Skittish Horse - Jim Flora

The Skittish Horse by Jim Flora

Johnny Cash - Jim Blanchard

• An unpublished commissioned portrait of Johnny Cash by Jim Blanchard

Fight or Run - Kevin Huizenga

• What's this, new Fight or Run art from Kevin Huizenga? (click for full image)

Ectopiary, page 10 - Hans Rickheit

Hans Rickheit 's Ectopiary, page 10 (plus more on his blog)

Frenzy - Tim Hensley

• Ooh, Tim Hensley does Hitchcock: Frenzy (above), Marnie, Lifeboat

Lucky - Gabrielle Bell

A 2009 diary strip from Gabrielle Bell

Daily OCD: 2/8/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Zak SallyUsagi YojimboTrina RobbinsSupermenSteven WeissmanStan SakaireviewsPrince ValiantNell BrinkleyMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsJohn PhamJasonJaime HernandezIvan BrunettiHotwireGilbert HernandezFemke HiemstraEsther Pearl WatsonDaily OCDcontestsCarol TylerBrian KaneBest of 2009Abstract Comics 8 Feb 2010 5:02 PM

Hoy, it's a marathon Monday Online Commentary & Diversions post:

List: The Comics Journal's Rob Clough begins counting his Top 50 Comics of 2009:

#1, You'll Never Know, Book 1: A Good and Decent Man by C. Tyler: "A mash-up of family portrait, generational analysis, autobiography and scrapbook, this book was not only the most emotionally powerful work of the year, it was the most attractively designed. The first part of what will likely be Tyler’s masterwork."

#6, Like a Dog by Zak Sally: "This was a stunningly honest account and collection of early work by one of the most underrated cartoonists working today. While the collected early issues of Recidivist ranged from interesting to astounding, it was Sally’s frank and emotional essay following the collection that really struck me as a statement of purpose — not just as an artist, but as a person."

#10, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "The first collection from Kupperman’s surprising hit really helped spread the word about his unique and delightfully warped genius as a gagsmith and artist."

#15, Sublife Vol. 2 by John Pham: "This one-man anthology featured Pham fully harnessing every aspect of his skills as a writer and artist. His use of color dominated and provided a sort of visual through-line for his different narratives. Pham alternately pushed the reader away and then pulled them in, depending on the story, a tension that made this his most successful work to date."

And #17, Ho! by Ivan Brunetti: "It’s fascinating to see the two directions Brunetti was headed in with regard to these gags. First, his gags became ever-more boundary pushing, but always in service to the punchline. Second, his line became more and more simplified to the point of nearly geometric simplicity: squares, circles and triangles wound up creating most of his characters by the end of the book."

List: Paul Gravett names The Best of 2009: Classic Comic Reprints. At #6, it's The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940: "Trina [Robbins] follows up her thorough biography of Brinkley with this oversized collection of Sunday 'comics,' often more like ravishing illustrated romantic yarns of big hair, clothes and emotions, but stunning to linger over and revealing in their period mood and concerns. In their time, Brinkley’s spirited, vivacious females were as iconic and inspirational in early 20th century America as the famous Gibson Girls before her. They truly deserve this gorgeous commemoration."

List: On the annual Fun Fifty countdown at Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!, at #15, Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "Without hyperbole, Thrizzle is simply the funniest, most guffaw-out-loud comic book they're going to have to pry out of your cold, dead hands when you die laughing. ... Thrizzle's stuffed from front cover to impressive back page blurbs with Kupperman's splendiferous pulps-meet-woodblock-print artwork and lunatic stories, it's one of those rare humor books that actually is downright hilarious."

Reviews: Nick Gazin of Vice (link NSFW) weighs in on a number of titles:

"I love Unlovable. Take that, book title. ... Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back."

"[High Soft Lisp] is incredible... The world in this book is one I wouldn’t want to live in but I can’t stop thinking about the story of Fritz."

"...[Almost Silent] is a really good book and Jason is a strong cartoonist. He does a lot with his simple-but-well-drawn characters and little to no dialogue. ... For $25 you get a nice sampler of what Jason can do. This is entirely worth owning."

Review: "The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion is the indispensable guide to the strip and a must have for its legions of fans new and old. Fantagraphics has been re-printing these original strips in chronological order in beautiful hardcover volumes and this guide makes the perfect complement. ... No matter how long you’ve been a Prince Valiant fan…one year or seventy years, you’re certain to find this book informative and entertaining. Fantagraphics has produced another spectacular book!  Grade A" – Tim Janson, The Gouverneur Times

Review: "Similar to Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson, Jason relies on the humorous side of horror in these mostly wordless tales. ... Throughout the sublime Almost Silent, Jason examines traditional relationships and social norms via a deliciously warped lens, quite probably one constructed by Dr. Frankenstein himself." – Rick Klaw, The SF Site: Nexus Graphica (spoiler alert!)

Review: "I can’t think of a better single volume of what the period style of fast looked like in practice than last year’s Supermen! anthology. Yes, there’s an added winnowing by genre but that just sharpens the sense of the reductive visual and narrative requirements that were standard for the hot new gravy train that hit the business." – Rich Kreiner, "Yearlong Best of the Year," The Comics Journal

Review: "As a whole, I like Abstract Comics a lot. I’d say that it works like a good art exhibition, or at least an exhibition unburdened by obligations to teach history, one in which multiple formal and aesthetic connections are there but not shouted out, rather left to be discovered (or not) by the strolling viewer according to his or her inclinations." – Charles Hatfield, Thought Balloonists

Plug: "[Steven] Weissman's work is very often like a brain-damaged Charles Schulz... His newest book, Chocolate Cheeks, raises the stakes in a really dramatic way. I think this might be his last book in this series, but it goes out with a doozy of a book." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

Plug: "Matt’s response to my squeeing over the announced May, 2010 publication date of Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6: 'Yes, as there were so many plots unresolved in the last issue. Who won, blimps or holes??'" – TofuPunk.com (I don't know who Matt is – ed.)

Plug: "With new work by the likes of Johnny Ryan, Max Andersson, Sam Henderson, Stephane Blanquet, Doug Allen, Michael Kupperman, Mack White, and Jeremy Onsmith, Hotwire 3 is certain to deliver the psychic jolt it promises." – Richard Cowdry, Love the Line

Plug: "Since Beatriz 'Penny Century' Garcia is my favorite Love & Rockets' Locas, I'm very excited to see the advance solicitation for the new soft cover Penny Century... In my opinion, the soft cover collected volumes are the best way to read Love & Rockets. They are the easiest way to follow the reading order, and with the cheap price of $18.99, you can't find a better launching point for one of the most regarded independent comics of all time. " – The Star Clipper Blog

Analysis: Abstract Comics contributor Derik Badman posts an in-depth email discussion between himself and critic Craig Fischer about the book 

Interview: The Daily Yomiuri's Tom Baker talks Usagi Yojimbo with Stan Sakai: "I think the first few years I really tried to make him cute and cuddly like a stuffed animal, whereas the stories tended to [take] a more dramatic turn. So I think the character has changed. Most of it's unconscious on my part." (via The Comics Reporter )

Contest: Arrested Motion is having a drawing to give away a copy of Rock Candy: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra along with a signed exhibit card and limited-edition giclee print!

Newave! event report & more pics
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under NewaveFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 8 Feb 2010 2:16 PM

Al Greenier at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery Newave! book launch/exhibit opening

Richard Krauss of Midnight Fiction has an excellent writeup and photos (such as the one of Al Greenier above) from the scene the Jan. 30 Newave! book launch and exhibit opening at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.


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